Bangkok, Thailand - 2012.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 // 0 comment(s)

Back in May, the boyfriend , friends & ; I headed to Bangkok for a short summer vacation. Explored around with lots of foods and sight-seeing. What I loved the most about Bangkok is that, it has so much to offer, regardless of food , sight-seeing or even shopping. Everything was just so unique and colorful if you actually dare to take the time and explore these places which are usually out of the city itself, just by using their public transports. Thus, this was whats on the plan throughout this trip. Well, its not my first time in Thailand but I can tell you that its always different being in the city itself and exploring places outside the city. Its way interesting and we really enjoyed our trip. Neither did we knew much about the transportation system around in Bangkok apart from its train system and cab but we made it to other parts of Thailand and that satisfaction you get when you get to explore other places using all sorts of different transportation and its all within your budget :) 

First day upon reaching, we headed to Chatuchak market which is a place where they always sells cheap  and reasonably priced goods and a heaven for affordable food :D went there to shop for a bit since its the weekend and Chatuchak only opens during the weekend, managed to try the unique foods available there aka that's the pink color pressured ice-cream from Japan, but its also available in Singapore since I saw it there :). It pops out the moment you cut the tube and it keeps flowing out non-stop until you see a small plastic tube inside; and the sweet potato balls was so tangy I love em' so much. I did not enjoy the white color coconut dessert as the taste of the coconut , very really different. More like a roast coconut dessert and imagine how weird the taste would be as coconut is supposed to be all sweet and milky but adding a roast burnt taste to it is totally, killing it. 

As for dinner, we researched on the internet that one of the best place that offers good authentic Thailand food is Cabbages & ; Condoms. I know as cliche as it can be for its name, this place actually offers really awesome and authentic thai food compared to those I've tried before. This place was built because it supposed to be a restaurant which serves food with a motive of educating the younger generations of practicing safe sex thus they actually sells various sex related souvenirs and also offering condoms instead of mints to the guests. They even have human size figurines all around this place with condoms covering them as added presentation. Oh, totally must try out their food here, especially the Grilled Pork Neck was our favorite among the rest. Price wise, it is quite reasonable for a restaurant. Highly recommended place to be and I will always go back there if I have the chance to someday.

On the second day, we headed to the Southern bus terminal to explore the floating market in Thailand. The most famous floating market which is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market was a merely 2.5 hours journey away from Bangkok city itself. The ticket costs us approximately RM20 (200 baht) per person both ways.

Upon reaching Damnoen Saduak, the bus driver dropped us off at a place where you can charter a boat to explore the floating market. We paid about RM80 for 2 person (800 baht) as we chartered the entire boat to ourselves for about an hour after bargaining. The price was higher but it is advisable to bargain as much as you can and be there as early as 9am to get to explore the place at its best as anything later than that will delay your journey as there will be more boats and jams along the river. Well, what we experienced there was basically seeing people selling fruits and clothes on board the little small boats and tasting food but some things here are overpriced as it is a tourist visiting area, thus always remember to bargain each time you want to purchase anything- even food items! Oh, you can also pay in RM if you ran out of thai baht because their money changer is really limited.  I love how colorful everything is over there, totally an eye opening experience and we tried the fish noodle and the famous glutinous rice and mango. I really enjoyed eating the mini sized coconut pancake served on a banana boat leaf, and it was cheap! RM 2 (20 baht) for 8 pieces :D and saddest and yet funny thing was we ran out of cash by the time we needed to pay for a bowl of RM 5 (50 baht) noodle just because we did not change and expect to use so much more thus we got freaked out for a little bit there until we found the money changers, and luckily a bank at such remote area :D never imagine that we can be that broke during the second day of our trip but nevertheless that's what  makes this trip more fun and memorable.

We took so much of the public transports available there that I think we actually took every single transport available there in just four days. Since we headed to Damnoen Saduak earlier in the day for a half day visit, we came back to exploring the street markets nearby our hotel by the road side which sell delicious yet super cheap food for our dinner. Our favorite got to be the bird egg and soy sauce pancake roll  which was only RM2 (20 baht) for about 6 pieces. As an additional things, we got pork legs and some vegetables and other stuffs from the food stalls that cost us only about RM10 (100 baht). Unbelievable. 

Later in the evening, we walked merely 5 minutes to a nearby mall which has a unique theme - Haunted Mansion 7. Actually this place was newly opened, and a disappointment to me because I was hoping for it to be a huge shopping mall but it was actually just a factory size mall with a haunted house and some arcade games, restaurants with few clothes boutiques in it. However, since the theme made it unique and special so we end up taking lots of haunted scary pictures and no, we did not went into the haunted house because I was a chicken  girl with no guts :D the boyfriend thought we should head to the pub and get us some alcohol drinks and by then I will be daring enough to go in but heck no, I was still the same before drinking and then we left. Oh well, teehee.

The very next day, we headed to the Sai Tai Mai bus terminal and purchased our ticket to Hua Hin. Interestingly, our cab driver dropped us off at the wrong bus terminal and we end up paying extra cab fare to get to the right bus terminal. It got our mood really down because it was annoying how the people there doesn't understand English.  We went to the nearest 7-11 and bought our breakfast to be consume during the trip. Those croissants and puffs are fresh and relatively cheap we had like 4 pieces each. Our bus moved around 9am and we reached Hua Hin after a 3.5 hours ride. This time, we were really lucky because we do not know where the bus will stop so I was just keeping an eye all the time on our whereabouts while the boyfriend was asleep. At one point, I woke up and was looking coincidentally at the place we wanted to visit and immediately we alight. We visited Plearnwan, which was located just right beside the opposite road .

