2020 has a rough start. So many things had happened from the start of the year until now that we are at the third month that feels like forever. Everyone has difficult times and this #selfquarantine period has reminded me not to take for granted of little things… Yes, little things such as, coffee with friends, handshake with strangers, sunlight, busy morning, traffic jam, and so on. It reminds me of the things that I’ve always had all this time, but I only realized their values once I couldn’t have it anymore at this time.
I’ve also been neglecting this blog for quite some time. Now that I have time, let me write a few more stories that I had in the past 2 years (2 years! Can you believe that?!) that is worth to be remembered. It was an amazing journey where so many changes happened, and I’ve got the opportunity to visit so many amazing places in 2 years. Let me start with this… A Bangkok Trip with Friends!
March 2018. That was exactly when these moments happened. Isn’t it funny that it was just last year we are still freely to go, roaming around new places and cities with our beloved friends, but now we couldn’t do it anymore? It’s a weird feeling for me not to be able to plan a travel plan because everything is so uncertain at the moment. But I believe, the storm is not forever. So, let’s just use the moment to reminisce the good times we’ve ever had, shall we?
We went to Bangkok to celebrate one of my friend’s birthday, Valencia. There were eight of us on the trip and we’ve had so much fun in this busy city. We stayed at The Journey Hotel which is located near Don Mueang Airport and it took around 40-mins to go to the central. I know, it was a bit far indeed – but the hotel is quite nice and comfortable.
After checking in, we explored the area around the hotel. Of course, we were looking for foods and ended up having some street foods on the main street in front of our hotel.
Once we’ve got a little bit of something to fill in our tummy, we went to the city center and walked around a few malls, chewed in another (a lot of) foods, and enjoyed the city’s ambiance which is not quite different with Jakarta. We explored Siam Square areas. There are more than one malls that we could visit in walking distance and tons of Bangkok foods!
Asiatique The Riverfront
It was quite a hassle to get an online taxi in Bangkok. It took us almost 1-hour to meet our driver for us to go to the next destination. Asiatique The Riverfront is an outdoor shopping center with raw fun which is located just beside Chaopraya River. It’s a great place to shop (for souvenirs, clothes, and many others!), eat and drinks, or just enjoyed the view. We stayed there for almost 3-hours from one nice afternoon to chill evening walk.
Before ending the day, we went to Chinatown area in Yaowarat Road to take dinner. There was one Chinese restaurant with very long queue just beside the street when we arrived there. The foods were amazing and it was definitely worth the long queue!
Shopping at Union Mall & Chatuchak Weekend Market!
What is Bangkok without shopping? A lot of online shops in Indonesia took the stuffs from Bangkok, the city where everything is so cheap. We went shopping on the 3rd day, starting with going to Union Mall, then continued to Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Chatuchak is a hot spot on the weekend. The market is open every Friday (6pm – onwards) and Saturday – Sunday (all day). Many of the stalls disregard these hours and stay open much later though. The best time to go shopping is in the morning, or when the market first opens. Many shopkeepers believe that the first sale of the day is good luck. For me, I didn’t buy much though. I’m not into clothes, but I did eat A LOT there! Lol.
Chocolate Ville Bangkok
Got enough of shopping, our next destination is more into a nice-view hunting kind of place, or so called ‘Instagramable’ place? Lol. It’s a restaurant and park complex in a huge land on the corner of Bangkok. It’s a nice place for afternoon walk, having a unique dinner experience, and enjoying beautiful evening lights view.
On Day 3, we went a little bit further outside of Bangkok. We visited Santorini Park which is located in Hua-Hin, 3.5-hours away from Bangkok. We rented a car and unexpectedly had a nice visit to a floating market on our way there. So, here is how our 3rd day goes.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Located on around 40-minutes from Bangkok, we stopped by to this place as suggested by our local driver. We waited a bit as there was queue to get into the boat and was a bit surprised with the entrance fee which we thought a bit expensive. However, after we hopped on to the boat, we didn’t regret it at all! It was such a nice experience of enjoying a floating market in a boat. Everyone, literally everyone, be it man, woman, adults, kids, are able to ride boats there. The merchants sold lots of souvenirs, clothes, foods – while we could just raise our hands and the boat rider will stop by to give us time to buy from the stalls. At some point, there was quite big waves which make the boat-ride even more exciting! I always love the experience where we could immerse with local way of living. Would definitely love to go back.
Santorini Park Cha-Am
As mentioned earlier, Santorini Park Cha-Am is located in Hua Hin which is 3-4 hours away from Bangkok. This park opened in 2012 and looks like the miniatur of Santorini, Greece. We came there on weekdays, so it was less crowded than what people said would be over the weekend. We strolled around this huge park, took pictures, sat down in a cute cafe for coffee or dessert, well… basically the park-kind of activity. It wasn’t really my scene, because I’d rather something that is a bit more locals or great nature’s views. But, thanks to my friends, they made the day fun as always!
Khao San Road
This infamous area in Bangkok is what we chose to look for dinner that day. Khao San Road, a bustling, local-experience, and touristy street with lots of enthusiastic travelers from all over the globe. This reminds me of Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. We had local pad-thai for dinner, got a henna tattoo, and 1-hour Thai traditional foot massage to end the day. I just thought you don’t want to miss this place when visiting Bangkok.
Today is our last day! We thought it’s not Bangkok Trip without a temple trip! So, we decided to go back to the city center and visited one of the most famous temple there, Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
As its name, this temple is famous because of one reclining Buddha statue which reaches to 40-meters long. We went there by online taxi (always), but the driver dropped us a bit far away from the temple complex because in that area, online taxi is prohibited and you could only take local taxi. The temple located with a few others temple in the area, along with Thailand Grand Palace. So, it’s kind of special location where the royal family lives. I don’t know why I’ve always been reminded again of Yogyakarta on this trip, and this area reminds me of Keraton Jogja, where the Royal Family also lives in Yogyakarta.
So, that was a wrap of our Bangkok Trip! One last interesting thing happened when we were about to go to the airport: as I mentioned earlier, online taxi is not permitted in this region, so we walked a little bit but still sneakily tried to get the taxi. We got one, but then… a police officer stopped us and we’ve got ticketed! Lol.
See you again in my next post!
PS: Most of the photos above are captured by my friend, Patrick Tan.