Bangkok, Thailand: Robots and Yoda Go to The Movies

Dear Lunch Table,

Movies . . . Oh, how I love movie theaters with their comfortable red chairs and buckets of buttered popcorn transporting me into the world of fiction, well, at least for two hours anyway. See, sometimes movies allow me to transition from a hectic, crazy day to a relaxed sort of getaway. And, yes, being “relaxed” is something I, as a traveler, will never take for granted.

She seems relaxed. Doesn’t she?

Bangkok is, well, futuristic. It’s one of those places you might expect Yoda to come bouncing through the streets any minute followed by a creepy, baritone voice whispering, “Luke, I am your father.” Okay, to be honest I’ve never watched Star Wars, so the whole Yoda thing is only a guess. But seriously, in 10 years or so, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bangkok turns into a robotic city. There is even a restaurant where robots are waiters. No joke. Anyway, my point is that Bangkok is a pretty great place to go see a movie.

Doesn’t this Botero painting somewhat resemble Yoda? Maybe I’m just crazy.

In case you are placing bets on what movie I went to see, I watched . . . wait for it . . . Contraband. I sat back in a red reclining chair, munched on popcorn, and watched, in English, an American film. Yup. (I really enjoyed the movie . . . You would too . . . Go see it . . . Now the owners of Contraband should pay me for advertising their movie on my blog . . . Ha ha – I crack myself up.) Okay, but in all seriousness I thought it was really good.

So I guess when traveling, the purpose of going to the movies is that sometimes it’s fun to just lay back, relax, and watch the show instead of being in the show.

I miss you guys. Hope you’re watching some great movies,

KJ

Interesting Fact: Kickboxing is the national sport of Thailand . . . Just thought I would let you know.

Things to Do:

1) Relaxing Buddha: There is something majestic about a very large relaxing Buddha made of gold. I enjoyed walking through the temple, Wat Pho. Our guide added to the excitement of this experience, since every four minutes he would raise his hand up in the air, make a fist, smile wide, bring his arm down as if pulling a rope with one hand, all the while shouting (like a ninja) “Hiyah,” and then belly laughed. Ah, good times. Good times . . .

2) Siam Ocean World (aquarium): You know a mall is cool when it has the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia swimming on one of its levels. I’m not a big fan of aquariums, but for some unknown reason I felt compelled to pay a visit to this floor of fishes. Located in the Siam Paragon Mall, it’s a must see for all blossoming marine biologists or just fish lovers in general.

3) City Palace: After seeing the king’s presence (pictures, posters, banners, etc.) scattered around Bangkok, a tour of City Palace becomes even more understandable. From learning about the king (no criticism of him is allowed) to just staring wide eyed at the architecture, the City Palace is definitely a place I recommend visiting.

Serious look. Check. Scary looking rifle. Check. Crisp uniform. Check. Two weird kids smiling next to you? Also, check.

4) Siam Paragon Mall: Yes, this is the awesome mall which contains the aquarium. It also holds a movie theater, a floor of delicious food which dedicates quite a large area to desserts (cupcakes anyone?), and a various array of shops. I’m a soccer player, but yes, my legs were tired as I walked around the many levels. I’m not a big shopper, but I had fun exploring (people-watching) in Siam Paragon.

5) Hajime Robot Restaurant: If robots ever take over the restaurant business, no worries, we’re in good hands. I’ll be honest, the human waiters who provided us napkins and showed us to our seats weren’t the friendliest folks. The robots were more polite than the humans (weird, huh?). If you’re a robot geek, you’ll have a blast figuring out how everything works. If you’re not a robot lover, you’ll have fun just staring at its awesome eyes. Either way, eat here!

The robot taking a little dance break. I forgot to bring my camera, but thanks to Google I found this picture.

(Speak in robotic voice): “Look at tall, stone dude. Move towards him. Raise head. Raise head 2 inches more. What’s for dinner?”

What do you think? Could Cal pass as a robot?

6) August Residence: In the Indian ashram, we met the owners of this hotel. They’re very kind and even invited us to have dinner with them at a great local restaurant. The hotel was charming and warm, it was close to the Sky Train, and the staff was welcoming. I would definitely check this place out if you’re heading to Bangkok. Oh, and they even taught us some Thai: “Capunca (thank you) August Residence.”

Website: www.augustresidence.com

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About KJ

I, KJ Davidson-Turner, have willingly given up the trauma and drama of Junior year and my lovely friends at the lunch table (I'm going to miss you guys!) to travel to unknown areas of the world and experience the cultures of these unfamiliar places.

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