BANGKOK DIARY

After a smooth ride of two hours we reached Bangkok and another beautiful ibis hotel with river view welcomed us. If in Bangkok, try and stay in a room with a view of Chao Phraya River which is the lifeblood of the city.

Day 3

img_20160601_135325798We had a room with an incredible view of the river at ibis Bangkok Riverside, located in Charoen Nakhon Rd. There is free shuttle to BTS Krung Thonburi SkyTrain station to zip you into the city centre. We really liked the location because it is little away from the hustle bustle of city centre , getting a cab wasn’t a problem, and there’s a 7-Eleven right outside the hotel too, talk about convenience.

We relaxed for a bit and then went to hunt for Indian restaurant yet again and ended up eating burger and bucket chicken at KFC. I guess that was safe bet for the folks.

Dinner River Cruise

In the evening we had booked a Dinner Cruise for Chao Phraya Princess via our travel agent and they even arrange a van picked up from our hotel to River City Pier.

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There is a saying, ‘you shouldn’t miss the Seine when in Paris, the Thames when in London, and the Chao Phraya when visiting Bangkok’
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There are four Chao Phraya Princesses river cruise and the one we went was Chao Phraya Princess IV..Ours was similar to one seen in the picture,only number changed

Upon arrival, the driver bought us to the check-in counter to collect our boarding tickets and stickers for the cruise.  After which we waited for quite some time (it’s slightly behind schedule) before the cruise arrived at the pier and the queue was rather chaotic with everyone pushing just to get aboard first.

There are four Chao Phraya Princesses river cruise and the one we went was Chao Phraya Princess IV. We boarded Chao Phraya Princess IV around 7.30pm and were seated at the lower deck .We had an unobstructed view of the Chao Phraya River stretch. Yihee.

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While I was expecting Thai cuisine for dinner buffet spread, it was essentially desi (Indian) spread with a Thai touch. Like everywhere else in Bangkok, this cruise was full of Indian people and everything was customized for Indians. It was sort of mini India in a foreign land with people across the states of the country

Though it was fusion Indian food spread, their buffet dinner includes a wide selection of dishes ranging from appetizers to main dishes as well as desserts like cakes, pastries and fresh fruits.  Just by looking at all the dishes made me full. I don’t really have a big appetite. I focused more on the dessert table.

Honestly the buffet spread does consists a wide range of food which suits all ages but then don’t expect anything fantastic like those buffet from 4/5 stars hotels.

During the dinner cruise, other than filling up our tummy with the buffet spread we also enjoyed the magnificent night view of the historical structures as well as religious monasteries like Wat Phra Kaew (The Grand Palace) and Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) while cruising along the Chao Phraya River.

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Rama VIII Bridge which is a cable-stayed bridge crossing the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok is also another remarkable landmark which worth your snapshots. The top of the tower features a glass observation deck, which is enclosed in a metal frame in the shape of a lotus bud

Talking of customisation, they even played Hindi movie songs and we Indians could not resist shaking our legs desi way. From ‘Yaadon ki Baraat’ to ‘Made in India’, a Thai singer sang it all.

Overall we had a memorable dinner cruise on board the Chao Phraya Princess, considering it’s 2 and half hours cruise ride with decent buffet spread plus awesome night view along the Chao Phraya River that worth some snapshots. I am sure this is indeed an one-time experience which you might consider taking up too. The boat brought us back to the pier at the River City Shopping Complex where everyone disembarked with laughter and a smile on their face – a fitting testimony to the pleasure derived from the dinner Cruise. Later we were dropped off in our hotel.

Day 4 (Damnoen Saduak floating market)

Next day we started early and headed The Damnoen Saduak floating market, one of the most popular floating markets and a major tourist attraction. It took us around three hours to reach there as we picked up many other tourists on our way from across the City.

The guide brought us to the boat immediately. The boat just nice to seat in 8 people. The leisure boat trip brought us along the river. There were vendors selling goods and souvenirs from their boats. The boat trip was actually quite boring as we saw mostly souvenirs and nothing special. Maybe either we were a bit late as the busy morning already ended or the place has already turned too touristic. The sun was scorching hot too at this time. Nevertheless it was my first time visiting a floating market so still an interesting experience.

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If you’ve heard of one floating market in the vicinity of Bangkok, it’s likely Damnoen Saduak. This popular floating market in Ratchaburi province is a mainstay of marketing material for Thailand’s tourism industry. It attracts huge numbers of visitors hoping to catch that quintessential image of a grandma paddling her wooden boat along a canal to buy a coconut – or better still, that whole traffic jam of little rowing boats that makes up the picture-perfect postcard image of a trip to Thailand

But be warned: authentic floating market material this is not. The line most often touted about Damnoen Saduak, by those who know Thailand well, is that it’s ultimately a tourist trap. And it’s not an assessment we can disagree with – albeit that it’s a tourist trap many day-trippers still enjoy visiting and getting a few snaps of. In fact, you’re likely to come across far more fellow tourists – likely huddled up in the same boat as you.

Shoppers paradise

While the first half was spent at floating market, in the later part of the day we decided to explore Bangkok markets and malls. After figuring out BTS sky train route, we headed to Siam station, which is right outside Paragon Shopping Center. A good and easy start for you shopping bonanza.

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The biggest shopping centres in Bangkok are clustered together within a fairly small area, which makes it convenient for shopping. It is easy to either walk, or take the sky train between them. All the centers also have great food courts, restaurants and cafes, ideal when needing a sit-down break and fuel up on energy

Fourth day evening was spent at MBK, or Mahbookkrong as it is originally called, is one of Asia’s oldest shopping centers. The center is packed with small shops, mostly Thai brands and designs, and not many international shops.

Two floors (4th and 5th floor) is full of electronics, from Apple shops as iStudio to big professional camera shops as Nikon and Canon. One part of the 4th floor is full of tiny stalls selling all sorts of electronic stuff and spare parts. They have everything you can think of! Especially mobiles phones and mobile accessorize is in a majority. Here you can also have your mobile phone fixed if you have any problems with it, as they can fix almost everything at a cheap price while you wait!

At MBK you can also find Thai souvenirs at cheap price, although don’t expect them to be of high quality. This shopping center is great fun, but pretty exhausting as it is packed with Thai teenagers shopping like crazy!

As we were hungry and needed bit of rest, we headed to the food court which had Thai and International food including Indian cuisine. While I tried Thai cuisine with dad and uncle, mom and aunt stuck to Indian food.

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One of the most famous and sought after Thai dishes is Thai green curry. Green curry paste, coconut milk, bamboo shoots, chicken, Thai basil, Thai eggplant and the ever present herbs and roots of Thai cuisine (lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves etc), make this curry an unforgettable blend of delights. It is usually prepared quite soupy so a plate of rice is necessary to sop up every intricate drop
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Thai Red Curry
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 Sticky Rice With Mango :This traditional Thai dessert is  made with glutinous rice , fresh mango and coconut milk

After sumptuous dinner we got back to our hotel via sky train, followed by Bangkok Taxi. Typical taxi fares for going a few kilometres are around 50 baht. Communication can be a problem with the majority of Bangkok’s taxi drivers as they often speak little English. We had difficulty in communicating as well but somehow managed. Later in the night we chose to relax by side of the swimming pool while enjoying spectacular view of Bangkok City along Chao Phraya River.

I will put up Bangkok temple tour and Safari world diary in the third and last part of this blog soon.

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