Posts Tagged ‘thailand’

Short trip to Bangkok

July 19, 2013

I made a short trip to Bangkok last weekend. It was a nice but not so relaxing trip. There’s been the usual shopping spree. Unfortunately, MBK is no longer my favorite shopping place. Everything seemed to be more expensive this time round. The traders there don’t even want to do your business. They just look at you with their sour faces and trying hard not to roll their eyes when you are choosing your things. Well, fuck them. Am never going to step into MBK… ever again.

Went to Platinum Mall. Didn’t know there are actually two buildings. One with more confusing escalators offers pricier things. So, we gotta go back to the “old” building, where there are more cheaper bargains. They really stick to their wholesale price and you can no longer bargain for more discounts. I think it’s rather fair since if you buy at whole sale, it’s already a lot cheaper.

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Maeklong railway station

Things to highlight is probably the trip to Maeklong train market, which is situated some 80km away from Bangkok (about 1.5 hour by car). I guess by going there and witness for yourself how the markets fold up whenever the train is passing through is rather exhilarating! There were rather plentiful of tourists, with their cameras and camcorders all ready for the train. Find it rather amusing as all the Angmohs were standing at the stalls, as if they were manning the counters. The locals are really nice lot. They offer smiles generously even if you don’t buy things from them.

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Train coming through!

We managed to buy some dried goods here, as they were way cheaper compared to Bangkok. We could get about a kilo of flavored anchovies snacks at only 75 baht.

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Floating market

Then we went to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi, about 30 minutes away from the Maeklong railway market. Well, it’s cliche to the max lah this trip. I didn’t like small boats, especially getting in and out of it since I am such a clumsy person! Luckily I didn’t tip over the boat and fall into the opaque river!

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Scorching sun at Ancient Siam!

Lastly, we visited Ancient Siam, about an hour and a half from Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Our driver, unfortunately didn’t buckle his seat belt and got pulled over by the police and was issued a summon of 400 baht on the spot. Rather cheap if you ask me.. compared to our RM100 or RM300.. and if you prefer RM50 duit kopi.

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Old barber shop

We could have taken the golf cart if we knew the way but decided against it and hopped on the tram instead. The guide spoke mainly in Thai but since there were more foreigners, she tried her best to speak in her halting English. We asked questions and she managed to answer us in her limited English.

However, the trip was sort of marred by this family of five, parents with three young children. Since the boys were rather boisterous, the father got really irritated and kept shouting at the children, while the mother was all being patient with them. The father kept scolding the two boys for dropping the camera and walking to and fro the tram or even played with the garbage bin. He even scolded his wife. I think our tour guide got a little fed up with them and asked them, “This one monkey or children?” HAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAH. That shut the dad up real good. Even the kids seemed to be behaving after the remark in broken English. I think I laughed really loud when she made the remark. LOL!

This is probably the first time I took BTS train all the way around Bangkok. I hardly took the train whenever I am in Bangkok but this time round, I did so in order to save some traveling time – since BKK is the biggest parking lot due to the terrible jams.. and also to avoid bumping into aggressive tuk tuks which took you for a ride to get their petrol allowances. Haha. I still remember wasting almost 45 minutes going from shops to shops before reaching our intended destination which is just 10 minutes away.

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Asiatique

Ah! There’s this new shopping place as well by the river – Asiatique. It’s a really nice, charming place. I find the industrial design of the place made it sort of unique. It’s rather popular even with the locals. Since Suan Lum night market has been closed some years ago, they decided to bring it back. So, they have it here at Asiatique. To get there, just take the BTS to Saphan Thaksin and take the free ferry. There will be touts asking you to pay 20 baht to skip the queue, which took us almost 30 minutes just waiting for a ferry. Anyway, since we have time, we just waited like the rest of the people to get on the ferry.

We managed to meet up with friends in Bangkok. It was really pleasant to meet friends from Singapore and Hong Kong too. So happened, they made a trip there and we found out we were going to Bangkok at the same time, so arranged for a dinner meet! What a small world! What a coincidence!

All in all, it was a good trip, with good food and bonding time. For more photos, check out my instagram!

