Bangkok 2014: Who cares about the curfew?

View of Bangkok and the Chao Praya from the 63rd floor on the Lebua at State Tower.

Fresh after my Korea trip in April, I made plans to head to Bangkok from 13-15 June 2014. The last time I visited Bangkok was back in 2012, as a mini Graduation trip of sorts. You can read about my previous trip by clicking on the Bangkok tab. I think my previous trip was quite a touristy one, and it was also crazily long, almost 6 days in Bangkok. This time round, we opted for a short getaway from Friday to Sunday, because we were mainly there to have fun, shop and eat and partially also because I didn’t want to use too much of my leave.

CJ and I flew in bright and early on Friday morning on the 7.40am flight. We decided to go with Thai Airways instead of the usual budget airlines because it wasn’t a very big difference, and there was baggage allowance. I seriously dislike how budget airlines give you the impression they have really cheap fares but once you add up all the miscellaneous charges, it’s just a little cheaper than what normal airlines charge.

At the time we flew in, Bangkok was still under the curfew, meaning no one could be on the streets from 12am-4am. But I was monitoring the Tourism Authority of Thailand website (way more reliable than the mainstream media which tends to play up the situation quite a bit), and it seemed like the curfew was already being lifted in many cities. So I kinda guessed it was only a matter of time before Bangkok’s was lifted. True enough, right after I landed, my friend left me a Facebook message with news source that said there were rumours that the curfew would be lifted that very evening! And it really was! The running joke among the friends in Bangkok we met on the trip, was that the curfew was lifted because we were there. HAH.

We took a cab which cost us about 250 baht to CJ’s parents’ place. It’s called My River and is a very nice apartment located right along the Chao Praya, right opposite the Saphan Taksin BTS station.

The view from the apartment balcony.
The very first thing we did was to take the buggy from the apartment out to the supermarket (which was right outside), stocked up on drinks and CP snacks. Thereafter, after loading up the fridge, we headed down for a dip in the pool. It was kinda nice getting to laze around in the pool, not having to care about work and just watching boats sail down the Chao Praya.

But of course, we didn’t go to BKK just to laze at the apartment (much as we contemplated doing so if the curfew wasn’t lifted and if the streets had military personnel). We had our fill of lazing around and took the condo ferry (which comes at hourly intervals) from the apartment across the Chao Praya and to Saphan Taksin station.

On the apartment’s dedicated ferry! It was super nice and really empty but the ride was barely 2-3 minutes.
For lunch, we headed to Som Tam Nua¬†near Siam BTS for the legendary Papaya Salad (Som Tam). We also ordered Chicken Wings and Grilled Pork Collar. It wasn’t a lot but we were saving our stomachs for Mango Tango, which was slightly further down from where Som Tam Nua was.

Clockwise from left: Papaya salad, grilled pork collar, Thai iced milk tea, rice (lol), and chicken wings.
The food at Som Tam Nua was good, affordable and definitely a place I’d return to when I head back to BKK. We scooted off to Mango Tango, which was opposite, across the road, right after.

A random mango sago drink and mango sticky rice.
We spent the afternoon at one of the regular shopping haunts – Platinum Mall. But as we weren’ too keen on navigating through the squeezy walkways and past tonnes of people, we decided to just head to Platinum 2, which is more pricey, but has more variety and sizes, in my opinion. However, even Platinum 2 turned out to be a bit of a let down. Most of the clothes were either a little too gaudy or their prices were jacked up, like 500-600baht (more than S$20) for a piece. There were some pieces that I really liked, but had to forgo also because they weren’t work-appropriate.
In the end I landed up with these few items – two dresses, four tops (one for my brother, guess which), three hats/caps, a pair of pumps, a skirt, a sling and a handphone casing. From Chitlom, we took the train back to Saphan Thaksin and boarded the shuttle ferry to Asiatique, our next and final location for the day.

It was my first time at Asiatique. It reminded me somewhat of Clarke Quay and Dempsey combined. There were many restaurants and bars there, but we wanted something simpler, so we settled for a meal at their so-called food court, at a stall called Rocking Doll. It seemed the most popular and bustling. Food was pretty mediocre though, and it wasn’t exactly cheap either.

We walked around for a bit whilst munching on coconut ice cream (a must-have when in BKK!), loaded up on banana and durian chips for our friends and family, and then headed back to the apartment for a small house party with CJ’s dad’s friends, who lived a floor down.

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