Published for the Royal Geographical Society by J. Murray,
Text on page 92
NOTES OF A J0U11NEY ON
the great trails to the west, north, or east, one passes among crowds of camped Mens, and among villages and markets, the latter always held along one side of the road. At the time we were there mangoes were in full swing, and all the womenas baskets full of them, bananas, coconuts, ready-rolled cigarettes, brown cakes of palm sugar of an excellent quality, and very often the fruit of the sugar palm, which is very much enjoyed. To the south and west the trails are really like beautiful roads, for they go through a pretty red sand soil, leading to the flat-bedded sandstones of the hills, which makes good walking, and, even when swamped with a foot of water, never causes mud. On the north and east, however, on slightly lower ground, these sandy ridges are less frequent; the villages, when possible, are built on them for health and convenience, while the paddy is grown below. The trails on these sides, passing chiefly through this low land, are in the rains two or three feet deep in thick, clinging mud.
If the houses of the Thai (in which for the moment we may include the Siamese and Laos together) are in the city badly situated in swamp and jungle, and badly kept in repair, the houses of the Chinese are very different; they are the flourishing part of the community. There are some thousands of them here and in the neighbourhood, nearly all shopkeepers, and outside the west gate, and along the main trail on each side, they have a regular village. The street is narrow between the open shop-fronts, and the road paved with baulks of timber. They drive a large trade among the people coming in from the distant parts, in calico stuffs, coloured sarongs and panungs, brasswork for betel boxes, trays, etc., umbrellas, sandals (the latter soles of leather with a strap coming up inside the great toe, and dividing and passing off on each side, which are used all over the north); hats of straw, felt, or strips of palm leaf; bells for oxen, tins of Swiss milk, matches, needles and threads, wire and nails, cheap chains, a few tools of European type, coloured yarns, white jackets and singlets, towels, and even soap : all are imported from Bangkok. Yet, with the present difficulties of transport through the Dong Phya Yen, the Chinamen are doing a flourishing business.
The Chinese houses are peculiar ; a rectangular building being first built of large unbaked mud bricks, with pillars rising like chimneys at each end. Outside, several feet higher, and resting on these pillars,The Chinese houses are peculiar ; a rectangular building being first built of large unbaked mud bricks, with pillars rising like chimneys at each end. Outside, several feet higher, and resting on these pillars,