Monday, June 02, 2014

Bangkok 2014 - My 5th Revisit

This year, we decided to ditch the norm by celebrating Chinese New Year abroad. And guess what? We were actually in Bangkok over Chinese New Year. Yes, Bangkok seems like a crazy choice in view of the ongoing political situation there since Nov/Dec last year (which only recently heightened into a coup de'tat situation) and the parents were initially hesitant but after my reassurance, they decided to take the chance and boy, it was certainly a well made decision. And seriously, with the current circumstances, it makes the political situation back in February so mild and harmless in comparison. There wasn't any Chinese New Year mood there though, perhaps due to all the political standstill. We flew Jetstar to Bangkok this time via Changi Airport and since I only bought the tickets about 2 months before Chinese New Year, our flight tickets cost us around RM 600 per person.

Flying to Bangkok this time round marks my 5th revisit there (you can read all my previous Bangkok rendezvous here). Yes, 5 times there and I don't think I'm quite bored of it yet. I mean seriously, which girl will ever get tired of Bangkok? Besides each visit brings different experiences and memories and since the city never stops growing, we will never quite run out of places to go.

Goodbye Singapore, goodbye Malaysia! Bidding goodbye with 2 of my favourite, Spongebob and Patrick
Since we were at the airport early, we had plenty of time to spare and that included enjoying a leg massage at one of those Osim machines provided at the departure hall

Our flight took us about 3 hours from Singapore to Bangkok. If you guys had read through my previous Bangkok posts, you'll notice how I had mentioned previously that it is cheaper to take a cab from the ARRIVAL hall of the airport than the airport cab because the airport cab charges do not go by the meter no matter what they tell you and it's at least 50% more than what you would otherwise need to pay by a meter cab. 

The sad news is, the airport management had became smart and now there is a barricade between the arrival hall and the cabs so much so it has become a one way entrance and no exit is allow. They even place plenty of guards there just to make sure no one is able to cross over from the arrival hall side to the cabs. So, the only way to get a cab out from the airport will be via the airport cabs at the departure hall. They wanted to charge us 900 baht for a cab from the airport to Pratunam (normal price should be around 300-500 baht) and without guarantee that the cab will be able to drop us straight at our hotel in view of potential road blockage and closure due to the ongoing protests, hence despite that there are 5 of us with luggage and all, we finally decided to take the airport rail link which is really much more cheaper (40 baht per person) and faster (about 30 minutes) considering Bangkok's traffic.

This time round, we stayed at Hotel Vista Express which is smack right in the middle of the Pratunam market in the Pratunam area. This hotel is meant for all shopaholics as Pratunam market is right at your doorstep and malls such as Shibuya shopping mall and the wholesale must-visit Platinum Fashion Mall is just a stone throw away. The downside is, the nearest BTS station, Rajthevee is a good 15-20 minutes walk away. The nearest airport rail link (ARL) station, Ratchaprarop is also about 15-20 minutes walk away, hence it is a better idea to take a tuk tuk which cost like 60-100 baht (RM 6-10) from the ARL station to the hotel.

By the time we checked in and freshen up, our stomachs were rumbling with hunger. We were very lucky, for the very well-known Sabx2, famous for their wanton noodles is just a 5 minutes walk away. Honestly, wanton noodles are not Thai specialty nor origin but if you are in the Pratunam area, this will be your best bet. The restaurant is air-conditioned and the Thai waitresses can speak Mandarin, so ordering was a breeze. Even though it was way past lunch time, the restaurant was still crowded. 
We ordered both the dry and soup version and imho, the dry version was so much better. The wanton noodle at Sabx2 is simple and unassuming yet flavorful enough. If you can take spicy, you must certainly add on chilli flakes too as it will give your noodle that extra boost of flavor

