Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What to do in Bangkok?

I was frequently asked over the past few months with the same question, and had to give the same lengthy explanation over and over again.


Well, perhaps you can start off by reading these and these (written by the bear).

My first trip to Bangkok was in year 2010. After spending 5 days in Bangkok, I realize that it wasn't enough to fulfill my curiosity. Given that, I return for another visit in which I stayed for 2 weeks last year. My friends were curious as to how I could spend such a long time just in Bangkok. I personally think that one could easily be distracted and stray off path from the initial plan as there so many things to discover in Bangkok, this coming from my personal experiences. 

On my second trip, I opted to stay out of the city for a week. I stayed at Banglamphu area where all the major attractions are situated at. Believe it or not, I did not meet any Malaysians during my stay away from the city. During my last 2 night in Bangkok, I moved to the city for a different experience. When I first stepped into the shopping mall, I could hear 'Manglish' all over the places and manage to meet people from KL and etc. It is then that I discovered that the main intention of Malaysian visiting Bangkok is solely to shop. Surely, Bangkok is like a shopping paradise for everyone. Even the non-shopaholic will go crazy because you can easily find unique handicraft or souvenirs along the street at affordable prices.

In order to guide you about Bangkok, you will need to asked yourself about the type of traveler you are. Are you someone who are into culture and the local lifestyle or you are someone who adores city life as well as the shopping scene? Generally when I travel, my itinerary will be focus on culture and attractions. However, I could be the later type of traveler depending on the cities. Personally, Bangkok is just not about the city or cheap shopping deal. In my opinion, Bangkok is not as dangerous as Malaysia and possessed unique culture worth taking an interest in.

There's so much to see and learn in Bangkok if you have the time to do so. If you want to do a quick culture tour, you can go to Ratanakosin gallery which is located near the National Monument. This place can give you an overview about the country and the people. I was there in August and the locals were surprised as to why I would asked  directions to go there. They assumed that tourist will only be interested in places like the Grand Palace,Wat Pho and Wat Arun. To my surprise, all visitors were locals and my sis and I were like the "farang" there. An interesting info about the place is that there's a mini library inside the gallery where you can browse books and surf the internet for free. But, you need to show them the entrance ticket for admission. I personally enjoyed the library very much as it was very cozy and comfortable. I'll blog about the library later. *finger crossed*

If you are on a tight budget, don't worry as there's a lot of things to see and it's free. I think I will need to write a separate guide on this. For people who love the city, I think you can spend at least a day exploring the cultural things and the rest of your trip exploring the city as well as well as enjoying the night life and city lights. There are few nice cafes and restaurant on Phra Atit road which is frequent by the locals but not the tourist. I really like the settings there.

Maybe, instead of visiting the Skybar everytime you visit Bangkok, if this is what you have been doing all the time. Why don't you spend some time discovering the local culture? Then you will have a different story to tell your friends other than what you have purchased from your trip. Your friends might be impressed with your newly discovered places and maybe you could explore a few good cafes for yourself to share with us. Perhaps it's time to change your ideas about Bangkok and be different for a change.

I know a lot of you will probably be interested to know how much money is need for a trip in Bangkok.

If you ask me, spending one week in Bangkok can be as low as 200 USD to 500 USD depending on how luxury want your trip to be and how much shopping you intend to do.

I'll be writing new guides on this lovely city soon. Then, you can decide on the places do you could visit for your trip there. Drop us a comments if you wish to know on anything in particular. 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kokret/Kokred- A getaway from Bangkok

I first heard about Ko Kred was earlier this year when my Thai friend posted about it and she mentioned that she didn't know the existence about this island although she was born in Bangkok. This information triggered my interest somehow as it is definitely not touristy for sure. I've learned from travelling in SEA that there's a lot of leeches which try their best to suck your money. It's a rude comparison but it's true.

How to get there?
Take bus 32 from Pra Atit Road/Khao San road and stop at the KFC near Tesco Lotus at Pakred. You can also take any bus which goes to Pakred. I think you can also take a van from Victory Monument to Pakred too. From the KFC, turn into the junction and go straight and then turn left and you will see a temple on your right later. Go into the temple until you see the boat to Kokred. The cost is only 2 Bath. If you stopped at a private harbour, you need to pay 50Bath to cross the river.

