Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bangkok Trip 24-27 June 2007

Finally.. I stepped my feet to Bangkok, the place that is not far from my hometown, but only after 28 yrs later then I had a chance to go. =) I had worries in mind when it comes to the unstable political situation there, but after returning back here safely.. I really thanks to the above for everything!!! I like to go to the places I've never been before. I like to see the other people's cultures, traditions, etc.
Although from the appearance we look almost alike, we still differ from each other. The language we spoke, the words we wrote or read, the beliefs, the manners.. there were so much differences.

Day 1

Reaching the Suvarnabhumi Airport, my hubby and I were fetched by ++ (my Taiwanese friend who stays there for almost 3 years). She drove us down to Chatuchak weekend market and we met w/ Ching & her sis there. We went separately and met each other at 5pm. Chatuchak opens only on weekend (Saturday and Sunday) 'til 6pm. It is very big. There were thousands of small shops selling many different things. The prices are quite cheap. Lots of items were sold only for 100 Baht. They sell clothes, accessories, furniture, plants, pets, food & drinks, garments/underwear, souvenir, bags, belts, etc. The weather was hot that day, sometimes I felt I couldn't breath. We needed to top up ourselves w/ water every half or an hour to avoid dehydration. We bought things that were mostly clothes for family members.

We then separated again. My hubby, me and ++ went to hotel to check in and had a little break there before we headed ourselves to Phatphong area. Ching's friend, Pui, drove us to Jim Thompson Cafe, somewhere around there to have dinner (local Thai food). My opinion was that.. the food was almost the same w/ the one served in Thai restaurant in Singapore =D So.. not very fantastic. But they served durian w/ glutinous rice for the dessert and it reminded me of the same thing that my father used to cook, he probably still cooks and eats it the way it is.

We finished our dinner at about 10pm then Ching brought us to walk around the Phatphong area. Although we had to wake up as early as 5.30am the next morning, we still went for it, since we were there. Ching brought us to the alley where both sides of the road lies lots of pubs w/ bar top dancing. Some even has a show. Lots of people offered us to see the show, but we were too afraid to agree to it. So we ended up walking around and we went in to Naraya (shop selling bags made of clothes - very famous) and shopped some presents for family members. We went back home finally at about 12 plus after struggling looking for a decent taxi driver who was willing to drive us back using the meter.

Day 2

We woke up at 5.30am and left our hotel at 6am and met Ching, her sis, her Taiwanese friend (Guo Qi) w/ his girlfriend and guy friend at Lebua Hotel. We departed from Lebua Hotel at about 6.50am and it took us about 2 hours before we reached the Damnoen Saduak floating market, situated 110kms West of Bangkok. Ching's friend arranged a small 7-seat van for us to go around costs about Thb 2,800 (quite cheap to be share for 7 of us). Then all of us took the small boat costs Thb 200/ person. The guy brought us to the morning market. We bought some snacks on boat, including the kway teow soup, which tastes very nice!!! We also bought coconut. One per person. We stopped at one place where they were showing the process of making coconut sugar and selling souvenirs. We went around the area, fed the fish w/ fish food, etc. The whole trip took us about 2 hours.
We left the place and headed to other place. It took another 1 hour plus. We reached there quite early while the show has not started yet. So we went for our lunch first. We passed through the morning market to reach the place to eat, which was also located along the river. There were lots of big fishes surrounded the place we ate. We ordered some food. The fish was fresh. And the asam prawn soup was very nice as well. It's cheap too. It costs less than Thb 1,000 for 7 of us. We then looked around the market. I bought some local snacks for gift back home. It's rather fresh, special, and affordable. The weather was quite hot. Once everything was done, we left the market and headed to a very popular tourist place, called Rose Garden, which has a Thai Village Culture Show. The entry fee was quite expensive. It costs Thb 450 per person since most of the guests were foreigner. They have elephant show and the main one was the culture show, showing many different things, such as: Thai Boxing, Fingernail dance, traditional musical instruments, ordination into the monkhood, etc. The place was air-conditioned and I was almost falling aslept while watching it (perhaps I was too tired, not enough sleep, etc.). Once it finished, we headed back to Lebua hotel and reached there at about 6pm. We took a rest in Ching's hotel for a while and we had dinner at food court in one of shopping centre. I bought some food from the street pedlers, such as: a pack of mango, a pack of mango salad, and a box of gyoza. It's all very cheap, only Thb 20 - Thb 25 each. We also went up to see the famous Sky Bar at 64th floor of the building, but we weren't allowed to go out since they have the dress code to go out. We just looked around from inside and we went back to our hotel soonafter, taking a bath and having a good rest inside the bath tub, having our snacks, packing little bit, before we went to bed to sleep...

