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Old 09-25-2012, 03:41 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,384,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Won't be long before McD, KFC and Starbucks move in.
The big cities are a world away from the countryside. I visited some rural cities/towns and there weren't any signs in English let alone fast food places.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:04 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
True. Fenghuang looks like Lijiang, which is starting to become well known among tourists.
lijiang has always been a part of the yunnan tourist trail. even had a lot of western tourists when i visited back in 2004. seemed comparable to dali even then.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
The big cities are a world away from the countryside. I visited some rural cities/towns and there weren't any signs in English let alone fast food places.
It was meant more as tongue-in-cheek humor. Places change at different rates, and certainly some changes such as various western chains have altered some cultures. I don't know anything about China, but the changes I've seen increase over the decades in Thailand have been astonishing. Some have been quite beneficial, but some maybe not so much. To me, seeing Beavis and Butthead t-shirts, McDs, and 7-11s pop up all over the place are among those that seem rather out of place, but seem to originally appear where tourists tend to gather. While locals adapt to such novelties, I don't think it's a great mystery that they were originally established for and frequented by foreigners. It's not just in the big cities. Much smaller cities like Saraburi and Ayutthaya have KFC too. 7-11s (and clones) can be even be found in much smaller towns like Nong Khae. Will that happen to some of the classical areas of China? I don't know, but I wouldn't be overly surprised they could eventually start creeping in with large enough numbers of tourists.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:28 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,384,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
It was meant more as tongue-in-cheek humor. Places change at different rates, and certainly some changes such as various western chains have altered some cultures. I don't know anything about China, but the changes I've seen increase over the decades in Thailand have been astonishing. Some have been quite beneficial, but some maybe not so much. To me, seeing Beavis and Butthead t-shirts, McDs, and 7-11s pop up all over the place are among those that seem rather out of place, but seem to originally appear where tourists tend to gather. While locals adapt to such novelties, I don't think it's a great mystery that they were originally established for and frequented by foreigners. It's not just in the big cities. Much smaller cities like Saraburi and Ayutthaya have KFC too. 7-11s (and clones) can be even be found in much smaller towns like Nong Khae. Will that happen to some of the classical areas of China? I don't know, but I wouldn't be overly surprised they could eventually start creeping in with large enough numbers of tourists.
I don't think Thailand is too bad. Actually the only McDonald's I recall seeing was on Khao San Road. Street food still rules. 7/11 is everywhere these days. Singapore however has just about every American chain you can think of. Being in Vietnam was interesting, it's the only country I've been to that doesn't have McDonald's that is actually pretty modern. It has Pizza Hut, KFC and Lotteria though.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I don't think Thailand is too bad. Actually the only McDonald's I recall seeing was on Khao San Road. Street food still rules. 7/11 is everywhere these days. Singapore however has just about every American chain you can think of. Being in Vietnam was interesting, it's the only country I've been to that doesn't have McDonald's that is actually pretty modern. It has Pizza Hut, KFC and Lotteria though.
I can assure you there are a lot more. First link is at Robinson Dept Store on Sukhumvit Road near Soi Asoke. That's been there at least since the late-80s, if not earlier. Second link is at Chiang Mai. There are several others around that city too. I agree with the street food though. I love it.

Bangkok, Sukhumvit Rd. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

McDonalds, Air Asia and Starbucks coffee at Thapae gate, Chiang mai | ThaiVisual
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:34 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,384,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
I can assure you there are a lot more. First link is at Robinson Dept Store on Sukhumvit Road near Soi Asoke. That's been there at least since the late-80s, if not earlier. Second link is at Chiang Mai. There are several others around that city too. I agree with the street food though. I love it.

Bangkok, Sukhumvit Rd. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

McDonalds, Air Asia and Starbucks coffee at Thapae gate, Chiang mai | ThaiVisual
I don't think I went to the part with all the malls were - in fact I didn't go to any malls in Bangkok - I've seen enough malls and I wasn't into that kind of shopping either.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I don't think I went to the part with all the malls were - in fact I didn't go to any malls in Bangkok - I've seen enough malls and I wasn't into that kind of shopping either.
There isn't any single area in BKK where malls are located. They're scattered all over. I've been to various malls around the country, but not so much for sightseeing, but rather that sometimes they carry merchandise that's hard to find anywhere else, like clothes that actually fit westerners who are often larger than the average Thai. I've been to a few fast food chains, but generally, I prefer Thai food. The way I see it though, is why go all the way to Thailand just to eat at McD's or Dunkin' Donuts? However, there are travelers who enjoy the familiarity of home in a foreign land and are not interested in the more traditional offerings, especially if they're only going to be there for a few days or a couple of weeks.

