09
Sep 13

Thailand 2012: Madame Tussauds, Asiatique and leaving Bangkok

Date: 27th November 2012

I left Siam Ocean World and walked to Siam Discovery. It was still raining, but I still made my way to the top of Siam Discovery, where Madame Tussauds was situated.

Madame Tussauds elevator Bangkok

This was inside the elevator up

Madame Tussauds Bangkok entrance

Madame Tussauds is on the 6th floor

MBK BTS track from Siam Discovery

Hello MBK

Madame Tussauds Bangkok king Thailand

Various photos of King Bhumibol lined the entrance

Madame Tussauds Bangkok

You begin with the History zone of great leaders

Mahatma Gandhi Madame Tussauds Bangkok

Mahatma Gandhi is the very first wax figure

Chairman Mao Madame Tussauds Bangkok

Chairman Mao

Princess Diana Madame Tussauds Bangkok

The much beloved Princess Diana

Madame Tussauds Bangkok world leaders

You then have a selection of world leaders

Continue reading “Thailand 2012: Madame Tussauds, Asiatique and leaving Bangkok” »


06
Sep 13

Thailand 2012: Psy in Bangkok, Siam Ocean World

Date: 27th November 2012

The previous day (26th November) was spent… nowhere. When I woke up, it was raining heavily. I had breakfast from the hotel restaurant and then just stayed indoors for much of day, doing some work online. The plan for today was to go to Maeklong ‘Railway’ Market, but it was far out and given the weather conditions, there was no guarantee I would get there in time for me to see the trains pass through.

Today (27th November), the weather only got slightly better.

Magnum chocolate truffle

I had a Magnum for ‘breakfast’

I decided to have an early lunch and walked around the area heading towards Asoke BTS.

Shalimar Indian restuarant Bangkok

I ended up find this spot on Soi 11, choc full of restaurants and a few pubs

I ate at Shalimar Sharma’s (pictured above) simply because I had reached that stage when I missed Indian masala. It had a North Indian thali which cost ฿250. Feeling full, I then began my day by going to Siam Center.

Siam Center stage setup Bangkok

I had seen a huge billboard stating Psy would be appearing on stage here today

Psy press conference stage Bangkok

Even though I was officially sick of the song, I thought why not just get a glimpse of the guy in person at this press conference

Psy press conference Bangkok

Being a work day, there weren’t too many fans either. Mostly press, and tourists.

Gangnam Style dance Siam Paragon Bangkok

I head way too much “Gangnam Style” in Thailand. Like, every-freaking-day!

Elephants Gangnam style dance

“Gangnam Style”-fever reached fever pitch in Thailand, they even made elephants do the dance

Gangnam Style Psy in Bangkok

Psy was finally in the building!

Psy in Bangkok

Before taking to the stage, Psy left a message for the King of Thailand, who was hospitalized

Bangkok passengers Siam BTS station

Even passengers waiting for the train were looking at what was going on

Continue reading “Thailand 2012: Psy in Bangkok, Siam Ocean World” »


03
Sep 13

Thailand 2012: Chiang Mai to Bangkok by flight; Bang Na

Date: 25th November 2012

After a crazy night of rain ruined what was otherwise a memorable day, we were relieved to leave Chiang Mai in sunny weather. We reached the airport in time for our Thai Airways flight to Bangkok.

Nok Air Chiang Mai airport

You got to love the livery on Nok Air’s planes

Aerial view river Thailand

I sat by the window as usual

Cupcake fruit juice Thai Airways flight

The journey was just an hour long, so not much of a “meal”

Bangkok airport from sky

The old Bangkok airport, I’m assuming

River flowing through Bangkok city

Landing at Suvarnabhumi airport  Bangkok

Landed at Suvarnabhumi airport on time

Bangkok Rama elevated highway

Ramesh and I took the BTS train to Phaya Thai

Bangkok Palace hotel from BTS

This is the first time I was taking the airport express during the day

Once we got to Phaya Thai BTS, we switched trains to get to Victory Monument station. We had booked a room at HI-Mid Hostel, which described itself as a stone’s throw away from Victory Monument.

It wasn’t that easy to find and we had to call up the hostel for directions. Once we did find the place and checked-in, we were quite… stunned.

Hi-Mid Bangkok room bed

This is probably the best “hostel” room we had seen!

Hi-Mid hostel bathroom Bangkok

The bathroom in our room even came stocked with soap and good shampoo

Hi-Mid hostel reception

This is the lobby

Hi-Mid hostel Kitchen

This is the kitchen, where guests can have breakfast. Usual hostel breakfast that is.

