Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Travel: Trip to Bangkok - Chatuchak Weekend Market and Patpong Night Market (Part 2)

Day 2 is our official Shopping Day!!!

If our first day proved to be fantastic with the tigers and elephants adventures, our second day has a promise of excitement! Our agenda today will be: SHOPPING and PATPONG NIGHT MARKET!!! First stop, Chatuchak!

ABOUT CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET:

Chatuchak weekend market is the largest market in Bangkok that contains more than 5000 stalls. Awesome! It is estimated to have 200,000 visitors each day. And today, I am one of the 200,000. The style of Chatuchak is somewhat similar with our Divisoria. Most stalls in Chatuchak only opens during Saturdays and Sundays thats why they call it the Weekend Market. In our case, our day 2 falls on a Saturday which is perfect for Chatuchak. The market offers a wide variety of products including household items, clothing, Thai handicrafts, religious artifacts, collectibles, foods, and live animals.

In one of the side streets in Chatuchak. I think this is an undiscovered section. teehee*


People from all walks of life swarming at Chatuchak.

GETTING THERE:

Chatuchak market is adjacent to the Kamphaengphet station of the MRT Bangkok Metro Blue Line, or about a 5-minute walk from the Mo Chit station of the BTS SkytrainSukhumvit Line and another MRT station of Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park).

Originally we planned to take the train going to Chatuchak, but when we stepped outside ourhotel, a friendly cab driver approached us and offered to take us to Chatuchak for around 150 bhat only. All 7 of us for 150 bhat?! We thought that was fair enough so we said yes. (He had a large cab so all 7 of us can fit inside.) There was a catch though, he asked us if we could drop by even just for 10 minutes in a gem gallery. We need not buy anything, just drop by. Why not? And so we did.

At our taxi cab on the way to Chatuchak.

We stopped by at a large gem gallery. In case you dont know, Thailand is the gem cutiing center of the world. So you can find high quality fashion gems and even the classic ones.Thailand’s gem cutters can cut gems into unsual shapes. Bangkok is the colored gem stone capital of the world. Local stones includes rubies, red and blue spinels, yellow and blue sapphires.

The gem gallery was large. When we arrived, we were given welcome drinks. Wow, free drinks! Then we were greeted by a pleasant looking man who served as our tour guide there.He showed us an area where the gems were being cut. We can see busy gem cutters at work.Then we were escorted to a large shop with large collections of gems and jewelries. And then that was the end of the tour, we were free to roam around and shop for gems. True enough though, no one forced us to buy anything. After the gem gallery, we were back at the cab with our happy cab driver. He is now ready to bring us to Chatuchak. In case you might wonder why he bothered to bring us to that gem gallery? Well, it is Thailand’s project to lure tourists to visit the their gem gallery, it is after all one of their pride there. In order to do this, they encourage taxi drivers to bring their tourist-passengers to pass by there.Thailand’s idea of encourage is giving free meals or free 2 liters of gas as a reward to the driver for every group that they bring there. Why not, right? This set up makes everyone happy. This is a good idea, Thailand. But of course this will only apply to tourists who are not on a tight schedule.

Outside the Gem Gallery, where our cab driver took us.

AT CHATUCHAK

Open: 9:00AM – 6:00PM

I was literally all smiles when we arrived at Chatuchak. It was like a party! I did not even care if the weather was crazy. Scorching heat of the sun plus the occasional drizzles. I am here to wreck havoc! I am ready to rumble! Imma shopping mode!!!

Since we are a large group of 7, we decided to separate and just meet up later in order to maximize our time. Thailand is known for fashionable clothing and accesories so no doubt i spent most of my pocket money on them. Im so haaapppeeee=) We were so busy shopping that we actually forgot to take photos!

While shopping around Chatuchak, there are actually plenty of entertainers there. In fact I saw a 10 year old girl, dressed like a cowgirl with radio beside her. Then she played the radio and began to dance and sing. People would though coins at the box. She is actually pretty good at it. Then there was this guy who looked like Johnny Depp from Pirated of the Carribean. I thought he was interesting so I had my photos taken with him. I paid him 10 bhat—for his efforts. hehe

Johnny Deep as Johnny Depp spotted at Chatuchak Market

Cool. Back to topic, so anyway apart from the fashionable items. They also sell super cute puppies there from chow chow, huskies, etc. I am not a dog lover but I can’t help it, they were so adorable!The vendors would offer to sell you these puppies claiming that they are complete with papers. But they said that if you are really interested to buy one, you should have a Thai friend or someone who lives in Bangkok to help you out. Because no.1 you may not be sure that these puppies are really pure breed. No. 2 You will pay for the puppies and they will meet you at the airport just before your flight, You will never know if they will actually bring your puppy or bring you the right puppy. After all, you will be leaving Thailand. The puppies are sold very cheap.

This dog is sooo adorable! I wanna take him home. Some of us actually wanted to buy a dog but a friend told us that unless you have a Thai friend, don't buy one because you might end up getting fooled.

Our Chatuchak Lunch

It was a pretty hot day for shopping and it is most especially hot for lunch. We wanted to have our lunch at one of the air conditioned fast food in the area so we can have a taste of cool air but...

we saw these at the sidewalk so we decided to have our lunch there.

