Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Travel Diary: [Escape To Bangkok]

As seen on London's Online Magazine, Indigo Memoirs

Day 1

After a hectic period at work, it's become a yearly tradition for us to go on a short holiday to relax and unwind.
We booked flights to our favourite destination in South East Asia; Bangkok.
Ask any Singaporean, I'm sure this colourful and bustling capital city of Thailand is one of the top choices for a short getaway. The energy and the sheer number of things to do and places to explore is such a huge draw and its what keeps this holiday destination so addictive.
Oh, did I mention it's also a shopaholic's dream come true? ;)

We booked our flights with 'Scoot' and its time to scoot away and
off we go! :)  
(*take note Scoot lands in Don Mueang Airport not Suvanabhumi Airport)
We had good seats and the flight was pleasant and quiet
View of the sunset from above 

We arrived at Don Mueang International Airport after a short 2.5hrs flight.
Cleared immigration in a jiffy but had to wait quite awhile for our luggage but oh well.. all part and parcel of travelling.
The queue for a cab at this airport can be rather long as there's no airport rail service like the one at Suvarnabhumi airport. So if you do take 'Scoot' or land at this airport, be sure to factor in the waiting time for a cab!
We finally got a cab and were soon on our way.
Guess what? You can choose which airport to land in if you take 'Scoot' now!
Great news :)

Anyway, we were expecting heavy traffic into the city but traffic was surprisingly smooth and we arrived at Lit Bangkok Hotel located in Pathumwan district soon enough. 
This hotel is just 2 minutes walk from National Stadium BTS, where the popular tourist mall Mahboonkrung(MBK Center) is located. 
We decided to try out a different hotel this time round and decided on Lit Hotel as it is new and the rooms looked really good online! :D
We usually stay at S Sukhumvit Suites at Asok BTS which is also very convenient as it is located opposite Terminal 21 shopping mall. However if you tend to frequent Pratunam area then this place is probably a little more out of the way cos you have to either take a cab or take BTS to access to those places. 
(think: Platinum Mall, Pratunam Market, Siam Paragon, Siam Sq, MBK etc)

Anyway, let's take a tour of the room!

This wardrobe can be opened both sides so you can take a "short cut" to the toilet.
Why do I say short cut? You'll see ;)
The toilet is very spacious and long, you can roll around. I'm not kidding.
Just look at the long walkway leading to the bath area!
The wardrobe that opens both ways is right next to the makeup area on the left.   

Bath tub? 
Huge makeup area? 
Overhead shower? 

After dropping our luggage, we headed for dinner at 'Sizzler' at Siam Center as planned and shopped at the night market in front of Siam Square. 
This night market is quite a long stretch which stretches from the opposite Siam Paragon all the way to MBK and is very popular with locals and tourists for its convenient location at Siam BTS. 

That pretty much summed up our first night in Bangkok, not bad considering we landed in Bangkok at about 7.30pm.

Day 2

The next morning, we slept in and headed out for an early lunch at Siam Center before continuing on to Platinum Mall for some retail therapy!
Its Sunday and most people will head to Chatuchak Weekend Market but we will save that for later when its less sunny. The weather in Bangkok is even hotter than back home though its just a slight difference of 1 or 2 degrees. You can feel the scorching sun when you walk on the streets and start perspiring the minute you step out.
(I know friends who experience the 4 seasons love the sun so you'll probably enjoy the sunshine)

They just had their Songkran festival (13-15April) where the city gets drenched in friendly water fights! No one is spared! 
So if you do come and experience this fun and colourful festival, be prepared cos... 

Photo at the walkway outside our room cos of the good lighting :)
OOTD to beat the heat!
Eyelet Top: TOPSHOP
Gingham Shorts: Forever21
Black Wedges: Charles & Keith
Green Crossbody: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Bubble tea from Mr. Shake before we continued our journey to Platinum Mall.
Platinum Mall is a shoppers paradise with 6 levels of retail goodness, it's a shopaholic's must go! It's located at the Pratunam district, so you can walk there passing through all the malls like Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon, Central World and enjoy some air-con before crossing the bridge and arriving at Platinum Mall if you are coming from Siam area.
If not, the nearest BTS to Platinum Mall would be Chit Lom otherwise, you can always take a cab.

I didn't want to shop a lot on this trip so we didn't go across to Pratunam Market to shop. 
If I was with my girlfriends/sister, it will be a mandatory shopping location! If you're really into getting the whole shopping experience and get even better deals, you can wake up early and visit the Pratunam Market's morning market. They close the roads and sellers set up stalls before the morning traffic starts streaming in. 
You can check it out as early as 6am(Bangkok Time), it will be in full swing.
Buyers, shop owners, shopping enthusiasts are among the crowd you'll see at this early morning market.

