|Diane Aoki: Creating Sense of the World||
Our time in Bangkok was a bit of a mixed bag, some good shopping, some good eating, and a bad experience. Because of the end of the one-year mourning period for the former king, most of the notable sites here were not open. But I had read that one of the Wats were open, and we thought we hired a car to take us there. The concierge at the hotel had arranged it. We had a bit of a "miscommunication," as we kept going farther and farther away from Bangkok.
Two hours later, we were out in the sticks, to what the driver claimed was the original floating market. We were led to a ticket agent, confused. The driver claimed we booked the "floating market," which we did not. We realized what had happened and only wanted to go back to where we came from. Long drive back to Bangkok and we asked to be dropped at the MBK shopping center, where we were supposed to meet friends for lunch. I wrote a review on Trip Advisor, blaming the concierge. The hotel responded saying it was because of the language difference. Uh huh. That was 5 hours of our lives we will never get back. On the positive side ... we got to see the countryside outside of Bangkok. Though it's hardly a pretty sight.
The rest of the time in Bangkok was pretty laid back. We did not plan anything ambitious, except for going to the Chatuchak Market, always fun. But we stayed pretty close to the hotel for the most part. Had some good meals, took advantage of inclusive breakfast (great!) and happy hour at the VIP lounge at the Rembrandt (nice), went to see Victoria and Abdul at a chic movie theatre in an upscale Shopping Mall (EM Quartier Mall), and had massages.
Benchasiri Park, which we just stumbled on as we walked around out hotel. It was a nice green space in the city. Yellow marigolds again in commemoration of the king. From here, we found the Quartier Shopping Center.
We found a food court on the basement of the Quartier Center. Once we figured out how to buy food here (tokens), we had to decide what to eat. I believe I chose a shrimp tom yum.
Next day, we headed to the Chatuchak Market. HUGE market. You have to be an impulse buyer in this situation because you will never be able to find a shop again if you want to go back to it. For example, I should've bought myself a cooking knife that we used in our cooking class.
Upon our return, we went back to the Quartier for a meal.
We had to choose from a variety of restaurants by walking around (round) in a Helix -designed food court. So much to choose from, but since we love Thai food so much and we're in Thailand, we had to have Thai, Kin Kao Restaurant, which was very good.
Very short visit here, but a lot to appreciate. It's so overwhelmingly busy, but I may give it another try someday.
I have traveled quite a bit, and am using this page to record some memories. Travel is a wonderful education, expanding your view of the world, of other cultures, of the beauty of diversity.