Bangkok April 2015 (Day 1)
Bangkok Itinerary Overview (2015). p.s. Read about our post of how to get from BKK airport to downtown.
We flew by TigerAir into Bangkok (BKK Survanbhumi) airport on a Thursday afternoon. I don’t really recommend Scoot to Bangkok, because they only fly to Don Mueang airport, which is relatively inconvenient. You have to travel by cab to Mo Chit BTS before taking BTS downtown. And since there’s only one Telco there, you have to join a long queue just to get a Tourist Data Sim Card.
At BKK airport, we got a Tourist SIM Card from AIS. No particular reason. All 3 telcos offer the same pricing and plan for what we needed. AIS is the most crowded when we went, perhaps because of its internet sharing SIM plan. Compare and decide which SIM Card plan suits you best here.
The express airport rail link to Phaya Thai BTS, which is near to town, was not in operation during our stay! This was totally unexpected. So if you are planning to travel to the airport via express line, do buffer in more time for such contingency. Without the express line, we took the SA City Line instead, which had more stops before reaching Phaya Thai. But it was still faster than travelling from Don Mueang.
We checked in at Evergreen Place Bangkok, a service apartment that is about 5 minutes walk to Ratchethewi BTS, and 15 minutes walk to Siam Discovery Center. (Review up soon!)
After check-in, we decided to go on a round of “high-class” shopping first before hitting the markets and wholesale mall, Pratunam! We went to Central World Plaza because it had all I wanted to buy and eat. So off we went~
But after my trip, I would skip Central World the next time round. There seemed to be more promotions going on for Naraya and Melissa Shoes at Siam Discovery. And Wacoal is easily found in other departmental stores. The food at Central World? See my experience below.
EAT (Central World)
1) After You Dessert Cafe
After You was highly recommended to me. It is popular for its Shibuya Honey Toast (THB175, US$5). Hence we ordered this signature dish and their “World’s Best Ice Chocolate” (125 Baht, US$3.50).
I was disappointed. But probably my expectations were high and I was previously wow-ed by the thick toast I had at Dazzling Cafe in Taiwan. Dazzling Cafe’s presentation and taste scored higher than After You. However, I heard disappointing reviews of the newly opened Dazzling Cafe in Singapore.
The toast at After You was soaked in honey and butter, and thus thick in taste. But it was a bit too sweet for my liking. It could be better if we added toppings such as banana to balance the taste. As for the chocolate drink, I felt like I was drinking a very thick cup of Milo. I think Singapore’s Milo dinosaur is nicer and cheaper.
But being a highly raved dessert cafe, it’s better for you to try and judge for yourself. It seemed more popular with the younger crowd. You can always try other selections such as Sticky Toffee Toast, Matcha Toast, etc. But for my next trip, I will probably save my stomach for the coconut ice cream at Chatuchak.
Outlets: Siam Paragon, Silom Complex, Central World, La Villa, Paholyotin Level 1 (next to Ari BTS), Avenue Thonglor 13, The Crystal Phase 2, Central Plaza Lardprao, Int Intersect Rama 3.
2) Kalpapruek Restaurant (Dinner)
Kalpapruek Restaurant has many good reviews on its Thai cuisine, bakery and desserts such as cakes and smoothies. The restaurant displayed newspaper clippings outside their restaurant, indicating the royalty of their food – research tells me that the food is prepared using the Royal recipe as the owner is related to the Royal family.
We ordered Noodle salad with prawn and pork (130 Baht), stir fry chicken with cashew (190 Baht), Green Curry Beef with little chili with rice (125 Baht) and a bottle of water (20 Baht). Prices exclude 10% service and 7% VAT.
Verdict: Is it because I don’t have a mass market tongue? But I was expecting good food from this highly acclaimed restaurant. Green curry tasted best of them all. The dishes were not too bad, but ordinary and forgettable. 7 out of 10, but I will not have my dinner here again on a short trip. But I will have to try their cakes and smoothies the next time round.
Oh their in-house bottle of water has a really interesting design! Looks like an aquarium when the bottles are all lined up (see restaurant picture).
- Central World shopping center, 7th floor (Siam BTS)
- Pramuan Road Silom (Original Branch) (Surasak BTS)
- The Mercury Ville shopping center, 1st floor (Chit Lom BTS)
- Emporium, 1st floor (Kalpapruek On First) (Phrom Phong BTS)
- Emporium, 5th floor (Ging Kalpapruek; Thai cuisine and old time classics) (Phrom Phong BTS)
- Crystal Design Centre (By Kalpapruek) (by car)
3) Other places to try at Central World
Coca (steamboat) and MK Restaurants are quite popular, so much so that they have come and set up shops in Singapore.
SHOP (Central World)
The usual Singaporean (caveat: female) buys include Naraya goods, Melissa Shoes, Wacoal lingerie. Get more details on the respective outlets and opening hours at “Brands and Shopping Malls in Bangkok” post.
I decided on Central World because I heard Jelly Dreams was just opposite Naraya. Good to get my buys in one swoop. But later, when we went to Siam Discovery the next day to search for more Jelly Dreams, we realised Naraya is just one floor down and having promotion for this outlet only. =.= But anyhow, they have new fabric prints – elephants! So Bangkok… and I’m loving it!
2) MELISSA SHOES
I have a few pairs of Crocs, simply because I love rubber shoes! I like its water-resistant characteristic, especially good if you want to travel light with 1 or 2 pairs of shoes. Melissa shoes generally has better designs than Crocs, but the prices are higher too. Then I heard wind of Melissa shoes being cheaper in Thailand. Thus, I had to pop by their store in Bangkok, which is named Jelly Dreams. Jelly Dreams, is under Thailand’s well-known footwear retailer – Jelly Bunny! That’s probably the reason of the re-branding from Melissa. Btw, Jelly Bunny shoes just arrived in the shores of Singapore last year (2014), at Plaza Singapura.
The Melissa outlet at Central World didn’t have nice designs nor was it running any promotion. So I went to Siam Discovery (the next day also) and they were having a promotion of up to 70% discount! I had wanted to get the basic designs but none of it was on sale. Most basic designs were new arrivals. :( Not giving up, I went to their outlets in the departmental stores, but they carry only new arrivals and of course, with no discount. BUT THANK GOD, I saw one designs I like at Siam Discovery and got it at 70% off, about S$50? Selling at US$135 on shopmelissa.com/jasonwu/virtue-jason-wu! Happy girl ~ :) Apparently, the shoes are cheaper only if there is an in-house promotion, on top of the tax refund and strong home currency. I saw pictures of bloggers getting Melissa shoes I like from BKK at good prices, but it’s unavailable when I got there. So, it really depends if you will come across models and colours you like.
3) WACOAL LINGERIE
I bought my stuff at Zen Departmental Store, located in Central World. However, I had to make a second trip to Robinson to get underwear for someone else. I was told there’s a 15% discount if I get 3 undies. I contemplated and decided not to. And the saleswoman told me, then 15% for 2! I was like huh?! You can bargain?! Then I thought of the “discount” I got at Zen. After I got what I wanted, they told me of a promotion which requires me to buy more to get the good discount. And I did buy more. =.= So, be sure to ask the sales person if there’s any ongoing promotion before browsing the lingerie.
You may also like to read: Bangkok April 2015 (Day 2) | Siam Square, Bangkok April 2015 (Day 2) | Asiatique.
Photo Credits: 1/ AIS Shop Source, 2/ Melissa Shop: www.hboemtb.com/projects/single_project/jelly-dream, 3/ Melissa Source