Went to Bangkok last month and had one of the most awesome times ever! Nonnie has been diligently blogging about each and every single day of our trip and she does such a great job at it. If you would so prefer a more detailed account of our trip, please go on over to these links below:
- Day 1: Bangkok, the Land of AWESOMENESS
- Day 2: Temples, Houses, Mango Trees and SHOPPING!
- Day 3: Shopping, Massage, Makan
- Day 4: Hi Cambodia! Here comes Si Makan dan Si Tidur!
- Day 5: Siem Reap Happenings
- Day 6: A Twist of Emotions
- Day 7: To Feed and Be Fed
- Day 8: I Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye
As you know, the trip is divided into 4 parts. First we take an RBA flight from Brunei to Bangkok, and spend 2 nights there, then from there we go on AirAsia to Phnom Penh. The next morning we take a private car to Siem Reap and then back to Phnom Penh. Next day we go back to Bangkok and after 1 night, we are homebound back to Brunei.
Not complicated at all! I now vow to go to at least 2 countries whenever I travel. Save money and double the experience. 😀
1. Brunei International Airport: Here we are looking all fresh and excited on the plane
2. Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok: After months of (not) planning, we are finally there in Bangkok! One of the best cities in South East Asia!
3. Arrived at our Hotel: The Best Bangkok House Hotel. Was very very cheap, but we have noisy neighbours!
5. Shopping at MBK: This picture was taken in my now favorite shop there: Beauty Buffet. MBK was quite boring I thought. Would rather shop at Platinum, same items yet cheaper price.
7. BTS Sky train (I think that is an important part of modern Thai culture) Must try! Hehe. I wish we have these trains in Brunei. Would have been awesome!
8. Chao Phraya River: We did a tour package. On the day we arrived in BKK, we were offered this free tour around Chao Phraya River. It was quite interesting, we had a very capable tour guide who will put all Bruneian tour guides to shame. But the river cruise itself was tooooo long!
9. Thonburi Snake Farm: It was part of the river tour. Very interesting snake show. Scary to be exact. But the snake farm is also home to many many animals and birds. Unfortunately they are all kept in very cramped cages and look very sickly. I hope they will do something about it.
10. Chatuchak Weekend Market: Eating halal chicken sausage. There are loads of halal foods in Thailand, and if you don’t like Thai food (WHY???) then head on over to KFC, that has halal chicken. 🙂 Chatuchak is an amazing shopping heaven for those who enjoy bargaining for those unique printed tees.
11. SIAM Paragon: Posing in front of CHANEL. Sigh! One day!
12. Samyan Market: A cheap food centre where students from the nearby Chulalongkorn University usually eat after and in between classes. We took advantage of this because where students hang out, there will be authentic local food with student prices! (Coincidentally, the guy featured in this photo works at the magazine that I linked “Samyan Market” to)
13. Erm, some Chinese dessert cafe place: A few blocks down from Samyan Market is some sort of a ChinaTown. We stopped by this dessert bar, and ordered a bowls of these yummies. You’re supposed to pick 3 toppings and they will put these topings over shaved ice and evaporated milk. Cost about $0.50 each bowl.
14. Ratchada Weekend Night Market (OMG I look so shiny!): This was an awesome market that sells vintage stuff! If you dig well enough you can find really great deals, but of course you must know how to bargain. I love this place as there is not even ONE single tourist there, it was definitely for locals only so learn some Thai before you go there!
15. Platinum Fashion Mall: This is a wholesale fashion mall, where I bought high quality dresses for $5 each! Enough said!
16. Pantip Plaza: This is one of the biggest malls dedicated to IT, kind of like the Thai version of Low Yat Plaza I went to when we were in Kuala Lumpur. Also this was where I thought I saw Big Reeds! How appropriate is that we saw him at an IT mall! Hehehe. But only at first glance they look alike, after the second glance, Anakbrunei is more hensem.
Pantip Plaza is supposedly where everyone gets their pirated DVDs. So some people may get excited but I personally think Kadai Komunis in Gadong has better selection heheheh.
17. Some Thai Massage Spa in Petchburi Soi Sip Ha: What trip to Thailand is complete without having Thai massage. Perfect after a day of hard-core shopping.
