Visited the newly renovated Museum of Siam. I enjoyed it but not for the reasons I thought I would. Actually this museum is firmly aimed at Thai youngsters and poses the question “what is Thainess” and how has that evolved? I guess the authorities felt the need to encourage young people here to understand their origins and the changes over the years to help them think about what makes them Thai. That in itself was interesting. Some of their take so “Thainess” is below!
A blessing of living and working all round the world is that I tend to know someonein most places. While in Bangkok I caught up with Panadda who I stayed with but also Chaitanya and Tani (former colleagues from ANZ) and we had a lovely evening dining by the river.
Finally a trip to Bangkok has to include shopping. This is truly a city of malls but also somewhere where “just looking” really means something. Being there on Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year meant that every mall was more decked out than usual. I really liked Zen Mall (very cool gadgets and they even sell drones as well as Emporium and Em Quartier. See what a mall should look like below
also many malls include a shrine nearby so you pray and shop within metres of each other
Spending a few days with my mate Panadda in Bangkok and trying to do things I haven’t done here before. It is the run up to Chinese New Year so although the Thais have new year at a different time there is still a huge Chinese presence here and hence the malls (there are lots of those in Bangkok) and just about everywhere else is bathed in Chinese red lanterns. First I have to get through Valentine’s Day though – no comment!
On Day 1 I used the BTS (Bangkok Transit system) to get to the riverside. It is an overground rail system and far easier to get around on than the roads which are frankly just one large traffic jam. A tourist hop on and hop off riverboat trip costs Baht 180 and is a nice way to get to places you might want to visit here eg. the Grand Palace, the most famous Wats etc. I chose to get off at the Flower market – which also gives access to the Museum of Siam (more of that in next post). Like all cities on a river a boat trip is a handy way to get your bearings and get a feel for the place and the constant views of old temples amidst new skyscrapers.
I also visited Lhong1919 – this is also another place you can stop on the boat cruise although I visited on a different day. It is quite newly opened and for those who know Shanghai it is like a smaller (much smaller) version of Xintiandi. Old buildings by the river repurposed to shops, a shrine and cafes and restaurants – it feels restful and sits right on the riverside. Below are some shots at Lhong1919 including my half pint of latte (!) and a traditional Thai snack which is in effect roti bread, sprinkled with sugar and topped with condensed milk. Sadly it was rather delicious and I scarfed the lot ( I think it’s important to eat local fare).