Tuesday, November 1, 2005

One Night in Bangkok

I arrived in Bangkok on Sunday at around 11:30am. The first thing I noticed while the plane was landing (turned out to be the same 747-400 I was on from LAX to TPE) was the golf course right in the middle of the airport, between the two runways.

I found this picture on the web. The dark green area between the runways is the golf course. I saw people actually playing golf on the course as we were landing. How can you concentrate with 747's taking off/landing right next to you? What if you slice a golf ball off the tee into a jet engine? If you have Google Earth, you can get a bettew view of the golf course at 13� 54' N and 100� 36' E.

From the email exchange I had with Xealot people, I thought I was going to arrive by myself and would need to make my way to the hotel after arrival. So I was surprised when several boxes labeled "NewSong" rolled past me on the baggage conveyer belt. I followed the boxes around the conveyer and ended up meeting the rest of the group, 3 guys from the Brea small group. The boxes contained a new Dell computer they were helping to bring over from the U.S. We met Bryant from the Xealot team, who has been waiting at the airport for 4 hours due to the same miscommunication, and we took a van to our hotel. The weather was hot and humid, probably not as hot as Singapore but more than Taiwan or Hong Kong.

As I mentioned before, our Bangkok hotel was the Pathumwan Princess Hotel. It turned out to be a pretty nice hotel. At check-in, they gave us some sort of fruit drink that tasted a lot like sweet winter melon juice. The hotel is attached to one of the largest shopping centers in Bangkok so after dropping off our bags and changing into shorts, we went to MBK to have some lunch. The stores that lined the corridors were very small, and some were stalls in the middle of the walkway. Unlike the U.S., similar stores were congregated in one area instead of spread throughout the mall. We had lunch at a Japanese restaurant. The food was decent and really cheap but we found out that Thai serving portions are much smaller than in the U.S. After lunch, we walked around the shopping center looking for a SIM card for one of the tour members. Like the rest of Asia, they had the coolest cell phones and accessories compared with what we find back home. I even saw Bluetooth phone headsets for $3; that's about how much we sell our Bluetooth chip!

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