2012 - Backpacking to Bangkok, Thailand p2

Backpacking to Bangkok
Shopping, Eating and Sleeping
12 June to 22 June 2012
Welcome Rotarian Ching - walking along the road to Or Tor Kor Market


Day 06 (17.06.2012) Chatuchak Weekend Market, Siam Square, Siam Discovery Centre

My son came back at 4am local time and we all slept through till 12noon.

Today is Sunday so it is the day to visit the Chatuchak Weekend Market. We took the hotel shuttle bus at 2pm to Chatuchak Market. It was so busy, bustling and bursting with people that we spent most of our time completely lost! There were so many colors and smells, so much to look at that we didn’t know where we were.

This 35-acre area of Chatuchak Weekend Market is a paradise for bargain hunters. Every Saturday and Sunday, 8,000 individual booths are open selling an infinite variety of products from all over Thailand. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. But if you have one weekend in Bangkok, squeeze in a day trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market and you will not be disappointed.

At about 4.30pm after finishing our round in Chatuchak market, we proceed to Siam Square by sky-train. Siam Square is a very popular shopping area among Thai and foreign visitors. Siam Square itself has a few blocks area which is centrally located and surrounded by hotels, shopping complexes, movie theaters, shops, restaurants, and it is the main junction of sky train (BTS).

For dinner we did as you do when in Rome. As strongly recommended by Judith Khoo we went to this Thai restaurant called Ban Khun Mae Thai Cuisine which has authentic Thai food and was reasonably priced. I must say we had the best ‘tomyum’ in the world. After dinner we walked around Siam Square and the Siam Discovery Centre and bought another bag at Naraya. We walked to BTS Ratchathewi to get back to BTS Mochit and changed to MRT for Phahon Yothin station to walk back to hotel.

at Gate No. 1
Chatuchak clock tower
at Ban Khun Mae Thai Cuisine
authentic Thai food at Ban Khun Mae Thai Cuisine
nice ambiance of the restaurant
the best ‘papaya salad’ in the world
the best ‘green curry chicken’ in the world
the best ‘tomyum’ in the world
Siam Discovery Shopping Centre
the beautiful changing lighting at Siam Discovery Shopping Centre
bought another bag at Naraya
Day 07 (18.06.2012) Union Mall

Today is the day that we slowly walked through and explore the eight-story Union Mall which we didn’t do on the third day. We were surprised by its popularity among the locals. Strategically located opposite the ever-busy Central Lad Prao Mall, Union Mall housing over 1,000 retail shops caters especially for a younger crowd, mainly university students, young office workers and those who find Central Lad Prao too expensive and Chatuchak Weekend Market too hot. We had lunch again at Union Mall Basement Food Hub Dinning.

After walking around the sidewalks and the open stalls along the road we walked back to hotel to take a rest. Dinner was late at 9pm as we waited for Jin Wei to come back from his badminton session with his Bangkok colleagues.

the shops outside Central Plaza complex

the shops inside Union Mall
the shops inside Union Mall
had lunch again at Union Mall Basement Food Hub Dinning
Top's supermarket
Day 08 (19.06.2012) Pratunam Market, Baiyoke Shopping Centre and Indra Square

Today is another hell of a shopping day in Pratunam Market, Indra Square and the Baiyoke centre. This three in one is located at the intersection of Ratchaprarop and Phetburi roads in the district Ratchathewi.

Getting into Pratunam is by way of the sky-bridge from Platinum Mall. The Pratunam Market covers the whole area around and behind the Amari Watergate Hotel and Indra Regent hotel with the rainbow-colored Baiyoke Tower I hotel and the towering Baiyoke Tower II hotel inside it.

This area is known as Pratunam Wholesale Market and is one of Bangkok's major clothing markets. The name Pratunam means Water gate. The market comprises retail stores and outdoor. This area may be the cheapest market for buying clothes, fabrics and textiles in central Bangkok.

Next, we shop around this City Complex Pratunam - a six-storey shopping complex the most sought after places in Pratunam as mainly involved with young ladies, fashionable clothing and shoes. There are a few jewellery and crafts shops, as well as cosmetic stores are located within.

We then walked into Garment Centre (Baiyok Tower 1) - hosts over 3,500 wholesale and retail apparel and shoes shops. It is undoubtedly an amazing place to shop for clothes and related item. Everything is cheap and it gets even cheaper if you buy in bulk.

From Baiyok Tower we then walked into the Indra Square which consists of several floors with hundreds of small shops selling from children clothing, men and women fashion wear, to accessories. The mall is directly connected to Baiyoke Sky Hotel, and there are several shops and stalls on the ground level of Baiyoke Sky Hotel, too. We had lunch at its international food court.

the car park at BTS Mo Chit station (N8)
BTS Sky Train at Mo Chit
the elevated highway runs through Bangkok
the Victory Monument, Bangkok: showing the military statues around the base

the sky-bridge from Platinum Mall

Baiyoke Tower1

Baiyoke Tower 2
Baiyoke Tower 2 Sky Hotel
bought sundries in this market
delicious Pataya fried rice
Cat and Jin Wei watching how they cut the mango to go with sticky rice
interesting variety of Thai sweets of sticky rice to eat with mangoes
sweet mangoes
Day 09 (20.06.2012) Rest day
Today will be our last night in Bangkok as we will be taking the train back to Butterworth the next day and my son will fly back to KL the day after next. After 7 full days of walking and shopping spree; enough is enough – no more shopping and what we required badly for our sore legs was a good rest in the hotel. We have bought everything we needed. However, this morning as we walked out to the roadside stall, Catherine bought another pair of ‘leggings’ at B140. We also bought a 10 liter ‘Ocean Pack” dry-bag for my son at B495. See no more shopping, but, still shopping.

