Rule no1: One day isn’t enough to see everything in a city.
Rule no2: Don’t forget rule number 1.
No. of days=1
Places covered=MBK mall-Wat Pho-Gems Gallery-Pratunam-Chatuchak-Patpong-Asia Hotel
Visa= On arrival for Indian passport holders. Visa fees ( previously 1000 Bahts)is currently waived.
1.MBK Mall (Siam station on the BST)
Huge mall (read somewhere that it has around 5,000 shops) which ranks high in the affordability scale considering its next door neighbour to Siam Paragon which houses Guccis and LVs of the world.
However a mall is but a mall and mall-shopping wasn’t the kind of shopping I had in mind so we moved on rather quickly.
2.Wat Pho temple
A large temple/shrine which houses the gold embossed reclining Buddha. The pagodas are delightfully colorful made of Chinese porcelain. If you look carefully you will realise the flower petals are actually tiny saucers or cups.
You will also see an abundance of these fierce figures. These were used to balance the weight of Thai ships.
The reclining Buddha itself is huge at 46 meters long and 15 meters high, (!!!) and was constructed by King Rama III in 1832.
3. Gems Gallery
Supposedly housing the world’s biggest gems gallery this was part of the tour we signed up for. I am not complaining since the designs were pretty and the rates affordable . I thought they made nice gifts as well.
4. Pratunam Market (Ratchathewi Station)
Our guide recommended this over Chatuchak weekend market. This is a big wholesale clothes market with an array of small alleys and lines of small shops. If you persist you can get a good deal though I found the shopkeepers quite resistant to bargaining. There are also some Indian restaurants here in case you are a vegetarian like yours truly and can’t stand the sight of roasted ducks and such.
5. Chatuchak Weekend market /JJ market(Mo Chit station)
After a rather unsuccessful shopping attempt at Pratunam we rushed to a almost closed Chatuchak market. And it was mind boggling. Rows and rows of stalls selling everything-clothes/shoes/accessories/home ware. You name it and its there, you just need to find it. Also found many “Jimmy Choos” and “Fendis”. Bargaining is expected, though sometimes they do not budge (like with one fab Choo imitation which I had to leave L)
Just a word of warning though (since I was given this by previous visitors and my tour guide) take care of your wallet. Plus do not get into arguments with shopkeepers, before you know you will be surrounded by 3-4 tattooed mushtandas.
6. Patpong night market (Sala daeng station)
This is the place for you if you want a high quality knock off of a LV or a Tag Huer. The Expect stunts like bring ing flames near the leather bags for convincing of the quality. The prices vary from 2-3k for a good copy (I could hardly make out any difference armed with all my how-to-spot-a-fake knowledge) to 500 bahts for little obvious copies. Bargain as hard as you can and you will find the initial price halved if not reduced further.
However Patpong is also the queen of all red light districts in Bangkok and it will take some time to get used to menu cards offering everything you could possibly think and everything you would rather not think about being thrust on your face.
7. Calypso cabaret at Asia Hotel (Ratchathewi station)
Most people I know are baffled by the decision to see this show. But what’s a trip to Bangkok if you havent seen the ladyboys. Trust me if I hadnt known they weren’t really women it would have been hard to guess in many,many cases. This will give you details on all performances and also hints on how to get cheap tickets for the show!
That bought an end to our Bangkok sojourn. I really wish we had factored in more time. And shopped in this bargain heaven a little more!
PS: Reach the Suvarnabhumi airport well in advance, it has a loooong array of dutyfree shops!
PS2:I had started out with this is as reference when planning my trips.
PS3:I am seriously thinking about a topical blog on travel since it is fast becoming my second addiction after shopping. But will it not take away something from A WSW blog. I have got a name registered though. Open to suggestions.