More than an opportunity to take a vacation, I was looking forward to this to be re-united with my fiancé. Since he is currently working overseas, this was a break from our almost month-long long distance relationship. Yay! I came 2 days earlier from the Philippines while he came from Singapore. So here’s what happened:
I arrived Wednesday night, took an airport taxi to go to my pre-booked hotel which was Ten Stars Inn. It’s located at 44/1-2, Soi Petchburi17, Petchburi rd., Phatathai, Pratunam. Other popular places to stay in Bangkok are in Silom/Sathorn, Sukhumvit, Ploenchit, Siam and Pratunam areas. These places are quite near each other. Khao San Rd. area is the backpackers haven so expect a younger and more budget conscious crowd. Silom is accessible to the Skytrain and accessible to boats to get to Chinatown, the Grand Palace, Wat Po and even Khao San Rd.. Sukhumvit is the most accessible to the airport with Skytrain links. I chose Pratunam because it’s the one nearest to Platinum Fashion Mall. I paid 135USD (Php6k) for 4 days stay at Ten Stars Inn. I’m really easy to please. I’m all good with the comfy bed, the functioning A/C and hot/cold shower. You can get one Wifi passcode daily from the lobby for 2 hours of Internet use.
Day 1 – Shopping at Platinum
What they say is true! This is indeed a shopping heaven, most especially for us girls! It’s the largest fashion mall in Thailand with 5 floors dedicated to shopping. It is designed for wholesale shopping so be forewarned. If you are just buying for yourself, you can’t try the clothes on. They have so many bulk-buying customers to entertain a one-piece buyer. By the time I finished shopping, I was so dead-tired that I just ended going back to the hotel. After dinner, I got the best Thai foot massage I’ve ever had!
Day 2 – Damnern Saduak Floating Market + Lunch + Crocodile Farm/Reptile Show + Rose Garden
I booked this tour the day before through a kiosk inside our hotel. It costs THB1300 (PHP1700). Most people would want to pre-plan their trip, tour packages included. However, I found booking through the hotel contacts way cheaper that booking it when I’m still in my home country.
This is a full day tour so come prepared! Eat a hearty breakfast for energy and be sure to wear comfortable clothes. When the tour shuttle picked me up, I haven’t eaten breakfast yet (I woke up late) so I grabbed my snack, a pack of Hello Panda chocolate filled biscuits. Then, one girl asked me, “Are you Filipino?” I nodded. She got excited and said, “Thank God I can now speak in Filipino. I knew you were Pinoy because you were eating Hello Panda.” Hahaha funny story actually. So Dona, a Filipina architect from Cagayan de Oro, became my buddy for the day.
When I think of Thailand, the image that comes to my mind is their floating market. So when I went here, this was one of the things I made sure I get to do. The first leg of the tour was at Damnoen Saduak’s famous Floating Market. We were asked to ride a long tail boat to get to the actual market.
There were a lot of food items to choose from! Try the rice noodles and the sticky rice with mango, these are so good!
After lunch, we went to Crocodile Farm where we were able to watch the most talented elephants performing. They were the cutest!
There was also a show with men’s heads going into crocodiles’ mouths. That one was pretty crazy!
The final leg of the tour is a cultural show of Thai dance and ceremonies at the Rose Gardens.
This night was when my fiancé got back! I tell you, we were like starstruck for a good 10 minutes. Though he annoys me when I’m with him, I missed this guy terribly hahaha!
Day 3 – Chatuchak Weekend Market
We were looking for the nearest sky train station from Pratunam so we rode a tuk-tuk! Our driver, however, volunteered to take us to some places around the area before bringing us to station. Since language was really a barrier and we weren’t really rushing, we agreed. To our surprise, he led us to different shops for tailored clothes to take a look. Apparently, these ateliers give the drivers gas coupons in exchange of bringing tourists to their shops. *devious*
When we finally reached the station, we took the sky train and alighted at Mochit train station (BTS) which is walking distance from the market. The Chatuchak Weekend Market is one hell of a massive market, even a shopaholic will surely get tired. There are more than 15,000 booths selling various things from clothes, accessories, local goods, food and even pets! These are the hours per their website:
- WED-THU (Plants & Flowers) 6.00 am – 6.00 pm.
- FRI (Wholesale day) 6.00 am – 6.00 pm.
- SAT-SUN (Miscellaneous) 6.00 am – 6.00 pm.
We sure were hungry afterwards! The smell of spices were making me nauseous already so I opted for something else. So yeah, paella, here we go!
Day 4 – Bang Pa-In Royal Palace + Lunch + Ayuthaya I got this tour package from Jaera Travel Services worth 59USD (P2,500) per head. Bang-Pa is also called the King’s Summer Palace for Ayutthayan King Prasat Thong. It was for a time abandoned but was restored. Later on, it was King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who expanded the area and built a Versaille-inspired garden with European-style buildings.
Note: Proper dress is required. You can buy a 100 baht wraparound skirt from the stall in front of the entrance if needed. After this, we went to my much awaited visit to Ayuthaya. Ayutthaya became the second capital of Thailand which at that time, became a trading capital in Asia.
The remains right now are mostly temples and palaces since these were the only ones made of stone which actually stood the test of time. It’s a historical gold mine which I would have appreciated more if I can understand our tour guide better.
The finale was an elephant ride, finally! Yay!
My husband feels that he finds no reason to go back to Bangkok again while the woman in me feels that I want to! The shopping part makes the trip all worth it. 🙂