Bangkok – The Holiday Begins (5 September 2022)

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I have no idea where we’ll be staying on this trip or what time our flight is. I used to panic and kept checking on the details to make sure we didn’t leave out anything. Maybe it’s because we haven’t traveled for two years due to the pandemic, I am kind of lost on what to expect. Thankfully, Dear took care of most of it, and I just followed along.

Got up at 5 am as our flight was at 8:20 am. Prepared and check on what to bring before we leave home. I booked a grab car and am amazed at how smooth and fast the ride was. We arrived at the airport earlier than expected. Checking in our luggage was a breeze without any delay. It’s an automated self-service kiosk now for Scoot. Or at least that’s what I know.

Once we entered the immigration checkpoint, we headed to Killiney for coffee and breakfast. It had a long queue as the other stalls around it weren’t open yet. Dear was disappointed that her eggs were cold, her kopi c kosong was lukewarm. My kopi o kosong was hot so I didn’t have any issues with my coffee.

Luggage zip that looks like darts.

Head off to our boarding gate after breakfast. Toilet break and empty our bottles before entering. We had a small piece of luggage to carry with us. As we went through the security check, they asked if we brought darts. Clueless, we opened our luggage to check what item of ours that looks like darts on their screen. After scanning our luggage again, all of us realised it was the zips on the luggage. It was a funny moment for us and the security officers. Mystery solved.

Dear’s seat on the plane got exchanged as someone was already there. He explained that his seat was taken so he took the next empty seat he saw. And since my row got another empty seat, we took it. The air stewardess knows about it so we’re all good. Got me a window seat and managed to video take-off and landing for my travel video.

Arrived in Bangkok ahead of schedule according to the pilot. The airport’s aircon was cold and we didn’t bring a jacket. So we shiver and head out to the immigration checkpoint. Went up to level 4 in search of Klook’s counter to collect our Thailand sim card and off we go! But first, brunch at the airport’s Macdonald’s.

First meal in Bangkok, Thailand

I couldn’t decide what I want and asked Dear to surprise me. And yes, my pork samurai burger was good! Dear enjoyed her truffle burger but I didn’t. Not a fan of truffles, the smell and taste are too strong for me. It’s just like how some couldn’t stand the smell and taste of durian. We had youtiao dipped in condensed milk as dessert and it was surprisingly good! Recommended if you visit the land of smiles, go try the youtiao!

Token as MRT train ticket

In Bangkok, they have MRT and BTS. It is like our MRT and LRT, same same but different. Head off to their MRT station at the airport, used their ticket machine to purchase our tickets. Apparently, the amount we put in didn’t reflect on the screen and it cheated us some money. However, the staff that helped us didn’t understand English and we couldn’t really communicate so we decided to just let it go. The journey to the hotel required us to change from MRT to BTS. It’s quite convenient in my opinion and fast. I guess taking the train is much faster in Bangkok if you want to beat the horrendous traffic, especially when we arrived in the morning where most locals are heading off to work.

Holiday Inn Bangkok

We will be staying at Holiday Inn which is right next to Chit Lom BTS station. It is also within walking distance to Big C and Central World. It’s a very good location if you want a more central area for your shopping needs. We forgot to bring our credit cards, but thankfully they allowed us to put a 1000baht deposit in cash. When we arrived, our room wasn’t ready yet and so we left our luggage with them and head out for quick shopping.

Karun tea comes in a nice paper bag

We stopped by Gaysorn Village which is just next to Holiday Inn to buy us Thai tea that my sister-in-law recommended. It’s called Karun and it’s located at level 2. You get to choose how sweet you want your tea to be. It is already pre-brewed and bottled. But the option for sweetness is, 100%, less sweet and not sweet. We bought two bottles of less sweet, a milk tea and a red tea to try.

Visited Big C and of course, it’s filled with humans! Tourists are busy buying goodies in bulk to bring home, either for their own consumption or to distribute to colleagues and friends. They do prepare masking tapes and scissors to pack in carton boxes that were provided near the cashier. We did buy a few stuff for our own consumption while we were in the country. Queues were extremely long and it does really test your patience and endurance for the legs.

The tea comes in glass bottles.

At 3 pm, we started to make our way back and check into our room. Finally, get to rest after all the traveling and walking. Drank the tea we bought from Karun and we think it was nice. Personally prefers milk tea more than red tea. Sweetness-wise is just right for their less sweet version. But if you are someone that has a sweet tooth, you can try their 100% sweetness and let us know how they taste.

