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Postal boating

เผยแพร่:   โดย: MGR Online

This photo taken on July 17, 2017 shows a man living on the canal thanking postman Nopadol Choihirun (bottom) for delivering his mail in Bang Khun Thian district on the outskirts of Bangkok. Nopadol Choihirun is one of Bangkoks last remaining postmen to deliver mail by boat to waterfront homes in low-lying parts of the capital. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
Revving up his engine as the monsoon clouds begin to open, Nopadol Choihirun steers his weathered boat under a two-lane bridge to keep his pile of envelopes and parcels dry.

Dodging the downpour is a regular challenge for the 55-year-old, one of Bangkok's last remaining postmen to deliver mail by boat to waterfront homes in low-lying parts of the capital.

The genial postman criss-crosses the swampy canal in Bang Khun Thian district twice a week. Residents know their mail has arrived by the sound of his rusty engine -- and the barking it provokes from the suburb's dogs.

Drift wood and trash that often get stuck in the boat propeller make the job a daily adventure.

With an extensive network of moats and man-made canals, Bangkok is often dubbed the "Venice of the East".

The riverine landscape that snakes through the city and connects to the mighty Chaophraya River was once home to thriving communities and trade hubs, where boats played a vital role for transport and commuting.

But rapid urbanisation has seen the capital's population explode and move into ever-higher skyscrapers and condos.

The need for floating postmen has steadily diminished, with only seven post offices in Bangkok still carrying the service today.

Costly fuel is another downside of boat deliveries, which are 10 times more expensive than distributing mail by road.
This photo taken on July 17, 2017 shows postman Nopadol Choihirun steering his boat past houses along the canal in the Bang Khun Thian district on the outskirts of Bangkok. Nopadol Choihirun is one of Bangkoks last remaining postmen to deliver mail by boat to waterfront homes in low-lying parts of the capital. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
This photo taken on July 17, 2017 shows a resident speaking to postman Nopadol Choihirun (L) as he delivers mail in the Bang Khun Thian district on the outskirts of Bangkok. Nopadol Choihirun is one of Bangkoks last remaining postmen to deliver mail by boat to waterfront homes in low-lying parts of the capital. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
This photo taken on July 17, 2017 shows a resident greeting postman Nopadol Choihirun (R) as he delivers mail in the Bang Khun Thian district on the outskirts of Bangkok. Nopadol Choihirun is one of Bangkoks last remaining postmen to deliver mail by boat to waterfront homes in low-lying parts of the capital. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
This photo taken on July 17, 2017 shows postman Nopadol Choihirun (L) delivering mail to a resident in the Bang Khun Thian district on the outskirts of Bangkok. Nopadol Choihirun is one of Bangkoks last remaining postmen to deliver mail by boat to waterfront homes in low-lying parts of the capital. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
This photo taken on July 17, 2017 shows postman Nopadol Choihirun loading parcels and mail into his boat on the canal in the Bang Khun Thian district on the outskirts of Bangkok. Nopadol Choihirun is one of Bangkoks last remaining postmen to deliver mail by boat to waterfront homes in low-lying parts of the capital. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
This photo taken on July 17, 2017 shows postman Nopadol Choihirun handling parcels and mail from the Bang Khun Thian post office on the outskirts of Bangkok. Nopadol Choihirun is one of Bangkoks last remaining postmen to deliver mail by boat to waterfront homes in low-lying parts of the capital. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
This photo taken on July 17, 2017 shows a resident speaking to postman Nopadol Choihirun (L) as he delivers mail by boat in the Bang Khun Thian district on the outskirts of Bangkok. Nopadol Choihirun is one of Bangkoks last remaining postmen to deliver mail by boat to waterfront homes in low-lying parts of the capital. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
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