November 17, 2013

Thailand 2013

After a year, I visited Thailand again, this time with my brothers, sister, and boyfriend. I stayed at a new hotel which is located quite far from the city center (for me it's Siam), but pretty close to Ekkamai BTS (Bangkok Train Station) so that's totally fine for us. Near the hotel, there's this new lifestyle shopping mall called Gateway Ekkamai. The d├ęcor, the shops, and the restaurants epitomise the Japanese lifestyle. Once inside the mall, you will witness a whole host of things which remind you of the Japanese culture such as the origami birds floating high up in the central atrium, girls dressed up as Geisha’s moving around the mall, and the vibrant sound of the Japanese pop music doing its rounds. The Japanese theme is most noticeable through the selection of restaurants on offer. The ground floor is host to the usual fare such as Subway, Shabushi, KFC, Swensen’s and the customary Thai food court. But if you are really looking for an authentic Japanese food then head straight to the M floor, which is home to a host of some renowned Japanese brands.

Maneki-neko (lucky cat) welcomes me at the entrance of the mall    
Next, we went to the infamous Four Face Buddha. It represents Hindu’s God of creation, Brahma, which has 4 faces (symbol of kindness, mercy, sympathy and impartiality). This shrine is one of the most worshipped and famous shrine in Bangkok. This shrine is believed to be able to answer the wishes of the worshipper, so that it can attract many tourists from neighboring countries. This shrine is fully crowded by worshippers almost everyday, morning until night. The admission fee is free, and open everyday from 6.00 up to 24.00. I bought sticks, candle, and flower rings as my praying supplies. There are also several additional package provided for those who want to maximize their prayers (I'm not sure), such as teak elephant, birds to release (500 bahts), and Thai dance (260 up to 710 baht, depending on the number of dancers).
After praying, I visited Chatuchak market, the world biggest weekend market! It's a must visit place for tourists, a home to more than 8000 market stalls and offers diverse collections of merchandise that will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees. This is where we can literally shop till drop. Literally drop if you plan to walk throughout the whole market. It's a perfect place for bargain hunting, although whatever we buy here is probably no longer the best deal we can find (brush up your negotiation skills here). There are almost everything can be found here, like antique wood carving, clay hand crafts, local souvenirs from every parts of Thailand, Buddhist amulets, wooden furnitures, handmade decorated flowers, plant, ceramic wares, dolls, Chinese wares, graden decorated plants, stones, trendy fashions, silk, hill-tribe outfits, fluffy animals, etc. Not forget to mention FOOD!

Pad Thai -  Don't say you've been to Thailand if you never try this
Mango sticky rice - this is so good, another Thai signature food  
How I wish there's at least one Auntie Anne's stall in my city

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