Exploring the City

Bangkok Travel Blog

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View of the atrium from the top floor of the MBK mall
Since I don't start my orientation until Tuesday, I have a couple days to explore the city.  Today I went out and found the subway station which is the quickest and most comfortable way to get into the city center.  Its about a 5 minute walk from my apartment, so not too bad.  The Bangkok subway (known as the MRT or metro) is very nice.  It's relatively new (less than 5 years old) and is nicer than the Tube in London.  It's very similar to subways in Munich with sliding glass doors at the stations and open walkways between cars.  Thankfully it is also air conditioned since the temperature here is in the 90's with about 70% humidity. 

I took the subway into the city center and transferred to the skytrain, which is Bangkok's other major mass transit system.

Sunset view over Chatuchak Park from Mo Chit skytrain terminal
  The skytrain is similar to a monorail and provides some interesting aerial views of Bangkok's streets and is also air-conditioned.  The only downside to the mass transit system is that there is not yet a unified ticket system, so I had to by cards for both the MRT and the Skytrain.  I took the skytrain to the Siam stop, where there are several massive shopping centers and theaters. 

I walked around the Siam Center first because tomorrow I am going to meet at least one of the other guys from Wisconsin there.  Siam Center and Siam Paragon are mostly upscale stores.  After that I went over to the Mahboonkrong shopping mall (better known as MBK).  This massive mall has hundreds of stores as well as hundreds of stall set up in several large bazaar like areas.  The mall is somewhat organized according to type of product, for example the cell phone/electronics sector had hundreds of shops and stalls selling the latest and greatest cell phones, mp3 players, and camcorders, some new, some used, and some knockoff.  It was fun looking at all the high tech gear.  While there I bought a SIM card to use in my cell phone so that I have a phone while I am here. 

After that I went to get some food.  Like any good mall, there were tons of food options available.  Everything from the ubiquitous McDonald's and KFC, to pizza places, and dozens of interesting Asian options.  MBK also has a Thai food court option where you can buy coupons (tickets) before you enter to use as the various counters selling Thai food such as noodle dishes, seafood, pork, chicken, and beef options, as well as desserts.  When you are done you can redeem your unused coupons for a refund.  I wasn't feeling quite so adventurous yet, so I opted for a pizza place, but I am sure that I will try the food court at least once during my six-weeks.

There are also several cinemas in the area so I decided to check the prices and find out how many of the movies are shown in English.  I was happy to discover that the movies are usually both cheap (less than $4) and in English.  I will definitely have to see some movies while I am here since the theaters are air-conditioned which makes them a great way to beat the heat. 

After several hours walking around the malls, I was getting a little tired (probably still slightly jet-lagged) so I headed back to the skytrain to travel back to my apartment.  I took the skytrain a different way back than I had came since together with the subway it forms a loop.  I transferred to the subway at a stop up north called Mo Chit , which is near the large Chatuchak park that holds a famous weekend market.  From what I understand, the market is the considered one of the world's largest flea markets.  Since it was already after 6pm on Sunday, I will have to wait for another weekend to check out the market for myself, I did get a nice photo over the park from the skytrain stop however, before transferring to the subway and getting back to my apartment. 

Tomorrow, I will find the office where I will be working as well as meet up with at least one of my fellow interns.  Hopefully we will also find out where we have to go for our orientation on Tuesday.

mom0104 says:
Pretty sunset! Used it as wallpaper initially...but the Grand Palace photo works the BEST!!!
Posted on: Jul 08, 2007
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View of the atrium from the top fl…
View of the atrium from the top f…
Sunset view over Chatuchak Park fr…
Sunset view over Chatuchak Park f…
photo by: Deats