Bangkok – 6th March ~ 8th March 2014

Just made another quickie trip to Bangkok which means it is a shopping trip. However this time I went alone.

I will not bore all of you with my trip but just show you the usual haunt I went to.

The Flight

I took AirAsia to Bangkok. Flight is on time and the plane is clean.

Surprisingly flights for both routes is almost full where Singapore Airlines need to reduce many flights.

AirAsia do sell their prepaid SIM card during the flight. Among all the tourist prepaid SIM card in BKK, I find that AirAsia offer the best value. For THB99, you get 500MB of data usage and also some calls and text until you run out of money in your SIM card.

WP_20140306_12_12_20_Pro WP_20140308_18_48_16_ProIf you do not stream video often, 500MB should be able to last you for a week or so.

One thing I dislike about AirAsia is that you can’t request for a preferred seat. The standard answer from the check-in staff is “It is allocated by the computer and cannot be change.”

I find this excuse a complete bullshit. AirAsia just wanted to make more money from us. If you have a toddler and if you are seated separately, is the AirAsia attendant going to babysit the child? Is AirAsia going to be responsible for the toddler safety?

On my return flight from BKK, the staff is more accommodating and grant my request for an aisle seat.

I also pre-ordered food for my return flight. It cost SGD$5 (THB125) and the portion is a little small.

WP_20140308_18_06_49_Pro WP_20140308_18_07_38_ProHowever this still beat the THB195 Mcdonalds Fillet-o-Fish meal where the patty is so small that it is beyond my imagination.

WP_20140308_16_13_26_ProTransport from the airport

The taxi counter in Don Muang airport has moved to inside the terminal. This may be due to renovation going on to the place where the taxi queue used to be.

The driver wanted to collect THB110 from me first for the toll. Though I can’t remember the toll fee for each toll but I feel that he has overcharge me.

The ride is smooth and I reach the hotel within 45 mins with some traffic jam in Sukhumvit Road.

Hotel

I was fretting over which hotel to stay due to the protest in BKK. However the protest has moved into Lumphini Park 4 days before my arrival which is a great relief to me.

I usually stay in Inn Saladaeng if travelling with friends or alone but this time I stay in City Lodge Soi 9.

The hotel’s location is superb. It is just beside Nana BTS. The entrance of the hotel is a little weird. It is located at the mouth of the narrow Soi and the entrance is a little obscure. You can easily miss it.

It is walking distance to lots of bars, massage saloons, shopping, convenience store and even a 24hour supermarket and food court.

The room is clean and big enough. If you reserve a standard room, your room will be facing the BTS but you can’t hear much noise from it. The room even have bath tub and a safe.

WP_20140306_14_14_20_Pro WP_20140306_14_14_28_Pro WP_20140306_14_14_38_Pro WP_20140306_14_14_47_Pro WP_20140306_14_14_54_ProDuring the night, you may hear some music or noise from the bar below but if you are dead tired from the shopping, I doubt you will notice it much.

The safe is not an electronic safe but the reception will give you a key lock mechanism where you place the lock into the safe to lock it.

WP_20140306_14_15_35_Pro WP_20140306_14_15_45_ProDo note that if you lose the key, the penalty is THB3500!

The staff is friendly but obviously the hotel is under staff. I book my room through hotel2thailand.com which sometimes offer cheaper rate than the hotel website.

I like City Lodge Soi 9 location but I prefer Inn Saladaeng environment. I have check out City Lodge Soi 19 and I would say the Soi 19 hotel is a much better location.

Another reason I do not really favour this hotel is actually the location of the hotel. If you are taking the taxi with lots of luggage, the taxi cannot stop by the entrance of the hotel. You will need to carry all the luggage to the main road which is about 10m from the hotel entrance.

The staff will not help you carry your luggage to the main road (there is only one poor staff maning the reception) and if it rains, it will be a big issue.

There are also taxis waiting at the mouth of the Soi. Having lots of luggage, I relented and took their service of THB400 back to the airport.

Will I stay there again? 50% chance. As mentioned, I like City Lodge 9 location but I like Inn Saladaeng environment.

Shopping

Well, this is a shopping trip. I naively thought I could complete my shopping in half a day so that I can even make a side trip to Nonthaburi the next day but I was wrong.

I was dead tired after my daily shopping.

I went to the usual place like Yaowarat, supermarkets and even back to Chatuchak after a few years of avoiding there.

I usually take the BTS or walk to all my shopping destination and back to the hotel. I once walk from Chidlom to Rama 1 Lotus Tesco and back to Siam BTS. My legs almost broke!

WP_20140307_15_44_31_ProYaowarat

My favourite market still. I took the BTS to Sapahan Taksin and then a local boat to Pier 5.

