Thursday, 17 July 2008

Bangkok Traffic

Getting around Bangkok is just a breeze. You can either use a conventional taxi, a tuk tuk, motorcycle taxis, the BTS/MRT, or you could even take a boat along the waterways. It actually costs around the same price if you took a taxi or a tuk tuk. Taking a tuk tuk is great fun and exciting, but unless you want to breathe in the smoke and dust from the traffic, I suggest you do what I did; i.e. take a taxi cab.

People in Bangkok seem to always be in a rush to go somewhere. The roads are usually packed with cars, squeezing in and out of lanes. Pickup trucks and vans are usually seen packed with goods or people.

I must say that the drivers in Bangkok are extremely skillful in maneuvering their vehicles into any single gap anywhere. There are police and traffic wardens at almost every single intersection, each armed with their trusty whistle. Traffic is somewhat chaotic and yet organized.

The inner streets, though quite narrow is usually bustling with people and vehicles coming in and out. The huge 4x4 above even managed to squeeze into this small street without a problem. Take note that this is actually a 2 way street, and there are vehicles coming from the other direction as well. Bangkok drivers are truly amazing.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Bangkok Budget Hotel

While in Bangkok, I stayed in a pretty nice budget hotel called Grand Watergate. It's located in the wholesale clothing district of Pratunam. Great value for money for those shopaholics out there as it's just 2 - 3 minutes walk to the wholesale clothing area. Did I mention that they just opened a few months ago?

Being a new hotel, a lot of taxi drivers didn't know where this hotel was located. I was smart enough to print out the map from the website, so didn't have a problem there.

I arrived quite late in the evening and was surprised to see how clean the hotel was. The cafe was closed, but this being Bangkok, finding food is never a problem.

Being an Internet junkie, I was glad to know that they provided access to the net. Though it wasn't free, but it was affordable. After paying for 3 days unlimited access, they provided me with a DSL modem and I was able to surf the net from my room within a couple of minutes. For those who didn't bring their laptops with them, the hotel has 3 computers for guests to use at the cafe.

The room was very clean and new. The TV had several cable TV shows as well.

This is where I slept.

This is where I went to pang sai.

Breakfast wasn't all that great, but it was sufficient. Since it was provided free, I ate as much as I could.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Land Of Smiles

I recently went for a holiday in Bangkok, Thailand. This country is also known as the "Land Of Smiles".

Even the figurines even had a huge grin on their faces.

The green little green monster "CJ7" has also taken over Bangkok. This old aunty flashed a cute smile at me when I was taking a picture of her.

Thailand is also known for it's famous "Lady Boys". In our local language, they are known as "Mak Nyah" or "Pondan" or "Bapok" or whatever you want to call them. These ladyboys are everywhere. It seems to be quite a normal thing to have in Thailand and it is generally accepted by everyone.

I wonder if there are 3 gender columns when they fill out forms, e.g. "Male", "Female" and "Lady Boy".

This "Lady Boy" lives true to the spirit of Thailand being the "Land of Smiles".

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Now Everyone Can Cut Queue

Air Asia should change their slogan from:

"Now Everyone Can Fly"


"Now Everyone Can Cut Queue"

Taking a flight by Air Asia has been getting from bad to worse. I've got no complaints on the flight itself. However, the problem arises when it's time to board the plane.

About 40 minutes before departure time, you can see some people eyeing one another to see who will flinch first. The moment 1 or 2 people start to make a move to stand in front of the boarding gate, hoards of people start rushing to get a good spot in the queue. Within 5 seconds, the line will be at least 10 meters long.

I got no problem with queuing up, moreover, that's the civilized thing to do. However, since now "Everyone Can Fly", even the uncivilized have taken this opportunity to take to the skies.

These uncivilized people come in various shapes, sizes, colour, and age. Being uncivilized, they only know what to do when it comes to queuing up, that is to cut in line.

Even the hungry people in third world countries in Africa know how to queue in an orderly fashion to get food.

If the Africans can do it, why can't we Malaysians do the same? We're supposed to be a fast and upcoming developing country. We have the highest twin towers in the world. We even sent a guy to outer space. We've done many things to put Malaysia on the map of the world and yet we still can't queue up in a civilized manner to board an airplane.

Don't get me wrong. Most Malaysians are civilized, only about 15% of them still live in the stone age. One bad apple can and will spoil the whole basket full of durians.

Tony Fernandez has got to set up some kind of queuing system. On any given flight, there will be some foreigners present. Do you want them to go back to their home country and tell everyone that Malaysians and Air Asia sucks? Wake up!!!