Bangkok – Part 6 (The Grand Palace)

After a mouthful breakfast, we started discussing on the itinerary. Again, its gonna be a LONNNGGGG day for all of us. Endless walking and hopping into the MRT, BTS and the express boat to avoid the traffic. Besides, it’s super cheap! We kicked off the 3rd day by visiting The Grand Palace or ‘Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang’. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok, Thailand. It open everyday from 8.30am to 3.30pm with an entrance fees of 500 baht (Equal to RM50) which includes tickets to Vinmanment Mansion and the Royal Thai Decorations and Coins Pavillion.

How to get here: BTS – Silom Line, Saphan Taksin Station (Exit 2). Then take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Ta Chang Pier (No.9). 10 – 15 minutes walk will bring you to the entrance of the Grand Palace.

The cheapest mode of transportation to get to The Grand Palace

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Cruising through the Chao Phraya River
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It is located on the west side bank of the Chao Phraya River. It was established in 1782 and the palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam. Even though the present King currently resides in Chitralada Palace, The Grand Palace are still in used for some official events and government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It covers an area of 218,000 square metres and surrounded by four walls with 1900 metres in length.

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Rather than being a single structure, the Grand Palace is made up of numerous buildings, halls, pavilions set around open lawns, gardens and courtyards. Its asymmetry and eclectic styles are due to its organic development, with additions and rebuilding being made by successive reigning kings over 200 years of history. It is divided into several quarters: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the Outer Court, with many public buildings; the Middle Court, including the Phra Maha Monthian Buildings, the Phra Maha Prasat Buildings and the Chakri Maha Prasat Buildings; the Inner Court and the Siwalai Gardens quarter. The Grand Palace is currently partially open to the public as a museum, however it remains a working palace as several royal offices are still situated inside.

Source: Wikipedia

Windows at Hor Phra Rajkoramanusorn
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Prasat Phra Dhepbidorn (The Royal Pantheon)
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Hor Phra Monthian Dharma
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We got fascinated looking at the architecture of the building. Amazing! And not to forget, lotus that you can see all around the palace.
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Phra Siratana Chedi. Everything is all in gold-plated.
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The signature of all is definitely the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. We got the chance to step and to witness the Emerald Buddha. It’s quite pack since local will convene to pay respect to the Buddha. Security personnel are everywhere and no photo shall be taken. As for us, it’s worth paying for the 500 baht. The whole structures are BEAUTIFUL and TRADITIONAL.

As promised to the whole family members, right after the visit to the Grand Palace, we gonna spend the whole evening at Chatuchak Market.  It is also known as Jatujak or J.J. This is the largest market in Thailand and the largest market in the world! This place will definitely wreck your wallet! For real! It is advisable to print out the whole layout plan of the market since you obviously don’t want to waste your time walking to one end and to another end.  It’s divided into a few sections which offer varieties of products ranging from home decor, clothing, jewellery, bags, souvenir, antics, plant, gallery and even pets store!

Oh ya, it’s easy to get Halal food here too! We opt for the yellow chicken rice (or Khoa Mok Kai) since a friend of mine keep reminding us not to miss that dish from the particular stall. And she’s true! The stall is located in Section 5 which faces Section 10 (opposite of a Ceramic Store called Zera House). And guess what, we came for the 2nd times just to sip the hot spicy soup and the fried chicken. Our biggest reason is that, we just need to get something for our tea time.

The unforgettable Yellow Chicken Rice
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We wrapped up the whole journey in the land of thousand smiles! And Bangkok is definitely a place that we will re-visit!

Sawasdee Krab.
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Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

Bangkok – Part 5 (Asiatique The Riverfront)

Asiatique The Riverfront was not in our initial plan. We never heard of it before but if we’re not mistaken, there’s a short entry on this by K.E.R.I . Right after our mouthful dinner and prayer, the van driver then drove us here since there’s a few hours left. Once he dropped us at the parking area, we’re totally clueless. Samat (the van driver) told us that it’s a brand new version of night bazaar in Bangkok. After walking around, we spotted a giant anchor, traditional carts and etc. We then realized that Asiatique was once an international trade ports in 1900s (as one of the earliest portals) which is now been transformed with thousand of boutique, kiosks, restaurants and many mores.

How to get here: BTS – Saphan Thaksin and walk to the Pier to take a free  Asiatique shuttle boats (from 4pm – 11.30pm).

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We found this passport and it have a few checkpoints. You can use the chamber stamping provided at the checkpoints to press onto the passport. We wanted to keep the same when we were in Terminal 21. Unfortunately, they are running out of stock. Just not our luck. 😦

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The warehouse
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Spending an evening here is no problem: you’ll have good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself; you are guaranteed to find something you would like to eat and if this isn’t enough entertainment, shows are performed nightly: Calypso ladyboy cabaret and soon, a classic Thai puppets performance.

Source: Bangkok.com

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We stopped for some Turkish ice cream. As usual, it wouldn’t be Turkish ice cream without a man doing tricks.
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There’s also a few group of musicians performing along the alley. And even an artist as well!
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If you are in Bangkok, why don’t you just drop by and stroll down this large-scale night bazaar. It is definitely worth spending your evening here.

