Banging Bangkok

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I’ve been researching for a trip next year and true to form, found myself blog hopping. I came across certain blogs that posted information soaked entries that were concise, short and informative. It inspired me to revisit my old travels and blog about them to help others who are stricken with my disease: the need to research and inhale information for each trip. Here's a relatively long post about my Bangkok trip in November 2008.

Where to tuck yourself in.
Four Seasons International
It was a hit in the Girltalk forums and it got bonus points for being partly owned by a Filipino. We were extremely happy with the rate we got and the add-ons that came with it (airport transfers – which is important given the schedule of flights from Cebu Pacific, daily breakfast and a half day city tour). Given our budget, we expected a small room but were pleasantly surprised to find a comfortably spaced room for good 3 people. The best thing about the hotel? It was minutes away from Platinum Mall – our favorite shopping haven. Also, we didn’t mind spending time at the hotel since the staff was warm and friendly. Another wonderful revelation was the fact it had THE best exchange rate (we wanted bang for every dollar so believe me when I say we really looked). Would I stay here again? Most definitely.

Our room on our last day

This is what it's supposed to look like without the chaos (Photo from Four Seasons)

Good for: Biyaheras, friends traveling in groups, tourists.

Baiyoke Boutique Hotel
The word “boutique” gave it added points right away. One look at the interiors and I knew this was level up living. I was tempted to say yes but (1) it was smaller than the Four Seasons room and (2) it was more expensive. The rooms we wanted comfortable fit 2 people only; perhaps in the next trip when group headcount is in the even numbers we could swing that way.

(Photos from Baiyoke Boutique Hotel)

Take a Nap Hostel
My friends and I were open to staying at a hostel. Based on looks, this was the quirkiest and most unique one I came across. It would have been fantastic to have experienced this visual treat but they didn’t have the rooms we wanted on our scheduled dates and the price difference was minimal compared to the Four Seasons.

Quirky and unique rooms. Finding the right themed room might be a challenge. (Photos from Take a Nap Hostel)

Has anyone stayed here? How did you find it?

Where to exercise your wallet.
Chatuchak VS MBK VS Night Markets VS Platinum.

First off, I wasn’t able to go to any of the night markets though I’ve heard great reviews about them. MBK was overrated; it looked old and I didn’t find a bargain. I bought a shirt in the Pratunam area for 60 Baht and it was being sold for 200 Baht in MBK. As for Chatuchak and Platinum, it would depend on the shopper. Chatuchak is massive so the variety of products can appeal to you or abhor you. This is not a place for faint shoppers at heart. My friends enjoyed the Platinum experience more thus resulting in major wallet damage. There are far more items sold in Chatuchak but there were more things that appealed to us in Platinum. I give Platinum additional brownie points for being air conditioned with a delicious food court though I also love Chatuchak since I was able to score items from young Thai designers.

Famed MBK. Make sure to get the tourist discount card before shopping.

My second home, Platinum Mall. We were pleasantly surprised to see a Mister Donut Stall here.

Nonetheless Chautchak should still be part of your Bangkok itinerary. I will go back next time armed with shopping buddies who are as hardcore as I am.

Where else can you go.
Bangkok has an abundant of things to offer. If you’d like to soak up more activities in addition to shopping and the temples, check out this first timer’s guide to Bangkok.

I dream of the day I return and explore the rest of the country. Tara?

* Want other hotel options in Bangkok? You can check it out here. 

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