Monday, June 02, 2014

Bangkok 2014 Day 1: To the Land of Smiles

Day 1: 3 May 2014 (Sat)

Our flight to Bangkok is at 5.35pm. Not a good time as by the time we reach, it would be already night time. A day is wasted. But this is the only time for departure by Scoot. Too bad. If you want to go there early in the morning, choose other airlines! But you can fly back by Scoot. Haha! :)

Changi Airport

We went to the airport very early at about 2.30pm, 3 hours before departure, to check-in early cos we wanted to explore the airport a bit. I didn't choose seats during booking, but seats are assigned during check-in for Scoot. After checking-in, we quickly went through the immigration because there are a lot to see inside.

We are at Changi Airport Terminal 2. As mum is a garden lover, I did my homework beforehand, there are 3 gardens inside the departure transit lounge. Airport Interactive Map

This is the Enchanted Garden at Level 2 on the left hand side of the departure hall.

This is the Orchid Garden and Koi Pond on the right hand side.

And my favourite has to be the rooftop Sunflower Garden at Level 3!

Not very big, but very well-maintained. Such a joy to see so many sunflowers!

Watch the planes fly.

After touring around, we went for a meal before proceeding to the gate. Quite a bit of walk, so always be there early.

Boarding the plane. This is a larger aircraft (3-4-3 seating) compare to my previous one on Jetstar to Hong Kong (3-3). Although we had the normal seats only, the space is large and the seat is more comfortable. The Jetstar one is very awkwardly aligned and hard to lean back.

Had the windows seat. Beautiful sunset! Phone not good enough to capture it.

Arriving at Bangkok

The flight took about 2 hours. We arrived on time at Suvarnabhumi Airport at about 8pm Singapore time or Bangkok time 7pm (1 hour slower) according to schedule. After clearing the immigration, got down to Level 1 where the taxi stand is (Airport Map).

There are 2 taxi counters outside exit 4 and 7 at Level 1 of the airport. The counters are in blue. I didn't take any photos but you can visit here for the photo and also detailed description of the airport (in Chinese). Queue up and tell the staff at the counter your hotel/destination. It's better to get the address in Thai beforehand. They will hand you a slip like this, in case you need to complain about any unfair charges.

Confirm with the driver again the destination and also insist the taxi driver to use the meter if he tries to ask for a flat fare which is usually higher. There were 2 toll charges along the way at 25baht and 50baht. Get ready cash first as you need to pay during the trip. We took less than an 1 hour to reach our hotel. The taxi fare 260baht + 50baht for surcharge (required if you take taxi from the airport) was paid to the driver. Total taxi fare was 385baht (~$14.70).

Quickly check-in to our hotel. The hotel deposit was 1500baht for 3 nights. Dumped our belongings there and important stuff in the safety deposit and off to MBK which was just opposite our hotel to settle our dinner. It was already 9pm and it was true from what we heard, the shops closed very early. The foodcourt at MBK already closed. We went to the first floor and found Nova Kitchen which serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. So we ate our dinner here.

Mum's Pineapple fried rice. She said not bad.

My Seafood Pad Thai. Not that nice.

Forgot the individual price, but our meal summed up to be 242baht (~$9.25). Expensive and not satisfying too. There is a supermarket beside the restaurant. It was also closing. In fact by the time we finished, nearly before 10pm, the whole of MBK was already closing and lights were dim. We had to get out of the mall asap. But you know the place is huge and we are new to the place. There were some other people (must be tourists also) trying to find their way out. We followed them as they asked the staff along the way. Finally we were out! Phew!

There was a night market beside MBK still a lot of people. We looked around, bought some snacks and went back to our room. I bought bbq pork stick at 10baht each (~$0.39) outside our hotel cos didn't like my dinner mah. No photo. This was much better! Haha!

Our cosy bed for 3 nights! Will write more about the hotel in detail in the next post.

Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam. Free Wifi available. I skipped buying the SIM card as it's good enough as long as I have Wifi in the hotel. Wifi here was very fast too!

Next: Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam