Of all the places in Thailand that I went to take pictures Suphanburi was by far my favorite. The place Suphanburi is a small city (probably around 30K) with lots of charm. It was a very average Thai city and give me a real taste of what Thailand outside of Bangkok is like.

Tom Tweetom tweedel Of all the places in Thailand that I went to take pictures Suphanburi was by far my favorite. del is a good friend with significant experience in China and has self-published several interesting volumes of his travels in China complete with many great images and informative narrative.  Last year he visited Thailand for the first time and I had a great time showing him around the area.  Somehow he found time to put together a like 364 page book of his travels around Thailand!

When Tom agreed to become part of our small select product review team I was both excited and grateful.  I hope you enjoy this and future reviews by Tom.  For those whose plans include extended travel in Thailand and China I’d recommend contacting Tom and inquiring into obtaining copies of his books.  Tom Tweedel is an Austin, TX based photographer and can be reached at: tomsds@austin.rr.com

 

Of all the places in Thailand that I went to take pictures Suphanburi was by far my favorite. The place Suphanburi is a small city (probably around 30K) with lots of charm. It was a very average Thai city and give me a real taste of what Thailand outside of Bangkok is like.

 

The Town Square

 By Asian standards it’s not too dense and this was not a big place. By US standards it would be a small city and the development is much more concentrated.


This seemed to be one of the major intersections in town. At least where the highway ran through. Actually in some respects it was more like the edge of town. This was were the higher density development started. By Asian standards it’s not too dense and this was not a big place. By US standards it would be a small city and the development is much more concentrated. 

 

The Canal

They looked like they were having a good time.

 

There was a large canal that ran through town. I was kind of surprise to see a family swimming in it. Dad was in there with the kids while mom was under a tree reading a book. They looked like they were having a good time.

 

 

The Auto Section

Walking along in the humidity and fading sun really reminded me of walking along cities on the Texas coast.

 

At the time I was wandering around most of the business had closed for the day. So I was walking along a wide and mostly empty street. Businesses seemed to be grouped together and this section contained the car repair and maintenance businesses. I saw body shops, tire stores, oil and car wash shops and more. By western standards the stuff was packed in pretty tight but there was still room to breathe. Walking along in the humidity and fading sun really reminded me of walking along cities on the Texas coast. It had a similar feel which was strangely comfortable and not exotic.

 

Canal Street

I have no idea what the real name of the street was but I called it Canal street.

 

I have no idea what the real name of the street was but I called it Canal street. The reason for that is that canal the people were swimming in ran right down the middle. It was actually a divided street, two one way roads with a very wide median between. The median was nice. It had the canal in the middle and well manicured bushes on either side. The bushes were home to a large (3 ft +) lizard of some variety. I chased him for a while but couldn’t get a picture of. 

Convenience Store

This store was very typical of small family run businesses in Thailand.

 

This store was very typical of small family run businesses in Thailand. They sell some of the basics of daily life like bottled water and snacks. There are often several of these per block. Some are pretty nice, some are pretty run down. The more upscale ones become 7-11’s. 

 

Field of Roosters

It seems that some Thai towns have mascots. Suphanburi’s was the rooster.

 

It seems that some Thai towns have mascots. Suphanburi’s was the rooster. Why I don’t know but it was a popular mascot. All along the roads around town they had shops selling rooster statues. Then I arrived at another open public area and it was FILLED with roosters. All sizes, row after row of roosters. There were a few little elephants but roosters ruled that roost. 

A Block in Suphunburi

This was a typical block in Suphunburi along one of the main roads.

 

This was a typical block in Suphunburi along one of the main roads. For the most part it was unremarkable though the place had its charm. It was a typical road with crazy motosais, shops and restaurants. 

 

Interesting Building

Suphanburi was home to a couple of interesting structures

 

Suphanburi was home to a couple of interesting structures, more than a few temples and an interesting building or two. This one caught my eye as I was walking along. I think it is a museum of some kind. 

 

Grounds of the Temple

They were distinctive in structure and in the possession of the crematorium smokestack.

 

There were a couple of temples in town. They were distinctive in structure and in the possession of the crematorium smokestack. I wandered through one that was a bit less walled off than others. It had a large parking/meeting area in the center and the structures around it.

There were some monks in their orange robes taking care of business. I saw one monk come back with a couple of plastic bags full of groceries. As he walked into the temple grounds he was happily greeted by some of the stray dogs. You could tell who was feeding them. 

 

The River Walk

 I was surprised to see such an extensive piece of public works in a small town.

 

I wandered down smaller and smaller alleys until I reached what appeared to be the end of the road. What I found at the end was a delightful surprise. There was a river that ran through town and along the length of the river on one side was a boardwalk. I was surprised to see such an extensive piece of public works in a small town. This place wasn’t big or especially popular but it had a longer river walk than cities 10x its size. 

 

The River Walk Up Close

It was about 20-30 feet wide and made of cement and about 4 feet above the river. It was divided into two sections separated by elevation.

 

It was about 20-30 feet wide and made of cement and about 4 feet above the river. It was divided into two sections separated by elevation. The lower section on the river bank side was for scooters and bikes. The higher section which was on the river side was for pedestrian use. There were people out on the walk for an evening stroll. Most of them middle aged to elderly. There were a few young men out, most of them were fishing. It was a great place to come for an evening walk or morning jog. 

Living Next to the River

This house was built up to the edge and still had parts of it on stilts over the river.

 

This house was built up to the edge and still had parts of it on stilts over the river. Some of life was still conducted as it had been out on the porch and in the river. 

Living on the River

 They seemed to be having a good time on the house boat.

 

As I was walking along the river I attracted the attention of some kids living in a boat on the other side of the river. They waved at me long enough to get a shot of them.

 

Traditional Thai House

It was hard to find some “traditional” housing but there was a great example on the other side of the river in the center of town.

 

It was hard to find some “traditional” housing but there was a great example on the other side of the river in the center of town. 

 

Row Boats on the River

Suphanburi.  There were still a number of traditional row boats on the river.

 

There were still a number of traditional row boats on the river. 

 

Downtown Market

Suphanburi Roaming down the riverwalk I found a lively market downtown.

 

Roaming down the riverwalk I found a lively market downtown. This is where a lot of people went to do their daily shopping. I spent some time wandering around. 

Flower Vendor

The chains of flowers hanging on the rack to the right are actually intended for vehicular use

 

Flowers seemed to be a popular item. The chains of flowers hanging on the rack to the right are actually intended for vehicular use. They make the vehicles smell better and are supposed to bring about blessing and good luck. With traffic the way it is you need all the luck you can get.

 

Hammy Fruit Vendor

This guy put on the pose when I took a picture of him and his selection of exotic fruits.


This guy put on the pose when I took a picture of him and his selection of exotic fruits.

 

Smiling People

A lot of people smiled when I pointed the camera their way, including this group of meat vendors.

 

A lot of people smiled when I pointed the camera their way, including this group of meat vendors. They were very friendly, or maybe I just looked silly.

 

Ariel Antennae

After picking my way through the market I found a bridge that arched up over the river to the other side of town.

 

After picking my way through the market I found a bridge that arched up over the river to the other side of town. I went halfway up and found I could get a better vantage point on the town I noticed that there were a whole lot of aerial antennae. Guess there are a lot of TV’s. 

 

Looking Back on the Market

From the bridge you could see the market as a whole. It was mostly perched along the boardwalk.

 

From the bridge you could see the market as a whole. It was mostly perched along the boardwalk.

 

Next Time

Suphanburi by Night…