Swadeeeekaaa Day One

A and I both needed a break from the monotony of KL and booked ourselves on a flight to Bangkok, to make use of the long weekend. Thursday was a public holiday. A took Friday off so we had 3 nights and 4 days at our disposal, Thursday to Sunday.

24th January 2013 Day One

Took AK 1946 from KL LCCT to DMK (Don Muang, Bangkok) at 230 pm. Reached Bangkok 330 pm local time. Thailand is one hour behind Malaysia so we gained an hour.

Tip for getting from DMK to the City: The best way is to take a taxi. There is a taxi counter just before the exit but they told us they were out of taxis and that we should try to get one from outside. Which was actually a good thing because the counter rate was 1000 TBH while we paid 300TBH on the meter plus toll when we queued up outside,DMK to Ibis hotel, Siam square. You just need to get a coupon from the counter right outside the exit and tell them where you need to go.

I was in Bangkok after 5 years and it was A’s first trip. My first trip was in the summer of 2005 with family. The next trip right after graduating from LUMS with my friends in the summer of 2007. I had lived in two more countries apart from Pakistan since then, Singapore and Malaysia, so my perspective had definitely changed. Bangkok seemed a lot less developed than the other two. What stood out the most in the landscape was the millions of intertwined power lines and power poles!

Around 40 minutes we reached our hotel. Right in Siam square. Opposite the national stadium BTS, connected by sky bridge to Siam center. Perfect.

The Ibis at Siam just opened up a month back. So it’s new, clean and retro. The room was nicely done up and comfortable. The bathroom was a bit smaller than I would’ve wanted but hotel location more than made up for that!

After freshening up we headed to Siam square to get some dinner and look around. Jumped into the first Thai restaurant we saw and had some yummy egg rolls, Pad Thai, Tom yam seafood and egg fried rice.

The weather was nice and cool and breeeezy. As we had moved away from the equator it was less humid. Less tropical. More home.

So many memories at Siam square…

We looked around Siam center a bit and then hopped onto the BTS sky train from Siam to Asok. The Sheraton Grande at Sukhumvit is connected to the Asok station. We met A’s friend who was visiting from Pakistan for work. Had coffee at The Living Room at the Sheraton and listened to a live jazz performance by this band from NY. There’s a mall called Terminal 21 right opposite the Sheraton, which has different floors with themes dedicated to major cities of the world. It was closed at the time though since all malls close at 10pm.

When I was in Bangkok in 2005, with the family, we went to Swanlum night bazar which was amazing. But it had closed now. The only other night market I knew of was in Patpong. Took a taxi to Patpong which is located between Silom and Surawongse Road. Patpongs claim to fame is that it is Bangkok’s original red-light districts. It has even been immortalised in a James Bond chase-sequence. Its two parallel side-streets house around 100 neon-lit strip bars offering naughty shows and the famous pole-dancing entertainment. The night market has however softened the repute of the area and Soi Cowboy in sukhumvit has usurped Patpong. A quick walk around the market and we were ready to call it a day. The night market seemed like a mini version of KLs china town, selling all things fake. Knockoff bags, belts, watches. No handicrafts like I would’ve wanted.

Took a taxi back to the hotel and hit the sack!

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