They cooked this fresh shrimps for us. Hot, yummy lunch with super cold soda. Problem, solved!

TIPS:

Dress comfortably.

Don’t smoke. There is a smoking ban in Bangkok. You will be fined 2000 bhat if you are caught smoking. Though it is not strictly enforced, I think it is better to be safe than to be sorry.

Bargain hard. But once you bargain, and they agreed to your price, you ahve to buy it otherwise they will get upset with you.

Mind your belongings. Like in most crowded places, snatchers and pickpockets are rampant in this area.

We ended our shopping spree at around 6:30PM. It’s getting dark, the boys are tired and the stalls are starting to close. Since we have burned our budget for shopping already, we decided to go back to the hotel and get ready for some more shopping, night shopping that is.Next destination—PATPONG Night Market.

But before Patpong, we went back to the hotel first so we could freshen up, leave the things we shopped and grab a dinner. This time,w e wanted an authentic thai street food for dinner.We found one near the train station which was a walking distance from the hotel.Perfect! The food was super cheap and yummy! I’m not a lover of spicy food though but I enjoyed my dinner this time. I was pretty hungry from all that shopping at Chatuchak.After dinner, we boarded the train. We are now off to Patpong Night Market.

Watching the street food vendor making our dinner.


Al fresco dining hehe waiting for our food.
At the train station going to Patpong. The girls are excited for some more shopping while the boys? well, I think they are curious about the

Along the street, we saw some beggars. But its an extraordinary beggar—an elephant beggar to be exact. These cute baby elephants are going around the sidewalks begging tourists for food.The tourists will buy the food(usually apple slices or corn) from the handlers then the tourists can feed the elephants. Sooo cute but I felt sorry for these elephants. (Paging PETA)

ABOUT PATPONG MARKET:

Patpong Night Market is one of the “must” night shopping destinations in Bangkok. Found in Silom, Patpong is always chaotic and busy with all the commotion from the GO-GO bars nearby and lots of foreign tourists. This market in Bangkok's notorious nightlife district is often the first and easiest stop for many tourists just arriving to Bangkok. Silom is also flocked with mid-upper end hotels for tourists.

GETTING THERE:

The Sala Daeng skytrain station is approximately 200 metres from the main Patpong area. Simply get off the skytrain and walk down the road - there is a gentle slope going downwards so follow that and you will reach Patpong in less than 5 minutes.

Open: 6:00PM - 1:00 AM

AT PATPONG:

We were greeted by vendors selling just about anything in the streets. We went around checking the stuffs and the prices but I noticed that Chatuchak Market offered cheaper prices for the goods. I was disappointed but the air in Patpong was full of excitement. Loud music, bright lights and the thick crowd of tourists. As we stroll around, we ended up in a street with row of GO-GO Bars. As i peek through the openings of the doors, I can see like 50 women/lady boys (by ladyboys I mean men who look like real women or have undergone sex transplant already complete with the boobs and the vajayjay) all dancing at the top of the bar wearing similar outfits. One bar had them worn in all red lingerie, another bar had them in sexy nurse outfits, and so on with the creative uniform outfits. These bars are filled with foreigners both men and women. They are all having fun, and drinking and talking. But if you come to think of it, this is really prostitution. All those poor girls selling their bodies...so sad. Anyway, while we were going around, one man was annoyingly following us convincing us to go to this particular bar, where there is a Pussy Show! Yes thats right a Pussy Show that can do ping pong, eat bananas, shoot darts, etc. Interesting, right? Anyway, whatever happens heed my advice, DON’T GO THERE! It’s just 100% trouble and it was really a bad experience. I am gonna write a separate blog entry about that (maybe next time) to tell you what happened to us and to warn our dear readers.

Patpong Night Market.

The crowd along the numerous Go-Go Bars at Patpong.

TIPS:

As usual, this is Bangkok so bargain hard.

Say NO to the Pussy Show(Maybe I'll write a separate blog entry about our bad experience.)

Be mindful of your belongings especially your cash, passports and cellphones. Again, Patpong is a crowded area and there are plenty of pickpockets and snatchers lurking around the corner.

We were actually in shock after the Pussy Show that we went home after that. Chit chatted until we all fell asleep. But other than that, it was actually a very fun day!!!

Summary of Itinerary: DAY 2

6:00 AM Wake Up, sleepy heads!!!

7:00 AM Breakfast at the hotel

8:00 AM Gem Factory

9:00 AM Chatuchak Weekend Market

6:00 PM Prepare to leave Chatuchak Weekend Market

8:00 PM Street food dinner

9:00PM Check out Patpong’s Night Market and the Night Life


I hope I have been helpful to you once again in giving you a little insight about our second day. It was a real great day so you are free to do this IT too. But please remember to say NO to whoever might lure you into going to that Pussy Show.

Thanks for reading! I'll be posting our third day in Bangkok next time...

That's it for now!

Xoxo


Ghetto S

2 comments:

  1. Bongga! Haba ng post ah!!! Can't wait to visit Bangkok again! This time, with you as a guide :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Nikki! I wanted to be a tour guide since i was young. So pwede, pwede ill be happy to be your tour guide and shopping partner:) hihi

    ReplyDelete

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