Their wanton noodle seriously reminds me of home so much as they are just like those you can find in my humble hometown of Johor Bahru; the plain, 'white' version unlike the much saltier Hong Kong  style soy/dark sauce version. Honestly, it is definitely worth a visit to this wanton noodle restaurant for a taste of their pork lard oil flavored springy and crunchy noodles serve with thinly sliced 'char-siew' aka barbecued pork slices, yummy wantons and generous pork lards (good news for pork lard lovers). In short, it was a delicious bowl of simple wanton noodle. It was so good that we went back there twice during our 4 days stay in the city. 
The very stylo wanton noodle chef who happily posed for picture with B

If you are heading from Platinum Mall/ Central World/ Siam Paragon side, the restaurant is located across the overhead bridge. Once you get down from the overhead bridge, turn left and walk straight on until you see Shibuya shopping mall. Turn right at the intersection and Sabx2 is just a few steps further down diagonally across the side of Shibuya shopping mall. If you are heading from Hotel Vista Express, once you walk out to the main road, just walk in the direction of Platinum Fashion Mall and you will surely come across this restaurant first on your left. 

Sabx2 Wanton Noodles,
4/32-33 Soi Petchburi 19,
Pratunam, Bangkok, Thailand
Tel : +66 2653 9618
Opening hours : 9am to 4pm daily

If you do not fancy wanton noodle, fret not as there are plenty of other local food stalls lining the entire Petchburi 19 (which I'll talk about later in my blog).
This fruit stall opposite Sabx2 with fresh pomegranate juice immediately caught our attention. Many said that fresh pomegranates don't taste good but the ones that we bought were actually pretty yummy. Although the juice did left a tad dry aftertaste, they were very refreshing with a balance mix of sweet and sour taste. And it only cost 20 baht per bottle (about 200 ml size) 

Although I had been to Bangkok for so many times, I had never actually visited any of their floating markets. The floating markets are another hallmark of Bangkok and there are many floating markets in Bangkok, but the more famous and larger ones are like Damnoen and Amphawa. None the less, I just wasn't attracted much to the floating markets because a day trip there will usually cost about 2000-3000 baht and the tours usually starts at 6 am in the morning! But since my family wanted to visit the floating market this time round, I thought it was perfect opportunity to go explore it as well. We picked Amphawa over Damnoen mainly because it is easier and much cheaper to get to Amphawa and we heard it is less touristy. Besides, it was already late afternoon after we finished lunch, hence narrowing down Amphawa to being our only choice (Amphawa is an afternoon floating market).

There are a few ways to get to Amphawa but one of the easiest and cheapest way is by taking the fast minivan from Victory Monument. The Victory Monument BTS station was one of the blacklisted area due to it being a frequent protest area, but we decided to take our chances. It was all clear that day at Victory Monument and in fact, everything looked pretty normal with plenty of street food and clothes stalls selling as usual.
Mini sausage with pork or corn wrap. Tasty sweet and savoury finger snacks
Glorious fried chickens and their innards

We took the skytrain to Victory Monument station and from there, we followed Exit 4. After we descend from exit 4, the minivan ticketing office is about a further 2 minutes walk ahead on our left. 
The minivan ticketing office with numerous ticketing counters. Their destinations and ticket prices are clearly written in front of the counters

A single trip van ticket to Amphawa cost 80 baht per person. As we did not had the schedule of the vans beforehand, we had to wait an hour for our van after purchasing the tickets. Apparently the van to Amphawa leaves every hourly. Amphawa floating market is a weekend market, hence only open from Friday to Sunday and being an afternoon market, the best time to visit this market is from 3 pm till 9 pm though most of the boat trading activities will be done by the evening. Besides being popular for their boat trading activities that showcase local villagers and farmers selling various things from their boat, Amphawa floating market is also known for their traditional crafts, fresh and cheap seafood, night firefly cruise and simply a place to witness the locals canal way of life. 

Since we were at the ticketing office at 3 pm, I thought we would make it to the floating market before 6 pm so we would still be able to catch some of those boat trading activities on the river but given their in-punctuality, our van only left Bangkok 1 hour later than scheduled at about 5.30 pm and since it was a 90 minutes journey, by the time we dropped off at Amphawa floating market, all the traders were already done for the day. Hence, no shopping on boats nor a chance to witness the floating market in action for us. A pretty huge disappointment indeed! I had so so wanted to experience doing shopping while boat hopping. 

