Days in the Land of Smiles … in 3 parts. For now, let’s begin with PART I.
Bangkok Day 1
Bangkok, synonymous with cheap food and shopping ! Let’s however also not forget to take a moment to bask in the vibrant city atmosphere; roads filled with colourful vehicles ( coming in all sorts of colours such as pink, green, yellow, red, etc !) & people of all types ( foreigners, locals dressed in chic and stylish outfits, gorgeous thai ladies, school boys who had their nails painted, cross-dressers, trannies ) crowding the streets and corners of the city. What a splashy sight !!! Known for their great hospitality, both Shermin babe & I certainly have to thank the Thais for their great service which made our trip even more so memorable.
” TIP: Always go by meter for taxi. The cab driver at the airport wanted to cheat us of our money by claiming that he can get us to our hotel at a rate cheaper than the one quoted by the meter. Thankfully for info that we read from the net, we followed those advice and our gut feeling and saved about 80 thb. So rmr, go by the TAXI METER! For those who don’t mind budget accommodation, you can try Samran Place Hotel. We paid only $125/5 nights/pax and frankly, for the price we paid, it’s pretty value-for-money! Warning: The place seems to be flooded with Singaporeans and so, do not be in for a shock if you were to see/hear Singaporeans every single day! “
First day was spent enjoying the sights and sounds of the hustling city. Where’s a better place to do that than to visit the stretch of countless shopping malls at Siam and Chit Lom right? Did lots of window-shopping at the usual suspects – Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, MBK Center before ending the night at the enormous and revamped Central World ! Honestly, I would recommend those who are looking for bargains or unique shopping experience to give the malls a miss ( Try Platinum Fashion Mall for cheap, wholesale clothes though!). Similar to the items found in sg malls, those in BKK do not come cheap either. For a mall that’s raved by many, babe & I were left sorely disappointed with what MBK has to offer, would probably not visit it again. However, for those who are into gadgets, this mall does offer a wide range of reasonably-priced gadgets ( tip: check warranty).
As for dinner, do give Nobu Shabu ( at Central World) a try. Jap buffet at 390 thb ++/pax … comes with free flow of california sushi, assortment of vegetable and raw beef, lamb, chicken, pork, salmon & squid for you to boil in the broth. Here’s us with our friendly “personal” waiter who never fails to fill our empty plates almost immediately! 🙂
Bangkok Day 2
A 1-day excursion to the Ancient City, Ayutthaya. The former Thai capital ( for over 400 yrs) is now a UNESCO site. Gone are the days where it was at its glory peak … gone are the beauty of the royal palaces and temples. Now, all that greet you are merely ruins and remains of the structures/buildings. Despite knowing that more than 90% of the Thai population are Buddhist, we were however still stunned to know that there’s a temple every 2-mins drive apart from one another. Yes, that’s how MANY temples there are in the historical city of Ayutthaya. For all those who have days to spare, a day trip to Ayutthaya is definitely well-recommended!
1st place of attraction: Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. A beautiful palace complex that is decorated and influenced by traditional Thai, Chinese and European architecture. A complex that include vast gardens, manicured landscapings, memorials and even, individual houses for the various Queens/Princes/Princess. Given the short amount of time that we had, babe & I even rented a golf cart so that we can drive around the estate and still be able to soak in the richness of the place. Props to Sherms for driving us around … time to get the driving license into good use in a foreign land, babe!
2nd: Wat Maha That. The main highlight of the excursion. Despite being in ruins, the complex with its barely there structures continued to fascinate us as we were in awe of the breath-taking sight that greeted us. Back in its heydays ( 600 yrs ago), it used to be “the heart and soul of the Ayutthaya people”. Unfortunately, much of its glory vanished when the Burmese destroyed the temple complex during the war. Now all that remained are brick structures, and many headless/armless Buddha statues. First thought that came to our minds was that it kinda reminded us of wondrous Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
3rd & 4th: Wat Na Phra Mane & Wat Lokayasutharam. A site of historical importance, the former Wat was used as the Burmese HQ during the war and is remarkably, still in splendid condition. As for the latter, it is known for having the largest reclining Buddha image during the Ayutthaya era.
Enjoy the scenic view along the mighty Chao Phraya River. See how the scenary changes from the laid-back/rustic Ayuthaya to the modern Bangkok along the way. Juxtapose of new and old, interesting!
Suan Lum Night Bazaar ! Think of CTC market but on a smaller scale. Stuff here are slightly more expensive as compared to the wkend market but it’s still worth a visit. Bargains are a must, as usual. On average, we managed to get around 20-35% discount. Range of stuff sold here include anything from handicrafts to clothes ( every gal’s fav) to home decors, come to think of it … Think Bugis Village. A must is to have dinner at the large hawker place, where you will also be entertained by Thai performers who will belt out pop songs in either Thai or English. Be entertained by Thai pop performances like never before, for the performers are very hilarious and energetic! Warning: Being cheapskates, babe & i walked from Lumpini BTS to the night market but be warned that it’s quite a walk. We were shagged by the end of a very long day lol.
MORE to come tmr.
BKK Part 2 : Floating Market, Elephant Village, Tiger Temple, River Kwai