Bangkok has to be my favourite city to explore thus far. The city is not only rich in culture but also vibrant in its colours. It is indeed a land of smiles. There is nothing that would stop them from showing a wide smile across their faces. The streets are bustling with tiny street stalls selling all kinds of food and souvenirs. It was definitely a joyful experience.
Staying in a city maybe a little costly and having a budget would save you a bit more. I chose Airbnb as my trusty agent of choice for accommodations. There is a wide variety to choose from. However, it is important to first list out the things that would interest you.
In my case, I chose the following:
- Accommodation: Cleanliness, beauty and the cost of a room per night
- Accessibility: Since I chose to travel by public transport, I needed an accommodation that was accessible by foot to the train stations.
- Amenities: I wanted to experience the sights and sounds of Bangkok. I also wanted a location that was “safe”.
- Reviews: Airbnb has a review tab. These reviews are written by customers who have stayed and definitely worth the read. Pictures maybe deceiving and reviews help to justify them. However, if you’re looking to stay at a hotel, I recommend reviews from TripAdvisor!
Having listed out these points made it a lot easier for me to choose Case Study Residence at Asok. It is conveniently located from the Railway link, Makkasan from Suvarnabhumi Airport. After disembarking the train at Makkasan, simply take a 5-minute walk to Phetchaburi MRT then take about another 10-minute walk down the street and over the bridge to Case Study. The residence is also about 5-minutes away from Healthland at Asok and 15-minutes walk to Asok BTS.
The pictures of the residence are exquisite and the reviews justified it. I booked a room for my partner, W and I. The host was prompt in replying and helpful in recommending places of visit.
Once again, prior to our trip, we did our research on interesting places of visit. We wouldn’t want to go on a holiday not having a rough sketch of interesting places. A data SIM card was one of the items we needed to get just in case. dtac sold pre-paid plans according to the length of your stay. W and I were travelling for 5-days. As such, we bought the 7-day stay plan at 299 Baht (about S$12). It consisted of free 7-day data usage with 1.5GB at maximum speed and 100 Baht call credit internally. The card can be bought from the arrival hall between gate 6 and 7 at Suvarnabhumi Airport (OR as my research says, at Changi Airport, Terminal 1, 2, and 3 at about S$13). However, if you are travelling in a group of more than three, I would recommend getting a data SIM card from AIS with similar inclusions and pricing. AIS sold SIM cards in a bundle of three or more!
We started our trip with a walk down to Terminal 21 at Asok, just about 15-minutes walk from the residence and located just in front of Asok BTS. The mall is quite uniquely decorated with every floor themed a different country – even the washrooms are designed the same way! I’ve dined at the food court at Terminal 21 with my parents a year back and the food was amazing. We bought so much food! I couldn’t understand why my parents were happy with the costs of the food until this trip, when I had to pay on my own. W and I spent 200 Baht (S$8) for one plate of Som Tom, one bowl of duck innards noodle soup, one bowl of fish maw soup, one plate of kau niu mat muang (mango with sticky rice) and 2 cups of iced green tea latte! The food was so good we couldn’t stop eating! We promised we would come back a second time this trip (which we did). It was an incredibly fulfilling meal!
After lunch, we walked around the mall and along the street shops towards our accommodation. Sadly, we didn’t explore much areas on our first day as we were both sleepy after waking up early to catch our flight. We had pork rib soup and stewed beef dinner at Mr Kungfu. It was a pretty quiet area and we felt a little skeptical at first. The food came back a little oily, but at the first bite, the meat was incredibly tender and succulent with a fresh burst of sweetness. So good!
After dinner, we walked back to our accommodation. Just in front of the residence is a 7eleven mart where we bought some water, drinks and tidbits – how very easily accessible.
W and I awoke early the next day to go to the popular Chatuchak weekend market. We walked down to Phetchaburi MRT and took a 20-minute train ride down to Chatuchak Park MRT. The MRT brings you to the entrance of Chatuchak weekend market. There were plenty of things to eat and buy at Chatuchak. I’m pretty skeptical with F&B street side stalls. I hold a number of guidelines with me when choosing food stalls. Cleanliness being key. Also, the food must be served cooked and warm. I wouldn’t purchase chilled drinks in a cup, instead by bottle only. W had a difficult time convincing me to try street side food. I was won over as the food sold looked so good!! My mouth was watering just staring at it!
Cooked fried squid and its eggs were sold at 40 Baht and beautifully cooked by the stall holder who sportingly smiled for a picture. To the wonderful stall holder: the dish was exquisite. Thank you so much for breaking down a barrier for me.