Day 3

Finally we had our breakfast buffet at the hotel. We missed it in our first day. The food was nice and fresh. After having breakfast, my hubby and I browsed around the hotel area. We went to see the swimming pool, the pub near the pool, forest area, tenis court, spa, etc. Then we decided to go to Royal Palace to see how beautiful it is.. 'cos we feel like it's not complete to go Bangkok without seeing this place ^^ There is a dress code to enter in the place so my hubby and I changed our clothes then went there by taxi. The weather was really damn hot!!! But the place was very beautiful. It's designed in a very special way. It's very beautiful inside the temple of Emerald Buddha but we weren't allowed to take a picture inside. We went around the area that were opened for public.

And when we went out, there was someone who offered us to take tuk tuk and see few places for only Thb 20 per person. It was sound impossible and we were afraid of getting cheated, so we went away and decided to go to other places. But again, another tuk tuk offered us to Wat Pho (one of the place that we want to go) and he offered even a cheaper price, only Thb 10 per person. And since we haven't taken tuk tuk before since the first day we were there, my hubby agreed to take the service and for the first place, the tuk tuk driver brought us to see the 40m long of Buddha. We just entered in for a while to take pics then went off. This time, the driver brought us to 4 different stores before reaching the next temple. Wow.. we went round and round and all shops sell things that we didn't have any interest in, such as: gems shop, antics, textile, carpets, expensive hand made crafts, etc. We just went in to take a look then went out w/in 5 minutes. Then we knew that by doing so, the tuk tuk driver earned free gasoline from the shop. Haiyah.. wasting our time lehhh... we went for 2 hours and ended up only to see 2 places. The other place was Golden Mount. While the Wat Pho that I really wanted go.. we didn't even find it. He showed us the other place instead of that one =((

Well, since both of us were very tired and hungry while the time had shown 3pm, we faster took taxi to Siam Paragon and headed in to their food court to have our lunch there. I had Pad Thai, while my hubby ordered Thai style kway chap. My Pad Thai was very delicious. It costs Thb 40 (less than SGD$2). If sold here, it can cost triple time or more. The portion was quite a lot as well. Then my hubby was still hungry, then we ordered kway teow soup w/ pork ball. So so lah... and he ordered a glass of Thai Iced Tea, which costs even more expensive than my Pad Thai (it costs Thb 45), funny rite??? But we were very full and satisfied w/ the food.

Then we browsed around the Siam Centre, Siam Paragon, and the other building as well. I tried to find the shop selling cute2 things, like Doraemon and stuffs, but only managed to find a shop that sell imported things and costs very expensive. We went to the opposite side and had a walk there and managed to find Hard Rock Cafe. I bought a t-shirt for myself and another t-shirt for my sister in law. After that, we planned to go to Center World on foot, but unfortunately, we walked to the wrong direction. We got much further down from the place that we wanted to go so we took a TAXI there.. kekeke.. jam.. jam.. and jam.. but managed to reach there.

We went to Big C first (opposite of Isetan) to browse around their local shop and supermarket before went to Isetan to buy toys for my son. My hubby was looking for snacks/food but couldn't find the one that he likes. So we just walked around and went back to hotel by TAXI. We took a bath and rest.

