Thailand never fails to haunt me back…through and through.
This weekend, my friends and I went back to Bangkok, Thailand for that take 2 shopping trip, an exciting refresh from our trip last 2008. This is my third time in Thailand, my first being in 2008, second – in Phuket while I was living in Singapore, and third time this weekend. Let me just say that I missed Thailand sooooo much! It’s such a fun place with lots of great shopping finds, and not to mention VERY good food!
Tell you what, there are just so much things to do in Bangkok! Let me enumerate!
Oh, make that hardcore shopping! Bangkok is one of the major destinations of apparel wholesalers as Bangkok gives really crazy wholesale prices for clothes, bags, and even shoes! During our last trip, we were able to shop in Platinum Wholesale Mall in a day ( from ground to fourth floor! ), and brave the Jatujak weekend market – a very very humid place, but with really rock-bottom prices! This trip, we scrapped the idea of going back to Jatujak, and instead, we went back twice to the Platinum Wholesale Mall and finished all floors! This was such a great decision, as we were able to do our “rounds” on all floors, and really max out on our shopping experience, given the cash that we had. Tip : better bring extra cash, than attempt to scrimp. Learned it the hard way during my last trip. Haha!
For more department-store shopping, we tried to stroll at Siam Paragon as alot of brands were on sale, and there were alot of brand selections – the beauty department houses Clea de Peau, a HUGE Chanel counter amongst luxury brands! But then, we were not in the mood to shop on our last day anymore because of our maxed out luggage space and cash! We even watched a movie ( I am Four ) in their cinema ( which was very very nice – they had different prices for seats, and could be as high as 700 baht! ) to kill time and stop us from shopping and walking in the mall! Hahaha!
Okay, no photos included, sorry! We were just too busy shopping, that even click-happy me set aside my camera unless there was food. Hahaha!
We set a day aside to do something tourist-y, and rented a private van to take our time while exploring Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya is an hour’s trip away from Bangkok, and there, you can explore alot of temples, Bang Pa In ( the Summer Palace ), ride the elephants ( wee!! ) , and the Floating Market.
It was such a scorcher day, as I am so happy that I brought my hat with me. My face even got burned with the intense heat and sun, that day! Exploring the Bang Pa In, the summer palace for the kings, was a breathtaking site to behold – beautiful palaces, royal residences, and monuments. It wasn’t a deadly walk ( not as long walks as those I had in Cambodia whew! ), so I very much enjoyed this not-so-long stroll here.
We also went to see the Reclining Buddha. Tourists were flocking there, Buddhists praying, much like a pilgrimage.
After those, we went to the most exciting part of the trip – riding elephants!!!!! Yay!!! This is my first time to ride an elephant in my entire life, and I must admit, that I was sorta nervous! My friend even teased me that I was going to bathe the elephant on my own. ( she LOVES teasing me about adventurous stuff and see my reaction haha! ). For 600 baht a person for half an hour, it proved to be a good once-in-your-life experience riding an elephant. Our elephant’s name is Doraemon ( heehee! ) a boy ( because he has a tusk ), and is around 14 years old ( quite young! ) The elephant trainer with us was very very friendly, as he told us his tales on his visit to Manila years ago for an elephant show, meeting Mari the elephant in Manila Zoo, and enjoying Manila watching a basketball game in Araneta Coliseum, and even watching Philippine TV! ( he knows ABS-CBN and Studio 23 hahaha! ). It was a pleasant ride, with a pleasant trainer assigned to us!
After our fun, fun elephant ride, we explored the Floating Market. We initially paid 20 baht to ride a boat to the floating market ( well, we believed it was leading us to the floating market ), and after enjoying a good view of the entire floating market, we were led back to where we were initially! And we thought we were taking a shortcut to the floating market by paying for the boat ride! Haha! Oh well, there goes our 20 baht, us lazybones! We walked towards the floating market, grabbed some eats, and being unable to tolerate the heat any longer, we decided to head back to Bangkok. Haha!
After showering and lounging for a few hours in our hotel, we headed off to MBK mall to get some pasalubongs ( they have really good selection of native delicacies there either on the third or fourth floor ), grabbed a quick dinner, and rode the BTS to Asia Hotel to watch the Calypso Ladyboy Cabaret Show. Ladyboy? Figure it out, google it! Haha!
