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Bangkok's IT Mecca - Pantip Plaza

This morning was a grand tour of Bangkok's IT Mecca, called the Pantip Plaza. It has five enormous floors of anything to do with computers, computer peripherals, multi-media equipment like slide projectors, cameras, mobile phones and loads and loads of software. I went to check out iPad, and found it available in a number of shops, however headed for the Apple dealer. Price is pretty much the same as in Dubai, so thought if I am going to buy one, that I will do that in Dubai. The sales agent said that it carried an international warranty, but I wonder how international it would be in practice. I'm not even sure that Dubai would be good in supporting the product. There were quite a wide variety of Apple peripherals and computer bags available, but all at up market prices.

This Plaza was great fun, and I think it would be even more fun for anyone who is an IT person, particularly on the engineering hardware side of things. I saw plenty of shops working on circuit boards for example, so if one were into hardware, one would probably pick up on parts of hardware very easily. For example, I'm sure that if one were looking for parts of dated equipment that one couldn't find in the US for example, that one would be bound to find it in that IT Plaza.

What bowled me over were the stands upon stands of pirated software everywhere, particularly MS Office, Photoshop, and many more, as well as DVDs. Shocked There was a full Office 2010 suite for 4 US$ for example. There were also a few shops selling original copies of software.

For those interested in visiting Pantip Plaza, a good idea would be to stay in the Grand Diamond Suites, which are immediately next door to the Plaza. Or the more posh and upmarket 5-star Amari Watergate Hotel on the opposite side of the road. If you should take your partner/wife with, there is plenty of fashion shopping next door at wholesale prices. I would say one would be able to do all one's shopping for clothing and electronics in the malls surrounding Pantip Plaza.

I chose to stay near Bangkok Airport for my 2-day trip to Bangkok, and am having a great stay at the Best Western Premier Amaranth. The room is immaculately clean, definitely non-smoking. One can transfer between the Hotel and Airport as many times as one wants to completely free. There are also computers available in their Business Centre that one can use for no extra charge. Only hurdle was today travelling to centre of Bangkok to get to the IT Plaza. Wow! Taxi fare was not too bad, but it was just the time it took to get there. Getting closer to downtown all roads were seriously congested and we were moving at snails pace. Hence why I would recommend anyone on a serious shopping expedition to Bangkok, to stay as close as possible to where they plan to shop.

3 blog comments below

I am glad to hear you are having a good time, Dean. I do hope you can post some pictures when you return home.
standready on Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:37 pm
Hi, Dean. I'm glad to hear you're traveling and having a good time. Are there other alternatives for transportation? How about bikes or buses? In many Asian countries, scooters and bicycles are more common than cars.

Usually the first time you visit a country with limited time to spend, you have to do things in standard ways. It is always a good idea to spend some time looking around at how the locals do things, and talk to them about it if possible, so if you have the chance to come back you can feel more at home in the country.
SonLight on Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:38 am
Sorry Standready, I did not take any photos! I should really get into that and I wish I had. Even if I could have taken photos of the many shanty towns I saw from the main high way from my Hotel to downtown. Serious slums. There are really very very poor people in Thailand. Those who have jobs really appreciate the jobs. I noticed that especially at the airport this morning comparing the quality of pride and dignity of the Thai staff on every level, with their counterparts in other countries. Smile

Sonlight, this is really what puzzled me. I saw very few motorbikes on the highways in comparison with what there were in Koh Samui and Chang Mai for example. There were TukTuks in the down town area, but few rather than many. Most of the traffic are "Meter Taxi"s in Pink, Bright Blue, Green and Yellow and the odd white one. Mostly Toyotas. I didn't see many people on bikes either. But you're right of course, if I should stick around for a decent time I'd probably find different ways of getting from A to B.

I'd like to return to Bangkok one day again, not for a long period of time, but perhaps en route somewhere else I can stay over a day or two, and when I do, spend it in the downtown core.
deanhills on Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:17 pm

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