When in Manila, one grows up learning that shopping is a national sport. If you’re lucky, you get to go to the big leagues in the heart of Manila and shop in Divisoria and 168. For the seasoned shopper, however, the big challenge comes when you land in Bangkok. Hold on to your horses, because this is one day trip guide that’s not for the faint of heart. Bangkok is a city of madness and wonder. To get lost in its streets and rush of color is so easy but one must remember that the goal is to shop and shop and shop!
Ready? Take a deep breath and dive in!
Your Bangkok morning shall start with a trip to MBK mall. Still pretty popular with tourists, but most of the things we found here were beauty products that we wouldn’t find here in Manila. Beauty Buffet, Boots (where we found Poppy King the Lipstick Queen and Hair Sea Salt Spray) and the Watsons are good stops to make, but they’re pretty standard places to find in the mall. Not much in the way of anything else, but it’s a very slow and easy start. Once you’re done exploring, hop the skytrain or taxi and ask to go to Platinum Mall in Pratunam. Expect never to leave this area after.
A Note on Transportation:
We stayed at the Amari Watergate in Bangkok, which was right in the middle of the Pratunam area. Our six-party group had the worst time travelling to MBK or the Chatuchak because the taxis and local tuktuks will take every opportunity to cheat you out of a few Thai Baht. I hate to speak badly of a country that I’m so fascinated by, but the taxis and tuktuks are quite honestly, a scam. You would have to demand a price before riding the taxi, as the meters are apparently an exception to the rule. Most taxis also just drop you in the middle of the street, or on the opposite side of the place you needed to be. The standard fare from MBK to Pratunam should be just under 50 Baht, but taxis will demand up to 150, tuktuks even more. Just be patient and use your haggling skills here, or else take the Sky Train.
LUNCH + AFTERNOON
Now that we’re in more familiar territory, it’s time to gear up and bulk up for lunch. Food in Thailand is fabulous anywhere you decide to go, so you have an option of either dining at the Platinum Mall food court (try the Pad Thai!) where most of the people can interpret English, or head to the streets for more ‘authentic’ fare.
There isn’t much to say in the way of food, just because almost every establishment in Bangkok has the most delicious Thai food you will ever taste. I have never been a savant for spicy Thai food, but it was in this country I found myself sweating and swallowing, dizzy with flavors and spice. I had no idea where the spiciness was coming from, but I didn’t care. Tom Yum, Pad Thai, Green Curry are staples, but the green mango salad, grilled fish and mango sticky rice are also instant favorites. Then you swallow it all down with a cool glass of Thai tea. Life doesn’t get much better than that, my friends.
Fill up, get a glass of water and head to the craziest mall you’ll ever see.