Last day in Bangkok, Curry Crab, Don Muang

For our last day in Bangkok, we enjoy a slow paced day. We had breakfast in the hotel, packed our bags, checked out almost noon, took BTS to Siam, had curry crab for lunch at Somboon Seafood at Siam Square One. We also had duck web noodle at a chinese restaurant before taking BTS to Mo Chit Station. From Mo Chit, we took bus 29 to Don Muang Airport. At Don Muang, we had our dinner before boarding our flight at 18.20 pm. We arrived at Singapore at 9.40pm.

Curry Crab from Somboon Seafood Restaurant

Date visited: 14 July 2014

Bangkok Wat Arun, Mookata, Baiyoke Sky Hotel

We started our day quite late today. We had breakfast at hotel and a short swim in the swimming pool. We then took BTS to Saphan Taksin. The ferry is just outside BTS station. We bought the day pass of the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat for 150 baht. The waiting time was quite long, however the tour guide instruction and the map were very clear. Our first stop was Grand Palace. However, after realising that Grand Palace was so huge and the admission was quite expensive (400 baht), and it was already 2pm and our boat only operates until 5pm, we decided to give Grand Palace a miss. We then took the boat to Wat Arun and spend some time exploring the area. About 4.30pm, we left Wat arun and went back to Saphan Taksin.

River City
Scene during boat ride
Wat Arun
Crossing Ferry
Entrance of Wat Arun
Wat Arun carvings
View from Wat Arun

After that, we took BTS to Victory Monument to have mookata dinner. It was unlimited food for THB 149/person, but you need to pay more for drinks and ice. We ate until we couldn’t take anymore food. After satisfying our food, we decided to take BTS to Phaya Thai, then changed to Airport Link and took the train to Ratchaprarop. From there we walked to Baiyoke Sky Hotel. It was raining but we were determined to see Bangkok from its tallest building. Upon reaching Baiyoke Sky, we were informed that rooftop observation deck (84th floor) is closed due to rain, however we still can visit the indoor observation deck (77th floor). We decided to proceed and bought the ticket to observation deck which includes free drink at the Rooftop Bar (83th floor). We started our Baiyoke observation journey at 77th floor, then we tried to go to 84th floor. It was actually open, and they provided free umbrellas. We made 2 rounds on the revolving deck before coming down to 83th floor to enjoy our drink. Around 11pm, we decided to go back hotel with cab. We paid 180 baht from Baiyoke Sky to Imm Fusion Hotel.

Mookata dinner at Victory Monument
Mookata restaurant
View from 84th storey revolving observation deck at Baiyoke Sky
Bangkok wat arun, chao phraya boat, mookata, baiyoke sky hotel, Thailand
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Date visited: 13 July 2014

Bangkok Central World, Pratunam Market, Meeting with Family

On the last day of my solo trip, I decided to stroll further to Central World. I was greeted by crowd of decorations for the new year celebration. From Central World, it’s pretty easy to walk to Pratunam Market.

Central World Bangkok
Central World Bangkok
“Journey of Happiness”
Countdown to New Year 2013
Rehearsal
Tiger Beer Camp
Prayer House in front of Central World
River
Traffic near Pratunam
Traffic near Pratunam
Human Traffic
Giving way to the car

In late afternoon, I went back to hostel, took my backpack and made my way to DMK airport via public train and bus, to meet my sisters, uncle and his family, as well as the tour group from Medan. From airport, we were transferred with bus to dinner and then to our hotel at Prince Palace.

Christmas tree in hotel
Hotel entrance
Prince Palace Parking Lot
Festive Desk
Now THIS is FESTIVE!
Missed a chance to drink at this bar! It closed too soon!
Bangkok Central World and Pratunam Market, Thailand
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Date visited: 27 Dec 2012

Museum of Contemporary Art Bangkok and Jim Thompson House

The train arrived late in Bangkok, therefore I had breakfast on the train, and it feels good.

Upon reaching Hualamphong station in Bangkok, I took public train to Siam, and then walked to Lub d Hostel. I was lucky because I walked in and there is available bed for me for the night. After checking in, I took shower in their clean and comfortable toilet. My friend recommended this hotel to me and I must say that the location is very good. I can easily walk to Museum of Contemporary Art Bangkok and MBK.

The museum is quite big, I had to spend a good 4 hours in it, including lunch in a Japanese restaurant. I really enjoyed the museum.

Looks like a comfortable chair
Menu of the japanese restaurant
Udon and coke!
Mud splash
Mud bath
Railing decoration
Levitating statue
Awesome work
Dolls
Teaching
Delicate work
Exhibition by HRH Princess Maha Chaki Sirindhorn
Cool space in the museum

After museum, I decided to visit Jim Thompson House because it is within the vicinity and I could easily walk to the house. The admission ticket has included compulsory guided tour.

Public bus in Bangkok
Taxi in Bangkok
Tuk Tuk in Bangkok
Jim Thompson House Museum
In front of Jim Thompson House
Silk Cocoon
Silk threads
Silk
Lotus
Traditional dance performance
Meeting point for guided tour
Prayer House
Restaurant
Dining by the pond
My yummy early dinner: coconut, fried garlic chicken and rice

At night, I decided to see what is there at Siam, since Siam is so near from my hostel. Turns out, it was a very happening area. There was even some concert at an open area.

Happy new year 2013 in 5 days
Santa Clause is still there after Xmas
Lights and lights
Night lights
Near concert area
Bangkok Museum of Contemporary Art and Jim Thompson House, Thailand
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Date: 26 December 2012

Shopping in Chatuchak and Going to Chiang Mai

What’s the best thing to do in Bangkok on weekend? Shopping.

Chatuchak market is only open on weekend and it’s very popular for tourist. I decided to pay a visit. I checked out around 11am, stored my luggage with the bellboy and took MRT to Chatuchak. Chatuchak park was very beautiful on a sunny day. I wanted to make it my phone’s background picture. I had lunch at the exit gate of the park. One thing I learn from the lunch: Thai fried rice is awful, and Thai friend chicken is incredible. The market is a few metres from the park. It was a huge market, with people selling so many things. From clothes, accessories, food, beers, drinks, antiques, live pets, fresh vegetable and meats, etc.

Chatuchak Park
Chatuchak Park

I had so much fun shopping for clothes and accessories. It was so cheap that I didn’t bother to bargain. Belt for 50 baht (2 sgd). Short pants for 50 baht. Shirt for 100 baht. I almost went crazy. But of course there are clothes that are more than 200 baht. I didn’t try coconut ice cream and I regret. It was very popular and cheap: 30 baht! Goshhhh Bangkok is heaven!!

Chatuchak Market

Tired after shopping under the sun, I took BTS to Siam for some air-conditioner. Had a short wandering in Siam Paragon before making my way back to hotel. Upon reaching hotel, the pickup driver has been waiting for me at the lobby impatiently. It was only 4.50 or 4.55 pm. The agreed pick up time was 5.00pm for the overnight bus. Anyway I rushed to the taxi with my shopping goods and rucksack.

Black Canyon Coffee while waiting for the bus

The driver dropped me off at Indra Travel instead of Mo Chit bus terminal. I was confused, but the travel agency people convinced me that the bus is indeed leaving from that place. So I had my dinner at a mall opposite the travel agency. Had KFC, tried the lime spicy chicken, and it was weird. Bought 2gb sd card for 200 baht. Had coffee at Black Canyon Coffee while writing down my new year resolutions. Eventually, boarded the bus at 8pm. It wasn’t a very VIP bus afterall, there could be 40-50 or more people. Then it struck me: this is a private bus, not government VIP bus that’s recommended by other travelers! Argh. The bus stopped frequently on highway, the journey was bumpy and I got motion sick because of it, the passengers couldn’t stop chatting though it’s been 1.30am. It wasn’t a good bus ride for me but thankfully I could sleep peacefully after 2am.

First time in Chatuchak, Bangkok, Thailand
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Date visited: 22 Dec 2012

The Day The World Predicted to End – Bangkok Chinatown and Sukhumvit

The world was predicted to end on this day. If it did, I would be proud to blow my last breath on the land of Buddha. But thankfully, it didn’t!

I started my day late. After showering, I did my research on where I should have my lunch and what I should do on that day. About 11am, I took MRT from Petchaburi to Sukhumvit. Based on recommendation by Lonely Planet travel book that I brought with me, I decided to look for Bharani restaurant at Sukhumvit soi 23 for authentic Thai food. It took me more than an hour to find the place!! It was no more than 500m from MRT. Along the way, I stopped by 7-11 to buy Thai simcard. Also I saw a travel agent, so I went in to ask about bus to Chiang Mai. They quoted me 1000 baht (including pick up from hotel). I knew that buses cost 600-800 baht from bus terminal, and I knew that transport from hotel to terminal might be 100-200 baht, so I decided to buy the bus ticket after ensuring that it’s VIP with aircond. The bus journey will be overnight journey on 22 Dec.

