Friday, February 13, 2015

Bangkok, 3rd Return on Christmas Day 2014

Date of travel: 25th December 2014

25th December 2014 was my second time arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport by Malaysia Airline and the third time in Bangkok. The first arrival was at the old airport in 2005 with my family. Anne and I arrived by train at Bangkok's Hua Lamphong train station in May 2013. It was the test earth bound travel. As for the cost, a lot of my friends, including my sister who were vacationing in Bangkok were complaining about how expensive things are in Bangkok these days. My sister for instance said her pocket was badly affected when she had to pay 5 adults rate of RM80 (equivalent) as an entrance fee to Safari Bangkok. I bet, we paid equally a high price in 2005 as present exchange rates has tremendously increased. Well, you should hold to a principle not to calculate how much you spent when on travel mode. Travel is to be measured with things that you enjoy, i.e. seeing different culture, having a peace of mind by leaving all troubles behind, tasting a local food that is different from your home country etc. To appreciate those thing are far most important than regreting your over spending.

At immigration line - take note on long queue just like an airport in Istanbul city

In 2005, my family stays somewhere in China Town. The street where the hotel was located has basically almost everything that we need. We were able to strolls at night market without any worries and had our shopping at the morning market. Both night and morning markets are close by to the hotel that we stayed. In recent trip, Anne and I chose a Hua Lamphong hostel due to its close proximity to Bangkok Railway Station, Hualumphong. My husband would cursed at our choice (the hostel I mean) if he were to stay there with his family. Rest assured that it was a fine arrangement for Anne and I. For information, there are about other 10 hotel @ hostel within the vicinity which becoming the best option for pack packers. In my opinion, the room and facilities isn't that bad at all. It's bearable for 1 night stay.

Underground MRT station beneath Suvarnabhumi International Airport

Having snacks before boarding on train to the city
Thanks to the Airport Rail Link, Hualamphong train station provide access to Suvarnabhumi Airport via exceedingly slow and frequently a 3rd class ordinary trains. Any train to or from Hualamphong on Thailand's Eastern Line, which runs to Pattaya or Aranyaprathet will stop at Lat Krabang, abuts Suvarnabhumi Airport. Lat Krabang conventional train station is directly below Lat Krabang airport link station, from where the journey to the airport can be completed for a further 15 baht. If you are in a group, you may want to consider taking a taxi from the airport to Lat Krabang as it is much cheaper and convenience. We of course were more than happy taking trains though we have to change another line to reach the hotel. It was quite troublesome with the luggage in hand.

Please take note to change to local coins to use the machine - very convenience though

Metro line to Hua Lamphong (underground train)
After we have cleared our check-in belongings from the conveyer belt in the arrival hall, we immediately looking for an airport sign showing the direction to the said Rail Link, exit left from the main door and take elevator down to the basement. We relaxed a bit when we immediately spotted the route to MRT station (4th photo above) and decided to have a coffee break at the food outlet and groceries located just next to it thereafter. While having coffee, we involved in a friendly chat with a group of local travel agent who apparently had a quick break there too. They, though speak very little English has given us a lot of information about the train to Cambodia. Hearing about our plan to reach Cambodia by border, un unknown but friendly white man suddenly interfere just to let us know that we can take train from Lat Krabang without going to the city train station (Hua Lampong). We thanked him for his kind concern. Moral of the story is, no harm throwing a smile or saying hello to a stranger as you never know what good it would benefit you.

Like I said earlier, we had to change another train to Hua Lampong. My apology as I forgotten which station that we had to get down, but you may just ask anyone at the ticket machine or could get a direction from the route map available at the train station. When we surfaced from the elevator to the ground, we discovered that the hostel is seated on the same line row of the road, of which we do not have to cross to an opposite street. True to their website information, we have no difficulties to locate the hostel. During check-in, the reception informed that the chatuchak market was close that day as it was Christmas.  After a quick rest, we straight away adjourned to China Town by walk. It's nearby to the hotel. But, we could not find anything interesting there, not even the food.

In China Town

Most of the restaurant in China Town serves Chinese cuisine and we both craving for Thai food. Furthermore, Anne has set her mind to shop at MBK Mall even before she arrived though she initially agreed to explore China Towna and Chatuchak market. In her not so suited sweet face Anne has persuaded me to have lunch at MBK Mall. She keeps on reminding me to remember those meal we had at the food outlet on our 2013 trip. I had to agree with her. Not only that, Anne had opted to take tuk tuk rather than bus as we were both hungry and she was excited to see MBK Mall again. Though slightly expensive than the bus, I was actually happy that the tuk tuk driver took us direct to the mall which also  allow us to enjoy a city view in a crowded road. 

A huge MBK mall which quite similar to Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang Mall

Hubby has given me an equivalent RM100 Thai Baht for me to spend in Bangkok. He did not expected me to really shop on my first day, as it was meant for food and fare. Alas, all that Thai Baht gone within seconds as I purchased too many (5 pieces) attractive IPhone cover for my children and I. I also purchased a bracelet, clothes etc. By the time I was in the women's clothing boutique, my face turned so sour. I had to run to the Money Changer to pay for my shopping at the boutique. It was lucky that the shop did not accept credit card, else, there would be an issue with excess baggage. Do you think that I need a therapy for this sickness? Hmm... I do not think so as I have manage well my cravings for expensive handbags and shoes thus far. And I'm not even buying anymore property. I should be getting ready for retirement, so happy with those words of wisdom.

Anne snapped my photo begging for loan from her and as an evidence of being so poor. I was actually trying to figure out what should I do if I want to purchase the 6th phone case. Insane woman...

At this stage, I do not encourage anyone to speak to me ... at the verge of tears

Proud to record a photo next to a Malaysian bank booth

We headed back to the hotel, had dinner and rest early as we had to woke up at 4am the next morning to catch a train to Aryanprathet. Till then, I hope this entry would be able to help you using the city transportation that is available in Bangkok city.
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