Posts Tagged ‘bangkok thailand

07
Sep
12

BANGKOK 2012 SERIES : MALLS WE LOVE

Immediately after Tina and I decided to spend our Hari Raya 2012 holiday last August in Bangkok, I wasted no time and asked some friends who recently have been to the Land of Smiles for recommendations and suggestions on what to do, where to go and how to maximize our 4D3N vacation. I communicated to them via where else but facebook. While on my other social network, twitter, I tried my luck in tweeting no less than the current United States Ambassador to Thailand, Madame Kristie Kenney. Fortunately, I got a prompt reply from the gracious ambassador. :)

Tweet Bangkok
We first saw her upclose at a Haagen-Dazs event in Manila in 2009 (see blog post HERE). Then, we casually met US Ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney in Starbucks Coffee at Greenbelt 3, one Sunday afternoon of 2010. She was then the United States Ambassador to the Philippines and apparently a Manny Pacquiao fan (see her red  T-shirt on the photo).

gabby-with-us-ambassador-kristie-kenney NOV 15, 2009

Although I considered heeding Madame Kristie Kenney’s suggestion to go to Asiatique, time and budget restricted us to do so. That newest place in Bangkok remains one of the reasons to revisit the city again. Despite we didn’t experience Asiatique, we absolutely enjoyed malls in Bangkok!

Other than going to Chatuchak Weekend Market, the Grand Palace, Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, we went to a few malls we fell love with! We checked out Siam Paragon, Central World, and Platinum Mall via taxi cabs and BTS train rides. :)
gabby & tina en route to the malls in bangkok
First stop : Siam Paragon! 
siam paragon
Siam Paragon was endorsed by our friend, Dyan as the posh mall in Bangkok. True enough, it houses the most upscale brands and slick shops you can imagine. However, we were not intimidated. We felt relaxed actually, despite we just came from the hot and huge Bangkok weekend market, Chatuchak (look at Tina in the next photo, she even got those sando shopping bag from Chatuchak!) :)

siam paragon 1
at siam paragon swensen's day 1
siam paragon 3
I adore this dessert restaurant’s fedora hat drop lamps! Beautiful!!!
siam paragon 4
siam paragon 2
We thought the installation of a couple of fish tanks in the middle of the food court of Siam Paragon a wonderful idea. It gave me a chance to introduce to Gabby those cichlids while he was savoring his Burger King. :)
gabby's burger king

After dining in the food court and having ice cream at Swensen’s, we trooped to the basement of Siam Paragon to see Siam Ocean World.  While I was busy capturing Gabby’s antics on photos, Tina headed to the counter to inquire on the admission rates. We settled on taking photos of Gabby as my wife found out that the Siam Ocean World prices were steep; I didn’t bother to ask.
siam paragon 7
siam paragon 9
siam paragon 8
siam paragon 6
siam paragon 5
seahorse kingdom
Next mall : Central World. We love it more than Siam Paragon. It has the vibe of Glorietta Mall back home which is one of our favorites.
central world 1
central world 2
central world 3
In Central World, we ate dinner at Din Tai Fung, snacks at Buddhi Belly and Bake A Wish, late lunch at Pasta de Waraku. Gabby’s happiest to find Toys R Us in Central World. We went to Central World 3x in our 4D3N stay in Bangkok.  Told you we love Central World! It’s so accessible too via BTS!

One of the highlights of our visit to Central World Mall was when we spotted a live-candy-making demonstration by candy chefs in a shop called Made in Candy. It was entertaining unexpectedly! What’s best, the “show” was free! :)
made in candy bangkok 1
made in candy bangkok 2
made in candy bangkok 3
central world 4
made in candy bangkok 4

It’s our second trip to Bangkok and we’ll certainly go back to this Thai city! We love her to bits! ;)

This Blog’s Bangkok 2012 Series includes :

04
Sep
12

BANGKOK 2012 SERIES : HEICHINROU

Flashback to January of 2004, Tina and I flew to Bangkok and spent honeymoon in Amari Watergate Hotel. Nine months and few days after, Gabby was born.
amari
Fast forward to August of 2012, we went back to Amari Watergate Bangkok with Gabby. :)
tina & gabby at amari watergate lobby
gelo & gabby at amari watergate bangkok august 2012
amari watergate bangkok august 2012

Weeks before we left Penang for Bangkok for a few day break, I emailed Amari Watergate to inquire about the rates of their buffet in one of their restaurants where Tina and I spent our first meals together as married couple, the Promenade. Unfortunately, the Filipino hotel staff who promptly replied to my query informed me that Promenade is closed on the dates I specified. He recommeded another restaurant in Amari Watergate that serves eat-all-you-want-lunch, the Heichinrou.

heichinrou bangkok

Located at 5th level of Amari Watergate Hotel, the Cantonese restaurant, Heichinrou that actually originated from Yokohama has been keeping its branches in Japan, Hong Kong and this one in Thailand. I was told they’re offering a Dimsum Buffet and ya ol know that eat-all-you-can dining is such a kryptonite to me and my family and dimsums are one of our favorites. So I asked Tina if she wants to try Heichinrou in Amari and with its reasonable price, we both gave it a nod!
chinese rickshaw
heichinrou bangkok, amari watergate
entrance to heichinrou
heichinrou menu
Despite the fact we failed to eat again in Promenade for the reason that they’re preparing for a reserved function that day, it was a nice coincidence that we were led to sit in Heichinrou in a table with a view overlooking Promenande, exactly the place where Tina and I had breakfast buffet 8 years ago.
overlooking promenade
We seldom engage in ala-carte-buffet where you can order all you want and everything from the menu is unlimited to your stomach’s content. :) We liked it actually. We didn’t have to check the spread and queue. Time was spent in pure indulgence!
chopsticks

Soon after the senior staff of the restaurant handed us the menu, everything was served to our table less the dessert. I didn’t remember asking him to do it but no regrets, no complaints. We certainly loved it! :)
dimsum love
It wasn’t overwheling; it was lovely!
dimsum galore
We started with Sweet Corn Soup with Crabmeat. It was impressive! Thick and tasteful just like what I want in my Chinese soup. There’s generous servings of real crabmeat too! When the staff asked me if I want another serving of the soup, my knees became too weak to say no! :D Then we tried Steamed Barbecued Pork Bun. Delicious! We call it Asado Siopao in the Philippines!
siopao

If you must know, whenever we have buffet-dining, we rarely order drinks and frequently go for just a glass of cold water to wash everything down. We usually make sure to have less intake of sugar-rich beverages from a glass of iced tea or soda but this Heichinrou Dimsum Buffet was an exception. Gabby and I ordered Fanta Orange and thought it went well with those yummies. ;)

Steamed Spare Ribs
spareribs
Fried Noodles with Shredded Chicken
unusual noodle dish
Steamed Cream Buns…
pao
Deep Fried Spring Rolls
fried rolls
Steamed Fresh Shrimp Dumplings, Steamed Pork Crab Egg Dumplings, Steamed Bean Curd Skin Flakes with Oyster Sauce
dimsum dimsum!
The only dish that I didn’t like (Tina agreed) was the Deep Fried Taro Dumpling; it wasn’t greasy and it looked fine but it’s just me – I am biased to savoring taro as an iced pudding :)
taro puff

The dessert from this buffet menu set was heavenly. Deviating from the common mango and tapioca; Heichinrou Dimsum Lunch Buffet offered Chilled Sago and Cantaloupe Melon topped with Coconut Cream. I had two servings. Need I say more? :)
melon sago

One may find it so peculiar to enjoy dimsum in the land of Pad Thai but it’s a great breather from all street-food-and-spicy-eats. All in all, we’re delighted with Heichinrou Dimsum Buffet and it felt really wonderful going back to a place that etched a memory in us. ;)
daddy's boy heichinrou bangkok
characters! chinese characters!
gabby and tina heichinrou bangkok

*This is NOT a sponsored post. ;) For details and contact information about Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok and Heichinrou, visit there website by clicking THIS!

This Blog’s Bangkok 2012 Series includes :

01
Sep
12

BANGKOK 2012 SERIES : GOLDEN RECLINING BUDDHA

lotus flowers, wat pho reclicing buddha bangkok

From Grand Palace Tina, Gabby and I walked across the street for some refreshments and late light lunch at Au Bon Pain. After which, we found our way to Wat Pho or Wat Phra Chetuphon or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha by heading left from the exit gate of Grand Palace. About 20 minutes more, a few sight seeing in the streets and two more left turns, we found ourselves inside the Wat Pho grounds paying 100 baht baht admission rate per pax.

