We hit the road 2 days before the Lunar New Year.
Upon arrival at the hotel, we wasted no time and headed straight to MBK, that gigantic shopping mall at the heart of Bangkok.
But no thanks to that talkative cab driver of ours who almost spoiled our day, by ferried us to the dreadful jewelry factory to earn some fuel coupons for himself, before sent us to MBK. (so beware of these cabbies, lurking outside the hotels.)
It's traffic everywhere, bringing tourists, after-work shoppers and students to what it is the heart of Thailand.
Call it fate or whatsoever, we saw Hong Kong singer-actor, Leon Lai at the 4-faced Buddha shrine, near the World Trade Center.
It's Lunar New Year Eve on the second day of our trip and decided to walk around the vicinity where our hotel is located.
Along the way, saw a group of hotel staff performed the offering ceremony to the gods, as it's new year's eve, I believed (pictured on the left, below).
Here we were at Yaowarat aka Chinatown of Bangkok.
Unlike at home, firecrackers are not prohibited here, thus it was letting out of the firecrackers everywhere, round the corner.
It was crowds everywhere, though I must said the narrow alleys in most parts of Yaowarat had made walking an arduous task (as seen on the picture on the second from the right above), with hordes of petty traders ply their goods, face-to-face, side-by-side.
Much to our surprise, Bangkok remained full of life, in spite it was first day of Lunar New Year.
That was always the most dreadful part of any trip...Going back to that sickening routine after enjoying life (well, all good things ended fast...)
The flight back home was delayed, thought l had strike lottery, so as to claimed some compensation from our insurance company, only to find out that the cut-off must be 12 hours :C
Below are some of photos took on the last day at Bangkok
It's truly a shopping paradise.. though I must say most of the stuff sold along the streets, MBK, Yaowarat and other shopping areas are pretty much the same (eg: clothing, bags and blah, blah, blah), so do take your time if you are looking for one particular stuff, before "whack" it (l mean buy it, of course some bargaining is never avoidable).
If possible, try to stay near a hotel where "skytrain" is easily accessible. rather than one far away from it, as most of the major shopping areas are within the vicinity of those "skytrain" stations (except for Yaowarat)
Sorry to say though, we didn't make it to Chatuchak, as it only open over the weekend (the biggest outdoor market I ever seen so far)
One of the deep impressions that etched in my mind is the respect of all Thai people towards the Royal Family, no matter where you go you bound to find a portrait of the King or the Royal family in houses or shops.
But one thing for sure, I'll be going back for more wonderful shopping experience.
© 2004 Ko Po Hui