Apart from being a shopper's paradise, their cafe scene has also been thriving in recent years and you can see popular cafes that started out in Thonglor area start to open outlets to where the crowds are; Siam.

Here, we check out a branch of Mr Jone's Orphanage in Siam Center.
The original outlet at Thonglor, Seen Space is closed due to relocation.

Don't you just love the whimsical decor of this cute cafe? 

 Cake lovers paradise!
Kit Kat M&M Cake
Whimsical Crockery for tea and cookies

Mr. Jones' Orphanage
Siam Center, 2nd Floor
(Right next to the exit  leading to Siam Paragon)
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm

After some tea and cakes, its time to continue our journey to Platinum Mall..
Shopping at Platinum was quite a quick one this time around!
We covered all floors, can't say we covered every corner though..and we did it in record breaking time of 2.5hrs!  >.<
Of course we did speed shopping cos after awhile, everything looks the same..especially when you don't set out to shop.

We walked back to Central World to try out Twinings Tea Room.
We've always wanted to try this for the past few visits and never got down to it and what better time than to enjoy afternoon tea on a sunny Sunday afternoon right? ;) 

We ordered a tea set to share.
It includes all the items in the picture.
I would say its similar to TWG in Singapore but pricing wise more worth it due to the exchange rate.
The set comes with a pot of tea which you can choose from the list of teas. We chose the peach and its served on a little teapot warmer which I thought was a nice touch.
Scones, macarons, finger sandwiches, little tartlets and creme brulee. 

Twinings Tea Room
Rama I Road, 1st Floor, Atrium Zone, 
Central World,BangkokThailand
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm

We headed back to the hotel to rest and freshen up a little before heading to Chatuchak. 
Took the opportunity to take some pictures of my outfit colour palette of the trip while back at the hotel. You see it actually drizzled while we were back in our room! Yay to cooling weather at Chatuchak later ;)

This trip is all about shades of blue, florals and white with a touch of gold with accessories c/o O'oro Accessories 
Scroll on to see how I paired these unique pieces with my outfits for this trip :)

Okay enough rest, time to head to Chatuchak!
We walked to Rathchathewi BTS station which is in the opposite direction of National Stadium and about 5-7mins walk from our hotel.
Chatuchak is on the light green line (Mo Chit BTS) and so is Ratchathewi Station so we didn't have to change trains at Siam interchange.
On our way to the BTS, we saw this old school metal gate and how can I resist against taking a pic here?!
Channeling my inner pinup girl complete with the signature coca cola ;D  
We arrived at Chatuchak at about 6pm in the evening which was the perfect time cos most of the tourists would've left by this time and the weather is cooler to shop in as well. After shopping, we had dinner at Toh Plue restaurant which is our usual dining choice whenever we go to Chatuchak. An eatery with vintage styled interior with a wide variety of food choices.
We continued shopping after dinner. The stalls that you see inside the middle stretch at the clock tower during the day will come out to the main stretch to set up stall there. You will also see many locals setting up shop and selling some of their handmade items/apparels.

For vintage enthusiasts, the Chatuchak weekend market is also a great place for thrift shopping where you can choose from including bags, shoes apart from the array of vintage apparels.
The prices are also lower during the night as compared to during the day where the hoards of tourists come in. 
We left at about 8.30pm in the night and took a BTS back to Siam where we did some grocery shopping and grabbed another bubble tea from Mr. Shake before heading back to the hotel to rest.

**You can always visit Chatuchak earlier depending on your travel plan, we chose to visit at this time. 
There is also a night market that opens till late on Fridays which you can check out if your travel dates match. Best time to visit? After 10pm.

Day 3

  Today is Monday and we've decided to go for brunch at one of our favourite cafes in Bangkok; Roast at Seen Space in Thonglor.
They are quite popular among locals as well as tourists. However, they are relocating to a different building soon but fret not, its still located in Thonglor but nearer to their roastery, Roots.
For some reason most of the eateries at Seen Space in Thonglor are relocating including Mr Jone's Orphanage. Maybe someone bought over that place?

Before we leave, here's a pic of the exterior of Lit hotel  
Modern exterior and lush industrial style interior, no wonder Alex booked this hotel!
He likes the rugged cool tones and vibe of the industrial style decor.

Well, we have a dude who's fishing in the sun seated on the front steps of the hotel ;)

Food stalls along the stretch of road leading to the National Stadium BTS

Bangkok traffic, not bad for a Monday mid day!

