Travel: Bangkok, Thailand
May 1, 2011 2 Comments
Big hooray to another mission accomplished! After my solo travel at Bali last January, this time I went to Bangkok, Thailand together with my colleagues. We planned this trip last year and thanks to our manager and leads for allowing us to take the vacation leaves all at the same time. Hehehe! Good thing also that it was a Good Friday holiday here in Singapore and Easter Holiday in London (which is one of the regions we’re supporting).
We got the voucher promo for this trip in one of the Group Deal sites for only SGD 188. It’s cheap isn’t it? We thought so too. But then the surcharges and other taxes were still not included so we still ended up paying for more. (Tip: Look out for super cheap deals. It’s not actually that cheap for sure. Either other charges not included or they gonna bombard you with super sales talk just like what happened to me and Darwin when I bought that 90% off Couple’s massage. !@#$%^)
Departure from SG and Arrival at Bangkok
We’re to leave SG on a Saturday afternoon via Myanmar Airways. Before that, we met at Changi Airport Terminal 1 at around 2PM. It’s our first time to ride Myanmar Airways. We availed this as part of the upgrade for the deal promo. The plane is an airbus type just like Cebu Pacific but the only difference is that they serve free food.
We arrived at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi (suwanapum) International Airport around 6PM their local time. Bangkok’s airport is one of the best airports I’ve ever seen. The train system is also good despite being a third world country like the Philippines. Their subway reminds me of SG’s MRT system, they also have the ticket vending machine. I wish we have the same thing back in the Philippines! (Yeah we have!!!But it’s not working.)
Sawadee Ka Bangkok
Bangkok is very similar to the Philippines in many ways (well except for the temples, airport and train system). Actually, all of us kept on saying “Parang Pinas lang!” Everywhere we go, there’s something that will remind us of the Philippines – stray dogs, slums, street food, traffic, homeless sleeping along the sidewalks, Baclaran, Pasay, EDSA, Tutuban, 168 Mall, Taft Avenue, Ermita, Recto, etc. The ambiance is very Philippines!
We stayed at Taipan Hotel at Sukhumvit (sukumwit) area. It is one of Bangkok’s cosmopolitan area and where most of expatriate community stays. A couple of blocks away from our hotel is Soi Cowboy street, where you can see lots of chick bars to choose from. The street is a red light zone and bars normally closes at 1AM which is mandated by the government. The reason behind this is to tone down the noise since the place is located near residential areas. We spent our first two nights of group bonding session here. We check out Tilac Bar, which is one of the bars there and saw girls doing pole dancing inside. Unfortunately, there weren’t any beautiful girls inside. Even the nanay looking ones were doing pole dancing – Oh God! We also made a stop in Patpong at Silom area. It’s funny because the doors of the bars are wide open and you can actually see from the outside the girls doing pole dancing wearing only super skimpy two piece clothing.
Guess what our favorite pastime in Bangkok is – Eating! Nothing beats the real thing. They’ve got the most delicious pad thai, tom yum and pineapple rice ever. The ones sold in the streets and market places are way better than those in the hotels, seriously. We’re just eating mostly pad thai during our entire stay there. Hehe!
Street foods are the best too (except the exotic ones).
We also ate at Cabbage and Condoms, one of the restaurants in downtown Bangkok. Unique and kinky – best words to describe the restaurant. I’ve never seen that many condoms in my life. Imagine, giving free condoms after meals instead of toothpick? Haha!
Bangkok is also one big shopping Mecca. We went to Chatuchak Weekend Market and the place was really huge and crowded by the time we went there. It’s like our local version of Divisoria but bigger. And you can buy almost ANYTHING there – apparel, shoes, textile, souvenirs, live animals, souvenirs, handicrafts, etc. We split in groups and agreed to meet afterwards. We all have our own big plastic bags after shopping.
We also made a short stop at Platinum Shopping Mall, which is a wholesale shopping place in Bangkok. The place is similar to Market Market boutiques in Taguig or Bugis Junction. We weren’t able to scout the entire mall because we’re already too tired after the Chatuchak shopping. It’s really hot and humid outside just like Manila.
Shopping ✔ Night Life ✔. Of course, Bangkok experience won’t be complete without exploring the temples. So we went to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho on our third day, both places located in Rattanakosin district. Grand Palace is a big complex of structures and temples. It’s a big tourist area and we were charged 350 baht each for the entrance fee.
Make sure to do your research first before going there. I made the wrong move of wearing leggings that day which is not allowed (despite my colleagues reminders – Haha!). I have to spend my precious 30-45 minutes falling in queue just to borrow a skirt. Just like Philippines, it’s a very long waiting time and it sucks.
After the long tiring walk at Grand Palace, we went to Wat Pho (wat means ‘temples’) where you’ll see the famous Reclining Buddha. It’s a dream come true for me seeing the Reclining Buddha in actual, thanks to my favorite movie “The Beach“ (Hahaha! Sorry paulit ulit peyborit ko kase talaga itong lakwatsa moveeeee!).
It’s just a short weekend vacation. Nevertheless, I enjoy it still since it’s the first time for the team to go out on a trip together. I’ll go back to Thailand maybe to see that Pingpong Show and go to Khao San Road and ride the tuktuk. Solo trip ✔ Barkada trip ✔. Hopefully, next travel adventure with Darwin will push through.
Note: More BKK pics here.