Here are the fascinating things we saw en route to Wat Pho…
tuk tuk traffic
tourists, bangkok thailand
street scene
Something’s telling me these beautiful hats aren’t Thai. Can someone confirm? Nevertheless, seeing and appreciating those uniquely cultural products in the sidestreets have always been a part of traveling.
reason for traveling
It was definitely not a tiring walk as our eyes feasted on a variety of must-see, must-taste and must-experience.
Something to profess the faith or to welcome guests?
flowers, sampaguita, jasmine
Something to satisfy the gastronomic craving…
takoyaki
Something refreshing to combat the risk of dehydration under the scorching sun…
soda bottles
tourists
Then finally, Wat Pho….
gabby at the entrace
We liked the practice in Wat Pho that each visitors are given a reusable bag for free, to keep their shoes and carry it while on socks or barefooted inside the shrine. It was  absolutely different in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Grand Palace and else where.
buddha's face in wat pho
reclining buddha

My family and I certainly saw a few images of Buddha in various positions, particularly depicting his passing to the state of Nirvana as reclining or about to sleep. We saw them in places like Burma Road in Penang, Kota Bahru in Kelantan and Hat Yai in Southern Thailand but admittedly, this one in Bangkok’s the most impressive. With its 15 meter-height and 46 meter-length, gold plated with Mother of Pearl details in its feet and eyes, it remained to be the biggest reclining Buddha image in Thailand Bangkok.
gold!
another feet shot, reclining buddha, bangkokmother of pearl
reclining buddha
the feet of reclining buddha
buddha wat pho thailand
wat pho
wat pho, bangkok
buddha, wat pho
fambam in wat pho
As I was busy snapping my camera, Gabby got a small bowl with coins and began transferring coins to every brass bowl located adjacent to one of the walls of the temple. Tina became busy too capturing the moment on video via her ipod touch. I wish I knew what and how to explain to our son the essence of such act. It appears to me as symbolism of generosity, humility and charity, doesn’t it?
coins in a bowl, wat pho
gabby, wat pho
wat pho bangkok
bowls and coins
humility
faith
roses, bangkok thailand
free water, wat pho
Thanks to Wat Pho’s sponsors, each tourist was provided FREE bottle of cold distilled water each before the exit.

This Blog’s Bangkok 2012 Series includes :

31
Aug
12

BANGKOK 2012 SERIES : THAI FOOD PORN!

Experiencing local cuisine by seeing how a dish is prepared and appreciating its unique flavors and interesting ingredients are a few of the perks of traveling. In our second visit to Thailand’s capital, we planned to immerse our palates to gastronomic offerings available; even sought suggestions from fellows on where and what to eat.  One of our great friends of almost 2 decades now, Rob of Sensory Replays highly recommended a modestly famous P Kitchen at Soy 18 for authentic and affordable Thai food which travelers and tourists in Bangkok are raving about. Of course, I already mentioned in my previous posts in this series that our itinerary for this trip was made by Dyan, another friend who’s more seasoned traveler;  most of the places we went to were based on her list. However, because we were limited by time and the fact that we always have to prioritize our 7-year-old-son’s food preference, we were not able to sample more than we wished. Gabby’s a little picky now and favors the usual kiddie meals from fastfood joints. Ergo, we usually decide as a family every meal time and it must be agreeable to the 3 of us. Nonetheless, we’re happy and still lucky to savor few authentic Thai dishes without compromising Gabby’s choices.

While Bangkok has been known to many as one of the tourist spots and shopping capitals in Southeast Asia, we had more of food adventures rather than shopping. Undeniably, it’s an epicurean paradise! We tasted few of Thai dishes and indulged in those familiar to our palates. Here’s a rundown of what tickled our taste buds during our recent 4D3N trip in August in the city of Angels in the Land of Smiles… FEAST YOUR EYES, just don’t salivate and drool over your keyboard! :P

Flavorful, mouthwatering, fragrant and inexpensive dishes delighted us all on our very first meal in Bangkok. From an eatery in the heart of Chatuchak Weekend Market, we had Shrimp Fried Rice, Pad Thai, Pork Barbecue that we’re missing in Penang, and a few fried goodies for Gabby.

fried rice, bangkokfried rice, bangkok
pad thai from chatuchak weekend market
authentic pad thai
barbecue
chatuchak market feast

In Siam Paragon Mall, Gabby and I had takeaway favorites from Burger King and ate it in front of a huge fish tank in the middle of the mall’s food court while Tina opted for some bowl of Japanese. We also gave in to ice cream temptation from Swensen’s.

burger king, onion rings, whopper burger
something japanese
japanese food is love
swensen's

Tina and Gabby shared this sundae..
ice cream
While I enjoyed and shared with them two of my most loved flavors : Coffee and Chocolate! Yum! :)
swensen's
Our breakfast meals were included in the Superior Room package we availed from Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok..
breakfast
coffee
bacon and egg
cereals
dragon fruit
garlic butter
We ate dinner outside the hotel except for this one when we tried the menu at Mystic Cafe…
yum!
Tina had breakfast plate during dinner time while I loaded myself with more Thai flavors in this noodle dish and another serving of Pad Thai, this time it was vegetarian. It felt short for me having no shrimps. The Pad Thai we sampled in Chatuchak Weekend Market tasted way better.
thai noodle dish
pad thai 2
Apparently, this Mac and Cheese classic was Gabby’s plate. But because we forgot to request it shouldn’t be spicy, it was served with pepper that Gabby’s young tongue didn’t like. Tina had to remove the seasoning and what saved the moment was a glass of hot chocolate.
mac and cheese
Another mall-recommendation from Dyan was Central World which we all loved! If Siam Paragon Mall has a chic and slick atmosphere, Central World is more relaxed and non-intimidating. We went around the food court level and found a Japanese Pastry Shop called, Bake A Wish. All of the cake slices from Bake A Wish look charmingly delicious, making choices on what to order was the most difficult. Tina and I decided to try their specialty - Crispy Japanese Cream Puffs with various tasteful fillings; we had Chocolate and Strawberry while Gabby preferred froyo from the adjacent store, Buddhi Belly.
japanese crispy cream puff
bake a wish chocolate crispy cream puff
strawberry
bake a wish japanese cream puff
froyo

We didn’t spoil our huge appetite when we had those glucose-rich servings prior to our early dinner at 6PM in Central World’s 7th floor Taiwanese restaurant, Din Tai Fung. We had dinner with one of my former-post-graduate-review-center-student, Thomas who’s working in Bangkok as a lecturer too for a few years now.  We enjoyed catching up over a scrumptious meal of Xiao Long Bao (pork soup in a dimsum), Prawn and Pork dimsum (also steamed with soup),  Shrimp Fried Rice, Prawns over a blanched greens that the dish’s name slipped my memory (I can eat it everyday!), Mango Pudding for Gabby’s dessert. The only unsatisfactory to us was the noodle dish that Tina ordered; it wasn’t impressive compared to the other dishes we had.
din tai  fung dimsum
dtf
seriously
xiao long bao
sauces
dimsum
love
thom
prawn and pork dimsum
vegetable prawn
fried rice
noodles
dimsum coke noodles
gabby
mango pudding

