Back in Thailand-Bangkok.
Replies: 24 - Last Post: Jul 24, 2013 6:52 AM Last Post By: tools4fools
Jul 22, 2013 5:31 PM
Back in Thailand-Bangkok.What has changed more..me,or the city?
Well..I'm back in Bangkok after more than 10 years.
It was my first 'exotic' destination,outside the safe European countries....at 18 I got off a plane in Bangkok,alone and with minimal funds,without knowing more than 2 words of Thai and knowing even less about travelling ;-)
Now,a long time later (and after several more visits to Thailand in my 20s)...it will be interesting to see how much has changed...and how my perspective has changed too.
Jul 22, 2013 5:35 PM
1First impressions on arrival are quite positive,though i was shocked by how many tourists there are here now (not just western..loads of Chinese,Japanese etc).
After spending the last 3 weeks in Myanmar,where i met the same 20 backpackers all over the country,it will be a little different here I guess.....
I used the Skytrain for the first time and also got back on the river...always one of my favourite things to do in this city.Glad to see that the normal boats still exist,buried in amongst the tourist boats,floating restaurants,hotel boats etc etc at Saphon pier......
Jul 23, 2013 4:14 AM
2Don't forget to take a klong ride (Klong San Saeb). It's still the genuine Thai local mode of transport.
I dare say you will be shocked by:
- how clean the major roads are compared to 10 years ago
- how much less pollution from trucks and cars compared to 10 years ago
- how much more convenient the skytrain, underground metro and airport rail links are
- how there are so many more large shopping complexes compared to 10 years ago
- how there are so many more Western fast food outlets
- how the scams remain the same
Do report back more as you re-discover Bangkok.
Jul 23, 2013 4:18 AM
Jul 23, 2013 4:23 AM
4Yes,I've been out and about a bit more today.
The Skytrain is certainly convenient and fast..and there are a lot of malls.I went into the Siam centre and the Paragon....seemed more like Singapore than Bangkok.The traffic doesn't seem to be a lot less than before though.....
Torrential rain just now,and the small soi i am staying on was completely flooded....wading through the foot high water brought back some good memories ;-)
People are great,just as i remember..always joking about something.One guy was chasing a half-drowned rat out of his shop while a crowd were cheering him on........
Jul 23, 2013 4:28 AM
5The skytrain has been in operation for almost 14 years now :)
Not much has actually changed in BKK in 10 years time, except for prices that have crept up. The traffic is still horrendous at times, and I am not sure it is cleaner than 10 years ago, I sometimes think it is quite the opposite really.
Jul 23, 2013 5:43 AM
6I was in BKK ten years ago travelling for the first time and have been back since quite a few times, the last time this year in January. Your right about the amount and the type of tourists there now. Back then in Khao San it was more the 'backpacker' now there is a wide range of people and ages. The biggest change I've noticed is on Soi Rambuttri just east of Khao San. It used to be a much quieter street where you could chill out, bbqs on the streets in the evening and not too many people, now it's a mini Khao San.
Jul 23, 2013 8:50 AM
7The Skytrain has extended the routes from when it first opened.
The Airport Rail Link is new. Only 45 baht using the City Line to Phaya Thai from Suvarnabhumi.
Terminal 21 is not too old too.
Jul 23, 2013 10:10 AM
8@7 true, allthough the few stations that were added are not the stations any tourist would go to. The only thing that tourists will notice is that since rhe extension to Bearing is operational, it is so busy on the skytrain that during rush hour, some people skip trains :)
I am not too excited about the raillink to be honest, I wonder if they finally have an actual "connection" between Phetburi and Makasan, or is it still a question of walking under the huge building ?
Jul 23, 2013 10:56 AM
9"between Phetburi and Makasan, or is it still a question of walking under the huge building ?"
Walked this area just over a month ago. I didn't think it was a big deal. But I walk a lot. This area is not as crappy for walking as it was when the Rail Link first opened up. Anyone pulling a wheelie bag shouldn't have much of a problem except for a couple curbs. No problem finding the entrance for the subway and no problem finding the Rail Link station if coming from the subway.
I like the Airport Rail Link. I only wish it was available after midnight from Suvarnabhumi. No problem getting a seat from the airport because all seats are available. As far as the new extensions go - one end takes you over the river. The other end to Bearing gets tourists closer to the Erawan Museum. (Maybe even the crocodile farm.) Good to walk around a different part of Bangkok anyway. The extensions are good for Thais too!
Jul 23, 2013 11:14 AM
10@9 but surely they are constructing some kind of underground walkway ? For the money they charge the express passengers, that is the least they could do. At present I do not consider makassan and phetburi "connected". I used the service when it was in trial status (just to see how it works) and the commute from Phetburi over the railline and under the massive building seemed to me like a bad joke, too bad they haven't changed it, TIT.
For me the raillink is useless, frequency is the biggest hurdle. For me getting a cab into Thong Lor or Pridi is quicker at any time of the day, and door to door. No need to transfer anywhere.
The extension are certainly good for the Thais. They might be great for tourists, but once you get past Ekkamai, you don't see any on the skytrain, maybe two lost tourists that make it to onnut. Past onnut it's three expats and the rest Thais. Have been riding the east part of the Sukhumvit line many many times.
Jul 23, 2013 12:38 PM
Jul 23, 2013 1:27 PM
12Other things I noticed last month:
Loads less dogs and loads more Indians than ever before.
Lots of nice new hotels.
"Light" beer has finally appeared.
A huge (I mean massive) pig was sleeping on the pavement and the locals seemed to know it.
Lots of plastic surgery victims on the streets with bandaged faces.
Alot more groups of Thai men loitering on the streets than before.
Sadly all Thais seem addicted to their phones.
Explosion in numbers of ladyboys.
Lots of viagra on open sale.
Thai police uniforms have got tiny or have the police just got fatter ?
Jul 23, 2013 4:39 PM
Jul 23, 2013 11:13 PM
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