We decided to head towards Central World for dinner. It is within walking distance from Holiday Inn! The best way to get across without crossing their road is to head up to the BTS station and use their overhead bridge/walkway. It will take you directly to Central World. Crossing their road with heavy traffic requires courage. It can get scary!

Dinner at Somtamnua

Dear decided to have dinner at Somtamnua, located at Central World level 3. Ordered a few dishes that were highly recommended online after reading the reviews. I think the food is good but a bit on the high side for Thai food as it’s located in a mall. The staff doesn’t know English, so communication can be difficult for us.

While walking around Central World after dinner, we came across Uniqlo and decided to enter and have a look at their jackets. We didn’t bring our jackets as we planned to get ourselves new ones. I let Dear choose as I know I can only shop in the kids’ section. Somehow, the adult jackets were a little too big for Dear and we both ended up getting our jackets in the kids’ section instead. After trying out the different colours available, we both decided to get the same coloured jackets. Finally a better fitting jackets for us.

I’ve been having craving for mango sticky rice and Dear decided to bring me to another place for dessert. Mr. Mango Tango is located about 900m away from Central World. Although it’s a 900m walk, we were tired from all the walking. The path wasn’t even which makes walking a little tiring. We’re spoilt by the nice pathway that Singapore has. Thankful for what our government did to make life easier for us.

The dessert was amazingly delicious. We ordered a plate to share which consist of fresh mango, sticky rice, mango pudding, and mango ice cream. Basically, everything mango. It was good! The ambiance of the store makes it enjoyable to have our dessert. Craving is definitely satisfied. Mango sticky rice has always been my favourite Thai dessert and a must-have when we’re in Thailand.

After dessert, we head back to our hotel and called it a day. Although it was tiring from all the traveling since our flight, it was an enjoyable first day of the holiday since the pandemic. A long waited holiday that we both definitely needed to get recharged physically and mentally.

More blog entries about our trip will be coming soon. Still new to journaling down our travels and hopefully I’m doing good so far.

Neighbourhood Shopping – Cheng San CC, AMK MRT, AMK St 31, Bishan AMK Park [15 June 2021]

Night Walk – Cheng San CC

Decided to have a walk after dinner and to explore the other part of Ang Mo Kio as part of our neighborhood shopping. Walked towards Cheng San Community Center to see if we like the area nearby. Apparently, we didn’t although Dear used to stay opposite Jing San Primary School.

Dear did some research previously, the houses around the primary school are relatively newer and over our budget. With just the pricing alone, we didn’t really consider the area although it’s near her mum’s place. But it’s definitely a nice place as it’s near hawker and walking distance towards MRT.

Ang Mo Kio MRT

We decided to continue walking towards Ang Mo Kio MRT after we passed by Cheng San CC. And we did discuss that if we’re OK with the noise level when the train passes by.

I guess for a start we won’t but eventually, we’ll get used to it like the residents staying near the tracks. But what can we dislike about it when that’s the major con of staying near an MRT station?

Being near the MRT station also does have other perks. Such as walking distance to AMK Hub, AMK Central, and the bus interchange. Everything is basically within reach if you want to. But of course, the housing prices around the area can be eerily scary.

Ang Mo Kio St 31

Explored Ang Mo Kio St 31 and apparently, we both seem to like the ambiance directly opposite AMK Hub. However, the ambiance a few blocks away seemed to be different. It’s puzzling although the places are within the same area they gave a very different vibe.

As we walk further, we realized there’s a Giant outlet which is something we both seemed to approve of. One of the criteria of house hunting for us is that there must be a supermarket within walking distance. Food-wise, we didn’t have to worry much as there are coffee shops and a hawker center within a few kilometers.

Bishan AMK Park

The Bishan AMK Park has two sides. The one that we visited previously, that side is nearer to Mayflower. The other side is near Ang Mo Kio St 31, which was where we head over from. It is also the side where the Dog Run is situated at.

I’m not sure about the opening hours of the Dog Run, but I read online that it’s 24 hours. It’s no wonder that there are a few dogs and their owners spending the time there at such a late hour. I’m guessing it’s more cooling to visit at night and a lesser crowd compared to during the day.

Walking in the park at night wasn’t that bad either except that the lighting wasn’t as bright as I thought it would. It’s quite relaxing with a lesser crowd and we get to enjoy some nice peace and quiet before heading home and calling it a day.