None the less, we decided to go on the firefly night cruise instead. It's an hour plus journey with your own boat and boatman aka guide around the Maeklong river costing about 600 baht per boat (that can fit up to 10 person). It was definitely a beautiful experience and simply one of the most relaxing and serene thing to do; sat laid back with the night breeze chilling us while enjoying the pretty sight of abundant fireflies lighting up all those trees undisturbed like Christmas trees with their light bulbs as our boat went gently cruising down the river. There are no pictures of those fireflies because some things are just best enjoyed with your own naked eyes.
Yay, let's go watch some fireflies! Those beautiful blinking creatures never fail to amaze me in the dark
Well, the trading activities might had ended, but there are still a few boats parked by the riverbank selling food to all those that fancy having a meal cooked from a boat
It's just amazing somehow that they can fit their fresh ingredients, stove,gas, wok etc all on a boat and cook from there

Amphawa is also an awesome place for fresh and cheap seafood. Really, forget about Bangkok's city seafood when you can get them here at half the price and double the freshness. There are so many stalls and restaurants selling seafood, most by the river bank. We decided to try out the seafood from some of the stalls and I must say, they really tasted good. We skipped the restaurants although a few of them looked really good with a bustling crowd but waiting time was too long and we were running short of time. 
This simple stall selling all sorts of fresh grilled seafood is definitely recommended. They have no signboard, but they are one of the more front stalls by the river run by a pretty young girl and her mother. From mantis prawns to crayfish to mussels to squids to crabs to fish to almost every other seafood you crave for, they have it and at pretty reasonable prices. That fat grilled crab up there for eg only cost only 180 baht one! Totally worth it for seafood lovers
Though much tempted to take the crab, but me alone could not finish one whole crab so decided to go for the mantis prawn with glass noodles instead. And guess what? This plate of mantis prawns with glass noodles only cost 80 baht! Not forgetting, it tasted really yummy too; seasoned and flavored rightfully. If you are a spicy daredevil, eat with the chili that comes with it and I assure you, it's double the excitement as you feel your mouth exploding with a tinge of sour-spiciness (if that makes sense) after each mouthful. But then again, it's that kind of thing that makes you won't mind exploding from spiciness as each mouthful just taste so delicious
Grilled squid that tasted equally delish and highly recommended to eat with the chili too
We got some chili crabs from another stall nearby which tasted too salty for our liking (this was like half of a crab for only 50 baht)
Thai style fried rice with Chinese sausages, shrimps, eggs and chicken
Yummy pork balls

And after all those food, we took the last van at 8.30 pm back to Bangkok. We woke up the next day feeling much more refreshed and excited. While it was the all important Election day for the Thais, it was simply shopping day for us. Since it was a Sunday, of course our shopping destination was none other than the largest weekend market in Bangkok, the Chatuchak (Jatujak) weekend market. If you don't already know, one of the top must-do-things in Bangkok is definitely the shopping. My travel mantra in Bangkok has always been 'living out of my shopping load' which simply means my entire travel wardrobe is directly from my shopping load, so if I do not shop, I'll literally have nothing to wear. It doesn't matter if you are a man or woman, you'll surely enjoy Bangkok shopping very much (I have living testaments from all the guys I know whom had been to Bangkok).

As I had mentioned before, we, Malaysians and Singaporeans particularly love Bangkok shopping because not only are their clothes trendy, they are usually much cheaper from what we otherwise have to pay back in our countries. If you don't fancy the market clothes, although they are mostly in trend with the latest fashion with acceptable quality, I also realized certain fashion labels such as the Melissa shoes, Wacoal undergarments and the Naraya bags (product of Thailand) are way cheaper in Bangkok too. Words of caution though, the market clothes can't be tried usually so the sizes might not fit very well especially since their clothes are generally pretty small in sizes. 