We're supposed to go to Sky Bar and meet Ching there. But she was still busy w/ her friends and she asked us to go there ourselves, afraid that she'd be back too late. But I was quite tired after going around the whole day so I decided to just go to the hotel's bar downstairs, called Syn Bar. Only 4 couples including us there. But at least they have live singer. 2 women and 1 man. The woman didn't sing very well but it was enough to entertain us.

I tried their specialty drink, called Thailander. It was written mixed of tom yam thing and vodka. But after I tasted it, it doesn't taste like tom yam at all, but it does taste spicy. My hubby ordered Pinjata, mixed of Tequila, vodka, dragon fruit and pinneaple. Once my drink finish, I tried another one. Drink mixed w/ vodka, tamarind and passion fruit. So so lah.. hehehe...

We ordered finger food as well, spring roll filled w/ peking duck skin. I thought the skin was soft, but they actually deep fried it. The oil was not that fresh, got some smell in it. Not so impressive but we still enjoyed it, "have to" ;P I excused myself to the toilet and when I came back, I asked the waitress to inform the singer to sing a "Happy Birthday" song to my hubby who celebrates birthday on 27th.

So when the time turned to 12am, the band started to sing happy birthday song. My hubby who was very tired, singing along and then realised that he was the person that they're singing to. He was very surprised and happy... really didn't expect it at all.. hehehe... We stayed for a while after that then went back to our room for sleep.. zzz... zzz...

Day 4

We woke up at 9am. I called Ching and asked about the place that she went for the massage just the day before 'cos she said the price was cheap and the place was clean enough. She smsed me the name of the spa and the address too. It's at Kao Shan Rd, the street that foreigner likes to stay. We went there after having our breakfast buffet by taxi. Reached there a bit lost, but luckily we found the place very fast. They also have happy hour promotion from 8am to 2pm, where we can have aromatheraphy massage buy one get one free for Thb 700. So both of us were having traditional Thai massage first for 1 hour (for only Thb 200 instead of Thb 230), then the aromatheraphy for another hour.

Finishing the massage, I was having another round of face treatment, which costs only Thb 250 plus mask (u.p. Thb 300-400), and altogether costs Thb 500. I was having it alone while my hubby browsed around the area. Once I finished, time had shown 2.15pm.

We hurriedly had our lunch at road side stall. We ordered 2 bowls of beef kway teow soup, spring roll, and something square looks like Indonesian martabak's egg plus 2 Thai iced tea. Total was only Thb 145 (around SGD$6.60) damn cheap!!!! We finished eating at 2.40pm and faster took taxi back to hotel.

Unfortunately the driver wasn't really familiar w/ the hotel so he brought us round and round plus traffic jam and we only reached the hotel at 3.45pm (we supposed to check out at 3pm). So once we reached, we went separately. I went to front desk to check out, while my hubby went up to our room and took our luggage. And when he went down, he told me that the hotel arranged a birthday cake for him in the room's table. But he knew that he wouldn't have time for it, so he just took pic of the cake.

Then we went to airport by taxi. Lucky the road wasn't jam and we took a highway that was no traffic jam at all. We reached the airport w/in 40 mins. We were still quite early to check-in and still had time to browse around inside the airport. Too bad the prices were very expensive inside there.. so we only saw and walked around without buying anything. The flight was at 6.15pm and everything was fine.

We reached Singapore at 9.15pm. I managed to buy a new taste of Absolut Vodka, which is Pears, and another one doesn't have any taste except vodka (50% Alc.) - Absolut 100. We reached home, unpacked things, etc. and I only managed to take rest at about 1am.

Overall I'm very grateful that we were fine and everything went well during the whole journey, most importantly of being safe and healthy. We also looked a bit here, tasted a bit there. Although the places we've been to were limited, we still satisfied w/ it.

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