Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bangkok Day 1: Getting a Feel of Things/ Failed Cambodia Trip

Last April 6, 2012, I went on a trip with friends to the beautiful city of Bangkok in hopes of discovering and forging new friendships. This day was originally planned for a Cambodia trip, but sadly it did not happen. This was how it came about.

 April 6, 2012 - 9:36 PM Flight from Manila to Bangkok. My sister and I got a budget airfare from CebuPacific. So we had our tickets priced at PHP 8000 per pax. It was a pretty decent flight, no problems. I even won a bag from cebu pacific since I was able to answer their in flight game.

April 6, 2012 - 11:50 PM arrival in Bangkok. Bangkok is 1 hour earlier than Manila. So upon arrival, we had to look for a limousine/taxi to take us to Hua Lamphong Station [which would take us to Cambodia]. We took a Limousine [aka private van] since we arrived very late and we would like to take a "safe" ride. We paid 233 BAHT per pax to Hua Lamphong Station. It was a long ride, about 1 hour.

Upon arriving, we had to wait til 5: 25 AM to ride the train to Cambodia. It was such a "unique" experience since I never had to wait at a train station filled with people. Literally there were hundreds of people sleeping on the floor waiting for the train station to open. While waiting, we decided to eat at the nearby sites, we tried their milk tea and pad thai. My sister and I had a quick stroll around the area since we had 4 hours to kill until the station opens. It was really odd since you see people awake and still eating/chatting. It was well lit and I was not afraid. One major bad thing, it was full of MOSQUITOES. I had to buy a ton of insect repelant to reduce the itch. We had a local approach us and offering us a private "transpo" to the Cambodia border. Do not be fooled by them since it is quite pricey, and we did read online that they usually have scams. So its better to go the safe way. We decided to wait and try to sleep at the train station, but it was IMPOSSIBLE. Even the comfort rooms were dirty. :( It was quite sad that such a common place did not even have clean comfort rooms. The good thing here was you can buy food from the mini stalls outside. We bought our tickets costing at 48 BAHT

When 5:25 AM came, we decided not to push through with the Cambodia train trip. We weighed the effort it would take for us to complete the 6 hour train ride. We felt we could not survive it given the fatigue caused by the flight and waiting. We decided to go back to KHAO SAN BANGKOK. For riding taxi's the same thing applies with asking for tour service, talk to the official in the station and ask them to assist you in getting a "metered' taxi. Do not be fooled by the "unofficial deals" they offer tourists. It is not safe, its better to go for a metered ride. We were able to get a taxi to KHAOSAN for 60 BAHT per head

Upon arriving at KHAOSAN [the mini boracay strip of bangkok], we looked for a hostel. We looked and looked since it was SongKran everything was full. [So the advise here is to book extra early if you will come in a holiday.] We finally found DND that had quiet rooms that can accommodate us, we paid 867 BAHT per night. We booked for 2 nights. You have to leave a 500 BAHT key deposit. So we washed and slept for the first half of April 7, 2012.

DND was great. We had spacious room, warm water, EXTRA FAST INTERNET, and breakfast buffet. ^__^

At lunch time, we went out DND and had different street foods. I ate some pancake [40 BAHT]. The street food preparation is not for the faint hearted. They do not wear gloves, and they use their hands to prepare and collect money. But nevertheless, since you are here... you should try their STREET FOOD. They have lots of great snacks.

Rested til late afternoon, and we took a cab to CABBAGE AND CONDOMS [40 BAHT per pax]. This was a very well known restaurant that is visited by lots of tourists for its great food and unique idea. I had a rice meal that costed 193 BAHT. Average food range is about 150-250 BAHT. They have good menu and ambiance. If you can get a reservation, the better since its usually full. Since you are here, do enjoy the interiors as well. They had lamps and statues made out of condoms. It was a freaky yet interesting sight. They even have gift shops, my sister bought some elephant keychains for 90 BAHT. [NOTE: Do not buy souvenirs here, you can get the almost the same souvenirs for much cheaper prices on other places. But the product quality here is good, so it depends on you.]

On the way back to the main road, i had bought milk tea at Tea Fancy. It was too sweet, but its yummy. 35 BAHT. The waitress was sweet and friendly. They serve all drinks here with lots of ice so do not be shocked if your actual drink is just about 1/3 of the cup. [This applies to all beverages bought in bangkok, as per my experience.]

We took a cab to PAT PHONG [20 BAHT per pax]. Pat Phong is a well known night market that has lots of affordable clothes, bags, shoes, and women. yes, WOMEN. Here is where you find the world famous, Ping Pong show. Do be wary of the people here, if you are not into "live shows" like me, just ignore the men inviting you. Just walk fast and focus on the clothes stores. Here is were we found the NARAYA store. They were selling so many great stuff here at a discounted rate. I managed to buy a lot of souvenirs here about 2000 BAHT spent. Here was the only Naraya that had such a bug discount throughout Bangkok [as per my experience haha]. If you like bags, do not forget to visit NARAYA AT PAT PHONG. 

It was raining and getting late, seemed unsafe to be in this kind of place so we went home at around 10:30 PM. To a cab to KHAO SAN for 30 BAHT per pax.

That ends my day one in Bangkok. Hope you enjoyed it. :D