PS I'm wary that the definition of cheap varies between individuals but in my context, when I say cheap, I mean to say at least 20%-50% lesser as when compared to Malaysia and Singapore.
Good morning Bangkok! Let's go shopping
Breakfast is provided by the hotel and they have a small selection of local and Western breakfast. Breakfast for one. Yes, I finished all of that myself every morning *wink*

Since it was Election day, all tourists were advised not to wander far. Hence, we decided to skip the walk to the train station and took a cab straight to Chatuchak. And as with almost all weekend cabs in Bangkok, they are willing to charge you less than half of what they usually do in return for 30 minutes of your time. All you have to do is spend 30 minutes hanging out at one of their designated jewelry galleria, whether anot you are interested to buy and the cabbies will get free gas refill for the day. For that, our journey from Pratunam to Chatuchak only cost us 50 baht. There's a risk of course for I had heard stories of irresponsible cabbies leaving tourists stranded at the galleria after they had filled up their free gas!
No boobs groping or farting allowed in this cab. Thus far, one of the funniest sign I've seen in a public transport
Back here again. Can never get quite enough of this place. This time, I'm geared with a PDF version of the map of this market 
Say what? A cat bag? And they have camera and strawberries bags too. How vintage and cute at the same time
This little shop somewhere at the front row of Section 21 to 23 sells flower headbands, flower shoes, flower dress and flower everything! So pretty can. Fell in love with this shop instantaneously
Pretty little boutiques like these are common in Chatuchak now. So Chatuchak these days has become more like a collection of boutiques within a very huge market

Seriously, there are plenty of food around Chatuchak so you'll never go hungry shopping around that gigantic market. From food like Thai tom yum to beef noodles to pad thai to seafood to finger food to all sorts of desserts, you'll never run short of choices there.
When in Thailand, never fail to eat and drink coconut. This famous coconut stall of Chatuchak in section 1 sells fresh , sweet coconut water and the very exclusive coconut ice cream
Unlike other coconut ice creams, their coconut ice cream is smooth and creamy with coconut fragrance. And what makes them exclusive is that the ice cream is also serve with strips of coconut flesh, coconut water and up to two different toppings in a coconut husk. I went for the nata de coco and corn toppings which complemented the ice cream nicely
I proudly present my no.1 favourite dessert at Chatuchak
My second most favourite dessert at the market is none other than this simple humble bowl of grass jelly with brown sugar. Super thirst quenching and refreshing especially after a long day of shopping. This stall is also somewhere along section 21-23. You'll hardly miss it because there is always a huge crowd around it
Mochi ice cream! So adorable
Assortment of grilled meat with bbq sauce

By the time we "completed" shopping at Chatuchak, it was already dinner time. And since we wanted to head to Siam Paragon for some window shopping, we decided to try out Greyhound Cafe located at Siam Center which is right beside Siam Paragon. Initially only a fashion label, Greyhound had expanded it's brand to the food business and is thriving pretty well with several sister brands and branches in Thailand and Hong Kong now. 
Located at level 3 of the spacious mall, the cafe interior is modern and chic. Besides Thai food, they also serve Western food. Nonetheless, I find their food selections pretty limited. While mum decided to go for their grilled salmon from the Western menu, the rest of us decided to give their Thai food a try 
Started off with this appetizer of preserved young green mangoes in syrup and plum juice
Dad and sis went for the Thai beef noodle which was surprisingly pretty good
Bro went for the chicken tom yum which we both shared. Imho, I think their tom yum while not so spicy, is a little too sourish for my liking
I decided to go for the pad thai but found their pad thai  too dry and too sweet though

Overall, I think Greyhound Cafe is slightly overrated. I mean it's a nice place to chill and have meals but the food are just pretty average. Honestly, being much an avid Thai food lover, I had quite high expectation on Greyhound since there were so many positive reviews on the place but somehow I think they lack that very flavorful Thai touch in their food. It's as though Greyhound is more suited for Western tourists or those that can't take spicy much. 

