Chatuchak Market Map: 2014 (Jatujak)

This map was exactly what I was looking for online before I headed to Bangkok last week. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a suitable (and updated) one online. So I picked up a map when I was at Chatuchak, and have scanned it for you! :) (Leave me a comment if it’s useful for you)

Map of Chatuchak:

Chatuchak Map

Chatuchak Map

The whole market is kind of like a maze, but if you work your way through it systematically, you’ll be able to cover most (if not all) of the market.

If you are heading there anytime soon, do note that it can get quite hot in the afternoon, PLUS there is always the possibility of sudden rain. So ensure you have water, a handheld fan (if you cannot stand the heat) and a poncho or umbrella just in case it rains.

*I’m sounding like a nag but do carry your backpack in front of you and avoid carrying thin/flimsy totes which pickpockets can easily slash with a penknife.

Happy Shopping! ~

Bangkok Fashion Outlet, Prawning in Bangkok, Century The Movie Plaza, Mo Chit to Don Mueang Airport

[Travel Journal: 5th Day in Bangkok. And I'm now back in SG! :D]

Located about a 10-minute walk away from Surasak station is Bangkok Fashion Outlet. There are 3 floors for your shopping pleasure – everything from fashion to home furnishing.

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I bought Wacoal lingerie here as the designs are pretty and the prices are low.

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Then we had lunch at the basement foodcourt. Get a cashcard (with refundable balance) for hassle-free cash-less payment for food and drinks.

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I had rice with a mixture of vegetables. It tasted so-so but the chilli sauce is potent.

At the atrium sale, I spotted Melissa shoes on sale at 399 baht. The original price tags showed prices ranging from 1-2K. But they were all leftover sizes e.g. 35 / 40.

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Outside the mall, I bought 4 pairs of earrings for 100 baht. :)

We then took a taxi to a prawning place recommended by a Thai blogger pal. The taxi ride cost 53 baht. Just showed the driver a printout (in thai) regarding the place, and he managed to get us there.

Thailand Prawning

Prawning costs 100 baht/hour. Cheap! This is less than half the price we have to pay in SG.

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Caught just 1 prawn which we gave away. I had zero luck here. Thankfully, we had gotten just one prawning rod to share.

We then walked to the SENAfest mall nearby (less than a minute away). It looks and feels like our Greenwich V mall in SG – very good place to chill.

There are many restaurants and kids education centres here.

We then wanted to go to a mall near the Victory Monument via taxi. The driver of a taxi we flagged down by the road didn’t know where we wanted to go because he doesn’t speak English. Thankfully, a security guard at the mall came to our rescue and radioed for another cab whose driver seemed to know where to take us.

It was around 4pm but traffic was pretty bad already – it made me feel like jumping out of the cab actually. Total cabfare: 109 baht.

At Century The Movie Plaza, we had dinner at Yayoi again – but it was a very long wait for the food.

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Bill: 568 baht for our dinner.

We then took the train to Mo Chit station (and went out the exit near the Yamazaki bakery) then boarded the A1 bus. It was a breeze; no wait, no fuss, just pure luck. Headed straight for the airport with light traffic most of the way, then traffic slows to a crawl after. Budget at least an hour for getting to the airport if you are heading there in peak hour traffic! Otherwise, the journey should take around 15 minutes, I guess.

At the Airport, if you are flying with Scoot, head for the NokScoot counters. It is great that there are shops and cafes to head to before boarding our flight.

You’ll find below additional information about taxi rides in Bangkok and my take on Scoot flights…

~ Taxi Fares in Bangkok ~

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If you’re flagging down a taxi by the roadside (not hopping into one in front of any of the major shopping spots e.g. Platinum), it is easier to get the driver to agree to charge by the meter. If you are leaving Platinum at night and trying to get a tuk tuk or cab, you’ll likely have to bargain or agree with the driver’s proposed fee before boarding.

~

Interestingly, Scoot gave us stretch seats on both our flights to and from Bangkok! I guess it is a perk of booking early?? :)

Flight time is around 2 hours and 5 minutes. And the plane’s usually packed both ways with Singaporeans.

I’ve flown with Scoot three times this year. No complaints thus far! Thumbs up! Will definitely fly with Scoot again.

Bangkok: Pat Pong Night Market and Ping Pong shows

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Pat Pong is really intriguing. It has a night bazaar but is also infamous for its nightlife. We went there rather early in the evening. Some of the clubs seemed like they were not yet ready for business but touts were everywhere – from the BTS station exit till the end of the night bazaar stretch.

Both male and female touts will approach to entice you to pick one of the “shows” / “看表演”.

The “menu” they present involves words like “ping pong”, “p***y” and even “man and woman make love”.

We walked past one club with its doors wide open and saw at least 5 scantily-dressed ladies pole-dancing. But walk into the dark abyss, we dared not.

Besides, I do not believe in encouraging businesses which exploit women.

Even if you are not interested in thai girls and what they do with ping pong balls, you can still head to pat pong for the restaurants and the night market.

