February 01, 2006
I'm back again from another trip, but this time it was a business trip to Bangkok, Thailand. I was flabbergasted when I saw Bangkok now has their own Subway!! Can you believe it?! It looks like and feels like the subway of Singapore and it is designed for huge volume of people traffic. This is a good move specially to decongest the main streets of bangkok which reminds me of Avenida Ave. and Taft Avenue where the streets are narrow and MRT (metro rail transit) above the street. The subway was very convenient to move from Pat Pong to the Suan Lum Night Market and I was amazed that Thais started to commute now vs. using cars because it is convenient and you avoid the traffic. I do hope that I get to see the day that Philippines would have our own Subway, people would prefer to commute vs. bringing their own cars, and start the culture of walking!
It was a refreshing trip because I get a dose of Authentic Thai Massage and never-ending Shopping! Of course, I don't like shopping very much but I like visiting new places either to eat, shop, or have a massage!
1. The Famous Mah Boon Krong (MBK) is a must visit for those looking for that high quality fake fashion goods, minimalist asian decorations, or cheap thai delicacies. This is a huge mall, so be better be prepared with a shopping list because you could easily be seduced into impulse buying. In the Philippines, this is similar to Market Market in the Fort.
2. Across MBK, is the biggest mall in Thailand -- the Paragon Shopping mall and it just opened recently and this is definitely the one-stop shop for high end shopping in Bangkok! You'll be amazed at the 3d TV screens -- Yes it is actually 3d without the need for 3d glasses! You have to see it to believe it! Also, can you believe it that there is a car showroom in this mall and you can in fact buy cars now in the mall! Amazing, huh?! As a parallel to the Philippines, this would be the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City although it is more for the masses rather than high end shopping.
3. At night, You should try to visit the Suan Lum Night Market --- very nice ambiance, very unique finds, and kudos to Thailand for creating this night market specially for tourist who won't have the weekend to spare for shopping. It closes at 12 midnight, so you can shop till you drop. Although, there seems to be only 7 kinds of store in this night market, that repeats itself over and over again. In the Philippines, no equivalent yet but there is a huge night market place being built along Diosdado Macapagal besides PNB -- Hongkong Shopping Center or something...
4. If you have the weekend to spare in Bangkok, you should not miss the Chatuchak Weekend Market and I tell you this is the ultimate shopping experience! You need an entire day to finish shopping here. In the Philippines, the closest we can get to it would be the Salcedo and Legaspi Park Weekend Markets which is not even 1% of what Chatuchak can offer.
After all the shopping, I tell you you should either have a full body authentic Thai Massage (about 500 Bhat) and a Thai Foot Massage (about P250)! I have not seen any authentic thai massage yet in the Philippines so better indulge yourself while you are in Bangkok!