Bangkok, Thailand

4 Jun

Warning: some information in this post is not suitable for young children. Please pre-screen the text before you read aloud to the kids at home.

After our time in Vietnam, we were pleasantly surprised upon our arrival in Thailand. The airport is new and modern, the transit connections are efficient and clean, air conditioning is everywhere, and the people are nice and courteous. We actually had a car stop to wait for us to cross the intersection, which was a first since we left Japan. What a difference a new country makes!

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Everyone from America seems to like Thailand, and now we understand why. You get westernized standards for a fraction of the price. We easily found great food for a buck or two in the mall food courts, which are more like restaurants than typical American mall food courts. An ice cream cone costs a quarter! The prices for western goods (ie clothing, cameras, electronics, etc) are the cheapest in Asia, but that only means equivalent to American prices. We are so lucky to live in a land where items are cheaper than most of the world!

We’re not alone in liking Thailand. A number of middle-aged to old white male foreigners wander the streets and side alleys of Bangkok looking for companionship, mostly the physical kind. Some even manage to make a girlfriend out of it, even though it’s clear that the Thai woman is in it for the money and the old guy is in it for sex. It’s common to see a 60-year old man with a 20-year old Thai woman! We call these old guys “sexpats”, and they are everywhere. One night Jeannie and I roamed one of the nightlife streets of Bangkok and squeezed each other’s hand every time we saw a sexpat. By the end of the night, our hands were hurting!

Let’s go back to the malls in Bangkok. If you like shopping, this is the place for you. I’ve never seen a city with such a high concentration of shopping malls on one street! Wisely, the city has connected all of the malls with an aerial walkway which protects you from the sun/rain (and lightning), and provides an easy access to the BTS aerial tramway.

Terminal 21: an airport themed mall. Each floor is a city, London, Tokyo, Istanbul, etc.

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Even an SF floor, which was food! We didnt eat here, but prices looked cheap, and it was still happening despite the late hour. I believe you can still eat there even after the shops have closed. The Hollywood floor was the movie theater, no surprises.

Central World Plaza: mid range, you can find chains such as Uniqlo, Zara, Forever 21. Their food court was the best!! We got three mains, two drinks, and a dessert for only $8! Ridiculous! FYI, portions are smaller, which I like. That way we could try different dishes without wasting food!

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Thai iced tea made fresh in front of customers.

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Huge portion of mango with sticky rice.

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The top right and bottom pictures are at Central World, the top left picture is at MBK.

Other malls: Siam Paragon, you can find the baller stores such as Chanel, Hermes, etc. There is even an aquarium! The food court seemed affordable considering, but we didn’t eat there.

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MBK, this is probably the most affordable mall for wares, not really brand names, more of a flea market type of joint. That’s where Jeannie found her cell phone case. They have a bunch of restaurants, two food courts, a dirt cheap one, and pricey one. At the pricey food court, if you show your passport you get a free Thai iced tea. You don’t need to purchase food to get your free drink which is what we did the first time. The second time we decided to lunch there and found the portions to be very generous. See top left picture in the collage above.

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Fine dining at Pizza Hut??

Besides being mallrats, we also visited the Chatuchak Market (aka JJ Market), which is very huge and expansive. This market is open year round, but on Sundays, the market comes to life when every single retailer is open. You can find anything under the sun, including pets. This was the saddest part of the market. The dogs for sale were either newborn puppies packed together or in too-large cages.

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The market is divided into sections: clothing, housewares, crafts, wedding, shoes, pets, religious artifacts, eating, etc. it was pure chaos.

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We found THE best orange juice ever at this market. No sugar or salt added! It was supremely delicious.

We thoroughly enjoyed our short time in Bangkok and will be back sooner than later! We only had a day in Bangkok and didn’t make it to the famous palace, wats, or the floating markets. If you plan on going, allocate a couple days for the sites, and maybe a day for shopping. Until next time!

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2 Responses to “Bangkok, Thailand”

  1. lydia June 5, 2012 at 7:58 AM #

    Wonderful post! I’m surprised you guys go to see so much (so many malls..) during your short time in Bangkok! It’s a great city, I agree. I lol’ed about the sexpats. Did you guys find people in Bangkok to be surprisingly polite? I didn’t really know what to expect of the population, but I was pleasantly surprised by how gentle everyone seemed. Also I noticed that there was no pushing or rudeness on subways, and everyone followed the rules of not eating. It was a surprising delight to experience this in a big Asian city! Also..that mango with sticky rice looks delicious!!

    • Jerry June 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM #

      It was a nice experience to land in Bangkok, Lydia. I had people give up their seat for me on the subway because I was carrying our bags, which never happens. Also people line up and never push, which was a welcome sight.

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