In the afternoon at 5pm I went for an hour swim at the hotel pool to relax my muscle while Catherine lazying around the pool. Evening after dinner it was packing our bags for the long return journey home the next day.

Catherine lazying around the pool
I am getting ready for a deep in the hotel pool
Day 10 (21.06.2012) Return journey

Strictly no more shopping today. At about 12noon we walked to MRT Phahon Yothin station to get to MRT Hua Lamphong Station in 15 minutes. Our No. 35 aircon train departed Bangkok at 2.45pm. We had set dinner on board – not so good and expensive (B250pp).

at Hua Lamphong Railway Station, Bangkok
Day 11 (22.06.2012) back home sweet home
We also had set western breakfast this morning – also not good and expensive (B150pp). Arrived Hadyai at 8am and Padang Besar at about 9am for immigration check. By the time we arrived at Butterworth it was almost 2.45pm and there were many people waiting to get on the train for Bangkok supposed to depart at 2.20pm. I wonder whether they have time to clean the train?

We then walked to the bus station to get the first bus out, we found this Co. (Unititi Express) United Travel Enterprise Sdn Bhd (MR16pp) to Ipoh at 3pm. After two and half hour ride we were at the Ipoh bus station and took a taxi (MR15) to home.

Conclusion

When people mention 'Bangkok'.. ..the first thing that comes to your mind is BARGAIN – yes! It’s a non-stop bargain all the way.. and the second thing is THAI FOOD.

Well, with so much of bargain shopping we had done, I think we will not be shopping for the next 12 months or so – we have bought everything we needed – bags and dry-bag, bag-pack and day-pack, shoes, shirts, t-shirts, leggings and some souvenirs.

For those who wish to visit Bangkok, the best place to stay would be around the Pratunam district like the Baiyoke Hotel or Indra Regent Hotel which are much cheaper and in the center of the shopping area. And those who could afford may consider Novotel Hotel and as a backpacker like me, I would stay in Khao San Road area.

Many thanks to our son Jin Wei for the 5star accommodation, the fantastic eating and shopping extravaganza! Well, that is certainly happiness; I promise we will go back again as we are now home in Ipoh and Sitiawan, settling back into our normal life preparing for the next trip to Perth, Western Australia in September.

'Sawaddeekap'

17 comments:

  1. Chew Seng Leong26 June, 2012

    Thank you very much Mr Ching for the interesting report coupled with those beautiful photos on your trip to Bangkok. You are also very lucky to have a very intelligent son who was sent to Bangkok to solve the problem for Western Digital.

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  2. Siak Eoi Chung26 June, 2012

    Hi Ching, what an amazing journey! You are truly blessed with so much drive and passion to seize the moments, just had a peek at your blog - finally. Great photos, great stories. Cheers..

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  3. Liew M Kuang26 June, 2012

    Thanks Ching, for sharing your wonderful trip to Bangkok! I have been to Bangkok many times but I must admit, I didn't spend them as leisurely as you and your family did. I can see the benefit you being a happily retired man who is blessed with health and the interest to travel.
    W.T. @ MK Liew

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  4. Peng...after reading yr blog post, we are definitely going to Bangkok again end of this year!!

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  5. Ching ... thanks for the write-up. I LOVE Bangkok !

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  6. Jackson Au27 June, 2012

    Received yet another exciting story and beautiful well taken photos from you. I enjoyed reading them very much. Thanks a lot. Await your next exciting piece of genius of covering your journey in this planet earth.

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  7. Hi Ching,
    I'm reading keenly and following your travels in Bangkok Thailand.
    I'll use the valuable land marks, names of the sites of your visits etc
    for my future travels there. (Had been there few times) Thanks.

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  8. Anne Ngalim27 June, 2012

    Dear Mr Ching,
    What a trip!! I don't think I will be able to coupe with such tedious itinerary... Thanks for sharing, I appreciate. Best regards to the family.

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  9. Ng Thian Yew28 June, 2012

    Thanks for sharing your Bangkok trip with us. I really enjoy it as much as you do. Your narration make me like in Bangkok too. Thanks and many more happy ventures. GOD Blessed.

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  10. Gan Chee Kuan29 June, 2012

    Good writing, beautiful family, happy holiday. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. Ling Yoke Tek29 June, 2012

    Dear Mr Ching,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us, enjoyed reading your email. Best regards,
    Yoke Tek

    ReplyDelete
  12. NG CHEE WAH29 June, 2012

    'KraKomKap' ...
    Thank you for sharing, always enjoy reading your write up.

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  13. Cool ... 10 days in BKK! wow! that's really fun! I really missed the pork leg rice there ... sound like everyone is going to Naraya ... lol. What's yr next destination?

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  14. Mr Ching although i don't know who are you as thi email was send to me by IK Heng . I really enjoy watching all photos esp yr handsome son just like you . Mt name is Tony and my buddhist name is Karunacitta . Contact 0175002825. Email add cittawong@yahoo.com . Have an enjoyable trip again and good luck to you all .

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  15. Hi Ching, we just got back from Belum / Cameron Highland and Batam / Singapore trip. Wow, you and your wife are having a marvelous time in Bangkok. Thanks for sharing your 10 days adventure, it is very informative, will visit those places mentioned in your blog on our next trip to Bangkok.
    Regards
    Lili & Chem

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  16. Hi Mr Ching
    I already feel exhausted reading your detailed researched and interesting travelogue of Bangkok, never mind doing the actual travels. You are a seasoned veteran traveller as shown in your other 'expeditions'
    Thanks for sharing pics of your lovely family, your pretty wife and your spitting image junior, Jin Wei.
    Bet you've gone thru a few dictaphones.
    Best wishes for good health and more adventures ahead.
    Regards
    Gary Ong

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