Sunday, 29 September 2013

My Bangkok Trip - Part 1 (Visiting the unusual places!)

As many of you know, I recently went to Bangkok with my family and BFF Miao.
I had been yearning so long for a short getaway for de-stressing my tired soul, so you can imagine how enthusiastic I was before the trip.

Now that I am back (and de-stressed), I can't wait to share with you guys out there some of the main highlights during my BKK experience! 
Furthermore, it has only been a day since I returned to Singapore... And the BKK mood is still lingering! 
I figured that I must blog about my trip while the feeling is going strong. Hahaha.

I believe my entry may be helpful to those out there who are in preparation of their BKK trip, too. So... ... Trust me, read on and you will not regret this. HAHA.

About my flight:
 I got the plane tickets at a ridiculously low price through a Scoot promotion - only $127! (It is inclusive of two-way tickets) 
Good deal, right??!!
It was my first time taking a plane from a budget airline, so it was inevitable that I felt scared, too. 
Nonetheless, my fear was uncalled for when I saw for myself how awesome the flight experience was. (I have heard enough stories about people telling me how budget planes have seats that make them feel so uncomfortable, etc. BUT my experience was NOTHING like that at all. Seriously.)

Right. Here are some photos that I took with my semi-DSLR camera while waiting for my flight. Those planes looked damn majestic in reality.


Yes, this was actually the plane that I was on! Bigger than I imagined.



Was feeling bored and ended up snapping a photo of the people at the waiting area. LOL.


Actually, I took more photos using my mobile phone more than the camera as I love the idea of instant editing and uploading them to Facebook. (I was literally flooding the newsfeed on a daily basis during my BKK trip! Hahaha.)

One of the camwhore moments while on the plane - minutes before we were told to switch off our mobile phones.
Pardon my face as I did not have any make-up on at all. Really so unlike me as I seldom upload my bare face online! So this is one of the rare moments that you can see me without. LOL.


The seats that we were allocated to were quite comfortable (to me).  Other than the fact that there is no FREE in-flight entertainment and you practically have to pay for everything on a budget airline, I felt that it was still alright since it was only 2-hour flight. There was not even enough time for me to sleep as I was too busy feeling the excitement! 

As below was my flight meal.
 Healthy fruit cup and dried fruit crisps (given free for my fruit cup purchase) at $3.
(It was so nostalgic because I ever worked for SunMoon. Haha)


It was already around late evening when we touched down at the airport. We spent quite a huge amount of time trying to figure our way out of the airport, and applying for a local Thailand pre-paid SIM card.
I managed to apply for a 7-day package, which was just nice for the duration of my trip.
And guess what? It only cost me $9.50!

Not to mention that I was granted 1GB of 3G data usage and unlimited 2G data usage. (This means that even after I exceeded my 3G data limit, I would still be able to surf the net on an UNLIMITED basis, only at a slower rate at 64 kpbs. COOL right??!) 
In other words, there is no need to worry about incurring extra data roaming charges on my own account.
If you are intending to go BKK for a short trip, don't forget to check the deal out! The mobile operator I went to was AIS. Their staff were all dressed in green uniform, similar to Starhub's. LOL.

After applying for the card and feeling contented, we proceeded to our hotel (I pre-booked the hotel through Asiarooms.com) - Bangkok City Inn.
Yes yes, it is supposed to be a budget hotel.
But what appealed me was the location the hotel is situated at. The famous Pratunam Market and Platinum Mall was just across the road away, and there were street flea markets (My favorite!) downstairs...
There was even a 7-11 store within a short walking distance, and I would get my daily supper from there. I would not have to worry about hunger as well because the hotel has 24-hour food delivery room service!
From salad and sandwiches to full course meals, you name it... They have it.
Awesome, right? I just love the location, lah!
(And most importantly, the hotel room that I stayed in wasn't haunted. Phew. LOL)


As it was already late evening when we reached the hotel, we decided to order for room delivery service. (My dad actually looked down on their food and said it wouldn't be nice.. But how wrong he was!)
Looks majestic, right?!
We had fried rice, pad thai, mushroom soup, etc.
And I was impressed. The only unimpressive factor was the PRICE. Hahaha.


