Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Travelogue: Bangkok Trip 2013

Earlier this year I made a trip to Bangkok for the 3rd time with a bunch of girls. The first time I went was back in 2009 and the second was in 2011. So I made a trip there again in 2013. (Seems like it's a 2 yearly affair to me). 

We made alot of plans for this trip from hotel, to flights, to daily itinerary and Allynn had even prepared alot of maps for us so that we don't get lost! (We're going on F&E!) 

We had this little funny idea to buy flight tickets to Bangkok with Jetstar and return with Scoot. Our tickets were $260 (thereabout) and our hotel was about $140 so for flight and accommodation we spent each about $400.

Each day we would follow our set itinerary and make minor changes along the way so that we are able to fulfil whatever we set out to do. Hopefully our trip would give you new ideas of where to go, or if you haven't been there, here's some shopping paradise locations for you. Our main intention was to wipe the shelves clean so it's heavily focused on the shopping part. We also didn't neglect eating awesome food though!

Our flight was late morning, we reached Bangkok at about 1pm (Bangkok time)

My usual eats at Starbucks. A blueberry muffin & mocha frap without whip!

I know it's abit off the settings but for the benefit of you being able to read, that's the best I could do. So here was what we planned for our day 1. The reason why we put the address there was because we each bought data-plan over there upon arrival, hence we can use our google maps, so that's why we had that column for the addresses. Those appendix references are maps that have been prepared by Allynn before the trip. (Thank you so much for all the maps, it's definitely hard work over there) I am not showing all the maps because it's from googlemap actually. But I'd show some that is useful for places that is walk-able distance.

This is where we bought our data-plan cards for 299 baht, which was about $12 dollar SGD for 7 days, unlimited plan. They would help you to put in the SIM card too. Activation was pretty fast.

This shop is at gate 7!  (PS with her yellow banana luggage spotted)

So that's my original SIM Card inside after they put in their SIM Card for you.

Our transport over to Citin Pratunam.

The girls, PS, Allynn & Me!

On the way there to our hotel, it felt so good. Love Bangkok's shopping and Thai food!

#01 Angry incident:

We were suppose to be dropped off at our hotel, Citin Pratunam. However, the driver took us to the wrong hotel alley, dropped us off and expected us to drag our own luggages in the alley and he drove off. And the best thing was, the driver dropped us off at the freaking wrong hotel and we had to search for the correct hotel ourselves. We paid like 1600 baht for the transport and yet we had to walk round and round (because the people there obviously couldn't understand what we asked and gave us all the wrong directions) and finally managed to find the hotel located at the end of ANOTHER alley that was quite some distance away from where we were dropped initially. The hotel is really at a small corner, very hard to spot. Dragging big luggages (thankfully not filled yet) is no joke. And my stupid luggage was on 2 wheels. (Note to self: Get a bloody 4 wheels when this luggage is spoilt).

Finally, we settled down and checked in. We made a complain to the counter staff telling them how terrible their driver was and yadda yadda. (We use google translate on our phones to show them what we wanted to say. It's quite effective, you should try it when you have difficulty relating your message across overseas.) So here's a picture of the rooms we stayed for 3 nights!

There, my luggage so big and bulky. I tell you I was so seriously pissed off! (But I was completely fine after that cause we went for some crazy shopping at Platinum Fashion Mall!)

So accordingly to the maps that Allynn had prepared, we were able to find our way to the fashion mall easily. And since we've all been to Bangkok before, it wasn't that bad either. 

After shopping and shopping, we headed back to the hotel to put our loots before heading out to fetch Eileen who was joining us later due to a clash in work schedule.

#01 Once in a lifetime experience

I used the google map to locate our destination and we followed it. Unfortunately, it was quite a booboo. It was slightly pass 6:30pm going 7pm (Bangkok time) and we were finding our way to the MTR station which was supposedly very close to our hotel. So following the map directions.... We landed ourselves in some dark alley and old train tracks with rocks, abandon dogs, weird looking man sitting around the fencing and us, 3 girls walking and panicking where will the tracks end. And worst, the train tracks are still in function, so there were 2 occasions where the trains went by us. It was really an experience... but once is just right, no need again.

Finally, we managed to find our way till the MTR to catch the train over airport.

