DAY 1 - Saturday, 31 December 2016
Arriving into Don Mueang International Airport mid afternoon, we caught a taxi to our boutique inn in the old town. Our driver took quite some time to find the place as we only had the address in English. We eventually found the place with much help from other taxi drivers and hotel security along the way. Pulling up at the inn, it was exactly as we pictured from our booking. It was quaint and it was colonial. It is unlike all the modern day, glass surrounded hotels these days.
After settling into the room, we headed out to find some food. We ended up taking a taxi to MBK. There was a cute pop up event outside called Winter Camp Markets. There were lots of different stalls selling sit down meals, snacks, jewellery, clothing, homewares and miscellaneous items. It was a really cute set up!
Then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for New Years Eve celebrations. Our plan was the head to Asiatique for dinner and to watch the countdown fireworks before heading to a club/party for an after party. I didn't take my camera with me to Asiatique so there is a lack of photos of our night but it is definitely a place I recommend going if you're in Bangkok. It is a large area along the rive front with bars, restaurants and plenty of small boutique shops. We had read that it was a popular spot for the New Years Eve countdown so we were excited for the event. Heading to Asiatique, we were competing with traffic of the crowd heading there too. After a brief walk around to check out the restaurants and enquire their wait times, we ended up at Osha Cafe, a restaurant that offered Thai food.
After our late dinner, we headed out onto the pier to get into position for the fireworks display of midnight. With crowds ready with their cameras and hands full of beers, the clock striked 12 and...nothing. There was no countdown, there was no party, there was no fireworks. Everyone was left confused and murmurs of 'what?' went through the crowd. Disappointing. We were later told the next day that there is no fireworks to celebrate the new year this year in respect of the King who recently passed. Fair enough. But at the same time, disappointed we didn't get a countdown into the new year. We later headed to Khao San Road for drinks. It was packed with party streamers all over the floor. There was definitely a huge party here for the new year. Happy 2017 everyone!
DAY 2 - Sunday, 1 January 2017
We started our morning with a delicious home-made breakfast at the hotel. We might have been abit greedy but we got to try all their different foods and it was definitely worth stuffing our faces for. If you ever pass by or stay at the Old Capital Bike Inn, have a taste of their dough fritters with homemade pandan jam. It is so, so, so, beyond words, yummy. So delicious that I would love to buy a couple of jars of it back.
After breakfast we headed off to Chatuchak weekend markets. It is the biggest markets ever! With 27 sections selling everything from socks to chameleons, everything you can ever want to buy can be found here. The weather was great, not too hot, so the walk around was bearable. There were lots of interesting, unique stalls. I have to say it is the best markets I have ever been to. Honestly, if you're an animal lover or activist, avoid the animal sections! It is completely inhumane with several huge huskies in 1 kennel/cage, overcrowded bird cages, large geese in cages, etc.
There were plenty of food places, serving authentic Thai food to western delights. We ended up at a Thai restaurant on Tripadvisor's list of Thai restaurants in Chatuchak Weekend Markets- Toh-Plue Restaurant. It was delicious and our curry was served in a handcarved ornamental bowl. They also placed a personalised country flag of where each customer is from with each dish.
For dinner, we headed out to the area of Silom. There was a restaurant in the area that was on Tripadvisor's lists of places to eat in Bangkok and also raved about on Ladyironchef- Naamsah Bottling Trust. It was fully booked out but was offered to be on the waitlist whilst we grab a drink at the bar. The pink exterior of the restaurant made me fall in love already. The interior- exquisite. So beautiful, so gossip girl like. We waited for about 40 minutes before getting seated. The food was definitely worth the wait!
After our scrumptious dinner, we walked over to a rooftop bar- Cloud 47. It is located on the 47th level of United Center building. Cloud 47 is a casual rooftop bar and unlike Lebua, it was unpretentious. It was casual yet offered unobstructed city views of Bangkok. If you want the view of Bangkok without paying ridiculous prices and getting dressed in your Sunday's best- Cloud 47 is the place to be. For those who get cold easily, bring a jacket! It can get windy and cold.
DAY 3 - Monday, 2 January 2017
On our last full day in Bangkok, shopping was on the agenda! We took a taxi to CentralWorld which in my opinion was a nightmare to navigate as there were so many wings and quarters to it. I like shopping centres set out like a grid and simple mall directory and map to read. Nothing really took our fancy so we ended up walking over towards Siam Paragon and later to MBK for a massage. There is usually a lot of hype over the shopping in Bangkok, wholesale prices at Platinum but on previous trips, I was less than impressed. Every girl loves a bargain but in my opinion, not in exchange for poor quality, wear once and throw away garments. Or maybe I am just shopping at all the wrong places.
Whilst walking around the area, we passed Little Zoo Cafe. It was a little animal cafe. In the advertisement banner outside the shop, there were loads of different animals present in the cafe. So we went in. I've never been to an animal cafe before so maybe this is just how it is but I was slightly disappointed. Unlike the photos in the front, it was mainly little puppies inside. Not that I'm complaining as dogs are my favourite pets but I was expecting a wider variety. Nonetheless, still a super cute break from shopping.
On our last night in Bangkok, we decided what's a trip to Bangkok without ladyboys. No offense. Our plan was to head to Soi Cowboy for dinner, drinks and a show. Soi Cowboy is a street, lit up in neon signs with bars on either side promoting Thai girls and lady boys dancing on podiums and on bar counter tops. We started the evening off at a bar with a drink with Thai girls, looking very bored, swaying up on podiums to the music. After the first bar, we went into a lady boy bar. Uncomfortable is an understatement. Unlike the first bar we went to, this was much more intimate. The seating area was right up close to the podiums and the space was smaller. After ordering our drinks, we were approached by several lady boys who asked for us to buy them drink. How can we say no? They got a drink and sat down with us. If we weren't already uncomfortable before, we definitely were now. We pretty much drank our drinks as fast as we could to get out of there!
Upon paying the bill, we gave them exact change for 640 Baht. We counted twice. Then they came back to us saying we only paid 540 Baht. Hearing experiences of others prior to coming to these bars, we knew they were hustling us. Well, what was 100 Baht? $4. We just gave them the extra 100 Baht and left immediately. There was a couple next to us who also got hustled. They paid for their bill and whilst waiting for change, the lady brought them another drink with their change. After seeing that, we decided to give them exact change. But still, we fell for their schemes.