Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another one night in Bangkok

In the 1st week of work Andrew slipped on a mossy tile and banged his laptop resulting in a small crack in one corner of the screen.  Slowly the crack has increased and the quality of the screen has decreased.  So it was time to source a new computer and Bangkok was the easiest option.  Electronics in Bangkok are not particularly cheap, but it was the easiest place to fly to.

After we landed at Bangkok we took the new city link airport train connection into the city.  The journey took 30 minutes from the airport to Phaya Thai station.  The cost 15 Baht ( less than 1 NZD ).  The line also is used by locals getting in from the eastern suburbs to the city, but being on first meant we had seats and the crowded carriages were no problem.  The price is an introductory one as the line only opened a couple of months ago, but the normal prices are under 100 Baht.  A taxi costs about 300 - 350 Baht but has to deal with Bangkok's perpetual traffic jams.

We walked through the station and got on the Sky Train, Bangkok's above ground, inner city light rail system and took the train a couple of minutes along to the street our hotel was on.  The 2 minute journey also cost us 15 Baht each.  All up, we were at our hotel for NZD $1.5 and about 35 minutes on public transport.

It was a major change being in a city of 10 million rather than 200,000. We did notice the change of pace.  Probably one of the good things Bangkok has done is the series of walkways beneath the sky train route,  putting you above the traffic fumes and making walking easier.

Sky Train on top, Pedestrian walkways in the
middle and perpetual traffic at ground level
We dropped our bags and walked to Pantip Plaza - the electronics mecca mall in Bangkok.  Once famous for it's pirated goods it has become victim of tougher counterfeit laws.  They still exist, but probably not in the same numbers as before.  Andrew did get offered a few porn DVDs as we walked around.  There is a large selection of electronics, but we were not really looking for a bargain, more a reliable computer so we headed to the more mainstream malls.

The next day and a half was spent wandering through the large malls.  This is more tiring than it would appear.  The outcome was a new laptop - we bought a cheapie as the Thai keyboard and issues around after sales service didn't seem worth paying too much.  We will replace it back in NZ.  Other than that we bought a couple of pieces of clothing and not much else.

We didn't stand in the line at the newly opened Krispy Kreme donut store.  There was a line out of the mall, round the corner and no idea how far down the block it went.  The store had opened 28th September and customers were limited to 2 dozen donuts each.

There was a full range of stores in the malls from Marks & Spencers, sports stores, Japanese department stores through to Chanel.  The food courts were also an ecletic and impressive collection.

We spent some time in the Central World mall which had reopened on 28th Sept.  During the May riots in Bangkok the protesters had occupied the intersection outside the mall and a fire was lit here during the rioting and had done major damage.  Although the flag-ship Zen department store is still under renovation the remainder of the mall has been restored and you wouldn't know anything had gone on.  This mall has an ice skating rink on the ground floor.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning 6o here but a lovely sunny am. Woke today to NO hot water!! grr! somehting about a fuse Tony said!! Great to read your email just now and it brought back memories of Bangkok when we were there 2 years ago. I was pleased to see a "pink" taxi in one photo! Your comments were similar to our impressions of the city. I am envious of the new transport systems!
    Hope you are both well. ciao jj and co