The token to board the trains.

And here we are! The airport station!

#02 Angry incident:

The airport was so crowded and Eileen's arriving flight belt number was not shown in the airport information board. Seriously, we had no idea why because it's the first time for us to fetch someone in another country. When we tried walking around to search for more information, the Thai police officers didn't allow us to cross over and asked us to stay behind some bars and yadda yadda. We had to spilt up because there were 2 gates, B and C and we had no idea which gate Eileen would be coming through from, so I was alone at B while PS and Allynn was trying to get to C. Thankfully after while, Eileen reached and we head back to our hotel!

The night shortly ended with us grabbing some food from the food stalls near Baiyoke Sky hotel.

So this was the loot for Day 1 for me.

Woke up pretty early for the tour and went for breakfast just opposite another building. Citin Pratunam has 2 buildings where one is the reception counter and another is the restaurant for breakfast. And please note that Citin Pratunam is vegetarian, so no meat served. I had cereals and bread every morning cause the "main dishes" weren't to my liking but according to the girls, it's not too bad.

With a shagged morning face.

Small area, nothing very much fanciful but to me it was alright because I had my bread and cereals!

Their "main dishes".

#03 Angry Accident:

After breakfast, we were suppose to gather at the lobby at 8:30am to wait for the tour guide to come. We had to pay some tour fee like 350baht (if I didn't forget). But we waited and waited, the tour guide was late. Getting annoyed, we told the counter that if they don't by 9am, we're cancelling the tour and not refunding anything. But well, luckily the tour guide made it in time. She didn't apologize but she said the traffic was bad. We're pissed but what could we do?

Finally setting off to our tour mini van. The alley is too small for the van to pick us up hence we had to walk out some distance. The morning was rather chilly, no idea why but it was my first time in Bangkok in January. The last few times were December and April. So far, January is the coldest among all.

This was the boat we'd be taking for our canal trip. (The 3 angmohs were in the same van as us.)

And off we go! Water would splash all over you, becareful. But not to the extend of being completely drenched.

We bought a whole loaf of bread for 30baht to feed the catfishes!

So as usual they will bring you to their some store to ask you to buy things but we just simply used their toilet and walked around that's all.

After the trip, we got the van to drop us off at Platinum mall for our lunch! To dine at Platinum, you need to go and purchase this card of their's and load money inside. It's kinda troublesome but well, the food was really good. Love the phai thai and tomyum soup!

After lunch, we literally spent the entire day at Platinum Mall mad shopping! All the way till 6pm! Whoo! After that we headed back to our hotel and put our bags down because heading out in search of MangoTango and Som Tam!

Before I came to Bangkok, my boss was telling me that I have to try this place called Som Tam, and well. Here we are! The queue is really, really long. (We went at about 7/8 plus) The moment you reach the restaurant, you need to find for this particular guy that holds a writing board. He will take your queue and give you a menu to decide what you want to order. After that you just need to wait up for your turn. We waited for about 30 mins? It wasn't too bad because the food was really worth it.

This is the best fried chicken ever.

It was a really awesome meal, and even though we're damn full, we're not giving MangoTango a miss!

Saw a random shop beside the Som Tam and we each got ourselves a rainbow cake for tomorrow's breakfast!

MangoTango was also a long queue but luckily we managed to find one seat quickly.

We had a awesome delicious dinner and we head back to our Pratunam area away from Siam. We did walked the Siam night market, nothing much and was really crowded. We wanted to do some massage but it was all packed so we dropped the idea.

The night ended shortly thereafter.

Day 3 was Saturday so it means Chatuchak weekend market! Totally engrossed in the shopping and completely forgot to take pictures. Tsk. 

Before heading to the chatuchak market, realized we mentioned about morning market? During the weekend, the area infront of Baiyoke Sky Hotel will become a wholesaler morning market where it's by far the cheapest. They operate from 6am till about 8am then they will close up during the weekdays. But for weekends, they will start from 9am onwards for almost the whole day. 