WP_20140307_10_31_12_Pro WP_20140307_10_32_42_ProHere you can get stationery, toys, sundry, shoes, dried food etc. The issue here is some shops only entertain wholesale traders and do not sell retail. So you have to hunt around for those who are willing to sell you in one piece. Of course prepare to pay more for a single piece.

WP_20140307_11_11_15_Pro WP_20140307_11_18_57_ProSo if you have to buy presents for your army of nieces and nephews, this is the place.

Chatuchak

I have been avoiding this market for years because I do not really like it but I do admit it offer shoppers a good variety.

After 3 years since my last visit, I decided to visit it again.

WP_20140308_09_23_05_ProI reach the market at around 0830hrs and most of the shops are still closed. The advantage of being an early bird there is that you have a better chance of getting a good bargain.

WP_20140308_10_17_45_ProWP_20140308_10_22_42_Pro WP_20140308_10_17_53_ProThais believe the good start of the day is important for the rest of the day. If your price is reasonable, they will still sell you.

For example, I bought a dry bag for THB500, down from THB950 because I am their first customer. A similar bag that is selling in Sukhumvit shop cost THB1800! I am not saying I am getting a good deal but this is the amount of money I am willing to pay for the item. So if they are willing to drop to the price I wanted, I will just buy it.

I leave the market by 1030hrs. By then the crowd start to come in.

I saw some ladies in full make up and high heels and I can’t work out the logic behind it. One reason I dread going to Chatuchak is the heat. It was 39 degrees when I was in BKK during then! I bet your make up will melt and since the market is so big, I wonder why are they torturing themselves by wearing heels.

I also saw some tourist taking a map trying to figure out their location.

My advise is forget about the map unless there is a specific shop you are looking for. Chatuchak is so big that you are going to get lost eventually. So just roam around and enjoy what you see. You never know what you will find.

Supermarket

I just love to shop in supermarket. It give me a chance to see what the locals are buying and their lifestyle.

If you have time, try to visit Big C and Lotus Tesco. These are the two major supermarkets in BKK.

Food

I ate a lot for this trip compared to my other trips. I ate McDonald’s to street food and of course the street food win hands down.

WP_20140306_23_44_09_Pro WP_20140307_10_44_16_ProHowever if your weak tummy is not tune for street food, you are better off avoiding them.

McDonald’s McSpicy Wing is really fantastic. It used to be available in our country but it just disappeared. The chicken wings are really spicy and you should really try it.

WP_20140306_15_34_05_ProThong Lo is a food haven. If you walk up to Soi 55 and down Soi 38, you can find many good eat.

WP_20140307_18_46_48_Pro WP_20140307_18_47_03_ProOne of my favourite store selling Phad Thai is along Soi 55. It only open from the evening and they seems to sell only two types of food; Phad Thai and omelette.

WP_20140307_18_11_02_Pro WP_20140307_18_27_31_Pro WP_20140307_18_37_41_Pro WP_20140307_18_37_53_ProI tried both of them and the Phad Thai seems to taste better.

Near to Sukhumvit, there is this store that sell the best mango with glutinous rice in BKK; at the least this is what I was told. You can see many people buying it.

WP_20140307_18_40_24_ProHowever my favourite stall is in Soi 38. It is managed by two ladies. There used to be another stall selling the same food but I guess they have close down.WP_20140307_18_46_37_ProWP_20140307_18_44_39_Pro Just beside the glutinous rice store there is a beverage stall. The drink is cheap and tasty. A mango shake just cost THB25.

WP_20140307_18_49_20_Pro WP_20140307_18_50_58_ProI also tried the Phad Thai in Chatuchak and I would say it is tasty too.

WP_20140308_09_39_46_Pro WP_20140308_09_42_16_ProI also tried several street food along Ratchaprasong Road, Yaowarat and Rama 1. I will give the food I tried thumbs up.

Massage

Thailand is not only a Land of Smiles but also a Land of Massage.

You can find all kinds of massage here. Clean, happy ending, spa, foot, shoulder, face full body, spa etc.

You name it, you have it.

However I hardly visit massage when I am in BKK but this time I visited one.

After all the shopping, my legs are more tired than climbing Mount Pulag.

So I went to a massage in Suk Soi 11; Raintree Spa.

WP_20140308_12_14_02_Pro WP_20140308_12_15_43_Pro WP_20140308_12_43_16_ProI opt for a foot massage which cost THB350. I prefer such smaller establishment than those big ones like Healthland.

The massage is not that good actually but she therapist also gave me a head and shoulder massage which is quite good.

Overall, it is a good trip.

I noticed that the human and vehicular traffic has reduced a lot.

The traffic from Ratchaprasong Road to Sukhumvit has reduced a lot.

Yes, there are still traffic but compared to the BKK traffic I once know, it has ligthened a lot even in the afternoon and after office hour.

It used to be bumper to bumper but now I can see cars moving without stopping much.

WP_20140308_15_28_32_ProBKK has changed every time when I visit this city. It really never fail to surprise me.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s