Much has been written about the calm serenity and the frenzied rudeness, hence very good opportunity to witness varied humanistic behaviours and to feed/reject one's own racial stereotypes and prejudices. Along the main drag near the Eastern end where the wats are located, the full touristic glory of loud tour guides (guides! maybe they should know better) shattering the ears, flashbulbs shattering the eyes. Vanloads of Asian tour groups (Thai? pilgrims?) giving, and falang (Occidentals & Korean/Asian backpackers) observing, all snapping away, in your face. Found myself pressing forward with the mob: easy to get swept up in the moment. Locals warn falang of scams demanding payment for "offerings", so be aware and smile a lot. Also avoid buying unsuitable offerings such as commercial plastic wrapped biscuits/cookies. The senior monk/abbot especially spends most of his time fishing out these and other junk from his rice container and giving them to little boys who collect them in large plastic bags. These little ones chase the procession, and can be more irritating than tourists, but is it some kind of vast cosmic cycle? The quieter, local-only riverside Khem Khon street experience has a more "genuine" feel, certainly the atmosphere encourages respectful distance, and no recycling boys. All in all, a worthy view especially for self-reflection about our own assumptions.
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