National Geographic Photo of the Day

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Kingdom of Thailand – Day 8 (june 21st 2009)

This morning we had a visitor, a relative of ours working in Thailand. He was joined here by two of his friends. So we had a long chat till they left around 12 noon. And then we left for some market called Chatuchak – mainly my Aunt's idea.

Took the sky train to Sala Daeng, where we switched over to the MRT. Don't do this if you just want to go directly to Chatuchak market. We took it just to see how the underground system (MRT) here was. Got off the underground at Chatuchak Park station and made our way to the market. You'll find lots of clothes, ties, furniture, souvenirs etc here. But don't mind coming here to do your shopping. They won't reduce prices one bit, just like I thought. It's no longer like the Thailand of old, the people here don't mind not selling something, they'll let you walk away without making a single effort to strike a bargain. And there's nothing here that you're gonna get really cheap. Had lunch from a stall somewhere in the market. Quite tasty, but the prices were obviously inflated when the vendor saw we were foreigners.

Onto Mo Chit station, and took the skytrain to Siam station. (We had a few gelatos – read: Italian ice creams made from Yoghurt – before we did so) From the station you can walk on elevated walkways all the way to Central world. There's absolutely no need to get down to ground level here. Prominent locations are serviced by such walkways from nearby train stations all over Bangkok.

Central world is another huge mall, lots of stuff to see, lots of window shopping to do. Another tour of the floors of this vast mall. Found another Powerbuy here, and Dad bought a phone for someone. Got myself a proper screen protector. The sales-girl who applied it on my phone new how to apply the thing properly, unlike the monkeys who eff it up here in Chennai. Walked around a bit more. Played with an iPhone on display for quite some time. Liked the smooth flow and navigation, sadly that's pretty much the main draw of the iPhone, a bit down on features for its asking price. Its the 3G version here, the 3GS isn't here yet. Later just near the exit from Central World back to the walkways leading to the station, found a Nokia display with a working N97. Quite a good phone and a decent touch screen but still doesn't beat the way the iPhone's menus “flow” so smoothly.

Guess what store this is - Indian, red background and white text, footwear..

From the station, it was back to Saphan Thaksin on the skytrain. Aunt had a revelation – “Let's go to Chinatown” - at around 7.30pm. So we took a Tuk Tuk (yes, the infamous Tuk Tuk – kinda like an autorickshaw), an essential, if a bit unsafe, experience in Bangkok. As expected, all the major stores at Chinatown were all closed. Walked around looking at all the weird stuff at the Chinese restaurants, then took another Tuk Tuk back to the hotel. For the distance we'd traveled, Tuk Tuks are CHEAPER THAN AUTORICKSHAWS IN CHENNAI. Finally something's cheaper here :D .

Had dinner at KFC nearby and topped that up with ice-cream from Swensen's.


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