Eat Play Work Thailand – Bangkok Trip

Many are not going to believe this. The truth is I have never been to Bangkok –  I finally broke this curse and made my maiden trip to this vibrant city on 24th May. Over the past 7 years, there were at least 6 times when I planned for the trip but cancelled them due to all sort of reasons (the Thailand Coup in 2006, the riot of 2009-2010, the Thailand Flood of 2011 etc). It is almost impossible for a Singaporean like me who loves traveling and shopping and never make it to Bangkok. My clients were in disbelief when I told them I am heading to Bangkok for the first time in my life. I was so paranoid about this trip that I was so worried that something bad may hinder my journey. Thankfully, I had an experienced guide (my colleague Chowpo) with me, I landed with ease and spent 2 fulfilling days at Bangkok.

This is a working-cum-recreational trip for me. For years, due to my job nature, I always wanted to visit its new airport and downtown duty free shop. This trip, I managed to do some site recce at some of Bangkok’s top and most popular shopping malls. I must say I was very impressed by some of the local’s retailing standards. Within our first day, we managed to comb 4-5 shopping malls (Siam Center, Terminal 21, Siam Paragon). It was a very hectic exercise but a very rewarding one. In the end,  I took hundreds of photographs for future work reference.

Just before the sun set, we managed to rush over to Chatuchak Weekend Market for a quick tour. It is the most popular shopping destination for many Singaporeans and Hongkies. I was pre-warned by Chowpo that I may not have enough time for browsing. She was right. This market was massive! The stalls were closely packed and there were just too many lanes to comb. It was very hot and humid and too congested to navigate around the market. Too many things to see, so little time to shop. The sky was turning dark and I decided to cut short my trip and headed back to my hotel.

We parked ourselves at one of the top and finest boutique hotels in BangkokThe Hotel Muse at Langsuan. The stylish and top-notch hotel brings together the essence of Eastern and Western cultures, French and Thai design through its posh interiors and settings. Great underground bars, roof-top terrace and infinity pool! I strongly recommend this hotel to holiday-makers who want to experience something different. Do visit the Starbucks next door. Uniquely designed, this is Starbucks’ first “Community Concept Store” in Asia Pacific.

On my last night, I managed to sneak out and visited Bangkok’s most famous red light district – the Soi Cowboy at Sukhumvit. Flashing neon lights, scantily dressed hot bods and beautiful faces lined up along the narrow street. Quite a temptation for me to pop in to check out the joints and the ladies. However, I encountered too many beautiful transvestites at the malls earlier that day. I simply didn’t have any appetite to explore further. After a couple of quick shots, I took a cab to Chinatown at Yaowarat for late-night supper.

The next morning – on my last day in Bangkok, I decided to visit 2 other “must-visit” attractions – the Damnoen Daduak Floating Market and the Maeklong Railway Market. Chowpo and I woke up at 6am for this short morning tour. We took a 90-minute car ride (70km outside Bangkok City) to visit these 2 unique markets. The Damnoen Daduak Floating Market is the pioneer and  largest floating markets outside Bangkok City. We hired a “motorised shopping boat” for 90 minutes. There were lots of floating shops and stalls offering touristic souvenirs and fresh cooked food. The crowd were mainly tourists and I did not see a lot of locals shopping there. Somehow, the authenticity of this floating markets was long gone due to the influx of tourism. Nevertheless, it was still an awesome first-time experience for me.

The Maeklong Railway Market is legendary. Stalls are lined up centimeters along the railway tracks. 4 times a day, these make-shift stalls (on rollers) make way for the passing trains. When there is no train, shoppers walk along the narrow train tracks to shop. I didn’t see many tourists around.  These stalls are mainly catered for local customers. I wished I have more time to observe the locals and explore the markets. By noon, we made our way to the airport (for one last work assignment recce).

My first taste of Bangkok isn’t that bad after all. I was very lucky to avoid the notorious traffic jams. I love the diversity, the richness and the buzz of this city. Messy, disruptive and colourful, Bangkok has so much to offer. It left me with such a strong sense of desirability and curiosity that lures me to return, to explore and to discover this magical kingdom.

10 Responses to Eat Play Work Thailand – Bangkok Trip

  1. janwanderlusts says:

    Awesome photos, those make me miss Thailand more!!

    • Wahbiang says:

      Wow.. I love your blog too!

  2. Pingback: One year lesser | THE WAHBIANG BLOG

  3. It’s an amazing place for travel around Bangkok. Especially I like Maeklong Railway Market. Because It’s different of another market.

  4. Jane says:

    Hi, amazing pictures! How did you commute within BKK? Especially to Maeklong Railway Market that I assume is out of the city center.

    May I also know how did you book the hotel accommodation? From the offical homepage or from hotel sites like http://www.trivago.sg/bangkok-519/hotel/hotel-muse-1829805 . Am planning to head over in December.

    • Wahbiang says:

      In BKK, I take taxi around. It is relatively smooth (not as jam as many told me) and very convenient. It can be very hot so I chose the lazy way. Dec should be rainy but it should be fine.

      For the hotel, I booked direct thru AccordGroup Hotel online. It promises the best rates.

      Yes.. The railway station market is about 90mins away from the city center. Muse hotel got me a private car and tour guide who brought me there. Make sure you are there to see the “transformation” and check the train schedule time.

      The floating market is a good experience but I feel it is a little artificial and lost its authenticity. Be sure to go there with empty stomach so you can eat and drink along the river.

      Enjoy!!! 🙂

  5. sinchern says:

    Great photos you have. =)

  6. leanne says:

    Love your photos! The shopping centres look amazing!

  7. Jocelyn says:

    hi may i know what camera you are using here

    • Wahbiang says:

      Hi Jocelyn, I used both Canon 5D Mark III and Canon EMOS cameras for my photos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: