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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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