Archive for May, 2007
As we’re going to Chiang Mai tomorrow, I planned to spend all day today around the canals taking scenic photos, but we ended up taking all day buying Kate a laptop… we’re now backpacking with 2 laptops! Ah well, looks like all I’m able to take photos of in Bangkok is shopping centres! If you ever want to buy a PC or a laptop, I really recommend the Pantip shopping centre… 6 enormous floors full of nothing but computer shops. Mind-bogglingly huge. It would take days or weeks to get around it all. A great place to buy a laptop, as there’s serious competition. It also has a Canon camera service centre… I haven’t tracked down the Nikon one yet.
Here’s a photo of a nearby tiny shopping mall in comparison:
The outsiders’ stereotypical view of Bangkok is one of neon lights, tacky ping-pong shows, sex tourism and lady boys.
Actually, the most striking impression of the city is how modern and clean it is… and the shopping! There are state of the art shopping centres everywhere, even the main hospital here has a McDonalds in it!
The biggest, shiniest shopping centre is the Siam Centre, there’s a car showroom on the second floor selling Porches and Ferraris. Everything is much cheaper than the UK, typically down to half the price. The Thai people are generally warm and friendly, this is a young vibrant and fashionable place with a keen sense of fun. There are LCD screens everywhere you look selling products and accompanying piped music, but the music is beautiful and often consists of obscure classical music and jazz, and the voices selling products are soothing, cheerful and warm. It’s like being in a city of the future. It’s thankfully like nowhere in India!
Well, I’m writing this entry from a hotel lobby in Bangkok, we finally managed to escape!
India was really a love/hate experience and the balance was definitely starting to tip the wrong way so I’m really happy to be in ‘the land of smiles’. It’s interesting to note that India could definitely not be called a land of smiles, unless it was in an extremelly ironic way.
I’m still working on the software project, but I’ll see if I can fit in some photos of Bangkok before we head to Chiang Mai.