Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bangkok Trip - Day 4

Our flight is at 3.15pm and we have planned to leave for airport when we check out by 12noon.

So after breakfast at 9am, we walked down the road to Pratunam wholesale market for a quick last round of shopping. The place was already crowded by shoppers and I bought some kids clothing and some for myself. Ended up spending another 900baht and that's it, my wallet is finally emptied, :(

We packed all our stuff, and of course I packed mine into hubby's luggage bag as well since he only bought 2 jerseys & 2 T-shirts, there's still ample space to put my things in, hehehe :P

We reached Suvarnabhumi airport around 1pm and we checked in early. Both of our luggage bags weigh only 14kg in total, well at least I know that next time I could actually buy more & not worrying that the baggage will exceeds the weight limit, hahaha :D

2 luggage bags full, with my backpack and a hand carry plastic bag.

We hang around in this new airport & had our lunch. The food here are very expensive. We thought of going McD to eat the Pork burger but there wasn't one in the airport, so we headed to Burger King, which we then found that it's closed for renovation... :( We ended up having Pizza for lunch, not bad at all.

Our flight took off on time and we reached LCCT around 6.15pm, and I just can't wait to rush home to see Dillon & Kaith....

I have really enjoyed this trip, but it'd be better if I have had the right companion who would enjoy shopping as much as I do, hahaha, too bad hubby only enjoyed the food while the other couple friends, I'm not sure if they enjoyed the trip though. To be frank, I haven't had enough shopping this time (will it ever be enough?) so I'm definitely going back to Bangkok again, with my mummy friends. :)

Bangkok Trip - Day 3

The highlight of the day is no other than Chatuchak Market, which only opens on weekends. Some said a trip to Bangkok isn't complete without visiting the Chatuchak market, which I have to agree. :)

We woke up early as it'll be very hot & stuffy to visit the market in the afternoon. We took the BTS Skytrain from Ratchatewi to Mo Chit station, which cost only 30baht per person and we reached the Chatuchak market around 9am, just nice to start doing our shopping.

The market is so huge and it's divided into 26 sections that sell basically everything that you can name eg. clothing, handicraft, antiques, plants, ceramic, and even live animals/pets. There are maps available there for reference. Since we were there early, it's not that hot and crowded yet so my shopping was quite enjoyable. I bought some clothes & shoes for myself, and some decorative items & souvenirs too, of course I never forget to bargain and I'm quite satisfied with it. I have spent about 2300baht in just less than 4 hours, and we have to leave as it's started getting hot and crowded and hubby also feel very bored already (man will never enjoy shopping huh?)

We went back to hotel and we decided to take a short nap to recharge our energy. In the late afternoon, we went out again to the MBK Mall for shopping and dinner. We had steamboat dinner at MK Restaurant, it was fine but nothing special anyway, I still think our homemade steamboat is the best, haha LOL.

The seafood + vegetables set serves 4 pax and cost 860baht.

Surprisingly the mall started closing around 9pm, kind of early to me as I planned to shop till 10pm at least. Anyway, we still hang out at the concourse where they have this sports wear fair, and I managed to buy one Adidas jersey at 490baht, whereas hubby also bought 2 pieces of Adidas jersey that cost only 260baht each, it's really a steal!

We headed back to hotel and I started to pack the luggage. Our flight on tomorrow is at 3.15pm so I could still go for the last round of shopping if there is still space in my luggage bags, hahaha LOL. :D

Bangkok Trip - Day 2

We woke up early at 7am as we'll be visiting the Grand Palace today and we try to be there early so that it won't be too hot.

Set breakfast is included in our room booking and there are 6 different sets to choose from, namely the American breakfast, Continental breakfast, Pancakes set, Noodle Soup, Fried Rice & Fried Noodles, all comes with juice & coffee/tea. It's nothing to brag about but I prefer this than the boring buffet breakfast though, at least we get to choose different things to eat every morning.

Noodle Soup & the American Breakfast set

There are 4 of us and so since we were lazy to get a cab outside the hotel, we decided to take the hotel's limousine to Grand Palace, which cost 200baht (roughly RM5/person). We reached at 9.00am and the crowd were already there. It's not a very lucky day for us as it started to rain when we were about to go in. Anyway we still continue our sightseeing since the rain wasn't heavy.

