Bangkok trippin' (part 1)

By Esther Rachel Lai. - 7/09/2013

Just a little over two weeks ago, I was in Bangkok with Shane for 4 days, 4 nights! We'd been waiting for this trip since January cause we booked the tickets in Jan & got a real deal at about $650 for both flight and lodging for two. We booked a package at & chose to fly with scoot since we didn't need to top up for a better flight company considering that it's only a 2 hour flight so taking the budget airline was fine with us.

I spent my morning with Kylie baby, I had told her a few days leading up to the date of our flight that we (Shane & I) were going to take an aeroplane & her response was always a whiny "nooo..." I was actually really hesitant to leave her in Singapore cause I know I'd miss her tons and the haze made it worse. I was so worried about her health and all. Thank God the haze cleared up a couple of days before we flew, else I don't know how I could enjoy my trip and put my heart at ease knowing I'm in Bangkok breathing clean air & she's there in Singapore with the thick haze making it barely breathable.

Our flight was scheduled for the evening so Kylie got her afternoon nap before we headed to the airport. She was so tired she actually slept on the table while standing! haha! Silly girl!

When she got up, it was already time for us to leave & I dressed her up in longs & a really pretty floral skirt she got as a gift from one of our relatives. Did her hair in her ponytail & she looks so pretty!

"Make sad face", said Kylie.

Had Burger King at the airport with my mother-in-law before we checked in, I was surprised Kylie took it pretty well, initially wanted to sneak away without saying bye to Kylie cause we were afraid she'd cry. Amazingly, when we got up to leave the table, she turned around and said "bye!" to us on her own. I reckon' it's cause she was too happy eating fries and ice-cream to bother. 

& a short while later, we were on the plane bound for Thailand! I was really really really nervous & excited at the same time! It's my first flight in more than a decade & my second flight in my entire life! Had to try to contain my excitement though cause Shane was running a high fever the whole day. When he took his temperature in the plane, it hit 39.9 degrees at one point and he turned the thermometer off cause he didn't want to see the numbers escalate to 40 degrees. He wasn't his usual talkative self & he kept apologising cause he thought he was ruining our trip. Quite frankly, I was pretty bummed he was unwell but I was more worried sick than anything. When we touched down, all he wanted was to get back to the hotel so we bought our Happy Tourist Sim card (recommended by one of my colleagues, it's only 299 baht & can last you 7 days!) & a Kool Fever pack & we scooted off to our hotel. Took a cab there & my motion sickness kicked in real bad. The flight plus the cab ride made it extremely horrid. The traffic in Bangkok was so bad & the traffic lights took ages to turn green, I ended up throwing up in the cab & both of us spent the first night nursing a fever and motion sickness. Even though we reached the hotel at about 9pm & had ample time to explore the night market, we just bought food from the street stalls, ate a few mouthfuls and called it a night.

I remember being so scared for Shane that night, I kept sponging him and checking to see if he's alright. I was so afraid he'd fall into shock from the fever and not wake up. Thankfully, our prayers were answered and Shane felt a whole lot better the next morning. I didn't sleep the entire night though cause  I wasn't used to the idea of sleeping in a hotel overseas. I was scared of ghosts lah k. HAHA. & when I was falling asleep, it was already the break of dawn & I could here the incessant sound of the shutters as the store keepers open for business.

In case you're wondering, we stayed at Budacco, it's located in one of the small alleys near Baiyoke Sky (the tallest building in BKK), our good friend Pat recommended the hotel to us & apart from the sleepless first night, everything about the place was perfect! A clean & cosy little nook located just behind the morning market, 2 minutes walk to Pratunam Market & about 5 minutes walk to Platinum Mall!
We chose the ordinary deluxe room & got the pink room! I wouldn't mind staying here again the next time! Might try taking the Oriental room or the suite just to feel more "shiok" having a bigger room. haha.

Our complimentary breakfast buffet. A simple spread but it was good enough. The first day, due to the sleepless night, I woke shane up at about 7am Singapore time and we headed out to the morning market that's right outside our hotel!

Came back to rest a little more, shower and then head out for lunch at Platinum Mall.

Bangkok looks pretty vibrant with all that colours doesn't it? Spot the traffic police in the middle of the road. When was the last time you saw a traffic police directing traffic like that in Singapore?

Unfortunately, we were too busy shopping to snap any pictures in Platinum Mall but if you're wondering how's the mall like, well...half a day in it & this was what we brought back!

