Archive for May 13th, 2012

Bangkok Day 6 ,7 & 8: Victory Monument, BFS & Chao Phraya River

Finally a blog post and a Bangkok one too! I know… this blog is dying a slow death due to my laziness. I am determined to finish the Bangkok posts though, I need a holiday again and am reliving my holiday through these posts.

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Day 6 started with exploring the rest of the Ratchaprasong shopping district. It was a very relaxing day with us catching a movie at the lovely Central World cineplex.

A note about Thai cinemas, the national anthem is played before every movie and everyone in the cinema stands up in respect. I read about it before hand but forgot about it and was very surprised when everyone suddenly stood up in the darkened room. I thought everyone was standing up to swop seats and when R nudged me to stand up, I thought he wanted us to swop seats too  (= ^^ =)

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In the evening we took the BTS to Victory Monument.

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Victory Monument is a large military monument and is one of Bangkok’s major traffic intersection. There is a large bus terminal and the surrounding areas are filled with street food vendors, clothing  and accessory stalls (* _____*).

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As you can see, this outdoor bazaar is very popular with local Thai university students and the working crowd.

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It was a very hot and humid night. The bazaar and all the stalls looked really enticing but the thought of squeezing through the crowds and haggling with vendors was a bit scary.
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I was very excited when I saw the food stalls. The only problem was, all the food signs were in Thai and no one seemed to speak English! We couldn’t order at the stalls as well, we were asked to sit at the tables and someone would come to take our orders, only problem was, we had no idea how to order in Thai so there was a lot of hand gesturing.

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The food wasn’t great to be honest. But I really enjoyed their gorgeous iced coffees. For those that don’t feel up to braving the outdoor bazaar, there are also a couple of good shopping malls (lots of cheap fashion) around the Victory Monument area. For us, we had to go into the shopping mall to hide from the storm that suddenly arrived. It was a heavy tropical storm too and we had to drip our way home.

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Back and dry in the hotel, just in time for a Chang too.

But the wet night took its toll and Day 7 was a complete wipeout because we couldn’t get out of bed! I called it the BFS, Bangkok Fatigue Syndrome, symptons include extreme fatigue, gentle stomachs and nausea.

I still wasn’t completely well by Day 8 but at least managed to make it out of bed.

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Thailand is probably the only country you can find this sign in its trains. The weather felt extra hot and humid and I was grateful for the blast of aircon in the BTS trains. Today we were attempting to visit the Grand Palace. A good way of getting there is via the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat. Take the BTS to the Saphan Taksin train station and walk a little way to the Sathorn Pier.

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We bought a single trip ticket to the Maharaj Pier which is where you get off for Grand Palace. The boat stops at quite a few piers linking to places like Chinatown or Wat Arun.

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Normally it would have been nice to soak in the sights while on the boat, but I was still feeling sick and thus very seasick, or should I say riversick.

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It’s actually very nice and relaxing to travel around Bangkok via boat, I wasn’t missing the smog from the tut tuts at all.

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Besides these ‘tourist’ boats, there are actually local boats which travel along the river as well, of course the seats aren’t as nice and sometimes it can be a bit of a squeeze.

Guess what? By the time we made it to the Grand Palace, it wasn’t open to public becaue there was some kind of royal ceremony going on which is actually very rare! Just our luck. Turns out it was probably good too because I was feeling really uncomfortable by then and starting to look very green in the face.

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So photos of Grand Palace will have to be in the next post! Don’t worry, I was fully recovered by the next day. Sawasdee Krab from Bangkok!

May 2012
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