Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Strollers In BKK: Challenging But Doable

We were told the Maclaren Lightweight Stroller was a must have item in BKK as it holds up well to the rough uneven terrain in the city. I must say it does do well and we are quite pleased with it. However the challenge begins in the decision to take the BTS (above ground metro). So some of the stops have up escalators BUT they have about 10 stairs you must climb before you can access the escalator. This is so Thai – I mean why have an escalator if it doesn’t go/start all the way down? So this means you have to carry Nick in the stroller up the ten or so stairs. And note I said SOME - not all do which means if they don't then I might have to carry him in the stroller up 90 or so stairs. You take your train ride and get off at your stop – there are NO escalators going down. So once again you carry Nick in the stroller down the stairs - 90 or so stairs to go down total. Right now this is barely doable – he weighs about 19 lbs 5 ounces and the lightweight is probably about 10 lbs - so that's almost 30 lbs total. But once the boy gains more weight – we may have to restrict his outings because I am not sure we can manage to carry him up and down all those stairs in the stroller. We have tried to get him used to either our baby carriers (Ergo and Belle Baby) or baby wrap (Maya). He liked both early on, however nowadays he wants nothing to do with them. They are definitely the way to go. But he refuses! We were told that Thai babies do not leave their house until they can walk. The reason being is it is hard to get around with them. For this reason you do not see many Thai babies out on the streets. When you do see them they are being carried by the mother who is usually on the back of a motorcycle with the rest of her family – husband and any other kids she may have! We have seen a family of five on a motorcycle once.

Here are some snapshots of Nick at the BTS waiting for the train in his Maclaren Lightweight Stroller and pics of all the steps that I must carry him up (if no escalator) and down (there are NO escalators that go down). Enjoy!

Pic 1: This is the first set of stairs you must go up that take you to the level where you pay, go through the turnstile and then you go up an even larger set of stairs to the platform to await your train.

Pic 2: This would be the larger set of stairs - only you cannot see them all because they meet in the center and then wrap around and go down further. They take you to the platform to await your train.

Pic 3: A side shot of the BTS station.

Pic 4: Nick just had lunch with Daddy at work and is now napping in his stroller while waiting for the train to arrive to go home.