Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Last Minute Rece!

So today is the last day that we had in Bangkok. In the afternoon, we'd be leaving for our flight back to Singapore and so we'd only have the morning to explore.

We were on the hunt for wholesale clothing. If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, please let me know! I'm looking fro such information.

So we spent the morning at Platinum Centre which is basically a shopping mall full of fashion retail. It's a nice place to go for fashion shopping. We also dropped by the nearby market which seems to have some wholesale activity going on but nothing much caught my eye.

Incidentally, we were not just early for the day, it seems that we had managed to pick one of the Buddhist Holy days, so there were not many shops which were open. Oh well, better luck next trip!

Spent some time lounging in Platinum Centre over a nice cup of chocolate and picked up some accessories which looked really unique. Nothing much to talk about since it's just walking and my friend shopping lol.

All too soon, it's time to head back to the hotel and prepare to depart for the airport. Most of our stuff had already been packed. Anyway I had a really big luggage so it wasn't much of an issue for me anyway. Just chuck the stuff in and I'm done.

We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spend in the airport. We walked around all the retail outlets. We had only 500 Baht left on us by this time so I guess you could say that we made use of our money pretty well! We spent a little more money at the airport eating hotdogs from a chain (but whose name eludes me at the moment! I'll try to remember an update) and basically went into every shop that caught our eye.

Finally it was time to enter the gates and that's where I had my panic moment. I had nowhere to stash the trolley I had been happily pushing around! I asked my friend to hold on while I almost ran with the trolley to find a place to return it. I realised that I might even have to make it all the way back to the place where I got the trolley and that felt stupid so I was toying with the idea of just sticking the trolley somewhere and running off when 2 ladies came up to me and asked me where they could get a trolley like mine.

I was so happy when I heard that! I told them they could have mine and they were happy too! They almost couldn't believe themselves just as I almost couldn't believe it! So we have three happy people and one running off to the boarding gates. Yay!

More waiting after we cleared boarding procedures. Nothing much to do but stone, and yak and call home to disturb my parents. The flight was a pleasant experience as well.

Landing in Singapore, my friend wanted to walk around transit for a while as she'd never seen much of it afterwhich we did what any deal loving singaporean would do. Visit DFS!. Bought a bottle of Martell, just like I always do when I return from a flight.

After exiting the arrival area, it turns out that my mum was late because she got off the bus at the wrong terminal lol. It used to be that the first terminal that the bus stops at would be Terminal One, but with the addition of Terminal Three, it became the second stop. So..... we had a cup of tea at Delifrance while waiting for my parents, after which we got into cabs and went Home Sweet Home......

Till the next trip!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Temples, Temples and MORE Temples!

Today's the day when we go and have a little trip around Bangkok. Our chosen half day trip covers 3 different temples. Needless to say they are all Buddhists (if anyone was wondering).

We planned to wake up earlier this morning because we had to gather at the lobby by 0730hrs. We figured that we'd have a nice full breakfast and then we'd be set for the whole morning.

I felt like I had not slept for very long my friend's phone started going off. I was like
is it time already... where has the time gone?. My friend didn't switch off the phone alarm so I figured it was definitely the morning alarm. So I turned around and told my friend "hey time to wake up"

My friend said something to the effect of "that's not the alarm" or something but I was really dozy so I probably didn't get it right. Turns out that it was someone from her workplace calling her at about 0300hrs >.> I didn't realise that at the time, but after a little while when my friend seemed to go back to sleep, I checked my phone and realised it was only 0300 ish. Time to go back to sleep!!

Soon enough the alarm really went off again. We woke up.. washed up and stuff and I was quite worried that we were going to be late for breakfast....... till we realised that we actually woke up at 0530 hrs BKK time. -.-;

The reason for this is simple, the previous day, my friend's phone was on Singapore time. So we had to do manual compensation. She changed it over in the evening and we still compensated for the 'difference'... Well, good thing was we certainly had lots of time now!

So we had a leisurely breakfast and even had time to go back up to the room for toilet breaks. A bit too leisurely I guess, we actually had the phone ring just as we were leaving the room. Surely it was the tour desk people calling us up. We got on the bus and it brought us to the local Chinatown where we met up with people from other locations going on the same tour as we were.

While waiting, I picked up a copy of Bandkok Informer for July. It gives a listing of tours from the agency we joined for the day tour and some useful information I didn't know about. For example, I never knew that the Thais didn't like women to wear shorts in public or show too much flesh. I thought it'd just be in temples. When I mentioned this to my friend, my friend was almost incredulous too, since in her words "alot of people dress that way".

So I was curious and I started to look out for locals wearing shorts and skimpy clothing. My final conclusion. The only people who do it (during the period I was there, since maybe the timing ahs something to do with it) are farang people or people who do it for a living. You learn stuff everyday!