The night bazaar is in the middle, between the row of restaurants on the left and the clubs on the right. Strangely enough, there is a Naraya outlet there and it has no queue at the cashier. Best place to get Naraya souvenirs in Bangkok probably!

I guess Pat Pong is an interesting place to people-watch, from the safety of restaurant premises.

A friend once shared that at one show he watched in Thailand with his wife, the ladies simply bathed before the guests. And he did share that you must know the ‘right’ places to go to so they don’t harass you for more money after you’ve paid for and consumed that mandatory first drink.

As for me, I’d rather spend that money on shopping. ;)

Bangkok: Platinum, Palladium, Hello Kitty Cafe, Siam Center – Greyhound Cafe

[Day 4 in Bangkok - Reporting 'Live' from the Land of a Thousand Shopping Malls (or more)]

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(Above) Is that a Batman shirt?! Oh wait… it’s ButtMan. :D LOL

Platinum is probably a 15-20 minute walk from Chit Lom BTS. We decided not to hire any tuk tuks or taxis on this trip, relying on ourselves and the BTS to get us everywhere.

Pratunam (opposite Platinum) looks terrible so we did not head there.

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At Platinum, we had lunch at Yum Saap. The longan and crab stick salad which the wait staff had said would be “little spicy” for us turned out to be very spicy. #eatitallnonetheless

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He had a green curry chicken and fishcake set while I ate the pad thai, which is good ‘cos it’s sweet, which I like. Will be back for this again. Total bill: 274 baht.

When we got tired of walking & shopping, we headed to Red Mango (at the Platinum building below Novotel) and had frozen yoghurt with mango and lychee toppings. Total cost: 159 baht.

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Because it was raining when we left Platinum, *thankful I brought ponchos and an umbrella!* we went to Palladium which is across the road from Platinum. Massages are cheaper there: 250baht at Platinum but 199 at Palldium (150baht for 40min).

I also bought a pair of rainbow flats for 100 baht here.

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At Platinum, I did not buy much though I saw many people dragging trolley bags filled with their purchases.

The only shop (on the ground floor) which earned the most money from me:

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I bought 3 dresses here at the “wholesale price” of 390 baht each. Really love the tulip print! :)

*Tip: Money changers at the basement offer better rates than those upstairs.

After Palladium, we headed back to MBK for his shirt fitting and ate at A&W on the way there. Oops. Could not resist!!! :D

And of course, like any self-respecting Hello Kitty fan, I had to visit the Hello Kitty cafe at Siam Square 1. There was a really long queue outside (the cafe was nice enough to provide benches). The cafe is located at the back of the mall on level 1. It is impossible to miss.

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I did not want to queue for kitty food, which likely will not taste nice anyway; just good for photography purposes. So we went to Greyhound Cafe at Siam Center.

He ordered the Buffalo Burger made from squid ink while I had the fettuccini with shrimp and mushroom cream sauce. The fettuccini was really yummy. Usually, pastas with cream sauce do not taste very good after the first mouthful. But this one was mindblowingly awesome. Must try!

We also ordered some vietnamese spring rolls – not bad but not awesome either. I could taste only the egg yolk:

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We then went to Pat Pong Night Market, near Sala Daeng BTS station. (That’s for another blogpost) ;)

Review: Boss Suites Nana Hotel – Bangkok

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The hotel looks great in pictures online but it’s actually not that awesome. The bed is huge but hard. And shower facilities are old.

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The hotel is pretty far from the BTS station. So they provide a free “tuk tuk” service to Nana BTS station. There’s no particular schedule to this. You can get a ride any time when you are leaving the hotel in the morning, but on the way back, there is no way of knowing when you can hitch a ride back. So we walk.

Grand Sukhumvit is much nearer to the BTS station. Boss Suites is another 10 – 15 minute walk from GS.

The massages here aren’t more expensive than outside the hotel though. So that’s good. 300baht for an hour of foot massage is just what I need after a long day of shopping. Great that I can just head back to the hotel room and wash that massage cream off immediately.

~

We must have unknowingly booked a hotel in the ‘red light district’. At night, one cannot help but come across streetwalkers at every corner. Others work in pubs and wear the skankiest of outfits while they stand at the door and beckon to passerbys. If you’re a guy in search of nocturnal adventures, you’ll be very happy in Bangkok.

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Also, there are mothers (some very young) begging at street corners and on bridges while carrying their infants. It is a sight I don’t see in SG but it is pretty common in BKK. I have so many questions: Where’s the kid’s dad? Why do you have to beg for a living? Why don’t you get a job or start a stall selling something? These questions will probably never get answered.

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Terminal 21 and Nana Square

[Day 2 in Bangkok - 'Live' report :D]

To get to Chatuchak, take the BTS to Mo Chit station, head out of exit 1 and literally, “follow the crowd” right to Chatuchak Market. ;)

*Keep an eye on your belongings! Police patrol the area but it does not necessarily stop all crime! If you need a map of Chatuchak (and some air-conditioning), head to the police post.