Top: LoveBonito
Highwaisted Jeans: Nightmarket in front of Siam Sqaure
Shoes: TaoBao
Gold Clutch & Accessories: c/o O'oro Accessories  

We took a cab to Roast at Thonglor.
The nearest BTS is Thonglor but you'll have to walk for about 15mins into J avenue which 
Seen Space is located so we decided to take a cab instead.

Who says you can't have dessert as main course?
This strawberry waffles is in their dessert section but I'm totally having it for Brunch!
The oh so delicious Chicken Schnitzel!

251 Thong Lo 13 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, 
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Phone:+66 2 185 2865
Opening Hours: 10am to 11pm

We headed to Yaowarat a.k.a Chinatown to get some things for work before heading back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner.
Yaowarat a must go for first timers to Bangkok, it's rich in culture and filled with lots of colours and flavours of the chinese settlers in Bangkok.
If you love seafood and want to try out bird's nest, this is the place to go!
They also have a wholesale market where you can purchase items in bulk at a lower cost.

There is no direct train that goes to this place, the nearest train station is Hua Lumphong MRT and railway. After getting to this station, you have to either take a cab or tuk tuk to Yaowarat. It is about 20-30 minutes walk depending on your walking speed, under the scorching sun.
I'd suggest just taking a cab from wherever you are, be sure to tell the driver Yaowarat

First time to Bangkok? Be sure to try their Tuk Tuk and make sure you bargain with the driver on the price! 

Feeling adventurous?
Try out their street food & restaurants!

After a fruitful trip to Yaowarat, we headed back to the hotel to rest and freshen up for dinner.
We tried the Teppanyaki at Siam Center's Food Republic and it was really good! The food was flavourful and the portions generous enough to fill the stomachs of two hungry souls.
After dinner, we finally the ice-cream from this totally adorable ice-cream truck. You can find this truck outside Platinum Mall as well but we figured that walking, eating and dripping along the way wasn't really for us so we tried the one here instead.
We tried the Fruit Salad Party & Tiramisu.
It was a tough decision cos there were so many flavours to choose from and they were all so pretty!

(photo credit: http://www.10best.com/destinations/thailand/bangkok/all/restaurants/annette-i-tim-tuk-tuk/)

We walked around Siam Center and Paragon to digest our dinner and went for grocery shopping at Siam Paragon's Gourmet Market.
They have everything here!
They even had a soup counter that sold freshly made soups and we decided to try this mushroom bacon flavour.
Mmm..mmm..so hearty, thick and delicious!

We'll definitely be back for more of this hearty broth when we return to Bangkok!

Day 4

Beautiful clear blue skies greeted us the next morning as we headed out for breakfast.
A picture of the hotel against the pretty shade of blue.

Tie Front Playsuit: AforArcade
Woven Sandals: Rubi Shoes
Gold Clutch & Accessories: c/o O'oro Accessories
Hat: Lack of Color Australia (Ivory Bone)

Breakfast at Au Bon Pain

Super cute Iron Man figurine at Central World, made Alex take a pic with him cos its his favourite Avenger LOL!

The most refreshing lemonade I've ever tasted, so good!
This one is the Strawberry Lemonade, they have Fresh Lemonade, Pink Lemonade etc...
You can find this at Siam Paragon Food Hall.
Check them out here: https://instagram.com/malemonade/

We went for a swim after Siam Paragon and got ready to check out some cafes after.
We took the BTS from Ratchathewi to Phaya Thai. The cafes were located in a condominium named Noble Reform, just a short walk from the BTS.
Other than Panary Cafe which we were going to try, the popular cafe Casa Lapin is also located within the condo. We already tried this cafe at its Sukhumvit branch last December so we won't be going for it this time round.
If you do come here, You'll kill two birds with one stone cos you get to try out two cafes in one location! 

The whimsical cottage-like woody interior of the cafe makes it very welcoming and comfortable for patrons to enjoy their dutch pancakes.
You're the syrup to my pancakes
Don't have a sweet tooth and the thought of sweet desserts makes you get a toothache?
No worries, they have both savoury and sweet selction to choose from! 
There were ALOT of dutch pancakes to choose from and we finally settled on 
Bacon & Cheese for the savoury and Chocolate Oreo for the sweet.

They didn't disappoint, both were really yummy!
The Bacon & Cheese one came with maple syrup which you can refill at the condiments counter. You can choose not to pour the maple syrup if its not your cup of tea but the fusion of sweet and savoury is so heavenly!

