Tag Archives: market

Tsukiji Market: the First Tokyo Exploration

In the back
In the back

It was a no brainer that the very first place I explored in Tokyo was Tsukiji Fish Market. It was to orient myself how to get around in the city. More than that, I was curious to see what would come out from this popular tourist attraction. And it turned out that it gave me the main direction to explore the city.

While the inner wholesale market relocated to the new Toyosu Market a few months earlier, shops and restaurant in the outer market were still open. I’d be more interested in Japanese street food than fish auction in the early morning anyway.

To be honest, the place didn’t awe me as I’d expect from any tourist-filled place since it had been showcased in many media outlets. However, some nuances shifted my perspective. Apart from obvious street food shops and their customers, rooted traditions and orders emerged. Knife shops, specific recycle bins, old and new carts, and especially, bicycles—the ecosystem of the market.

Moreover, it eventually set photography focus for rest of the trip. It was where I first notice something unique about the city. I was fascinated by the relationship between bicycles and the city. Since then, it became my trip’s main obsession.

Because of that, an urge to go deep into the market’s ecosystem was overshadowed by the bicycle theme. Therefore, this photo set turned out not to reach the bar I set for my own standard. Nonetheless, it was a blessing that this first Tokyo exploration shaped up my theme for the rest of the trip.

A Night at the Likay

Likay is the most popular Thai folk theatre in the country. Because the practice of likay is not confined to strict classical Thai performances, it has a long history of its adjustments to audience demands and technologies while maintaining the traditional integrity. Richard Barrow has a sample clip of a likay. In the old days, when it was their peaks, some hi-profile troupes had their own TV programs. However, since the popularity is going down, surviving the fierce competitions from modern entertainments is not easy.

Nok Krajib (นกกระจิบ), 11, is the youngest of 14 performers in Petch Jing Troupe (เพชรจริง), where she is being trained by her extended likey family from Sukothai Province in the north of Thailand.

After school tonight, she gets back home, putting on make up and dressing up to get ready for the show.

Her home is the theatre which is moving around Bangkok for the best deal to temporarily reside in the community. They have been here in the market of Chaeng Wattana Housing Estate, northern suburb of Bangkok, for a month.

Just a quick preparation before the show by the key performers while others are still dressing.

Petch Jing, the leader of the Troupe, is fixing the mixer. The audio system has been the mojor problem since the show started tonight.

Nok Krajib’s small appearance is while the market is closing down for the night. No one really pays attention to the performance except a bunch of local kids and a glue sniffer. The troupe shares electricity with the market therefore they can only use the full power after the market shut down.

Then she goes off the stage to sell garlands to the audience in the market. The only show income is from the garland selling to the patrons so that they can wear them to the favourite likay performers.

And she is back on the stage again as a dancer in the last half of the show which is just a sing-along with karaoke but it is the peak of the night when they can interact with the crowd and sell the most garlands. Unfortunately, the audio issue is getting worse. The noise is too hard to fix so they have to wrap up the night with frustration.

Talad Thep Chinda

Lalad Thep

It’s time to go back to Bangkok and there is some time to kill before the coach arrives. So I explore the local market of Ban Chang District, Talad Thep Chinda. It is a typical regional urban market which slowly disappears in Bangkok, giving ways to megastores. It has more sense of community and things you rarely find in any air-conditioned market. You can feel that they are running their own ventures and much more satisfied than being an employee, no matter big or small businesses.

Offerings

Garland Spirit Houses for Sell

Straw Hats Straw Packs

Keymaker Toy Keeper

Talad Woman

Fresh Frogs