Tuesday, 18 February 2014

My Bangkok Trip - Transport, Hotel & Where to go

I went to Bangkok for a holiday with my family in the first week of January! :) I actually went to Thailand 3 times before this, but I don't have much memory of those trips because I was much younger.

This post will be more wordy and informative, as it is about flight, transport, hotel and the places that I went to. There will be another post on food, and of course more photos then! :D

I'll be writing about my trip and recommendations from my personal experience. I'm not that familiar with Bangkok unlike some other bloggers, so if you're going to Bangkok, please google more and don't just rely on my blog post ok? I will end off each section with "recommended or not?" to summarise if I like the place and I hope it helps you decide on your itenary!

Flight


We flew by Tigerair, the price of our round tip tickets were about $231 (including tax). Went on the off peak season so I guess it is not that expensive.. I was dratting the flight, because I always don't feel well on most flights, so I thought I'd feel worse on a budget flight. To my surprise, I was happily asleep on both flights, and the seats are quite spacious! :)

Recommended or not?: Yes, but take note of the weight of your luggage and baggage as there might be charges for overweight baggage.

Hotel


We stayed at The Berkeley Hotel Pratunam, booked via agoda. It is supposed to be a 5 star hotel (will elaborate more later) and there was a 58% discount on site, that's why we ended up choosing this hotel over Novotel Platinum which was our initial choice. 4 nights in 2 rooms costed us $850, so it only costs $50ish per person per night, quite a good price!

I am generally sastisfied with the hotel - good location, very spacious room, no spooky feelings when we were there and daily night market just outside the hotel. It is located at Pratunam area, a walkable distance to many shopping centers! Naming a few.. Palladium World, Platinum Fashion Mall, Pratunam Market, Central World, Big C, Siam Paragon and Siam Center.

By the way, this hotel is very new, 6 months old only, so some taxi drivers might not know its location. 20140103_162104 20140103_162113 20140103_162132 20140103_162225

But it doesn't feel like a 5 star hotel to me.. Maybe a 3.5 or 4 star? I'm a little unhappy about the "false marketing", building 2 different towers and calling themselves 5 stars when the side tower is not 5 star obviously. But no loss since we booked the rooms with a 58% discount! We stayed in the North Tower of the hotel, not the main tower.. I guess the main tower might be of 5 star standard?

1) There was no bathtub in the room, not that I need one, but I always though 5 star hotels have bathtubs in their rooms.

2) Housekeeping was not very good, there were some stains on the wall and toilet, and a dried up contact lens on the floor when we just checked in on the first day. During our stay, I think they only refilled the toiletries and towels and packed our beds.. The toilet floor was sticky, and they didn't even tidy the messy curtains. I think all of the hotels that I've stayed in have better housekeeping?

3) Also, our tower's breakfast is different from the main tower's breakfast, I'm not sure how good the breakfast is at the other side.. There is rice, noodles, eggs, curry, porridge, cornflakes, bread and fruits. Food was cold and the spread was okay-ish only, not a lot of choices. They serve almost the same food everyday by the way, I am okay with it but I guess some people will not like this. Oh, and their watermelon looks orange, I don't like!

4) One of their butler tried getting us a non-metered taxi and wanted to charge us 300Baht, which is SGD$12 (we took another metered taxi and it costed us 100Baht only). He think we dumb one leh! Hotel staffs should help to protect tourists' interests, but this bulter is definitely not doing so. On a separate occasion, my sister saw a taxi driver passing this same butler some cash secretly, if you get what I mean here..

See the stain on the tissue box? This is one of the many stains I spotted... 20140103_162803

Recommended or not?: Yes, at the discounted price of $50ish per person per night. Still good for the location and overall comfort of the room. For myself, I will want to try out Novotel Platinum if I go to Bangkok again.

Transport


We took taxi most of the time, and MRT once. They also have tuk-tuks and other "MRT" lines but I'm not very sure what those other "MRT"s are called. Just take taxi there seriously haha!
Taxi

Very good for those travelling in 4s, because you divide the final price by the maximum number of passengers. Most trips costed us about 100Baht (SGD$4) so it only costs S$1 per person!