We turned in early for Day 1... And went for some insane shopping during Day 2!
The flea market downstairs was damn awesome... I felt like I could spend money on EVERY stall that I came across! 
Seriously, the prices are DAMN dirt cheap. All the tees, shirts, tank tops, dresses were all sold for a price of less than $10. And I totally remembered seeing the same items being sold in Singapore stores as well - but with marked-up ridiculous prices!
The beautiful tank top that I saw at the flea market was only retailing at $4 (100 Baht)... But retailing in Singapore at $10 and above!)
I can totally see why Bangkok is one of the highly targeted places for people who are looking to set up a business here in Singapore. Their stuff are rarely expensive there, and you can really jack up the prices here in Singapore by double or even triple!
I was truly amazed. To me, it was a shopping heaven and I found myself spending money like tap water~ It was just so addictive - seeing items that I like and yet they are unexpectedly cheap.
It was like money wasn't a consideration at all. Gosh.

I was so surprised at myself -in a bad way- that I managed to spend so much on my first day of the trip. *a pang of guilt* BUT IT'S NORMAL, RIGHT? RIGHT..?!?! Who can resist such cheap stuff, you tell me?!




We headed to another "hazardous" place for shopping since it was a weekend and we knew we could NOT miss it- Chatuchak market. Chatuchak is a total shopping heaven during weekends only. So don't forget to visit the place on weekends!

We took the BTS from Chit Lom Station all the way to Mo Chit Station. (Trust me, taking the BTS is one of the cheapest and faster methods to travel around BKK as there will be traffic jams everywhere.)




See the long stretch of umbrella shelters there? Those were the small stalls that offer lots of great deals!
(Can you believe that a necklace that is commonly seen on Qoo10/Gmarket or *Scape flea markets can be sold for as low as $0.60 there?!)

 
We had to cross the curvy-looking bridge to reach the place.


Chatuchak is an ENORMOUS place. There were street stalls and inner stores - something like our Bugis Street, except that it is so much bigger-scaled and messier. *coughs*


You will definitely be spoilt for choice when it come to shopping here. Be prepared to come with a fat pocket and leave the place with a hole on it. LOL. #truestory


As below are just some random pictures that I took while walking along the different lanes.


Look at this! Coconut Ice-cream! Apparently, coconut ice-cream seems to be a hit in BKK. I could see coconut ice-cream stalls everywhere at Chatuchak. (Some may be priced at 25 Baht or 30 Baht only)
However, there were some stalls that I thought were quite disgusting as there were BEES flying (initially, I thought they were houseflies) everywhere around the ingredients (Damn it, I should have taken a picture of that!).  

Finally, I found a stall that seemed to be quite "clean" and bees-free.


Surprisingly, it tasted really yummy! I find it interesting how innovative the Thais are. Coconut hulks are used as a "bowl" to store the ice-cream (and they even scraped off the coconut meat to be mixed together with the ice-cream!)
You can even choose your own preferred ingredients, such as glutinous rice, agar-agar, etc.
Seriously, you will be damn surprised at its taste! I totally love how each mouthful melts in my mouth. A thirst-quencher at its best!
(And the ice-cream doesn't melt that easily!)


One of our shopping loots from Chatuchak market - Tee-shirts!
We thought we wouldn't be able to find this anywhere else (anyway, it cost us only about $4 per tee shirt?!) The design print looks simple and cool.


We went to Patpong Night Bazaar too (There isn't many varieties there), as most of the stalls seemed to sell the same items. It all has to depend on your skills of haggling/bargaining.


