Hello from Penang! Here’s an older post over on Go See Write that I wrote awhile back whilst wallowing in post Bangkok-cancellation blues. You know I love Bangkok for it’s good food and great shopping, so here’s an update on good shopping spots to consider:
This post would have been written from a hotel in Bangkok, but unfortunately it was completed back home in Sunny Singapore instead. I was supposed to head up with some friends to Bangkok over the weekend of 18-20 Jan for a quick shopping and food – but the Bangkok Shutdown protests had restarted with new fervor that week, with streets being closed off and traffic blocked, and the occasional news of drive-by shootings and violence; the afternoon before we flew off, news of a bombing injuring over 20 people emerged.
Look at the crowds gathered in front of Central Mall for Bangkok Shutdown! Image Source – Prachatai
That was what made us decide to postpone the trip to a later date – we were going to stay and intended to go to many of the areas which were prime protest areas, and we wanted to avoid the unpredictability and possible escalation as the 2 February election dates drew nearer. While the Thais were careful to ensure tourists did not get too embroiled in their politics, a grenade isn’t going to make that sort of distinction.You can read more about my dilemma here.
I was lucky that my airline and hotel were willing to push my dates with minimal penalty, but not everyone has that same flexibility with their trip to Thailand. Also, word from the ground is that while the protest sites and certain areas are potential danger hotspots filled with protestors, most of the city does remain unhindered by the fuss, with many learning quite quickly how to avoid the major areas. So I’m not letting my experience and research go to waste – I’ve been up to Bangkok a good 4-5 times in less tumultuous times, so for travelers headed up to Bangkok and looking for cheap, good and interesting shopping, here are some tips on shopping places out of these main protest areas: