Before I did my online check-in, I was mentally prepared that it would be a scam. I mean, come on, how could anyone gain from such a low-priced deal? Inclusive of airport taxes, it was slightly under S$300. Unbelievable. However, it was true.
And so, I dragged my tired body and went to Thailand for a full recharge. Because we booked for the earlier flight in and the latest flight out (it was the only timing that we got for the week after I left the company), we practically had almost a full day on our first day! Naturally, my shopaholic friend was excited to charge to the famous Platinum Shopping Mall and Pratunam Centre to shop. We started off at 10plus and made our way there. Frankly speaking, Pratunam Centre was a bit of a disappointment. We had a quick lunch on the 5th Level, strongly recommended by my sister but I feel that this place was going to close down soon. Almost half of the food court stalls were closed. There were no tenants for these stalls. On level 4, it was totally vacant. Even when we returned on a Wednesday, level 4 was still totally vacant. The clothes at Pratunam Centre were of interior quality compared to Platinum Shopping Mall. If you have limited time, my advice is to go straight to Platinum Shopping Mall, which is just across the street. Take the bridge too. It is much safer to use pedestrian bridges than jaywalking in foreign countries.
Platinum stocked much better quality clothes at slightly higher price compared to Pratunam. However, because they do not allow us to try on the clothes, I found it hard to find clothes that fit me. I would say this place is a fashion paradise for petite girls. I even saw ladies lugging trolley bags with them in this mall. There are 5 levels and the top level is dedicated to accessories, food court, cafes and fast food chain (KFC). I am not a shopaholic, so when I returned on Wednesday with my friend, I found it too boring and tiring. But I managed to get some cute and cheap iPhone cases and a new belt.
We went to Wat Arun, a honey factory and a jewellery outlet on our second day in the morning. Wat Arun was gorgeous as you can see in the slideshow above. It overlooked the river and is magnificent especially at night. However, since the city tour was in the morning, I am able to climb up the pagoda (I am not sure if we can climb up during evening time but I think it is safer during daytime). Be warned if you have never practise on a stairmaster nor done any major hiking. My thigh muscles pulled when I was halfway on top of the view. The picture on the cover of the slideshow showed the view at midway of Wat Arun. However, the second half was way more steep. The staircase was roughly close to 90 degrees. It was ok to climb up but I could not imagine climbing down. It would be akin to walking down a slope close to 90 degrees. No wayyyyyyy.
However, I did manage to view Wat Pho during evening time on one of my business trips in the past. It was an amazing experience appreciating Wat Pho's beauty from the top deck of a private cruise cruising along the river during Songkran Festival. MARVELOUS. I highly encourage anyone who loves temples to vist Wat Pho twice - during daytime and evening time.
There were two more cars in front of our yellow cab. After getting out and having some difficulty trying to cross the road to get another cab, the cab driver was really nice to bring us across and helped to hail another cab. We gave him a 20 baht tip for his kindness. Then we continue with our journey to Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha). It was huge and satisfied my desire to pray in the Land of Buddha. However, I must say that we have a lot of jitters taking cab that day as we need to go back to more shopping and an evening massage at Health Land Asoke (http://www.healthlandspa.com/asoke.html). At just 500baht for two hours, you get to enjoy a wonderful luxurious Thai massage! This is a must-go for me whenever I go Bangkok (which isn't often anyway).
I did pray not once but twice to the famous four-faced buddha when I went there. However, as much as I really really wish my wish could be fufilled, nothing has happened for close to a month (three weeks have past). But I knew my wishes were not easy to fulfill, thus I kept telling myself not to think nor pin too high hopes on it.
Overall, Bangkok is a place for shopping (hence no pictures on shopping malls), eating and some praying at the temples. But the sales staff and taxi drivers are really rude and that was a major downer for me. Sales staff ignore you and continue to talk (hello, we are customers??) but I accept the fact that clothes are cheap so we cannot complain much about service. With that said, I cannot get over the fact that taxi drivers who sped on the road and roared at us when we gave unclear instructions. Aren't they supposed to know the place better than us? Thus, if you already know where you want to go, it is highly advisable to stay in a hotel near the area you are going to visit frequently or have strong legs and a big map to walk there yourself as far as possible.
Fortunately, we left right after they announced the next election date. Even if the travel deal is now 20 bucks, I do not think I will visit Bangkok now. And the Land of Smiles?? It is already gone. To me, I think if this is the way the service staff are behaving, coupled with the political instability, they have a lot to worry about their economy. However, if I want a short relaxing trip for resorts and massages, I will return again to my lovely unbeatable Health Land!