On the third day, Rachel’s friend, Neeni, came to pick up us with her boyfriend, Ben, to show us around for the day. Neeni is a journalist, specialising in the lifestyle beat for a Madame Figaro, a magazine in Thailand. She also writes novels on the side and has published seven novels before. Her boyfriend, Ben is an engineer.
The two of them were wonderful hosts, attentive to all our needs. We were a bit paisay that they kept insisting on paying for all our meals and expenses. Hopefully, the two of them will visit Singapore soon too and we can have the honour of hosting them in return.
We visited the Chatuchak weekend market (จตุจักร) in the morning and had a heavy breakfast there. Neeni and Ben took effort to request for less chili in our orders, bearing in mind that Rachel cannot take spicy food.
Breakfast for Champions!
Soft shell crab salad
Mango salad and fried chicken
Roast pork - I love this
Neeni recommended us to try this - she said she eats it everyday
Delicious street snack made of flour with pork filling
Coconut ice cream with sticky rice! Neeni and Ben had one of this each, Rachel and I were too full
Then came the shopping after our meal. During my previous visits to Bangkok, I can spend an entire day shopping at Chatuchak and still not get tired. This time round however, we quickly went through the pets section, a few clothing shops and we were off. Maybe it’s the weather… or age is catching up with me.
The pet zone in Chatuchak
Kittens getting dry after their bath
Puppy with a princess crown
Window decor in a trinket store
Rachel bought one top here
Old magazine store - Ben and Neeni informed us that this celebrity couple is very hot in Thailand now
Evil version of Sponge Bob Square Pants?
Organic soap bars - we bought a bunch of these
Rice milk soap bar
Chatuchak as seen from the overhead bridge
After roughing it out shopping at an outdoor market, Neeni and Ben brought us shopping in air-con paradise at Central Plaza till around 3pm.
At Central Plaza, we checked out an interesting Thai designer brand, FLY NOW and then had lunch at a restaurant in the basement level. We also bought a fair bit of health and beauty products at BOOTS, one of Rachel’s favourite store sin Bangkok. BOOTS is unavailable in Singapore.
There's a sale going on in Central Plaza
Neeni and Rachel, posing outside the flamboyant store front of FLY NOW
Seriously, you can't miss the FLY NOW shop when you walk past it!
ICEE! We used to have this in Singapore till they were phased out by 7-11's Slurpee
Restaurant where we had our lunch
The stalls in the restaurant hawked a variety of cuisines, from Thai to Italian to Chinese
My Thai fried rice
Rachel's roast duck rice
After a light lunch, we proceeded to visit some Wats (temples) and the Museum of Siam Discovery
We were unable to enter most of the Wats as we were not properly attired (long sleeves and covered-toes shoes are a must). Nonetheless, there was a Wat housing a giant sleeping Buddha (Wat Pho) that did not enforce a strict dress code and we went in to take a look.
A clock tower
A military building
The military academy
Exterior wall of a giant Wat
The wall is neverending
Sneak peep inside (we were not allow to go in as we were not properly attired)
Told you the wall is neverending!
Pointy roof design
One of the many Wats
Chinese-looking statue in Wat Pho
More Chinese-looking statues
Close-up of the roof
Neeni and Ben with the sleeping Buddha
Golden face of the sleeping Buddha
Giant golden feet
Nice tattoos on the feet
On closer inspection, the "tattoos" were made from Mother-of-Pearl
Paintings and gold platings on the walls
Even the ceilings were all covered
Close-up of a small portion of the giant wall mural
Another section of the wall
There are rows of alm bowls in front of the sleeping Buddha for making donations
Me dropping in loose changes
Neeni making donations
Devotees pasting gold flakes onto various Buddha statues
The museum was a great experience for Rachel and I. The exhibits are a bit like those at the Living Gallery in the National Museum of Singapore and we wondered if the same vendor designed both of them.
Anyway, the Museum of Siam Discovery is a museum that seeks to answer the question “What is Thai?” It goes about doing so with tech gadgets and interactive video installations.
We learn quite a bit about Thailand’s anthropology, history, culture and traditions through the tour. We took a lot of fun photos too.
Museum of Siam Discovery
Huge arches in front of the museum, probably an installation artwork
We had some iced beverages at Black Canyon before going into the museum
A musical performance was going on in the museum
What is Thai?
Plastic red figurines hanging from the ceiling - the figurines represent various galleries in the museums
Rachel posing with a street vendor statue
Various "Thai" symbols
More "Thai" symbolism
Many different groups of people of different nationalities resided in ancient Siam
Intereactive game where you can pretend to be a trader of different nationalities
An interesting video depicting the legend of the battle between the Toad Prince and the Rain God
Different kinds of Thai ships and boats
A long boat model
Model depicting ancient Siam
Another picture of the model
Cattles and street scene
Rachel was mesmerised by the various well-made interactive videos
At one point in history, Thai civilians were not allow to eat the carp fish because the king likes to eat it
Watching a video on mining
A canon firing game
A holographic battle scene
Me looking stupid
Rachel looking intellectual
Old propaganda posters
Western influence seeping in
Rachel and I on camera
Ben and Neeni's turn to go on air
Rolling 70s gallery
Neeni and Ben back in the 70s
Rachel and I were there too
Aspiring car models
Pretending to be a bartender
The future gallery - which resembles all "future" exhibits around the world - crappy
At night, we shopped at posh Siam Paragon for a while and had our dinner at a restaurant in Siam Square that serves traditional Thai dishes. By coincidence, we spotted Singaporean actress, Ruien (瑞恩), dining at a table behind us in the same restaurant. Not wanting to appear like stupid TV junkies, we left her and her companion alone and did not try to gawk at her or take her photo.
Hungry Ben and Neeni
Hungry Alvin and Rachel
Coconut stuffed with seafood
Sweet and sour steamed fish
Fresh university graduates taking photos outside Siam Paragon
Inside Siam Paragon
Very beautiful visual merchandising
We initially wanted to catch a movie at Siam Paragon, but went to MBK instead as Paragon was showing the same movie in every single theatre!
We then had desert at Cream & Fudge before we bid farewell to our lovely hosts, Neeni and Ben. It was raining when we got off Ben’s car to walk to MBK, and they actually gave us their umbrella -that’s how sweet the two of them are.
Our ice cream
The only group photo with all four of us in it, taken before we parted ways
Thanks to their umbrella, we managed to stay dry for the rest of the night. Rachel and I caught the Pixar animation, UP!, in 3D at MBK. It was SUPERB!
Superb movie - die die must watch!
UP! publicity standee
Rachel in 3D glasses
Credit still: The two lead characters
I want to fly up into the sky too!
We went in tired and expected little much besides a few laughs. How wrong were we. The movie has an endearing storyline about an old man who set off to fulfill the childhood wish of his late wife and in the process, discover life and adventure.
It’s so wonderful that Rachel and I vowed to catch it again in Singapore’s cinema when it arrives. Seriously, do not miss this movie! It’s the best animation we have seen since Finding Nemo!
After the movie, we walked back to our hotel, sharing an umbrella in the light drizzle. That ended our third day in Bangkok.
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