I was away in Bangkok for about a week and I’m back, with a lot of new clothes! The past few days were spent sipping on Tom Yum Goong, munching on street food and coconut ice cream. Oh wait, and lots of shopping too! The blog entry below is image-heavy, and the tips & guide to surviving BKK is at the end of the entry 🙂 Here it goes my Bangkok shopping entry!
Thursday 12th July 2012
On Thursday afternoon, we arrived in Thailand and made our way to our hotel, Citin Pratunam Hotel, which is located somewhere in Pratunam, near the iconic Baiyoke Sky Hotel. Realised I forgot to take any pictures of the hotel so here are a couple of stock pictures I found on the internet.
We had a hard time locating the hotel while dragging our baggage and we later found it situated along the food alley where tons of street food hawkers were located. Honestly, it is a pretty good location. It is where all the food stalls are at (in Pratunam) and is only a 5 minutes’ walk away from Platinum Mall!!
Here’s a map to illustrate the location more clearly:
Our room looked like this with a king size bed 🙂 They even have a free Tuk Tuk service that brings residents to the nearest BTS stations and Platinum Mall. It comes every half and hour.
Then I brought Roy to the legendary Platinum Mall and we spent a few hours walking around aimlessly and came out empty handed. There was not much to buy and the clothes were expensive, think more than SGD 12. I thought the clothes were too expensive by Bangkok standards, so I gave them a miss. Plus, we were heading to Chatuchak over the weekend, so I thought we should wait.
Oh oh we also ate at Platinum Mall food court and it really sucked. Haha just go there for shopping, unless you’re in desperate need for food to recharge your body for more shopping. We walked around the area near Platinum Mall and explored Indra Square, Pantip Plaza and Grand Diamond Plaza. Indra Square has a lot of handicraft products, Pantip Plaza is like a Sim Lim Square.
My pathetic loots for Day 1 of shopping in Bangkok:
My blouses were from the street stalls somewhere further down Platinum Mall.
My studded pumps for only SGD 4!
Friday 13th July 2012
The next day, we had breakfast at one of the food stalls downstairs again. This time, it was mixed rice. Right after we finished our food, a Tuk Tuk drove pass and asked quoted us “20 Baht, anywhere!” and so we happily hopped onto the Tuk Tuk! Our supposed destination was Mahboonkrong (MBK) but the Tuk Tuk driver asked if we would like to stop by at the Gems Gallery to “look look see see.” And I thought “no way don’t tell me this is one of the Tuk Tuk traps I read online.” I said no but he later pleaded with us and said if he brought us there, he would get a free gasoline coupon. So we said okay but he had to send us to MBK thereafter.
Our first time on a Tuk Tuk! Haha really exciting to be weaving through alleys and streets, except the constant wind in my face and sand in my eyes occasionally.
At the Gems Gallery, we spent half an hour looking at rows of goldsmiths doing their thing, shaping rhinestones, buffing precious gems, etc. Then we hopped back into our Tuk Tuk and arrived at MBK 10 minutes later. MBK is full of nothing… There is nothing to buy, at all. Haha it actually is kind of like Lucky Plaza, full of souvenirs, gold, cheap clothing (that we won’t buy), etc.
We were hungry by then and walked into a Japanese ramen restaurant, it’s called Hachiban Ramen if I remembered correctly.
A bowl of ramen for less than SGD 4?! Count me in!
The food was okay, don’t expect true Japanese standards or some high class restaurant standard because this was only SGD 4 ramen. I finished everything still, so it’s not bad 😀
After eating, we wandered around and saw a bridge that took us to Siam Center and Siam Discovery. The both places also had nothing. We spent half of our day walking to malls only to be disappointed by the things on sale.
Time to camwhore and Instagram!
We then walked along the streets and saw lots of local designers boutiques.. that were charging ridiculously exorbitant prices. I went into a shop where they sold a pair of shorts at 2250 Baht, that’s freaking SGD 90! I saw the exact same pair at Platinum Mall at 350 Baht that’s like SGD 14 okay!
I read somewhere online that Chatuchak opens not only on Saturday and Sunday, but also Friday. So off we went to Chatuchak! But the area was only partially opened. The cab driver dropped us at a random location in Chatuchak and we were lost for like an hour. We spent an hour looking at cute puppies, cats, and birds and even witnessed a police raid there. Apparently, all sorts of animals including chameleons, squirrels, ducks and chickens are allowed to be sold there at Chatuchak except for owls. Yep so we saw the police rescue a cute baby owl from the hands of those evil animal smugglers. We also went to JJ Mall, right beside Chatuchak. There was also nothing there to buy so don’t go if you’re thinking of checking it out.
In the evening, we went to Platinum Mall and I finally found some nice stuff to buy hehe 😀 Dinner was at an air-conditioned tze-char place.
Tom Yum Seafood Soup! I love tom yum and I can never get enough of it!
My loots from Day 2 of shopping in Bangkok, all from Platinum Mall! Floral shorts and pastel blouses 😀
Saturday 14th July 2012
We woke up early today and headed off to Chatuchak! Upon reaching there, our stomachs were growling so we settled for some food before a long day of shopping ahead.
Very nice and friendly young boss. On a random note, my hair is a mixutre of black, reddish brown and gold now. Somebody save my hair!
Very small cup that they gave, and also they cut the straw into half!
Hello handsome boss 😉 This shirt says El Hefe, which means boss in Spanish. hehe. I bought it for him!
Camwhored while waiting for my food.
The Japanese behind me looks like a si bian tai.
And finalllllllly the food came!
Roy’s Chicken & Basil rice. It’s kinda like Kung Pao Chicken.
My Chicken Chop haha who goes to Bangkok to have chicken chop!
Then we explored deeper into the streets of Chatuchak and saw a coconut ice cream stall!
The busy workers serving coconut ice cream. This is the most popular stall there.
A very happy me with my coconut ice cream!
Roy’s first time trying the coconut ice cream, he loved it!
Mixed rice that was only 40 Baht (SGD 1.60) It looks gross but omg it was so nice! Even the ang mohs who walked pass saw us eating and couldn’t resist buying a plate for themselves each. I’m sure they enjoyed the rice as much as we did.
Evening came and we had a hard time getting a cab back because it was drizzling and the traffic was pretty bad. No taxi drivers wanted to drive us back to our area 🙁 And the ones who said okay? They quoted us 300 Baht. SIMI so expensive! But I guess we were lucky enough to hop onto a cab before it started pouring. We stopped by Platinum Mall for some shopping while waiting for the rain to stop.
Oh we met Hanisa & Cher how and tried prata from the street food stall at our area. Heh, cheap and good. They have different flavours like Milo, Banana Chocolate and Strawberry, etc.
Loots from Day 3 of shopping in Bangkok: Mainly from Chatuchak Weekend Market and some from Platinum Mall
15 pairs of shorts and some tops.
Sunday 15th July 2012
Our last day of shopping at Chatuchak! Had breakfast at some random stall.
Roy’s Spicy Prawn with rice.
Bangkok’s fried rice is quite moist, not the kind you find in Singapore tze char kopitiams.
If you’ve never been to Chatuchak, it looks like this. Lots of shops and shops and more shops selling not only clothing but also furniture, ornaments, leather goods, lighting, animals, and lots of random stuff haha. It’s like Bugis street but 30 times bigger and messier than that. It’s good to have a map while walking around. You can get the map from the Information Counter.
When we reached to the Information Counter on our first day of shopping there, there were only 3 maps left. 3!! So please be early or otherwise, print your own map.
You can download it here: http://jatujukmarket.com/Images/Map/jatujakmap_big.jpg
The entire area is separated first into sections, then soi (streets), rows and unit number. It’s quite confusing at first but it gets easier when you get the hang of it.
They even have an area for people to chillax and drink, while a DJ spins some awesome music.
After a long tiring day in the sweltering heat, we headed back to our area and queued for our favourite Pad Thai again!
And our loots from Day 4 of shopping in Bangkok:
Monday 16th July 2012
It was our last full day of shopping in Bangkok. Woke up early and brought a luggage out to shop!
At the Pratunam Wholesale Center,
The entire wholesale center looks like this. I don’t know the exact address or location of the place but it is opposite Platinum Mall and very near my hotel. There is nothing much to buy there, unless you like the $10 clothes you can find at Bugis Street. You’ll find many of these similar clothes there. My best buys there were belts! I got them for 50 Baht (SGD 2) each when Hanisa got similar belts at Platinum Mall for 100 Baht each. hehehe.
Lunch with Hanisa & Cher How was at our usual tze char place.
Hanisa and me!
Roy and Cher How.
At Pratunam Wholesale Center, Hanisa dropped 4000 Baht (SGD 160) 🙁 I also dropped a few notes the past few days. Then we went to Platinum Mall again! Stopped by Swensens to have some chocolate fondue.
The fondue was only 100 + Baht, about SGD 4 – SGD 6. Cheap thrill 😀
We headed to Terminal 21 in the night to check out the new shopping mall.
At Tao Kae Noi Land! There were so many big packets of fried seaweed! I especially love the Tom Yum Goong flavour but it is always sold out in Singapore.