Greyhound Cafe,
Level 3, Siam Center
Tel : 0-2658 1129
Do you spot any similarity between us?
My larger than life Harrods bear that I won't mind sleeping on
Enjoying Bangkok's night view while strolling home from the BTS station after a long day of shopping

We woke up on day 3 feeling fully energized for another day of shopping. While men might go 'oh dear', we ladies definitely went 'oh yes'! After all, shopping in Bangkok can never be quite enough, no?
I wasn't kidding when I said earlier that our hotel is smack right amidst Pratunam market. We don't even need to venture any further than our doorstep to shop
A rare maxi dress day! Got this maxi from Chatuchak for only like 300 baht
My favourite mall in Bangkok- the 6 storey Platinum wholesale fashion mall which is the best place to bring all your gal pals, sisters, mother or newly made female acquaintances as the more you buy, the cheaper you get here
La la la-la la la shopping all day long *sing along to Smurfs theme song*
Fun and humorous statement tees are one of Bangkok's best souvenir

After all the shopping, nothing is more convenient than having our meal directly in the mall at the Platinum food court on the 6th floor. Besides, prices of food there are reasonable and the environment is clean and air conditioned. There are plenty of food stalls and even a KFC at the food court, but after trying so many stalls, I personally think only a few stalls are worth raving about. 
Stall P13- They call this the Thai spicy noodle but to me, it's more like a cross between laksa and tom yum. It has a tinge of sourness to it yet not as sour as the usual tom yum. The noodles come with fishballs and dumplings and it's actually pretty good
Stall P11- This is the best dish at the food court. We went for the fried seafood omelette which combines a variety of seafood such as the oysters, prawns, mussels and squids. The fried omelette is really unique as it is crispy on the edges and soft on the inside. It is serve on a bed of beansprouts so in case it felt too oily, you can eat it with the beansprouts to balance out the taste. Besides fried seafood omelette, they have the all time favourite fried oyster omelette and other local fares such as the pad thai
Durian sticky rice with coconut milk
Mango sticky rice

Stall P28 - We tried two famous local desserts from this stall, the durian sticky rice drenched in coconut milk which was sinful but good especially the durian and the mango sticky rice which comes with sticky rice in 4 colors, very sweet mangoes and crunchy sago beans. Although they are not extremely good but considering at their price, both of these desserts are actually pretty satisfying.

I wanted to bring my family to try all those yummy street food right in front of Platinum that I had mentioned previously in my blog but unfortunately, those food stalls are no longer there. I wonder where they had move too because I seriously missed all those delish cheap street food!

Anyways since it was our last night in Bangkok and the men in my family decided they do not want any more shopping or market visiting, we agreed to go catch a play of some sort and immediately the ladyboy cabaret show hit my mind. After all, I had pretty much enjoyed the last cabaret show I watched during my first trip to Bangkok 6 years ago (read post here) and the ladyboys, who mostly are even prettier and sexier than real women are one iconic feature of Thailand as well.

Honestly, although ladyboys and transvestites are fairly common in Thailand, they still do face much discrimination. They are still being marginalized and most have hard time looking for jobs. Thus, being part of the cabaret show not only provide them with a source of income, but a support circle where they do not face marginalization and an avenue to unleashed the 'female' side in them. Some of these ladyboys are full converts (already underwent the full transformation surgery) while others might be half convert or still fully a man as they save up for their surgery. Surgeries are very expensive actually so most of them can only do the surgery in stages. 

