City of Korat
They built the city of Korat on the tried and tested grid system, therefore easy to find your way by counting in blocks. For instance, a smallish mall is one block west, two blocks south, then a left turn and 150 yards west. The streets vary from wide to narrow, each with its row of shops and restaurants. As is the custom in many countries, clusters shop filled with particular types of merchandise tend to border each other: i.e. gold shops, fabric shops, bags, shoes, motor accessories, dried goods, spices, rice, etc. Stallholders, selling fresh local produce from their farms or smallholdings in the outlying districts fill up most spaces on many pavements. Mobile eateries sell anything from cooked sausages to crepes and Thai kebabs, producing wonderful aromas that permeate the air. While at first glance one may reject eating from such places, experiences have shown that they are safe and delicious!
Factor in the wonderful display of colours, from the fabrics and fruit/vegetable stalls, the cacophony of noise and the climate, is it any wonder that Thailand and countries similar provide a magnet for tourists?
I have described what is the central area, but Korat, like many cities and towns, has over the years spread out in all directions. Outlying districts have modern malls, filled with a variety of shops, including the ever-encroaching McDonald’s, Kentucky FC, even Tesco!! Malls are more expensive, although the reason is the inevitable higher cost of rent and the ‘brand’ goods they sell. In a nutshell, in Thailand, it is possible to buy almost anything. Architecture wise, modern buildings are not much different to those you find in the UK, the exception being the temples and a greater use of wood structures with corrugated roofs. Pavements are haphazard, so well worth frequent glances downwards, health and safety would have a field day here! Tomorrow I’m off to Pi Mi, a mini Angkor Wat which lies 60 Km from Korat, so I shall take the bus.
next – Blog 2015 (Part 1)