I used to play in the chinese orchestra in secondary school and my instrument was something like this.
Hello there Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco in Terminal 21.
Our loots from Day 5 of shopping in Bangkok,
Pastel shorts and aztec shorts & bralets O.O I love them all! And I can finally haz lots of chunky necklaces and braclets to accessorize myself! Wanted to buy pastel jeans but they were too big for me 🙁
Tuesday 17th July 2012
It was our last day in Bangkok and our flight was at 630pm. So we had the whole morning to do some last minute shopping and eating.
Goodbye Bangkok and I hope to see you soon!!
Tips and tricks to surviving Bangkok:
1) Staying connected with your friends on social media
If you’re wondering how I accessed Instagram, Twitter and whatever social media platforms in Bangkok, I bought an iPhone 3G prepaid card from True Move. It was about SGD 16 with unlimited 3G.
You can get it at the True Move booth when you come out of the arrival area.
Refer to the sections circled in purple. We got an iPhone 3G prepaid at 99 Baht and topped up 300 Baht to enable the unlimited 3G everyday. Each time you enable the unlimited 3G, it costs 49 Baht. (note that it is 99 Baht, not 90 Baht as shown in the picture)
*Remember to enable your 3G every midnight so you won’t use your own credit limit while using 3G when it has ended at 2359.
2) Taking taxis and Tuk Tuks
For taxis, make sure that the taxi runs by meter-fare and not fixed price. From my hotel area (Pratunam) to Chatuchak/Sukhumvit (Terminal 21) and MBK, it costs no more than 120 Baht.
From my hotel to the airport, it should cost no more than 350 Baht, including toll fees aka ERP in Sg terms.
If you are taking a Tuk Tuk, make sure the driver does not tempt you with other places of interests like Patpong market or seafood restaurants. They most probably are paid a small fee of commission for sending you to those places.
Mini trivia here: Did you know Tuk Tuk is pronounced as “Tuck Tuck” and not “Took Took“?
The last time I went to Bangkok two years ago, the most expensive clothing I bought for was 250 Baht, which is about SGD 10. But this time, I think prices have rose. The most expensive piece of clothing I got was close to 500 Baht, about SGD 20. Anything more than 500 baht, don’t buy it! That’s daylight robbery already. You might as well buy it in Singapore.
Also, always bargain and be insistent. On your first few tries the shopkeeper might say “no” but sometimes she might give in and say okay. So you’ll never know until you try 🙂
Food in Thailand is crazily sweet – the chicken is sweet, the soup is sweet, gravy is sweet and even the curry is sweet! I only drank lots of mineral water and Coke during the trip. No other beverages like Thai Ice Tea or Milk Tea for me. Omg the Milo is also full of sugar. If you don’t like sweet stuff like me, I advise you to just go with water. (For a gauge, I usually drink 30% sugar for bubble tea in Singapore. If you drink 50% sugar and above you can take all the sugar in Thailand!)
If you’re having second thoughts about the street food in Bangkok, they are generally safe for consumption. You just have to stand around and observe how the person handles the food and money, and how the food is stored and cooked. I had street food during my entire stay, and I did not suffer any stomach discomfort at all! I have a very weak stomach (I get diarrhea almost everyday in Singapore) and am allergic to many different types of food but the street food surprisingly did not cause any harm to my body haha.
Also, the food should not cost more than 100 Baht unless you’re in a restaurant. Street food are usually 10 Baht – 70 Baht. Mixed rice is, however, the most expensive street food. We paid 70 Baht – 100 Baht at our area for mixed rice. Coconut drinks (the one with the real big ass coconut in your hand, not the syrup kind) should cost no more than 30 baht.
I would say stay at the hotels near within Pratunam because you can never miss Baiyoke Sky Hotel. If you’re lost, just look up and you’ll see Baiyoke Sky Hotel haha then it’ll be easy for you to find your way back 🙂 Also, Pratunam area is very near Platinum Mall, especially Citin Pratunam Hotel. When I stayed in Baiyoke Boutique Hotel two years ago, I had to cab to Platinum Mall all the time because I didn’t know the roads well. But this time, Citin Pratunam was much easier to get to Platinum Mall, just walk! Other 3-stars hotel you can consider is Budacco or Pratunam Pavilion Hotel.
That’s about it! Hope you enjoyed this post and find it useful for your future Bangkok trips 🙂 I’m guessing 3D2N or 4D3N is enough for shopping. My trip was a bit too long haha. If you have any other questions, do feel free to drop a comment and I’ll see if I can answer them.