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Monday, November 15, 2004

From cells to bells, 10 things the Chinese( The Thai !!) do far better than Canada

We covered in this blog,almost ten days a visiting canadian - Jan Wong's perspective about how chinese facilities are better than canadian facilities commonly enjoyed by general public. The list ranges from cellphones, traffic lights, restaurant facilties to community gyms. My colleague, friend and Thailand/Bangkok resident expert, the ever enthusiastic Pritham Nambiar has this to say in respect of advancements made by Thailand in those areas highlighted by Jan Wong. Pritham writes:
"I would like to point out the following points where the silent achiever,Bangkok, Thailand, if it can be called that, is pretty close behind".
1.) (On Cellphones) -Cellphones, - yes, Bangkok i think is one of the cheapest place to buy,use cellphones, from calls charged at 1 baht ( Conversion Rate - Approx IUS$ = 42 Bahts) a minute, to smses almost free. International, however is alltogether another ball game.

2.) (Informative stop lights) -ALL traffic lights in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Traat have "informative" stop lights, same as mentioned in china... im guessing that even Chiang Mai,Chang Rai, and the other decently established cities have the same.

3.) (On Transit debit cards) -Transit debit cards.... really a boon for the chinese... would do very well here...

4.) ( On Adult playgrounds) -Almost all the parks around bangkok have free aerobic lessons, yoga in some places, and some equipment for usage.

5.) (On Anti Theft Slip Covers) -This is quite intersting, but I think thailand scores because of the low crime rates leading to the fact that this facility is not required, and in fact one need not worry about theft in 99 % of the places.

6.) (On Daily banking) - Daily banking, 10 to around 4 p.m 7 days a week is quite common, even in a remote place like Kochang, an island 5 hours from bangkok and sparesly populated, i managed to exchange dollars from the bank on a sunday afternoon.

7.) ( On Wireless service bells) - The waiters here, are probably the worlds best..... the only issue however is language!!! so no points for thailand here.

8.) ( On Parking data) - Parking data - sounds high tech indeed... and again not available.

9.) (On Computer seating maps) - Computer seating maps - when were booking seats for a concert, i chose the tickets based on the seating arrangement, and had a map in my hand, and also many at the venue.

10.)( On Free hemming) - Free Hemming.. havent seen this anywhere, but have seen free eye check ups, got one yesterday and it was very very accurate. I have also seen free tasting sessions, free cooking classes in most home stores, free trial rooms for golfing equipment, free trial for even massage chairs. etc..now the only thing that i have noticed here that might cost money anywhere else are the free eye check ups...

(Note : Pritham is on the mark on almost all the points - Bangkok city has five mobile service providers at the moment and the number is expected to grow. Thai economy may not be as strong as chinese, but looks very promising and is currently restructuring succesfully - No doubt Thailand is on a steep growing curve - a trend observed in the recent past years - notable after the perilous SE Asia currency crisis - that was trigerred by the collapse of the Thai Currency in 1997. I am planning a detailed 6 series article on why 21st century is the Asian Century and am hoping to publish between the coming new year day and second week of January, when this blogsite celebrates its first year anniversary - Having visited almost all the major asian capitals and cities in the recent past and based on my conversations with so many friends, colleagues, industry veterans and my own readings, I have some first hand/ acquired knowledge about commonly used facilities in these cities, their economic strcutures and the expected future scenaraios - pessimistic and optimistic.Hope I find time to keep up this promise. Pl do write to me, if this series would be any relevant to the general readership of this blogsite.)
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