Saturday, July 21, 2012

A 2-day Trip in Bangkok

     Bangkok, Thailand is undeniably charming with the bustling market, busy streets, beautiful temples and grand palaces.  It’s a city best explored riding a tuk-tuk, eating street foods and shopping.

     Coming from Cambodia and Vietnam, Thailand is really more progressive than those two countries we have visited.  As we entered the city of Bangkok, it reminds me of Manila because the city is so much alike.
     We stayed at Rambuttri Village Inn and Plaza located at Soi Rambuttri, Khaosan Road, right in the backpacker’s haven.  The rooms are clean and air-conditioned.  It has pool on the roof top but no free Wi-Fi.  Also near to restaurants, bars, travel agencies, and money changer. 

     Our first stop was at Patpong Night Market.  The goods here are quite expensive and it is also the red light district of Bangkok.  We were approached by touts and invited to watch live lady show at a very cheap rate.  After watching the show for 30 minutes, they were charging us a total of 4,700 Baht which was totally expensive for 4 beers.  We ended up haggling with the Haw Girls Bar for 15 minutes until they gave up, so we paid a total of 800 Baht including the entrance fee.  Not worth a try for a very bad experience.

Patpong Night Market

     The next morning, we went to Damnoensaduak Floating Market.  This is where the James Bond movie was shot.  The trip was arranged by Mr. ThaiTravel Agency located next to our hotel.  We only paid 300 Baht each for the package tour.  The travel time from Bangkok to Ratchaburi Province was about 2-hour drive.  When we arrived, we rode the James Bond boat to see the daily life of locals living beside the rivers.  After 15 minutes ride, we finally arrived at the floating market.  Here locals sell fruits, noodles, and souvenirs on boats.  To complete the experience you can ride the wooden boat and buy from vendors on boats for a tourist price of course.  We opted to walk along the markets on the river side and bought as many souvenirs we can bring along at home.  The boats are so colorful which is perfect for photography when you’re standing on the bridge. 

Damnoensaduak Floating Market

     After the half day tour, we rent a tuk-tuk to take us to The Grand Palace.  It was built in 1782 after King Rama I ascended to the throne.  Despite the crowds, the palace is amazingly grand and magical.  Everything is so colorful and glittering in gold.  The temples sparkle and glisten in the sunlight.  As it is a sacred place, all visitors are expected to wear appropriate clothing.  In case you’re wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts, you can loan inside the palace for proper clothing.  It is open 7 days a week from 8:30 to 15:30, but there are touts outside the palace that will tell you that the place are closed due to holidays or prayers.

The Grand Palace

     A few blocks away from The Grand Palace is the Wat Pho Temple.  Again we were approached by Thai pretending to be friendly at first, and then we were told that the temple is already closed and suggested to take the package tour instead.  Gladly we didn’t listen to his scam and we entered this beautiful temple of Wat Pho where we saw the amazing gigantic reclining gold Buddha.

     Rama I first named the Wat Pho as Wat Phra Chetuphon in the beginning of 19th century.  It houses the gigantic reclining Buddha shimmering in gold and with feet intricately decorated with mother-of-pearl depicting the auspicious signs of the Buddha.  Around the temples, there are chedis decorated with colorful ceramic tiles.  Two of the four largest chedis contain the remains of Rama III and Rama IV.  While the beautifully designed main chapel holds the remains of Rama I. 

Wat Pho Temple

     Next, we went to the harbor pier where we saw across the Chao Phraya River the Wat Arun temple.  I bought fresh coconut juice while waiting for the sunset because from what I heard it is best pictured at night.  Since it was a bit cloudy during that time, we went to MBK Mall instead.

Wat Arun temple

     MBK Mall is the best shopping mall in Bangkok.  Shop till you drop here!  Everything is cheap from scarves, clothes, gadgets, bags, and many more.  We bought as many tamarinds, dried fishes and scarves for our presents.

MBK Mall

     After we shopped, we had our dinner at our favorite Sawasdee Terrace CafĂ©, and then headed to the airport for our late evening flight. 


Arvin Fernandez said...

Hi Shiela,
Really enjoyed reading your blog. I'm currently in Bangkok and planning my trips for the next few days here ;]

Bubbles said...

Thanks Arvin for taking time to read my blog! :)