Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bangkok Day 7

Bangkok Day 7: Meeting Jang

*mds and I woke up quite early in the morning to take a taxi out to meet Jang at her office. Jang had just given birth a couple of months back, so much of her time was spent attending to her little one. Today was one of the rare day that she was free to meet us for a couple of hours.

Lunch was spent at a recreation center next to the sea, where they had a nice view of the Gulf of Thailand, with sea gulls flying close by searching for fishes. This kind of reminded me the days back in Cedar Point.

 The entrance to the recreation center
 Tom Yum Gung, Fried Rice and Crabs for lunch - Yummy!!
 Me & Jang
 Front Decoration of the Restaurant
Long bridge to the restaurant, with sea breeze blowing on both sides

Time flies and soon, it was time to bid farewell to Jang. We had a great time catching up with one another. *mds and I had to return to our hotel to sleep early as we had an early morning flight to catch back to Singapore. =( Fun times always seems to pass by quickly.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Bangkok Day 6

Bangkok Day 6: Back to shopping

Having visited Platinum mall, Central World and Union mall, today was the time to conquer MBK. The weather was very nice to us, bright and sunny with not a cloud in sight! The MBK was a mix of normal retail shops seen in the Singapore malls and the small stores in Bugis street. You may find luxury foreign fashion brands such as A&F, Polo Ralph Lauren, Aeropostale and even Old Navy sold here. The clothes look really authentic. I think they might be the rejected goods from the factories, sold at highly discounted prices.

One interesting observation was discovered at their food court. Instead of the hawkers handling real cash, they used coupons instead. Maybe Singapore can adopt this idea to increase the hygiene level of our food industry? =p

MBK Center (Mahboonkrong)
Having done a whole day of shopping, we returned to our hotel dead tired and ate dinner at a seafood stall beside it before retiring for the night. For tomorrow, we will be meeting up with Jang, our last Thai friend whom we have yet to meet.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bangkok Day 5

Day 5: A reunion of Cedar Point friends.

*mds and I woke up to a bright and sunny morning to meet Eve and her mom, who will be bringing us away from Bangkok to visit a floating market in the next province. The whole journey took around an hour of car ride, and it sort of remind me the days back in the USA, where travelling from one place to another was typically by car, lasting at least half an hour long. The floating market we were visiting was called Damnersaduak, one of the tourist attraction of Thailand. Luckily for us, there was not many tourists buzzing around the place by the time we reached the destination at noon.

We experienced vehicle traffic jams in Bangkok, now it is time for boat jam in the canal

Selling food by the river
Elephant, the icon of Thailand
Captured in time
Shopping by the river, anyone?
Busy Floating Market

The shops in the floating market closed quite early for that day. We were not very sure why, but by 2pm, most of the shops shutters were down. With some more time to kill before dinner, Eve and her mom decided to bring us to an out-of-the-way place to see another side of Bangkok. After navigating through a lot of side roads and small alleys, we arrived at some sort of a floating hut.

The hut was one of the drop off point for the Thailand traditional long tail boat, which were now ferrying tourists up and down the river, visiting shops that were set up along the river bank. Can you imagine beneath this calm water surface, it is actually swarming with fishes? By "swarms", I really mean it. Don't get what I mean? Trying throwing in some fish food and you will understand why.

Shops along the river bank
An old temple relic
Life along the river

After visiting the shops along the river, it was time to meet Ong for dinner. He drove us to a nearby Japanese Restaurant to have our meals and we spent time updating each other since we last left Cedar Point.

Thailand version of desert
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bangkok Day 4

Day 4 morning was spent moving our luggage from our friend's dad condominium to our hotel - Tango Vibrant Living Place, which was located just directly opposite Bayoke Sky Tower 2. On the way, I managed to snap some street photos of Bangkok from the taxi ride.

 The street just outside our hotel - 11 Soi Wattanawong. The tall building in front is Bayoke Sky Tower 2.
 A night shoot of our hotel
 A view of our room toilet
 And the nice room. All these for SGD$50/night

After settling into our hotel, it was time to meet our Thai friend - Pair, whom we met in USA while working in Cedar Point. *mds and I had arranged to meet her at BTS Mo-Chit, and after that, we were going to visit the local weekend market, Chatuchak (the local called it Jatujak or JJ market).