Close up of my Metalsmith bracelet from O-oro Accessories

Panary Cafe
Address: 8/1 Soi Phaholyothin 7,
Phaholyothin Building Noble Reform Samsen Nai,
Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.
(*Right next to Casa Lapin)

Opening Hours: 10am to 8pm

Casa Lapin
Address: 8/2 Soi Phahon Yothin 7 (at Noble Reform), 
Phaya ThaiBangkok 10400, Thailand
(*Right next to Panary Cafe)

Opening Hours: 
Monday to Friday: 7am to 10pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9am to 10pm  

After the delicious pancakes, its time for some OOTD shots!
Lace Culottes: MDS Collections
Woven Sandals: Rubi Shoes
Gold Clutch & Accessories: c/o O'oro Accessories
Hat: Lack Of Color Australia (Ivory Bone)

Close up of the Prism Clutch & Metalsmith bracelet

We took the BTS back to Siam and went to the new mall Siam Square where we saw this adorable inflatable figurine of Baymax :) 
We hung around the area and had dinner before heading back to the hotel to pack and rest as it's our last night in Bangkok.

Day 5

We checked out of our hotel and grabbed some lunch before heading to Phrom Phong to check out Ceresia Coffee Roasters.
Phrom Phong is often referred to as Little Japan because of the many Japanese establishments like Japanese Supermarket, restaurants, book stores etc.. The Japanese residing in Bangkok also frequent this place.
This place is also home to one of the hottest new malls in Bangkok; The Em District which includes EmQuartier and Emporium.
Today also happened to be the official opening of EmQuartier Mall and we were glad to be able to witness the buzz and hype of this new mall before we left.

We went in search of the cafe and saw many colourful Japanese decorations along the way.

Aha, found it!
The cafe is located quite deep in and we were looking for the church landmark and finally located it. 

Ceresia Coffee Roasters
Address: 41 Praphai Phak Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, 
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Phone:+66 86 843 8235
Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm

We explored the place a little after coffee before heading back to check out EmQuartier.
Daisies Culottes Jumpsuit: Topshop
Bag: KateSpade Saturday

There's something for everyone in this spanking new mall!
Foodies, there are so many food choices to choose from.
The only Pierre Hermes shop in Asia is also located in this mall so for a macaron addict like myself, I have to visit this shop!
Foodies, the mall is like a paradise with a wide array of food establishments.
Be sure to check out the basement, you'll be spoilt for choice! 
Fashionistas, this place also stocks high fashion brands and more mainstream brands for you to shop till your heart's content!
Beauty junkies, there's Sephora, Fresh and so many other renowned beauty brands that will have you drooling at their wide selection.
Can't resist snapping a pic with this cute display outside this Parisian cafe

The middle portion of the mall has an eco theme going on
Fresh roses on this beautiful photo board from FRESH!
It was so pretty that everyone was queuing to snap a pic with it :D

A piece of London at Harrod's Tea Room! 
They offer a wide selction of pretty cakes and pastries as well as savoury foods.



Yay! I'm a happy girl :D

Pierre HermĂ© Paris Thailand, 
EmQuartier Mall, G Floor GB07
639 Thanon Sukhumvit, Khlong Tan Nuea,
 Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Alright, after exploring Emquartier, it was time for us to head back to the hotel to get our luggage and be on our way to the airport.
But before bidding our goodbyes, let's take a little tour around the hotel  
Spacious lobby area

Walkway to the lifts and guess what?
They have complimentary coffee for all you coffee lovers,
just help yourselves to it at the coffee machine :)

Coffeeholic in action, 
enjoying his last cup of coffee at the hotel before heading to the airport!

Toilets at the lobby

Hotel Spa

Photo credit: www.litbangkok.com
Hotel Pool

LIT Hotel Bangkok
  1. Address: 36/1 Soi Kasemsan 1, Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, 
  2. Bangkok 10330, Thailand

**Here are some other places to check out when in Bangkok:
For bustling nightspots which includes night markets and drinks, 
you can try: 
1) Silom 

2) Khao San Road (Backpackers Street) 

3) Night Market Shopping

For sightseeing around Bangkok,
you can try:
1) 10 Must See Temples in Bangkok
2) Floating Markets
3) Chao Phraya River Cruise

For Cafe Hopping in Bangkok,
1) Siam Area
2) Siam & Beyond

Can't decide where to go yet?
Fret not, you can check out this list by Bangkok Magazine. 
They've put together a comprehensive guide on the Top 10 Attractions in Bangkok, you can read and then decide :)

Other resources you may need:
Bangkok BTS Map

Hope you've enjoyed my travelogue and recommendations,
Have a fabulous day! :)

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