To start the day off, we went to one of the common temples in Chinatown, Wat Trimit. They have temples for the common people and temples for the rich. The statue of the Buddha in this temple is made of gold. The story is that when they shifted the capital of Siam to Bangkok, they also had the stuff in the old capital shifted. At that time, this statue of the Buddha was covered in plaster and no one knew that it was actually made of gold. Some years ago (I forgot how many.... maybe 50?) the plaster cracked and fell off and people finally realised that the Buddha statue in this humble common temple is made of gold.. The statue of the Buddha was really gleaming gold, you could see your face in it!

On the way to the next temple, we passed by the flower market at Pak Klong Talad. Didn't get off the bus and anyway street stalls apparently aren't allowed on Mondays. The next temple, Wat Po, that we went to had a huge reclining Buddha in it, being 150 feet long and 40 feet high. It was really huge. This statue is made of brick, concrete and finished with gold. This temple was huge, they had lots and lots of Buddha statues sponsored by the people so that when they pass away they can have their ashes interred under the statue of the Buddha. Wat Po also has a lot of Stupas. A Stupa is a religious monument resembling a tapered tower that is used to inter the ashes of the deceased.

After Wat Po, we went on to the Marble Temple. This temple was built by King Chulalongkorn (omg my history lessons!!) and is supposed to be a fine example of modern Thai art. One of the statues of the Buddha here is made of bronze. There is also a nice longish looking drum that is used to summon the monks on the premises. It's at least 5 meters long.

So, after the morning's temple tour we were brought to a Gem Factory where they sold all manner of Jewelry that you might take a fancy to. They have some really cheap stuff as well so it's no harm taking a look, you just might find something you like that is cheap! I bought a cubic zirconium sterling silver ring for my mum at about SGD20. Looks good and my mum doesn't care to have real diamonds :D .

From the gem factory, we went on to the Royal Grand Palace on our own by getting a ride to the place from the factory. The main attraction to the Royal Grand Palace is the Emerald Buddha, unfortunately since they were performing Buddhist rituals that day, we were not able to see it. The Palace was, as one might have expected, grand. Huge buildings with what looked like gold gilded roof, one just wonders how much precious materials had gone into building the palace.

From the Grand Palace, we wanted to go to Chinatown and decided to take a taxi. This is where we met our first and only cheat in Bangkok. My friend asked him how much it would cost to get to our destination and he took it as a chance to negotiate a fare and grossly overcharged us. When we finally got to the destination, we had a minor squabble with him where he insisted that my friend asked him how much. I told him that was merely for estimation and not for fare negotiation. In the end, we paid him less than he asked for initially but definitely a fair bit more than what we would have paid by meter.

At Chinatown, we ended up buying pork products. Those crispy pork snacks. Yummy. We then hopped over to a nearby restaurant to have shark's fin and bird's nest. I didn't like the shark's fin tough. I think I don't like teochew style shark's fin. It's the second time I've had it and I don't fancy it.

The bird's nest however, was nice. After the meal, the people from the shop were kind enough to hail us a taxi and make sure that the taxi turned on the meter for us.

Today was really tiring.... time for a good rest! My friend wanted to have the omelettes that we had on the first day at the hotel but she crashed out very early.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Walking, walking, walking.

We kinda overslept. Woke up at about 1000hrs. That's not too good. We wanted to give the day an early start and go to Chatuchak early. Washed up and moved off to Chatuchak. The Skytrain is connected to our hotel by a short bridge so it is extremely convenient. Asia Hotel's a pretty good place to stay in. We had a room on the 5th floor, which is the level where the pool is and is a smoking floor (bleah). Nothing much to see though, just to answer your question. Anyway most of the time the windows are closed, which is quite a waste since we paid a $30 premium for a room with a view. Our room is next to the jacuzzi too.

We got to Chatuchak and started to explore the place. It seriously is an amazing place. I guess one cannot say that they have been to Bangkok unless they have been to Chatuchak. It's huge and probably sells everything you could ever want. I'm not normally someone to squeeze with the shopping crowds, but as I mentioned, I think you have to go to Chatuchak at least once if you are in Bangkok. Also I was looking for wholesale clothing for my mum. I'm no shopper but... mum says.

Probably didn't scour Chatuchak that well, but I didn't really find what I wanted. It's probably more geared for tourists anyway so I am not sure just how competitive the prices are to the rest of Bangkok, given that it's my first time there.

Lotsa food all around but none caught my fancy.

After burning some sole in chatuchak, we went back to the hotel for a breather and set off for MBK. More shopping etc etc etc. This is a pretty good place for all in one shopping if you don't really want to go to so many places. Tried some donuts and had Baskin Robbins. We popped into the Tops supermarket and I picked up some microwave popcorn. I know we have that in Singapore, since it's made in US anyway, but I just had to buy it.