 A taste of Bangkok challenging traffic, where it is common to get stuck inside for 10-15 mins
 Pad Thai again for lunch in Chatuchak Market
 A view of Chatuchak stalls

Chatuchak Market really lives up to its name. Thousands of stalls are jammed pack inside it in Bugis Street style, so it is definitely a paradise for shoppers. The things on sale here are relatively cheap, and it is quite impossible to finish touring (or window-browsing) it in 1 day. As it is an open market, if the weather is accommodating, you will be fine shopping between the shops. But if it is a hot and sunny day, it can quite stuffy there by noon time.

By evening time, *mds and I had enough of Chatuchak, so we decided to shift location and gave a visit to Union Mall, which is located nearby.

I guess it is a culture/tradition of Thailand. For every shopping center that we had visited, there will always be a shrine like the photo above for people to pray to. I guess it is for the safety of the people and the shopping center? *mds and I ended the night bidding farewell to Pair at Union Mall, before we caught a taxi back to our hotel to rest.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bangkok Day 3

Bangkok Day 3: Central World to conquer.

Woke up to another bright and sunny day, so *mds and I decided to visit the newly renovated Central World. The concept is something like Singapore Takashimaya, where they decided to bring in shops that are up-scale. With stomach growling, we decided to try out this Coca Suki Restaurant for our lunch.

 Seafood Steamboat Set - 800 baht
 Interior decoration of the shopping mall on its highest floor
 Can you imagine an ice skating ring right outside in the open on the 1st floor?

 And there is a Coldstone shop!! Yummy Ice-cream time!
 Simply loving it
 Front view of the Central World

And above here is a peek at the condominium that *mds and I stayed in. This will be the last night we stayed here, before moving to our hotel near the Pratunam area. It was quite exhaustive, spending the whole day inside Central World, but at least I got myself a nice looking Adidas Hoody. =)
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Bangkok Night 1 & Day 2

Tiger Airways really live up to its bad reputation. *mds and I were supposed to go on a afternoon flight to Bangkok so we would have the night free to explore around our friend's dad condominium area (Thanks Eve's dad who loan out the apartment to us for a couple of days =)). But no... One month before we were supposed to fly, evil Tiger sent out an email about change of flight plans, and to our horror, our flight was pushed back by 6 hours! Well, no choice, since everything has already been booked, we have to accept it.

The budget terminal has sure undergone a major renovation since I last visited it in 2006. That was like 4 years ago? From only the bare old zinc roof structure back then, it has now added in quite some interior decoration, so the whole experience feels more lively now.

 Beautiful Clouds and Sunset after take off

By the time we reached the condominium (which was a good 45 mins taxi journey from the airport), it was already late in the night. With nothing to do, we retired for the night to begin our shopping trip for tomorrow. Waking up to a bright Thursday morning, to our delight, the condominium has a good scenery view of the Chao Phraya River, which is a major river in Thailand.

This is a map of the Chao Phraya River drainag...Image via Wikipedia

To start the day, *mds and I decided to visit a tailor shop at Sukhumvit Soi 11 which our friend has recommended for some tailor-made clothes.

 Thailand Street View

After having our measurements and cloth materials taken, we hit one of the shop along the street for some authentic Thai food!

 Pad Thai

Old Style Coke Bottle

After lunch, it is time for some shopping actions! First stop: Platinum Fashion mall. For the usual mode of transport, we decided to use the taxi. They are in abundance in Bangkok. Just a wave of your hand is enough to attract the attention of at least 3 taxi drivers along the road. The fare is pretty cheap either. An initial fee of 35 baht (roughly SGD$1.50) and every 500m jumps by 2 baht (SGD$0.09), so effectively, your whole taxi ride in Bangkok will cost you roughly 70baht (SGD$3.04). Is that cheap or what? =)

One important thing to note though: Always insist the driver charged by meter, or else you risk being on the chopping board. If the driver is too friendly with you, and they can speak some decent English, be very beware. The moment they say that your destination is not opened for some reason and they can bring you around some good and cheap shops, be on your high guard. Do not ever go to the shops they recommended, or else, you will find yourself on the chopping board pretty soon!

For the platinum Fashion Mall, it is like an engorgement of bugis street, except that they have 6 levels and each level contain some 300 small shops? Their clothes are pretty cheap, each one perhaps some 120baht (SGD$5) and if you buy 3 pieces, there will be discounts.  *mds and I shopped all the way until evening, stopped by Swenson's for some ice-cream dessert before heading back to the condominium.

The Platinum Fashion Mall again
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