After finding Bharani restaurant (Address: 96/14 Soi Sukhumvit 23, Sukhumvit Rd), I ordered dishes that I’m most familiar with. I had 1 Thai iced tea, 1 Thai iced tea with milk, 1 minced pork with basil leave, 1 red creamy tomyum soup, 1 jasmine rice. That’s a huge lunch for a lady huh. Anyway I had been so hungry and haven’t eaten any real meal since I arrived at Bangkok. And the food tasted so great. It costs me 310 baht (about 12sgd, good value for money).

Food for one hungry lady

After lunch, I took MRT to Hua Lamphong. I intended to walk to Chinatown. I managed to find Wat Traimit on the way. After that I got lost and couldn’t find other wat in Chinatown. The maps from lonely planet and the maps given by airport officer wasn’t very helpful. And the signage on the roads are not helpful either. At 3.30pm, I decided to give up. I walked back to MRT and went to Hua Lamphong station to check out the place. I asked the ticket counter about availability of train ticket (sleeper class) from Chiangmai to Bangkok and they told me it’s still available and it cost about 800 baht. So I booked an upper berth second class sleeper for 25 Dec.

Wat Traimit
Wat Traimit
School beside Wat Traimit
Street Snacks at Chinatown
Streets at Chinatown
Temple at Chinatown
Streets at Chinatown
Temple at Chinatown
Streets at Chinatown

I took MRT back to hotel. I rested for a while before going out to meet my friend. After having enough rest, I took MRT to Sukhumvit again. Spent some time at Terminal 21 mall. Eventually met my friend at the mall and together we took BTS to Ekkamai station, then walked a few distance to a family-operated japanese buffet restaurant called Kuroda. The restaurant was very crowded. We had nice salmon and tuna. After sushi, we went to Swensen’s and had ice cream. It was great to hear stories about Thai country and its people. After the meal, on the way to Airport Link, they told me they’d accompany me during my stay in Chiang Mai. I was very surprised and happy. But we would make our own ways to Chiang Mai. I’ll take overnight bus on 22nd while they drive on 23rd. It was a great day.

Bangkok Chinatown
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Date visited: 21 Dec 2012

First Time in Bangkok – From Don Muang Airport to City

Bangkok is only 2 hour flights away from Singapore but I’ve never been to the city until now. I didn’t plan to visit it either. Until my sisters told me that both of them, together with my uncle’s family, want to go there on a tour at the end of year 2012, I thought “Why not? It’s not like I have better plan for new year anyway” And since I wasn’t employed full time at that moment, I decided to go to Bangkok 1 week earlier than the scheduled tour.
Fast forward, I traveled to Bangkok alone. My master plan was something like: 2 days in Bangkok, 3 days in Chiang Mai, 2 days again in Bangkok, then followed by 6 days Bangkok&Pattaya tour. And since I had a cyber friend whom I’ve been emailing with more than 10 years ago, and whom I’ve never met before because she’s never traveled to Indo or Singapore and I’ve never visited Bangkok, we planned to meet each other in Bangkok.
View from my window
Sea of clouds

I flew from Singapore (Changi Airport) to Bangkok (Don Muang Airport) with Air Asia on 5pm flight. Upon reaching airport and clearing immigration, I went to information counter and asked for information. I couldn’t decide whether to take cab or bus to the city, both will take 30-45mins. When I saw the long queue of taxi, I decided to take bus instead. The bus stop was right outside the terminal (no need to cross the bridge). Some roads in Bangkok are not well lit and it scares me a lot. Bus 29 and 510 both goes to Mo Chit BTS station. I took bus 29. After properly seated, the bus officer came to me to collect 18 baht. After paying, I asked her where I must stop if I wanted to take train, but she didn’t understand english. At that point, I was panic and frustrated. All passengers were staring at me like I’m alien. I decided to shut up and acted like I know where I’m going while inside I’m scared to death. Then a blonde guy boarded the bus and sat beside me (across the aisle). I asked him where I need to stop and he told me he’ll point to me and that the station is easy to spot. Suddenly it feels like a good day and I could put on a smile. He told me it’s been raining frequently recently and he related it to the possibility of world going to end on the next day, 21st Dec 2012.

Eventually I dropped off at Mo Chit station, took the train to Phaya Thai and change to Airport Link to Makkasan station. The station was so huge and I was lost. There was not many people to ask direction to, only a female guard at ground floor. She pointed the direction to my hotel, FX Makkasan. I walked in the dark, on quiet roads with only few people (but with busy traffic). Eventually I reached the hotel at 9 plus. After checking in and resting, the clock showed 10pm and I lost my energy and adventurous spirit. I decided to buy cup noodles and snacks from 7-11 nearby and called it a day. It was indeed an adventurous day for me.

Standard Room in FX Hotel Makkasan (Now: Hotel Link Makkasan)
Double bed

Date visited: 20 Dec 2012