Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mini Guide To Bangkok


It was my first ever trip to Bangkok earlier this month. My heart was filled with anticipation and trip way exceeded my expectations. I loved everything from the warmness of people, its rich culture and street life. It's no surprise why Bangkok always holds that special place in tourist's hearts.

First meal upon landing - Tom Yum at Siam

Transport


The best to get around in Bangkok is by train and cabs (go by meter) for inconvenient places. Then try tuk-tuks (agreed fare) for a thrill around the city. :)






Accommodation

We stayed in City Lodge Hotel (City Lodge Soi 19 Sukhumvit Road) that is only 3 minutes from from Sukhumvit station and Terminal 21 shopping mall. The room is decently clean and location is excellent, about 15 minutes from Siam via train. For only SGD$50+ a night and a little balcony, I will not complain.


Denim overalls - H&M | Boots - Timberland

Shopping

You have not gone to Bangkok if you have not shopped and bargained. I'm sure many people have shared their advice but here is my suggested sequence for shopping destinations.

1. Platinum Mall
Fully airconditioned buildings with small stalls. Most comfortable environment out of the rest. It's primary function is wholesale so it's better to buy 2-3 pieces from one store for better discounts. Fashion destination where 80% is female apparel and 20% male. Spend majority of your money for clothes here!

2. Chatuchak Weekend Market
You find anything under the sun here - street food, pets, shoes, bags, handicrafts etc. It's extremely stuffy and warm so make sure to dress light and carry minimal bags. Can find new/vintage apparels at very low prices. Look out for local designer brands if you prefer unique pieces.

2. Siam Square 
Last on the list simply because stores here are most expensive. You should only spend your leftovers here. Many designer boutiques and eateries. Night stalls only open in the evening and offer much cheap goods. 



Typical boutique in Siam Square that reminds me a lot of Haji Lane.

Sightseeing

The Grand Palace
Thanon Na Phra Lan, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

*Note: Free outside the palace compound, need to pay admission fee (~SGD$16) to go in.


A must-see if you like to visit religious places. Even if you don't, the architecture alone is enough to make it worthwhile. I believe one should never leave a foreign country without learning about its culture.





It is very important to dress appropriately to respect the religion. If you ever decide to visit, do remember to wear covered clothes that are not too form-fitting. Slippers are fine. But not to worry, clothes are available for loan at no cost.









"Sawadeekaa!"

Dining

Mr Jone's Orphanage 
Sukhumvit 55, Thonglor 13


The coziest cafe on Earth. I mean it. I have received tons of questions about this place ever since I posted pictures of it on Instagram.

It's a cafe that offers mainly pastries and cakes but what makes it so special is the fairytale-like ambience.



Huggable teddy bears aren't a rare sight for Mr Jones.


So you might wonder if the food matches up? The answer is yes, if not better. There's so much for you to choose from and my favourites happen to be their cinnamon milkshake and egg custard.






Pretty pastries that are such as delicious as they look.




A must try - smiley egg pudding!

China Town
Yaowarat Road


If you love seafood, be sure to head down to Chinatown (best by cab) and dine in one of the restaurants. Prices are very reasonable but make sure to wear comfortable because it can get really warm!




Vibrant nightlife in Bangkok

Cabbage & Condoms
10 Sukhumvit Soi 12 Bangkok 10110 Thailand


Located along a quiet street, Cabbage & Condoms offers more than just Thai cuisine.



From its name, you would have already guessed its association with condoms. It was derived from an idea of 'Protection should be as accessible as cabbages in the market'. It's definitely something unusual but I promise you that a visit would be worthwhile and educational.



Mannequins dressed completely in condoms

Pineapple fried rice
All proceeds from the restaurant is used to fund development and social welfare activities of Population and Community Development Assosiation (PDA).




Not mentioned on the list:

Yama Herbal Massage (53, Thonglor 55, Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand 10110)
Located on the same street as Mr Jone's Orphanage! Awesome massage services at reasonable prices. You can trust me on this one because we compared all the prices along the street. Shower is provided if you dislike massage oil to remain on your skin.




So there's my mini guide to Bangkok! Four days was not enough to appreciate what the city has to offer but we tried our best! Thanks to my boyfriend who did lots of research of places that are uncommon among tourists.

Other useful links:
Bangkok guide by Hosanna (download her PDF guide at the end of the post): http://www.wardrobeflux.com/2012/05/bangkok-2012.html
Learning numbers is important when it comes to bargaining:
http://iluvthailand.wordpress.com/2008/02/23/thai-numbers/
Do research for places to explore:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/


I truly hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to suggest your own must-go destinations that will help me plan my next trip! :)
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