Posts Tagged ‘City Of Angels’

Thailand Night Fever

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

stephen hendry cambodia 0131 300x225 - Thailand Night FeverSome people have talked about Bangkok’s nightlife scene being in decline.  But, do these people realise the vast scope of Bangkok’s nightlife?  Many of us humans often tend to be creatures of habit.  Some of us tend to habitually frequent the same venues and rarely wander away from our favourite places.  Quite often, the only time I see my resident farang friends doing a whistle-stop tour of the Bangkok bar scene, is when their friends visit them.  There are thousands of nightlife venues in Bangkok.  The variety of nightlife includes multitudes of beer bars, go-go bars, discos, theme pubs, karaoke bars, coyote bars, live music venues, gentlemen’s clubs and highly sophisticated nightclubs.  The likes of Bed Supperclub, The Tunnel and Q Bar are among the very best in South East Asia.  There is plenty of action packed nightlife in the City Of Angels, but sometimes you just have to be more adventurous.  It comes as little surprise that the most popular venues remain busy all year round.  Perhaps consider going to an area that you rarely go to, or you have never seen before.  Like the old saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life.”  When I joined the recent Stephen Hendry Roadshow in Bangkok, we probably visited more pubs in one week than many people do in a year.  Venture out there and party!    (more…)

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Daves Raves – My First Thailand Trip

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Buddhist Temples Bangkok Thailand 001 - Daves Raves - My First Thailand TripPREFACE – This month marks the anniversary of my very first trip to Thailand.  Because I flew to Bangkok exactly 20 years ago, I thought it would be a good opportunity to include this article about my initial thoughts and observations.  Shortly after my virgin voyage to the Land Of Smiles, I wrote a piece about that extraordinary experience.  The scene is set, as we travel back in time to a scorching hot season two decades ago… 

BANGKOK – ONE CITY, ONE MILLION CONFUSIONS

My first impression of Bangkok was one of absolute bewilderment.  Taking in this city of contrasts was proving to be very challenging.  My initial reaction was to feel numbed from head to foot from culture shock.  Bangkok — one city, one million confusions.  My senses were paralyzed from the very first moment I met Bangkok face to face; the tremendous noise, dreadful air pollution, appalling traffic, horrendous heat and total chaos.  Bangkok was certainly living up to its reputation of having the world’s worst traffic congestion and lowest oxygen count.  If Bangkok was anything to go by, Thailand and I had certainly not fallen in love at first sight. 

Bangkok Thailand 001 - Daves Raves - My First Thailand TripI began to wonder which one of Bangkok’s lethal attributes would kill me first — the deadly drivers, the kamikaze motorcyclists, the polluted air, the lack of oxygen… or would I just simply perish from the unrelenting heat?  The Thais call their capital Krungthep, which means “City Of Angels.”  I can assure you, I could not find anything remotely angelic about this catastrophic city on my first introduction.

WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I DONE? 

I was full of great expectations moments earlier on theTuk Tuk Taxi Bangkok Thailand 01 - Daves Raves - My First Thailand Trip plane, anticipating the pleasures of being seduced by Siam, but I landed with a resounding bump, and was only bemused by Bangkok.  I stepped out of the luxurious air-conditioned Don Muang airport, and was tenaciously greeted by the savage furnace-like heat of Bangkok.  I gasped for air as the stifling atmosphere pinned itself to the back of my throat.  My initial thoughts turned to those of shock and I thought, am I totally insane for coming here?  Yes, I reflected.  What on earth have I done?  Never before had I suffered the full affects of culture shock, but Bangkok was initiating me to it with the subtlety of a heavy whack on the head.

IT AIN’T HALF HOT MUM! 

My friend, who came to meet me at Don Muang International Airport, read the expression on my face and uttered in a quiet voice, “It’s a really scorching hot season, even the Thais are complaining about the heat this year.”  In a state of confusion I thought, how could anybody stand this heat? 

MBK SHOPPING CENTRE BANGKOK THAILAND 01 - Daves Raves - My First Thailand TripWe loaded my luggage in the boot and got into my friend’s car.  I sighed with relief, while I had shelter away from the searing heat.  I was still numb as we began to crawl along the roads, clawing for every few inches we could seize.  It seemed to me that whilst on Bangkok roads, you are either riding on the wings of death or trapped like insects in a jam jar — there is no happy medium.  Waves of cool air soothed my weary body; I momentarily closed my eyes as the air-conditioner hummed its tune. 

