23.5.2020 | First Week after Unlock - What's New in Bangkok?


Dear Diary,

Have you ever imagine how Bangkok would be like during the lockdown? How can 'the Land of Smile' or 'the City that Never Sleeps' be like without light and sound?



It has been two months now since the Coronavirus lockdown in Bangkok. All pubs and bars, including restaurants, had to close down. From a couple who eats out all the time, we started to improve our cooking skills (yes, our goal is to join Masterchef Thailand next season...) and, of course, food delivery ordering skills as well. So far we know lots of good food delivery around Bangkok already so maybe that could be my next blog before this lockdown will end. What do you think? lol

Anyway, back to our story. Last week was the first week that the government announced about unlocking the city. People got really excited about going out and that included us and that's why in the evening, we tried to walk around the neighborhood and found this after-lockdown Bangkok weirdly fun! 

Thai Chana (ไทยชนะ): Thailand Wins

Example of QR code you have to scan
before entering Starbucks

Okay... Let's face the fact that the word 'fun' can also mean 'boring' in this case. I went to the mall for grocery shopping and I was so confused with this 'New Normal' thingy which is called Thai Chana (Thailand Wins) application.

The idea is to scan the QR Code before entering and after leaving the shops, restaurants, and malls. (Imagine going shopping in Zara, Uniqlo, Mango, and Adidas.. yes, you have to scan them all! Both checking in and out! 

Basically this is our government's splendid idea to track people in case of another spreading. It's annoying, of course, and what's more is that we are started to be concerned about personal data privacy, especially the terms and conditions that don't seem to care much about that issue. At first, I was worried about this, too, but now I think I gave up. Looking on the bright side, as long as this can help track the spreader then go for it. And if they're going to use my personal information somewhere or somehow, that's the next step we have to be worried about later. 


WE WANT (or I want) SOI COWBOY BACK!

Soi Cowboy day and night during the lockdown


Yes, and I mean it. You will call it red-light district or whatever but this is a real entertaining business area here. Since our place is quite close to Soi Cowboy, we used to overlook it from the window to see the atmosphere down there and somehow it's really fascinating to see. The neon lights from bars, the ladies in a bikini trying to attract customers to sit and enjoy drinks inside, hundreds of people walking up and down the street, that's the charm of Soi Cowboy I guess. 


Now, of course, none of the bars can operate during this lockdown. We're quite curious how it's going there so from time to time, we would walk around just to see the changes. One thing that we could clearly see was it is so clean! No rats and cockroaches running around like before. I have to accept that this is pretty weird to see Soi Cowboy so clean like this.

Also, from the empty street, now it turns to be a market for office workers to shop for their meal. Noodle carts, fruit carts, snack carts, you name it. People who sell food here were used to work in the bars. Since they cannot work, somehow selling food has become there temporary new job. I got to talk to one guy selling mangosteens, asking him when he thought he could come back to work at the bar again, his answer was "I don't know. Maybe September.." I had no idea either when they could operate again but I just hope that we don't have to wait till September.

WELCOME BACK ARTBOX! WE MISS YOU!

Light on finally! Artbox back to open now. No alcohol selling still though.

This place might not be so famous even among locals but Artbox is a really cool open-air market we like to go hanging out with our friends after work. 

It is situated in Chuvit Park, Sukhumvit Soi 10. Before the lockdown, you could enjoy your drinks and live concerts every night. They also had various kinds of pop-up restaurants with the outdoor sitting area. On the other side of the sitting space, there are also art and craft areas so you would often see some artists drawing a portrait for tourists or selling their art pieces. Oh! Did I mention about ax throwing boot! Yes, they also have that as well. I've never tried it before. I guess I was just happy drinking my beers and listening to music with my friends. 

So after a long time closing, finally Artbox has made its way back to open. At first, we went in there just to walk around to see how things went. But it turned out that some restaurants already opened, especially our favorite one, BBQ ribs, so we decided to have dinner there. 

Our fav BBQ at Artbox. So good!

Only a few people walking and sitting around and most shops were still closed. Actually, this is super weird for me as we used to sit here surrounded by people and loud music but today it was like they arranged this whole place just for us. Romantic? Maybe... But I would prefer having a romantic date with a bit more lively atmosphere rather than this super quiet garden :( 


Artbox on the day that people still hesitated to go out

Since the number of infected people hasn't grown much in the past few weeks here, I really hope that they will have Bangkok on full unlock mode soon. There are so many places I want to go and so many things I want to eat! I can't really wait for that time to come. Anyway, for now, stay safe everyone! 

And don't forget to leave the comment below! Anything you'd like to know about Bangkok or Thailand, please feel free to ask or suggest. As long as I will not get arrested, I will do my best to write about it.

Until next time!

Bangkok sunset with the dark Soi Cowboy Cr. Dominik 

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Comments

  1. Thai Chana app. is the reason why I refuse to go to any department stores recently, kind of personal data thief instead of safety app for Thai citizens. �� As we know, privacy and security never exist in this country. because gov. and 'you know who' already stole them from all of us. Stay safe and stay healthy from Corona!! DON'T GET ARRESTED! I'm looking forward to your next blog ��

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Molla. Thanks for commenting. I totally agree with you that the policy about privacy and security here is pretty much lame. I'll try to stay out of jail though lol Thanks again for visiting the site! Stay safe!

      Delete
    2. Such an app works best if people trust it. Otherwise they will try find work-arounds and loophole to avoid being registered. As we can already see on other website, people point out the flaws of the Thai Chana app.

      I would like to use an app which I trust to help fighting Covid-19. And in this case the first step to build some trust would be fairly simple. Just fix the T&C!

      Delete
  2. I had some difficulties to comment here and as other may have the same issue, I decided to share my solution here. And it also kind of relates to the privacy topic.

    My comment would just disappear whenever I click "Publish". This was caused by my cookie settings in my browser, basically I had to allow cookies from this website and third-party websites to make it work. There are actually technical reasons for this, but I won't go into the details here. Have fun commenting and don't forget your cookie settings when you're done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your feedback and generous how-to, Dom! I hope people would find your comment very useful :) Thank you again for your comment!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the detailed insights of how our Bangkok is breathing now. It's really nice to read your story and absorb your experience from a local person like you! Personally, I can hardly imagine how the city would be like without, as you said, light, sound, and the crowd. Also, wanna let you know that my current blog post was inspired by you! Seeing you sharing your moments there, pushing me to share my moments here after an ugly period of laziness and lack of inspiration. Looking forward to read more soon! Take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment, Gift. So glad to hear that my hobby can inspire you too! :D Your blog, https://thecraftminded.com, is beautifully written and I really enjoy reading it. Keep up the good work!

      Delete
    2. You're very welcome and thank you so much :)

      Delete
  4. You know what? I really like your posts. I wander on the internet to find something new or unique. And I see your articles. I decided to linger at your site and read more and more. I hope that you can upload new posts. I will be the first one to read them. Thanks a million!
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