Saturday, December 27, 2014

Maiden Arrival : City of Angels - Bangkok

I couldn't be any prouder of me for treating my mother for the Bangkok trip. Though it wasn't a luxury one or some European holiday but at least I did fulfill filial piety and spent quality time with her.

My maiden trip to Bangkok was a great one. The itinerary went smoothly and accordingly thanks to my handy assistance TripAdvisor which guided me throughout the journey. And of course, Google Map. Please download both mentioned apps to make your holiday a hassle-free one.

Without further adieu, let the pictures below narrate my travelogue in Bangkok:

Day 1: 

The view of infinity swimming pool of I Residence Sathon

We arrived at our hotel quite late in the evening given that traffic jam in Bangkok is a horrendous one. It's worse than KL - seriously, traffic jam in KL is crawling while the one  in Bangkok is standstill. Anyhoo, our accommodation was I Residence in Sathon. It was recommended by my buddy and I didn't have any regret in taking his recommendation. The room was huge, comfortable, value for money and the best thing was its convenience. It was just a short walking distance to Chong Nonsi BTS station.
Erawan Shrine

Since we arrived late, so our first stop was a close-by one - Erawan Shrine aka Four Faced Buddha (disembark at Ratchadamri BTS station). My mother wanted to pay a visit to this shrine. As per words of mouth among her friends, whoever pray to this shrine, your wishes would come true. Even I offered my prayers, see whether the words of mouth are really that trustworthy.

Snoppy flooding the Christmas decoration at CentralWorld

Kalpapruek's Tom Yum 

After making our wishes, we crossed the street to CentralWorld to have our dinner at Kalpapruek Restaurant. The food was great there (just a lil pricey). Since we were in Bangkok, so we ordered its local signature dish, Tom Yam. Compared to Malaysian version, Thai one was rather clear and not that very spicy as I expected.

Day 2: 

The second day was a hectic one since we gonna visit few of the main attractions in Bangkok. First stop, The Grand Palace and The Emerald Buddha Temple. Just be wary of the scam over there. When we reached there, we were approached by the tuk tuk driver saying that the Grand Palace only opened at 1 pm - so he recommended us to go to Wat Arun with his tuk tuk. Folks, please don't trust those tuk tuk drivers outside the palace - they just want your money. In fact, the opening hours is 8.30 am - 3.30 pm with 500 baht entrance ticket.

It was an eye-opening experience to learn the heritage, the glory and the history of Siamese Kingdom. The grandeur of the buildings there was simply magnificent. History has it that the palace had been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782 until 1925. Though the current King Bhumibol resides at Chitralada but the Grand Palace is still used for official functions.

However, the drawback of this visit that it was too crowded. And I was annoyed with the tourists from China - they were really rude to be honest with you and they spit everywhere! . Nevertheless, the spirit of travelling and exploring must continue.

After two hours awed by the monuments at Grand Palace (and of course, struggling to go through  the crowd), our next stop was Wat Pho aka The Temple of Reclining Buddha. It is just a 15 minutes walking distance from The Grand Palace.

Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok. This temple also houses one of the largest single Buddha image of 15 m high and 43 long.

Even Obama visited this temple

 108 bronze bowls indicating the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha        
Next, Wat Arun aka Temple of Dawn. It is not very far from Wat Pho, which is just across the river of Chao Phraya (ferry service is available). My mom wasn't a fan of river transportation, so it wasn't pleasant journey for her. Furthermore, the river was rough and there weren't any life jackets. 

History has it that the temple was shown in French maps during mid 1600's. The main feature of this wat is its central prang (Khmer-style tower) which is encrusted with colourful seashells and bits of porcelain. You could climb the 200m or so tower but it is very steep. Since i'm afraid of height.. yeah...

Across Chao Phraya River

Siamese cat at Siamese temple 
As the night fell, there wasn't any better place than Soi 38 in trying Bangkok local delicacies. Though it is much smaller than our Jalan Alor but the food is really nice and cheap too (just in front of Thong Lo BTS station).

Waited 20 minutes to be served - mango sticky rice, one of the famous local delicacies 

Day 3

Last year when I was in Hong Kong, I didn't visit Madame Tussauds there since it was very pricey. On contrary,  the one in Bangkok (located at Siam Discovery - walking distance from National Stadium BTS station) has early bird promotion in its website (only 400 baht per pax before noon entrance). My mom and I had lots of fun seeing the almost-real  prominent figures.


Katy Perry

Justin Bieber

Mario Maurer

Our journey continued with Jim Thompson House which is not far from Siam Discovery. Who is Jim Thompson? 

Born in 1906, Thompson was an American businessman who revived Thailand's silk industry almost single-handedly. Aside from being a businessman, he was also an ex-architect, so you would expect his house is rather interesting one. Using parts of century old houses, he succeeded in constructing a masterpiece that involved the reassmbling of six Thai dwellings on his estate. Unfortunately, this businessman disappeared when he went for a stroll in Cameron Highlands. Until today, his traces yet to be found.

Sieving out threads of silk from cocoons 

Cocoons before turning into silk 

To conclude our trip in bangkok, our final destination was Asiatique. Spanning across 12 acres of land, Asiatique hosts one of the largest night markets with over 1,500 stalls (which we were literally lost there). Forget about Patpong or Silom night market, this night market has it all and it's cleaner. It is very easy to locate this place - disembark at Saphan Taksin BTS station and take free shuttle ferry to Asiatique.

I felt like walking down at Main Street of Disneyland

The huge Ferris Wheel of Asiatique

That's all folks for Bangkok travelogue.  Definitely will make a return someday. Just love its accessibility and the weather there (suprisingly  it was chilly there).

So my 2014 trip had been accomplished. Maybe I should start saving for 2015 trip. Still no clue where I would like to go but I hope somewhere far far away. Somewhere cold...perhaps retracing the origin of The Beatles?....

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