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fuehrerm | Reporter's Log

Bangkok´s dressed up – at first sight

Thailand´s capital is gleaming. Not just because of the smiling people in the streets, but especially for the week-long  birthday celebrations in honor of Bhumibol Adulyadej, the country’s king who turned 85 last Monday. A day before his birthday, the flood in Inner Bangkok was officially pronounced over. The city’s governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra declared that the situation in eleven districts had eased and that locals could return to their homes.

Since Monday the inhabitants are celebrating, the Grand Temple and the ministries are sparkling with fairy lights, and it appears that cleaning brigades are constantly out and about to sweep the streets – at least you can´t find any litter anywhere.

Well, at first sight. Only a few meters away from the celebrations you stumble into another side of Bangkok – its grungy one. The city’s canals, like this one near the Great Palace, are nothing to celebrate about. You literally have to hold your nose when the stinky grime – including dead fish, plastic bottles and sewage – passes you by. But it doesn’t stop there: The smelly mix continues on its way into the Mae Nam Chao Phraya, the river flowing through the city – and pollutes the environment.


December 9, 2011



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