July 24, 2011

Crystal Design Center

Crystal Design Center (CDC) is a new addition to Bangkok city's myriad of shopping malls, but is unique in its niche specialization as a lifestyle design center showcasing interior, decorating and construction products.  Occupying an area of 100,000 sq. m. at the Ekamai Ramindra Road, the center houses 150 showrooms selling around 2,000 product lines to consumers, as well as to architects, interior designers, builders, and decorators.  Besides being a shopping center, CDC also has commercial business facilities in their Product Showrooms, Architecture & Decorative Resource Center, Exhibition, Conference and Meeting Facilities, Business Lounge, Design Library, and Office Spaces.

The place abounds with good quality local furniture including Ong-Orn (www.ong-orn.com) - which sells high quality teak wood furniture in elegant and classic styles, and SB Design Square (www.sbdesignsquare.com).  Also found are exquisite imported products, especially houseware and applicances, such as Ariston - an Italian appliance brand.   There is also a unique home department store called Crystal Maison, where you'll find housewares such as kitchenware, dinnerware, wine accessories, decorative items, and bed & bath items.   Besides there's also Le Reve for bedding, Bathroom Living by Crystal Maison, Luxe for flooring and tiling, Ariel and i decorate. Many interesting trendy and chic restaurants and cafes also make the place cozy, relaxing and worth a visit.

The following list gives an idea of their product line offerings:
 - Home Decor
 - Furniture
 - Kitchenware
 - Electronic Appliances
 - Bathroom & Sanitaryware
 - Bedding & Mattress
 - Fabric
 - Lighting
 - Doors & Windows
 - Flooring (Tile, Stone, Mosaic, Wood)
 - Wall Covering

What's more, there's currently a Crystal Mid Year Sale of upto 70 % off, running from June 15 until Aug 15, 2011.  For more info, check our their website: www.crystaldesigncenter.com

[Update 6 Aug 2011]: There's also a Mother's Day sale going on for lovely gift articles, elegant housewares, and other classy lifestyle products, this month.

July 23, 2011

Thai Interest Rate Bargains for Bank Deposits

Trying to appeal to the more finance savvy, non-shopaholic, money-savers out there, this post is for those looking for bargains in interest rates for their hard-earned money deposited with banks. Thai banks have been indulging in a game of oneupmanship over each other for months, trying to attract the valuable savings from us gullible customers, by offering attractive interest rate packages on their short term fixed deposits. Among those leading the fray are Siam Commercial Bank, Bangkok Bank, KasikornBank, TMB Bank and even the Government Savings Bank.

As is well known, the current savings deposit rate has been a paltry 0.75 percent for a long time, and recently increased by some banks to 0.87 % in line with the Central Bank's rate increase. The only way to rise above these meager rates is to open fixed deposit accounts (also called term deposit) which do not necessarily have to be for years. There are even 3-month, 6-months, and 1 year fixed accounts that offer much more presentable rates for the fruits of our labour. However, bear in mind that our greedy taxman will take a 15% tax cut from any interest amount gained.

Siam Commercial Bank's 11-month Rising Rate fixed deposit offers a maximum interest rate of 7% (annualized), with an average interest rate of 3.727 % per annum. More precisely, the rates are: month 1-4 at 2.00% p.a., month 5-8 at 3.00% p.a., and month 9-11 at 7.00% p.a. The promotion is open till September 30, 2011, initial required amount is 10,000 Baht and no fixed limit on the maximum amount.
[source: www.scb.co.th]

Bangkok Bank's 5-Month Fixed Deposit Account offers flat interest rate of 3.50% p.a. but with a minimum required deposit of 200,000 Baht. The new rate will be available until 29 July 2011.
[source: www.bangkokbank.com]

KasikornBank's Step-up Fixed Deposit gives a maximum interest rate of 7.5 % with an average interest rate of 3.827% as follows: Month 1-3 at 2%, month 4-6 at 2.5%, month 7-9 at 3.25%, month 10-11 at 5.75%, month 12-13 at 7.5%. Minimum deposit requirement is 10,000 Baht, and the offer is good till July 29, 2011.
[source: www.kasikornbank.com]

TMB Bank tries to rise above the fray with their "No Fixed Account" deposit which offers a flat rate of 2.5%, with no minimum amount, no fixed term, and allows flexible withdrawal with no penalties.
[source: www.tmbbank.com]

Government Savings Bank (called "Omsin" in Thai) has probably the best rate for Fixed Deposit of 99 Days at 3.65%, min. of 1,000 Baht and offer open till 31 July 2011.
[source: www.gsb.or.th]