Friday, June 29, 2007

Amazing Thailand

BEFORE landing at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, I could see a long stretch of highway. My dad who came to Bangkok the last time about 15 years ago, said that the city has become more ahead now. Far more developed than Malaysia.
Malaysia's North-South Highway is not even that straight
There are many of these BIG interchange
Heading to the city

Their goverment has spent much on their transportation system. There are highways and flyover criss-crossing everywhere, even in the city. There are high flyovers as well as straight and wide expressway.
In the city, there is an area where the pedestrian walk on the elevated walkway above the road and above it there is a double storey Skytrain tracks. So basically it's like a four level of walkway.

Look how they make full use of the space

Some photos I took in Bangkok city:

Phetchaburi Road near the Platinum Mall
The Lumphini Park
The city's tallest hotel, Baiyoke Sky on behind

As far as I am concern, the people there are polite and they treat the tourist real nice. I don't see people wearing tudungs everywhere like KL beacuse 90% of the Thais are Buddhist. Although they look a bit like Malays, there are also some who look just like Chinese. They are the Thai Chinese.
People waiting and getting on the bus
The Thais respect their country and the Royal Family very much. Everywhere I could see protraits of their King and his family hanging in their shops and outside the malls. According to our tour guide, the current King in Thailand is the longest serving king in the world. He became king since 20 years old and will be celebrating his 80th birthday on coming December.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Some stories about the King I heard:

Bhumibol Adulyadej became King in 1946 after the death of his brother, which resulted from a gunshot to the head while in his bedroom.

And in 1948, while King Bhumibol was driving he collided into truck and injured his right eye. Since then he wore an articial eye on the right.
The Grand Palace

There was once when I was walking on the street then suddenly I saw people stopped moving and stood still. I heard music playing on and I guessed it was their national anthem. And on every Monday, many people will wear a yellow T-shirt with an emblem of the Royal Family. This is how loyal and respectful the Thai citizen is.

Try humiliate their King and their will send you back to China.

The Democracy Monument

The National Museum

Big companies such as Toyata set up their factories in Thailand. There are several of car manufacturing factory there. Therefore, according to Kareem (our tour guide), the car selling there is cheaper compared to Malaysia.

However, the price of the petrol is slightly higher in Thailand.

10 Bath=RM1. You do the math (price per litre)

As Bangkok is a developed city now, no doubt the population is very high. When the population become higher, eventually the number of cars will also increase. One main thing that you probably notice in Bangkok is the traffic on the road. During it's peak hour, the whole street is packed with cars. Even worse in KL I tell you.


And more jam

The cars can hardly move during the busy hours. So they have motorcycle taxi by the roadside with drivers wearing colourful vests where you can take if you are rushing time, as motorcycles are very handy for beating the traffic in unavoidable rush hours.

Sometimes you can see women wearing skirt taking the ride, sitting on just one side.

Apart from that, there are other modes of public transport to travel around:
The common public bus (some have air-con, some don't)
The Skytrain which runs above the streets of Bangkok
The subway (MRT)
The boat to cross the Chao Praya River

And also the cab
Most of the cabs are using Toyota and Honda cars and they are painted in striking metallic colours: Green, Blue, Red, Pink, Yellow etc. So it is not difficult to identify them on the street.

Oh, and not fogetting the tuk-tuk aka James Bond car!Riding a tuk-tuk can be exciting and very syok! The exhaust sound from the tuk-tuk gives me the feeling of riding a motorboat. Hold on tight when the driver is about to make a turn and going through some shorcut lanes to cut the traffic. Remember to ask and bargain for the price before riding it.

The student's uniform in Thailand...well, it is not the same with us. They wear white shirt and black pants or skirt. Some of their skirt has plits, like those in Japan. And guess what, the girls' shirt has a waist cut (I'm not sure what is it called). Meaning girls who has nice figure may able to show their, ehem..body. Hehe.
I came across a mall opposite the MBK shopping center where it has all the shops selling school uniform. Other than those, there are also manicure and beauty shops for students. It's like place a them to be pampered. I saw many students (girls especially) there after school.
Thai students
That's all for now. There are still a lot more nice experiences I would like to share. Perhaps next time as my uni is starting in less than a week's time. I gota start doing some packing and preparation for it already.

Night shots from the hotel
Truly Amazing Thailand! =)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Siam ah!

LEFT for Bangkok, the capital of Thailand on last Friday afternoon. Recently, the Malaysia Airport has implemented a rule on restricting passengers to carry liquid, aerosol and gels into the air cabin for all the international flights. Those include drinks, hair gel, shampoo, perfume, deodorant, hair spray, toothpaste etc.
However, you could only carry them if they are in containers not more than than 100ml. And all containers must be fit into a transparent plastic bag. What a troublesome rule!
The mineral water bought from the departure hall is tightly sealed

As you know, AirAsia is having this policy where no outside food and drinks are allowed on board. You have to purchase them from the cabin crew if you wanna have something to chew during the flight. The selling price is not very cheap either. Better make sure your stomach is filled before taking an AirAsia flight.

The food and drinks menu on the flight do make me feel hungry somtimes.

The chicken rendang was very tempting

Got model to pose somemore

Yes, now everyone can fly. But not everyone is able to eat or drink on board .

After almost 2 hours flight, we could see the land of Thai and we arrived at the newly opened Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport). It was just opened at the end of 2006.
View from the plane

Arriving the airport
Waiting for luggage
The moment I exit from the arrival gate, there was a crowd of tour agency and the hotel staff, holding their respective banner to greet the customers they are waiting. People calling names and waving. For a sudden moment I felt like I was a superstar when I stepped out the gate.
We looked for our tour guide at the gate on the other end of the airport. Our guide, Mr Kareen explained the itenary of our tour before sending us back to the hotel in Bangkok city in a tour van parked outside the airport.

Locating our hotel
The journey from the airport to the city by road took about 45 minutes. A train service connecting the airport to the city (similar to our KLIA express) will be ready soon. It was still under construction.
Approaching Bangkok city
We reached our accomodation at Bangkok Palace Hotel. Most of the hotels I've seen over there do not have main entrance at the front but the side or the back of the hotel. Maybe it is how the hotels are in Thailand.
The van dropping us at the back entrance

The hotel lobby

The room we (me, dad and his friend) stayed

Our hotel, Bangkok Palace

The hotel beside is even nicer though
After checking-in and settled our stuff, we stepped out the hotel and began our walk in the streets of Bangkok.
Shoppings, food, people and visiting spots in Bangkok next... =)

Need Surgery?

WHILE in Bangkok, I saw this advertistment in one of their newspaper.

Anyone interested?