Alvinology goes to Bangkok - Day 1 and 2 of 4 - Alvinology

Alvinology goes to Bangkok – Day 1 and 2 of 4

Last week, Rachel and I made a short trip to Bangkok (กรุงเทพมหานคร) with my parents to visit my relatives as well as do some light shopping. I have been to Bangkok at least five times, hence I did not take that many photos this time as a lot of the places we visited were kind of been-there-done-that.

Nonetheless, we did have a great time there and seriously regretted not spending another day or two there.

Who say Singaporeans are irresponsible people? A lot of them were wearing masks lor!
Says who Singaporeans are irresponsible people? Many were wearing masks!
Temperature check before we board the plane
Temperature check before we boarded the plane

On the first day, we headed straight to my grandaunt’s place in Samutprakarn (สมุทรปราการ) to pay her a visit and stay for the night.

My granduncle and grandaunt operate a jewellery business in Bangkok. My granduncle passed away earlier this year, and one of the reasons why my parents were visiting is to find out how my grandaunt is coping. Her two sons are now in-charge of the business. They are just a few years older than me, but technically, I was to address them as “uncles”.

For the most part of the day, we stayed at home as the kind old lady wanted to cook for us and also, she kept warning us about the heat in Bangkok – how it was not advisable to venture out in the blazing afternoon sun.

We ended up spending much of our time resting the first day. Eat, sleep and then eat and sleep again.

My grandaunt also called over her usual masseuse to give each of us a two-hour long massage. I fell asleep during the massage, tired from the plane journey and the hard day at work the day before. Rachel too.

Left-wing of my grandaunts home
Left-wing of my grandaunt’s home
The right-wing
The right-wing
Front-wing and garage
Front-wing and garage
Stewed beef
Stewed beef
Another beef soup dish
Another beef soup dish
Fried Pomfret
Fried Pomfret
Instant Thai ice tea! We bought three whole packets of this back
Instant Thai ice tea! We bought three whole packets of this back
Thai durians
Thai durians
One of the many guest bedrooms - complete with personal toilet, TV, air-con each
One of the many guest bedrooms – complete with personal toilet, TV, air-con each
Rachel falling asleep from the massage
Rachel falling asleep from the massage
Look at the smile on Rachels face
Look at the smile on Rachel’s face
Samutprakarn at night
Samutprakarn at night
Barbequed fish which we bought for supper
Barbequed fish which we bought for supper
The fish was not suitable for out taste buds and Rachel fed it to the stray cats in the end
The fish was not suited to our taste and Rachel fed it to the stray cat

On the second day, it was again more eating and resting.

It was also on this day that we learnt of pop superstar, Michael Jackson‘s death, upon seeing his pictures on the front page of the local papers. Thereafter, we heard Michael Jackson’s songs everywhere we go in Bangkok.

Farewell Michael
Farewell, Michael
The full front page of the newspaper
The full front page of the newspaper
My grandaunt together with Rachel and I
My grandaunt, with Rachel and I
The garden
The garden
Koi in the fish pond; we spotted an arowana fish and a couple of turtles too
Koi in the fish pond; we spotted an arowana fish and a couple of turtles too
One of the many garden tables outside the houses
One of the many garden tables outside the houses
My grandaunts pet Golden Retriever - theres two of them, this one is Lucky, the male one
One of my grandaunt’s golden retrievers – there’s two of them; this one is Lucky, the male one
Luckys longtime partner, Judy - the two of them had many puppies together
Lucky’s longtime partner, Judy – the two of them had many puppies together
At the jewelry shop front
At the jewelry shop front
My mom getting her nails done at the local mall
My mom getting her nails done at the local mall
Rachel getting her nails done
Rachel getting her nails done
Hawker stall selling assorted food
Hawker stall selling assorted food
Stray kitten
Kitten at the local bazaar – see the bell tied to its neck?
Rachel playing with the kitten
Rachel playing with the kitten
Barbequed bananas kiosk
Barbequed bananas kiosk

We left my grandaunt’s place at around 2pm, after several heavy home-cooked meals and tonnes of fruits. Upon checking in to our service apartment at Patumwan House, we headed straight to Yaowarat (เยาวราช), the Chinatown in Bangkok.

Home-made soya bean milk and dough fritters for breakfast
Home-made soya bean milk and dough fritters for breakfast
The kitchen where our meals are cooked
The kitchen where our meals are cooked
Our still alive lunch later
Our still alive lunch for later
The housekeeper/cook chopping up the bamboo shoots for lunch
The housekeeper/cook chopping up a large bamboo shoot for lunch
My parents with our lunch - look at the amount of food! Theres more to come!
My parents with our lunch – look at the amount of food! There’s more to come!
Very yummy lightly-salted fresh prawns
Very yummy lightly-salted fresh prawns
Thai cakes and biscuits
Thai cakes and biscuits
Bamboo shoots with chicken soup
Bamboo shoots with chicken soup
Giant prawn in Tom Yum soup
Giant prawn in Tom Yum soup
Look at these delicious bad boys!
Once blue, these big prawns turn red when cooked
Abalone horfun
Abalone horfun
Beef soup
Beef soup
Non-stop eating
Non-stop eating

The service apartment was quite a good deal. It cost us 2200B (~S$100) per night for a suite with two bedrooms, connected with a living room. The location was great too, just a few minutes walk from MBK Center (Mahboonkrong), near to the shopping belt in Bangkok.