There are pros and cons to the western style malls, convenience stores and fast food chains. On the up side, they do provide jobs for people, and there are Thais, especially younger Thais, who like to hang out and socialize at places that provide somewhat of a trendy atmosphere. On the down side, they can seem to be pretty much out of place. They seem to begin in larger cities and locations with larger numbers of tourists. For the locals, they're often seen as rather trendy. As they gain more attention and popularity, they start popping up in less populated areas. There are still plenty of neighborhood all-purpose mom and pop shops around, but they don't stay open 24/7 like the 7-11s and clones do. For street food, there are vendors in different areas that continue serving food sometimes until dawn, but most tend to close up much earlier.

It's not so much a matter of whether they're good or bad for a country, but sometimes they do seem to contribute to changing the traditional feel of a country, and begin spreading all over the place as they gain more popularity, including places that would seem rather unlikely or unexpected. Cities can start looking like any other place around the world, almost like you've never left home.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:23 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,384,878 times
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I'm not saying they shouldn't have them, but I was only in Bangkok for 3 days and wasn't really interested in spending time there. I was staying on Khao San Road which wasn't really near any big malls.

There was one mall in Patong Beach, Phuket which was quite nice, but when I think malls I don't really think of Thailand.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:35 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 8,068,874 times
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I'm not saying they shouldn't have them, but I was only in Bangkok for 3 days and wasn't really interested in spending time there. I was staying on Khao San Road which wasn't really near any big malls.

There was one mall in Patong Beach, Phuket which was quite nice, but when I think malls I don't really think of Thailand.
I wasn't suggesting that I thought you meant that. Since you said you weren't in Thailand very long and that you were pretty much in the Khao San Road area, I was just expanding my own thoughts that there are a lot of westernized features like chain stores, etc. in BKK (and elsewhere), as well as malls, that have their pros and cons. I assumed you didn't know. As for malls, there are some pretty big ones, such as MBK and Future Park Mall in Rangsit (near the northern outskirts of the greater BKK area).

I'm not sure how malls are laid out in Australia. In the US, a lot of malls tend to be pretty well spread out over a good-sized piece of land. A lot of malls in Thailand tend to build up with multiple floors. A lot of them seem more like large department stores.

I don't mind BKK, but we more enjoy areas that aren't quite as hectic. We have a house in the province of Saraburi, kind of in the semi-sticks (rice field country), but we're thinking of getting a place in Chiang Mai. Around our place in Saraburi, it's almost like taking a step back in time about 50 years or so, and a more relaxed pace of life. There are some conveniences there, but I'd prefer a little bit more, which is why we're thinking about Chiang Mai. Our daughter and her family live in CM and we have friends up there as well.

Like you, I don't particularly think of malls either when I think about Thailand. We do go to the malls though, sometimes, simply because we can find some things that just aren't available out in the smaller towns and rural areas.

Below are a few vids taken by a friend of mine who lives in BKK. They give a contrasting view of the differences between city life in BKK and country life in the province of Surin. The 3rd vid is by someone else giving another look at BKK. Our surroundings are very similar to the vid of Surin. In relation to the subject of the thread, there are still places that seem somewhat stuck in time.



I'm Not Your 7-11 Any More - YouTube




Bangkok - The Everyday Life - YouTube




Bangkok City of Life 2011 HD - YouTube




Thailand - The Country Life - YouTube
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:00 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
2,935 posts, read 4,766,981 times
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i dont understand how the khao san road area is so popular. the area doesnt even have that many rooms, sukhumvit, silom, or siam square all easily has 10 times as many hotel rooms. plus the transit in the area is total crap. plus it's expensive, much better values in other parts of town - this might confuse some but it's the truth, theres plenty of cheapish rooms but consider the quality. the same quality will be far cheaper in other parts of town. i just dont get it.
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