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Travel: Trip to Bangkok, 21-24 Oct 2015 (Day 1)

>> Thursday, November 5, 2015

I haven't had time to share with my readers all my travel trips! I'm quite determined to start doing so & am hoping to share certain experiences that I've been through as well.

Late last month, I was in Bangkok with 2 friends + my fiance for a 4 days 3 nights vacation. It's our 1st time to Bangkok (apart from James), so we were quite excited for the short getaway. We had an initial plan to check out certain places of attractions, eat certain food & buy some clothings as well, but upon arrival at Bangkok itself, we changed quite a bit of our plan.

Basically, throughout our entire trip, we were focused around Pratunam area; it was more than enough to satisfy most of our needs :)

Initial plan for Day 1
Pratunam area
Wat Arun
Pak Klong Talat Flower Market

Summary for Actual Day 1
Pratunam market
Foot massage at Number One Massage Centre

Bangkok is apparently well-known for it's traffic congestion. The city actually reminded me of Kuala Lumpur + Jakarta, where cars are everywhere, traffic is congested, flyovers are right in the middle of the highway & surrounding the highway are tonnes of buildings.

We were so near yet so far as the place that we booked through Agoda.com, KC Place, was just behind the Baiyoke, the tallest building you'll find.

Baiyoke up ahead...so near yet so far...

KC Place just costs us RM169.45/person for all 3 nights after using some of my Agoda points for the payment! :D That's like less than RM57.00 per night per person for a place that satisfied our criteria: clean, has good reviews, near the train station, has elevator, attached bathroom, hot water shower & the usual comfortable bed & all.

KC Place City Center

There are 2 blocks, so we stayed at the opposite block

This is the girls' room: clean, spacious enough & has all the amenities that we need
I think the only thing about this place is the slight noise when people walk in & out in the mornings; doors aren't really sound-proof, but it's totally sunlight-proof! With the curtains drawn, we weren't aware if it's already morning or still at night.

We were quite famished after checking into our hotel room, but AP & I had the mission to first find out from the nearest recommended tailor, Romeo & Juliet, if we could get his wedding suit done for a good price. After some negotiation, we struck a good deal of THB6500 for a full suit: coat, slacks, white shirt, & a necktie! We were pleased & immediately took measurement before heading off to hunt for food.

Pad Thai (THB50)
We just wanted something quick & didn't want to walk too far for a meal, so we stopped by a small coffeeshop near the hotel to get our lunch before continuing our journey. The pad thai here was okay, nothing to shout about.

Street snacks are aplenty. You'll probably end up spending a bulk of your cash on such food, be it bbq chicken, fried chicken, sausages, or pork satay. Each snack costs THB10 onwards per piece.

Interesting sight: dollar notes on display (that's how they 'keep' their cash) & it's real dollar notes, mind you...

After walking around for quite a bit at the Pratunam market, we headed off to get our 1st Thai massage at Number One Massage Center. It was off-peak hours & almost all massage centers have their happy hour promotion from 1-5p.m. every weekday (I think only weekdays). We just popped by the one that we read decent reviews.

Address: 3, Soi Phetchaburi 15
Happy hour prices: 1 hour foot massage or 1 hour Thai full body massage = THB200
Usual prices: THB250 onwards

The verdict: Not too bad. Service was good, foot massage was relaxing & the place was clean. Not to mention, this row of shops was easily located as well. Oh, remember to tip your masseuse at least THB50 per session.

We spent the rest of the evening exploring the surrounding areas of Pratunam from where we stayed to the area of Platinum Mall before deciding to cover Asiatique on Day 1 instead of Day 2 as per our initial plan.

Non air-conditioned buses were everywhere

Out of no where, there's this building which looks slightly more 'ancient'

To get to Asiatique from where we were walking around, we took the BTS to Saphan Taksin station before getting on Asiatique's free shuttle boat at the Chao Phraya river. The return journey all the way back to our hotel Ratchaprarop Station (Airport Link City Line) cost THB74.

On the BTS...AP just can't smile properly wan =.="

At the pier, waiting for the Asiatique free shuttle boat; the river isn't the clean sorta river.

I'm reminded of Kuching, when I took the 'sampan' along the river to the places of interest opposite the river...hahaha...

You can pray & hope that the yucky river water won't splash on you
The evening was very warm & humid, so we were sticky, uncomfortable & kinda tired.

Four Seasons Hotel & Chatrium - the more 'atas' hotels

Asiatique right out there...

Frankly speaking, Asiatique is just an up-market shopping area with up-market bars & restaurants. As it was a rather hot day & we arrived there around 5:45p.m. local time, the whole place was still quite still & 'sleepy'.

Dogs in Bangkok look overweight somehow. He's not the only one with such a body shape...many are alike!

One of the newest sections in Asiatique

Everything else in Asiatique is quite expensive. In terms of variety, I think the local markets would have equally wide variety, if not more. We found some stalls in the middle of Asiatique selling food around THB60/serving, which was the most affordable, but it's all vegetarian/meatless :( We ordered some food for the 4 of us to share & ended up paying THB170/person for this unsatisfying meal. We just had to comfort ourselves with the food back at Pratunam!

Some egg crepe with vegetables & peanuts

Green papaya salad

Deep-fried mushrooms & spinach

Vegetarian tom yam with instant noodles/Mama

Upon sunset, you'll see more stalls opened at Asiatique.

You'll also find more people arriving at this happening place. We were glad to be getting out of the area & not join the throngs of people who have arrived. Being such a hot day, it can be quite uneasy to be jostling with others just to check out the place & the items sold at Asiatique.

As avid foodies, we ended up heading back to our hotel area, where we bought most of our supper at the Pratunam night market (right in front of Baiyoke, behind our hotel).

Mango sticky rice (THB60)
Unfortunately, the mangoes weren't very sweet; some were tasteless :( We had such high hopes for some good mango sticky rice at Bangkok but this 1st try didn't satisfy.

Seafood galore...we didn't get any...we were just eyeing all the pork satay!

Grilled fish coated in salt
We wanted to have this, but it was quite messy to bring it back to the hotel when we don't have proper plates & utensils to enjoy the fish.

Basil chicken with rice (THB40/THB50 with egg)

This basil chicken with rice wasn't exactly very delicious, but I must say that the rice was fragrant. Oh well, that's Day 1 for us, who were on exploration mode. Everything is by trial & error.

More stories to come as I write up my experience on Day 2 :) Oh you may be asking if I bought anything on Day 1 apart from food; the answer is "no". Nothing very appealing nor anything that I need/want...haha...I'm not a shopaholic, eh?

Not the most exciting Day 1 experience in Bangkok,


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