1/17/2015

Bangkok 2015 Day 1

Despite Bangkok being a ridiculously popular holiday destination, I've never gone there before until last week when the bf's cousin came up from NZ for his annual holiday. Bangkok was the first leg in his trip to various countries so we decided to tag along for 4 days. 

We took the A1 bus from exit 6 at Don Muang airport to Mo Chit MRT station. The bus is air-conditioned and it was an interesting ride for only 30 THB. Also the bus is quite frequent, so we only waited 10 min. 

Tip: get a free transit map from the train ticket counter near exit 6. This shows transit network and major attractions in the vicinity of the stations. 

The MRT was clean and comfortable; the ride was 30 min long to the Sam Yan station, which is about 5 min walk from the Mandarin Hotel managed by Centrepoint. Check in was fast (a deposit of 1000 THB is required; tip: pay with credit card as you need the cash for shopping and whatnot). We booked the hotel and flights thru AirAsiaGo; for RM780, we got a spacious room with good amenities and a saltwater pool. We didn't include breakfast (400THB), but it had a pretty decent spread. The staff were helpful and quickly arranged for early check-in; plus the concierge provides free shuttle vans to Chinatown and Silom shopping district. 
Wat Hua Lumphong
Hotel lobby

After dropping off our luggage, we went out to familiarize ourselves with the hotel surroundings. We found a row of street hawkers within 5 min of walking left. The delicious scent of chicken and pork slabs grilling wafted into the air. We walked right towards Chamchuri Square, a neighborhood mall with a Tesco Lotus supermarket, assorted F&B outlets and a food court. We had lunch at Savoey - a disappointing move; we could get better and cheaper Thai food back home, plus the wait staff spoke limited English so we were not impressed. 
Basil pork with rice
Tom yam soup
Crab with egg
Green curry

I saw everyone holding a cup of Mikucha so I had to have one; too bad they didn't have grass jelly as an optional topping but hey for 490 THB I'm not complaining. We went walked towards MBK shopping mall to change money and get a local data package. MBK is huge and reminds me of Sg Wang but more modern-looking. The best rate is from Superrich on the 2nd floor (if I'm not mistaken) - can't beat KL rates tho. 
Outside the mall a food bazaar was set up - there is a crazy amount of food on sale here! Fruits, mixed rice, grilled meats, desserts; it was amazing! 
Mini super sweet pineapples!
Fried sweet dough with kaya
So many kuih!
Sugarcane slushy
Everything porky goes....

We then hailed a cab to Chinatown; this is a bustling area with Chinese shops and people, people, people! Some of the buildings look very old and the architecture is unique to this part of Bangkok. There were more street food here; we tried the sweet lime juice (freshly pressed) and walked around soaking in the sights and sounds.
Fresh lime juice
Hot tong sui
Fried chicken!
Doughnuts
Busy busy street
Old buildings
Typical Chinese facade
Dinner time
Coconut shake
Pork noodle soup
Walk on a little more and we found ourselves at Little India; unfortunately by 9pm most shops are closed and it was a little stretch of the road so we decided to walk back (1.5 km) to the hotel.
Read about Day 2 here :)

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