Friday, September 13, 2013

A dive into modernity - shopping and entertainment in Siam Square,Bangkok. #thailand

Bangkok is a multi-faceted city, a mix of tradition and modernity. The contrast is striking if you stroll through a bustling city market then hop to the BTS Sky Train heading to Siam Square.

As a European, I am impressed by those gigantic and modern shopping centers. There is no such place where I live and the largest shopping areas of Brussels look like village shops when compared to Siam Square. The large centers are not only about shopping, they also offer numerous dining and entertainment facilities. You can easily spend a family day in there, if you're up to it and ready to break the bank. From luxury shops to kid's clothing over entrance tickets to the Bangkok aquarium, nothing is really cheap around Siam Square.

Among others, the luxury Siam Paragon shopping center features:
- the Ocean World, a large underground aquarium
- a nearby Madame Tussaud wax museum
- a big cinema multiplex, including an IMAX 3D theater
- a brand new, large thematic playground named Kidzania.

Given the high entrance prices to most attractions, we opted for a documentary played in the IMAX 3D theater. 200 baths for a seat, approximately 5 euros, is a fair deal for westerners, who would have to pay a higher price for a similar show in Europe. The documentary, Hubble, was definitely worth seeing, with beautiful and impressive images of space exploration. The kids loved it. We were also lucky that our baby was let in, as we didn't have a baby-sit to care for her otherwise. She went in for free, remained quietly on her dad's lap while the show was on, and let us enjoy a good family time at the movies.

How to get to and around Siam Paragon shopping center with kids?
The BTS Sky Train is the fastest and most efficient way to get to Siam Square. There is a direct access to Paragon from the "Siam" BTS station. Kids under 90 cm ride for free on the BTS. If you're traveling with large packs, strollers or young children, look out for the specific gate to access or exit the station. There will be an agent to help you through the gate. If you don't have a stroller and want to get easily around in the shopping area, why not borrow one? The visitor center on the first floor of Paragon will lend it to you, in exchange for an ID card.