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

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