Thursday, August 31, 2006

BangKok Shopping Trip

Day 1 (26.08.2006)

Today, eldest sis and myself boarded Thai Airways to Bangkok to begin our shopping spree. I had curry fish with noodles while my sis had chicken with rice. My curry fish was good, yummy.

Luckily it was only a 2 hours flight to Bangkok because nothing beats SQ inflight entertainment. We only had a headset to listen to music and no movies. Had to fight among the heads to view the shared screen on a documentary show about the Emblem of the 60th Anniversary of The Thailand King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Accession to the Throne.

The scenery from the plane looks great.

On arrival it was already night. The hotel room was comfortable with two televisions (one in the bedroom and one in the living room) and it comes with an attached kitchen, fridge and microwave. But who had the time to cook (lol).

After dumping our bags, we went out to shop but discovered the mall closed early at 8 pm. Bought some mineral water cause of the diarrhoea scare. We dared not eat at the roadside food stalls, we took our dinner at our hotel. The char siew noodle taste horrible.

Day 2 (27.08.2006)

Had to meet the tour guide for a free half day tour, so had to wake up early for breakfast. Could be it was too early, did not eat much.
Went on a river cruise and saw Bangkok's beautiful, gleaming temples and the magnificent Grand Palace and the famous ruins of Ayuthaya, the Kingdom's former capital. We had experienced the novelty and fun of a floating market. The vendors sold their goods from the small boats.

Many of the residents still stayed at houses along/above the river. I remembered my last visit many decades ago, it was very dirty and messy, now the river is not so dirty although the water still looks so yellowish.
After the floating market, we were brought to a gems and leather factory. Then it was free & easy, and we took a free shuttle van to Chatuchak Market. This is The Worlds Biggest Weekend Market selling practically everything under the sun. Once inside the market, we were in a world of bursting crowds and stalls stretching as far as the eye can see. I felt as if I am lack of oxygen, the crowd was too much for me to bear. We only spend 2 hours there, did not buy much. Not worth going to Chatuchak Market unless you wanted to purchase home decorations. Had lunch in the quite unsightly food stall but the food tasted good or was it we were too hungry.
After several taxis refusing to fetch us back to hotel because they don't earn much if they travelled far, we managed to get a taxi to fetch us back to hotel. It was a scary ride, the taxi driver stop at a petrol kiosk to use the toilet and then he continued the journey. We were so afraid that he might rob us or something like that. All funny thoughts come into our minds (lol). The funniest part when we were caught in the traffic jam, we noticed that the taxi was running on empty tank, I was joking with my sis to get ready to push the taxi (lol).

The fare was cheap, cost us only 111 baht (about S$4.60). After dumping our shopping bags, we went out again.

Accompanied my eldest sister to the famous Erawan Shrine. Both Thais and foreign visitors come to pay their respects at Erawan Shrine. People offer colourful flower garlands, lotus, incense and candles. If their wish has been granted, they will come back with donations of teak elephants or pay the classical Thai dancers and live orchestra to perform to the gods.
The shrine was destroyed many months ago by a mentally ill man. Was told by the local guide that many buddhists around the world donated money to rebuilt the shrine from the original broken shrine. Took 60 workmen to put all the broken pieces back in a matter of few months.

We then went to Central World Plaza (formerly World Trade Centre) and was disappointed that Zen was closed in July 2006 for major renovation and would open only in December 2006. Did not buy anything in Central World Plaza, it was not worth buying all the branded stuff in here, it is cheaper to shop for branded stuff in Singapore. Had dinner at a small chinese restaurant. The food tasted good.

Went back hotel and was beginnning to feel tired and slept early.

Day 3 (28.08.2006)

This morning, we had a slow and relaxing breakfast at the hotel. Was real good, ate so much. There was sushi too but I dont really fancy sushi but sis ate a lot of sushi (lol). I prefer hot food. Ate the beautiful and tasty chicken congee(porridge), soya milk with yew char kwey (fried fritters), pastry, fried rice,dim sum and many more food. Had a coconut drink too , was real good for the throat after walking in the dusty road of Bangkok during the past few days.

Took a cab to Mahboonkrong Centre. The massive and very popular MBK shopping center has a huge range of goods and many varied, inexpensive shops and facilities (including restaurants, cinemas, games arcade and a bowling alley). Did some shopping there. Wow the bags were so cheap, I bought five and sis bought four. Wanted to buy more but was worried that my suitcase was not big enough (lol). Bought many things here.
Finally, we decided to rest and have lunch. Lunch was noodles with crab meat and tom yom soup.

After lunch, we walked and shop again. Wow, we were really tired and took a cab back to hotel and rest. After resting, we went out again (lol). But only to the Platinum Fashion Mall beside our hotel.

Wow, more cheap stuff, bought more shoes and other stuff. Bought only three pairs of shoes. It was so cute, if you buy one pair, it cost 199 baht (about S$8) and two pairs it would cost 180 baht and 3 pairs would be 170 baht. Wish I had bigger bag to buy more shoes, sigh.
Luckily, my husband did not follow along, otherwise I could not shop like a queen ....hahaha. It was so much fun. Had dinner at a bakery restaurant. The food was good too and dont cost much. It would be cheaper if we ate at the roadside stall but looking at the unhygienic way they prepare the food, we had second thoughts.

This time, both of us were really so tired and our legs started to show tiredness. After a warm and nice bath, I lied on the bed and fall asleep even though my sister was watching television, the noise did not bothered me at all (lol). I was so dead tired.

Day 4(29.06.2006)

We would be taking the night flight to Singapore, so we still had time for last minute shopping. We walked to the Pratunam Market (Garments Wholesale Market) that was directly opposite our hotel... Oh my gosh, the things here were so much cheaper than all the malls, only that it is non-airconditioned and the goods were not displayed so beautifully and were a bit messy. Bought some bead necklaces at rock bottom prices (about 80 singapore cents) and some bermudas for sons. My next trip, I would head here first before going to all the shopping mall (lol). Time for flight back to home sweet home. The traffic jam from our hotel to airport was so bad, we kinda panic that we might missed our flight. Did not have time for dinner at airport but luckily the food served in the plane was great. We had fried rice with chicken.
My husband was at the airport waiting for me to come out of the custom. He was amazed at the cheap stuff I bought and he wanted to go shopping too. Ha Ha Ha......the next time, I would bring more empty luggage bags.

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