It was fun traveling in Bangkok! Local culture, natural sightseeing, historical buildings, shopping, local cuisine, massage, night life, and many more, these are the main activities which been covered in my itinerary. I will walk you through in the next 8 days on what are some of the most incredible things you can do in and around Bangkok Thailand! So get ready and enjoy!
We taken Air Asia airline, which arrived at Don Meuang Airport of Bangkok, around 23km away from Bangkok central (Siam area). There is a taxi stand in front of Arrival Halls International & Domestic Passenger Terminals (G floor), an additional airport surcharge of 50 baht will be added up onto taxi fare run on meter. Alternative, take the lift to level 3, there are taxi drivers trying their luck to get business on the way out to town, just right in front of the departure hall (no more airport surcharge!).
A friend from Bangkok reminded me before the trip, always negotiate with taxi drivers to go on meter instead fix price. There are always 2 scenarios if taking the one with fix price, the fix price is always more expensive than running on meter, even if the it is cheaper the driver might get you to jewelry shop which they can get commission out of that. There are plenty of honest taxi drivers in Bangkok, so don’t take the risk.
I approached a taxi driver who agreed to run on meter and asked him how much it normally cost to town, he seems like didn’t understand the hotel’s address in English, but no worry as we have included the address in Thai in our itinerary too (we also do the same for some attractions), he eventually understood and said: “Seventy Bath, express way.” Wau! What a steal, I didn’t know that taking express way is so much cheaper, as based on my information it should be around 200 baht from airport to town. After double confirmed with the driver by repeating what he said, we immediately jump into the taxi.
We passed through a toll half way to our hotel, then only we realized that the 70 baht mentioned by the driver was the toll fare, but not for the total taxi fare, arhh…! After around 30mins of traveling, we reach 41 Suite Bangkok Hotel which located in Soi Sukhumvit 41, with the taxi fare of 183baht (including 70 baht of toll fare).
The hotel is located off the main road, in a small alley, a bit difficult to spot if you have never been there. We stayed there for only 1 night, but we did have a very good impression about the hotel. The location is so convenient, just 5mins walk to BTS Phrom Phong station (around 0.4km), there are also shops like 7-11, massage, restaurant nearby. The interior looks new and trendy. Receptionists are so friendly with good English speaking, always able to provide helps with smile whenever we need it.
We were staying in a corner unit, it was quiet. The room, bed and toilet are so clean and comfortable, well you can see the photo before for yourself. It comes with free Wifi in the room too.
Straight after checked in, we rushed to Pat Pong market. But 1st we went to 7-11 for water and phone SIM card. I got the DTAC Happy Tourist SIM Card for 49 bath (http://www.dtac.co.th/en/postpaid/products/ShortStayVisitors.html), and refill pack 60 Bath, which last for the whole trip (I didn’t use much, called less than 10 times), I even subscripted 1 day unlimited 1GB internet package on the 2nd last day.
The railway transportation in Bangkok is so convenient, it covers a lot of the tourist attractions. Facilities are new and clean, I am impressed by the good conditions of the cars and stations, and the ticket vending machine is user friendly and with clear information.
Pat Pong Night Market
Pat Pong Market is within walking distance from the Skytrain Sala Daeng station and the MRT (Metro) Silom station, we decided to take BTS and transfer to MRT. 1st we took BTS at Phrom Phong Station, alighted at BTS Asok Station [15 baht per ticket] and followed the sign board to exit 3 for MRT Sukhumvit station. We then continued with Metro at Sukhumvit station towards Hua Lamphong station and got off at Silom Station [22 baht per token], took exit 2 and went straight on.
There are a lot of local food stalls which made up wooden stall, tables and chairs along the street to Pat Pong Market. The weather was so hot, but still full of customers. Most of them were local, that made us more excited to join in and eat like a Thai! So for Thailand local cuisine lover, remember to bring enough money and empty stomach for Thai foods hunting!
The walking takes around 10mins, and you can see Pat Pong Market on your right, across the street. Pat Pong market is a street full of stalls selling souvenir, Thai boxing shorts, T-shirts, knockoff bags, jewelry, watches, etc. There wasn’t many stalls and prices aren’t cheap in Pat Pong, so we decided to give it a pass.
