January 04, 2012

Bangkok, Thailand 2009

Bangkok is a city that defies expectations. Away from the backpacker hangouts of Khaosan Road and Patpong is a cosmopolitan metropolis that gives a window of how Manila can improve. Staying in Sukhumvit, the efficient Skytrain and candy-colored taxis took us to the Royal Palace, temples, Chinatown and the smorgasbord of fashion shopping at MBK mall. The Thai were wonderfully hospitable. After befriending the salon owner who did my hair extensions, she drove us down to Khaosan Rd in her BMW so we could checkout even more deals. With so many tourists, markets, food and shopping, Bangkok was a lively, circus carnival, more cultured, entertaining and inspiring than most people realize.

 Useful Tips for Bangkok

1. If you want to stay in a five-star hotel for maybe 5 days, prepare at least S1,000 or P43-45k for accommodation and at least S1,000 for everything else. I know you can tour Thailand for a cheaper price but we're talking about a good hotel in Sukhumvit which is their business district and a good location close to all the tourist sites. 

2. The cheapest airfare is usually with Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines Lite Fare.

3. Explore outside the tourist areas of Khaosan Road. Bangkok's full of art culture and live music.

4. Whatever you do, do not enter any bars or restaurants in the red light district to use the toilet. They will tell you that you can pee for free but once you're in, they will charge you 1,000 Baht or P1,000 even for a 5-minute use of the toilet. It will be very tempting to evacuate in these bars since you will get tired from shopping or walking around the night markets which surround the red light district. 

5. Refrain from walking and use the public transport system. It's very good.

6. Don't go to any jewelry stores or tailors that your taxi driver recommends. They are ALL SCAMS. 

7. Be prepared to use sign language or learn Thai. Most people, even in the best hotels, will have difficulty speaking English.

8. After a long day walking around temples, YOU MUST TRY a massage house in any part of the temple complex. I don't know what it is about Thais but they're very good with their massage.

9. Items at the malls can be cheap but it's a lot cheaper to shop at the night markets on Khaosan Road. 

10. I dare you to shop a lot. You can't get items that will be cheaper in any country than Thailand or China.

By the way, we went there for Valentine's day to celebrate. Romantic.

Listening to : I'm Alive and On Fire by Danko Jones
             <3: Thailand
            =( : sore throat

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