This week, Thailand became the 35th country to get Google Street View with three of the kingdom’s main cities — Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket — already viewable at ground level. I checked out Google Street View as soon as it was released and, boy, is it cool. In the neighborhood of Bangkok where I live, I could even see street vendors I know cooking their daily offerings (their faces are blurred for privacy), and could go up and down my soi, even checking on details on buildings I hadn’t noticed before.
Google Street View is going to be an excellent tool for Thais, who may not know how to get somewhere and can now easily look at street by street directions and find landmarks to help them. It will also be an amazing way for tourists and other visitors to Thailand to be able to check hotels they want to book, to see if there are restaurants, shops, businesses, coffee shops, bars and markets nearby. In fact, if you’re booking a hotel from a foreign country, Google Street View is now a great way to check out a neighborhood for desirability before you reserve a room.
Eventually, Google Street View in Thailand plans on having all 77 provinces mapped, but that could take a while as, with only 15 cars, and a few bikes for those not so easily accessible places, that’s a lot of driving time. Floods last year also delayed the Street View team from getting to certain areas, and plans had to be changed for which cities would be next on the list of fully mapped places in Thailand.
The Google Street View team are now photographing Samut Sakhon, Nakhon Pathom and Nakhon Nayok, with the hope that they will be fully mapped and uploaded online soon.
At Tasty Thailand, we think this is one of the coolest things to happen to internet for Thailand in quite a while. Our only problem is now stopping ourselves from spending all day browsing Bangkok’s Google Street View. It’s addictive.
Also, don’t forget, you can choose the “Full Screen” mode once you get into Google Street View and then really see everything Bangkok has to offer. Well, now I’m off back to browsing my neighborhood.