August 26, 2008

Day 2: Senses and Sensibilities

My second day in Bangkok was activity-filled. In the morning I went to Siam section of the city to explore the malls - I explored Siam Paragon some more - especially the exotic cars section in the fourth (?) floor. Lamborghini has a showroom displaying a Galiardo (27 million baht, according to the salesman). Lotus, BMW, Porsche, Audi and Maserati have their own displays as well. I had my eye on some merchandise in the Porsche store (die cast versions of cars, caps and what-have-you) - but thought they're too expensive.

Next I went to Central World, just off Chit Lom station, which is accessible from the Siam station via a footbridge. Along the way I dropped by Ratworawthan Temple to see Buddhists worshipping.

Central World is also just like Paragon, a bit upscale with about 500 stores. I did see something I wanted to buy in Manila but couldn't find there - an O'Neil rashguard. I also got me a cap that I liked - a Manchester United official merchandise. The mall seems to cater to the sports-minded, as I saw a store selling nothing but Arsenal FC merchandise.

After having my very late lunch at the foodcourt (chicken Cordon Bleau, of all things), I went back to Siam Station to catch a Silom Line train, going to Sala Daeng, where Silom, Surawong and Patpong are located. I spent about an hour exploring the sois of the area (many establishments are still closed, but I managed to stake out the places I wanted to see later that night), after which I felt my legs are like lead, so i went up a building that advertises massages, and I got a one-hour Thai massage for 200 baht, and then I went back to Thong Lor to rest a bit.

I went back to Silom around ten in the evening, and the experience was quite interesting but a bit overloading to the senses and sensibilties. I had to deal with the touts who sell everything from fake DVD's to live B D S M shows (best approach: ignore them and just walk away without a backward glance), although I did enter some of the establishments just to see what the fuzz is all about. Without going into details, let's just say I will never look at a pingpong ball the same way again.

While in Surawong looking for a place to snack I saw a street food vendor selling fried insects (I saw large locusts and grasshoppers). I was tempted to try them but my un-adventurous self got better of me and I chickened out. I ended up in 7-11 with a bottle of Coke Zero and shrimp burger.

I went home around 2 am, after some more 'cultural exchanges.'

pic: sign in Patpong; Patpong at night

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