Before getting up the taxi, let the driver know where you want to go in case they don't know how to go to your hotel and stuff. We've encountered taxi drivers that do not know where our hotel is located and we foreigners have to guide them around the pratunam area -__- Luckily we know our directions!

Also, ask if they are willing to on the meter. Some taxi drivers want to earn more and refuse to on the meter, at least discuss a good price before getting into the cab. Always ask the security guards or the information counter of the shopping centers approximately how much the taxi ride to your destination will cost so that you can discuss a better price with taxi drivers that refuse to on the meter. Most of our taxi rides were about 100Baht only, super cheap!

We actually took the limo cab twice (on the first and last day) to travel to and fro from the airport. This is due to us having 3 luggages (1 big and 2 small) and they said that the normal taxis won't be able to carry too many luggages. Limo cab travelling to and fro from the airport cost a flat rate of 700Baht (SGD$28). If you want to avoid taking the limo, bring lesser luggages ok! We actually met a limo cab driver on the third day of our trip, and he agreed to charge us 625Baht for the trip to the airport on the last day, how nice!

Recommended or not?: Yes, especially if you are travelling in fours. Check with the locals if you will be stuck in a jam or not though..
MRT

This is like Singapore's underground MRT. We bought our one-way tokens from the information counter, if I didn't remember wrongly, our trip is about SGD$1 per person. We took this because the locals told us that we will be stuck in a major traffic jam if we take a taxi during peak hour (at 5-7pm). The bad thing about the trains is that the different lines (overhead and underground trains) doesn't seem connected like Singapore's, to me, it is a mess and I don't know how to take their trains.

20140106_161418 20140106_161411

Recommended or not?: Yes if you have lesser people travelling with you, and ask locals for directions. No for me because I'm a direction idiot most of the time.

Places


Main point of this trip was to shop for our Chinese New Year clothes! As mentioned above, didn't really get much stuffs, I got about 10-15 pieces of clothings only.. Was expecting much more~ No photos of the places that I went to, opps, but just a brief summary..

Union Mall - Best shopping place to me. Most items are THB150-250 which is SGD$6-10. Feels like a big air-conditioned bugis street. You can take the MRT here, MRT station Phahon Yothin.

Central Plaza - A stone's throw away from Union mall and MRT station Phahon Yothin, had our best seafood meal there! A high end shopping mall..

Platinum Mall - Said to be the best place for shopping by many, but I don't feel it that way. Prices are not that low but still considered cheap for Singaporeans. This is right under Novotel Platinum, and very near to my hotel!

Siam Paragon - This is a high end mall, many food choices at the basement though. The popular cafe "After you" is located here!

Siam Center - This is a high end mall, randomly wandered in after visiting Siam Paragon and discovered Mr Jones Orphanage (a cake shop which I will talk more about in my next post).

Chatuchak Weekend Market - Shopping was quite cheap here, and many street food here! However, this is an outdoor market, and Bangkok's weather is really really hot. You won't wanna stay here for long. We got lost and we wandered into the Pet street, lots of cute pets for sale there, but most of them (those that were not on display) were squashed up in cages.. :(

Terminal 21 - A mid-range mall, there were both expensive and not so expensive stuffs there. Got some clothes there, but ended up seeing the same thing on sale at a cheaper price at union mall. *face palm*

ribbondivider

It has been one and a half months since I came back, so sorry for the late post!! And erm, I might have accidentally left out some stuffs since it has been some time.. Hope this post helps you though! :)

Look out for my Bangkok food post soon! :D


Update: Blogged about the food in Bangkok, click here to read! :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi) The first thing I visited in Asia was Thailand and Chiang Mai, delightful scenery, and places that I now often see in my dream... My brother advised us almost the same things as you say in your article. So my little sister and I took care of tickets, booked accommodation, and found out that there is a motorbike service for rent Cat Motors service http://catmotors.net/lease-terms/, and that it's accepted in the Asian countries because motorbike allows not to wait for buses and to move without problems. The only thing you need to remember is the safety on the roads. Do you remember how the rules of the road in the countries of Asia differ? So in fact? If not, you should find a few articles about this, and there will be no surprises. Have a nice rest.

    ReplyDelete