Trip Start Mar 18, 2008
5Trip End Mar 27, 2008
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We left Sukhothai before 10am, with lunch and dinner in between, and we did not get to our hotel in Bangkok until 9pm. Quite a bit was spent in the notoriously heavy traffic as we approached Bangkok city itself. One of the guys declared, as we were passing by MBK mall in central Bangkok (Siam Square area), that one cannot say you have been to Bangkok unless you have stepped foot into MBK. It was said with such conviction and smugness that I couldn't help but shake my head ... It might be the largest mall in Asia or the world for all I care .. a mall is a mall, and to make such a sweeping statement ... sigh ... I did visit MBK a few days later (more to get out of the sun than to prove that I have been to Bangkok), and while it was huge, it was, just another mall. T-shirts there were cheaper than the same ones that were on sale in the night markets of Patpong though, surprisingly ... so something good came out of that lah.
Anyway ... the rest went walking around to do some last minute shopping, while I crossed the road to the bars opposite the hotel, ordered my beer and watched Man U teached Liverpool a lesson in football. :-p Glory glory Man United !!!
None of the guys extended their stay and were all headed back to Singapore that morning. Presumably they have all been to Bangkok (and MBK) several times over. *roll eyes*
As for me, sad to say, it was the first time in Bangkok. Transitted a few times at the old Dong Muang airport before but never stepped foot into Bangkok, so I figured it was about time.
I left Asia Hotel for the hostel at Silom District called 'Take A Nap'. Pretty cheesy name, but decent hostel with pretty good rooms that are fully air-conditioned with attached baths, for under S$50 a night, with free Wireless Broadband (that all the so called good class hotels that I stayed in charged an arm and a leg for).
They say that if you have time for only one sightseeing location in Bangkok then the Wat Phra Kaew would be it. I would say that you won't be disappointed.
By the time I was done with Wat Pho, it was already close to 1pm. A quick lunch at one of the roadside stalls later and I was in a cab back to my hostel. Enough for the day ... the heat was quite draining ... went back and knocked out (living up to the name of the hostel by taking a nap) till it was time to meet my friend, Som, for dinner and a walk around Patpong's night market.
Barely got up in time when the bus came at 7.45am to pick me up for the trip to Damnoen Saduak floating market. Pictures are in a separate entry ...
We had pre-dinner drinks there and decided to head elsewhere for dinner. Sirocco served Mediterranean food, while I wanted some good Thai food. Checked my LP and Blue Elephant restaurant's name jumped out at me, and since it was round the corner from State Tower where we were, we made our way there but didn't make it pass the front door as it was fully booked ... :-( Fortnately there was another restuarant listed on LP called Ban Chiang nearby ... the setting in an old house with a front garden porch was rather nice, but upon setting foot inside I was a little worried as half the patrons were foreigners ... fortunately the food was quite good, no complaints. The red curry with duck meat was my favourite. :-)
Back to hostel for an early night. Needed to wake up tomorrow early again for my day trip out to Kanchanaburi ... :-p
Pictures of Kanchanaburi, where I visited the Bridge over River Kwai and the Tiger Temple. Pictures in separate entry, as per Damnoen Saduak ...
Got back to the hostel at about 12ish, where they have kindly allowed me to checkout late. Showered up and packed before leaving my bags at the recep to head out for some last minute shopping, since flight out is at 8pm. Originally wanted to see if I could drop by some markets that might be open during the day, but gave up on that idea due to the searing heat, and hopped onto the skytrain, 2 stations down, and into MBK and its surrounding shopping complexes. So much for a Singaporean who should be used to this heat ...
Ok ... so, end of my trip. Brought back some very good photos, and can now claim I have stepped into Bangkok like some many of my fellow Singaporeans had, and re-affirmed that I hate travelling with tour groups from home, though once in a while, when the purpose is a little more specialised, is fine ... I guess.
Where I stayed