At Kokred, you can easily rent a bicycle at 40 Bath whole day or travel on foot which we did as I don't know how to ride a bicycle and I also read that the pavement is quite bad. Hence, walking is the best! We went there on Tuesday as we understand that it will be very crowded during the weekends as the locals will flood this little village. Hence, to avoid the crowd, we went there on weekdays instead. But, a local company brought all their staff there and it was flooded with people. Although only a few shops open for business but it was happening enough. I was expecting a quiet and peaceful village. But, they left very soon so no complains.
I personally think that it is a nice village to walk around and take pictures. Or at least feel thes
village which I love. It's very interesting to see. I'll show a few snapshots which I like from the village.

Since it is a pottery village, you should not miss drinking from this cute cup which only cost 25 Bath and you can bring the cup back after that. Well, I didn't buy it as it will be very troublesome to carry  around. 
If you happen to have extra time in Bangkok, do drop by at this place. It's easy to get around. Well, I didn't explore the whole island as I didn't know how to cycle. *facepalm* There's a lot of snacks and dessert around and it's nice. We didn't take much picture about it because we ate everything before it's too late. The potteries sold at KoKred is slighty cheaper than those sold at Chatukchak market. Hence, it will be a good place for shopping too.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Medan 5D4N transportation guide!

Hi peeps !
Sorry to keep you waiting.
Here's the guide for the 3rd largest city in Indonesia -Medan.
I realize that there's not much guides about how to get to one place from another. So, let me help! I'll be doing reviews about the places later.

Day 1
Update: The new airport is at Kuala Namu which is 45 minutes away from the city center.

Arrive at Polonia Airport. Note: They are going to shift the airport to a new place which is located an hour away from the city center.
Our friend fetch us to the Padang Bulan Bus Station but generally you can get a taxi at the Petronas Petrol Station which is located opposite the airport. The airport is so small and you don't have to walk that much. From Padang Bulan Bus Station, you can get to Berastagi at Rp 10,000 only in a minibus (2 hours ride). The best seat is located next to the driver. At Berastagi (B), you can walk around the tugu Berastagi or use their angkot service. We went to Gundaling (G) by "Bintang Karo" angkot at the fee of Rp 3000 (B-G) and Rp 2000 (G-B). I've no idea why the fee is cheaper when we travel from Gundaling to Berastagi.

Day 2
We left Berastagi by local transportation again. Someone quote us Rp 450,000 for a car but we didn't take the deal as we think it is expensive as there's only 3 of us travelling together. Instead of a private car, we travelled from Berastagi to Kebanjahe (Karya Transport -Yellow van; Rp 3000- 30 mins) & from Kebanjahe to Siantar (Sepadan-blue van; Rp 20,000 -3 hrs). From Siantar, you can either travel by local minibus (Rp 10,000 -30 mins) or a shared taxi (Rp 15,000) to Parapat. We chose the later one as we are tired of smoking secondhand smoke.
From Parapat, we took the ferry (Rp 7000) to  Tuktuk.
You can also travel from Siantar to Parapat by "Sejahtera bus".

Day 3
We rented a private van with driver at Rp 450,000 (RM 50) near Liberta Homestay as we don't know how to ride a motorbike. Motorbike rental is available at Rp80,000 or Rp 200,000 with driver. But make sure that you tell your driver where you want to go and make sure that he promise that he will take you the places you wish to go. It's good to survey about the places first & know where you want to go first before talking to the driver.

Day 4
We left Tuktuk for Parapat by the ferry. (Rp 7000) and shared the taxi from PT Bagus (near the Jetty) at only Rp 65,000 per person for a 5 hours journey. We didn't ask the minibus/local bus as sitting in the bus for few hours is not so comfortable.

Day 5
We travelled mostly by becak around the city. Price should be around Rp15,000 to Rp 20,000. If they charge more, take the bluebird taxi instead! The town is very very small and you can reach most places by foot. Don't let the map fools you.

That's all from Medan and hope you enjoy your stay there! I'll do a review about the places there! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

We're back and kicking!

Hi all! Have you been missing us?
Fred not, we are backkkkkk!
The last few months was a "nightmare" ! But, we are almost done with studies!
Graduation, here we come!
Some of us are travelling now! How does South Korea sound to you?
Please keep watching this space. It's going to be awesomeee!