We did not want to go too far (such as Asiatique although we should had really just went), so we settled for the one that was nearest to our hotel in the Pratunam area, the Playhouse cabaret which is located inside Asia Hotel where the much acclaimed Calypso Cabaret was located previously. Yes, please take note that Calypso is NO LONGER in Asia Hotel. I did not realized too then that Calpyso cabaret had move to Asiatique, which is the new entertainment and shopping hub of Bangkok. But well, since we were already there we decided to give Playhouse a go anyways, a decision we pretty much regretted after the show. (find out why below)
The colorful reception with 2 friendly and warm staff. Prices for the show had gone up at least twice from 500 baht six years ago to a whooping 1200 baht currently (doesn't matter that the new price comes with a free drink) ! 
The 2 hours show was filled mainly with dance rendition to popular pop English songs like Michael Jackson's Thriller and Rihanna's Umbrella, one Chinese 90's classic and the Korean pop Gangnam song

The Playhouse cabaret has a more apparent mix of male and ladyboy performers with one third of the show actually being performed by only the men. And maybe because there were only a very small crowd (like maybe a total of less than 30 spectators on a weekend night), I found them not as rousing and nearly only half as entertaining. Some of them appears really engage but some of them seems to perform halfheartedly only. I was just waiting for that one performance that can totally 'wow-ed' me  but it never came that night. Despite the vibrant costumes, the show was overall just pretty mediocre.

But the thing that totally puts us off wasn't their performances because although it wasn't what we expected and was less interesting imho, we understand they have their own concept which they adopt to be different from the other cabaret shows and it was good effort on their part. The thing that totally put them on the negative side of the weighing scale was the attitude of their ladyboys at the end of the show. Just be extra careful when you exit because the ladyboys lining the hallway for photo opportunities might just grab you for pictures only to demand fix amount of tips later. As we were exiting, a few of the ladyboys grabbed and shoved us between them for pictures so, being polite we posed for the pictures but straight after that, they rudely demanded that we pay them a minimal tip of 100 baht per ladyboy that was in the picture while forcefully holding on to our arms. What a total ripped off as they were the ones aggresively pulling people for pictures and then in return force you to tip them. Besides, you can't choose the amount of tips to give and you might be surprise that at the end of the picture, there were more ladyboys than expected who squeezed in last minute in hope they get a share of the tips too.

That left us feeling absolutely uncomfortable when we finally manage to exit. It was certainly very unpleasant not forgetting downright rude and pretty scary as they turned from the smiley, friendly performers on stage to impolite, demanding ladyboys off stage. Time may be bad and they need money but they should not show such bad attitude that will only turn off more future audiences. Seriously, if they have better attitudes, I think more people will be willing to tip them and recommend friends for their show. It was totally different from my Calypso experience previously, where all the ladyboys were more friendly and some do not even demand tips for photo opportunities. (I do acknowledged though that was then 6 years back and things might be different now as well)
The only upside of Playhouse is their strategic location in Asia Hotel

You can give the cabaret shows a miss if you're not keen, but you certainly can't give the Thai massage a miss. Massage can't cure you of your fracture bones nor ischemic limbs, but it can certainly soothe your sore and aching muscles from all those shopping. Besides, being so much cheaper in Bangkok (250 baht for a full body massage for an hour), you really have to experience their almost bone breaking massage as the masseur uses her hands, legs, knees and feet to twist and turn you into various yoga like stretches. If you find the stretches too painful, you can always let your masseur know and she will be more gentle. 
Never fail to say no to the authentic Thai massages

On our last day in Bangkok, me and bro decided to wake up exceptionally early and explore the Pratunam market and the area surrounding our hotel. We thought we were early (at 8am) but most clothes stalls at the market opens as early as 6 to 7 am *gasp*. So you see how you can literally shop whole day in Bangkok. The Pratunam market also goes by the wholesale rule, so the more you buy, the cheaper it is. It is also true that in every nook and corner of Bangkok, there are cheap yummy street eats, hence the area around the Pratunam market is no exception. Most of these stalls do not have signboards, but these are the truly local ones.
Try a local 'teh tarik', coffee or milo. This stall uses a combination of fresh cow and evaporated milk for their drinks. Since they do not use condensed milk, they are less sweet and has a very light caramelized taste

