12 Apr 2009
Bangkok, Thailand; Cruise Day 76
Early this morning, we docked at Laem Chabang (the port for Bangkok), which is a couple hours away by coach. An overnight stay at The Four Seasons (with three meals) is included with our cruise.
Check in was a well-organized, two-minute affair. We ate a wonderful Thai buffet lunch with the group and then split.
Allyn headed for the Chatuchak Weekend Market immediately after lunch. It is famous, giant, full of bargains and quite franetic. It is very similar to the Bazaar in Istanbul. It sit on 35 acres, has 9,000 – 15,000 stalls/shops, and caters to up to 300,000 people on a weekend. She came back loaded with gifts and supplies after having spent $40 for the day.
I, on the other hand, headed to the Siam Paragon Mall to get a book. I chose it because it was one stop away on the Sky Rail, which meant I could head out with Allyn. This mall turns out to be as fancy as any I have ever seen, and is one of the biggest shopping centers in Asia. It has every name / snob brand I know, plus an equal number of stores for the high-end shopper I don’t know of.
For what it is worth, I learned more from the representative at the Apple store here (even though his English was marginal), than I have learned in total from the many reps in the Las Vegas store.
My plan was a quick stay and a stroll back. But, then I saw the street was blocked off, and there was a demonstration of the “Red Shirts.” That is a political group that is raising havoc around the country.
I have no political opinion on the issue, but really didn’t feel like learning first hand. I turned around and took the Sky Rail back (over the protestors) back to the hotel. An hour later, they had to evacuate the Paragon Mall.
Dinner was another all-out gourmet buffet banquet at the hotel, with Thai dancing as entertainment. Many people enjoyed it. The Thai music made me want to scream.