[Post-Trip Thoughts]- Holiday in Bangkok, Thailand
It has been more than a decade ever since I last visited Bangkok, Thailand and while I don't really recall much of my previous trip to Bangkok; I have to say that the city is really unlike what I have imagined. My guess is, over the last decade, many things in Bangkok have changed and the city has developed rather rapidly and extensively. However, some things in Bangkok hasn't change much; the Thai people are still as friendly and helpful, and Bangkok roads are still as jammed-packed with traffic. To be honest, we were rather apprehensive about going to Bangkok when we read, listened, and watched the media reports about the ongoing protests and demonstrations that are happening in Bangkok, but after much consideration and thoughts, we decided to go ahead with our plans while monitoring the volatile situation.
If you're planning a trip to Bangkok any time soon, it is extremely important that you guard yourselves and take extra precautions to avoid getting into any trouble. It is imperative that you avoid protest areas with crowds and also, do not wear any red or yellow shirt.
Before deciding on our daily itinerary and travel plans, we monitor the local news and updates pertaining to the political protests and demonstrations by checking out the following sites:
Richard Barrow is a Travel Blogger in Thailand tweeting about breaking news, Thai food & travel, and Thailand events. We highly recommend that you "follow" him on Twitter because his updates are regular and extremely accurate. In fact, we managed to avoid most of the protests and demonstrations because of the updates from Richard Barrow.
Official Facebook Page of the Tourism Authority of Thailand [Singapore Office] where you can get news updates and ideas for your trip to Thailand.
We will be sharing more details about our Holiday in Bangkok in a few upcoming related posts but for now, here's a general overview:
For this trip to Bangkok, we flew with Jetstar Asia Airways on the Airbus A320 and it cost us SGD$520. In terms of flight experience; it is almost like any other low-cost airline and there's really nothing much for us to be "wow-ed" about.
During our recent trip to Bangkok, we stayed at Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok and it is a relatively new hotel that is about 8 months old. As Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok is located on Ratchaprarop Road in the Pratunam district, it is very near to shopping malls such as Pantip Plaza, CentralWorld, Gaysorn, Siam Square, and etc, places where you can shop till you drop!
Hotel Lobby of Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok
A Picture of the Living Room in the Deluxe One Bedroom Suite that We Stayed In
We personally chose this hotel because it is about 30 minutes away from Suvarnabhumi Airport via the Airport Rail Link, which has its Ratchaprarop Station located within a 10 minutes walking distance of the hotel. We will be sharing more about Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok in a separate posting so do look out for it!
Travelling in Bangkok
Honestly, it is very hard to understand why the roads in Bangkok are always congested but thankfully, the taxis are relatively affordable and they go by the fare meter. You should and you must always insist that the taxi drivers charge you by the fare meter and not on a mutually agreed sum of money because otherwise, this would give them the opportunity to charge you even more than what it would have cost.
For a 30-minutes journey, the taxi fare will cost an approximate amount of 120 Thai Baht [about SGD$4.80; based on an exchange rate of SGD$ 1 = 25 Thai Baht].
There are three main types of trains in Bangkok; the BTS Skytrain, the Bangkok MRT [Bangkok Metro], and the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link. The fares for a single trip ticket will cost at most 45 Thai Baht [about SGD 1.80; based on an exchange rate of SGD$ 1 = 25 Thai Baht].
Do note that the BTS Skytrain, Bangkok MRT, and Airport Rail Link are not integrated and hence, you will have to exit the train station to cross to another train service i.e BTS Skytrain to Bangkok MRT or Airport Rail Link to BTS Skytrain; unlike Singapore where you do not have to exit any stations to switch to the NEL Line, LRT, or Circle Line.
The Bangkok Mass Transit System, commonly known as the BTS Skytrain, is an elevated rapid transit system in Bangkok. The system consists of 34 stations along two lines; the Sukhumvit Line running northwards and eastwards, terminating at Mo Chit and Bearing respectively, and the Silom Line which plies Silom and Sathon Roads, the Central Business District of Bangkok, terminating at the National Stadium and Wongwian Yai. The lines interchange at Siam Station and have a combined route distance of 55 km.
Bangkok MRT [Bangkok Metro]
The Metropolitan Rapid Transit [MRT] is a rapid transit system serving the Bangkok Metropolitan Region in Thailand. It has 18 operational stations along 27 kilometres of underground track. The Blue Line, officially the Chaloem Ratchamongkhon Line, is the only line currently in operation. As of 2011, two extensions of the Blue Line are under construction. When completed, the Blue Line will become a loop line around the centre of Bangkok, with an extension to Bang Khae on its western side. The MRT Purple Line is also under construction. It will connect Bang Sue with Nonthaburi in the north-west, and will be the first public transit line outside the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
Bangkok Airport Rail Link
The Airport Rail Link is a rapid transit line in Bangkok. The line provides as an airport rail link from Suvarnabhumi Airport, via Makkasan, to Phaya Thai station in central Bangkok. Most of the line is on a viaduct over the main eastern railway. The 28.6-km route is the fourth rapid transit line in Bangkok, after 2 BTS and 1 MRT lines. Services consists of two Express Lines, a 15-minute non-stop service between the Makkasan City Air Terminal and the Airport; a 18-minute non-stop service between Phaya Thai and the Airport; and the City Line, a commuter rail service with 8 stations.
Attractions & Shopping
For this trip to Bangkok, we went to a few places and some of them like the Lucky Bunny Cafe, Talad Rot Fai Srinakarin, and Alpaca View Farm & Cuisine, are off the beaten track [not found in your usual tour agent's itinerary]. Hence, we will be sharing more details about them in separate posts as well.
Other common places that we went to are the Platinum Fashion Mall, CentralWorld, Big C Rajdamri, Siam Paragon, Siam Square, Watergate Pavillion Shopping Complex, and Palladium. Again, we will be sharing more details about them in separate posts.
As this post is just a general overview of our holiday in Bangkok, more details will be up once we are done with the consolidation of information and the editing of pictures that we took.
Stay tuned to more details soon!