Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bangkok 2014 Day 2: Or Tor Kor Market and Asiatique The Riverfront

Day 2: 4 May 2014 (Sun)

Or Tor Kor Market

We "escaped" into Kamphaeng Phet MRT Station. You can come here for aircon or a toilet break. If you want to go Or Tor Kor Market which is just opposite Chatuchak, you can pass through here, there's a sign that directs you to an underground mall. After walking through till the end you will reach another exit 3. Come out you will see the big Or Tor Kor Market sign.

This place is like our wet market here. It is big, clean and spacious. They have wet market stalls and also dry market where fresh fruits and dried goods are sold.

Mangoes everywhere! You can pack a big box home like what wiffygal did.

Dried goods and snacks. We got the Thai dried longan here, cheaper than Singapore.

I fell in love with Thai durians. They are so sweet, thick and creamy. The durians are all individually wrapped! I posted this on Instagram and someone told me that the name of this variety is called "Khan Yao" and it is considered one of the top and most expensive ones. Second best to this will be "Morn Thong". We chose the most expensive one at 180 baht, the seller offered us at 150baht (~$5.94). It was so cheap and there were 8 big fleshy with very small seeds. Taste superb. Durian is the one we missed most for this trip instead of mangoes. :)

There are also many cooked food stalls here. You can feel free to 打包 (buy and takeaway). Unlike in Singapore, when you tabao from the mixed vegetables rice stalls, they just scoop everything into a styrofoam box. Here, they pack the rice and vegetables individually. I do find it better, rather than mixing all the food together.

Spent about an hour there and then took a taxi back 100baht (~$3.96) to our hotel to rest and refresh ourselves.

Asiatique The Riverfront

After a short break in the hotel room, we left at about 6pm in the evening to Asiatique The Riverfront night market. Took BTS to Saphan Taksin station. Go out from exit 2, keep to the left and look out for the signs for the free shuttle boat at Sathorn Pier.

In fact, this was what greeted us once out of the BTS station, the looong queue... aiyo!

Admiring the scenery while waiting for the boat.

Here comes the boat!

We boarded the boat. Very crowded and had to stand. Sorry for the blur photo as the boat kept shaking. Lol. I took a video for the entire boat trip. It takes about less than 10 minutes to reach Asiatique. Hold the camera properly ok. :)

The sky darkened during the journey. You know you are near when you see the big ferris wheel.


Another shot of the FREE shuttle boat. :)

The touristic photo shot.

Big ferris wheel. Didn't go up though.

Asiatique The Riverfront is an open-air night market converted from warehouse. The area is not too big, divided into 4 districts and 10 sections. You can do shopping here at more than 1500 boutiques from fashion, craft, souvenir to furniture. For dining, there are around 40 bars and restaurants with international cuisines and alfresco dining. Other activities to do here besides shopping and eating - go up ASIATIQUE SKY, the highest Ferris wheel in Thailand, watch Muay Thai live, enjoy Calypso cabaret show, a 4D cinema at Ymax, and etc. Opening hours is from 5pm-midnight.

Didn't do much shopping here as we were here more for a sightseeing place. Compared to Chatuchak, the prices were higher, the sellers were more willing to give better discounts. Designs were better and more upscale. There is a Naraya shop here where ladies will scream for the pretty and affordable bags. I saw many men standing by the side waiting. Haha!

Bye to Asiatique as we returned to hotel after a tiring day of shopping. Looking foward to the half-day tour tomorrow morning.

Next: Half-Day Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market Tour

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bangkok 2014 Day 2: Chatuchak Weekend Market

Day 2: 4 May 2014 (Sun)

Day 2 was going to be a long day of shopping as we were going 3 places. From Erawan Shrine, we walked back to Chit Lom station and took BTS to Mo Chit station to Chatuchak. No change of train is required.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

At Mo Chit station, you don't need any directions as everyone will be going to the same place on weekend. Coming out of the station exit 1, follow the crowd and here we are - Chatuchak Weekend Market. Not yet, you need to pass through the row of stalls before reaching.

It is one of the world's largest weekend markets covers an area of 27 acres, divided into 27 Sections, with more than 15,000 booths selling goods from every part of Thailand. Look at the map! I doubt you can read it cos the place is just too large and you will be in a maze of stalls once you enter the small lanes.

It is opened on Saturday and Sunday only, from 9am-6pm. Do come earlier as when comes to noon time, you will be sweating like mad. To maintain your sense of direction, use the clock tower as the landmark. As first-timer to Chatuchak, we stayed close to the main roads, wandered into the smaller lanes when something interests us. Still we think we only see like 10% of the shops only? Haha!

Not many photos here as busy shopping around.