For those who plan to visit Grand Palace, make sure your shoulders and legs are covered all you will be renting happy pants (Cost 100 baht and you'll get it back when you return the clothes), toes should be covered as well (though I still see some people allowed to go in wearing sandals). The entrance ticket cost 250baht, which includes entry to the Vimanmek Mansion.

The Emerald Buddha is especially amazing and it's a fair bit walk around, it's definitely a place worth visiting when you are in Bangkok, but we are not allowed to take any photos of the statue. Below are some photos of the surrounding areas:

After the Grand Palace, we went to this small shop located on the opposite side to have a drink and something to eat. The soup noodle taste is not bad, although the shop looks a bit run down.

Next we walked to the next block, Wat Pho - Reclining Buddha . This is an amazing temple and a must see. The Reclining Buddha is larger than you think. The admission fee to Wat Pho is 50 baht per person.

Although we were a bit tired after visiting 2 places but we still wanted to see more, and thus we took a cab (after bargaining with a few drivers) to Vimanmek Mansion - the world's largest golden teak wood mansion. We are not allowed to bring in our phones & cameras to take photos so I don't have any to share with you. It's worth a visit if you like to see antiques & collectibles.

After the sightseeing trips in the morning, we proceed to have lunch at Bobae Tower food center. The Thai food here is nice & cheap.

(Clockwise from top left) Stewed Duck Rice - 45baht, Fried Rice with Shrimps - 35baht, Seafood Tom Yum Soup - 60baht, Fish Ball Noodles - 40baht

Bobae Tower is a wholesale center where you'll find a lot (I mean A LOT!) of clothing here, I especially like the kids clothing, the designs are so nice & since it's made in Thailand, the price are cheap compare to the similar one we get in KL. I bought a whole lot of kids clothing (mainly for Kaith) & also a few mini tee for myself at wholesale price, total spending was about 1300baht.

Everybody was so exhausted after many hours of walking & shopping and hence we returned to the hotel to freshen up.

In the evening we went out again to Pratunam area, thinking to do some shopping in Platinum Mall but only to find that most of the shops in the mall were closing?? I was wondering why because I learnt from the travel website that the mall opens from 10am - 10pm but when I was there only I realised they actually opens from 8.30am - 8pm. But even we were there around 7.00pm plus, there were not many people and some shops have already closed or starting to close, sigh.... makes me no mood to continue shopping.

For hubby's sake, we then proceed to the Pantip IT Mall next door, the place is huge but frankly speaking, it's nothing close to Low Yat Plaza we have in KL, so hubby wasn't keen to shop there also and as we decided to head for dinner, it started to rain heavily, what a bad day for us! :(

After the rain stopped, we walk to Ratchatewi Seafood restaurant to have our dinner, which is located on the way back to our hotel. The food is ok, and hubby & I took the Chang beer as it was so cheap, a big bottle at only 55baht.

Fried Squid - 100baht, Broccoli with Shrimps - 80baht

Later that night we went for massage next to the hotel. The place is small but neat, not the hanky panky one but the proper Thai massage. I went for the Foot massage for an hour at 200baht while hubby went for the Full body Thai massage for 2 hours at 400baht only. The massage is so nice & relaxing and I've planned to come again tomorrow for pedicure because it's 150baht only!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bangkok Trip - Day 1

Our flight is on Thursday morning, we took the coach at KL Sentral at 6.00am to LCCT, cost RM9 per way, nice & cheap. We arrived LCCT at 7.00am and there was only a few people at the AirAsia counter and it only took us 10 minutes to check in. The flight took off at 8.25am sharp and we arrived safely in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport around 9.30am local time.

We walked straight out to the airport, leaving behind the people who keep approaching us for cab service, well I did stop & ask one of them how much it cost to fetch us to our hotel and he said 600baht, and I immediately walk away as I think it sounds too much. There is a small counter (not even a proper booth) out there where you see all taxi drivers lining up (so funny it was the driver & not the passengers who line up, haha), tell to the lady at counter of the hotel you wish to go, they charge 50baht service fee (pay to driver) and the driver will charge the meter fare. We ended up paying around 300baht (incl toll fare) for the ride, half of what we were offered by another cab!!

