Sep 21 2011

What to do on a Bangkok rainy day

Published by at 12:51 pm under Weather

Rain can be a buzzkill in Bangkok. The city reacts in a level of panic reminiscent of New Yorkers during Hurricane Irene: shut all windows, stock up on essentials like water and ramen noodles, and bail out of work early. But this collapse in infrastructure happens on a daily basis from May to October, taking the city off guard every time. Rather than praying to the sun gods or planning a trip elsewhere, best to embrace the rain and let it be your friend. Take a shower in it. The raindrops may be fierce, but it rarely rains for more than a few hours.

Umbrellas are handy.

Order delivery

You’re stuck inside but you’re so hungry you could eat your own hand. The room service menu looks dull — or there simply isn’t one in your cheap Bangkok guesthouse. What to do?

Have delivery men suffer the rain for you – they have special neon ponchos just for the occasion. Food By Phone delivers anything from chicken tikka masala to french fries, sizzling at your doorstep within the hour. Warning: convenience comes at a cost – don’t forget to tip the delivery man for his bravery against the monsoon.

Chefs XP is also a godsend for the lazies and the housebound, with no-mark up or extras fees (you pay the price you would at a restaurant). Their menu is limited and their website design may give you a sty, but they spare you from getting drenched on a beer run to 7-eleven. International fast food behemoths, like Burger King, KFC, and The Pizza Company offer delivery, though only McDonalds and Sunrise Tacos dispatch delivery fairies at all hours of the day.

Food By Phone: T: (02) 663 4 663.
ChefsXP: T: (02) 204 2001.

Hot naan right to your door.

Watch a movie

Even the most clairvoyant of pedestrians cannot always tell when it’s going to start raining in buckets, but an ominous sky or a faint zephyr are usually good indications. If it starts looking dreary, pop in a DVD from your personal stash or head to the cinema for some dry entertainment. Most are located in malls (like everything else here), so beat the monsoon blues with a shopping spree. Some old school cinemas are listed here, but here’s a small sampling of other theatres in Bangkok:

Century Movie Plaza: 15 Phaya Thai Road. BTS: Victory Monument. T: (02) 247 1111.
Major Cineplex: 61 Sukhumvit Road Ekamai. MRT: Thailand Cultural Centre. T: (o2) 511 5819.
SFX Emporium: 24 Soi Sukhumvit. BTS: Phrom Pong. T: (02) 260 9333.

Clouds above? Time for a dip!

Go outside

If you can’t beat the raindrops, join them. Put on your galoshes and trek through the puddles, or revel in the irony of going for a swim in the rain. Just don’t take a dip when it’s thundering outside – that would be unwise. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, go down to the Chao Phraya River and watch the murky water swell – catch the express and stay dry while you watch others get wet.

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