Travel

Chao Phraya River

I took the free tuk-tuk ride to Krung Thon Buri station to take a BTS to Saphan Taksin station. From there, there was signs and a walkway to Sathorn pier. I had planned to go to Wat Arun, so my next pier stop was Tha Tien.

To reach Tha Tien pier, you need to take the orange-flag boat. It’s not necessary to buy a ticket. You can pay on board. It’d be better to prepare the money beforehand. It costs about 14 Baht per trip. During peak hours, the boats are usually full. Beware of pickpockets.

You can also buy Chao Phraya Tourist Boat ticket at the locket at Sathorn pier. It costs 150 Baht. The ticket can be used for a whole day (on the stamped date) and you can get on or off wherever you want. The tourist boats have blue flag. I recommend you get this ticket if you are pressed for time and would like to go to a lot of places along the river in a day. However, if you are like me, who want to explore every site you go to, then this ticket is a waste of money, considering it only costs 15-20 Baht per trip by taking an orange or yellow-flag boat.

For more info on boat services and fares, go to http://www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com/en/services/index.aspx

Here’s some pictures I took on my way along the Chao Phraya river.

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Portraits of Asia

Last night, I bought a dessert from one of the stalls in front of CentralWorld and ate it while sitting on one of the benches near the Portraits of Asia Exhibition on CentralWorld Square. The dessert costs 20 baht. From what I could see, it consisted of guilinggao, nata de coco, ginkgo nuts, red dates, palm sugar and shaved ice. I liked it. Hmm, too bad I don’t have a picture of it. My camera’s battery was dead by this time because I stupidly forgot to charge it yesterday.

Anyway, Portraits of Asia was an outdoor photo exhibition held at the CentralWorld Square, featuring 88 portraits by the French photographer, Eric Lafforgue. They were amazing! I was glad I had an opportunity to attend the expo. Below are some pictures I took of the portraits.

Skeleton Woman, Highlands, Papua New Guinea

Mung-Ming ancient Chinese style hair removal at Chinatown, Bangkok, Thailand

Novices in Bangkok, Thailand

Miss Muko, Karen, Nam Peang Din village, Pai River, Thailand

Beautiful transsexual people, Thailand

Ringing bells in Buddhist temples, Thailand

Baby and father in Beijing, China

For more information on the expo, go to http://www.tannetwork.tv/tan/ViewData.aspx?DataID=1041497

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Today’s Breakfast

Today’s breakfast was Thai fried rice, garnished with fresh lettuce and tomatoes. Yum!

Thai Fried Rice with Shrimps

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Bangkok, cont.

Breakfast was included with the accommodation. For today, the breakfast was Pad-Thai with giant shrimp, fresh local fruits, orange juice & tea/coffee. It was delicious. After devouring the pad-thai, my stomach was actually already in the state of near-bursting. However, the fruits looked so delectable I just had to eat them too. So, I sat there reading with my iPad while waiting for my tummy to make some more room for the fruits. Well, I was not disappointed. They were the sweetest water apple and watermelon I’ve ever tasted. It was almost like eating honey.

Pad-Thai

Pad-Thai wrapped with thin omelette, topped with giant shrimps & garnished with lime, bean sprouts and lemongrass

Water Apple & Watermelon

Water Apple & Watermelon

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First night in Thailand


I arrived at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 5.30pm. After picking a map of Bangkok and some brochures from the tourism centre, I walked outside to catch a taxi. The taxi queue was quite long. It was almost 7pm by the time I got in mine. My accommodation for the first 4-nights was called Focal Local Bed & Breakfast. It took the taxi driver about an hour to reach the B&B. He got lost once and had to get off once to ask some locals about the location. The taxi driver is a middle-age man and I think he is kind.

The hotel is a bit hard to find for first-timers since it’s located in a small Soi. However, it is in fact quite convenient considering there’s a 7-eleven around the corner and various food stands/hawkers within two/three minutes walking distance from the hotel. According to the hotel staff, there’s also a traditional market during the day. I don’t have enough time to visit the market, so I can’t confirm it. The hotel provides a free tuk-tuk for their customers once a day at any time of the day to the nearest BTS station (Krung Thon Buri). This means you can use the service anytime you want, but it’s only free for your first ride. It would roughly be a 30-minute walk to the BTS station, but I wouldn’t recommend walking considering the humid weather.

Anyway, I was greeted by a friendly staff as soon as I arrived. He gave me a glass of cold and refreshing drink. I think it was some kind of herbal tea mixed with honey. I loved it. I had felt so hot and tired at the time and the drink completely refreshed me. While I was drinking, the staff hauled my luggage upstairs. This was a small B&B, but it was clean and had a nice & unique atmosphere. There’re only 2 levels, so there’s no elevator, only stairs. Wi-fi connection in my room on the second floor was choppy, but once I was on the first floor area, they worked fine. For guests that don’t bring their own computers/ipads/pdas, they provide free desktop computer to use on the lobby. There’s a massage parlor right beside the hotel that I think is owned by the same owner.

After I finished my drink, I was shown to my room on the second floor. Every room on this B&B had its own theme. Mine was called Simply Gorgeous. I liked it. Like its name, it was simple, clean and nice. They put a bowl of potpourri on the corner of the bedroom. It made the room smells refreshingly nice without overpowering like what room fragrance sprays/diffusers do.

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