“To travel is to live.”- Hans Christian Andersen
November 24, 2012.
This date was when I started to live and live my dreams. Traveling had always been in my thoughts. But as said, you have to turn thoughts into actions. So together with good friends Mj and Tonette, we took the trip to Bangkok, Thailand.
We booked the flight from Diosdado Macapagal International Airport to Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The trip to Clark felt long as we were too excited to get down and hop in the plane. Victory Liner took us to Clark and we alighted just in front of the airport.
No hassle.Our flight was at night but it was not too crowded there so we didn’t have any problems. Just some chit chats and time flied quickly.
At Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Start reading below to get to know a few basic things about Bangkok, and of course of one thing it’s known for-Shopping!
Upon arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, it is too noticeable how Filipino and some Thais look alike and how it is also hard to communicate in English. One must have enough patience and creativity in order to let Thai people understood what you wanted to say (Though, very admirable of them how they love their language. )
Trying to tell taxi driver to take us to hotel
There are taxis waiting outside the airport in colorful bodies. I was amazed to see green, pink, and yellow cabs painted brightly.
Colored cabs along the street of Bangkok
We arrived late at night at the hotel and so we had to go straight to sleep and get up in time for the next day’s busy trip. Tip for those who wanted a comfortable room, accessible location and good food, try the Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam and you’ll get all these in that property.
Late night check-in
Getting your way around Bangkok is pretty easy as our hotel is quite near to their train station-the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) also known as BTS Skytrain. It is quite similar to our MRT and LRT , though quite spacious. You will have to buy token-like tickets. Tellers are only there to exchange your bills into coins but still you have to buy your own ticket on the slot machine, similar to our LRT Line 2.
Buying tickets at BTS
Inside the spacious BTS
However, should you wish to experience the famous tuktuk, you may bargain with drivers to take you to nearby places. Though in our experience, riding a tuktuk and a taxi will somehow cost you almost the same.
We only had 3 days n Bangkok, which is relatively short if you would want to shop and tour the whole city because it would take you at least 3 days to shop through all their many malls and flea markets!
Chatuchak Weekend Market (also Jatujak)
Dubbed as the world’s largest weekend market, this place is definitely one that should not be missed while in Bangkok, specially to all shopaholics and entrepreneurs out there.
As the name implies, this is a weekend market which means almost all stalls are only open on weekends. Since we arrived Saturday, we had to go straight to Chatuchak before actually seeing the tourists spots. The market is a haven for all hard to find things ,be it plants, antiques, pets,food, collectibles, home decors,clothes and even books. One whole day is not enough to go through every stall- based on our experience.
Street foods along Chatuchak
Another food cart
Cards ,arts and plants
Busy Chatuchak street
Shopping along Chatuchak
Also, make sure you have enough Baht (THB) so that you don’t waste time finding a money changer booth. Though, If you ran out of Baht, there are definitely money changers in the area. What’s good is that Baht and Peso have minimal exchange rate difference.
Bangkok as I said again and again is indeed a shopping paradise. If you plan to hoard things, to put up a business, to update your wardrobe, then this is definitely the city for you. Keep in mind however that goods here are more costly if you compare it to Chatuchak and other flea markets. Nevertheless, it is still quite affordable and if you are too good of a shopper, you will get some good deals.
To reiterate, you have to make sure you exchange enough Baht so that when you start your shopping saga, you don’t run out of “weapon” or else you go back to start ( which is looking for money changers usually at ground floor or corners of every floor).
Anyone who wants to go shopping will probably not want to miss MBK as it is the largest shopping mall in Bangkok. Over 2,000 stores filled with merchandise can be found here. Though, it is quite noticeable that you may find some sellers too snob so you just need more patience when dealing with them.
While waiting for MBK to open
This is another shopping mall that is quite near to our hotel and is even just walking distance from there. Like MBK, there are quite alot of good finds here. I was able to buy bags around THB 200 which is just around Php 280 pesos and some tops at THB 150.
Shopping at Platinum Fashion Mall
I assure you there are alot of other shopping malls in Bangkok that you can visit. For those that will be in Bangkok for only 3 days, you can visit at least 3 shopping malls if you will still go out for a trip to their tourist spots. I suggest you plan a trip to Bangkok solely for shopping.
There’s too much to share about Bangkok and I will have to dedicate another entry to showcase some cultural heritage, tourist spots and food to be tried.
My next post will take you to the historical wonders the city has. Get ready to be delighted as we had.
Some photo credits: Mj and Tonette