Before I started embarking on my travels and holidays throughout the many different countries, I had already decided on the two places that I really wanted to visit the most. And no, those places are not even located in Europe, but in our own neighboring country, Bali in Indonesia and Bangkok in Thailand. Why? I don't know specifically why but I think the fusion between culture and modernization of these two places are amazing. Bangkok is a metropolitan city of 12 million people (and from what I see, there's equal parts of Thai's and foreigners in Bangkok) but the influence of culture is very apparent everywhere. Here's a snapshot of my trip =)
A handy guide to me while I was there. Although I am not able to make full use of the book, it did help me out on more than one occasion.
If you meet a fellow Thai, it is more respectful to greet them with two of your hands clasp in front of you (like the photo above) rather than the usual handshake.
We've arrived! This is our second getaway. Not a honeymoon, mind you, as Raden is working on this trip.
Tuk Tuk. We were also fortunate to ride on one of these. It's actually a modified motorcycle (I think). It's kinda fast and unsafe (there are no seat belts and windows or doors). But it's an excellent mode of transportation, it helps you get past the traffic jam (which is absolutely horrible, by the way) in record time.
The traffic in Bangkok usually would mean a trip of either 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the traffic conditions. We managed to experience both *yikes*.
The Grand Palace. It only opens during the day (until 4 pm). The palace is not accessible by MRT or BTS (Skytrain) so if you're thinking of going, you are advised to look for a metered taxi.
There's lots of these street decoration all over Bangkok. They've just celebrated their King's 84th birthday on the 5th of December. It's a perfect time to visit the city as there's a parade of lights everywhere. The Thai are extremely fond of their King and after chatting up some new friend's that I've made in Bangkok, I know why. In simple words, the King have contributed a lot to making Thailand what it is today.
Near the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It's such a pity that we weren't able to make time to visit this temple. I'll make sure it'll be in our itinerary the next time we visit Bangkok.
By the way, most Thais do not actually refer to Bangkok as Bangkok (they say, only the foreigners do), to them, the city is known as Krung Thep or the City of Angels.
Travelling by MRT or BTS is one of the best way to visit Bangkok. If you're a shopaholic (like me), a must-go to place would be MBK or Mahboonkrong. It's kinda like Bukit Bintang Mall in KL. They sell all sorts of stuff (including imitation products, unfortunately) and below is kinda the street mall part of the shopping complex.
MBK is accessible via National Stadium Station via MRT.
This is the central part of the mall.
From MBK, we moved up to Siam Discovery for a trip to Madame Toussaud's Bangkok. Lo and behold, look who's here! Our 4th Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir, one of my idols =).
Took a photo with the Obamas...
And another with Doraemon =p
Siam Discovery is accessible via Siam Station (if you're using BTS).
Siam Paragon. Unfortunately, I also did not have enough time to drop by =(
Part of Bangkok's skyline. We were fortunate enough to catch a ride on Chao Phraya River and enjoy a city tour by the river.
Wat Po (if I'm not mistaken) or also known as the Temple of Dawn.
One of the places that I was excited to visit is the Chatuchak Market (a market almost similar to Pasar Minggu Satok in Kuching) that sells everything under the sun (i.e. from furniture to gadgets to pets, you get the meaning, right?).
The market is packed with people, Thais and foreigners alike.
I had a great bargain that day *yeay*.
While we were there, there was a peaceful protest (though on God knows what). Interestingly, the protesters were accompanied by the police, right behind of the line.
All in all, I'd say the trip went very well =).
Will be posting more posts on Thailand, most importantly Halal food (should you feel like spending a day or two in Bangkok), the hotel that we stayed in (which is a beautiful boutique hotel by the name of Sabai Sabai) and a short dash to Pattaya (sin city just an hour and a half away from Bangkok).
Am extremely glad that I've finally achieved to visit the two places that I've so wanted to visit, Bali in 2009 and now Bangkok. Let's start 2012 with a new wish list, shall we?
Have a great week ahead peeps!
xoxo Mrs Fashionista xoxo