Kangar & Hat Yai

October 28, 2012

I guess you can see from my previous posts on Hat Yai on where to go. I was in Hat Yai end of last month. The family went there after all of us attended our cousin sister’s graduation from Universiti Malaysia Perlis in Kangar. Kangar itself is quite a dead town. But it has breathtaking scenes. This is where the local Chinese production filmed their movie – Tian Tian Hao Tian. I’ve been to Kangar twice – once during a short holiday sometime this year and last month, was my second time. So, I get to witness two scenes – once with the vast green paddy fields and the second time, harvesting – where all paddy had been harvested and second time, only left plots of watery and muddy lands. I guess if you want to see Kangar, you have to see it when the paddy are still green or ripening.

Sunset at Kg. Wai, Kangar, Perlis

The set where local production shot the movie, “Tian tian hao tian”

Sunset at Kg. Wai, Kangar, Perlis

What I want to highlight this time, is the Hat Yai night market, I believed is called Suntisuk Night Market. I think I haven’t been there eventhough I’ve been to Hat Yai twice. Both times, we were too busy watching Simon Cabaret or Thai Girl show. Haha. Well, this time round, we didn’t intend to watch any shows so our driver took us to the night market. If you look at the map, the market is rather near Lee Gardens Hotel. Two blocks away. Here -especially girls, you will go CRAAZZZZYYYYY over shopping. Even my sister – the most thrifty among us went crazy. She ended buying two pairs of shoes – one for only 100 baht and 130 baht, some clothes for Ern Ern and Sasha. As for my cousin sisters – they went crazy buying dresses at only 99 baht each! However, for dresses, you couldn’t try though so you have to estimate if you could wear the dresses or not. As for me, sure no size lah. Haha. So I just bought 6 pairs of slippers (Ranging from 49 baht to 79 baht each!) and a small bag for 150 baht which is now my favorite bag. I kinda regret for not buying more though!

The Elephant temple, Hat Yai

Other than dresses, shoes and girly stuffs, you can also get a tattoo here, phone accessories at really dirt cheap prices, pets (though I don’t think you can get them out undetected.. also, I do not support buying pets, adopt them!), etc. Another thing is the food being sold here! They have all sorts of food from Thai to Western to Japanese. They have stalls of pretty little sushis on sale. We ended eating chicken rice – sold by a Muslim lady. The chicken was crispy and nice! We also went to try other stalls of food – pork rice with siew yok. We could have spent more time here.

The temple on highest point in Hat Yai

Another place you should be shopping is at the Tesco Lotus. You wouldn’t believe that the groceries there – biscuits, instant noodles, canned food, etc were so much cheaper. If you like bread sticks, they have other flavors as well which we couldn’t find here in KL. I love Meiji Panda vanilla biscuits, if not mistaken, in KL, it’s priced about RM3.50 per packet. But in Hat Yai’s Tesco, you can get it for only 19 baht. So you imagine how crazy we went in Tesco. Even aunty-ish stuffs like washing detergent and fabric softener are dirt cheap! The only thing we regretted is we didn’t drive a lorry to Padang Besar to cart all our things back to KL! Haha! I told my friends, in Hat Yai, not only you will go shopping.. you will go sapu-shopping! Everything on the shelf – you just sapu!

The floating market – Khlong Hae

Oh yes – we were staying in Kangar earlier, so we went into Hat Yai via Padang Besar’s entry point instead of the usual Sadao. Sadao is normally more packed compared to Padang Besar. In fact, I think we were the ONLY tourists when we were checking at the Padang Besar checkpoint. It was strange because we were at the check point on a Sunday morning, there weren’t many people going into Hat Yai via Padang Besar.

Another thing I want to highlight about Hat Yai is probably the chicken rice we had on the last day when we were there. It’s Jae Toi’s Hainanese Chicken Rice along along Prachatipat Road, right opposite one rather big 7-11! The chicken rice is made from Siamese fragrant rice. We doused generous servings of fried garlic onto our rice before we tucked in! It was heavenly! I think it’s open everyday from 7 am to 5 pm. Tel: 074-238915

Here’s a big map of Hat Yai for you to plan your trip. Also, check out my earlier posts on Hat Yai.

For more photos, click here.

StarCruise to Krabi & Phuket

October 22, 2012

14th October 2012 to 17th October 2012

I went on a cruise to Krabi & Phuket with StarCruise Superstar Libra last week. I think I was on StarCruise Superstar Gemini before some 10 years ago. So this was my second time cruising with StarCruise. It was quite an enjoyable journey.

We took a bus to Penang and got to the Penang port 30 minutes before 1 pm. Checking in was breezy and before we know it, we were already on board. The cabin was small because it was for twin sharing basis. I remember I was on a quad sharing when I cruised with Gemini and the bed wasn’t even this small! The cabin was just nice for two person. The only grouse is probably the size of the bed. It’s just too small for me. Or perhaps, I should lose some weight! Haha!