Things were cheap here. It's not easy to bargain though, maybe we were not so good. The discount they gave was miserable, still cheap though!  It's a wonderful place for shopping except for the heat and sweating. Wear light and have strong legs. :)

Met many Singaporeans here, you will know when you hear Singlish during shopping and eating. :)

Many food stalls here too. We didn't try a lot as a bit worry about the hygiene, you know the food are just displayed outside.

The green skin orange juice is a must try here. Very sweet. 30baht (~$1.19) for a small bottle.

It rained a while during noon time. We had Mango sticky rice 60baht (~$2.38). Too hungry and ate without taking photos. Because of the rain, we went into shelter and stumbled upon this Noodle soup with Chicken stall that was filled up with customers.

I had to try this for sure! A bowl costs 50baht (~$1.98). One braised drumstick, some knuckles, very QQ noodles and the herbal soup tasted heavenly! I don't even know the location. It was only after I came back and googled and found that it is a popular stall at Section 21 Soi 29 facing Soi 47.

Back at the main road near the chicken noodle soup stall.

Sample drinks to try.

We walked left towards the direction of Kamphaeng Phet MRT Station. Spotted the Indonesian milk tea.

Which is beside the famous coconut ice cream. A bit regret that I did not try it. Why??

After spending like 4 hours plus at Chatuchak, we surrendered to the heat and tired legs and off to another location nearby.

Next: Or Tor Kor Market and Asiatique The Riverfront

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bangkok 2014 Day 2: BTS and Erawan Shrine

Day 2: 4 May 2014 (Sun)

As a first-time visitor to Bangkok, of course I must visit all the must-see places here. Since my second day was a Sunday, the only place to go would be the Chatuchak Weekend Market and also stopover at the Or Tor Kor Market nearby. Before that, we would make a visit to pray at the Erawan Shrine first. All these places are accessible by BTS, so we bought a One-Day Pass for unlimited rides in 1 day. To make full use of the pass, we would also visit the Asiatique The Riverfront night market.


This is a map of the National Stadium BTS station. See the red arrow I made in the map? That's how near our hotel is from the station. The hotel states that it is 90 steps walking distance to the station. Never counted haha!

If you notice, there's an escalator sign too. The escalator happens to be going upwards, lucky! Why lucky because after taking BTS for 1 whole day, I realize that there are only very few escalators at the stations. And the escalators don't come in 2 directions. For example at this station, only exit 1 has one escalator going up, other exits from 2-4, only stairs. As a result, we had to climb "a bit" of stairs. I must say my mum is really fit for her age. Although slow, she managed to climb all the stairs, I wonder if I can be as fit as her when I reach that age. Lol! Enough complaints, Singaporeans are very lucky right? But the good thing is all the BTS stations and shopping malls are connected by the skywalk. You can walk and shop all the way in the shelter and have a good view of the city standing above.

So first thing in the day, we got up the station and bought our One-Day Pass at 130baht (~$5.02) for unlimited rides on the date of issue.
You can check the fares and travel times online here.
For maps around the BTS stations (like the map above), you can visit here.

Erawan Shrine 四面佛

We were going to Erawan Shrine by taking BTS from National Stadium to Chit Lom. We had to change train at Siam station. Pretty easy as there are only 2 BTS lines. The view of Siam Paragon from Siam station. Can't believe we stayed so near but didn't have time to shop here and Siam Square in this trip! Good excuse to go back again!

After alighting at Chit Lom, look for exit 2, walk along the skywalk and take the stairs down.

Continue to walk straight until you see a row of stalls selling flowers and incense for praying and you are there.

We bought 2 sets for praying which cost 20baht (~$0.79) each. Each set comes with 1 candle, 12 joss sticks and 4 mini garlands to be offered to the four-faced God.

At the entrance of the very famous Erawan Shrine housing the four-faced Brahma God.

The neverending crowd of people coming here to pray, hoping for wishes to be fulfilled.

Lighting the candle and the joss sticks.

It is said that the four-faced God will grant all good wishes. So if you have a wish in your mind, you can pray and ask for it. Do be precise in what you want to get and also what you want to return if your wish is fulfilled. It is a must to come back to either make offerings from flowers, fruits to elephants or hire Thai dancers if your prayer is answered.

What each face of the God represents: 1 career, 2 love, 3 wealth, 4 health.

If you want to know more about how to pray, you can check out some YouTube videos in Chinese.

For us, as we do not have any wishes, we just pray for good health and safety for this trip. Not sure if it's the correct way. We place the candle at the first God, pray and offer a flower garland and joss sticks to each God. Continue praying in clockwise direction to all 4 Gods.

Offerings for the God.

Worshipping with the Thai dancers.

Toss some coins and wash your hands and face with the holy water.

BTS passing by.

From here, you can continue to walk to Big C, CentralWorld and even further to Platinum Fashion Mall. But we had other plans today, so had to skip these areas. Cos we were going to the biggest weekend market - Chatuchak!

Next: Chatuchak Weekend Market