There is a wide variety of things to do, see and eat at Chatuchak and can get pretty crowded towards the late afternoon. If you’re not one for crowds, I would recommend coming in earlier. On the flip side, coming in later would entitle you to experience more as some of the shops open a little later.
After Chatuchak, we head down to Healthland at Asok for our eagerly awaited massages. I did for a foot massage while W, the aromatic oil full body massage. The foot massage was really good!! The foot massage came with a foot spa and neck and shoulder massage. After the massage, my feet felt as if it could run a marathon. It was so good!
We walked back to Terminal 21 after our massages where I struck gold at the basement. Grilled squid at 150 Baht! Yum-yums! I have made a mental note to learn to make the spicy green sauce as shown in the image below. The squid was grilled to perfection and the sauce was the perfect blend of Thai food (spicy yet sweet and sour all in one)! In Singlish terms, so shiok (good)!
After our little detour to Terminal 21 we walked down to a homely looking Japanese restaurant just beside our residence, Shori. The sashimi and sushi rolls was served fresh and tasted sweet. Freshly grated wasabi was served at the side. I found there is a difference between freshly grated wasabi and those sold in bottles or tiny sachets. The freshly grated wasabi has an immediate punch of spice yet delicate on the tongue.
W and I took the BTS down from Asok to Chit Lom where we settled for lunch at GreyHound Cafe at CentralWorld. It’s about a 5 minute walk over the bridge to CentralWord from Chit Lom BTS. On our walk by the bridge over to the mall, we passed the Erawan Shrine. It was terrible news when the bomb went off at the Shrine. It holds some significance to me as my family and I used to visit the Shrine at least once during our trip together. Each visit was a reminder for me to be good & to do good. On a lighter note, the Shrine is still bustling with visitors and it seems to have been refurbished!
GreyHound Cafe has to be one of my favourite restaurants to dine at whenever I visit Bangkok. I would go there for their Coconut Sherbet. It is indeed the best thing ever!! I love that the sherbet is so rich in coconut and has little bits of coconut with every bite – so good!
In order of the following pictures, you’ll find Granita Thai milk tea and Granita coffee, Complicated Noodles, Miss Saigon, Chick Wings and my favourite Coconut Sherbet. The food served at GreyHound Cafe is an awesome mix of Thai and Western flavours. I strongly recommend the Complicated Noodles, Chick Wings and Coconut Sherbet!!
Here you’ll find a very contented couple.
After our fulfilling lunch, we walked around the mall for a bit before heading down to Above Eleven Rooftop Bar & Restaurant for some drinks and dinner. Simply take the BTS to Nana station and walk about 10 minutes to the location. Above Eleven is located on 32nd floor of Fraser Suites Sukhumvit, and with amazing ambience and view of the city skyline. It was an incredibly soothing to experience the sights and sounds from a distance. A glass of cool red wine significantly complimented the experience. The food was adequate and beautifully presented. Overall, a delightful and calming experience!
We went to the Sealife Ocean World located at the basement of Siam Paragon. Simply take the BTS to Siam with the mall located just in front of the station. The Sealife Ocean World has to be my favourite attraction of this trip as I was thoroughly impressed by the neatly organised spread of sea life. Even though the aquariums were small but it was nicely decorated, clean and filled with sprightly sea creatures. I thoroughly enjoyed being walked through colourfully organised sections of sea life from deep sea monsters to river monsters and cold aquatic monsters. They did a really good job at capturing the sea creatures in their natural habitat. I was so impressed that I wanted to get a souvenir from the gift shop – usually, I wouldn’t. Sadly, the gift shop was closed for renovation. Sad was I. 😦
After our satisfying tour around the Sealife Ocean World, we had our lunch at Cafe Chili located within Siam Paragon as well. We ordered Blue Crab Som Tum, Seafood Tum Yum Soup and Green Curry Chicken. No trip to Bangkok would be complete without Tom Yum and Green Curry! The food was savory! Except, the Tom Yum could have been a little bit spicier.
Bangkok is truly a land of smiles and I’ll definitely return for more Thai food and yes, shopping. I have learnt to be a smarter traveller this trip. It is always good to manage daily expenses. Knowing the amount spent per day would gave me a rough gauge for future travels!
My stay at the Case Study Residence was exquisite and I would definitely return to stay. It is also highly recommended if you’re looking for an affordable, comfortable and easily accessible accommodation.