Penang bridge view from Penang Port

After freshening up, we went to Deck 10 – the highest deck to check out the scenery. It was scorching hot in Penang so we quickly took some photos and leave!

I still remember when Penang bridge was first opened to the public, many people took the opportunity to snap photos at the bridge. Since we were young, dad used to stop his car illegally at the side and asked us to get down for a quick photoshoot! We didn’t know we could come to Penang Port for this view! Perhaps then, not many people is aware we could see the whole of Penang bridge from this port. I didn’t know the ferry has changed its iconic green color to blue instead.

The cruise started to leave the dock around 5 pm and patrons were invited to participate in a safety drill. Well, I guess after what happened to Costa Concordia in the Italian Strait earlier this year, I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry. I didn’t bring the life jacket out and stroll along with others to huddle together at our designated places of assembly.

Welcoming party

After that, we went to Deck 9 for the welcoming party. There was a festive camaraderie at Deck 9, patrons were entertained by beautiful singers and dancers and were asked to join them to dance the evening away. At about 6 pm, we were treated with seafood BBQ and assorted food on board that we couldn’t simply finish in one sitting! Compared to Gemini, I think the food that were offered by Gemini were more international standard. If I remember correctly, I wonder if there were oysters? But I do remember, there were plenty of seafood to go about. One piece of advice, go for dinner after 7.45 pm when the crowd died down. That time, you will have plenty to eat, and place to sit.

Beautiful dancers – Dasha & Dimi

Our first night ended with entertainment on board at Stardust lounge. I truly salute the crew. The men doubled up as lady boys in a comedy skit, at the same time, manning the lighting.. and becoming hosts! And they can dance and sing! These people are truly talented and fun! There are many nationalities working here – Thailand, Philippines, China, Nepal, India, Malaysia, etc.

Reflection of Wat Chalong

The next day, we docked at Phuket Port at 12 noon Malaysian time. We took turns to get down the ship in orderly manner and haggled with the hired vans outside the port. You may hire a van for Rm250 to Rm300 depending on your haggling skills. However, you will need to know where to go because, these vans normally would take you to touristy places to get their petrol chits for the day – the cashew nuts factory, the bee farm and also the jewelery place. We took interest in the cashew nuts factory and bee farm but not, the jewelery. We stop by Wat Chalong after that and went for lunch. After lunch, we were taken to Robinson and the Big C shopping mall – where you could get groceries or for the ladies, underwear at cheaper prices. I only bought some Glico bread sticks – ham & cheese flavor as well as larb ( I think it’s minced pork flavor, looking at the photos).  After that, we insisted to go to Patong Beach, much to the van driver’s chagrin. He insisted that, it’s not worth it to spend our money there because the prices are much higher compared to town. He was right. However, I think we quite like Jungceylon, the new shopping mall and the short distance walk to the beach.

Beautiful Poda Island, and can you see the StarCruise ship?

On the third day, we cruised to Krabi and got off the ship at 10.30 am and went island hopping to Phranang Bay, Poda Island, Chicken Island and the connecting islands of Mor and Tub – which seemed to be everyone’s favorite. My favorite is probably Phranang Island. It was a very short shore, but since it’s near the princess cave – the place is rather shaded and good to swim in. If you want to go to Poda Island, the landing part of the island is rather dirty. You should bring a mat for a short picnic – find a cleaner spot around the island. It has a good photo opportunity too. Beware of spiky sea urchins though! A colleague’s husband stepped on one and he grimaced in pain, all the way back to the ship!

We were treated to a good gala dinner with 4 course western meal on the last night on cruise. I chose the salmon and tuna appetizer, the herbal mushroom soup, beef medallion steak and finally, tiramisu. I guess to make the dinner even more perfect, we ordered two bottles of Asti Martini to complete the perfect night. You can get the wine with a really good price of only RM187 for two bottles! So, bottoms up!

All in all, it was truly a relaxing and enjoyable trip. For more photos, check it out here.

Shopping Frenzy in Hat Yai

December 21, 2008

I totally forgot that we went to aquarium the previous day. (I only remember the Thai Girl Show vividly ! Lol!) It cost 200 baht for adults entrance per person and kids under 3 years old, get in for free. It was said, this Hat Yai aquarium is much bigger compare to the one in Langkawi. I haven’t been to Langkawi’s one so I don’t know. Anyway, there was nothing much except, there will be a feeding time at 3.30 pm every day. You get to see how sting ray eats! Good place to bring children.

13th December 2008, Saturday

It was the last day being in Hat Yai. So, what is more rewarding than a shopping frenzy? We went to Talak Sot, a market in town which is actually a building with few storeys packed with shops inside. I didn’t notice how many storeys as my eyes were clouded by the goods and wares in the market!

Hat Yai is a good place to pick up imitations – some are not as good as Chiang Mai’s but what the heck. My friends picked up a lot of Hello Kitty bags and make up boxes which are quite cute. We also bought some cashew nuts. It’s about RM26 per kg. If I remember correctly, I bought 1 kg in Chiang Mai for RM32. And also you get to buy lot of other sea produce and bird nest at reasonable prices. And guess what? Instant noodles of famous brands like Pama – the yummy duck and tom yum flavored instant noodles are as cheap as RM15 per box of 30 packets! That is like 50 sen per packet when you have to pay RM4.50 for 5 back in Kuala Lumpur! I could see some jaw dropped now. Haha!

Hotels are quite cheap in Hat Yai. We stayed at Yong Dee Hotel, which is a budget hotel at only RM58 per night per room on twin sharing basis. It’s a bit old but it is clean. The thing I don’t like is the bathroom. It doesn’t have a handle to place the shower and there is no shower curtains.. and the water from the tub flow right out to the hole next to the toilet bowl! But it’s quite clean also lah.. consider satisfactory. What to expect?? RM58 nia! If you prefer more comfort, perhaps you can try staying at Lee Gardens Plaza or Novotel.

I didn’t really have much in mind to buy so I just pick up some t shirts for the kids at home and also, some shorts for myself along with a little knick knacks as souvenirs.

After the short shopping, we went to have our lunch at the Sky Buffet, Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel. Surprisingly, the buffet only costs 149 baht. It was nothing spectacular, but the food is not that bad. And we get to see Hat Yai horizon while having lunch. I think it would be better to have dinner and watch the sunset.

We had bird nest @ 400 baht each bowl. Since it’s considered quite pricey to us, we joked about going to the toilet to ta pao our urine when we wanna go to the loo so we could use it on our plants. Gross!

We went back to Sg. Petani by 8 pm and made our way to Bukit Tambun for a good and cheap seafood . Our host suggested this restaurant called Gee Seng as they are very popular for being cheapest and the most delicious. I thought to myself, I would never eat anymore seafood when I come back to KL! This trip is seafood overload.. It’s like we are in cholesterol heaven!

Before we go back to Kuala Lumpur, we were delighted when our host took us to Cha Zuo restaurant along Jalan Putra, Sg Petani to try out the pandan nasi lemak. It’s green in color.  You may choose normal rice also, to go with the variety of dishes. The modest shop is manned by one Chinese uncle, helped by an Indian lady. Green rice is cooked with pandan, so you get to smell a whiff of pandan as you savour down the delicious nasi lemak! Do try the wan tan mee too! It comes with lard!

Well, hope you guys enjoy reading the Hat Yai posts.

PS. I think some of you may have problems loading pics in this blog.. so I guess I will minimize  loading pictures and probably just give you guys the link.

Tiger? Thai Girl!

December 19, 2008

This post is 18SX. If you are under 18, please stop reading right now.

12th December 2008, Friday

I remember paying 500 baht – walk-in rate some 6 years ago just for the Aqua show. This time, we paid 650 baht for both Aqua and Thai Girl Show inclusive of a scrumptious 5-course dinner! We had fatty pork with mui choy some more!! Yum! That is dirt cheap.

I was apprehensive about going to the Thai Girl Show as I do not support exploitation of women. I had been to Thailand many times and never once watched a Thai Girl Show. The one in Bangkok is exclusive because it was a fake Thai Girl show. LOL!! Seeing that the group was eager to go and I didn’t want to be stuck in the hotel with the terrible two (kids!), I relented and went with them.

Aqua show was normal lah. You have the Japanese song, the English song, Indian song.. Korean song..etc. There were many beautiful she males dancing and lip synch to music. Their costumes alone were worthwhile to pay 200 baht to watch. They could make any women fumed with envy with their hot and tight bodies!