ROAD TO HELL 

It is estimated that anywhere from 6-8 million people reside in Bangkok alone, and several million vehicles cram the main roads into gridlock.  I was pondering the fact that it is not surprising Bangkok’s roads have such a notorious reputation.  Whilst I continued to struggle to come to terms with Bangkok’s roads, an entire family of four passed by us.  They were all crammed onto one tiny motorbike.  Was I delirious?

Street Eat Soi Nana 02 - Daves Raves - My First Thailand TripThis massive, sprawling metropolis was not my idea of a tropical paradise.  At best, it was Central London at the worst peak of rush hour multiplied several fold.  Even more disturbing — what about the road users?  My Lord!  I was looking on in horror as vehicles of all kinds played dodge ‘ems with each other.  Streams of traffic were travelling at high speed bumper-to-bumper, criss-crossing in and out of any lane they cared to choose.  Just then, a motorcyclist passed in front of the rows of traffic diagonally.  Unbelievably, some of the traffic was quite evidently not even going in the same direction.  Not only that, but the locals appeared so totally blasé about it all. 

Flying To Bangkok Thailand 01 - Daves Raves - My First Thailand TripSuddenly, we broke away from the traffic jam, because an open stretch of road appeared.  The speed of the other vehicles put my head into a permanent spin.  Young motorcyclists were weaving in and out of the paths of cars, buses and lorries, all with the daring of motorbike boy racers.  Furthermore, I was horrified to notice that nobody was wearing a crash helmet.  I was in a world of my own being entertained by this strange spectator sport.  I concluded that this was certainly not for the uninitiated.  I continued to be astonished by the way these daredevil motorbike riders negotiated intricate swerves and lane changes, all at death-defying high speeds.

THE GREAT ESCAPE

At long last we escaped the congested traffic and were on the way to Pattaya.  A new adventure was about to unfold…

SUMMARY – 20 YEARS LATER

Since my first encounter 20 years ago, the City Of Angels has certainly grown on me.  Finally, I decided to leave England 10 years ago and Bangkok has been my home ever since.

Bangkok was certainly different in 1988 compared to the modern city it is today. There was no BTS Skytrain, no MRT Subway, no modern traffic lights systems, and no crash helmets. Visually speaking it was a drab, grey, city. Today, even though this massive metropolis is even more heavily populated, I think it looks much better. The number of buildings and hotels that have been erected is simply staggering. Getting around the capital has become a lot easier.  This alone is a tremendous improvement.  If you are located close to a BTS Skytrain or MRT Subway station, you will reach your destination in no time.  Furthermore, these two modern modes of transportation are convenient, comfortable, inexpensive and safe.

 

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Thailand Night Fever

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

NANA PLAZA — WELCOME TO THE NEON JUNGLE

Eve X Zone Pattaya Thailand - Thailand Night FeverThis news might come as something of a surprise to you, but the owners of Nana Plaza have been digging into their pockets.  According to the Nana Plaza management (Nana Castle), the escalator next to Lucky Luke’s Bar inside Nana Plaza should be operational in about one week.  The new escalator is now operational.  Apparently, the job was finished before expected – that is a shock by Thai building standards!  It has not been repaired, but instead it has been replaced by a brand new escalator.  For those of you who are not keen on using lifts, or stairs, the new escalator will be an excellent alternative.  By installing the new escalator, I think it will please everybody, but especially the disabled.  Fellow internet columnist Baron Bonk should be thrilled with the new escalator.  We can now send dear ole Baron Bonk up to greater heights!  Combined with a clear pathway at the entrance to Nana Plaza, it will be much easier to enter and exit, plus go up to the middle level.

Recently I have spoken to Khun Num who runs Rainbow 1 and Rainbow 3, about the old Farang Connection.  (If you cannot quite remember, Farang Connection was located next door to Rainbow 3 on the middle level in Nana Plaza).  If you did not know, Khun Num has taken over the lease and is currently building a Thai restaurant there.  The building work is progressing steadily as we speak.  The new owner has hinted that he thinks he will just sell Thai food.  I am sure that it is not easy, or cheap to hire a chef who can cook both Eastern and Western cuisine to international standards.  More interestingly, with some of the hot babes that will be dining here, it definitely will not be your average Thai noodle shop! (more…)

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