7 Mar 2008

Suan Dusit, Bangkok

Lately I do seem to be here there and everywhere. Last week I was in Kota Bharu, Kelantan watching the war of banners and buntings in the pre-election campaign. It was fun to see the PAS people giving the dirty on their arch enemy BN and yet maintaining a "gentlemanly" demeanor through it all. I even met the great Tok Guru himself - we shared a flight to KL. He was on his way to the Nikko Hotel to give a ceramah I think - saw the announcement in the papers. The great man doesn't seem so great in person - small man, quiet and quite unobtrusive. PAS seem to be really all out this time around to get a better crowd. I sincerely hope they get more seats, esp in the Federal or parliamentary constituencies.
And now here I am at the Suan Dusit Place in Bangkok. Life is really interesting these days. Bangkok is as fascinating as ever. The last time I was here was some years ago, in 2006 I think.We came here for a short holiday with Rizal, Poh LIng and Shasha. This time its because of a conference for Repin - an e learning conference.

From what I can see, Bangkok is more progressive - there are more highways and they seem to be constructing a rail connection to the airport. They already have their own metro link or LRT as well as the aero train to avoid the horrendous jams. But even the jams are not as bad as they were some years back. When I first came to Bangkok in the early 90s there was'nt even any LRT or highways. The jams were really bad then - it could take hours just to go to the city from the airport. These days its much faster, thanks to better transportation and communication systems. Bangkok seems to have a lot of shopping centres too. I think there are many more new ones now compared to the last time I was here. But we all still prefer Chaktuchat and the Night Market Bazaar! We went there last night and I bought a few stuff to take home as gifts as well as for myself. Things are not as cheap as they were once though. Thailand too is having inflation following its tail I see.

The Suan Dusit is like a hotel in the university. Its not very big but serves its purpose all right. Like the UiTM Hotel and Residence Hotel it's attached to the Suan Raghabad University and is quite far from town. To go to the city centre from here it takes us at least forty minutes, if there are no traffic jams. I prefer the previous hotel that we stayed at - it was somewhere near the city centre and was called The Mandarin International, though I doubt it belonged to the famous Mandarin group.

I wish though I could go to Chiangmai and Chiangrai in Northern Thailand instead of always Bangkok. It would be cooler there now I think. Its really hot here now - and you can hardly see the sky - its a perpetual grey up there!

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