Plearnwan is a place with an old vintage theme to it. What a good place to relive the old times.It's like a small shopping areas featuring lots of vintage items and of course in a unique setting. Seeing shops that sells old vintage items mixed with the relatively modern items,  and the things there instantly brings us back to the fond memories as a little kid buying cheap snacks from the little van who visits our neighborhood, and also having stalls that sells candies and bubble pop bottles and more; we couldn't help but was so amazed that some things still exists since our childhood and being sold there.

Food was unique but not exactly reasonable. It is a tourist place after all. We had fish noodles that costs RM5 (50 baht) and the round rice ball thingy that is not-so-nice and I loved that blue and transparent white wrapped up dim sum kinda thing, don't know what they called it in Thailand but its filling was the sweet peanut sauce which was to die for and it only costs RM2 (20 baht)! They had this little ferries wheel that we thought we could sit on but it was closed since forever. Oh, and if you're looking for souvenirs this place offers a variety of unique souvenirs such as the dried / fried chili items like the soft shell baby crabs that we bought or sweet items like coconut candies that tasted like candle wax to me :/

Later in the evening, we were supposed to get a ride back to Bangkok. So we waited by the road side to get a tuk tuk because there were no cabs to the bus station and we couldn't get any until we walked for about 10 minutes to a place where there is a police guarding some house and sought help. He flagged us a tuk tuk within minutes and managed to ask the driver to drop us at the bus station. The bus station is actually an old shop which has only a counter for selling tickets and a few rows of chairs to sit. It's kinda creepy if you ask me but at this point, we totally bought it seeing its a small town , what to expect? I forgot how much was the tickets but I know we ran out of cash as we overspent at Hua Hin buying souvenirs and food tasting again :p  had to wait till about 8pm till the money changer reopens. Again reminder; keeping to your budget is important! Since we had like 2 hours to spare while waiting for the money changer to reopen, we end up exploring what Hua Hin night market has to offer. It was like a night market selling what Chatuchak sells, at a higher price as it is a tourist destination after all. Had awesome dinner at one of the shops there, very hearty authentic thai meal yet again, it was really cheap and delicious. I finally get to try out my Nutella crepe cake which I wanted to try out since earlier of this year when I was in France but didn't get to because I got freaked out when the person before me's crepe cake got burnt right in front of our eyes , and I don't trust them to make my crepe cake anymore. However, this did not disappoint at all,  tasted fan-ta-bu-lous and it only costs RM3.50 (350 baht)!

There's the handmade heart shape lollipop and the handmade wooden key-chain the boyfriend got us as a souvenir for ourselves from Hua Hin. He got me the bubble pop thingy too so I can blow bubbles, just like a kid again ;D

On the last day, we signed up for tours visit to various temples around Bangkok city. Our driver came to the hotel and fetched us to the first temple we went to which was the Wat Traimit Wittayaram, and met up with our tour guide. I couldn't recall her name. She was a friendly lady, quite talkative and a very curious type of person, but she was very informative.Wat Traimit Wittayaram attracts tourists because of its Golden Buddha which is the largest golden Buddha image in the world and it was made with pure gold weighing 5 tonnes!  She took us to Wat Pho which is the largest temple in Bangkok to witness the famed gold plated reclining Buddha measured 46 meters long and covered in gold leaf. Another uniqueness of the Buddha is that its legs are made of mother of pearls. Really unique and interesting to look at it just right in front of your eyes. Did a little donation as we are grateful for the things we have and how smoothly our holidays end up at the temple where the boyfriend bought me a bowl of coins and asked me to toss it into the stretch long of bowls along our way and recite what I'm thankful for. It was fun. There was this 12 animals donation box too, and we don't know what is it for but we donated to our animal sign anyways - the Snake.

I managed to try the famous coconut ice-cream outside of Wat Pho as the weather was really humid. The uncle was really generous with the toppings and ice cream that I cannot get enough of the ice cream in my mouth. After all that Golden Buddha sight-seeing, our tour guide took us to a few factories for sight-seeing and shopping but obviously we could not afford anything from there but since she insisted us to go along with the plans as it was complimentary from the tourism board of Thailand, we went along and visited a few places, like the famous jewel factories, famous cloth factory and antique shop. Which reminds me a lot about China, where they often brings you around to places like this whenever you're on a tour and in hope that you'll buy something back as souvenirs. 

Finally after all the visiting, our driver sent us back to the hotel where we redeemed ourselves a 15 minute complimentary massage from the hotel. Just what we needed to complete this wonderful vacation.  Upon checking out, we headed to a nearby huge shopping mall called Esplanade where we got to try out the McDonald's pork burger which is not available here in Malaysia / Singapore. It was not as good as how we expected the patty to be but it is still edible and acceptable. Lastly, we tried also the popcorn from the cinema. Why popcorn of all things? because it is a coconut flavored popcorn with real coconut shredding inside and it tasted so good I can't even describe it. I technically, finished up the whole thing and the boyfriend only managed to have few bites of it ;D

Well, this wrapped up how we spent our amazing short summer vacation in Bangkok this year. Till Then !

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