Monday, August 18, 2008

My Bangkok Expedition!

25th - 27th Jul '08 (3D2N BKK trip)

At 4:45a.m., my sec sch friends (Sharlyn, Tracer, Enez) and I reached Changi Airport Budget Terminal to catch the 6:30a.m. flight to Bangkok. Woo... It was pretty tiring bcos all of us barely slept due to work clearing before going on leave.

After packing my luggage and typing some emails & smses, I hitched a ride from my friend to the airport.

To our pleasant surprise, checking-in at Budget Terminal is EASY!

Just scan the passport, thumbprint and bag, and off we go... to board the plane!

During the 2-hr flight to Bangkok, my friends and I chatted excitedly about our itinerary!
The next hour, we decided it would be wise to conserve our energy and catch some sleep.

Upon reaching "The Land of Smiles", the bright and cheery sun greeted us!

(Claiming our luggage upon arrival at Bangkok)

(A shot from the overhead bridge)

After checking in the hotel, we were all GEARED UP to start our exploration trip!

Getting around... we can use these few modes of transport...
("Tuk-Tuk"... )

(Taxi...Here's a hot pink one! Thai taxis have diff striking colors!)

(Motorbike... Just pay the driver!)


(Sky Train- BTS -Bangkok Mass Transit System just like our MRT)

To "immerse" ourselves into the culture & Bangkok city life, we decided to walk around for a start.

Almost everywhere you go, you will see ROAD SIDE FOOD STALLS like this...


Not long later, our stomach began to grumble at the sight of food and my cautious friends picked "ERAWAN TEAROOM" - tourist recommendation for an early lunch!

This restaurant has a woody and cosy ambience. Take a look!

We ordered Tom Yum soup, Phai Thai noodles, Pineapple Rice, Brownie, Goreng Pisang-wrapped ice-cream. All only @ S$16/ pax.

After a satisfying lunch, we took the RIVER BOAT and head to "THE GRAND PALACE" - the No. 1 tourist attraction in Bangkok!

"The Grand Palace" is the official residence of the Thai king between 18th - 20th century.
It is situated at the bank of the Chao Phraya River- away from the "CBD".
To get there, we took the sky train to a nearby riverboat terminal, boarded the boat and headed north (as shown in the map).


After a 20-min boat journey... we reached The Grand Palace!!!
=- =

If you noticed... I was wearing a Thai traditional costume- wrapped around full-length skirt. This was because my knee-length capri pant was deemed inappropriate in the palace.
Only conservative and modest attire is allowed.
As a result, my friend Enez and I paid 100 baht (S$4) deposit to loan the costumes.

(Last look... Grand ya?)

Next stop... SILOM VILLAGE!
It is actually a Thai village converted to restaurants and handicraft shops

(A spread of clams, tiger prawns, lobster salad, and paper-wrapped chicken. Abt $28/pax)

After dinner, we tried traditional Thai body massage before retiring for the day.
I like the massage... The masseuse did it well! With just 250B=S$10, you can enjoy a good 1-hr full body massage which help you to sleep soundly us after that! Ha ha!!!

2ND DAY...

We went to CHATUCHAK MARKET to shop!
It is a weekend market, similar to our Chinatown in Spore but its size is MANY, MANY times BIGGER! You will get lost! :p


After a whole morning of shopping, we put our heavy stuff in the hotel and headed to "JIM THOMPSON HOUSE MUSEUM"!

It was previously the home of an American businessman Jim Thompson , who helped revitalize Thailand's silk and textile industry in the 1950s and 1960s.
Being a frequent traveller, he bought a lot of art pieces from Southeast Asia and displayed them at home.
However, this man mysteriously disappeared in 1967 while going for a walk in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. What happened to him is still an unsolved mystery.

His house, after being converted to a museum, is now the 2nd MOST POPULAR tourist attraction, after "The Grand Palace".



Paying only 100Bhat=S$4, you can get a guided tour around the museum.
The tour guides are very FUNNY and we ENJOYED ourselves! Value for $$$. Strongly recommend you to go!

We had lunch in the Thompson Bar & Restaurant! Food's good!

(Jim Thompson Museum souvenir shop)

In the evening, we went to MBK to shop!

When we were about to leave MBK, we saw a BIG dog!!!
My friends were excited to take picture with him while hee hee... I'm happy just to take a shot for them!

(Size of his tongue = Size of my hand!!!)

After the encounter, we went for FOOT MASSAGE!
It was my 1st time! I'm actually hesistant about it due to the fear of itchiness!!!
But after some encouragement from my friends, I decided to go for it!
Throughout the one hour, I kept squeezing my butt and gripping the sofa seat nervously, just to suppress the uncontrollable giggle over those ticklish feeling!!!
The masseuse saw my reaction and kept laughing at me. Ha ha!!!

Since the massage salon is near our hotel, we walked home but in very sloooow motion... cos the oily foot lotion under our feet made walking difficult!!! A couple of times, our sandals almost slipped away... *Hee*


We had our usual breakfast buffet in the hotel, overlooking the city skyline.

(The tall building on the left is Baiyoke Sky... Ours- Baiyoke Suite)
Since we had to be at the airport by 6p.m., we decided not to venture far but settled at the nearby places... like PRATUNAM MKT which is just below our hotel.
After that, we went to PLATINUM FASHION MALL.

Our jaws dropped upon stepping into the shopping centre, all of us keep "WOWING"...
It was like a "BINGO"... cos the shopping centre offers what we were looking for...trendy, executive clothes, wide choice of accessories, belts, bags & shoes!
Compared to Chatuchak and Pratunam... Platinum is soooooo much BETTER in terms of CHOICES!
It's like the FAR EAST PLAZA of Singapore!

My friends and I were rather depressed cos by the last day, we almost exhausted our finances!
All of us agreed that we should come here 1st!!!!!!! *Hmmp!*

Due to the lack of time, we went SPEED SHOPPING before returning to the hotel, quickly took our luggage and cabbed to the airport.
Initially, we were worried about having to pay for excess baggage but PHEW!!! - the combined baggage weight still falls within the limit. Happily flew back to Spore!

Good things about the trip...
- Grasped an idea of life in Bangkok
- Experienced Thai traditional body & foot massage
- Lots of shopping & adventures!
The only drawback...
- Weary feet
With lots and lots of shopping comes lots and lots of WALKING!
I think I'm a person who can really WALK A LOT...but my friends and I reached our "ceiling" after 3 days of walking.
As we got up on our feet after resting in restaurants, all of us went "OUCH" in unison... Our feet were so strained that we found it difficult to carry them off the ground!
At the airport, we slided with our sandals along the smooth, clean floor and "MOONWALKED" to the plane.

When we thought the walking ordeal was over... To our nightmare... we realised there wasn't any travellator in Spore's budget terminal!
So there we were... dragging our feet and pulling our heavy luggage all the way to the exit! *WOAH!*

I reached home ard 12:30a.m., slept at 2a.m. and woke up the next day for work.
Overall, this trip is tiring but FRUITFUL!

I remembered, my mum once told me she wanna go to Bangkok... and I hope to bring my family there... probably at the end of this year or early Jan' 09! :)


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