Came back from a 5-day trip to Bangkok. It was an impromptu decision. We were supposed to go Redang Island for a trip together, but couldn’t work out the transportation and stuff. Andrew was asking “why not we go Bangkok”. We checked the flight ticket and MAS was having some promotion, the price was pretty reasonable, RM520 per person, return tickets.
We were having difficulties deciding on the hotel to stay. Not because of Bangkok doesn’t have any decent hotel, it is exactly the other way round. Too many good hotels that we got so confused and we weren’t sure which one to go with. Finally, between Citin Pratunam and Bangkok City Hotel, we chose the latter. It is pretty new and looks more trendy, and it is cheap. I’ll leave the hotel review for later.
Been hearing the negative sides of Bangkok city, I was pretty sceptical and worried about the safety and transportation. The moment I was in their skytrain (BTS), I got even more sceptical. When I had to walk under the extremely hot sun for 10 minutes from the BTS to the hotel, I was basically cursing everything under the sun. 10 minutes may sound very near, but try that under the super hot and humid weather lugging all the luggage on the not-so-easy-to-walk-on pavement. Lucky the hotel is good, I would have cursed even more if the hotel turns out to be otherwise. Lesson learned, don’t believe the “fairy tale” on TripAdvisor when the reviews said “it is near to the BTS with just 10 minutes walk”. For someone who walks fast, 10 minutes is near. For someone who walks moderate, 10 minutes is pretty far. Always, always, always take the weather into consideration.
There’s some similarity between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. The LRT here and the BTS in Bangkok, they’re not connected to most of the major shopping complex/malls! You reach the station, sometimes you will still have to walk about 5 to 10 minutes! It is another mistake to believe someone that told you, “it’s near, just a 5 to 10 minutes walk”. My goodness…… Seriously, I am not a lazy person, I can walk. However, to walk in such a weather is something I don’t appreciate. They also said that from one shopping mall to another is pretty near, I wonder how they define NEAR. When you are already tired from all the shopping and walking, to walk another 15 minutes to another shopping mall which appears to be “near”, is definitely tiring. Another lesson learned, stick to only 2 malls in one day! Even though it may appear to be near on the map, unless you really have the energy, don’t be too adventurous under such extreme weather.
Another similarity would be the taxi/cab. The taxi drivers will always try their luck to give you excuses of not using metre and charge you a sky-high amount for a very short distance. Never believe in them and always INSIST on going on metre. There are plenty of taxis, don’t have to worry that you can’t get one. We only compromised once for not going with the metre. The taxi fare is unbelievably cheap! If you’re travelling in a group of 3 or more, taxi is definitely cheaper than BTS.
Food is also cheap! For a meal of seafood dinner, we paid 160 Baht to 180 Baht averagely! 100 Baht is about RM10, you do the math. The price of food in the shopping mall isn’t too expensive too. You can easily get a bowl of noodles or some rice with less than 100 Baht! Unlike in major shopping malls in KL, usually you have to spend more than RM10 for one meal.
Shopping is cheap too. They have all these fashion malls offering wholesale prices. A piece of good quality dress only cost 200 Baht! Tell me, where to get it in Malaysia? The quality isn’t too bad at all! There are so many choices too! We could even get T-shirts at 95 Baht a piece!
However, I have this love and hate relationship with Bangkok. If the weather wasn’t this unbearable, I would have pronounced to the whole world that I LOVE Bangkok. Sorry, I can’t say that. Honestly, the weather is the biggest put-off to me. I would think twice if I want to visit Bangkok again. Perhaps in the month of February when it isn’t so hot.
Also, I am someone who fuss a lot over quality. I’ve been very choosy lately when it comes to clothes. When I find something of good quality, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy as long as the price isn’t too steep. However, if the quality couldn’t meet my expectations, I wouldn’t bother looking at the price even if it could be dirt cheap. I only bought 3 dresses in Bangkok, can you believe it?
I didn’t spend a lot in Bangkok, brought around 9900 Baht (RM1000), I still have 500 Baht left. Would have more if I didn’t buy cigarettes in the airport. Friends had been telling me that RM1000 wouldn’t be enough, I’m glad I went ahead with my decision. :P
So, will I be going Bangkok again? Yes, for shopping only!!! I don’t miss other stuff, only miss the cheap prices!!!
Photo taken by Andrew at Damnoen Floating Market.