The performers were quite talented, funny, and not to mention beautiful! I was laughing the entire time! Even those not in girly-girl costumes were so game!
Well, it was a tourist-y day well spent for us!
Oh god. Thailand is one of the gastronomic hubs that I will never tire indulging myself with. In Manila, I just love dining in Thai restaurants, what more that I’m in Thailand already? We ate our hearts out!!!!!
Here are some pictures – I’ll let them do the talking. Oh wait, I can talk a little. Read my “gigils” over these eats!
When we landed in Bangkok, we had only one dinner place in mind – only one. This restaurant was the one we loved so much since our 2008 trip, and we were really, really excited to eat there again! I swear, I was salivating over photos in the internet over food here days prior to my trip. I thought I’d never eat there again! Somboon!!!!!! ( yes, that’s the name of the resto )
Jacqe was salivating for Steamed Fresh Water Prawns with Garlic but they said it was out of stock. It was a theory of mine that the steamed ones needed to be fresh, while the fried ones need not be. Turned out the Stir Fried Fresh Water Prawns With Garlic & Chili was available. It was okay. Still preferred the steamed one we had years ago!
If you love Tom Yum here in the Philippines, and you just love how spicy it is here, better be careful with how you want your soups in Thailand – don’t dare challenge yourself in telling them that you want it really spicy, because they’ll really stuff it with chili, and will cause your tongues to burst to flames! We ordered Tom Yum Soup, and we didn’t even say anything on how spicy it would be – assumed that the regular one would do. My gosh, this was as toxic as the Tom Yum Soup I had years ago in this place! No one was able to finish this, and we even asked for clear broth to dilute this. Hahaha! And to think that I have such high tolerance with spicy foods ! Apparently, authentic Thai food is altogether a different ballgame! The Tom Yum Soup in Cambodia was much, much more tolerable, and mild.
Ahhh!!! This dish is the one that we’ve been waiting for! We arrived late in Somboon, and we almost didn’t get this as there were alot of dishes unavailable! This is what I’ve been dreaming about for days, and even for years, I’ve wanted to go back and eat this again! This is crab, de-shelled, and sauteed with yellow curry, and crab roe. Very, very sinful, but very, very delicious!!!! Oh my gosh, I am just so happy! I was all smiles as I happily ate this with rice!
Moving on, let me share to you what I had in Platinum Mall during our quick “lunch break” from shopping :
Oh, I just love the Platinum Mall foodcourt! Jampacked, and hard to find a table to eat with the ocean of shoppers seeking a quick lunch break, I just knew what to order the moment I went back to this shopping haven – pad thai!!! For 75 baht, the servings were small, but it was just so delicious that I just can’t help ordering this again and again! This is the yummiest Pad Thai that I’ve ever tasted in my entire life!
We had our first dose of Mango Sticky Rice in the Platinum Mall. My goodness, a return trip never tasted so sweet with Mango Sticky Rice! Sweet, Sweet Thai mangoes, eaten together with sticky rice with sweet coconut cream! We loved it so much, that led us to MBK mall to…
buy more mango sticky rice, by the kilo, to be able to handcarry them back! My family feasted on this for dinner the day I went back! My sister swears that she’ll try to make one for us, and research on the recipe! oh yay!!!!
At the Floating Market, my friend and I had a quick lunch eating these :
Typically street foods ( these can be found anywhere in Thailand – I’ve tried really good barbeque on the streets before ), these were all yummy! The barbeque is just so delicious!
With all that walking, we decided to give our weary feet some good ol lovin and consideration!
One thing that one must do when in Thailand, is to indulge oneself with Thai massage! I swear , they know what they’re doing, and they’re quite good at what they’re doing! I had a foot massage TWICE this trip, and I shall tell you more in detail about it in a later entry! Haha! But then, I can tell you that Thais have their own unique expertise in massage, and they know pressure points quite well, that I just felt relaxed with every pressure point their target. I love Thai massages!!!!!!!
Well, this was a weekend very much well spent! Bonding with my best friends with our favorite sport in the world ( shopping ) and getting closer with memories of our mishaps and funny adventures, and hardcore foodtripping! I’m sure, Bangkok, that I’ll be back in no time. You’re always one place that I’m willing to save up for. Always.