Pantip Plaza, Bangkok Thailand

Ronald McDonald guards Pantip Plaza entrance

Ronald McDonald guards Pantip Plaza entrance

1:30pm

Pantip Plaza is Bangkok’s mecca for computer and electronic geeks.  Basically, it is like a regular shopping mall, but with not a stitch of clothing in sight…except maybe a T-shirt with a clever IT joke written on it.

Instead, of clothes, there are 5 floors of non-stop new and old, real and fake computer and electronics stuff.  Everything computer or electronic you may want is available here, some multiple times over.  Pantip Plaza is located on Petchaburi Road in the Ratchathewi district and is a THB$150 (AUD$6) taxi fare from our Centre Point Hotel Silom location.

I now know far more than I should about Pantip Plaza, having spent an afternoon there thanks to Alex (because we had arranged to meet there).  Well…it felt like a whole afternoon.  The total time I spent there was probably about an hour, which included 45 minutes for lunch.

For me, I could care less about the latest gadgets.  How is it then that I seem to have the (semi) latest phone and up to date computer gear?  This is courtesy of Alex of course.  So, with that in mind I say “lead on Alex”.

Fast forward 5 minutes…. “Are we done yet?” I ask Alex.

Same stuff, different level….”Are we done yet?” I repeat my question to Alex.

Leads, cameras, covers, connectors…. “Are we done yet?”

FINALLY….Like a child I inwardly squeal with delight as Alex seems to have reached the end of his shopping capacity and has declared its time for lunch. “Time for lunch” says Alex.

1:37pm

“Look Alex, it’s a food court”.  Why am I surprised to find that Pantip Plaza has a food court which itself is huge.

But wait…the food court is not only huge but it has a system.  Could this ”system” be the usual push me shove you system?

No, the “system” actually works like this:

  • we put money on a card
  • we choose an eatery (of which there are many)
  • we choose a meal (of which there are plenty)
  • the eatery swipes your card for the cost of the meal(s)
  • we wait for our meal to be prepared (ie plated up)
  • we eat our meal
  • we collect a refund from a refund counter, which might be unlikely given all the (food) options.

Unsurprisingly, most of the meals in the food court consist of meat and rice. One example of this is my duck and rice.  My meal costs me THB50 (AUD$2.00).  Our desert chaser of banana and chocolate pancake is THB45 (AUD$1.80).  Not only delish but a bargain.

“Are we done yet”.  This time I am referring to our lunch.

“Yep, let’s go” says Alex, as we make our exit from the food court via the refund counter.

We leave Pantip Plaza and are now back on the humid Bangkok street searching for transportion back to our hotel.  A Tuk-Tuk pulls up and we take it.  For THB200 (AUD$8) we are transferred back to our hotel.

Note to self: mid-afternoon is a bad time of day to be catching a Tuk-Tuk.   I think the afternoon school run is in progress and it feels like every single available bus is on the street, throwing stinky exhaust fumes into our open Tuk-Tuk…cough…..cough.  We should have just got an air-conditioned taxi which would have cost less and saved our lungs.

Tuk Tuk in traffic traffic

Tuk Tuk in traffic traffic

For tonight’s activity I have Alex heading back onto the river.  We have a dinner booking on-board a classic old-school river boat along the Chao Phraya River.  The good news for Alex for tonight’s boat trip is that I don’t think we will need to wear a life jacket.

For previous Bangkok series post see Long Tail Boat along the Chao Phraya River and Khlongs (Canals) of Thonburi

For next Bangkok series post stay tuned…