It’s the first time my group of girlfriends (CliqueIts) from poly flew together for a holiday, and it’s no less than Bangkok (BKK)! How much more excited can we get! Hehe, and it was also my first time to BKK. Although we had a total of 8 girls, only 6 of us went together for this trip.
[Disclaimer: Photos in this post are searched and taken off Google.com as I can’t find any proper photo albums of this trip in any of my friends or my Facebook! How sad!] :(
Many of my friends, especially my sis, was advising me not to get anything and everything that I see, that I have to evaluate before I actually purchase anything. The reason is simply because the stuff at BKK are almost all so cheap, it’s just hard to resist the tempation to buy and buy only lah!
2 of my friends, X & T, who were more well-versed with trips to BKK, booked the air tickets and accommodation for us. We flew by Tiger and stayed at Citin Pratunam Bangkok Hotel.
Citin Pratunam Bangkok Hotel is situated in the heart of Pratunam, one of Bangkok’s most popular shopping and business districts. It is an especially colourful and vibrant neighbourhood, set against the backdrop of Baiyoke Sky. Fabulous shopping opportunities with the Pratunam Market – a renowned trading center, and Pratunam Plaza at your fee, Platinum Mall and Pantip Plaza (to name a few) are all within 15 minutes walk from the hotel. [This paragraph is extracted from their website.]
The hotel is actually situated in an alley (just about 3 to 4 metres deep in), but it wasn’t the sleazy kind of alley. Through the day and night, the alley in front of the hotel is actually lined up with make-shift push-cart food stalls, hence security wasn’t much of an issue.
The hotel staff were very friendly, and on top of that, they provide free tuk-tuk service to the main shopping area! This is definitely a plus for us as the hotel is already located near Platinum Mall, so the tuk-tuk actually brings you to the street right opposite the mall, making it really convenient to get to our shopping haven, hehe. To top it up, they do pick up service too! Just remember which Soi number (street) they dropped you off, give them a call when you need to be picked up and inform them of the Soi number, and 5 minutes later, tuk-tuk will arrive!
We didn’t have anything to complain about the rooms either. 6 of us booked 2 rooms – 3 in each room, and there was still walking space even with an extra bed in the room. The toilet was generally clean so, yup, no complains :)
There is also a Family Mart located just opposite the hotel. Overall, it was a good stay for us!
On the other hand, Tiger gave us a little of a problem. After booking our flights, we were notified by Tiger that (due to some reasons that I can’t remembered), they had changed our flight itinerary to a later timing. That meant lesser time for us to shop at Platinum Mall! We had a choice to amend our flight itinerary, but at an additional cost. After some ding-dongs of emails between X and Tiger, we finally got to change our flight to the earliest one, at no extra cost!
So our final flight details was:
SG – BKK (12 Jan) 7.10am / 8.30am
BKK – SG (16 Jan) 8:10pm / 11.30pm
On the day of our travel, we planned to meet at 5.10am in the morning for McDonald’s breakfast at the Budget Terminal* and below was our itinerary that was typed out by T right from her finger tips into our email inboxes ;)
- Pick Up Luggage, etc.
- Take a cab and we’ll reach the hotel at about 10.30am – 11am
- Head out around 11.30am for Brunch @ Plantinum Mall Food Court (THEY’VE GOT AWESOME CHEAP FOOD THERE!)
- Note: To go to NARAYA!
- Dinner @ A&W :D
A side note of advise from my dear friend T:
Platinum Mall is huge and we wouldn’t be able to comb the whole mall in a day. She would usually finish Levels 2, 3, 4 & 5 in a day and Basement 1 & Level 1 on the last day of her trip, plus some last minute shopping.
Based on her past experiences, her advise was to… Try not to stick around with each other in a shop, you can freely roam around at the nearby shops to save time. If you see something that you like, we can all pop by to see if we have any we like in the same shop to get a better price. If you looking for nice rings, don’t be too eager to get it first because we’ll be going to other places on rest of the days and there will definitely be cheaper alternatives, REALLY.
Most importantly! Don’t feel too excited, we gotta calm ourselves down because we really don’t want to spend on things we don’t like or ultimately would not wear! You know how girls tend to overspend and buy anything and everything when we get excited.We can keep our pace slow since cos BKK is 1hr behind SG time which spells AWESOME cos the time seems to be crawling when you’re there, haha.
- 9am (BKK Time) – Breakfast @ HOTEL.
- Citin Pratunam serves vegetarian food so their breakfast was nothing fanciful, but acceptable. Don’t keep your expectations on the high side!
- After breakfast, head to Siam Paragon, walk around and get to the AMAZING shopping area opp Siam. (T mentioned that it’s actually the place where the people at Haji Lane source for their inventory. I’m not sure if it applies to this day 2013.)
- Late lunch back at Siam Paragon at a good and cheap jap restaurant (at Level 1 but I honestly can’t remember the name of the place).
- Head to MBK. (Another mall as big as Plantinum)
- MBK has a good night market around its vicinity where earrings are as cheap as 15 baht
- Dinner @ Chinatown. Birdnest and sharkfin too!
- End the day with massage back at hotel.
- 9am (BKK Time) – Breakfast @ HOTEL. (or waffles breakfast @ A&W? haha)
- Head to Pratunum Market and back to Plantinum to complete the rest of the levels
- Complete any last minute shopping (cos we are not coming back here anymore.)
- Lunch @ awesome food court again.
- Head to Khao Shan
- Mbk night market
- Dinner at MBK.
* Note: Silom has got nothing much cos Suan Lum Night Market has closed down since 2006.
- 9am (BKK Time) – Breakfast @ HOTEL.
- Grab more food as I don’t know if we’ll have time to eat! hahah.
- Check out.
* Girls who want to queue for Krispy Creme doughnuts at Siam Paragon can go on our last morning :)
My friend, T’s words: The long awaited Chatuchak day! * IMO, Chatuchak has got a lot of stuff, is very hot and it gets quite annoying actually. I always get very restless because the weather is very bad. And I usually end up not getting much stuff there because the heat will just kill me :/
True enough, on my first trip to BKK, I bought less than 5 items from Chatuchak.
And…. If you look at the above itinerary rattled off by my friend T, it was only a 4-day itinerary when in fact, we were going to spend 5 days in BKK. Itineraries are meant to be flexible, so we did our own impromptu re-arrangement of the itinerary when we were there. And believe it or not, we went back to Platinum Mall countless times! Haha, we skipped the massage and dinner at Chinatown, etc. And nope, we ended up not queuing for Krispy Creme doughnuts, haha. But we tried the Phat Thai stall right outside the hotel, it was NICE!
So for my first trip to BKK, I spent about a total of SGD $600, over-estimating my initial plan of SGD $500 for expenses only. The best part of it, I totally enjoyed myself with my girls very much! We bonded over shopping, eating, trying out our clothes at night together in 1 hotel room. It was plain hilarious to see ourselves doing that.
Really, travel when you’re young, with your friends or family or even alone. Open your eyes to the vast and beautiful world and make friends all around :)
* I’m writing this in year 2013 actually, cos I’ve just started this blog but decided to recollect my previous travels too. Currently, the Budget Terminal has already been torn down to give way to a new and upcoming Terminal 4 in Changi Airport.
Not all those who wander are lost,