17. Streets of Silom also known as the District of the Third Sex: We had dinner here. This is one of the red light districts of Bangkok and it was quite interesting to see some “local business” going on there. Hehehe. Less blatant than Patpong, look out for people just walking aimlessly and standing around as if singing “Too Sexy For My Shirt” in their heads.
18. Phnom Penh International Airport: After a short flight from Suvarnabhumi, we arrive to our next destination, Phnom Penh!
19. Bourgainvillier Boutique Hotel: Stayed here throughout the duration of our stay. A bit on the pricey end, but for two lady travellers, it was very safe and was located at a prime destination, only a few minutes walk from a street of halal restaurants.
20. Tonle Sap Lake: The largest freshwater lake in South East Asia! Been there!
21. Sisowath Quay: Overlooking the Tonle Sap Lake.
22. Siem Reap: I’ve wanted to go here, eversince I co-wrote that article with Ahim Rani. I never told you guys, but when we wrote that article we spent many hours online and Ahim will be telling me about his experiences and the smells and colours and flavours and his opinions of the place. It stayed in my mind, this imagined place in my head, and that was the only thing I had to help me write the article.
It made me determined to come here one day. And I did! Ahim Rani inspired this trip through his story that I had the privellege to tell, and his photos that honestly have such a life of it’s own.
23. Angkor Wat: This icon of Cambodian culture has got to be one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever set foot on. When I went there I felt the same sort of jitter I felt when I went to Taj Mahal, that sense of “Wow, I’m actually here”. Awesome, awesome place. Really beautiful.
24. Bayon: The many many stone faces were rather eerie as they stared at us taking photos of the building. This was a very awe-inspiring building for so many reasons.
25. Angkor Balloon: I was very very excited about going on the Angkor Balloon but as fate has it, it was closed that particular afternoon we were there. Nonnie and I were very disappointed. 😦 If you ever go to Angkor, do stop by the Angkor Balloon. Bayon and Angkor Wat must be amazing from up there. It’s about US$11 for a criminally short 10 minutes. It will be the best purchase ever.
26. Khmer Angkor Restaurant: Yes, that is really the name of the restaurant! Stopped by here for lunch! Had the famous Fish Amok.
27. Halal Restaurant: When we got home, we were famished! Had dinner here at this very unsubtly named restaurant. Food was very cheap!!!
28. Toul Sleng Genocide Museum: This has got to be one of the most depressing sites I have ever been to. More depressing is that when I try to explain the significance of this place to friends, I realise many do not know of the gloomy era of Cambodian desperation and death under the Pol Pot regime.
“The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a museum in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The site is a former high school which was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979.” Please read more about this Museum.
29. Cheoung Ek Killing Fields: Another site which had seen a lot of evil.
“The site of a former orchard and Chinese graveyard about 17km south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is the best-known of the sites known as The Killing Fields, where the Khmer Rouge regime executed about 17,000 people between 1975 and 1979. Mass graves containing 8,895 bodies were discovered at Choeung Ek after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Many of the dead were former inmates in the Tuol Sleng prison.” Read more.
30. Royal University of Phnom Penh: Sent off Yoyo, my friend to Uni after having lunch with her. Will miss her! I love this photo.
31. MY Hotel: Back in a more modern Bangkok, we checked in a very nice looking hotel only 10 steps away from our old hotel! Hehehe.
32. Centralworld: One of the most happening places in Bangkok! We went here again the next day. Hehe. I love the wide open space outside the mall.
33. TK Park! Met up with the ASEAN +3 Youth Caucus gang.
34. Suan Lum Night Bazaar: Shopping! Somewhat more expensive than the last few markets, but Silom is more tourist friendly with vendors speaking many languages and easier to navigate. Careful what you say because they sure can speak Malay here!
35. Fish Spa: Hehehe, mad expensive but just trying. Sat opposite handsome Japanese tourist.
36. Back to Suvarnabhumi International Airport: Finally homebound. 😀 Wore a mask because I was still down with the sniffles caused by dusty Phnom Penh! Don’t wanna scare everyone with my runny nose!
The end of another awesome trip. I love Bangkok and the awesome convenience that the city brings. It’s certainly very easy to fall in love with this country with its delicious food, friendly people and mad shopping. But Phnom Penh, though less modern, charmed us in with those many moments of “huh?!” and French detail buildings and how fiercely they fought to be free of oppression. I really think I learnt a lot from this trip, and I have to thank Nonnie for being the best travel buddy! 😀