A Floating Petrol Station on the River
this is where the longtail boats refuel!
This is my last blog before I head home.... first of all a HUGE thankyou for all your support, comments and messages over the past 6 weeks. Everyone has been really lovely and its been nice to have some contact from home and everywhere else! What a holiday it has been! We have spent the past few days in Bangkok finishing up the shopping and showing Heath some of the sights that I had seen (and not seen) on my first time round.
Day 1 - Shopping Shopping & MORE Shopping
We arrived into Bangkok around 10am and caught a taxi from the 'meter taxi' stand at the airport. I havent had any problems every other time we have done this although this time the taxi driver decided to take us the looooong way to the hotel and while it only cost 100 baht more it was the bloody principle of the matter... I was fuming by the time I got out of the taxi. Cheeky bugger! No tip for you!
We arrived back at the New Siam (deciding to spend more money on shopping and less money on accommodation) only to find
our booking missing! My patience was already lost on the stupid taxi and lets just say within 20 min we had a room (although it was twin beds again pushed together - we couldnt care less anymore!!)... They said they would move us to a double bed the next day but we decided to stay put once I opened my suitcase and the contents shot forth across the room.... yep way too much stuff! :-)
We went off in search of some food and ended up at a little Indian place around the corner called Indian Spice as I had a craving for Naan Bread and Heath for some Lamb Vindaloo. When we first sat down the waitress (who was very surly and was acting like we were an inconvieniance just being there) informed us there was no Naan Bread - Doh!! Oh well I can settle for Roti. When we started to order the Roti she said 'no roti' ... oh ok no Naan no Roti... hmmm.... onto the mains.... 'lamb vindaloo please' ... 'no lamb'.... oh ok well there wasnt much left on the menu to choose from so we had 3 chicken dishes and rice! Grrrr!
She then went off to cook it... no wonder there was nothing on the menu... the chef obviously wasnt there!
The food was ok, and the restaurant is one recommended on Nancy Chandlers map however I wouldnt recommend it. Heath has been pretty sick in the stomach since and we think it might have been this meal (although you can never be 100% sure!).
That night we decided to start the shopping so we headed off to the Suan Lum Night Bazaar. We absolutely loved it and recommend anyone coming to Bangkok to check it out. Unfortunately it looks like it will be closing down in Feb I think, something to do with the owner of the land realising he is sitting on a goldmine and increasing rents to excessive proportions... so everyone is shutting down. Fingers crossed that this doesnt eventuate though as the place was brilliant.
The Night Bazaar is not only a huge really clean and modern market but it has a massive food and beer garden with a big stage (with live bands playing every night). When you are sick of shopping you can grab a beer and some food and watch some
dodgy karaoke-ish singers! :-) We absolutely loved it. We got there around 6.30pm and were 'first customer' for quite a few places.... meaning some super bargains! I will put a list of stuff and pricing at the end of the blog for those of you who are following my blog in prep for your big trip! Mind you I have the dreaded haggling down to a T now so you have to be tough to get these prices! ;-)
Day 2 - The Beautiful Nok Takes Us Sightseeing
On Day 2 we hired a local called Nok to take us out and about. Nok is not a qualified tour guide, and while people on Tripadvisor recommend her for touring, she was very insistent that she sees herself more as a 'personal assistant'. She is only 500 baht for the whole day (as opposed to a qualified guide charging about 3000 baht) but she is great fun to have along for the day. I was aware that she wasnt qualified and having done the tour guide thing last time around I was looking for someone that could just 'hang out' with us for the day and help
this dude was playing 'rock star' busking near Khao San Rd!
us navigate the city and shopping! She doesnt have transport so we just caught Tuk-tuks & taxis and we paid for her lunch and drinks etc. She truly was invaluable! I would highly recommend her as an alternative to a tour guide.
We went to the Grand Palace, Wat Po & Wat Arun again and I actually learnt more from her than when I did it with the qualified guide. She speaks perfect english (having studied english for 6 months in Melbourne) and was just so much fun to hang out with. Nok has a economics degree from a university here in Bangkok but has found it hard to get a job in her field due to her skin colour. For those who dont know much about Thailand there is a class distinction between those with 'dark' skin and those who are lighter. You see alot of advertisements and products here in Thailand called 'whitening'.... to whiten the skin!!! If you have dark skin you are looked upon as a second class citizen (those who work out in the fields etc ... peasants). The lighter your skin the higher in society....
Nok is furiously saving to travel.. she
Banana, Coconut and Chocolate Pancakes!
These roti like pancakes from the street vendors are the best... do you think I got any?
wants to head off to London for work. She is so lovely! I cant rave about her enough. If you are interested in hanging out with Nok for the day you can contact me for her details (dont have them on me at the moment).
After the temples we decided to do a Klong Tour (canal tour) and set off on a longtail boat for an hour. It was 500 baht and the dude basically drives you up the river then you head up a canal for a little while, turn around and come back. I didnt think it was really worth the money for two people but it was ok... saw something different... the driver is onto a good thing though... he stops his boat halfway where a lady paddles out on a small boat and tries to sell you souviners and drinks... when you buy the drinks she cheekily says "beer for your driver" and then charges you 80 baht! I felt obligated and had to laugh at the cheekiness! I wonder how many of those he gets a day!?!
Once the Klong tour finished, we headed off to Roti Mataba - a little muslim indian
Heath looking like a real hippy! It was a religious day at the Grand Palace so they were super strict on dress code. Heaths 3/4 pants didnt make the cut so this is what he had to wear. I laughed for quite a while!
curry shop that is highly recommended everywhere. It is a tiny little shop that looks full... however you can walk through to a set of stairs to an upstairs dining room (which is small too). The food was really good but the portions are SMALL so order up if you go there.... For all three of us to eat incl our drinks it cost a whopping total of 170baht! Yep less than $6!
