Taxi Ride: 85 Baht / US$2.75
SkyTrain Ride: 15 Baht / US$0.50
Camera Repairs: 1200 Baht / US$40.00
Tripod: 100 Baht / US$3.00
Extra Battery: 800 Baht / US$25.00
Taxi Home: 90 Baht / US$2.80
What do you do you when something as important as a camera is broken while travelling abroad? Aside from hoping you have a backup in the meanwhile, you have to figure out a way to get it either fixed or replaced.
The camera that I use for most of the pictures on this site is a Sony Cybershot WX7. I bought it as a replacement for my WX9, which was stolen at Ko Phangan’s Full Moon Party. I love this line of cameras, as they are very small, fast, produce better than average pictures and take fantastic night time shots.
While I have 2 other cameras and my iPhone, it’s this camera that I like the most and will continue to buy from this series, if need be. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be the case this time, though, as the only problem seemed to be that the lens wouldn’t retract.
The solution most people, from coworkers to local bar patrons, told me was to go to Pantip Plaza.
Pantip is a chain of electronics malls around the Bangkok Area and one branch in Chiang Mai, though the main Pantip is located near the Ratchathewi SkyTrain station. In addition to having many legitimate and independent retailers in the main branch, it’s also notorious for its blatant pirated copies of software, dvds, and other items sold side-by-side and with a blind eye.
I arrived there after an 85 baht taxi and 15 baht SkyTrain ride. Ignoring the majority of the electronics stands, I instead was searching for repair shops. It’s very easy to find photography stores, but it proved harder to find one that did work on cameras.
Asking around proved the best option, and after a few tries, I found a camera repair shop on the fourth floor. They told me to fix the lens would be 1200 baht (US$40) and take 2 hours. They gave me a slip to bring back, I gave them my camera, and I left with two hours to spare.
Back in Pantip by 7:30, and things were already starting to close down. I passed a few minutes by looking around the mall, but figured it wouldn’t do any harm to check in early on my camera.
It turned out to be ready a half hour early. I tested it out with some zooming and turning on and off. The lens seemed to be working just fine. So, I paid and I was out.
While leaving I reminded myself that I would soon be on the road indefinitely soon and that an extra battery might be a good idea. A couple doors down was an independent camera supply store. They sold me an extra battery for 800 baht (US$25) and a small tripod for 100 baht (US$3).
A good deal overall, I thought, and better than having to buy a new WX series camera. With it all packed up, I was in a cab back home to Pinklao.