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Letters from Thailand - #1

Richard Barrow's Letters from Thailand
Richard Barrow's Letters from Thailand
Welcome to the first of what will hopefully be a weekly newsletter. I am aiming to give a round up of my past week on social media with the intention to help those who don’t follow me on Twitter. But, I will also give some background information to some of my tweets, as well as some exclusive news and competitions. Let’s see. I am open to suggestions too.

New British Ambassador
Richard Barrow has an informal discussion with H. E. Mark Gooding OBE The British Ambassador-Designate for Expat Life in Thailand - Expat Life in Thailand
Brits in Thailand should know by now that we have a new ambassador. His name is Mark Gooding. Officially his title is Ambassador-Designate as he is still waiting to present his credentials to the King. All foreign ambassadors have to do this before they are allowed to officially carry out their duties. Sometimes the wait can take many months. Until this happens he cannot represent the UK at events, sign documents or even do formal interviews. Which is why I had to use the phrase “informal discussion” when I interviewed the incoming ambassador for Expat Life magazine last week. You can read the interview in the link above.
A Weekly Guide to the Best Public Parks
I have being staying home for around five months now. My last overnight trip was back in April. I’m really getting itchy feet. So, as new infections are starting to decrease and because the public parks in Bangkok have recently re-opened, I decided to go out every Sunday this month to get some exercise.
Richard Barrow
🌳 Sundays are family days and most Thai people head to the malls. But I’ve decided to do the opposite and head outside to open spaces. Over the next few Sundays, I will be visiting the best of the parks in #Bangkok and adding photos & GPS locations to this THREAD. Please enjoy. https://t.co/f2sHHjOmMo
On Twitter I started a new thread where I will be posting pictures and GPS coordinates of the best parks in Bangkok. Last Sunday, I visited Lumphini Park, Benjakitti Forest Park and Benjakitti Park. The forest park is a new addition to parks in Bangkok and by the time it is finished next year it will be massive. More about that later. To see the pictures so far, click on the photo above of someone sitting on a park bench.
Public Parks in Bangkok
Wonderful parks to breath some fresh air in Bangkok.pdf - Google Drive
The Top 10 Biggest Public Parks in Bangkok
  1. King Rama IX Park, 197.6 acres, 13.687582 100.660522
  2. Wachirabenchatat Park, 148.2 acres, 13.813220 100.552960
  3. Lumpini Park, 142.3 acres, 13.730002 100.541286
  4. Seri Thai Park, 138.3 acres,13.787055 100.674479
  5. Queen Sirikit Park, 77.4acres, 13.806537 100.549574
  6. Chatuchak Park, 61.2acres, 13.808542 100.556117
  7. Benjakitti Park, 51.3acres, 13.725893 100.558567
  8. Wareepirom Park, 48.2acres, 13.848190 100.775447
  9. Nawamin Phirom Park, 30.0 acres, 13.777161 100.652960
  10. Thonburirom Park, 24.9 acres, 13.652074 100.491341
Green Skywalk
One of the best things about Lumphini and Benjakitti parks is the green skywalk that links both parks. The BMA has promised to upgrade the walk but it is pretty good already. Really worth a visit if you haven’t been already. Map link is in the tweet below.
Richard Barrow
Between Lumpini and Benjakiti parks there is a green skywalk for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists that goes along a canal and above local communities. It’s a good way to extend your walk if you visit one of these parks.

📍MAP: https://t.co/CxcgCW7wGN #Bangkok #Thailand https://t.co/Z3c36GWuQR
View of Benjakitti Park
This is a good view sent to me of Benjakitti Park. I’ve labelled the picture so you can see what’s coming over the next year or so which will change the skyline again. On the left is the new convention center and in the distance you can just see the cranes working on One Bangkok.
Richard Barrow
I’ve added some labels in this view of Benjakitti Park sent to me by @jstinissen. That’s going to be a really massive park once finished. Though technically it’s two parks. Also of interest is the QSNCC which is being rebuilt. Details here: https://t.co/W8Bmkyr5DE #Bangkok https://t.co/hfaOCik7pr
Wheelchair Friendly Pedestrian Bridge
Richard Barrow
This is a new kind of pedestrian bridge that I haven’t seen before in #Bangkok. It has a lift so that people in wheelchairs and the elderly can cross the road more easily. It’s still under construction but it crosses Ratchadamri Road from Lumpini Park #Thailand https://t.co/JGMhpXgN5J
Using a CO2 Meter has a Proxy to Covid Risks
Richard Barrow
On my way home, I stopped at Foodland on Srinakarin road to buy a few supplies. While I was there I checked out the CO2 reading and as you can see, at a low 700 ppm it means the supermarket is well ventilated despite being busy with shoppers #COVIDisAirborne #CovidCO2 #Thailand https://t.co/rpoKfDfLPn
As you may know by now, I have been using a portable CO2 meter to check on the ventilation in various shops and businesses as well as on public transport. I am tweeting my findings live as I go but I will post a summary in a few weeks. Basically, any place with 800 ppm or more needs to be better ventilated as there is a risk of contamination from virus-laden aerosols. And not just Covid-19. There is an article below which describes a bit about what I am doing:
Portable CO2 meters could be used to help fight coronavirus transmission, experts say - ABC News
Street Photographers
Richard Barrow
📷 There’s a lot of talented street photographers on Twitter and Instagram. My shoutout tonight is for @dima_trionix who has some really amazing photos. Really worth a follow.

