Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bangkok: Land of Buddha, Beaches and Massages

What I have learnt in last one month of stay here – Khun stands for Mr. Mrs or Ms. I was wondering over a list of names where each name started with K. Name, and later I learnt K stands for Khun. Swasdeekha is equivalent to our Namaskar. When a lady speaks – her words will end with Kha and for gents it is Khab. For instance if a male has to wish he will say SWASDEEKHAB and if a female has to wish she will say SWASDEEKHA. This is because KHA ends with a sweet tone and a lady has to speak very polite and sweet and hence KHA A male has to speak with a stress in his strong voice and hence KHAB. At times it seems they are singing when they speak to each other. Language is quite melodious, gentle, and non-monotonous.

The Currency
 – Baht and Satang (corresponding to our Rupees and Paisa). Baht is costlier than our Rupee, 115 Rupees equal to approximately 100 Bahts

The Airport
 – One of the best Airports in the world, having 2 terminals handles almost all international flights. Another new airport project is in progress (the new Airport coming up is called Swarnabhoomi) connecting sky train to Airport. At the entry point of Sky train station going to this new Airport, you can check-in, leave your baggage that will directly go into your flight and you land up at Airport hassle free. The Roads and the Flyovers – Great infrastructure I have seen in any foreign country (although yet to see lot of world places). This city has countless number of flyovers, at places 4 or more going parallel. There are super express roads to save you from traffic but you have to pay 40 Bahts to use it. Minimum speed on these expressways is 120 Kms. But still traffic jams is a problem, although it is not jam, at times traffic crawls. 

The People
 – The local people are young, energetic, 8.30 to 5.30 type but depending on work do not mind staying late in the office. Thus place (or I think the whole Thailand is having more ratios of females than males). You have three type of people here – boys, girls and lady boys. In offices girls boys ratio will be 5:2 or higher. The dress code in office is short skirt (most popular), skirt or jeans and tops for girls. And pant, shirt and tie for boys. Casuals include formals to Yankee wears.

The Transport
 – Underground railways (owned by government), Skyways (as our metro trains in delhi) owned by private company, buses (normal and air conditioned) are very cheap – 5 bahts for normal bus and 10 bahts for and A/C local bus, taxis starting at 35 Bahts for first km and then increase of 2 bahts per km. Bangkok is a small place and you can travel in a taxi starting from one corner to another by paying just 150 Bahts. All taxis will have the correct metres, decent drivers, their ID Card displayed inside the taxi in front of front passenger seat. Government is very strict about any problems to tourists (as tourism being one of the major earning for this country). The Beaches – Hua Hun is a major beach for locales which is 3.5 Hrs travel by road from Bangkok. You will find lot of foreigners at this beach stretched to around 2-3 kms., Pattaya and Phuket are the major spots for foreigners and anytime there will be huge crowds at these beaches.

The Pubs, Bars and Night Clubs
 – RCI is the place where you have series of Pubs, Bars and Night Clubs. Life is at its fullest on weekends and the weekend starts here on Friday night. So every Friday, Saturday and Sunday Night this road (which is a private road and on working days to cross this road every private car has to pay 5 Bahts) is captured by the roadside Bars, Pubs and Night Clubs. Entry is strict for foreigners for entry in any of these. You have to have your passport with you. Language is a big barrier here inside. And ofcourse the liquor is costly.

The Malls, the markets and the chain of stores
 – 7 Eleven is an omnipresent superstore chain here. Tesco and MBK are supermalls. Jatojat market is a weekend, cheap, huge market for any type of purchases, and at Silom you will find a night market .

The Eating outlets
 – Bawarchi at Silom (with live vocals at dinner), Namuskar at Nana Road, India Gate  at Petchburi Road, Mrs Balbit at Sukumvit – Soi 11, Komala’s (South Indian) at Sukhumvit – Soi 20 and Red Chilly – Sukhumvit Soi 20 are Indian Restaurants which I could find by now. Sukhumvit has lot more Indian Restaurants and shops owned by Indians. Soi in Thai means Street.

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