No need for introduction as everybody been to and knows Bangkok. Everyone apparently but me. So it’s not the first time that my passport got the Thai stamp, but 5 years ago my 3 visits here were for totally different business, so I am here as if it’s my first visit.
I’m such a budget airline fan so let’s not complain that the ticket we bought got us to Bangkok at 10:00pm. The airport looked totally foreign, no wonder because Suvarnabhumi Airport officially opened on 15 September 2006. It’s late but we all got a good vibe from the airport. I think it’s essential for a country to make their airport welcoming. Thai people are known for their friendliness and we had no problem finding our way at this time of the night, albeit an extensive amount of sign language was necessary (and during the whole duration of my stay).
Chatuchak weekend market
is the largest market in Thailand and record says, the world. Getting in on a weekend, it is only natural that we visit this famous attraction first, right? Now, even if Bangkok is tagged as the shopping haven, in my mind, I always thought it must be over-rated, after all we have like a billion of shopping malls (of all class levels) in Manila. I was wrong. I was totally flabbergasted with the shopping here! Ok, fine, it’s not difficult to get me excited over shopping.
It was so hot (temperature) but that’s didn’t stop me (or my sisters) to feast our senses as we walked around the kaleidoscope of stores. They do have everything and they have clothes(!!!) It’s worthwhile to mention that the market has not been dominated by Made in China stuff like the rest of the world. You see different stuff from different stores. Unlike here in Manila (or Indonesia, as I was recently there), you see the same same stuff in all the stores, even in different malls. Greenhills, Tutuban, SM, etc. They have a lot of original stuff and all made in Thailand. It is refreshing and encouraging to keep moving and visit all the stalls. Ha ha ha. And the prices? Winner! as my friend Nadine always say. The place also have huge variety of food/snacks like ice drops, to fruit shakes, ice coffee, Thai noodles, etc.
We were at this market for a long time and we could have went on forever if not for a very, very unfortunate and !@#$%^&* event that Girlie was picked pocket! This is such a bummer as this is our first day, we just took out money from ATM and she still had over 9,000 Baht, 2 credit cards, 1 bank card, and about 2,000 pesos. It was just in the span of 15 minutes from when she last bought something to the discovery of missing wallet. We retraced out steps but no luck. :(
Some concerned sellers apologized to us on behalf of Thailand and directed us to the Chatuchak market administration office to report our loss. We found that we were the 10th person to report pickpocket. It’s actually quite depressing even if it didn’t happen to me. We all feel so bad for Girlie and started to be paranoid with our stuff.
I am actually always paranoid when I travel even if I am a scatter-brain at home. When I travel, especially if to multiple cities, I carry one backpack and 1 day bag where I kept my camera and laptop. I have it in my head where everything is (like which pocket of the backpack has what). So I can just move anytime. I also carry my passport and all money and cards in a flat belt bag inside my pants. I don’t care if I have to pull open my pants every time I need to pay anything.
So going back to Bangkok… to drown our sorrow, or rather Girlie’s, we decided to do more shopping. No sense in crying over spilled milk right? We just got here the night before and we have 3 more nights to go. We consoled her by offering to pay all the taxi fares and food for the rest of the trip. We are very nice sisters. We went to Platinum Mall next and then Isetan/CentralWorld shopping where we spend quite some time too. This is a great area, next time I visit Bangkok, Pratunam will be my address!
Finally, after tearing ourselves away from the be
autiful shops, we found that we were starving. We were gonna eat at this authentic restaurant my friend Glen recommended in Soi Cowboy/Soi 23 area but were too exhausted to go further. It is also quite late and we realized that everything closes very early here in Bangkok (except for Khao San Road).
We end up eating in Langsuan area (where our hotel is, not very far from Pratunam) at a Chinese-Thai seafood restaurant which had great Tom Yum Kung and the chilliest red curry sauce! Only crazy Pincky could stand it. It was almost midnight when we started to walk back to our hotel, we found that there were 3 massage & spa places within 25 steps radius, and so we decided to get Thai massage to end our stressful first day (of shopping) in Bangkok.
Musta kabayan! I know this is a late comment to your post on Bangkok for 2009, but I just recently returned home to the USA from my vacation in southern Vietnam, around TPHCM with my fiance, she is Vietnamese. It is sad, depressing and unfortunate and I really feel for your friend Girlie. But as a reminder next time whenever you go out traveling anywhere, always put your cash in your front pockets and always put your four fingers in your pocketere you keep your money and cards with your thumb only exposed on the outside, this is bound to deter any pickpockets and you will feel it if someone wants to steal from you. Works like a charm. Hope more of your travels are all fun and no worries. Salamat at ingats kapatid!
actually 4th Thai stamp of my passport na yan but earlier trips were not for sightseeing. :p
what? first time in bangkok? reminds me – first time in hk :p