5 August 2018, Sunday

On the next day, very early morning, Mr. T sent us to Changi Airport Terminal 1 to meet up with Sayang Tours to Bangkok. A group of 15 tour members boarded a Jetstar plane to Swanambu airport. The flight was on schedule. We were received by the hotel representative and transferred us to HuaMark Four Season Hotel at around 10.30am local time. Check-in was at 2pm. Thus, we started to explore the surrounding on Day 1.

Image Credit: Food Advisor

We had authentic Thai cuisine: Tomyam seafood, roast pork rice and a bottle of Pepsi for lunch (155 Baht). We mistakenly took a bottle of lime juice as beverages, but was immediately stopped by the shop owner. All of us laughed off as only sign language applied.

After lunch, we continued shopping as there were lots of stalls selling all stuffs. We bought 9 boxes of Boots Breast milk bags (855 Baht), 2 pairs of Bata shoes (699 Bahts) before checking into the hotel.

The facilities of the hotel was not up to expectation but the staff were very helpful. A Thai Malay staff, Deener helped us to contact a local tour guide- Mr ApidechBig Taxi- recommended by Eak Kuan for a day tour the following day.

In the evening, we took a public bus (9 Baht x2) to a night market near Thai Sports Center. The bus conductor helped us to get down to our destination. Lots of local food, drink, clothes, etc were sold here.

Image Credit: 123rf

We tried out barbecue squids (20 Baht), mango pulut rice (40 Baht), mix veg & fish salad (40 Baht), barbecue pork (10 Baht), coconut drink (25 Baht) and groundnut (20 Baht). We strolled and rested at the park inside the sports center. Many people picnic at this clean and greenery park. They took away their thrash once they left this spot. We noticed the stray dogs too enjoyed the serenity of the place. Later, we spent for about two hours and took a public bus (9 Baht x2) back to hotel.

6 August 2018, Monday

Day 2. We had buffet breakfast in the hotel. At 7am, eight of us took a coach for a day tour. The fare was 1800 Baht/8pax per van for three places of interests, namely Daewoode floating market, Wat Bang Kung (Buddha in the tree) and MaeKlung train market.

We paid an additional of (500 Baht x 2) to experience a boat ride to the floating market. Along the riverbank, we could see lots of stalls selling local stuff. Finally, we went into the congested zone, where the food sellers rowed their boats to sell all kinds of stuff to tourists. The experience was simply awesome.

Image Credit: Your Thai Guide

Our second point to visit was Wat Bang Kung (Buddha in the tree). There were legendary stories about this wat carved on the wall of this wat. We didn’t spend much time as other members were not so keen to read about the story. We stopped over to buy 1 litre of Virgin coconut oil (500 Baht) at a road side stall.

Moving on, we proceeded to Maeklung Train market. We had local Thai fried kuay teow, mango pulut rice, duck noodle soup and coconut drink for lunch. This meal cost only 155 Baht. While waiting for the train to pass-by, we strolled and shopped around the market. The stuff was very cheap. We bought dried fish skin which cost only 25 Baht/pack x6 (down town cost 125 Baht/pack). We also bought 2 kg of brown rice (84 Baht), 1 kg of pulut rice (32 Baht), 3 pieces of robes (360 Baht) for Khatina offering this year. We also tried local snack; fried oyster (35 Baht), peanuts (20 Baht), cut fruit (20 Baht)

Image Credit: bangkok.com

Later, we witnessed the train approaching slowly, the stall owners swiftly moved their stocks to let the train passed-by. Lots of tourists engrossed happily and took lots of video and photos. It was indeed a MUST see experience.

We finally went back to hotel at about 5.30pm. We didn’t join the crowd for lady-boys live show. Instead we went for light dinner (the first stall we went yesterday). We had tomyam, stewed trotter and rice (136 Baht) for dinner. In between, we stopped over at Big-C hypermarket and bought cut pineapples (17 Baht) and grape (27 Baht) as dessert.