Hi-Mid hostel lobby Bangkok

This is the recreation room. Take our word for it, this hostel is awesome!

Our double room cost ฿1350 (Rs. 2700/$40/€30) for one night. Hi-Mid calls itself a “boutique hostel” — which is absolutely the case. This place is more like a 1-star or 2-star hotel. You really don’t get the same vibe here compared to your usual backpacker hostel. We didn’t find too many backpackers either. The only downside to this area, which we realized at night, is how few options we had late at night when it came to eateries. Clearly this was not a big touristy area, and it showed.

Ratchawithi road Bangkok Thailand

Hi-Mid is situated just after the red ‘Siam’ building

After freshening up, Ramesh went mall-hopping in Bangkok and I went to attend SM Town. You can read about how that evening went here.

Date: 23rd November 2012

The next day, Ramesh and I decided to check out Bangkok’s IKEA store.

Ramesh pedestrian bridge steps Bangkok

It was tiring to climb these steps everytime we needed to get to the BTS station

Victory Monument Bangkok

Anusawari Chai Samoraphum — or Victory Monument — is a major landmark in Bangkok (Couldn’t help but notice how badly the center lines at the bottom are drawn. How did that one guy screw it up so bad? :)

Victory Monument pedestrian walkway

We walked to the BTS station

Victory Monument BTS train track Bangkok

Terminal 21 tower Bangkok sky

This was a tower above Terminal 21 mall

Ramesh and I withdrew some money from Citibank’s ATM because I read on Citibank India’s website that ATM withdrawals made using our debit cards don’t incur any transaction. Ramesh used his HDFC debit card and I used my Citibank Maestro card. We got very good exchange rates on direct conversion and none of that 150 baht withdrawal fee usually charged by Thai banks.

Mega Bangna mall Bangkok

We then took the bus to Bang Na

Mega Bang Na mall Bangkok

The IKEA store was located in Mega Bang Na mall

Ultraman statues Bangkok

Ultraman!

Ultraman toys Bang Na mall

There were a whole bunch of Ultraman merchandise on sale. It was to promote a new movie — or something.

IKEA store Bang Na mall Bangkok Thailand

Our plan was to have lunch from IKEA’s ‘cafe’ too

IKEA cafe food Bangkok

We loaded up :) I tried the salmon for a change

Home Pro furnishing store Bangkok

We even checked out the Home Pro store and I picked up a few items from here

Once we done with our shopping, Ramesh and I headed back to Hi-Mid to collect our bags. This was the end of Ramesh’s journey as he had to head to the airport to catch his flight back to Bangalore.

I on the other hand had two more days, but decided I just couldn’t stay in this area despite how great the hostel was. I realized I needed to be somewhere toursity where I had all the conveniences of 24-hour 7-11s, eateries and bars. I initially thought of Khao San road but with all my luggage, I dreaded how to get there. So I just hopped on the BTS and chose to see if I could get a room near Nana BTS.

My usual jaunt, Thai House Inn, was closed, so I ended up staying at Maxim’s Inn at the end of Soi 7/1. I got a single room for ฿750 (Rs. 1350/$22/€16), and although I wasn’t terribly pleased with it, I was tired and just wanted to dump my luggage and lie down.

Maxims Inn Bangkok Thailand

Even though there were a few bars on this street, it was still quiet inside the hotel

Maxim's Inn Nana hotel bedroom Bangkok

It’s a bad photomerge, I know, but you get the idea

Maxim's Inn bathroom Bangkok

The a/c room was clean and the wi-fi worked great!

The last three days had been hectic for me — especially our last day in Chiang Mai and then the awesome SM Town concert the very next day!

The other reason I like staying in the Nana area (besides being just 3 stations away from Siam interchange) is because of all the Middle Eastern food available.

Shawarma beef chicken Nana Bangkok

I FINALLY got to eat some really good shawarma!

Previous posts in this series:

SM Town World Tour III – Live in Bangkok: An Indian SONE’s experience!

Loy Krathong 2012: Yeepeng Lanna in Chiang Mai – A second chance to do it right

Thailand 2012: Golden Triangle tour – White Temple, Mekong River, Mae Sai, and entering Laos

Thailand 2012: Flying to Chiang Mai; views from Doi Suthep

Thailand 2012: Phuket beach hopping and bike ride to Promthep Cape

Thailand 2012: James Bond island, Koh Panyee village and Wat Suwan Kuha

Thailand 2012: Terminal 21 mall; Bangkok to Phuket by bus

Thailand 2012: Far end of Jomtien Beach; back to Bangkok

Thailand 2012: The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya

Thailand 2012: Landing in Pattaya

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