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We reached Chatuchak at about 12 noon. And the heat was amazing. I was just sweating buckets! It’s a miracle we didn’t get heatstroke. (Bring a handheld fan if you are coming by Chatuchak)

We were done shopping in about 4 hours’ time. Here are some pictures:

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I bought a pair of shades for 39 baht. A ridiculously low price! That’s not even 2 Singapore dollars!

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(Above) Big guy cooking a big pan of paella. He was throwing ingredients, such as long beans, into the pan as he was walking away from it. Inevitably, many of them fell to the ground. But it still attracted many tourists.

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Hand-painted shoes at 350 baht. I really like colorful stuff. The first pair caught my eye.

Bf bought many shirts on this shopping trip. I didn’t even buy any dresses and shoes!!! Shopping skills gone rusty. Lol.

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Then we were off to Terminal 21 next to Asok BTS station.

We had a steamboat dinner at MK Restaurant (level 4 of Terminal 21). The bill came up to 676 baht.

When we got tired from exploring the huge mall, we stopped at a dessert place specializing in matcha desserts for a Matcha Latte Float (110 baht) which was yummy! The vanilla ice cream is really good! 
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We then walked all the way to Phrom Phong station where a mall – Emporium – was supposed to be. Sadly, it was under renovation. :(

On the way back to our hotel, we made a detour to Nana Square and had pizza at The Pizza Company cos the place is packed. It’s open till midnight too.

Bbq chicken wings and Seafood Cocktail pizza cost us 528 baht. Both items were dripping in oil. The pizza had lots of butter, strangely. I like the chicken wings, don’t quite fancy the pizza.
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Time for bed… and MBK tomorrow? :D

Getting from Don Mueang Airport to Mo Chit BTS then Grand Sukhumvit Hotel Bangkok

[Day 1 in BKK - Travel journal]

Scoot flies only to Don Meang Int’l Airport in Bangkok now. So when you reach the airport, head to Gate 6, and wait for bus A1. The fare per pax is 30baht. The bus was packed but we managed to get seats. :)

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Alight at the second stop and follow the crowd to Mo Chit BTS station – up the second escalator.

It costs 42 baht per pax to get to Nana station (near the hotel). Get train tickets via the machine. You can exchange your notes for coins at the passenger service counters.

The Grand Sukhumvit Hotel Bangkok is located very near to Nana station – probably a 3 minute walk. You can spot the hotel from the train platform too. :)

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The staff seem overworked but are friendly enough. Lots of PRC people here though.

(Close to midnight: time for bed)

This Is Possibly The Best Neck Cushion You Can Find In Singapore

Muji Neck Cushion

Just last weekend, my blogger pal, Regina, introduced me to this MUJI neck cushion which is super versatile and just what I need for my travels.

As you can see from the picture, it comes with a clasp so you can hang this cushion on your backpacks, etc. Also, there’s a zipper on it because the outer casing can be removed for washing! This is simply awesome. :D

The neck cushion is also not just a neck cushion. It can double up as a bolster (when unfastened), wrapped around your waist if your lower back is aching, and even flattened and used as a footrest!

It’s definitely one of my best buys this year. :)

It retails for S$33 but I bought it this week as there was a 10% off promotion. :D

Want to join World Ventures? Please do.

World Ventures

I wish people would stop emailing me about World Ventures. If you need more information about World Ventures, grab hold of a WV rep and interrogate the fella till the cows come home. I am not paid to respond to any queries about WV, so do not email me, thank you very much.

If you’ve read my blogposts, and STILL need more convincing, then I am 100% convinced you deserve to join World Ventures. Seriously.

Just read my very first post about WV and all the comments. If you STILL insist on joining, go ahead. *shrug*

Barbie Cafe in Taipei – An Explosion of PINK! :D

barbie cafe taiwan

When I visited Taiwan in May this year, I wanted to visit the Barbie Cafe as I’ve already been to the Hello Kitty Cafe, Jay Chou restaurant, Modern Toilet Restaurant, etc. And… it was pretty amazing! I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

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The cafe was rather quiet at 12noon when we visited. According to the staff, it is busy mainly during tea-time. I wondered if that meant the food is not very good.

My worries were unfounded. The food here is better than at the Hello Kitty Cafe! And the customer service was good too! We ordered two set meals for lunch. :)

*For the menu and pricing, click here.

barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan barbie cafe taiwan

barbie cafe taiwan

barbie cafe taiwan

In case you are wondering why there is a Barbie doll in the pictures above, well, I bought it in Taichung! :D

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Barbie Cafe Tel: 02-27528311

To get there:

Take the train to Zhongxiao Dunhua station -> Take exit 8 -> Upon exiting, turn back and cross the (immediate) first crossing you see. The Barbie Cafe is diagonally across the road and you can get there within 1 minute. :)

Alternatively (especially if it is raining), you can also take exit 12 of the station, via the underground mall. You’ll pop out right outside the cafe!

*Check out the Barbie Cafe menu :)