7 August 2018, Tuesday

Image Credit: Bangkok

Day 3, after breakfast, we took public bus 71 (7 Baht x2) to the nearest Rapid MRT (40 Bahtx2x2). We topped up (100 Baht) to one card as the return fare was 80 Baht to Central World in Bangkok city. We dropped off at Siam station, strolling on sky bridge to Erawan. Along the way, there were many huge shopping malls; Grand Paragon Mall, MK Mall…etc. Upon reaching Erawan, we were stopped by a friendly ‘police’ who suggested us to visit an export Thai local product (with special discount) just for today before 1pm. We took his word and tried to explore to this place. Mid-way, we were approached by a friendly Thai school teacher who helped to get a TUTU (40 Baht) to the said location which was actually 4km away. Frankly, we felt ‘cheated’ as this ‘shop’ basically was very desperately ‘hard-sell their products to overcome their cash-flow problem. As we were not keen about jewellery and Thai silk, hence, we left this shop empty-handed.

Image Credit: Bangkok

We turned the offer of 60 Baht Tutu and walked slowly towards Erawan. Along the way, we stopped over Thai Arts and Culture center and had a good time appreciating the pieces from international artists. Most of the painting and photos were quite pessimistic, expressing the desperation and complexity of human emotion. Later, we had lunch in front of MK Mall. (160 Baht for noodles and rice). The service was damn slow and the food were the worst among all the meals we had tasted in Bangkok. I bought a dress (250 Baht), a blouse (100 Baht) and a pair of pant (150 Baht) in this Mall. Dad bought a pair of shoes. (300 Baht)

We stopped over Boots store and bought 6 boxes of Breast milk bags (570 Baht), 4 tube of tooth paste (900 Baht), 2 boxes of White snail facial masks (700 Baht). We were told to get VAT refund of 80 Baht at the airport. Finally, we reached Erawan, made offering and returned back to our hotel by MRT and public bus. We were fortunate as not caught in 3 hours-traffic jam as other members who travelled by Grab. We reached hotel at around 7pm. After shower, we went for body massage (400 Baht for 2) and had only Thai snack for dinner.

8 August 2018, Wednesday

Day 4: We explored nearby hotel and discovered a ferry station just a stone away. Immediately after breakfast, we check-out and left our baggage in the hotel as our airport transfer was at 3pm local time. We walked to the ferry station, paid for 30 Baht for 2 to Platunum, a popular fashion shopping for everybody. The ferry served like ‘water-taxi’, pick up passengers at every pier. The passenger must hole the rope and stepped into the crowded ferry. It wasn’t a pleasant ride as the river/ canal was quite smelling. The good point was no traffic jam and we arrived in city center about 25 minutes only. We did last minute shopping of 1 kg of brown rice (60 Baht), a pair of pant (80 Baht), a dress (150 Baht) and a blouse (150 Baht), 2 pieces of baby wears (380 Baht) and 4 pair of socks (100 Baht). We spent about 2.5 hours shopping and went back to the hotel by 1pm.

We had simple lunch (chicken noodle and drink-100 Baht), a take-away packed rice with roast pork, sausage + egg (40 Baht) and bun (50 Baht). We reached hotel at 2pm. We had shower, final packing and just in time for airport transfer. We gave very positive feedback to hotel reception staff and 20 Baht tipping to the driver.

Image Credit: agoda

Our return flight was on schedule at 1900 (Thai time). All of us just dozed off throughout the journey. We had smooth immigration clearance as left Changi airport in our tour coach. However, we were caught in heavy traffic jam at Woodlands for nearly 2 hours. Finally, we passed through JB CIQ and arrived at Sentosa Sayang tour meeting point at 1am. We had a hard time to get a cab or a Grab. Luckily our tour members’ offered to send us back home.

It was indeed one of the best travel experience I had. I met with friendly tour members, travelled like locals in public bus, MRT and ferry. The locals were very friendly and smiling. The Thai cuisine was so tasty and the shopping spree was simply awesome.

Bangkok, it definitely will not be my last trip!

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