25 December 2007

Swadee Bangkok

The children have completed their examinations (STP and SPM) and they were all rally to go for a vacation. This time around it would be Bangkok. Why Bangkok? Because my wife's uncle and cousin are Thais and they are staying in Bangkok. They were here in KL during Chinese New Year and we thought that it would be nice to reciprocate their visit to foster the relationship. At the same time, my wife's uncle, aunt and cousins have always be requesting to visit them in Bangkok. My daughters were excited because they can shop for their clothings there. So we made arrangement to fly there and join a tour for 3 days and extend our stay in Bangkok for a total of a week. All arrangements for the tickets, tour and accommodation were done on own on. The worse part was the accommodation, it seems that every hotel in Bangkok is full! We hesitated to go to Bangkok when I was informed that the General Election is scheduled on 23 December when were are in Bangkok. Fearing that there my be unrest after the ousted Thaksin Shinawatra, we fear that the party of the former PM would create some problems during the election. My wife made some calls to some friends in Bangkok and got the assurance that the King has requested for a peaceful election and that Bangkok would be safe during the elections.

We took off from Kl on 18th December, taking the ERL from Tasek Selatan to KLIA. We landed at the new (one year old) Suvarnabhumi Airport and it is very obvious that the traffic (passengers and planes) at the Bangkok airport is very much more that our KLIA.

We were greeted by our tour guide, a short guy call Pradit but he prefer to be called by his nickname Noome who speaks so-so English. The van was also waiting for us and we were taken to check-in to our hotel, The First Hotel which is located the center of the busy Pra Tu Nam area of Bangkok. We choose this hotel because it is very near shopping area and walking distance from the Skytrain.

We only had time to freshen up before my wife's aunt and cousin arrived at the hotel to greet us. Our next stop was the famous four face Buddha located in the Erawan Hotel. The San Phra Phrom or Erawan Shrine was created as a spirit house connected to the Erawan Hotel, which has now made way for the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. There were so many people there both locals and tourist performing their offering and prays there. We bought colourful flower garlands, gold leaves, incense, and candles. We then performed our prayers at the shrine. I managed to made offering twice on all the four faces of Buddha.

Then off we go for our dinner. Dinner was at a local Chinese restaurant but with the added Tomyam to act as the appetizer for the dinner. I am able to take the spicy and sour soup while my children find it hard to take it.

After dinner, we were taken to the famous night bazaar, Suan Num Night Bazaar. I find it hard to do my shopping there because the place is stuffy and hot. Then we need to bargain to buy the goods there. My wife's aunt and cousin came along with us and they managed to bargain much better than us (since they are local there). There was an item were we bought for Baht160 and for the same price, they were about to bargain to buy two items for the same price.

After a tiring day, we went back to the hotel and rested for our long journey for the next day to Pattaya.

Arrival at the Suvarnabhumi airport
One of the many "guardian" gods at the airport
The emblem for the 80th birthday celebration of theKing. The devotion and respect of the King is very obvious in Thailand.
The four-face Buddha shrine
A closer view of the four-faced Buddha
You know that you are in Thailand when you see this sign!!


SooHK said...

I was there at Erawan too, took quite a number of shots but mainly on the dancer. Spend close to an hour there...

Find Bangkok Hotels said...

From my experience of Bangkok trip. I think that looking for accommodation around Sukhumvit are is the good idea because Sukhunvit is in the heart of the shopping district, both in terms of large department stores and the various stalls lining both sides of the road. The various side-streets provide a proliferation of nightlife venues. For the renowned and well-known spots, you will need to walk onwards past the Asok crossroads to Sukhumvit Soi 21 or Soi Cowboy. This area also offers a wide selection of cuisine to choose from, both in terms of air-conditioned high-end restaurants and open air restaurants offering quite reasonable prices.