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12 hours in Bangkok for a geek
Lomography accessories, Twitter gatherings, old school Nintendo and interactive museums. A full day of nerd-tastic joys
First off, an embarrassing confession. Bangkok doesn't even have a fully-functioning 3G network. And for now, 4G seems like an impossible dream.
But the city does have free, albeit very slow, WiFi. Go to internet company True's Green Bangkok site and sign up to stay connected when hanging out in Bangkok's main districts. Just look for a sign that says "Green Bangkok Wifi" and log on.
Not that you're armed, here are 12 hours of geek-approved hotspots to keep you busy for a full day.
10am: Japanese cosplay
Akiba Kiss, on the 7th floor of Central World, is Bangkok's cosplay hub. Bringing this peculiar slab of Japanese culture to Bangkok, it has cosplay outfits, Purikura photo sticker machines and more comics than a pimply teenaged boy could read in a year. You can even play a game of Wii against Akiba Kiss's costumed staff.
Noon: Bodacious fashions
A few blocks away is Siam Square, epicenter of Thai teen culture. As a geek, you're probably into quirky original styles. Check out SuperrZaaap, which has some bodacious 1980s fashion flashbacks.
Stocking neons, thick-rimmed sunnies, retro toys and electronic music, SuperrZaap is leading a Nu Rave revival in Bangkok. It's also the only place in Thailand to get funky tees designed by Steve Aoki.
1pm: Give your gadgets some TLC
iPod, iPhone and lomography fanatics will appreciate the collection of accessories, cameras and add-ons at the True Move flagship store. Upstairs there are iPod cases, lenses and fancy Lomo flashes. This place also doubles as a studio for True's TV/Radio programs, so you might get a glimpse of a hot Thai celebrity like Ananda Everingham.
2pm: Old school gaming
Looking for a Super Nintendo console or an original Game Boy? A Polaroid camera? A 1950s Leica? Game and photo freaks will find plenty of discontinued -- and brand new but of questionable origin -- tech goods in the Saphan Lek market. Located on Boriphat Road, Saphan Lek is known to locals for its counterfeit stuff, much of which doesn't work, but the market does have its fair share of legit vendors offering quality gadgets.
4pm: Tour an interactive musem
Museum Siam is Bangkok's first interactive museum and probably the only place you'll actually get a kid to learn something about Thai history outside of a movie theatre. Set in an old Thai colonial-style mansion, it lets you explore the history of Thailand through surprisingly cool electronic media. Dress up like a Siamese peasant, fire canons in the "War Room" or pretend you're a network anchor and read the news on an old-fashioned camera.
7pm: Unite with tweeters
Every second Friday of the month, Bangkok's top Tweeple (Twitter users) gather for good food, good booze and a good cause. Organized by famous Bangkok tweeter In Search of Sanuk, this local group of refugee volunteers goes online and scouts for kind-hearted geeks to join their Tweetup. They hit up a new venue every month, so check out the website for more details.
10pm: Wii with the locals
It may not be as bustling as other pubs in the area, but Sripoom, opposite Khao San Road, attracts a great crowd thanks to its friendly atmosphere, cheap beers and its nerdiest accessory, a Nintendo Wii. Challenge a local indie kid to a match of Cooking Mama as the talented house DJs spin. Nothing like a bit of buzzed up gaming to cap off a supremely geeky day in Bangkok.
7th floor of Central World, BTS: Chidlom, tel +66 (0)2 613 1224
2nd floor, Siam Square Soi 2, BTS: Siam, tel +66 (0)2 251 2142
Siam Square Soi 2, BTS: Siam, tel +66 (0)2 658 4449
Near Boriphat Road, Chao Phraya Express: Tha Tien Pier
4 Sanam Chai Road, Chao Phraya Express: Tha Tien Pier, tel +66 (0)2 225 2777
95 Jakrapong Road, opposite Khao San Road, tel +66 (0)2 281 4445