Be careful when you get out from the concert hall though. Here, they will persuade you to take photos with them and you have to pay them 100 baht just for posing with you! I remember it cost only 20 baht 6 years ago to pose with them! 100 baht is a little too pricey. And they are very smart. They keep the exit glass door open only one side to ensure steady stream of people to pass them instead of a mad stampede. It was funny to think that getting out of the place is like walking on mine field. You just have to avoid the shemales at all costs.. or be ready to tip them 100 baht for taking pictures.

Then, we adjourned to watch Thai Girl Show. The place was some defunct strip club located at some back alley. We were escorted to our seat and waited at the lounge as there was an ongoing session upstairs. As we were waiting, we noticed that there were more women than men who came to watch the show.

While waiting, Yuin got nervous. He kept asking where is our guide? I said he is probably outside. Then, Yuin kept insisting that we should be at all times escorted. I think Yuin chickened out. He asked us, how big are the TIGERS? LOL!!! Yeah right. He’s not as innocent as he wants to portray himself to be. For all you know, he might even enter the “cage” to play with the “tigers”. LOL! He probably wank himself silly  in the hotel after the show.

After the first session spectators came down, we observed their faces. No smile, no amused look, no shock. Everybody looked bored and stoned as if they were grudgingly disturbed from sleep. I guess it must be one of those “fake” Thai Girl show again. When I was in Pattaya, the group of us were duped to watch a “Thai Girl Show” and ended watching some badly choreographed sleazy performance. You can read it here in my old blog. Thai Girl show to me – ping pong, blow pipes, coca cola, cigarettes, blades, gold fish… the list is endless..

We were ushered to this very packed room at the first floor of this building, reeking of smoke and alcohol and huddled to our seats. We were given one drink each. There was a small stage with no curtains in front of us.

The show started with a girl doing some pole dancing and I thought this was it. Another fake Thai Girl show and let out a sigh. The girl then took off her bikini and came down to the audience and started doing lap dancing on some old and lecherous looking uncles. The men were persuaded to give pearl necklaces to the stark naked girl which the manager of the place would later on asked for money from the men. I am not sure how much though.

Just when I thought it would be a long, long night of solely pole dancing, the show started to pump up with another girl in bikini eating fire. Woah! This is getting interesting! Then, I was thinking of the safety issues being here. The room is so crowded and there is only one exit. It would be one hell breaking loose if there were a fire. I put the thought away from my mind.

The show spiced up with a girl came out and pull a string of fire crackers from her vagina and she made the fire cracker pop as the string were pulled out. The smell of the fire cracker powder filled the room. Followed by another pole dancing and lap dancing at the audience… then there was a magician show by this chubby fella. No taking off clothes. Purely a magic show. The audience was pretty impressed judging from the loud applause.

I was surprised that this is actually a semi-pseudo Thai Girl Show. They had all the pointless pole dancing, magic show and snake show.. but also coupled with all the supposedly genuine “Thai Girl Show” – ping pong, blades, etc. It was amusing to see that the girls had to move the sofa up and down according to how they want to use it to “perform”. They even need to switch off the fan at the stage themselves when they were doing the fire eating gig. LOL!!!!

Just when I was getting a little sleepy and bored, suddenly, they placed a drum in front of the stage. After the fire eating, magic show, snake.. I thought they probably would play a band now. I was partly correct. Then a man came out wearing only a cowboy hat and a loin cloth. I told Yuin, “Don’t tell me he’s gonna play the drum with his dick!”

I was right. The blaring music suddenly stopped. There was a deafening silence. Everyone eyes were fixed onto the stage with the man in cowboy hat. The man was holding his penis and playing the drum with it, “Dum! Dum! Dum!” Repeated thrice. Then, he bowed and left the stage hurriedly in total embarrassment. And the crowd applauded! LOL!! Also, I couldn’t believe we actually applauded for a girl masturbating with a giant dildo in public and she curtsied! Yes… curtsied after the act. Omigod.

The show ended with a couple faking it (having sex with clothes on!) on stage along with the “Titanic” tune. Then, all lights were switched on as if the police were raiding the place and the manager of the club shouted in hokkien, “BOH LIAO!” (Means finished). LOL!!!

Gawd. I tell you, if I had missed this Thai Girl show, I would have kicked myself in the ass.

To be continued…

*Seriously, I only realized today that it is actually spelt Thai Girl Show… LOL!

On the contrary to what I’ve said earlier that I do not support “Thai Girl Show” as it’s deemed to be an exploitation of women, I have to admit that, these girls (and guys!) have put up a really good show. They have my utmost respect.


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