Day 4, April 28, 2013, Saturday - Chatuchak Weekend Market and Bangkok city night
The plan was to have our breakfast delivered to our room a bit early and walk to the MRT to board the earliest train to Chatuchak. Our breakfast, western, was served in our room every morning. You can have a choice of two sets of western breakfast and serve at your preferred time.
We want to be at the weekend market as early as possible to beat the weekend crowd. Indeed later we found out it was the smart decision. After our breakfast we walked towards Si Lom MRT station. Not many people waiting and on the train. We were really early and beating the crowd.
When we arrived we knew straight away the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market is really huge. Vendors already were there along the street leading to the market selling their wares. When we walked along and knowing us as foreigners they started with their look, look, see, see and cheap cheap ha ha ha. As we walked towards the market we can feel a huge stream of people joining us. Thousands of visitors/shoppers that comprise of locals and foreigners.
To visit Chatuchak market you certainly need a strategy. My strategy was simple enough. Beginning with the outer ring walk around to check every outlets until we reach the middle. Ha ha ha ha that is why you need a whole day there. That was what we did and it happen that the outer ring where we entered was where the jeans, denims and dungarees outlets were. The main reason of my strategy was that I wanted to really explore the place and soak everything in. The other strategy was if you like what you see and want it, bargain like hell and pay. Do not wait or think you can come back later. You will never ha ha ha. I did not have anything in particular to buy just to explore and have good experience there.
When we reached one of the entrances we started to do as planned. We walked exploring the first outer ring walking inside. It was indeed a huge ring ha ha ha. Beginning with the denims and jeans area to t-shirts, leathers, shoes and shirts. I could not remember exactly but I think we managed to walked about three rings and decided to have a rest. It was at about lunch time we were a bit tired already and in need of food. Based on my research of the market there would be a couple of halal stalls and surau to pray. Indeed we found the stalls as we walked out to the middle of the rings. We settled for one a bit inside and we knew we had made the right choice when we tasted the food.
After we finished our food we sat a bit to rest our tired feet. We talked about coming back to Bangkok in the future and continue of train journey to Chiang Mai. Chatuchak market would be a definite must visit again and we know how to tackle it the next time. We also discussed our next plan of action. Since it was already passed zuhor we decided to say our Jamak prayers first before we continue our exploration.
As explained by the guide that I had and explained to us by the food stall owner we walked to find the surau. Indeed it was not that difficult to locate. The surau is behind a blue colored Bank. Take the alley and the surau will be on your left.
After we said our prayers we continued walking inside the maze until we decided there were nothing interesting more to explore. As a finale we decided to walk the ringed parameter in the middle and observed from outside. By now there were already a lot of visitors at the market and getting difficult to move around. We decided to call Chatuchak a day and explore another part of Bangkok.
The best way to go to Chatuchak is either by taking the MRT to Chatuchak Park or BTS to Mo Chit stations. Going back to downtown we decided to take the BTS at Mo Chit which was easy enough to find.
We planned to disembark at Siam Centre station and once we were there we embarked on another walking excursion around Bangkok. Being weekend this time around the shopping areas were packed with people. We checked out Siam Centre and Siam Paragon anyway knowing that we did not have anything to buy there. We checked out the latest and biggest shopping mall there and Sam found the best Pulut Mangga and until today she is urging me to go back there for it ha ha ha. The main reason I am going through the shopping complexes there was to find Grand Sport outlets. Nostalgic fool that I am I needed to find this Thailand brand sport shop to buy something as souvenir. Back during our school days Grand Sport was top and most sought after brand among us. Primarily because it was of good quality with good price and secondly due to our association with King’s College of Bangkok. Unfortunately there was not one in the many complexes.
Below the BTS train track was a skybridge/walkways that run and connecting all the major shopping malls and building around the area. This makes pedestrian life easier to move from one building to another. We leveraged and made full use of the facilities. After the exploration of all the new shopping malls, using the walkway, we walked towards MBK, a shopping mall that used to be the landmark for many tourists from Malaysia. Nothing in particular that we want to buy there just walking around to window shop and observe the malls culture in Bangkok. Apart from that we were going there to have dinner as based on my research there would be halal restaurant and surau there.
Once a while when we were tired we just sat down for a short breather. We did not care if we had to sit on the floor.
MBK was not to our liking as shopping wise you can get whatever there cheaper somewhere else. Thus, our main objective was dinner at Yanna Restaurant. From the directory the food court and where we can find Yanna Restaurant was at the top floor of the mall. Once we were there we straight away got our table and started to explore the menu. It was quite a familiar list that we did not have problem ordering. Not a bad selection. The price range is acceptable. All of us ordered two dishes each thinking it would be in small portion. What came were American size dishes that piled up our table. No worries though. There were too delicious and we were very hungry not to clean them up ha ha ha. Somehow I felt we rushed our dinner ha ha ha.
As we could not locate the surau after few attempts we walked out the mall. Using the elevated walkway we proceeded towards Siam BTS station. As we walked we could see down below a pasar malam like atmosphere and realised, since it was Sunday night, there was Malaysian uptown like sales going on. It was every where along the corridor and five foot pathway. We perked up and excited as that would be the best opportunity to find something unique and special. We walked down and explored.
Indeed you can really find what you want and also what you think you want ha ha ha. I successfully resisted. But it was enjoyable walking along admiring at how innovative, entrepreneurial and determine they were. After a few blocks we had seen enough and walked unto the nearest BTS station and took a train back to Saladaeng station. Of course when we arrived at Saladaeng a full blown uptown was in progress. Again we decided to explore. Knowing that Patphong Road was nearby I directed my family to the opposite side of the road. Even that I could not avoid the outlets selling things that not supposed to be seen by my family. Mar did ask me about something she saw but I ignored her ha ha ha. Susah nak explain oooooo.
After a while we had enough and walked back to our hotel. Along the way we bought a lot of fruits.
My FB friends can view photos of Day 4 here
My FB friends can view photos of Day 4 here