As usual, please recommend other street photographers in the replies. Thanks. https://t.co/G2GffeIh7d
Over the past week, I have given a shoutout to some talented street photographers based here in Thailand. There are of course many more, but here are links to the ones that I mentioned plus a few extras:
Ancient Manuscripts
Richard Barrow
The National Library of Thailand is holding an online e-book exhibition featuring ancient manuscripts to help people learn about the country's rich cultural history https://t.co/kaQdGpOH8T #Thailand https://t.co/1Cs8SU0jyr
The National Library of Thailand (NLT) is arranging an online exhibition named “10 Books From The Valuable Ancient Documents Of The National Library”.
Available on mobile.nlt.go.th and the NLT Library app
Thailand Journey
The Bangkok Post has published a book called ‘Thailand Journey’ to celebrate their 75 years. It costs 345 baht and can be ordered by contacting karanrati@bangkokpost.co.th More info on their website: https://thailandjourney.bangkokpost.com
Richard Barrow
🇹🇭 1946: Nation mourns death of the king, Bangkok Post is launched, Siam becomes 55th member of the UN

🇹🇭 1952: Don Mueang boasts new 13-million-baht terminal, An heir is born: Prince Vajiralongkorn, Elephants check in for long-haul flight to London #Thailand https://t.co/93kJGt7CGF
Our Lady of the Seven Martyrs Shrine
Richard Barrow
#VirtualThailand: Our Lady of the Seven Martyrs of Thailand Shrine was constructed in honour of the seven Christian martyrs in Mukdahan who were shot dead by Thai officials in December 1940 #เที่ยวทิพย์ทั่วไทย #เที่ยวทิพย์ #MyThailandBucketList #Thailand https://t.co/SvikQfFJEo
Our Lady of the Seven Martyrs of Thailand Shrine in Mukdahan Province is the largest Catholic church in Thailand. The shrine was constructed in honour of the seven Thai Christian martyrs who sacrificed their lives to protect their religion. This was at a time when Thailand had expelled foreign missionaries because it wanted the local population to convert to Buddhism. But the local Christians refused. Seven of them were shot dead by Thai officials in December 1940. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/P2NvXoBTZUB6NgQg8
Street art along Khlong Hua Lamphong Kao
Richard Barrow
Street art along Khlong Hua Lamphong Kao canal. Entrance is on Surawong Road at the northern end of Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road.

📍MAP: https://t.co/RNXVRjPAVM #Bangkok #walkingBKK #กรุงเทพน่าเดิน #StreetArt https://t.co/9CrBUe0Yd9
Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road
Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road is about 4.2km long and runs either side of Chong Nonsi Canal from Surawong road to Rama III road. At the southern end is the Chao Phraya River. The road was named after King Rama IX’s elder sister, Galyani Vadhana, Princess of Naradhiwas.
Chong Nonsi Canal Park Project
Richard Barrow
Following the success of rejuvenating the award winning Khlong Ong Ang canal, the BMA are next setting their eyes on transforming Khlong Chong Nonsi into #Bangkok’s longest park. It will not only be a green space for local people, but will have better drainage. https://t.co/m0VOlVlOkH
In November 2020, the Bangkok Governor launched the Chong Nonsi Canal Park project which will run down Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road. The first section, between Sathon & Chan roads was supposed to be finished in April. I went there on Saturday to see how it was progressing.
Khlong Chong Nonsi canal stretches from Surawong road all the way down to the Chao Phraya River. It covers a distance of 4.1km through Bang Rak, Sathon and Yannawa districts. The skytrain line is at the northern end and the BRT bus runs up and down most of the canal.
Richard Barrow
These are the latest photos showing the progress of the Chong Nonsi Canal Park project. As you can see, it’s going very slowly. But, at least they have made a start. Once finished, this new public park will have easy access via BTS Chong Nonsi Skytrain station #Bangkok https://t.co/h0VhrZ3ZIO
As you can see, there hasn’t been much progress, but at least they have made a start. I’m looking forward to seeing the Bangkok version of the river walk in Seoul, South Korea.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Richard Barrow
🛍 Chatuchak Weekend Market is open as normal, though many of the shops remain closed. It’s mainly the shops on the outer perimeter where you walk around that are open and a handful inside. However, enough to make it worthwhile.

📍MAP: https://t.co/nXVhRFanxR #Bangkok #Thailand https://t.co/D1FX4esuZR
The popular weekend market is open if you want to do some outdoor shopping. When I went on Sunday it wasn’t very crowded and so it is perfectly safe. Of course, not all of the shops are open. Some are closed permanently and others are waiting for more shoppers. It’s a catch-22 situation. People won’t go until more shops open and more shops won’t open until more people go. So, if you like Chatuchak and want to support them, please give them a visit if you feel safe.
Thailand in the News
The following are some interesting news articles from the past week that you may have missed.
Volunteer groups help poorest survive Thailand's worst COVID-19 surge - CNA
Air pollution continues to kill: does Thailand’s National Energy Plan offer hope?
Thai device tests for COVID-19 in armpit sweat - CNA
Thailand to reopen 5 more destinations to vaccinated foreign tourists from 1 October - TAT Newsroom
How to prevent snakes from infiltrating your toilet
That’s all for now. Hopefully see you again next week.
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Richard Barrow's Letters from Thailand
Richard Barrow's Letters from Thailand @richardbarrow

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Samut Prakan, Thailand