Working in Thailand


Fabrinet’s canteen

I’ve been to Thailand once at least 10 years ago in my mid 20s.  I didn’t remember we spent that much time in Bangkok.  Probably 2 days if that.  Since I don’t have any tie to Thailand I’ve never thought I would come back here.  Not even for diving even though I vividly remember it was great down in Koh Samui.

Before this trip (in December now) my company had 2 attempts to send me here in June and July. Unfortunately both attempts didn’t happened.  The trips were canceled the night before my departure.  I moved on with my life and planned my trip to Nepal.  Soon after I got my life situated back from Nepal, I was asked again for the 3rd time to go to Thailand.  This time it happened for real.

First use of UBER.  When travel for work I normally book my ride with super shuttle.  The ride from San Jose to SFO would take me 1.5-2 hours since I have to share the van with 5 or 6 other people.  This time I chose ANA as my airline and flew out of SJC.  Much closer and I got to experience the new airline with dim window.  My experience with Uber was great.  I didn’t book or wait around for my ride.  When I finished my breakfast and ready to go, I just opened my app and 3 minutes later a ride showed up.  My ride to the airport was less than 15 minutes.

With the exception of new TV screen, slick dim window and a little extra leg room, I was not all that impressed with ANA.  I was told by some folks that it was a great airline.  Until I ran into an expat in Bangkok one night, she told me Japan airline provides much better service.  Next time I’ll try them out.

In the old days of working in S. Korea, upon my arrival at the airport I’d have to take a train and transfer to a bus to get to my hotel in Seoul.  Here in Bangkok the host company (Fabrinet, a contract manufacturer) has someone waiting for me at the gate and take me to the VIP custom line, which is much shorter.  After my luggage is claimed a private van waited for me outside and took me back to the hotel.


Central Embassy mall near Plaza Athenee

Most days I woke early at 5.30am for a quick workout.  Showered.  Then head down to the lobby for a buffet breakfast.  At 7.30am there was a van waiting for us in front of the hotel to take us to Pathum Thani for work.  The ride normally takes 45 minutes.  On the way back is more like 1 hours.  For lunch the host company also provided a buffet lunch.  There was just so much eating, more reasons to exercise at least 1 hours a day so I can keep up with all the eating.

Most nights I preferred to spend time alone and explored the area instead of joining my co-workers for dinner.  Sometimes I walked aimlessly up and down the street and stopped when I felt hungry or saw something interesting.  Some nights I’d take the train to nearby areas like Siam Center, The Quartier, MBK…etc and checked out these huge shopping malls.  I’ve never seen anything like this in the U.S.


Bar scene with live music in Bangkok

On my last night in Bangkok I went out with a couple of my Thai co-workers.  I specifically asked them to come with me to Khaosan road, an area where I stayed in Bangkok when I visited back then.  It brought back a lot of good memory.

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