Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bangkok Day 1 - Yaorawat and Chatuchak

As said, this is my blogpost on my shopping trip to Bangkok. I did not venture into any touristy stuff such as elephant shows, Calypsos, Cabaret shows or whatsoever! But you can implement those as you plan out your own Bangkok trip. Any-who, I did go to places that interest me and the others such as Dr Jone's orphanage.. Asiatique..etc. But for now here's Day 1 :)

1st Day Itinerary 
24/11/2013 (Sun)
7:50am: Flight to Bangkok
9:30am: Touchdown
10:20am: Reach Hotel, still cant check in yet
10:30am: Head to Chatuchak to shop and have lunch
2:30pm: Head to Hotel and Check in and rest
6pm: Buy toiletries and scout for dinner at Yaorawat

Me and my pretty Milky

3 kiddies, haha
So there are 5 of us, 3 of them are my students and the other is my colleague. 5 of us arent really big sized so yeah can squeeze into a taxi just fine. :)

Anyway make sure to set a day to visit Chatuchak as it is really big. It has over 8000 stores Omg only now I know. (We walked like less than 100 stores already feel so tired.) It only opens on Fridays (1600-2400), Saturdays and Sundays(both 0900-1800).  

There's so many many things here. From clothes to furniture, to plants to even cute little dogs and reptiles.

What I would really recommend here?
Their sweet orange juice (it's actually tamarind) with totally no sugar added. Delicious!
Coconut Ice cream, definitely!

Yummy Thai Coconut Ice Cream

Anyway try not to get too carried away buying clothes here as there could be cheaper ones at Pratunam. A dress here that is selling at 390 Baht is priced at 110 Baht at Pratunam! But not all clothes can be found at Pratunam so unless you really really like it, just get it! You might not find it again~ 

Instead, focus more on bags and shoes as there is little of those at Pratunam.
I got myself a pair of ballet flats for 150 Baht and a real nice hoodie jacket.
Anyway The BF got an authentic leather jacket at one of chatuchak's narrow alleys last year
and the quality is really good! Below is a pic of him wearing it :)

Once our legs became jelly and we had enough of Chatuchak (We didnt even get to see the cute puppies) we headed back to rest. 

Dinner at Yaorawat
Just walk down from the hotel and start walking the street, there'll be
 many many stalls all set up ready to serve customers! 
Make sure not to go too late ..when we went down at 9pm for supper, many stalls have closed~
You'll be amazed to see many stalls selling Bird's nest at 150 Baht a bowl 
and shark fin soup at 300 Baht...

I'm not a big fan of Shark fin but Fish Maw is really tasty! You should give it a try :)

Anyway there is a particular stall that is a great favorite of the Bf and mine,
and once I introduced it to my companions they agreed the food was really good.
Its a stall operated by an old lady and 2 female workers, they sell all sorts of stuff but the most yummiest would be their seafood tom yum and beef fried rice!


Hmm how to pinpoint their location...
Its actually quite some walk from the hotel, just keep walking straight...
its near and opposite (not directly)  of Tesco supermart and its actually just at the mouth of Sampeng Market's main entrance. In the morning Sampeng entrance  look like this:

Hope you can find it! Just spot a corner stall with an old lady working the wok! She fries really good! 
There's tables and chairs set up so it shouldnt be hard to spot.

After that we bought some snacks at 7-11 and went back to rest for a great day ahead!
You must buy their Yakult tasting drink! Its called Bitagen there, its so cheap and so yummy. Not too overly sweet and sourish like ours taste like here in Malaysia~~ 

Anyway this concludes my 1st Day at Bangkok, stay tuned for updates! :)

Bangkok Trip (Shop till you drop)

Sa Wa Deeee Kahhhhhh~~
So I was at Bangkok last Sunday for five days! It's my second trip there, last year being the first. The food and the shopping was too good that I stalked AirAsia website almost everyday just to grab a cheap getaway.

My 2012 shopping spree at Pratunam, Bangkok. 

So in the end I nicked a RM300 (roughly) return flight and there were 5 of us going as a group. :)
So before I blog about my trip and the places to go, here are some tips and advice for those of you shopaholics who are planning to go there! (Click here to go straight to Day 1 of my Bangkok trip.)

How many people?
Firstly, I think going in a group of 4 is the most ideal. As they say, there is security in a company. :) Last year I went with my BF, his sister and a close guy friend; it was a good mix because we can do our shopping seperately - meaning the guys can leave us girls to roam about and not worry.. Taxi fares would cause far less since we all can share, we can try a variety of food by sharing around as opposed to just 2 people buying limited food.

