Sep 21 2011
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.
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.
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.
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.
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.