03.11.2010 - 07.11.2010 30 °C
First and foremost I was shocked to see how infra structurally sound Thailand is as soon as I landed at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
I just fell in love with the various coloured taxis which in a way have become a hallmark in Thailand, they look like car shaped m&m's have been strewn all over the streets. Based on my interactions, I have found that almost every one who visits this country seems find the colourful taxis worth a mention.
Time and again I've been told by enough number of people that I should have not missed visiting the Chatuchak Weekend Market, especially when I was in Bangkok over the weekend. Personally, I am not someone who is terribly fond of the sun, so shopping at nights when the temperature is not soaring suited me best I did make up for it at the various Night Bazaar's.
Suan Lum Night Bazaar in Bangkok
: beautifully lit shops that are laid out in strips, which cover the sidewalks. All the old favourites are here: Lovely dresses, silk scarves, T-shirts, pillow cases, toys, silver jewellery, coloured gems and gorgeous lamps and lights or every conceivable colour.
There are also packaging services and bigger and more fragile products (as I discovered) such as ceramics, furniture, carvings, and lamps (don't forget to take some home - THEY ARE GORGEOUS ). Just because items in Suan Lum are more likely to carry a price tag does not mean that's the last price. There are fabulous imitations of high-end brands available, you might just strike an unbelievable bargain if you buy 2 things instead of one especially, on products such as watches, sunglasses and bags (if that's something you would like. I cannot bring myself to buy imitation watches but I'm all for the sunnies)
There was this place that sells music too. The shops sells these awesome covers of mainstream songs all the way to jazz/acoustics As in all open markets, try to bargain. I know they don't speak English , but they all have calculators with which they convey the price, in Bahts (Thai currency)
Walk around the market before deciding to make a purchase, because you might get a better price at another shop. (Disclaimer : unless you are terribly good with directions you might just end up not finding the first shop you visited, as what happened in my case ) . I guarantee one thing "You will end up buying interesting things that you had not expected to buy before!!! "
I went there on a Friday night , and it was open till 3 AM. I paid a visit again on a Monday and realized that the place is more active on Weekends (might be a no-brainer for the ones reading this but I was surprised at how empty it looked). The place closed before midnight. On our way back...our cab driver said something about the Suan Lum Night Bazaar being closed permanently so that the government can build some fancy hotel there . Personally, I hope not. I loved being here.
We'll get to my views about the Walking Street in a bit, I am going to start off with an account of what Pattaya has to offer during daylight hours because I got here in the morning and did get to see a bit of the town. During the day you have to visit the beach. There are multiple water sports that you can engage in including jet skiing , para sailing and I think I saw an ad for scuba diving too. You can also find excellent bargains on flip-flops and the likes and some good eateries too. My favourite thing was to get a foot massage sitting under the shade of umbrellas watching the waves. One of my friends with whom I travelled ended up in getting inked by a tattoo artist who has a studio on the beach and after much requesting, the artist agreed to do the entire tattoo on the beach (it took all of 4 hours to complete the work)
I was extremely curious to go to Walking Street in the night . The place does take on a completely different vibe after dark. It is always very busy with hordes of all spectrum of worldly tourists in all manner of states at the night time recording everything on video. We are all well aware that this is the place most men to go 'meet' young Thai girls who spend their evenings enticing any visitor to partake in drinking, eating and dancing. The whole street is lit with neon lights and it is filled with a combination of music, shouting and laughing from from all corners. I just chilled with some friends at a open air pub, smoking from a hookah listening to amazing live music and over-looking a bar with Russian girls at the window. I had fun in this strange place, alight with neon lights.
If this is not your scene and you find it difficult to digest the sight, it is best you avoid this place at night as it is definitely not for the feint hearted - for sure. However, I will say this, from the point of view of a girl you do feel quite safe. I saw several police officers and most clubs have medics on hand to deal with all the nightly excesses.
Back in Bangkok, I paid a visit to Panthip Plaza : If you are looking for anything electronic - this place is a must visit. You can even buy the best computer games and TV shows - on a pen drive. You can even buy the pen drive at the store and select the content you want transferred on to the drive.
I would like to visit Thailand again and explore what Ko Samui and Phuket have to offer. I dont think I will pay Pattaya a second visit.
Till next time