We will continue our journey on Part 6 – The Grand Palace.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

Bangkok – Part 2 (Samut Songkram – MaeKlong Railway Market)

On the 2nd day of our trip, we rented a van with a driver to cover the outskirts area of Bangkok. We left as early as 7.30am in the morning since there will be a massive traffic here in Bangkok on weekdays. Our first destination is definitely Samut Songkram Province which is about 70 kilometers away from Bangkok to experience the MaeKlong Railway Market. Through out our reading, there’s various of name given to the market which is ‘Rom Hub Market’, ‘Crazy Market’, ‘Folding Umbrella Market’, ‘Close Umbrella Market’ and others, just to name a few.

To get here, you can either took a van or a bus which it can take anything from 1 to 1 1/2 hours during rush hours.  It’s really a unique market where it is located on an active railway track. Oh ya, we arrived exactly at 9.15am and next train arrival will be at 9.30am sharp. Just in time! The train passes  through it 8 times a day. If not mistaken, it’s a 100 meter railway track from Mae Klong to Ban Laem Train Station. We basically knew about the market from the local documentary, Majalah 3 way back in 2010.  We promised our self that we need to get here one fine day.

Shoppers have to walk on the railway track (still using the timber sleepers) where stalls are lining along the track. You can find anything a fresh market can offered which is from fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, poultry products and even frogs. 😀

The market.
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Hello Aunt. What’s with the fierce face?
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And here come the best part. This what makes it unique. While passing by the stalls in the market, we suddenly heard a sound of a loud horns to warn the vendors. A quick question pop up from our mouth ” Is the train coming?”, the vendors answered “Yes, yes! Come nearer”. He even showed us the baseline so that we could get a rough idea how close are we with the train. We were like, “Huh? This close? For real?”.

The stalls vendor will then quickly fold their awnings or umbrellas and pull the containers and goods close to their stalls. Most of the vendors will used a display containers equipped with wheels in order to slide them out-of-the-way conveniently.

Getting prepared.
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It all cleared!
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Train coming through. Everybody was so excited at this point of time.
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We’re this close! Check out all the vegetables close to the track. 😀
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As for us, the train moves slowly while passing through the market. Not at normal speed, i guess. Once it’s gone, the vendors raise their awnings and push back the stalls to the original position. And here we go, business is back to normal. Everything comes as original within 5 minutes.

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It was such an experience for that 5 minutes moments. Worth going! Some said that this is one of the most amazing markets in the world. We considered this as MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

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We will continue our journey on Part 3 – Ratchaburi (Damneon Saduak Floating Market).

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

Bangkok – Part 1 (Terminal 21 & Siam Centre)

Assalammualaikum and Hi there!

It all started when the whole family came up with a plan to organize a family trip for this year and to celebrate all the March (Mum’s, FF and SIL) babies as well. After a long discussions and arguments, the final destination are Bangkok, Thailand! As usual, we have to prepare the itinerary since time are very limited for us due to rescheduling of flight by the airlines.

When you are travelling in a group, you should consider everyone interests and how flexible is your itinerary. It’s important to get a sense of everyone’s expectations before you go since we might travel in different kind of style.  Oh, enough travel tips for this time! Let’s move on! 😀 

We settled down in Bangkok Boutique Hotel in Sukhumvit after safely landed in Don Mueang International Airport. Airport Rail Link is only attached to the Suvarnabhumi Airport. So, the best is to travel to town by taxi and bus.

Our so-called eco room! Love the concept! Spacious room as well!
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After a short refreshing moment, we decided to explore and to have dinner at Terminal 21. As reviewed, Terminal 21 should be on the list of things to do even  on a short visit to Bangkok. It’s really a fun place to visit as it was designed like an airport departure hall with boarding gates. We cheated ourselves since we finally covered Carribean, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Franscisco and even Hollywood (in just 2 hours)! The main attraction here is definitely the longest escalators in Thailand which goes up to 36 meters long which takes you directly to the top-level. Terminal 21 is a one floor one concept shopping mall.

How to get here: BTS – Asok Station (Exit 1), MRT – Sukhumvit (Exit 3)

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The overall view of Terminal 21.
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Chinese New Year fever is still on!
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Tokyo. What does it mean? Anyone?
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Hello London!
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The big red bus.
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San Franscisco with the famous Golden Gate Bridge.
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Hollywood Studio Town. You will see the golden Oscar statue and the SF Cinema City.
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Not to forget, they even offered Halal Food here in the Pier 21 Food Court at Level 5. Menu are limited ranging from yellow rice with chicken curry and fried rice only. It’s better than nothing right?

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In overall, it was such an experience for both of us and our family indeed. Amazing details and the person behind all this are BRILLIANT!
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Our next destination is definitely Siam Center since our ‘big brother’ wanted to get his personal collection of HRC shirt. Personally, this is definitely not a shopping mall but another ‘ART CENTRE’ for us. Our eyes couldn’t stop blinking appreciating every details of the shops at every levels. As we read through their pamphlet, the management stated that they are currently “creating an ‘IDEAOPOLIS’ – a place where great new ideas are presented, where art, fashion, technology, lifestyle and entertainment converge to create the unexpected and an inspiring for every visitor and at every visit”. Physically, we do find that they really convey their principle well!

How to get here: BTS – Siam Station (Exit 1).

The BTS rush hour.
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Night view – The road to Soi 2 from the pedestrian crossing bridge. Another night bazaar / market by the street all the way to the Hard Rock Cafe.
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We wrapped up the day and to get a full rest since we’re going to invade the outskirt of Bangkok on the next day!

We will continue our journey on Part 2 – Samut Songkram (MaeKlong Railway Market).

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma