26 January 2013

Bangkok Day 2 . Exploration continues .... but slightly less

Date: 25th December 2012

Day2: Bangkok

Firstly let me wish all of you Merry Christmas! :)

I know how late and very slow I am in writing my blogs but please excuse me. I am a lazy bug.

I will tell you my day 2 experiences @ Bangkok in this post.

I reached hotel around midnight and you know I was tired so I woke up this day around 9:30 just to eat my breakfast, as I had mentioned the breakfast was fab. I ate heartily and went back to my room to sleep. It was the best sleep I could have got.

Guess What I had forgotten to do? Call my mother..
Woke up hitting against the walls as I got a panic call from home and as usual all the questions were asked by my mother and I answered them promptly.

Call was over and I realised the time was around 1:30Pm.

I saved some rice in the fridge that I had bought last night and that was my dinner with some random MTR ready to mix and eat paste.

Washed myself and checked out of this hotel Grand president as I did not like this hotel so very much.
I booked a different hotel thru for 1700THB.

It was Bangkok Lotus sukhumvit. I moved to this hotel and got myself a room on 21st Floor hehe:)
I love heights.

The room was fab

(Hotel Review)

 This hotel is located in sukhumvit soi 33. Not as happening as soi 11 but definitely good. There is some upmarket shopping malls opposite the soi 33. Superb views, Clean rooms and excellent service. Definitely worth the money. Bit of a walk to BTS phrom phong. But definitely walkable. The area has quite a lot of Japanese restaurants, Japanese super markets and clubs. The road where the hotel is situated has a few bars around. Like the location.
Only pull down was the break fast. The choice was definitely there but it was mostly for non-vegetarian. my choice was limited too bread and mashed potato. 
Otherwise would never flaw this hotel.
Will surely return to the hotel if not for the breakfast.

I also wish to tell how a taxi driver tried to cheat me. When I took a taxi from soi 11 to soi 33 the taxi driver refused to turn on the meter instead he demanded THB 60. I was very firm and asked him to stop the taxi. You would get to hear swear words if you do what I did then. But that's okay. I walked a little further and flagged down a taxi who would take me to soi 33 using meter. It cost only THB 40.

On a general note I would say it is wise to note down the name and the registration number of driver along with the vehicle number in case you run into some kind of problem. You can find the details inside the car just near the front mirror or hanging behind the drivers seat.

Now I took a walk towards the Terminal 21 mall. This mall is near BTS Asok and quite a busy mall. It is actually a very interesting mall with themed floors cheap compared to central mall/ Siam paragon. Themed meaning each floor was designed based upon a country.  There were loose shops that were put up on each floor. As I had already read a lot about the mall and seen a lot of photographs on the net I know almost every corner of the mall.

Few photos from the mall.

Now my next stop in the mall was

Yummy it was. It cost THB 400. Too costly for an ice cream but yes I could afford that much for one time.

Walked around further and there is also a cinema hall in this mall too but not as good as the ones in Siam Paragon I guess.

It was around 6:00Pm now. So I thought It was wise of me to eat early dinner  and go back to hotel. found Fujii Restaurant (Japanese food) on the food court floor on terminal 21 mall and yes got vegetarian food to eat. The waitress understood my requirement.

This is a vegetable Tempura ( battered and deep fried vegetables). Cost around THB 160 way too cheap than what you get in Chennai, India. But simply loved it.
Next stop and the last stop for the day Soi cowboy. I was quite afraid to go in there but curiosity didn't let me hold back.

I walked to Soi cowboy. It is about 10 minutes walking distance from Terminal 21 across the road from MRT.
There was a flash of lights all of a sudden in a small lane and know that you are in soi cowboy. You wouldn't even know if such a street exits as every soi around soi cowboy is dimly lit and creepy.

I took a stroll in the soi a very quick one. Being an Indian I  am not used to seeing girls wearing small provocative dresses here. It was a shock to me and I did dare not take a photo.
I was approached at least by two people in that soi asking me to see ping pong show. This was the climax. I walked out of the soi as fast as I could and came back to the BTS station to get my hotel. This was more than enough for me to get scared.

But then I thought this is how the country is and I should accept it and not be scared of this culture.

I also went around soi 33/1 and few other neighbouring soi's it was like a place for Japanese entertainment.

There are shops around if you want to buy Japanese grocery. There is a super market called fujii supermarket dedicated for japanese grocery. Also a Convenience stire called Neo( produce from Japan). It has branches in the lowest level of terminal 21, Sukhumvit soi 33, and in silom.

I thought I had walked enough for the day and headed back to my hotel

I skimmed through all the photos in my camera that day before going to sleep. Loved the day.
Love Bangkok! Felt safer than ever.

Will post further and try to make it interesting

~ Kei

21 January 2013

Jet Set Go !!! Day 1: Bangkok : Part :2

Date: 24th December 2012

Continued from Bangkok Day1 Part 1

After my Break Fast, I wanted to purchase a SIM card to keep in touch with my parents back at home. There is a 7-11 next to Dosa King on Soi 11. There are many leading service operators like DTAC, True, AIS, one -two etc.

I chose to go with AIS as I was advised by one of the fellow traveller that with a specific calling card (Bolo Card) it was cheap calling to India with AIS SIM.

I will write a separate blog on How to use the "Bolo Card". As of now Let me begin how my explorations went.

Walked to BTS Nana and my aim was to go to Erawan shrine and Central World. Took a BTS towards Mo Chit and yes it was a great experience. In a place like Chennai, India where building a METRO itself is considered as a herculean task adding to it traffic jams, crowded buses and trains etc etc etc I felt very excited to be in a Country which had really good transportation system. I also thought that it would at least take another 10~15 years for Chennai in particular to develop such connections and organise traffic.

And Oh~! I forgot to mention about the ticketing. It is so easy. You could just use the ticket machine or purchase from the officer i the booth. There is also something called as rabbit card which allows one to store the value and use it whenever necessary. It can be purchased easily at any BTS station ticket office with a minimum deposit of THB 50 and THB 50 sur charge further to which you are supposed to recharge to any amount of your choice to use the BTS service.

Rabbit Cards

I hopped off at BTS Chit Lom. And walked along the path. I wanted to start the day auspiciously so I headed off to the Erawan shrine first. On the way I saw a heavily decorated mall too my left. It was Amarin Plaza I couldn't resist and went down there as there were lot of photo opportunities.  I will share a few with you.

And Now couldn't resist to know what kind of mall was it from inside peeked in and saw the word
This one word if personified will have lot of girlfriends! :)

Quickly entered and skimmed through a lot of goods put on sale nothing was less than THB1500. I liked a lot of things I resisted myself from purchasing coz I had to travel to Krabi in 2 days
I didn't want to carry luggage.
I came out of the mall as quickly as i got in to hold myself from purchasing anything.

Okay Now I told myself, Kei be a good gal go to the shrine and start your trip auspiciously as people at your home have scared you enough on their first trip.

Next to first destination was definitely Erawan shrine.

I walked and I found this temple right next to amarin plaza, the deity looked like shiva so I entered it and did what the local people did. Satisfied that I had obtained enough blessing for the whole trip I now walked back to Central mall and went around the mall nothing special I would call it just another mall but there were decorations outside the mall and a Christmas tree which stood 4 storeys tall.

Was not otherwise impressed by the mall. It was noon by now and my tummy grumbled now I did not want to eat in the food court in the malls. I love street food. Came out to the streets became a local and wandered outside the mall to see if I could find out anything vegetarian.

Forgot to tell you all Yeah! I am a vegetarian meaning No meat, No seafood, No eggs, No pork/shrimp sauce or any animal sauce.

It was really difficult now for me to find something vegetarian on the streets. I walked the whole stretch twice up and down could not find anything that even looked near to vegetarian other than fruits. Now I found a cart lady who was make cups of corn, I was relieved finally. I personally check the ingredients that went in while preparing the corn! NO Non-Veg.!!!

I sat in peace and had a cup full of corn for my lunch. While I was hunting for vegetarian food I spotted a Ganseha and Brahma shrine near the central mall. The culture shock was that I saw people offering prayers whit their sandals/shoes on. In India you would possibly be jailed if you walk into a temple with your shoes/slippers.

Coming back to the corn story  I wasn't sure if I was full but did not feel hungry as I was in the mood of exploring so now walked around aimlessly aimlessly and found Siam Paragon mall by now my legs were weary. I saw a temple called Wat Pathumwanaram on the way to Siam paragon just watched it from outside. I wanted to watch a 4D movie as recommended by many fellow travellers on tripadvisor. I went straight to the 5th floor and lined up in the ticket counter and purchased a ticket for the 4D movie "The Hobbit". The ticket was priced at THB 400. That was a first day blow to my pocket, who thought a movie ticket would cost THB 400 equivalent to INR 800. You can watch movies in Chennai for a price Range starting from INR 10 to max. INR 250
The show was scheduled at 7:00pm.

So I walked around the mall ,there were Christmas decorations everywhere. And I now went back to my hotel and rested for a while changed and got fresh to go back to watch the movie.

The one part I love about the Siam Paragon Mall is that they have luxury cars on display on one of their floors. I loved posing with it while I asked random people to click my photo.

Now time for movie went to the hall and the movie was yet to start there were lot of advertisements and at one point the kings pictures were flashing on the Screen and some song. Every single person in the hall stood up. I figured out it must be the national anthem. Only then I came to know that all Thais can sing their national anthem. :).

Anyways half way through the movie, my phone started ringing.
Guess who it was my parents: Panic call to know if I was fine.
I just did not tell them that I felt very safe, safer than in Chennai. Panic Call from home lasted for 15 min questions were asked about everything ranging from food, Thai prostitutes, my dress, my health, red light areas, my room's security, my Internet connection etc etc etc.
I somehow convinced them that I was fine and there was not a problem.
Went back to my seat in the movie hall and watched the movie for another 5 min. My phone started ringing again.  Guess who it was this time. My uncle.. You know what would be the conversation about. But it was on a very filtered level.
After the call I went to popcorn stand to purchase some pop corn it was priced at THB90.

Anyway was sure that there would be nor more panic calls from home. I once again went back inside the movie hall and by that time there was not much film left.

So I walked out of the movie hall walked along the tunnel of lights-Ratchaprasong walk way thousands of lights felt very excited and all the way from SIAM to chit Lom and by then Central mall was decorated beautifully. Again asked random people to take my picture.

Walked around exploring and it was late around 11:30. So I hopped on to the BTS and went back to my hotel.

Thus the day came to an end.

Rest in the Next

~Kei @ MAS

20 January 2013

Jet Set Go !!! Day 1: Bangkok : Part :1

Date: 24th December 2012

Day 1: Bangkok

Flight arrived at Don Muang International Airport 20 minutes prior to the scheduled time.


Walked straight to the Visa on Arrival counter. I saw a lot of people queueing up, I joined them too. Out of curiosity I walked a bit further a checked, it was the queue for those who did not carry their photograph. Since I carried one with me I directly went to the submission point. The officer there was insisting on fast track service, but I requested for normal. It costed me about THB 1000 since I took photo of mine with me. If you don't carry one they can provide an application form with your photo in it for a additional  fee of THB 50 but you have to queue for it as mentioned earlier.

VOA Card with token number
Fast Track costs about THB1200.  Fast track and normal had no big difference in time. It was definitely not crowded in that hour. I came after visa being stamped and went through immigration and the whole bunch of formalities. Everything went smooth. I tried to contact the information desk at the airport for some maps but it was all closed and would open only by 5:00 am.

So Went to the exit to find a taxi and it was quite easy. You walk out and there is a manned yellow colour booth which you would never miss.
Walk there and mention the area you would like to go and you get a pink slip hold it with you. The driver will usher you to the taxi, show him the slip and just tell the area you would like to go and check if he turns on the meter. If he doesn't, give him a gentle reminder to turn on the meter. The meter starts from THB35 (min.THB35). There is a tollway where I was supposed to pay THB60, there is also another route without tolls but the one with toll is considered to be faster. Reached my hotel in about 45 minutes. The meter showed THB345. You should also pay an additional airport surcharge of THB 50 to the driver. So I checked-in at Hotel Grand President, Bangkok. 

Hotel Review
Booked this hotel through mystery deal from Since I had arrived a Little earlier at about 5:00AM I paid for a for a room upon arrival. They accommodated me in tower 3 which is across the road in a 7th floor room.
I saw a lot of hookers on soi 11 when i came by taxi and while I was checking-in saw a Indian guy taking 2 hookers along with him to his room. The people in the reception ignored it. I was shell shocked as I did not expect a 4 star hotel to ignore something like that.
I was escorted by a hotel staff to the room and he was trying to make little talk to me, I thought he was being friendly but at the end of conversation he was trying to sell me tour package telling that his friend owned the company and blah blah. I rejected his offer.

About the room: I was not happy. Furnishings are worn out. Paint coming off the wall. You cannot say that is a 4 star class room. Wi-fi did not work, so requested in the reception to send someone to help me. They told that since there were no staffs they would not be able to send anyone.
Breakfast was excellent lot of choices ad good food. Location bang on. 5 minutes walk to BTS Nana. Lots of street food and clubs around.

But given the service and the rooms I would definitely not recommend this hotel to anyone.

                                               View of tower 1 and tower2 of the hotel

Started the day with the phone ringing in my room. panic call from my home to know if i had reached safely. Woke up somehow and got ready for my first day exploration.

Looks Yummmmm....
Cost was about THB 90 which was not bad. Ate 2 dosas to fill myself as I am one of that kind who can tolerate hunger at the same time love eating. 

This post is getting longer and longer will post rest in the next..

~ Kei @ MAS

10 January 2013

Day 0 to 1 Chennai to Bangkok

Date: 23rd December

Day 0

I had booked a AIRASIA from MAS to DMK(Don Muang International Airport). AIRASIA doesn't fly to Suvarnabhumi on both domestic and international sectors.

My flight was FD 2654 scheduled 10:30PM on 23rd December 2012.

Due to anxiety I reached airport 4 hours prior to the scheduled time and waited for the bag drop counter to open.
The counter opens ......
Dropped my bags as I had already done a web check-in, finished my immigration and was waiting to board my flight.

Tummy grumbled and yes there was one restaurant inside the passenger hold area called " The Golden Chariot".
-(Restaurant review) 
The restaurant was not very big it had about ten 4 seater tables. The menu was very limited and only 2 service staff. I ordered a vegetarian biryani priced @ INR 180. Taste was ok~ok, quantity was little. I would say this is on a bit pricey side.

There is also a shop by the side of the restaurant called
 "Cafe Lounge" which sells cup noodles, pizza, chips and other things which are very pricey as well. Say  for example you could buy a cup noodle for INR 120, wedge of pizza for INR 75.

I finished my food just in time to queue for the boarding. Boarded the flight and I had done a stupid thing which I realized only then.
I had opted for the last seat no leg room and no reclining facility *_*.


I was not able sleep or even sit properly throughout the journey. Luckily it was only 3hr and 20 min flight.

Forgot to tell you that I ordered an in-flight service. Korean cup noodle. It was priced at THB 80.

                          It was cooking.......

                       Yes it cooked.... and I ate it :)

Slurped it all and somehow I managed to sit for about 3 hours! and yes we landed 20 minutes before scheduled arrival time at DMK.

Rest in the next


8 January 2013

Kei carves her wings

Date: 22nd & 23rd December 2012 

First and Last Shocker - Spare me please!!!

This is my first trip abroad after I have started earning. So I was super excited about the whole trip thing.
I had told my parents that a friend would accompany me for the whole trip, unfortunately my friend had to cancel her trip due to some personal  reasons.


I was worried if my parents would even allow me to go to Thailand now.
As expected parents started worrying about how would i go alone.

Problem (Parents): How would I go alone to a foreign country with nobody with me.
Solution (Kei): I will buy a mobile to keep in touch with you(parents).
Solution (Parents): Lets call our relatives who have been abroad to check if Kei(me) would be safe if she travels alone.

Kei (Me): Lets call uncle(he is a well traveled person-business related) .

Uncle:" Thailand is a very dangerous place particularly for solo females. Lots of prostitution and do not go to watch any shows(" you know what show"). I would definitely advise against travelling alone."


More than enough reason for my parents to stop me from travelling.
And there comes Trip Advisor(TA) to my rescue...

Convinced my parents somehow to let me go and promised to keep in touch with them regularly.

I was just waiting to fly.

~ Kei gets wings

Currently in MAS ~ blog after having returned safely from Thailand..
BKK  seems to be more comfortable now! ;)