Soon it was time to head back to the hotel as we had a cabaret to watch in the evening.

Cabaret time rolls around and all I can say is ... WOW. The lady boys are pretty. Took a lot of shots at the cabaret. I'm surprised that there are shots that can actually be considered keepers. I thought all the shots would be bad.

Give the cabaret a shot if you're in town.

After the cabaret we had dinner at the Brazil Churrascaria in the hotel. Service was pretty cool and lotsa meat to go round. Subsequently, we decided to take up a half day city tour with the travel desk at the lobby. Nearly 1000 Baht each... and we had a 'free' option which we gave up. Why I keep saying 'free'? Cos while we need not pay for the tour, we need to tip the guide and driver. 50 Baht each is cheap for us, but then it's not free anymore see?

Going to bed, gotta wake up bright and early!

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

And Away We Go!

So, today's the day. Flying off to Bangkok via Swiss.

The flight's pretty cheap, airfare and 3 night's accommodation at Asia Hotel costs us SGD460ish. The best part is, I can clock mileage on this flight! Oh and on check in they gave me a pass to the SATS premier lounge which I didn't go into because my friend does not have a pass to go in. That was probably the only chance in my life that I would have a chance to set foot in the lounge... oh well. XD

My friend reached the airport early to lounge around. I got to the aiport about 2 hours before the flight, checked in and then we went to the departure lounge for some dinner. I decided to eat at o'Brien's and it turned out that I could get a free sandwich because I was paying with the UOB ONE card. Not bad at all, now all my friend has to do is to buy a drink.

We hung around till it got time to board the plane and trooped onto the plane to find our seats. we had gotten aisle seats but they weren't too bad. The inflight meal of curry chicken rice (only mildly spicy) was pretty good. For some reason, I always request for apple juice on flights. I know not why. For wedding dinners or similar I always get orange juice and sometimes chinese tea on top of the orange juice.

Anyway, we arrived in Bangkok and had a little adventure trying to find customs to get cleared. The arrival hall at the BKK airport has a distinct industrial feel. We managed to find the custom counters near to out baggage claim lanes but we were manually directed to other areas to clear customs. Minus points for this airport!

After clearing customs, we had to go and find the person bringing us to the hotel. It was a tad mad since there were large numbers of people carrying signs/pieces of paper with names on it and stuff like that trying to find their charges.

My friend finally spotted our guide. Phew! The guide was a little stressed I guess. Wasn't all that polite initially but of course when she was recommending the day trips and stuff she was fairly nice. We didn't manage to take up the 'free' city tour that was an option with our package as it was only offered for our second day and we wanted to go to Chatuchak market which was only open on weekends.

We did, however, opt to attend the Calypso Cabaret which was located in our hotel. Cabaret tomorrow night!

Ohh... and we ordered supper. It was nice.... ham and cheese omelette with fries..... yummy ^^.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

How NOT to Blog

I've been getting lazier about blogging since I started to Plurk. Plurk is cool cos it does one liners and you don't actually have to click so many times to get something posted.

Anyway, I'd just like to share with everyone here, how NOT to blog.

The first rule of blogging is not to post sensitive personal information.

The second rule of blogging is not to post sensitive personal information.

I think you get my point by now. DO NOT post sensitive personal information.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pringles are Not Potato Chips / Crisps

Have you ever thought that Pringles sells potato chips / crisps?

Well, if you thought they did, you are wrong dude! According to a recently concluded court case, Pringles does not manufacture nor sell potato chips/ crisps. The products that they manfacture are also not regarded by their customers are potato chips / crisps.

The total potato content of the pringles 'savoury snack' is supposed to be around 42%. Now I know why I preferred the old Planters potato chips more, cos Pringles ain't potato chips!

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

10 Promises to My Dog

I watched this movie with my fiend last night, I'm telling you guys this movie is great! It's a movie about family, love and loss.

The 10 promises to the dog are what Akari's mother wants her to promise the dog when she first got her. I feel that it was the mother's way of teaching her responsibility, maturity and preparing for adulthood even when she is not around....

Anyway, it's not a total sob story but when it's sad, it gets REALLY SAD.

Only problem is that this movie doesn't seem to be all that popular in the theatres, Cathay only has one screen showing it, not sure about GV and Shaw though.

Guys, bring your girls to this movie and you rack up mega points. Unless your girl is the straight CS fragger type then I really haven't a comment on that lol (She may still give you lotsa points!)

Rating (Max 10): PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

31st of June

I'm thinking of using these MacDonald's vouchers I have that state their expiry as 31st June.

Mac Voucher that expires 31st June

I wonder if I can get my burgers?

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