After lunch we headed for the famous weekend markets... Chatachuk Markets. Heath and I both werent feeling well and the day was starting to become a search for the nearest available toilet! We spent about an hour there, and then decided to call it a day. We were both under the weather and not very good company. We caught a taxi back to the hotel about 2.30 and said a sad goodbye to Nok. We spent the afternoon lazing around (Heath in bed and me doing the last blog).
We ventured out to another place near Roti Mataba (a 5 min walk from our guesthouse) for dinner. I completely forgot to bring the name of the restaurant with me but will edit this blog to
include it when I get home. I highly recommend this place for the gorgeous Thai food. Again people that are interested either email me or check back here in a few days. We had 6 dishes, rice and drinks and it cost us a ridiculous 400 baht!
Too sick to do much we headed back to the guesthouse for an early night.
Day 3 - All Shopped Out.... Almost
Yesterday we decided it was shopping day. We also had booked to do the Loy Nava Dinner Cruise which we were really looking forward to... the sunset cruise at 6pm. We had a late start due to not feeling well arriving at the Pratunum Wholesale Markets around 11am. We totally shopped till we literally dropped and then decided to head to MBK for a couple more hours of shopping. At this stage we were thinking we wouldnt make the cruise so we tried to reschedule for the 8pm cruise but it was booked out so we decided to shop until 4pm then maybe go shopping after dinner.
We ended up walking to MBK as it appeared to be walking distance on the map we had
(it was about 25-30 min in the end!)... it was so nice to arrive to the aircon shopping centre.... but the tuktuks and taxis wanted 200 baht to take us there (5 minute drive)... again the principle of the matter!!!!!!
We headed straight for the food court on the 5th floor where I pigged out on Indian (Naan bread of course, along with Chicken Tikka) and an asian Duck dish.... yep I ordered way too much! Heath ordered a steak baguette. With drinks it cost about 500 baht so it was expensive compared to what we had been paying lately.... but bear in mind I ordered 2 mains (my eyes are always bigger than my stomach, and Heath had to help me finish it all). After lunch we shopped and shopped and shopped and at 4pm we jumped into a tuktuk to head home to freshen up for our cruise.
Once we got back to the hotel it was almost 5pm and we were so buggered. We made the hard decision to cancel the cruise and use the money for shopping (3000 baht can buy alot you know!!!). We decided to rest for a couple of hours then
head back to the Night Bazaar, as I had picked up some really good bargains the other night. We caught a tuktuk there (love those things) and again shopped till we dropped. Heath got a little shitty when he caught me buying the 10th watch for my trip (hey people have to have pressies!!!!!) ... I knew it was time to eat! We got some fried chicken pieces and a couple of drinks and settled in for some bad karioke! Ahhhhh I love Bangkok! I had to buy a big sports bag as my shopping has now exceeded the total amount of storage space available. Please everyone keep your fingers, legs and anything else crossed for me that I do not get slugged for excess luggage today.... I dont have any money left to pay it! ;-)
After dinner we shopped a little more and then headed home SO exhausted. This morning we slept in, we have now checked out and once this little blog is finished I am off to finish my shopping (yes I am still shopping!)... We are heading off to the airport in about 2 hours time... so thankyou everyone for tuning in! A list
of prices is below for those of you interested! Trent, Mum, Dad, Bella and Kerry.... no peeking at the list or you might work out your gifts!
Love to you all.... see you on the flipside!
Reet and Heath xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
*Bear in mind this is not a complete list* (that would be impossible!!)
Mens TShirts (Billabong, Skating brands etc) 150 baht (everywhere)
Mens Molecule 3/4 Pants - 650 baht (Khao San Rd markets) (started at 900)
Mens Mossimo Shorts - $9USD (Cambodia)
Baseball Caps - 200 baht (everywhere)
Sunglasses - 180-200 baht (everywhere)
Womans Billabong/Roxy Tops - 150 baht (Pratunum Markets) (started at 250 each)
Mens Adidas Casual Shoes - 600 baht (Night Bazaar)
Mens Diesal Casual Shoes - 350 baht (Night Bazaar)
Coach Bags - 450 baht (Night Bazaar) (started at 1000 each)
Gucci Bags - 600 baht for 2 (Night Bazaar) (started at 1800 each!)
Bvlgari *Diamond* Ring - 400 baht (Night Bazaar)
Rolex Watch Mens (3 dials in middle working) - 1500 baht (Night Bazaar) (started at 3500)
Bvlgari Womans Silver Large Face Watch - 600 baht (Night Bazaar) (started at 1200)
Gucci Bracelet Watch with Blue Face -
300 baht (Chiang Mai Night Bazaar)
Gucci Thin Band Silver Womans watch Pink Face - 300 baht (Night Bazaar) (started at 800)
D&G Bracelet Watch Pink Face, Silver - 300 baht (Night Bazaar) (started at 1200)
Gucci Leather Band - 1 brown 1 black - $5USD for both (Cambodia)
Gucci Pink Watch with diamantes and leather/material band - 350 baht (MBK)
Bvlgari Bracelet Womans Watch Black Face - 600 baht (Night Bazaar) (started at 1800)
Womans NIKE gym shoes - $17USD (Cambodia)
Silk Tablecloths $6USD (Cambodia)
DVDs - 60-90 baht (everywhere)
Silver Ring with Mother of Pearl Womans - 1000 baht (Phi Phi Island)
Mens Boardshorts - Billabong (excellent quality) 500 baht (Patong OTop)
Mens Boardshorts - Billabong etc (good quality) 250-350 baht (everywhere)
Fisherman Pants - 150 baht (everywhere)
Womans Thongs - 100 -150 baht (everywhere)
Thats all folks!!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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