Sawadeekha! Recently, I made my fourth excursion to Bangkok, the home of 12 million people and land of Tom Yum Goong.
I love visiting Bangkok. It was even more enjoyable when I was able to fly to this Siamese destination with Jonazan, Gerald, Johnny, Lilian, and my husband, Mike. How can I not travel with such a bunch of buddies who can do mad things together?
Among us, I was the only one who is familiar with Bangkok. Hence, I was the trip planner. No complaints at all, because I seriously enjoyed being in Bangkok again.
We stayed in First House Hotel, which is located at Petchaburi Soi 19, in the area of Pratunam. The hotel has a two star rating and each room only cost about 860Baht (MYR86/ USD27) per night.
It is not bad for a place to rest and shower. After all, we were there to see, eat, and shop. How many hours would I spend sitting in the room? As long it is decent and clean, I have no problems; I am not expecting perfect service with a continental buffet breakfast. In fact, each time I have visited Bangkok, I would stay in this hotel due to the strategic location.
Mind you, English is not perfect in Thailand. Let us look into the picture above and take a good laugh by reading the bold sentences. “By that reason our room Guest will get a Noisy from a Machine and Big Bang in some time.” This really cracked us up. BIG BANG! Of course, we will get a Big BANG in BANGkok!
Pratunam is a great place to shop. Ladies, are your ears perked up? Let me say this again. Pratunam is an awesome place to shop! The streets are filled with fashion wholesalers and Platinum Fashion Mall is right around the corner. Remember to give a little twitch of Thai accent to your English while speaking to the locals because they will not understand you if you speak fluent English. For example dragging your last word of each sentence.
Public transport in Bangkok is encouraged for traveling around the city because the taxis and tuk-tuks can rip you off. The only problem is that the train stations are widely spread out. The nearest BTS Skytrain station to the hotel was Ratchathewi station, which is about an 18-minute walk.
It took us only 12 minutes and 30Baht (MYR3/ USD1) from Ratchathewi station to Saphan Taksin station where Chao Phraya Tourist Boat’s Sathorn Pier is.
Chao Phraya Tourist Boat is a water transportation service that gave us the opportunity to see Bangkok from a whole new perspective. We were able to take any other Chao Phraya Express Boat with the same route along Chao Phraya river from 9.30am – 7:30pm using the One Day River Pass which cost 150Baht (MYR15/ USD5).
Chao Phraya Tourist Boat, starting from Central pier or known as Sathorn Pier, provides service to 8 piers which leads to Bangkok’s most famous attractions.
For the first timers in Bangkok, it is a must to stop by Wat Pho, known as Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The huge and majestic Reclining Buddha statue is the biggest in the world, built more than 200 years ago and it remains an object of popular piety today.
As the trip planner, I had ensure my buddies knew what they were expecting to see. One of their main objectives of this trip was to embrace the historical culture of Bangkok and having said that, Wat Pho was definitely on the list and the entrance fee is 20Baht.
The temple has an inner courtyard where we could enjoy viewing all of the different prangs, chedi, statues, and the ubosot.
On the other note, please forgive us for being a little
disrespectful playful with the animal statues. We were just having fun and err… you know what I mean.
From Mike’s perspective, it was astounding for him, being brought up in the west, to be exposed to such spiritual nobility of the locals.
And here we were, off in a tuk-tuk, to the next destination. We hired a private boatman to give us a little more insight of the locals’ lifestyle at the water channels.
“Row, row your boat. Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is about a dream”
It’s an eye-opening experience to many of us to be able to buy food off the boat and experience some
river local food.
Wat Arun, known as the Temple of Dawn, was our next stop. The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang which is encrusted with colourful porcelain.
For the foreigners, the temple charges an entrance fee of 50Baht. Lilian and I were charged extra for renting skirts to cover up our
sexy exposed legs.
The challenge is to climb the very steep and narrow steps leading to a balcony high on the central tower. I kept telling myself not to look down while climbing in that long skirt because it is seriously scary, even more so with my moderate fear of heights.
Poor Johnny. By the time he reached the balcony, he was gasping for more oxygen.
However, once we got up there, we felt it was all worth it to climb those insanely steep steps. The view that overlooked the river and the skyline was absolutely breathtaking.
Besides sightseeing, Bangkok is also about shopping and has all kinds of places to blow your Baht easily. Shopping with Baht definitely makes us feel like kings and queens and it is quite a thrilling experience searching for whatever it is you desire.
I guess we could not stop shopping since day one. We found ourselves in Pratunam fashion wholesale market, MBK shopping mall, Siam Paragon, Chatuchak market, Platinum Fashion Mall, and Patphong Night market.
It’s not too difficult to roam around the city Bangkok. We could either take a cab, a tuk-tuk or the BTS skytrain. With the amount of walking we did in this trip, taking the BTS Skytrain was not a good option after all. Our legs were aching and it was better to hail a tuk-tuk or a cab than to walk to a Skytrain station.
The only unfortunate event that happened during the trip was I almost got robbed/ pick-pocketed.
It was pretty traumatizing for me because I did not even realize someone was trying to cut my handbag open. I guessed when I was squashed in between the frantic crowd of Platinum Fashion Mall, it happened so quickly that I did not feel a thing. One lady (from one of the clothes’ stores) was kind enough to let me know that my handbag was slit open and I thanked God that nothing was missing from my handbag. Phew!
Finally, with all the walking, shopping, and eating for days, we pampered ourselves with a 2-hour Traditional Thai massage which cost only 450Baht. Don’t we all love Bangkok?
See you again, BANGkok! (And I will blog about our eating sessions in Bangkok in the next post)