We just kept spending money like water! By the end of the day we were thinking "oh shit, I think we need more money" hahaha! It's a really good place to shop, packed with shops of all kinds although things are a little pricey. I was expecting the clothes to be really really cheap but there, the stuff costs about $6-$12 and the stalls would only sell you at a cheaper "wholesale price" if you buy 3 pieces or more.

Shane's not quite the shopper, he'd complain of back aches & would bug me to head back to the hotel to rest. Still feels like I didn't shop as much as I wanted to eventhough I spent about SGD800 on shopping alone. But anyway, yeah so we headed back & I dragged Shane out of the hotel, away from the annoying UFC channel he was watching on TV & headed for....Terminal 21!

The cab ride was pretty interesting. The cabby refused to fetch us by meter and he quoted us a price, after haggling a little, we gave in & took his cab. Less than 5 minutes into the ride, he was pulled over by a traffic police, judging from the number of times the traffic police used the word "meter" I'm guessign he got fined for not using the meter. They asked him to get out of the vehicle & he settled some paperwork, within 10 minutes, he came back furious, he actually slammed the door shut. I really didn't know if I should laugh cause he deserved it or pity him cause he was just trying to earn a little more. Traffic was horrid as usual. Terminal 21's located in Sukhumvit & it isn't a very far ride from our hotel but because of the horrible traffic, we took about an hour to get there. Cab rides are really not my thing, especially in Bangkok. I was so hungover from the ride when we alighted.

Terminal 21's blew me away. It's the coolest shopping mall I've been to! Beats all of Singapore's malls put together. Each level was designed to replicate a certain country. The first level for example, was made to look like Rome, Italy!
Check out the murals on the ceiling. Okay, technically they aren't murals, just pictures of Da Vinci's artwork, similar to those in the Vatican if I'm not wrong.

I'm guessing this part of the mall was made to look like the Colosseum in rome, so cool! See the inscriptions above the pillars?

Doesn't take much to guess which country this is, Japan!

& of course, London!

I love how even the signs in front of the escalators mimic those in the airports. What a clever concept!

The toilet in "San Francisco", so pretty right?! I should have explored the toilets on all the other levels as well haha!

Super loved the whole mall, keeps you anticipating, making you want to explore the entire mall! Left early cause I still felt woozy from the cab ride. Things were pricey there but the stalls there were really unique & sold pretty cool stuff that would make great gifts/souvenirs.

Told Shane I would throw up if we took a cab so we decided to try riding the public train instead. It's located right outside the mall so it's really convenient. & the Thais there more or less could speak a fair amount of english so we had no problem explaining where we wanted to go & asking where we should alight.

 Typical tourists taking photo on their metro/skytrain. & the happy kid with his Rowan Atkinson shirt, the only thing we bought there other than dinner.
Remember back in the 90s when we used those thin bendable cards for our trains and buses? They're still using it there in BKK for one way trips. Super nostalgic! 

The ticketing lady at Sukhumvit had told us to alight at Chit Lom which was quite far off from our hotel. It was quite a walk back to out hotel but I'm glad we walked or else we wouldn't have seen so many interesting sights!

 The Thais offering prayers to their god, the Buddha. They have quite a few of this prayer spots around Bangkok. I was quite surprised, cause you'd think that a place of prayer and all would be sacred and private instead of being so open & public like that. Their culture and faith made me realize, you really don't need a church or a temple to worship God. All you really need is time & faith, even if it's just taking a few minutes off your daily routine, shopping or whatever. Seeing the Thais worship their God like that has definitely opened my mind.
 THE HORRIBLE TRAFFIC IN BKK. After realising how fast and convenient it is to take the public train, we practically took the train everywhere from then on.
 Another spot where you can see locals offering prayers to their god. & this is right in front of Central World shopping mall.
 Quite amusing to see bbq seafood being sold right on the pavement beside the streets. The grill's so huge you can feel the heat when you walk past. The food looked and smelled delicious! Walking past the locals and watching them dig into their food, I almost wanted to stop, sit down and order something but there's that nagging voice in the back of my head warning me of food poisoning if it doesn't go down well with our tummies.

Bangkok City lights.

Ended our day with a Thai Ronald. SAWADEEKAP!

Shall split this entry into twi portions because there are way too many pictures. Will continue with part 2 soon so stay tuned guys!

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