----------------------------------------------- Google Site Map ----------------------------------------------- Cindy in ...: Chiang Mai: The search for free wi-fi

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Chiang Mai: The search for free wi-fi

The search for free wifi has been successful. I found free wifi! In a food court! What could be better? Free wifi in a bar, that's what, especially in a bar that's a whole lot closer than the food court at Pantip Plaza. A bar/restaurant called The Pirates' Cove, on Ratchamanka, next to the school, has a wifi sign in front, and when I asked, they said it was free. So I lugged the laptop over to check it out and it works! Day after day, unlike Pantip Plaza, where the free wifi has disappeared. I like the bar better anyway.

When I go to restaurants or coffee shops that provide free internet access, I feel
obligated to buy something. Well, some places will ask you to leave if you don't. Since the food at the food court is so cheap, it may turn out that paying for tuktuks and eating a cheap meal there would be cheaper than using the restaurant wifi and paying more.

The search started simply enough, with a web site that listed two restaurants that provide free wifi. I checked them out when I was walking around one day, and they never heard of wifi. One of the restaurants had one computer, and it was down. The other had nothing even resembling internet service.
I tried buying an account card, and got it opened before I realized it was for a dial-up service. Back to the hunt. Starbucks provides free wifi in much of the world, but when I checked here charge 150 baht per hour ($4.25). The 3N restaurant, across the moat from Starbucks, provides wifi for 35 baht ($1) per hour, though if you spend 35 baht on food or drink, the first half hour is free.

When I get to my next long-term stop I need to figure this stuff out a lot faster. I'm three weeks into this trip, and I'm still hunting for free internet access? I should be able to get this straightened out in a day or two. I suppose by the end of this year I'll have it downpat, a whole process for finding longer-term accomodation, free wifi, and the cheapest good food.

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