Outside, the evening was hot and heavy, but my taxi was cold and very, very fast. I kept noticing speed signs that read ‘60’, which my driver was very successfully ignoring, driving in the fast lane over a hundred and up the arses of the cars in front. It wasn’t exactly as if I was in a hurry. Around the speeding car grew this enormous sparkling city that was sitting down in the last lick of light from the setting sun, behind which the night followed in shades of deepest blue. The night was becoming panoramic.
A million people were out on the Silom Road. I decided to take the water bus on the Chao Phraya river.
Four hours later I had still not seen the Grand Palace, but, thanks to a crazy tuc-tuc driver who wouldn't let me go I had got a chance to visit two jewelry bazaars, two tailors and a tourist agency. In between fulfilling his quota with his ‘sponsors’, my tuc-tuc driver, whose name I never got, did manage to take me to two amazing places, the first of which was Wat Saket ‘The Golden Mount’. An artificial hill constructed under King Rama III (1824-51) the Golden Mount was a burial site during the plague under his reign, and thirty thousand people were cremated here.