We were staying at Samran Place Hotel, located along the Petchburi road, it's a very small hotel but the rooms are clean and cosy. The nearest BTS (Skytrain) station - Ratchatewi is just 5 minutes walking distance and the shopping heaven Pratunam area is also just within 10 minutes walk. I booked the room at only RM90 per night inclusive of 2 set breakfast, well nothing to brag about the breakfast but at least there are 6 sets to choose from and you can have different set served hot to you every morning, I personally prefer this than the boring buffet breakfast. :)

The room comes with Queen bed, good enough for 2 persons & the toilet is clean. Anyway we didn't spend much time in the room. :)

After checking in to our room, we proceed to MBK Mall for lunch & shopping. We took about 15 minutes to walk there, and we think that we should have taken a cab there as it was so hot!

We went to the food center on 6th floor and were delighted by the great variety of food there, you can see many stalls selling food with pork, definitely not something you will see in here. We spent 160baht for our lunch on the following:

(Clockwise from top left)Stewed Beef & Beef Balls Noodles - 50baht, Braised Pork Knuckle Rice with Pickles - 50baht, ABC & Durian Glutinuos Rice - 60baht

After lunch, the shopping trip get started. I only bought 1 piece of clothe and a handbag as I wanted to save my money for shopping in other areas, haha. Most of the things sold in MBK Mall started from 199baht, you can try to bargain but normally they won't give any discount unless you are buying more, but 199baht for a handbag or a pair of shoes are fairly reasonable to me already... :)

Mummy busy checking out the handbags the kids clothing of course :)

We went back to hotel to freshen up after that and continue our evening by visiting the famous Erawan Shrine, located just in front of Central World Plaza (get down at BTS - Chidlom station).

After that we walked to the Central World Plaza to have our dinner at the food court:

(Clockwise from top left) Seafood Noodle with Thick Gravy - 65baht, Fish Ball KuayTeow Tom Yum - 50baht, Fried Oyster - 60baht, Pork Noodles - 50baht

We walked for a short while in Central & Big C, then we headed back to hotel to rest as we were all tired after the early morning flight and we need a good rest for more walking the next day.....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4 hours in Kota Kinabalu

We checked out from the hotel at 12.00pm and my dad came to fetch us for lunch. My dad has been working in Kota Kinabalu for many years and it's good that he could be my tour guide this time, hahaha.

On our way to lunch, we passed by this children's clinic, which I think looks funny:

Kids won't feel scare to see the doctor I'd assume? hehe :)

My dad brought us to this place called Hilltop to savor the Fish Head Meehoon, Fish Paste Foochok and the special 3-tier Milk Tea. As I don't fancy eating fish head, I ordered the Fish Paste Meehoon, the soup taste real good and the fish meat is really fresh, super delicious and priced at RM 7.00 per serving, quite reasonable.

After that we went to Sutera Harbour to visit this really nice resort and took some pictures by the beach side.

Before sending us off to the airport, dad brought us to Tanjung Aru to eat again, haha. This time we ordered the Lamb Satay, Grilled "Pari Ayam" & Coconut drink.

We reached airport about 4.15pm and it started to rain heavily, flight was delayed by 25 minutes and we touched down in LCCT around 8.20pm. The trip is short but sweet, my whole body muscle is aching now but everything is worthwhile, climbing Mt. Kinabalu and standing at the peak is really a lifetime experience for me.

Gaya Sunday Market

Our flight on Sunday is at 5.10pm so I have planned to take this short period of time to tour around KK and of course savor some nice food. :)

We stay in King Park Hotel, nice mid-class hotel with clean rooms, good customer service and strategic location.

We woke up around 7.30am and after a light breakfast in the hotel, we walked to the Gaya Sunday market (which only opens on every Sunday) just across our hotel. Although our legs are sore but when it comes to shopping, nothing can stop us, hahaha LOL. The market is already packed when we reached at 8.30am. There are stalls selling mainly the local snacks, souvenirs, vegetables, clothing, plants and even pets.

A wide spread of local snacks.... yummy!

Any 5 pieces for RM10, so many designs & it's hard to pick.

Special Garlic Chili Sauce & Mango Belacan Sambal
There is also this stall selling a whole lot of cute stickers.

Anybody want to get a cane? all sizes available here...

And also this one selling...... bat meat? eeeeew yiaks!