And I did not have the most pleasant shopping experience here as the stall owners seemed to be quite unfriendly.
Can you imagine that I was brushed away just because I was only trying to take a look at a pair of sunglasses?
One has to try on the sunglasses to see if it fits before purchasing, right? I was told that I wasn't even allowed to TOUCH.
That was the most ridiculous thing, ever.
I doubt the owner is able to make any money at all. Shame on her.

My second unpleasant experience also happened at Patpong as well. Again, it was another arrogant stall-owner who refused to let me touch the sunglasses she was selling (what is with those people, seriously??!). She had the cheek to tell me that she would sell me the sunglasses at 1,500 Baht (around $60?), and invited me to "go next stall" if I cannot pay that amount.
Come on, that sunglasses she was selling might not even be authentic! 
(Probably that was the reason why she was afraid to let me analyze the sunglasses, for fear that I would expose her of selling fake goods! Hmph.)


The tuk-tuk drivers waiting patiently for customers.. LOL.


I saw this beautiful-looking PINK tuk-tuk by the roadside as well! It was a pity that I could not take a clearer picture of it as there were people walking around every single second.


I did not really buy anything much at Patpong (I doubt I will even return to that place again).

Let's proceed to the next shopping place instead - Platinum Fashion Mall!



You can see for yourself how badly the traffic jam in BKK was.
It was terrible.
Fortunately, we did not have to take any form of transport to the Platinum Mall as it was just a walking distance from our hotel.




 A random picture I took while on my way to the mall.


Finally, we reached the destination.

Personally, I have heard how highly raved this mall is. However, I feel that the items there are not really THAT cheap, and you cannot really haggle much - unless you are purchasing 2 pieces or more. I would say the prices may be reasonable, but definitely NOT the cheapest as compared to other shopping places that I will be mentioning in the later part of this post. :)
There are many accessories (necklaces, bracelets, fake diamonds, hair accessories, etc) retailing at the 5th storey, and a food court at the 6th storey. The mode of payment wasn't that convenient as we had to purchase coupons in order to pay for the food. Oh well.


Let's move on to my FAVORITE shopping place instead.
SAMPENG MARKET

(Courtesy of Google images)

Seriously, Sampeng Market offers the CHEAPEST deals around. Even much more cheaper than your Platinum or Pratunam market.
Sampeng Market is a total shopping heaven that caters to WHOLESALE, and you will be able to get items cheap at their wholesale price if you purchase 3 items and above! (Amount of items vary from stall to stall)
I literally went crazy because many of the items were going at 10 Baht, 20 Baht.
You can even see similar items being sold at Pratunam market, but at a cheaper price! It will be ideal if you go there with a group of friends to enjoy the wholesale deal.
I bought hairbands, keychains, small toys etc.
AND THERE WERE ALOT OF VARIETIES!
However, they do not really entertain bargaining as most of their price are already the lowest you can ever find.
I hope I am not boring you with my shopping trips here... But well, I did not go BKK solely for shopping!
I visited other highlights of the day as well - and now I am back with stories to tell!

Here is one of the unusual places - Siriraj Medical Mueum/ Bangkok Forensic Museum


I was not aware that this place existed until I read about it online. (The power of Internet rocks!) Located inside the Siriraj hospital, this museum is not the easiest place to locate. In fact, I believe this place is not even meant for tourists to begin with, but more for their local medical students/educational purposes. Hence, it was quite a thrilling experience for us!

Siriraj museum is NOT your ordinary museum because it actually contains REAL, PRESERVED HUMAN BODIES (there were preserved baby bodies, real human skins, worms, preserved bodies of infamous MURDERERS kept in STANDING positions, etc) Not for the faint-hearted.

As photographs were prohibited in the museum, I shall copy and paste some from other sources here.


(Photo credits to Tripadvisor)

And this is the REAL, preserved, dried-up human body of a Thai criminal:
(It's really unbelievable how he used to be human just like you and me.. And now he is forever sealed in this container... Immortalized.)

