The Travelling Cake Addict

2 August 2011

Rewind: Asia Trip - Bangkok, Thailand

Rewind: September-November 2009. Better late than never! More photos

Arriving in Bangkok I finally could let my hair down and enjoy the beginning of my SE Asia adventure. Days before flying, Philippines was hit was a few typhoons, including Typhoon Ondoy. The day I was flying out of Clark Airbase Pampanga the heavens opened and left me weary of whether I was going to even reach Thailand. Thankfully my plane left on schedule, with a turbulent take off. I soon arrived in Thailand about 4 hours later.

Arriving in Suvarnabhumi Airport was a big wake up call. Id left sleepy Diosdado Macapagal Airport (Angeles City Philippines) and arrived in a very busy tourist swarming airport. It is a beautiful airport and was very easy to navigate. One thing that irritated me was that my Philippine cell phone did not pick up any reception!! Eager to just get to hotel and meet my travel buddy, I beelined to taxi port and headed to the city. Getting in a taxi alone in a country where you barely can speak the language and have no idea where you are headed too was a little daunting at first. I had a print out of the hotel map and address which helped. I arrived safely but was irked when I found out that I had been overcharged for the Taxi fare!!

Staying in the Legacy Suites in Sukhumvit was a good choice as it was little out of the busy central areas like Siam Square, but easy to get around and it was a few minutes walk from BTS (Bangok Mass Transit System). There was a lot of restaurants and shops within walking distance and even a Robinsons mall, like the ones they have in the Philippines. With only less than a week in Bangkok, we decided to pay for tours to really make use of the short time and see as much as we can. One tour took us about 2 hours from the city to the Damoen Saduak Floating market. One of my favourite places! lots of food, souvenirs, trinkets and all sorts are sold on the little canal boats which we rode along the canal. I had an amazing little bowl of noodle soup that cost only 50p! We also went to an elephant reserve and had a trek with the elephant in the jungle. We also visited the cultural arts centre, amazing carved wood pieces. The show at the end of the tour was lovely too. There was dancing that was similar to traditional folk dances in the Philippines. On another day we took a morning tour of the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho. When entering theres little iron bowls in a row. You can donate to the temple and receive coins to drop in the bowls for good luck. Such a beautiful place and such an amazing experience. We also visited the Grand Palace. The palace is kept absolutely clean and maintained. The colour and details on each building was amazing. This was a hot day from what i remember. TIP: Bring a bottle of water. You will need it. When going to the temples or to the palace you cannot wear shorts or open shoes. They can supply you with wrap rounds to tie round your waists.

Its also totally worth experiencing an authentic Muay Thai Boxing match. At Lumphini Boxing ring it cost about £20 for ringside seats. Quite intense but really worth seeing a bunch of guys smack each other with their legs. This paid for about 4 fights, one of which was a junior division (yes kids) and the main event. The ooohs and aaahs shouted from opposing teams really got me into the fights. Inside there's a ladies that come round selling beer. Also far at the far end of the arena there are lots of locals (men) shouting out, kinda like bookies and placing bets. Really worth a visit. The ritual dances that the boxers do before the fight is very memorable, especially the bell music that they dance to.
Shopping in this great town is fabulous. There are loads of Malls that range from high end goods to really cheap bargains. My favourite place was in MBK centre, you can buy lots of souvenirs here. We even had cheap spa treatments too.
We didn't really go to hard on drinking or the night life due to our early tours and the fact that most of the "bars" nearby was full of erm women escorts LOL. We did however had a great evening in Hard Rock Cafe with drinks and live entertainment who happened to be a band from Philippines!

We ate some amazing food in Bangkok. Inexpensive tasty goodness. We had an amazing seafood dinner (which we found by jumping  into a taxi not knowing where the hell we was going). It was a bit pricey (£30 each) but really was a treat and ultra fresh. Another memorable meal was in a place called Shabushi in MBK centre. Really good Shabu Shabu, conveyor belt style. The ingredients pass you on a belt and you just pick up what you want to put in your soup broth. We also tasted street food and the best Pad Thai ever!

Overall, Bangkok was such an experience. I would love to go visit again and see more. It is a busy hustle and bustle city with very friendly people. All systems were go the moment we arrived in Bangkok. But I enjoyed it very much.

Helpful Links:
Cebu Pacific
For cheap flights from the Philippines to Bangkok (and other parts of SE Asia).
Legacy Suites Hotel
Hotel in Sukhumvit
Bangkok Tourism
Official tourism website.


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