Bangkok and Shopping!
February 19, 2011
If you’re a shopaholic, weekends in Bangkok could only mean one thing, Chatuchak weekend market! Since we only had three days there, we had to prioritize. Shopping is definitely in the list of things to do in this city! :D
Our hosts, JJ & Richard were working that day. The girls (Diana, Rahel, Ate Lea and I) along with Ali agreed to meet up in the morning to check Chatuchak’s weekend market out as well as two other malls. We first had breakfast somewhere in KSR. The others ordered a yoghurt meal and it looked so tasty. I got a banana pancake and it’s the worst order I’ve made yet! They gave me a pancake with a banana on the side. Seriously??? huhuhu
We headed to Chatuchak after. We had to meet Ali at the station there first. Many minutes of waiting later, he finally found our meeting place. hehe The things is, there are about 3 stops that will get you to the weekend market: MRT station’s Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park), BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit Line’s Mo Chit Station and MRT Bangkok Metro Blue Line’ s Kamphaengphet Station. We didn’t know that so us, girls, were waiting at Kamphaengphet Station while Ali went to Chatuchak Park Station. He must have walked for 15minutes (or more) to get to us. :)
Touted as one of the world’s biggest weekend market, it has around 15,000 stalls that sells anything (from local souvenirs to fake shirts to delicious foods to endangered animals, we didn’t check this out but we did see live animals, and everything in between) over an area of 35 acres. The market operates between 9am and 6pm. It was overwhelming to see so many stalls. Where do you start? Well, try the first thing that catches your attention then take it from there. My hosts recommended for us to try their local version of ice cream. We started with that. It was already getting hot even if it was only around 10 in the morning. It was sooo good. I wanted to buy another serving! hehe After that refreshing start, we walked around stopping now and then at stalls that catches our fancy or at foods that look and smell so good as well as at performers playing on the busy street. We have a map of the market with us but it’s just hard to follow. ;)
Pictures taken at Chatuchak’s weekend market:
We had our lunch here before heading over to other malls. There were as many eateries to choose from. My cousin and the others had noodles. They said it was plain delicious! I had phat kraphao moo (stir-fried ground pork with Thai holy basil, chillies and garlic). It was definitely the spiciest I’ve ever eaten! I’m sure that underneath all that spice, the food was good too. Maybe. My tongue was numb from the chilies and I can feel it’s spiciness all the way down to my stomach. Ack!!! Milk and soda had no effect at all! Haha
I wasn’t able to shop for much, just enough souvenir items to give to friends and workmates back home. Then it was time to move on to the other shopping areas. ;) We wanted to ride a tuktuk to go there but the drivers wouldn’t agree to our price. They’re quoting large numbers to us that we won’t agree to also. With that, we got on and squeezed ourselves into a cab. Our cab driver informed us that he can’t drop us off in front of our destination, Platinum Mall, because the Red Shirts were holding a rally near the area. The others became concerned for our safety. While me and another were convincing them that it was safe since Thailand is earning lots from tourism, the last thing they’d want to do is to scare the visitors away (I hope). Anyways, those who were rallying seemed to be a friendly lot. They were singing songs and inviting the others to join them.
Located in Pratunam, Platinum Mall is a popular wholesale market that sells clothes and accessories. It was nice being inside it after hours under the heat in Chatuchak. But the heat had already taken its toll on my companions, they weren’t in the mood to shop. :( We were there for an hour and I only got to buy 3 shirts, a pair of shoes and earmuffs. I have an entire luggage waiting to be filled and I bought so few! When my hosts saw me later that night, they were asking me as to why I only bought few when they knew that I was so eager to shop. hehe
Seeing my companions drooping, I suggested that we just skip the last mall (a welcome news haha) and to just head back to Khao San. Downtown Bangkok was just too hot and chaotic that day for us. To boost our energy, we’ll have a foot massage! We got ours for 150THB for 30minutes. Not that cheap (almost the same price as the others) but I think it’s well worth it ‘coz we had a wonderful time. It was a promotional rate of one of the nicer looking spas in the area.
Fully charged, we walked more, mostly beside the Chao Phraya River. We came upon Santichaiprakarn Park where many people were just chilling and where Phra Sumen Fort is located. The fort was constructed to protect the people from foreign naval invasions. Now, it’s one of two remaining towers of the historic city wall. It was also here where we heard the national anthem being played when the clock struck the hour of 6 in the evening. Everyone stopped what they were doing to stand in attention to show respect for the nation.
Hungry, we headed to the first place we saw that served good food. Jessie met us here. We were just hanging out well into the night then went home. We were so tired my cousin and I fell asleep in the cab. :)