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Alvinology goes to Bangkok – Day 1 and 2 of 4

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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About The Author

alvinology

Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.

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