Shopping Take I - Two Days in Bangkok - December 26 & December 27

Bangkok Travel Blog

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VB and I are on a misssion - two days of solid shopping in Bangkok.  We started off our day by having brekkie at the hotel and planning the strategy for the day.  We had planned today to hit the massive malls along Sukhumvit Road with all the international as well as local brands.  So off we started at Central Chitlom, then off to Robinsons, Paragon (my absolute favourite), Zen World and we shopped and ate and shopped and ate.  Our feet were aching at the end of the day - in need of a foot massage - and bugger me, there was a massage place just minutes on the way back to our hotel!!!  Taking a well earned deserved rest for a princely sum of circa 200 baht - approx $12 AUD.

  What a bargain!!!!!!!  Dinner on our first night was at Cabbages and Condoms - a famous (and a little touristy) local Thai restaurant with fabulous fresh Thai food all themed around condoms and the safe sex message.  Finished off the night with some drinks and grooves at the hotel bar where a great cover band (Phillipino of course) were performing.

Next day we decided to split up to make the most of our shopping experience.  VB wanted to go to the Chatachuk markets to buy one of those traditional Thai triangle pillow cushions.  I wanted to go back to the shopping malls.  So we arranged to meet at 3pm back at MBK where we would then go shopping for some copy DVDs (did I say that?!)  I wandered off to Robinsons department store so I could check out the range of cheapo shoes (can't have enough shoes!) and then made my way back via all the malls stopping into Siam Discovery Centre, Paragon and Central again.

  My day was relatively uneventful with several bags of shopping to show for it - but disappointingly for me, only two pairs of shoes.  However, did manage to buy myself a very nice handbag which I was quite chuffed with.  Having only two days in Bangkok to basically do all my shopping was the best way to go - this forced me to make a decision quickly about whether I wanted to buy something or not.  So after being laden down with 7 or 8 bags of shopping (I had lost count!) I headed back to the hotel room to drop off my stuff before heading back to MBK to meet VB.  Whilst dumping my stuff, I noticed the big triangle pillow in the corner of the room all wrapped up so was glad to see that VB had found what she had been in search for.

My feet were killing me by the time I made it back to MBK to meet VB at 3pm.  As she didn't have her mobile phone with her, it became interesting having to make arrangements and then basically having no way of communicating with her in case we wanted to make any changes if one of us was running late etc - so much reliance on technology - whoever invented SMS deserves a sainthood - so convenient!!!!  As it turns out, we did catch up and poor VB had a much more entertaining day of shopping than me.  As we settled down to a coffee to catch up on our shopping exploits, VB relayed her story of her experience at Chatachuk markets - a MASSIVE outdoor weekend market equivalent to approx 8 football fields (I think) but has over 5,000 individual market stalls - so it's errrrr.

.....pretty big.  The markets sell everything from clothing, handicrafts, homewares, shoes, food, gadgets .... you name it, they sell it - as it's been said, if you can't find it at Chatachuk, it doesn't exist!

Anyways, with an outdoor market so large, there is actually a map/grid to help you navigate your way, but once you are inside, it all becomes a bit of a maze.  VB arrived and went in search of her triangle pillow - she found the section of the market that sold all the homewares and wandered around bartering for the best price.  She found a stall that she managed to negotiate a fair price that she was willing to pay for the triangle pillow and decided to go ahead with it.  As they were wrapping the cushion up to make it easy for travelling with, VB decided she would just take a quick walk around at some other stalls whilst they were wrapping the cushion - so she went for a brief wander intending to only be 20 minutes at the max.

  Unfortunately, with the many many many stalls which all start looking the same, VB became disoriented and lost her way back to the stall where she had left the precious cushion.  Becoming dazed and frustrated at her dilemma, VB ended up going round in circles in search of the same stall where she had left and then proceeded to spend close to an hour looking for the same stall.  She got to a point when she realised she would have to just give up and leave but she was so disappointed as this was the one specific thing that she had gone in search of to buy.  When she finally dejectedly admitted to herself that she would need to leave, she thankfully stumbled upon the very same stall that she had been searching for - VB tells me she almost kissed the guy when she found her beloved cushion!!!  For those of you who have been to Chatachuk, I'm sure that you will be able to sympathise.

With the emotional highs and lows of Chatachuk behind her, VB and I decided to hit the shops at MBK.  So we did some shopping for clothes, shoes, and DVDs, and anything else that looked of interest.  20 or so DVDs later, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for our next adventure - dinner that night at a local restaurant recommended by one of VB's friends.  With no decent map, but a list of explicit (but as it turns out, not explicit enough!) instructions on how to get there, VB and I caught the Skytrain to the nearest BTS station noted on our instruction list.  We followed the haphazard directions as best we could......"exit station on the left hand side" became an exercise in interpreting ambiguous instructions.

  Somehow we managed and did actually find the local restauarant - only to find that it was closed for the Christmas/New Year holidays! 

Deciding to then try and salvage the remainder of our night and get some dinner, we then jumped into a cab to take us to the infamous Pat Pong area so we could have dinner, check out the markets, and the seedy girly bars and if we were lucky, wanted to see a ladyboy show.  Once the taxi dropped us off at Pat Pong, VB and I must have the word "tourist" emblazoned on our foreheads as we literally stepped out of the taxi and we had several men clamouring at us to offer us tickets to sex shows, ladyboy shows, girly bars etc.  So we fobbed them off and said we were going to go for dinner first.  One very persistent man said he could take us to a very good seafood restaurant and we must have looked kinda half interested and took off, coincidentally in the same direction.

  However, he ended up walking alongside us the whole way and directed us to a not too shabby looking place which looked OK and was full of people dining which we took to be a good sign.  We decided we were starving at this point and thought this place looked as good as any other.  Whilst I was a little hesitant that this guy was going to just hang around, we thought he would just wander away after he would get sick of waiting for us after a while.  Dinner was very nice and we enjoyed our meal whilst keeping an eye on our persistent friend who kept wandering in every 15 mins to make sure we were still there and I guess to make sure he could take us to a show afterwards.  After a while, he approached us and said that now that we had finished dinner that he could take us to a show.  So we told him we weren't interested and that we wanted to go shopping at the markets instead.  He wandered off and then by the time we left the restaurant to look at the markets, he suddenly re-appeared - he had been waiting out the front of the restuarant so he could show us some market stalls.  By this stage, he was beginning to really annoy us.  So we wandered off and then played hide and seek whilst we tried to dodge him.  After a few hurried, yet very casual glances towards his direction, VB and I managed to weave our way between the various stalls and head into the safety of a shop. 

We wandered around the market stalls for a while marvelling at the many very good copies of handbags, watches, jewellery and the various catalogues which were on offer for us to choose a copy of.  It was all good fun.  Having had such a big day, we gave the idea of a ladyboy show a miss and instead chanced our fortunes on a tuk tuk ride back to the hotel.......




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photo by: Deats