Thursday, September 03, 2015

Day One of the 4-Day, 3-Night Trip to Bangkok 2015



I was excited and really looking forward to the Bangkok trip as it had been a while since i last took the plane to Suvarnabhumi Airport! This time, i travelled by Jetstar Airways which continues to fly to Thailand's biggest airport.

A gigantic vanda miss joaquim greeted me when i stepped into the departure lounge, alone; no big deal actually. Anyway, do utilise your boarding pass for a free game at the claw machine and win prizes!   

Off to Bangkok! Check out the developments surrounding Changi Airport. As many of you are aware, there are a lot of upcoming changes; the Jewel complex, the new terminal four (bottom right of the photo) and the soon-to-be-built terminal five! 

Forced Alex to change his window seat with me as his only activity was to sleep; might as well give way to insomniacs like myself who could entertain himself by looking at the view outside and imagining he is a bird flying with the cottony clouds.

Mainland sighted with one of the many meandering rivers surrounding the capital city. 

For an urban dweller, i find the sight below to be fascinating and to a certain extent, tidy as the land is cut into many rectangular plots! Damn, that's like a Singaporean obsession! 

One reason resulting in the excitement of arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport was that i might have the chance to finally check out the Airport Rail Link (you can see the rail tracks in the above photo) which offered a cheaper, faster way to the city's shopping belt! 

Flap up as the plane touched down. Unlike recent years, taking the aeroplane in the past was a real treat as the tickets were so exorbitantly priced!

The iconic control tower of Suvarnabhumi Airport - a piece of interesting fact; at 132.2 meters tall, it is also the world's tallest free standing control tower.

I couldn't quite remember what our over 20-person group was doing but by the time we were done with immigration, the few pieces of luggage left on the belt belonged to us! 

While waiting for your travel mates, do take the opportunity to log on to the free wifi in the airport! You would have to log on to a valid email box to retrieve your password though. :) 

Do remember to collect your maps which would be extremely helpful in navigating the countless sois in Bangkok! Note however that some of the narrower lanes might only be demarcated by a unnamed line.

Took the Airport Rail Link to Phaya Thai station as it was already the lunch peak and we figured the it would not be worth our time to be stuck in the infamous Bangkok jam!

We should have trudged along our luggage along the rocky surface of the train tracks as this unofficial route would be so much nearer to the hotel along 55 Soi Petchaburi 15. 

But we didn't and by the time we reached Lemontea hotel, i was totally dehydrated and urgently needed to fill my starving tummy! Thank god for the well equipped 7-11 next door; got myself a big bottle of yogurt drink (for less than S$2) and a pork burger!

Yogurt drink was superbly good for its price (as usual) although the burger was nothing to scream about; my tummy would be better satisfied with MacDonald's samurai pork burger!

An easier route was discovered after we rested for a while after checking in to Lemontea hotel; once you step out of the hotel, turn left and go all the way straight until you reach the railway track! For better explanation, check out the review i posted on Lemontea hotel here

As i was going to take the BTS from Phaya Thai, i turned left again and walked ahead. Quite interesting sights along the way as locals do make use of the land beside the tracks. 

A few shacks and even convenience store. The above had a few rabbit hatches; likely not for pets by the way! I used to stay in the village and rabbits reared at home meant an occasional stew for quality protein. 

Kampong chicken - some were free roaming while some, like the above, were caged up. I might be wrong but i think there's a chance they were fighting cocks! 

Purchased the Rabbit Card at the control station for easier access; most of the electronic ticketing counters had limited capabilities and we didn't want to spend time queuing to purchase single-trip tickets! Do keep in mind that first card purchase is 200 baht of which you can use only 100 (the other 100 baht is for card deposit and card fee)! 

At the moment, the Rabbit Card can only be used for BTS, and not MRT! There were plans to integrate it with MRT since 2012 but nothing's confirmed so far.

Since the money changer was super rich, i honestly didn't feel the motivation to exchange my Singapore dollars to Thai baht with it. Wahahaha. okay, lame joke.

I always make it a point to buy a bottle whenever i chanced upon the above stall (Soontra Fruit and Herbal Drinks) at the BTS stations. 

Favourite - the mildly fragrant and not very sweet lemon grass and pandan which retailed at only 17 Thai baht (S$0.70)! 

Finally got myself three tailor made shirts! My last order with the highly reputable Rajawongse Clothier was so long ago and it's great to be back again; prices had increased quite substantively since my last visit though. 

Those craving for Korean food in Thailand can pop by Korean Town; which was in between Nana and Asok BTS stations.

There's also a Times Square at Bangkok! It wasn't as big as its similarly named cousin at Kuala Lumpur and i stepped in purely because there was a pharmacy and i needed to get something.

A street vendor hawking his wares; plastic coin boxes and i can see quite a few piggies among them!

The main reason i didn't explore Korean Town and Times Square was that i wanted to dedicate my time to Terminal 21 shopping centre! For more information on the mall and the Japanese food i had at Tohkai Sushi, click here and there.

Durians! Thankfully i had already gorged myself like crazy with durians in Singapore before my trip and the overdose had yet to recover by then. Those interested to read more can check out my postings on Durian Seng, Ah Seng Durians and Sindy Durians

A convenient dumping ground for those exiting the BTS station at Thong Lo. 

For a moment, i thought this was the CityCab in Singapore! There were key differences of course; the Thai character license plate and the motorcar brand (CityCab's fleet was majority Hyundai i think).

Given that we had some time to go before meeting up with the rest of our tour mates, Alex insisted on having a neck and shoulder massage! Poor man must have been tired out by my relentless walking.

Met up with the rest for dinner at the so-called famous Sukhumvit Soi 38 Food Street; the crowd was rather thin and i did wonder if i went to the wrong place... To view more photos on the food we had, check out the link here

Night was still young when we were done with dinner! Hence, it's time to visit the popular train market! There are two and we chose the one nearer to the capital; Ratchada Train Market (Talad Rot Fai)

I was exhausted by the time we got back to Lemontea hotel via an improved Tuk Tuk! However, we could not just end the night like this, not without a body massage to soothe my tired muscles! Prices of MB Massage as appended above for your reference.

The mess when we left; i wouldn't say the traditional Thai body massage was incredible even though the masseur did manage to loosen my stiff muscles. However, we were back the next day.


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For the summarised itinerary of the four days, three nights itinerary to the City of Angels (Bangkok, that is), click here for the details! 

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