Khlong Toey

alley corner
a boy wearing a plasic bin bag as a cape
a litter strewn canal
a baby learns to crawl
a man who lives centimeters from the railway
bucket bath
tiger gate
smoking with leopard ears
a rare open area where children can play
a woman addicted to methamphetamine
The tiny homes in Khlong Toey are frequently shared with cats and dogs.
an addict who is high on Methamphetamine
all these unstable homes are inhabited
a little girl looks down from her home built right next to the railway line
shadow on a corrugated metal wall
most children in Thlong Toey have a diet that is high in sugar
knives in a small food stall
a woman scolds her dog
a man with mental health issues smokes in the sun
a tattoist working with minimum concern for hygiene
crying baby
a religious ceremony
obesity and associated illnesses are becoming very common in Thlong Koey
a sick woman resting on a bench
an old lady with missing toes sits in her home
The King and Queen
dishes draining near a food stall
a small girl on her way to buy some candy
This 90 year old woman is covered with a talcum powder paste that leaves the skin feeling less sticky in the heat and humidity
This family has three children under the age of three and they share their small, ramshakled one room house with 13 cats.
boys covered with a talcum powder paste that leaves the skin feeling less sticky in the heat and humidity

Khlong Toey slum is located on swampland owned by the Port Authority of Bangkok. It’s only a few metro stops from the gleaming condos and luxurious shopping malls of Bangkok’s central districts. Over 130,000 people are crammed into an area of around 2.5 square kilometres. Rubbish and untreated sewage clog the drains and small canals that criss-cross the slum. The population of rats and stray cats and dogs grows unabated. The heat and humidity provide favourable conditions for bacteria to multiply. Few residents have access to healthcare, affordable education and sanitation. Although the Thai government is committed to providing free antiretroviral drugs to all its HIV positive citizens, many HIV positive residents in Khlong Toey are uninformed and unable to get help. Unemployment, endemic crime, drug trafficking, drug addiction and alcoholism are among the slum residents’ most pressing problems. Methamphetamine and crystal methamphetamine are the two most common hard drugs in the slum and their effects on family and social structure are devastating. Residents with mental health problems and the disabled receive little or no support. Obesity and its associated health problems is a growing concern.

To add insult to injury, the residents have no tenure rights and they will be evicted when this centrally located land is developed over the next few years.

© Alison McCauley