Day 3 – Bangkok to Singapore
Our return flight to Singapore was 8.15 pm. We requested for late check out but were given only till 2 pm. This made shopping in Bangkok rather short in order to come back to check out and head out for more shopping again. So we decided to check out early and leave our bags with the hotel.
We went for breakfast near 9 am. The restaurant was quite empty. We had probably missed the morning crowd of tourists from mainland China in which we were glad. We took our seats and then went to collect our food.
The buffet spread was quite good with the usual setup for a four-star hotel. We ordered omelets and went to get our own choice of coffee from the machine. Having gotten all our food, we settled down to enjoy our breakfast in this pleasant quiet restaurant. After a satisfying breakfast, we returned to our room to get ready to check out.
With our bags packed and having made ourselves comfortable, we checked out around 10 am and left our bags with the hotel. We were told we could use the toilet facilities at the wellness centre to shower when we returned to collect our bags before our flight.
When we walked out of the hotel, a taxi just pulled up to allow a passenger to alight. So we hopped on to head to Platinum Mall. The taxi then moved off. The driver was a long hair spectacled guy but certainly no John Lennon in looks. It was then we realized he was unwell. He was coughing and sneezing badly. Moreover, he was spitting inside the taxi as he drove. It was disgusting to say the least. Actually, this was a severe understatement.
We opened the back windows for ventilation but he closed them again as the taxi was air-conditioned. So we opened the window whenever we could hardly tolerate the stench and my dear wife put on a face mask soon after. He could hardly control the taxi as he drove towards our destination. We were thankful it was a Sunday morning and traffic wasn’t very heavy during that time.
Eventually we reached the traffic junction near Platinum Mall and was caught in heavy traffic near the traffic junction. We told the driver we were alighting and I threw him 80 Thai Baht and left the cab quickly even though we were not near the road side.
We then made our way carefully through the cars on the road to get to the pavement. At the same time, we started to breath in and out heavily as though we were inhaling the freshest air in the southern hemisphere at Lake Tekapo in South New Zealand knowing full well we were walking along a polluted city street in Bangkok City. At least it was so much better than inside the cabin of that horrendously filthy cab. It was the longest 25 minutes taxi ride of our lives trying to hold our breath as much as possible. What a relief! We were free at last to breathe normally again.
We were so glad and happy as we walked towards Platinum Mall just down the road on our left. Bangkok City had awakened. It was a sunny morning. Traffic was heavy this part of town. People were everywhere as we approached Platinum Mall.
Soon we entered Platinum Mall. Most shops were already opened and the mall was getting busy with shoppers thronging the narrow lanes between shops in the mall. We started our rounds walking floor by floor working our way up. Most of the shops were selling women’s clothes. Majority of the shoppers were of course women. The occasional few male shoppers were less enthusiastic characters who cut a sad figure carrying bags while the female counterparts indulged in the joy of their lifetime.
Very quickly we forgot about the nightmarish taxi ride on the way here and immersed completely in our first tourist activity in Bangkok City. So I stopped when my dear wife stopped to browse at clothes while I patiently waited to continue the next move. This shopping pattern went on till we had covered almost every shop all the way to the top floor. Platinum Mall was quite huge and it took us quite a while to complete our mission. My wife bought clothes and shoes for our girls during this trip. It was time for lunch and we went to Novotel Hotel next door.
Novotel Hotel was our favourite place to hang out after shopping at Platinum Mall. We went straight into the Square Restaurant and ordered lunch. We came back to sample their clay pot dishes again. Lunch was simple but good, especially we could sit down to rest our tired feet. Of course, with 50% discount for Accor Plus members, this made our lunch sweeter.
Novotel Hotel is very modern and pleasant. This hotel is ideal for those who intend to spend a lot of time shopping at Platinum Mall. Guys would appreciate this hotel to chill out while the ladies do their own shopping next door. Why would guys enjoy walking aimlessly in a mall selling women’s stuff other than being a servant to carry shopping bags? Novotel Hotel would be a great alternative for convenience in a very comfortable environment to while away time while the ladies perform their shopping pilgrimage.
After lunch, we walked out of Novotel Hotel and walked to Central World behind Platinum Mall across a small canal. The roads were busy and traffic was even heavier than before. The roads were full of activities with some street stalls set up along the dusty road.
Outside Central World before the entrance into Isetan was very busy with booths set up. It seemed like a music fest was taking place at the mall. We entered Isetan and made a quick survey without buying anything. Central World was very modern, nice and clean and much bigger than Platinum Mall. But it was getting late already slightly after 3 pm when we arrived Central World. We still had to return to Lotus Suhkumvit Hotel to shower and head to Don Mueang Airport for our flight home. So we walked through Central World towards Chit Lom BTS Station to head back to Lotus Suhkumvit Hotel located four stations away at Phrom Phong Station.
We exited Central World through a link way connecting directly with the BTS Stations so it was a rather pleasant walk without being exposed to the noisy dusty road under the scorching afternoon sun. Just before we reached Chit Lom BTS Station, we entered Amarin Plaza for one last round of shopping as there was sales promotion for sports wear.
Once inside the mall, we looked at sport shoes on sale at the open atrium space taken by one of the sports shops. We didn’t find what we wanted and we proceeded to another shop there. The shop was very busy with shoppers and it was quite crowded and messy. However, we managed to purchase a pair of Adidas sport shoes for our younger son and we were delighted.
It was already after 4 pm so we made our way to Chit Lom BTS Station hurriedly and soon were on our way to Phrom Phong Station. We got off the train and made our way through the crowds at the Emporium where we spent our time window shopping the day before. We quickened our pace and soon were back to Lotus Suhkumvit Hotel.
We collected our bags and went to the wellness centre on level nine and use their facilities to shower. Next we packed our shopping items properly and then went to the road outside the hotel. The road was busy and a taxi drove past us with a passenger inside. The taxi stopped about a hundred metres ahead for the passenger to alight and then turned back to pick us up. We were more careful this time to take a closer look at the driver before boarding the taxi after that nasty experience in the morning. This middle age gentleman was pretty decent so we took his cab and relaxed as we made our way to Don Mueang Airport.
We arrived at the airport around 6.15 pm in good time to catch our flight home. Having gotten our boarding passes, we cleared immigration and roamed the airport to look for a restaurant for dinner. Don Mueang Airport was rather small. After a quick survey of the shops and restaurants, we decided to settle down at Piri Piri for a quick and simple meal. We were not very hungry but actually more tired after a full day of shopping in the city.
After dinner, we checked out some of the shops at the airport but didn’t buy any more stuff. Soon we were called to board our flight and we settled in and enjoyed our incident free flight home. Flying Scoot was rather enjoyable where the seats were not as cramped compared to Jetstar. Not long after, we touched down at Changi Airport and soon board a cab on our way home.
It was a rather fruitful trip maximizing three full days with a two nights stay, one night in Pattaya and another night in Bangkok. The taxi transfer from Bangkok to Pattaya and back cost a total of 2400 Thai Baht. We were very pleased with Mr. T Taxi Service.
Hotel Baraquda Pattaya was really an excellent hotel where we had a very enjoyable stay with great welcome drinks as well as complimentary cake for my dear wife’s birthday. Lotus Suhkumvit Hotel was fine as well with its location and price.
Other than the unpleasant taxi experience in the morning, all was good and shopping was great. Not sure when we would be visiting Bangkok again as there are many more destinations on our calendar and many more educational experiences coming our way. Stay tune for our next travel adventure …