Pantip Plaza – Part 1

So I was feeling much better this morning and decided to go to Pantip Plaza.

Pantip Plaza is a HUGE shopping mall in Bangkok.   It is pretty much exclusively for IT/computer related stuff.   Imagine every computer store/repair place/software store you have ever been to in your life in one location.   Now double the amount … that’s Pantip Plaza.  The mall is 7 stories tall, each FLOOR is about the size of one of our standard malls (say Desoto Square),  and every available inch is covered with people selling stuff!  This mall has NO pretty fountains or benches to rest your weary feet.   It’s  almost body to body in Pantip!

Unfortunately, they forbid photography inside.  :(

Likely this is because of so much blatant software/movie/music piracy that goes on inside.  However,  piracy is still only a small fraction of the business inside the plaza;  it’s still mainly computer parts, hardware, legitamate software,  etc.

The big sellers this year seemed to be flash drives!   EVERY vendor had stacks of flash drives for sale… Mostly in the 1-4gb range.    Also flash based MP3 players were still selling strong (these were the hot item last time I was here.)    Lot of  Apple knock-off merchandise.  I particularly was taken by a device that looked like an ordinary pink flip-phone that had an Apple logo on it, and called itself an “I Pnone”   :)

The “sexy movie…sexy movie” guys were out in force on this visit.  Basically these guys are trying to sell porn DVD’s.  They physically grab you (yes Skip this is their new behaviour) while saying “sexy movie” and put a flip book of graphic DVD covers (of porn movies) in your face, hoping this will somehow interest you.    I DON’T like to be touched by people I don’t know, particularly men, and particularly men trying to sell me something I DON’T want.  I have to resist my first instinct to shove them hard out of my way, as I’m sure that doing that will cause me all manner of problems in this country. If it was just one that was doing this, it wouldn’t be a problem.   But these guys are every 15 feet or so while walking around the mall.  And they don’t care that they already hit you up once, they do it EVERY time you pass!

Since I was unable to shoot inside Pantip, I’ve got some other pictures…
First up is me in the taxi waiting for traffic.   We didn’t move from this spot for 20 minutes!

Bangkok Traffic

A familiar restaurant on the ground floor…

Yes an A&W in Thailand!

This next picture made me very sad.  This poor little girl is being forced to beg in the street.  She held that little Pepsi cup out to anyone who passed by.  Nobody stopped and gave her any money.   Mom was nearby picking through the trash cans in front of Pantip Plaza, looking for aluminum cans I think.    A policeman was standing about 3 feet away and did nothing… but what could he have done really?  Thailand does not have things like child protective services, or other social services that we take for granted here in the west.   Although I usually don’t give to beggars (there are MANY here in Bangkok), I dumped out my coins into her little cup…. what else can I do?

Sad begging girl.

I’ll take some better photos, and I’ll be a little braver and even get photos INSIDE on my next visit to Pantip (probably sometime the week after next)

Thank you for reading!

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OK, quick Thai lesson. Repeat after me. My ow. My as in, “Please don’t step on my foot”. Ow as in, “Ow, I asked you not to step on my foot”. If you’d like to be polite, you can add a cop as in ,”If you step on my foot again, I’m going to call a cop”. “My ow cop” says “I don’t want it”. It also says that you’ve been there enough to learn a little of the language and therefore know what they’re trying to sell you and that they will be wasting their time to further pursue you. You don’t need to yell it or want to mutter it. Just say clearly and firmly, “My ow cop” and keep on walking. You will be left alone. I promise this works like a charm.

Yes I tried that. No, it doesn’t work… rather it does work, but it works about the same as saying “NO” over and over again. By the time I say anything, the damage is already done, as they have already touched me.

Oscar has Pantip hawker cooties!!! Don’t touch him!!!

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