Few weeks ago, my friend and I had a short getaway. After a long time waiting, we were officially tourists in Bangkok, Thailand. There was a mini surprise on the first day. We almost missed the plane. We arrived at Soekarno – Hatta airport at 5 am and we had a plane to catch at 7 am. I always had in mind that Tiger air was in Terminal 2 in Soekarno – Hatta, Jakarta. However, I was wrong. It was Terminal 3 for the flight to Bangkok.
The shock was not stopped in there. There was a very long queue in check-in counter. My Lord! Too many people at the check-in counter line. I got nervous too easily. However I could control it by putting a weird big smile on my face. People might see me strange. But who cares? It was 6.20 am and we had not got the boarding pass yet. The best part was when two women rudely cut the queue and wanted to be served first because she almost missed the plane “What the hell are you doing? We would miss the plane as well, it is 6.30 am and we are still at the check-in counter”. Lucky, the check-in counter served us first. Our nightmare was not stopped in the check-in counter. There was also a very long queue in the immigration and it was 6.45 am. Hmph okay, inhale – exhale and everything would be fine. With languid feet, I walked to the immigration counter and got my passport stamped. Ole!
It was a short flight from Jakarta to Bangkok for approximately 3.5 hours. We arrived in Bangkok at 11.30 am and after immigration procedure completed, we went straight up to the hotel. We spent our half first day by taking grilled street food (pork with vermicelli ball, meat ball, grill squid), had lunch at MBK shopping mall and watched Siam Niramit show. MBK shopping mall could be reached from our hotel for about 30 minutes of walking. So I think it was good to keep our fat away. However, this shopping mall could be reached by BTS sky train and stopped at the National Stadium.
You shouldn’t have missed Siam Niramit while you’re in Bangkok. It was a beautiful show with a massive stage. You should watch it at least once in your life. Tips for watching Siam Niramit: book tickets online and reserve for the golden seat and you would get the best view.
There will be free shuttle to pick you up in front of the Exit of the MRT Cultural Center at 5.30pm. The show begins at 8pm. But, I suggest you to come earlier maybe at 6pm and therefore you could enjoy the traditional Thai village, games and traditional Thai dancing before the show. You should not bring camera and food in Siam Niramit Theater. However, you can keep your camera and food in a bag provided by management.
The Grand Palace
On the second day, we went to the Grand Palace. We took taxi from hotel which cost us THB 70. The entrance fee for the Grand Palace was THB 500 and the ticket was also entrance ticket to Vimanmek Mansion Museum, Support Museum Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall and Sanam Chandra Palace. Temple of Emerald Buddha was located inside the Grand Palace complex. There was lotus flower in holy water outside the temple for blessing before you entered the temple. Camera was prohibited inside the temple
Wat Pho was located behind the Grand Palace. We stopped a Tuk Tuk in front of the Grand Palace and the Tuk Tuk driver said that Wat Pho was closed and he recommended us to go to another place. We were aware that it probably scams. So, we prefer to take a walk rather than taking the Tuk Tuk which took us for about 25 minutes to get to Wat Pho.
Wat Pho was an interesting place with a huge golden reclining Buddha. The entrance fee was THB 50 and you would get a free mini mineral water.
Wat Arun or known as The Temple of Dawn was famous for its vertical stairs and beautiful temple ornaments. Wat Arun was easily reached by ferry. We had to take ferry from Tha Thien pier to Wat Arun pier for only THB 3 per person. Tha Thien pier was located inside a local market near Wat Pho.
The scariest experience in Wat Arun was when I was climbing the ancient steps. Actually, I am a little bit afraid of heights. So, both climbing to the top of Wat Arun and climbing down the vertical steps were nerve racking and challenging, but glad I could do that.
This market was really huge and opened during weekend (Saturday and Sunday). You could find some cute things for souvenirs, Thai blouse, T-shirts, canvas bags, shoes, etc with a good price. It is important to bargain even the clothes or shoes that you wanted to buy may seem cheap. Make sure you bring mineral water since you would walk for maybe 4 hours to explore the market. Total disaster for shopping in this market was more than THB 4,000 for souvenirs and cute dresses and shoes. In this market, you could also find famous Thai food for example the delicious mango sticky rice, coconut ice cream, ice cream crepe, cold fruits and also grilled meatball. Ohh, now I miss Chatuchak. I will definitely go to this market again even though it’s hot and crowded.
What a beautiful big park. We went there in the evening and there were a lot of people jogging, playing with their kids and dogs, feeding the birds. Oh I wish there will be a beautiful big park as well in Jakarta where people could relax, enjoy the sun to set, read books, exercise and play with their dogs.
Calypso Cabaret – Asiatique
We watched the cabaret in Asiatique. At first I thought that Asiatique was a hotel, but turned out, it was an open air mall. It was superb. This mall has a giant ferris-wheel, a lot of place to dine and shop.
The cabaret was like a Broadway show but it was lip-synced. Wonderful stage, beautiful lady boys, nice free Gin and Tonic (you can choose your drink either alcoholic or not), but the show for me was a bit boring.
The Dream World
This is the top of our journey. The Dream World was located in Thanyaburi District, Pathum Tani Province. We went to this amusement park by using public transportation. We took a bus number 538 from Victory Monument which cost us THB 24 and an hour ride. There was shuttle bus to take us from the main gate to the Dream World. My favorite attraction was Snow Town and Raptor. Oh, I love the Hanging Coaster as well. The park was not that big, but it has four theme gardens such as Fantasy Land, Adventure Land, Dream Plaza and Dream Garden. All of them were beautiful
Day five was a sad day. I left Bangkok and back to my home country. Bangkok was great. I love the food, culture and people. Honestly, I was kind of missing Bangkok. Five days were not enough. Next time, I would definitely explore another part of Thailand.