When in Thailand, drink coconut like drinking water! The coconut jellies are their latest hit now; they are serve cold together with their water in a coconut
Fresh Thai strawberries that are huge and cheap but less sweet and juicy
Grilled food of any kind- from a whole fish to squids to pandan chicken to sausages to beef jerky, take your pick  
Teacup moulded kuih that tasted like they are made from rice flour with slight pandan flavor
The Thailand murtabak which is less crispy and more sweet. Me no likey
Thai otak otak from some random stall. Spicy but good
OMG! Pork satay ftw! Seriously, these pork satays are only sold at 10 baht one and though it is pure lean meat, it is actually very filling too. These pork satays are just simply sensational; each mouthful leaves you wanting for more
Found this hole-in-the-wall restaurant somewhere along the market area. No signboard, so you better memorize this picture before searching for the shop
They call this the Thai spicy noodle. It's less sour than the tom yam but spicy, flavorful and tasty none the less. Mine came with fishcakes, fishballs and char siews. They actually served it originally with innards but you can request for no innards if you don't want them. The menu is listed in Thai and the lady can only understand minimal English, but thankfully, we can just point the ingredients we want and those that we do not want

My Bangkok damages! Spent about 5000-6000 baht for all of that. Maxi dresses, harem pants and sweaters consisted of most of my shopping load this time. And just to prove that Bangkok shopping is not only for the ladies, those men shirt you see up there are actually of pretty good quality and costs only 300 baht one

Fun fact : My work place is a huge freezer, thus despite how hot and humid Malaysia's weather is, I need a lot of sweaters and cardigans!

My first Naraya bag. Honestly, this type of bag is really not something I'll usually buy but this household brand is another wonderful souvenir from Bangkok. Their 100% fabric bags with it's trademark huge cute bow are super versatile for any daily usage

Did I not mention that Melissa shoes are much much cheaper in Bangkok too? So yes, if you are a fan of this Brazilian plastic shoes (MELFLEX) but just couldn't bear to spend so much for them locally (like me), get them while you are in Bangkok because they are cheaper there. I got this pair of gorgeous Melissa Petal for only 1691 baht (including VAT) in Bangkok. They otherwise sell for USD 78/ SGD 105/ ~RM 270.  Besides being hypoallergenic and comfy, they are sweet smelling too. I kid you not, this is one pair of shoe you really enjoy smelling. Mad love ♥

The beautiful Suvarnabhumi

Bidding goodbye to Bangkok for now. I'll be back!

Some people might think we were crazy about insisting to fly there but honestly, being there, it wasn't as horrifying as what the news portray (or so it seems to us). With proper precautions (such as avoiding all protests area and not participating in any sort of protests) and the power of social media platforms such as twitter (follow @richardbarrow or @bkk_post), one can still stay relatively safe and enjoy doing all the usual touristy stuff without much worries although when I saw on the news myself every night that there were clashes, fights and gun shots, but we were lucky all the places we went were spared of their fights and protests. 

Bangkok is too vibrant a city to ever grow tired of and it's just one of those place you won't mind returning for a short break over and over again. There is just something about this South East Asia sin city that is always pulling me back to it; maybe it's the fact that flight tickets there are one of the most affordable or the fact that I just simply love to be able to shop till I drop or the fact that I just love the yummy authentic Thai food or the fact that I enjoy the excruciating yet pleasurable bone breaking massage. Well, it probably is because of all of those reasons I find myself comfortably going back there again and again with different companies each time. No doubt, I think I'll definitely be back there again sometime soon, so till then, sawasdee Bangkok. :)

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9 fondue dips :

Nice tips, nice pictures and nice you. Thank you for sharing :)

Thank u for covering all the shoping spots so wonderfully.. this really helps..

wow i have to say... after visiting so many blogs about bangkok.. yours is the one that i read from top to bottom! thanks for the info! certainly helpful for my planning! =)

Rajvi : You are most welcome 😄

Henry : Enjoy your trip to Bangkok 😄

Hi. May i know where did you get your Melissa shoes from? Thanks (:

Anony : I got it from Central World, Bangkok :)

The shop name for melissa shoes is it jelly dreams?

Hi, where did you buy melissa shoes?

@Desiree @Andrea : Yup, I got my Melissa from Jelly Dreams in Central World :)