Other than shopping in Pat Pong Market, Pat Pong is well known for its’ night life and Go-Go bars which located along both sides of the street. In other word’s its Bangkok’s most well known red light district. Colorful neon light sign board and pretty young ladies stationing at entrance of these bars are eyes catching, music playing out loud make the street alive at night. The bars’ owners were so generous, the main entrances were wide opened and we could see a few sexy ladies dancing on a mirror lookalike floor. There were also “agents” nearby offering services like sex shows, ping pong shows and massage. This is what makes Pat Pong INFAMOUS – SO BEWARE!
It was 9pm already, but we were yet had our 1st meal in Bangkok… We could not wait any longer, and officially declared the start of food hunting! There were 2 ladies selling some small little coconut pudding lookalike desert for 25 baht right opposite entrance of Pat Pong Market, across the street, and we decided to give it a try. This cold tiny little thing was so smooth with rich coconut flavor, sweetness was just nice. It was not bad as our 1st food in Bangkok, I regretted for not having 2nd cup as that was the last time (also the 1st time) seeing it throughout the trip…
When we were having difficult time to choose the right food stall out of many, suddenly a familiar language and greeting attracted our attention, an uncle across the street shouted to us:”你好，你是哪里人？我们有炒饭，有炒菜，你要吃什么？” (How are you? Where are you come from? We do sell fried rice and other dishes, what do you want to eat?) Great! We didn’t expect that Mandarin sentence from a local, who had just won our heart for trying out his foods. Of course, able to speak Mandarin was not the only selling point, the stall was located away from main street, beside a small alley with dim street light, not much pedestrian passing by, we always like this kind of relaxing atmosphere.
They offer variety of foods, like fried rice, grilled chicken, Tom Yum Goong (hot and sour prawn soup), port noodle with soup, grill fish, Pad Thai (Thai style fried noodle), and many more. We were so hungry and wanted to try so many foods, ended up ordered grilled chicken, Tom Yum Goong and Pad Thai. While waiting for the authentic Thai food dinner to be servers, we were drinking cold Singha Beer is such a hot summer night, enjoying night scenery of a typical Bangkok street and watching how the stall owner interacting with tourists and locals passing by, what a peaceful nigh. By the way, we found up that the stall owner always say the same Mandarin sentence to passing by tourists whoever looked like Chinese, seems like we have overestimated his ability in conveying in Mandarin…
My girl friend and I looked to each other with eyes wide opened when foods were served, portion was too much and enough for 4 persons, we should had told the owner how much we need. Now, back to the foods, surprisingly the grilled chicken’s skin was so crispy, meat was juicy and tasted not bad too. The chicken’s dipping sauce was good, tasted like what we have expected the Thai sauce to be, sour, sweet and spicy. Pad Thai was one of the local cuisines that I have put in a lot of expectation, but too bad the Pad Thai served was a bit too oily and sticky, although the taste was ok but not what I have expected, I believe there will be better Pad Thai elsewhere. Tom Yum Goong was the best among all 3 dishes, seafood like prawn and squid were fresh, overall it tasted fine but not fantastic, I prefer spicier and more coconut milk (stay tune for my top rated Tom Yum Goong of the trip!).
Final bill was 670Bahts, at least 20% higher than our expectation for 1st meal. It was a good lesson, taught us to always check out food price and order the right portion for 2.
Van Bars Nearby BTS Nana Station
It was around 1130pm after our dinner, we rush to take MRT at Silom station before the service ended (operation hours of both BTS & MRT are from 0600 to around 2400), and alighted at Sukhumvit. We walked towards BTS Nana station to explore night life nearby.
There were several fancy vans with colorful neon light have been transformed to mobile bars along the street nearby Nana Station, offering huge variety of beers, wine, alcohols and of course music. Foods stalls are nearby, feel free to order some if you don’t feel like drinking with empty stomach. Worth checking out if you are looking a chill out place, but think that clubs or indoor bars are too stuffy. But it might be a bit hot during summer season, and some time free polluted air from cars passing by could be quite irritating.
Well, it was passed mid night and both of us decided to go back hotel and catch a good sleep, to make sure we are fully charge the coming full day activities!