(Photo credits to: Friskodude)

Real, preserved baby.
(Photo credits to: www.rpgcodex.net)

There were many other preserved exhibits as well, and most of the descriptions are in Thai language. (Told you, the museum isn't meant for the tourists to begin with)
If you are intending to visit BKK and is in for an unusual experience, I believe this museum will appeal to you. (If you are physically weak, do ensure you come with an empty stomach!)

Another museum that we visited in BKK was the Bangkokian Museum.
(Open from Wednesday - Sunday, 10am to 4pm)


Similarly, it is located at quite a deserted location (even our tuk-tuk driver did not know how to go and had to call the museum for directions!) Eventually, we arrived.. and boy, did we take many photographs there!



The entrance:



I don't understand the text... LOL..



78 YEARS AGO, this was actually a REAL HOUSE. (Its a real house turned museum)
The owner was a woman known as Archan Waraporn Surawadee, who set up the house as a museum on her own. Many of the items in the house/museum were still in great condition. They were well-preserved, including the beds, chairs, household items, dressing tables, etc.
It's like you are standing right inside a piece of history, looking and touching the belongings from another individual who is no longer around. The feeling was just so.. surreal.

(Oh, and in case you are wondering- Admission to this museum is FREE. And there will even be a tour guide bringing you around, too! I gave him a tip eventually)

I will be posting load of photographs here, so I shall let them do the talking! Enjoy~

A house with a story to tell... ...




Featuring one of the egg shell collections:







 'Our tour guide


The owner's collection of books!

The toilet area! I wonder if they are the original, preserved toiletbowls? Hmmm...





Our humble tour guide explaining and telling us the story behind every item..

Looking out of the window...



 The collection of glass wine bottles.. I am sure they are worth quite lot now!

A very old piano...
(That was my dad pictured in the background LOL)



The living room couch... Looks comfy but they are already a vintage item. Not for sitting!


 You will be able to read this if you understand Thai... (Not for me though. LOL)



 There were many art of the house featured here.. I heard they were drawn by students.


Looking out, you can see the front porch.


The house was quite big as it has a 2nd storey as well. However, you have to be really careful when walking up or down the stairs.
The staircase is quite steep.




In the past, there was no electronic fan at all. Manual fanning, anyone?




The baby cot..



Looks elegant and eerie at the same time...



I looked out from the 2nd storey..


That's a dressing table. Haha, you can see my reflection here! Gosh.



Fabrics/Clothings

The basin area.



Here;s an extended bedroom area.

The pillow case didn't look clean.. I wonder if it is a real preserved item as well.









































































That's us with our tour guide for the day!
Thank you for the hard work!



Wow, this post is getting so long. I'll show you guys more pictures of my trip in the next upcoming post - PART 2! Do stay tuned if you are interested to see my shopping loots.. and I'll be featuring the new Terminal 21 shopping mall!!Hope you guys enjoy the read so far ;)

28 comments:

  1. hi i wanna ask you, how you keep online in Bangkok? are you use Bangkok sim card or just using wifi? and if its Bangkok sim card, is it hard to buy the sim card? can u tell me where can i buy one and how to activated it, cause i'll off to bangkok soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Imm Egnwn,

      You will be able to spot one of the stores that offer such mobile services at the airport when you arrive. It is actually a prepaid card that works just like our local SIM cards. It is not difficult to get one - Just let the staff know that you would like to purchase the traveller's prepaid card, and he/she will help you to configure the settings on your phone. The staff will ensure that the card is activated before you leave the counter; so you can be rest assured that it won't go wrong :) Hope this helps, and may you have a pleasant trip at BKK! :)

      Delete
  2. Do Pratunam Market and Sampeng Market opens on Monday?

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  10. Hello..

    I'm taking scoot to bkk too... but cnt seem to see ur pics.

    some pics are broken. hope u can fix them so that I can view them.

    good posts tho.. many things i'll take note of :))

    thanks :)

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  13. Do u khow how i could go to the Siriraj museum from Pratunam market by BTS or MRT? ^^ tks so much!

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