The area infront of Baiyoke Sky Hotel also becomes a weekday night market from 6pm till 11pm. That area is really awesome, and you'd get what I mean the moment you see Baiyoke Sky Hotel and there you will never miss the morning/night/weekend market! It's rather crowded in the morning and most of the dresses and tops are always at 100/150 baht. And your belts? Each are going at 50baht! So don't get your belts in the shopping malls cause they mark up like 50% more. Be hardworking and wake up at 7am to go to the morning market and squeeze! You'd find awesome deals there. (Morning market has nothing much for guys, so guys, please go back to Platinum Mall)

Here's the map of Chatuchak Weekend Market! (PS's favourite)

Shopping at chatuchak was really a breeze this time round. It wasn't hot, nor humid and I didn't even perspire at all. Totally didn't perspire and didn't even complain it was humid. Most of the stalls there had fans or aircons even. Really a better shopping experience now as compared to the previous years I went!

After the major shopping spree, we took a cab back to our hotel. Rested for awhile before we went to eat the international buffet at Baiyoke Sky Hotel. Well..... I would say, once is enough? Because it's was like close to a 1000baht and the food wasn't very fantastic. (I realized I didn't take any photos too.) So, don't waste your money. And the revolving deck on top is nothing fanciful and it's super old... and noisy and moves like a snail... So. Ya, drop the idea, it wasting your money.

And that's all the view you see with very noisy sound coming from the revolving deck that sounds like it's going to break down anytime.

We headed back early and packed our stuff. Heading home tomorrow night!

Finally, it's the day we check out and go home after finishing up some other places. We skipped the Four Face Buddha cause we didn't had enough time, made it to MBK though.

#04 Angry incident:

We wanted to grab a cab over to MBK from pratunam area and we couldn't find a driver that was willing to on their meter. So we decided to fix at the rate of 150 baht for one way trip to MBK. PS tried to ask a few cabs and none met our rates. Finally, this cab driver say he will bring us there at 50baht, taking his words, we board the cab. (I was seated infront) so when we board the cab, he started saying that he will drive somewhere else or bring us to somewhere before MBK and we said, no we just want to go MBK, and he insisted to go another place so we said okay, we're getting down. He let us alight.

Another cab we board told us the same thing too, 50 baht but need to go somewhere else then we said no, we don't want and wanted to get down the cab but the cab driver refused to let us get down and continue driving. He quoted 200baht which was too much because we paid 150baht to Siam Paragon! When we repeatedly refuse to go with his rates and said we wanna get down and he kept driving, I was mentally preparing myself to pull his handbrakes and quickly get off but luckily, we didn't had to do that cause he eventually stopped.

Finally, after alot of tries by PS, we managed to get a cab that was willing to take us there at 100baht. It was so, how could they overcharge us like that! It was a nice uncle who could speak a dialect that we briefly understood. Safely, we reached MBK and bought alot of goodies from this snack shop PS and Ally introduced.

Again we managed to take a cab back to our hotel before our pick up come to fetch us to the airport.

Oh yes, remember us complaining about the arrival pick up mistake they made? Apparently they waived it off so we only had to pay for the trip to airport from our hotel! (Google translate is awesome. hahahhaha)

The nightmare came early in the morning when I realized that iChangi reflected our Scoot flight to 2:10am instead of 11pm arrival in Singapore. Lionel, who was in Singapore helped us confirmed our flights and it was the Tianjin flight delay that had caused us to be delayed too. Though worried, we still went on for some light shopping and still headed over to the airport at 8pm as scheduled before. But to our disappointment.... the flight was badly delayed and at that time, we had not much cash with us. Sigh. We bunked in at Starbucks till close to about 11:45pm because heading over the the boarding gates.. and waited and waited.. and waited.. till it was finally time for us to board the plane, we had to take a bus all the way out to the outfield and climb up the stairs to the plane. We touched down Singapore so late that I couldn't recall what time was it. Anyway, bad experience of flight delay. I still had to work the next day but thankfully I took 1/2 day.

Overall, I would say it's really a fun experience travelling with girls only. All the shopping, and food and more shopping. I just wish Bangkok won't increase their prices anymore and stick to what it was like 4 years ago when I first went.

Hopefully this post will help you in planning you trip!


  1. I've been to Bangkok a few years back and had bad experiences with cab drivers and that actually prevented me from returning despite their good and cheap massage, shopping and food. We can juz hope they will improve lolz!

    1. Their trains are not too bad now, perhaps you can try again someday :)