Monday, August 29, 2005


It was decided that the five of us would go to the Siam Water Park last weekend. The vote was 4 to 0. It seems my vote wasn’t necessary since so many were for it.

My only question was, ‘How far is it?’ Some of our outings turn out to be marathons.

“Do you want to go to the beach?”

“Okay.” That turned out to be three hours each way in traffic.

“We’ll visit the crocodile farm and elephant show.”

Two hours plus, each way.


That’s why I asked, “How far?”

“30 minutes,” The Widow Dow told me.

I didn’t believe her but that’s what it turned out to be.


This water park is extensive. There’s a zoo and aviary, two roller coasters, one of which does a 360, and lots of smaller rides. There’s even a double-decker merry-go-round. There’s a large, circular pool with a current. There’s a large pool with waves and many smaller pools without. There are half a dozen high slides and a few smaller ones. There are snack bars all over the place. The only thing missing was people.

We were there on an ideal Sunday. The temperature was mild for Bangkok, about 93, and no rain. The park had a promotion going on. Admission, with coupons, was $2.50 for adults and $1.25 for kids, which is half price. But still the attendance was low. I estimate it was ten percent of capacity.

Pok, my friend, once told me that the Thai people do not spend much on leisure activities. This was when I was contemplating building a miniature golf course here in Bangkok. Right now there are none here although there are many driving ranges. My visit to the water park dissuaded me from that venture. There’s nothing worse than building something and no one comes.

Another tough business to get into here would be restaurant. Food vendors are on every street. They drive their carts up my street several times a day. A full meal, meat, rice, vegetable and sauce, can be bought for fifty cents. And still, Thai restaurants are everywhere, mostly very inexpensive unless you get into exotic dishes. I wonder if many cook at home.

Almost all western type restaurants are confined to downtown. There are two or three Subway franchises. The sandwiches are excellent but cost about the same as in the States. You can buy a sandwich (much smaller) from a vendor for 25 cents. The Subway franchises don’t appear to be thriving.

What are thriving are a few Aussie and British themed restaurants. They are pricey but well attended by their target customers.

We found a Mexican restaurant only a few yards from one of the more wicked lanes in town. The food was 100% authentic which leaves the question: Why?

I’ve been to several Italian restaurants, one quite pricey. The food in all was third rate.

We get pizza delivered. It’s passable and sometimes interesting. There’s an almost all seafood pizza for the Buddhist customers. But then they put sausage in the rolled crust on the perimeter. The price is about 2/3 of American. I have no idea how the business is doing.

That’s a look at Bangkok leisure and restaurant businesses.


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