Thailand’s vital tourism industry has suffered terribly from the massive floods that continue to drain slowly from Bangkok’s suburbs. Remarkably, however, the country is poised to set a record for the most yearly international arrivals, underscoring the tourism sector’s resilience despite a string of recent crises.
Pantip Plaza is Bangkok’s most infamous IT-related shopping center. Located in a drab, five-story building on Petchaburi Road, it houses hundreds of shops selling computer hardware, software –- both pirated and legit — accessories and other tech-related gadgets.
Nearly every Bangkok resident, not to mention tech-loving tourists who have done even a tiny bit of research, knows that if you need new gear for cheap, go to Pantip. But while the shopping center is well-known to many, the fluorescent and neon-lit space still holds a few surprises.
Here are some of Pantip Plaza’s lesser-known qualities.
And one of my favorite tidbits:
8. Pantip is featured in the chorus of a popular Thai rock song
Several years ago, Thai band Loso — as in, the opposite of “high so,” or “high society” — recorded a popular tune called “Pantip.” In the chorus, the singer says he’ll go shopping with his girlfriend anywhere in Bangkok — except Pantip, since an ex-girlfriend works there.
Check out the video above. An english translation of the lyrics can be found at www.ethaimusic.com.
RSS readers: If the embedded video doesn’t show up here, you can find it on YouTube.
I’ve got a new story in the global edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education. The headline is “A Singapore University Plans Its First Residential Colleges.”
Here’s how it starts:
Many of the world’s leading Western universities are reaching out to the East, setting up campuses and forging relationships in Asia. But one renowned Asian university is looking to the West for inspiration as it builds four residential colleges using a North American and British hybrid model.
The flagship National University of Singapore will kick off a phased opening of the city-state’s first residential colleges in August 2011. It is a unique arrangement in a place where many students live at home, and those who do stay on the campus are ensconced in dormitories. The project, known as University Town, will eventually house some 4,100 students in the four colleges and a graduate residence.