On the banks of the Chao Phraya river

On the banks of the Chao Phraya river - Weekend Standard, April 16-17, 2005
[Interesting observation about how Bangkok's Chinatown is 'authentic' compared to other sterile Chinatowns around the world. The author is clearly just walking around and describing what he sees without having any background info. We wonder would have been written if the author knew the area is slated for an 'upgrading' and redevelopment with an eye to tourism over the next few years. The article later strays into making some kind of point about corrupt police.]
Bangkok's Chinatown is arguably the most original, unreconstructed and exciting ghetto of its kind in the world, so real it can hurt the senses, writes Graham Lees...
Unlike so many modern-day Chinatowns, this one is not about ethnic Chinese food - it's about small metal foundries, oily secondhand engine repair shops; textiles, gold, gemstones, herbs and spices, and wholesaling of everything from drainpipes to sundrapes, from mounds of sun-dried fish to stacks of saucepans...
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