Tuesday, March 06, 2007

One Week in Bangkok

Day 6: Too much shopping? Is there such a thing?

Friday: Still recovering from my mystery illness, I took it slowly. There was so much more to see and time in Bangkok was running out, but I didn't feel quite up to going too far...

So, we opted for one of Bangkok's biggest past times, shopping! We took the very cool Sky Tram to Siam Center. It cost $1 each way. DC, NY, Paris and London under- and above- ground mass transit costs only slightly more. We figured that the Sky Tram must be mostly used by foreigners, or wealthy locals, as 60 baht for a 10-minute ride seems quite steep for most Thais.

Siam Center turned out to be, basically, a giant, multi-level Western-style mall. The main difference is its white, bright, clean, shiny appearance, and the utter excitement of the people there. The stores ranged from high-end designers to cheap H&M style clothing, all priced accordingly.

I particularly enjoyed the “live commercial” performed in the middle of the inner courtyard. Seven lovely, smiling Thai teenaged girls wore teeny-bopper outfits and danced around to blaring music stopping now-and-again to pose with Be Nice, a body lotion or spray of some sort. Quite the spectacle.

We ate some wonderful Thai soup in the food court, and Jason bought a couple of silk ties. Ultimately, though, I realized I wasn't in the mood for shopping. (Yes, I definitely must have been sick, still!)

So, we went for Thai massages, and a manicure for me and pedicure for Jason (his second in 3 years… the only ones in his life, and both insisted upon by yours truly…) We got all that for under $20 with tip. Amazing! ($20 is a bargain for those toenails alone!)

That night, Jason and I took the ferry up the river from our hotel to the Mandarin Oriental hotel for a drink. I had something called a Diamond made of light rum, dry vermouth and crème de banane. It was rather unique. We left there and ate some mediocre curry at a little place next to our hotel called Be My Guest, which was probably named after this Tourism Campaign from 2003.. My stomach was still a bit fragile, though, so the meal didn’t sit well with me, and I went right back to bed.

Traveler Tip: While shopping is a natural cure-all, normally, Thai massages run a very, very close second...

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