there and back

Went on a trip to Bangkok, booked two days before departure, with (as mom describes it), an old ‘un and a young ‘un.

No planning. Minimal to no googling.

Went to two sites, no, make that four – Singapore Airlines (no tix available on my required dates), Scoot (website failure three times, had to call their service line, waited forever and went back to website failure again, otherwise they would have had my business), Tiger Airlines (yes, finally booked the tix) and hotel.

I almost didn’t want to blog about the trip, but was reminded by mom that blogging is the way we remember the details for the next visit, and I do also feel that personally I’ve gotten much from blogs and others’ recommendations and hopefully my experiences can help others too. Strange that mom is the one who is encouraging me to blog! LOL

I don’t tend to feel threatened in Bangkok, and this was all all girls’ trip again as was my previous one, but here is some info on safety in Bangkok.

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As you can see, we had company on the trip. 🙂 There is now a promotion on, every $60 spent outside the departure area (minus the supermarket, $120 with the supermarket) or $150 inside the departure area, gets you a free Space Angry Bird (no more red ones left, sorry).

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Mom says we always sit at the wing. I’m not sure exactly why or if that is a good or bad thing. Everyone has their own reason for choosing their seats, from wanting to get off first to having the quietest experience. Only thing about having the wing for us is that the view is obstructed.

Day 1, evening:

It was really late by the time we arrived at the airport. We headed to the 7 Eleven at  B1 (where there is also a small food area) to buy a drink and get small notes. Then, it was to the taxi stand on Level 1.The taxi fare was 250 baht and the toll was 25 baht and 45 baht (totaling 70 baht), plus a 50 baht airport pick-up surcharge (this was noted on the piece of paper I was given with the taxi number, so it was legit). The ride took about 40-45 mins. You can pass the driver the toll at the toll gates or give him the total with the fare at the end.

After dropping our bags we headed straight via the BTS to Siam Paragon, where we had a quick dinner and walked around oogling the many different sweet and savory treats. My favorite eye candy were the cupcakes, decorated for the holiday season. They looked splendid and were expensive. We bought one and stuffed it in the fridge, and when it came to eating time the next day it didn’t seem so nice. Maybe just our experience but I wouldn’t go for a repeat.

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There were quite a few stalls selling macaroons, from around 40-50 baht. I guess it’s relatively affordable, about the same price you get here.

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I got one of these Cinnabons for I think it was 79 baht. Super sweet and filled with butter. Absolutely lovely when warm, although very messy. 🙂 (don’t ask me why it says 50 baht but I don’t recall paying so little)

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Always very attracted to this cafe but I never go in to sit. Maybe next time…

Day 2: JJ, Platinum, Central Mall

The next morning we headed to JJ, via the BTS to Mo Chit, then walking out of the station into the MRT station of Chatuchat Park (not that convenient IMHO but then guess we are spoilt here when it comes to the mass rapid transit system). The MRT seems less busy and we got off at the next station Kamphaeng Phet. JJ was hot, and very crowded and soon we got really tired (after about two rows!) although we persevered on. I didn’t realise how much we had walked but afterwards, I noted that we had covered almost the whole market, plus JJ Mall.

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This is the only stall we bought anything from (with exception of food from other stalls). It’s called Miss Popular and when any of my frens happen to go to JJ, they always drop by (sometimes cos I ask, erm, beg them to). The hairbands are my poison, and they are quite affordable.

The picture of the spread probably looks familiar (or perhaps identical to some) to the one I took last September.

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Almost got this unique merry-go-round ring. Think it was about 350 – 450 baht, can’t quite recall. But I thought it was a bit impractical.

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Lots and lots of street food.

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Animals, pets or otherwise. Thing about this here place was how there would be a dog in a cage and just beside it someone is cooking something. The cats and dogs were usually in air conditioned areas but there were also some displayed in small cages, and other exotics like sugar gliders, snakes and prairie dogs.

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Air-conditioned doll shop selling blythe and pullip dolls and clothes, with craft materials on the other side. Prices are expensive, not sure about bargaining as I didn’t try since nothing really caught my fancy.

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We then headed to Or Kor Tor Farmers market, which is easily reached via the underground mall connector at Kamphaeng Phet mrt station. Here, you can eat and shop local produce. The grilled prawns and seafood looked good (we didn’t try). We saw a lot of people eating other local dishes we really didn’t know how to procure (no pictures, no English signs), so perhaps when you see something good on someone else’s table, point to it and ask them which stall they ordered from.

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The prices are really not lower, but perhaps the quality makes up for it. The mangoes looked great and people seemed to be buying them in boxes.

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We then got back on the train and got off and on at Mo Chit. We were heading for Platinum Fashion Mall, which we were told was a great place to buy women’s clothes. We got off at Phaya Thai, as we had been instructed by the hotel staff just that morning, but was informed by the train conductor (there’s one at every platform) that it should have been the next stop so we popped back on and off again at Ratchathewi (which really sounds like Ratatouille). We walked till we were about to drop and reached Pantip plaza where we took a drink before heading a bit further on to Platinum Mall. PFM was full of people, mostly ladies. Most of everything looks like it’s free size and you get the wholesale prices if you buy more. With the old ‘un and young ‘un, we walked only two floors before calling it quits and heading towards Central. I didn’t get any pics of this place.

Central Mall is another big shopping mall of major brand names. Nothing too exciting here although there are a lot of restaurants. We just basically headed straight into the first Thai restaurant we saw, which happened to be Nara. I can’t say it was out of this world, but it was good enough and the ambience was nice. It is a bit somewhat pricier than normal dining in Bangkok though.

Sidetracking, I also discovered that Rilakkuma items are more expensive there.

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The candy floss ice cream looks delice! Although AD stuck with the usual cookies and cream.

Day 3: Chinatown, Siam Paragon

The next day we headed to Sathorn pier, whereby you can take the Chao Praya Express to a few tourist spots along the river side, one of which is Chinatown. As we approached the pier, a man with a map in hand came to ply his wares of a trip down the river. We had a feeling that wasn’t what we were looking for and at the first counter we approached, we were quoted 500 baht for a direct trip to Chinatown. The hotel staff had told us it was 20baht fortunately, so we knew this wasn’t it either. We walked a bit further down and there was a crowd at the pier selling Chao Praya River Express tix at 40 baht per person. There is also a day pass for 150 baht.

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We alighted at Ratchawong Pier, Station No. 5. See this map to see where you enter Chinatown from the Pier. Trip was pleasant and took only 10 mins.

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We were recommended this “kway chap” (pig internal organs) soup stall by a local orange fruit juice seller and we promptly sat down when we saw a space.

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But AD wasn’t having any of that, so we had to bring her to eat pasta. Not very nice IMO.

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AD also insisted on getting this bird.

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I got a blythe bag and it became something to pose since I didn’t bring a doll. lol

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We left again in the late afternoon to Siam Ocean World at Siam Paragon, the biggest aquarium in South East Asia. It is a bit expensive but very well curated. Lovely exhibits, with some mammals and reptiles. A visit that will take you about 1.5 hours or more depending on how long you want to sit in front of the tanks and daydream.

Buy your tix online at the Siam Ocean World website a day before to enjoy 20% off.

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Want a kitty with that fruit? 🙂

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