I came to Bangkok in Jan ’14 during the worst Thailand crisis whereby thousands of protesters launched Bangkok “shutdown”.
I stayed at Shadi Home, a decent hotel near the busiest Bangkok central business district. It was just a stone throw away from Bayoke sky bar and main shopping malls (Siam area).
It was already late evening, so I decided to just walk around the nearby area for a simple dinner.
First day ended early for me.
Breakfast at the hotel was simple, not so many choices but I guessed it was enough for a easy goer like me. So I had myself a toast with sunny-sided egg and orange juice.
Right on the hotel street, there was a lot of taxi services. I asked for a trip to Chatuchak market and he offered me a package whereby he would drive me to a Gem store first (for his commission when introducing customer to visit the store), then he would wait for me there to drive me to Chatuchak. I was hesitated at first with the fear that he might drive me to somewhere rural. So I came back to the hotel and checked with the Receptionist. He said many hotel guests also took that uncle service and they highly recommended. So I took his taxi and headed to the Gem store.
Apparently, this Gems gallery is the world’s biggest jewelry store with a site covering more than 7000 meters square. The eye-catching showroom has a surfeit of jewelry masterpieces and gems from which to choose and friendly staffs to welcome me.
It was nice looking at detailed workmanship and how they crafted a masterpiece.
After leaving the gallery, I went to Chatuchak. Once only popular among wholesalers and traders, Chatuchak has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees – this is where you can literally shop “till you drop” with more than 8,000 market stalls. Luckily I went there on a weekday with a light rain, therefore, the place was not so crowded. I thanked the taxi uncle and ready to start my full day shopping.
It might look like a maze but actually, Chatuchak is divided neatly into different sections and categories.
I settled for lunch in a rather crowded food stall because it should be good since so many people were waiting in line.
After my legs got weaker, I decided to go for the famous Coconut ice-cream and I had three in a row! It was just super delicious and indulging.
And what came our after a day at Chatuchak was this scene below.
From Chatuchak, I took the metro to Termial 21 shopping mall which was a new hipster place.
Terminal 21 brings the dream of traveling the world to downtown Bangkok, with its cutting-edge concept that places several world-famous cities under one roof. Find yourself wandering around a maze of shops in Tokyo City, sauntering down London’s Carnaby Street, bagging a bargain in an Istanbul zouk, or shopping for something to fill your growling stomach at the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
I went to Siam area to witness the current situation in Bangkok. The whole area is filled with protesters with flags, mass volume of self-made accessories and painted faces.
The march began at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument, where some supporters had gathered overnight. From the newspaper, the protesters would set up stages at five rallying points through the city leading up to Jan 13.
Leaving politic asides, I particularly enjoyed the street fresh fruit vendors. As I walked, I bought the different types to try and they were so cheap. I also met a Vietnamese street vendor from Sai Gon, who came here a year ago to find new opportunity. But the time has yet come for her.
I had a cozy lunch at a Thai restaurant in Siam paragon. I had a weak stomach so street food always killed me big time… That was the saddest thing for a backpacker like me.
Night time, I went to Baiyoke.
The Baiyoke tower is the highest building in Thailand where you can enjoy the spectacular view of Bangkok and beyond the metropolis, up to the Gulf of Thailand. On the 77th floor there is the observation deck. Located on the 83rd floor of the hotel, floor-to-ceiling windows provide guests with stunning views of the city, while sipping a mix of expertly crafted cocktails, delicious light bites and a variety of fine wines, sophisticated drinks and snacks along the exquisite music.
I walked to the nearby market for breakfast instead. It was only 8am in the morning and I already can hear all the loud-speakers on protesting and shutting down BKK from Siam area.
I headed to Siam center to meet my Thai friend, Golf. Siam center has been around since 1973 but it was relaunched earlier this year, brought a different kind of shopping experience to Siam: over 200 international and Thai brands including the boutiques of some brilliant promising local designers as well as renowned Thai couturiers. On top of that, the slick renovations have taken their fresh ideology out of the stores and into the corridors, with a quirky mash-up of nature and technology.
Golf and her lovely friends brought me to a local-know-where Teddy house cafe. The pancake was an ultimate awesomeness with thumbs-up maple syrup and their mocha was brilliant.
What I enjoyed most there was the build-a-bear workshop, where you can customize their own cuddly creation. I learnt that this cafe was opened by a local supermodel and it is a famous youngster’s hang-out place. These following photos will awaken the kid in you!