This year there were 5 of us, all girls, we still could fit into a taxi (although rules clearly do not allow it, but hey they dont really care). It's best to go with friends that have similar taste in clothes with you when it comes to shopping in the wholesale area in Pratunam, so you wouldn't have to fork out more cash for clothes that can go cheaper if bought in quantities.

5 of us - Group Shot at one of the washroom at Terminal 21 :)
From left- Joey, Me, Ally, Milky and Jinne

For those going alone, in duos or in threes, going around town in tuk-tuks are good.. So is Bangkok's BTS skytrain, it can get you to major destination points and the people working there are real helpful too.

Where to stay at Bangkok?
For the first two nights we stayed at Yaowarat, which is Bangkok's Chinatown. 
The reason being: the endless variety of  food there during evening time is awesome! 
and during morning time there is a huge morning market which offers very cheap wholesale stuffs 
from accessories to shoes to makeup. (Especially the makeup!!) 

Night Scene of Yaorawat Chinatown

Pratunam wholesale Market
The other two nights were spent at Pratunam,
 this is where the shopping really gets started. 
Pratunam wholesale market is really where most vendors go to restock their clothes supply~

Hotel suggestion 
For Chinatown/Yaorawat, I recommend staying at Chinatown Hotel just because it is reasonably priced, I stayed here for the second time. It has free wifi, comfy rooms, situated opposite 7-11, just in front of Chinatown street where it turns into a food paradise once evening sets in. 
(Though when I stayed here this year, the bathroom door somehow doesn't fully shut?? I wonder why. We didn't mind, just took caution not to accidentally peek inside)

Chinatown Hotel, Bangkok

For Pratunam, the Hotel I stayed last year was the best. First House Hotel is situated just at the heart of pratunam wholesale market, it's really literally shopping just outside your doorstep. It's good in a sense that once you're tired, you could always retreat upstairs to rest and place your shopping and then continue again later on. 

First House Hotel, though it isn't as bright as the picture. I stayed here last year.

I stayed at Siam Star hotel this year and it was terrible. The hotel and room was ok, it's just that it's a long way walking to the market and it wasn't convenient at all. It is however very near the railway station. 

Check out Agoda, Asiarooms, Airasia hotel, or even the hotel's website itself to find the best rate available. 

The rates I got for Chinatown hotel was rm110 a night for 2 people, and about rm100 a night for 2 people for Siam Star Hotel. Plus the taxes and stuff my own total hotel expenses is roughly about rm 200-250 for 5D4N.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel! One day I'll stay there in my coming visits to Bangkok :p
Of course this is just a suggestion for those who would prefer a budget but good stay. 
Do Check out other hotels and reviews too for alternatives~~ 

How much should You budget?
Thai Bahts. Rm 1 = 10 Baht
Last year I brought along rm1500 (15000 baht) and I really did buy so many things and still have rm200 left~ which I used to buy a pretty evening gown. This year I thought I would spend more so I brought rm1700 but still only manage to spend rm1400 despite buying so many things and eating so many yummy stuff.

During the 5 days here, I only spent a total of rm 80 for transport since I'm sharing with 4 other people~ 

If you're concerned it's not enough, bring along some local currency and change it there~ currency exchange stations are everywhere around the corner.

Luggages and what to pack?
I did not check in any luggage when going to Thailand as there is really no need for the hassle. I only brought  a backpack and a handbag to bring along while I shop.

There are countless stores in Bangkok that are selling luggage bags for shopaholics to stock their clothes in from rm10-50, depending on what type of bag you want. Last year I bought a big sturdy plastic pulley luggage bag for only rm38 and it held all of my shopping. You can purchase a 20kg or 25kg luggage check in when coming back to Malaysia.

I brought 2 pairs of casual clothes since I will be buying more clothes there, it makes sense to just pack light! :D for toiletries... shampoos and soaps are cheap in Thailand as most brands such as Sunsilk is manafactured there so it's really much cheaper. Just pop into any convenient stores or supermarkets and stock up! 

What else? 
Taxis here go by meter and starts at 35 baht, but some taxi drivers may want to try to give you a higher price and not go by meter. For example going to chatuchak market, a taxi driver quoted 200 baht but when I got on a metered one it only costed 110 baht! 

Tuk Tuk

Also, be wary of tuk tuks that bring you on a tour. Usually they will bring you to certain shops and force you to buy some products .. (As read from other blogs)

Make sure you do enough research on what to do and where to go. So let's start! Continue on to read my first day at Bangkok!