and, in especial, the enormous green locusts in paper are noticeable. Those terra-cotta teapots with the gilt line, the modern successors of the now preposterously valuable little teapots of old, are set out for sale near childrena s dolls and all imaginable toys. Bookshops are frequent, and some are startling to find in such surroundings, for they are of the most approved modern and occidental type, beautifully fitted with shelves, tables and counters in teak. They sell many translations into Siamese of English novels, and many collections of Brahmanical and Buddhistic religious works, new-printed out of old manuscripts after translation into Siamese. But the best sellers are translations of current cinema stories from the English or American. Cloth shops sell the cloths of all the world, both east and west, especially Indian and Sinhalese cotton goods in violent colours.
Druggists abound, selling Chinese and European medicines and quack remedies ; fresh flowers are to be bought. Makers of Chinese a chops a or seals abound and ply their trade for your inspection. Letter writers oblige the illiterate, and painters supply pictures and shop-signs and devices of all sorts. Gunshops are there, and Indian jewellers sell the stones of Siam and of India.
Photo. Yalat Noi Studio.
Historical Drama in Siam.
Photo. Yalat Noi Studio.
But Sampeng is changing. Surely, if slowly, it is being opened, steadily it is taking on a modern and European style of architecture. A Chinese temple burns down. It is rebuilt in Chinese style, and its carved teak beams are to the full as beautiful as those destroyed, and their elaboration shows that none of the ancient Chinese skill in carving has been forgotten. But behind the temple rises a club-house for Chinese, and it is a house of finest European design, with every possible fitment which Chinese luxury and wealth can command from Europe. The Chinese in Siam are a very wealthy community, and possess the characteristics of wealthy Chinese everywhere a public spirit, generosity, politeness and a high grade of commercial morality.
If the traveller does not find curios enough in Sampeng he will be hard to please, but he can go on to Bahn Moh, and there browse amongst the silver, the gold, the stones, the charms and other queer things for which Sampeng will have whetted his appetite.
ON THE NORTHERN LINE.
The Southern and Northern lines do not yet connect. The Southern is a narrow and the