One of the bedrooms in the service apartment
One of the bedrooms in the service apartment
Window view from our apartment
Window view from our apartment

At Yaowarat, we visited another aunt of mine who treated the four of us to some bottled sodas. This aunt operates a traditional market stall in Chinatown. We shopped around the many markets and various wholesale shops in the area, buying some miscellaneous items along the way.

While shopping, we bought many snacks from roadside stalls to munch on. Eventually, after a heavy dose of dim sum as appetisers, we settled for dinner at a vintage fishball noodle stall. This was a excellent choice as the noodles were springy and flavourful. We left Chinatown with our tummies satisfied.

Very old school Chinese aristocrat-like building design
Very old school Chinese aristocrat-like building design
One of the many run-down buildings in the area
One of the many rundown looking buildings in the area
Yaowarat - the street markets were bustling with activities
Yaowarat – the street market was bustling with activity
At the market
At the market
Lots of fish maws
Lots of fish maw
Rachel buying some guavas
Rachel buying some guavas
Bamboo shoots
Bamboo shoots
Soda from my aunt
Soda from my aunt
Giant tidbit store that sells tidbits in bulk
Giant tidbit store that sells tidbits in bulk
Look at all the tidbits!
Look at all the tidbits!
A hair accessories shop
A hair accessories shop
My mom buying some trinkets
My mom buying some trinkets
Hand-made handphone pouches - Rachel bought three of these
Hand-made handphone pouches – Rachel bought three of these
Shop selling old school wedding bed fittings like these
Shop selling old school wedding bed fittings like these
Lantern making shop
Lantern making shop
My mom buying some textiles
My mom buying some textiles
A well-known ancient temple in Yaowarat
A well-known ancient temple in Yaowarat
We were actually heading for this dim sum stall directly opposite the temple
We were actually heading for this dim sum stall directly opposite the temple
The stall is famous for its siew mai
The stall is famous for it’s siew mai
Shrimp dumplings
Shrimp dumplings (har gow)
Green siew mai
Green siew mai
We spotted a familiar sight
We spotted a familiar sight
Doesnt this look like a local dish in Singapore?
Doesn’t this look like a local dish in Singapore?
Yummy banana prata heavily ladled with condensed milk and sugar
Yummy egg-banana prata doused in condensed milk and sugar
Fishball noodles for lunch
Fishball noodles for dinner
The stall which we ordered the fishball noodles from
The stall which we ordered the fishball noodles from
Glutinous riceball with black sesame filling, served in ginger soup
Glutinous riceball with black sesame filling, served in ginger soup
The stall vendor
The stall vendor
The ginger soup is too spicy for Rachel
The ginger soup is too spicy for Rachel

In the evening, we headed to a posh spa-massage place called Lavana House, recommended by my sister. Rachel and I found the place too costly and gimmicky, although my parents enjoyed it very much. We paid for a one-hour body scrub and two-hour massage package each. This sets us back by around S$90 each. The usual massage parlors we go to charge around S$18 for a two-hour Thai massage… and the service is better!

The masseuses assigned to Rachel and I kept dozing off in-between. They also disappeared for long moments during the massage to fetch water, fetch scrub, finding excuses to go skive at every opportunity, eating into our allocated massage time.

It did not help that the masseuses practically ignored the instructions specified on the sheet we filled in earlier. The scrub was also too abrasive for Rachel, who thought her skin was coming off under her masseuse’s forceful strokes. Strangely, though, her masseuse implicitly neglected her hands and feet, the parts which most needed exfoliation.

Lavana House, located on Sukhumvit 12
Lavana House, located on Sukhumvit 12
Staff preparing the oil and other products used during the massage and spa
Staff preparing the oil and other products used during the massage and spa
The place sells lots of bottled massage oil like these
The place sells lots of bottled massage oil like these
While waiting, we were each served with a cup of tea and a warm towel
While waiting, we were each served with a cup of tea and a warm towel
Rachel gulping down her tea
Rachel sipping her tea
We were each given a sheet to fill on specifications for the massage we want
We were each given a sheet to specify our problem areas
Heading for the massage rooms
Heading for the massage rooms
Rachel, changed and ready for her massage
Rachel is responding to the corny deco of the massage room
Desert for each of us after the massage
Dessert for each of us after the massage
Cabbages and Condoms restaurant - just next door to Lavana House
Cabbages & Condoms restaurant – just next door to Lavana House
It was a pity the restaurant was closed when we arrived
It was a pity the restaurant was closed by the time we were done at Lavana
A poster
A poster
Souvenir tee-shirt
Souvenir tee-shirt

After the massage, we returned to our apartment and tucked in for the night, rounding up our first two days in Bangkok.

Technorati Tags: bangkok travel, yaowarat, bangkok chinatown, cabbages and condoms, samutprakarn, กรุงเทพมหานคร, สมุทรปราการ, thai durian, thai iced tea, lavana house, lavana house bangkok, pathumwan house, เยาวราช, thai massage, beef soup, bamboo shoots, prawn tom yum soup, home-made soy bean milk, dough fritters, mahboonkrong, mbk centre, thai prata, dim sum, siew mai, fishball noodle, glutinous riceball, ginger soup, thai spa, sukhumvit road

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