On our last dinner in Bangkok, we had it at a wrong choice. No offense meant but honestly, we’re not satisfied with what we ordered in Pasta de Waraku, a Japanese fusion restaurant in Central World Mall. We were looking for something that fits in Gabby’s preferences and with attractive display of their menu ala-food-stalls in Tokyo with lots of pasta dishes to choose from, we were lured to enter and dine. The taste of almost everything we had didn’t please our palates. I’m sorry but my opinion imposes a challenge for Pasta de Waraku to improve on their menu. Despite the casual ambiance looks quaint and the service quick, it all boils down to the taste of their offerings. The Carbonara, Pesto with Prawns and Octopus, Okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza) had nothing to rave about. :(  And when we saw there’s Pepper Lunch and Bon Chon and KFC in Central World, the more we felt disappointed passing on these sure-choices. So before we head back to Mo Chit Central bus station to depart Bangkok for Hat Yai, we played it safe by eating late lunch at KFC. :)
menu
pasta de waraku
menu
fun over dining
carbonara
salad
pesto prawn and octopus
thirst quenchers
okonomiyaki 2
okonomiyaki
The sardonic smile of not-so-impressed diner. *kidding* It’s natural, ya know! :)
gelo, gabby & tina at pasta de waraku, central world mall, bangkok
kfc bangkok
We love LARGE GRAVY!!! :) FYI, gravy in Thailand and in Malaysia are only used as toppings in mashed potatoes so I always get a peculiar look from fastfood crew when I request for extra gravy for our KFC. They prefer tomato ketchup or chili sauce to go with their chicken. We, Filipinos like those finger-lickin’ goodies to be dunked and submerged in buttery gravy. Sometimes, Gabby and I make it as topping to our rice ala-soup; do you do that too? hahaha! :D
kfc lunch bangkok
For Gabby’s dessert, we found a cheap FRIED ICE CREAM in a food court outside KFC in Big C Supercenter in Bangkok. It’s an affordable alternative to the very toothsome Cold Rock Creamery Ice Cream. This fried ice cream only cost us 50 baht (5 ringgit or 70 Ph pesos).
fried ice cream
thai fried ice cream
happy diner

*We had a dimsum lunch buffet at one of the restaurants inside the hotel where we had honeymoon 8 years ago. All of that and more of Bangkok on the succeeding posts. Stay tuned! :)

This Blog’s Bangkok 2012 Series includes :

25
Aug
12

BANGKOK 2012 SERIES : CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET

cute little monk figurines from chatuchak weekend market

Of all the things we saw in Chatuchak (or Jatujak) Weekend Market, those three monk-figurines caught my attention the most. It took me few minutes to step away from the shop where we saw them on display for sale before I moved on to the next. The set made me wish I could bring them home as a great souvenir but I held on to my wallet tightly, paused and took a deep sigh and just snapped my cam for posterity and smiled. I think capturing the things on photos, particularly those that you cannot have reduces the negative feelings in a heart beat. I digress. But seriously, this and more things to shop and window-shop keep us coming back to this touristy place in Bangkok. We love Chatuchak; ask my wife, Tina! :D

more souvenirs
18th August 2012, Saturday. Because going back to Chatuchak after 8 long years was one of the major reasons of revisiting Bangkok, we made it a point to go there on our first day of our 4D3N break. Good thing that our chosen hotel, Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok offers complimentary tuk tuk shuttle service directly to Chatuchak which is a few minutes away; getting there was such a breeze. :)  Saving a few baht for not taking the taxi cab or BTS was indeed welcoming.
road to chatuchak
Our free tuk tuk shuttle dropped us off right in front Chatuchak…Few steps after, we found ourselves trying to blend with the foreign and local tourists and shoppers; we became instantly preoccupied looking for some great but cheap finds.
tourist troop
Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok may challenge the shopaholic and the tourist in you, so here’s a list of personal tips and a few suggestions for those of you who are planning to drop by for the first time or go back to this shopping heaven. I hope you find them useful. ;)

#1.  HYDRATE.

Bring or buy bottles of water and drink a volume before you wander around Chatuchak. Remember that the sun in Bangkok may be scorching hot sometimes and may dehydrate anyone. Don’t worry to fill up your bladder, there are toilets around the market for a minimal fee of 3 baht per entry. So better save some coins too. Go ahead, drink, drink and drink!
chatuchak weekend market 1
Sure, there are bottled and canned sodas from stalls around there but I prefer and suggest to drink distilled water rather than these hypertonic-glucose-rich-fluids. Although a bottle of chilled Coke or Pepsi with Thai labels seems more refreshing to the throat, hehe!
bottled sugar

#2. BE VERY CAREFUL WITH YOUR BELONGINGS.

I guess this is self explanatory. As shoppers like you may be overly excited with all those goods per stall, pickpockets may be feeling the same way too! :( There could be more but we spotted one Police station right outside the vicinity of the market and in my own opinion, that’s not enough to make you feel safe. Responsibility should come from the shoppers’ end of course.  Apparently, you can enjoy your shopping more if no untoward incident like losses will happen. In few tourist spots in Bangkok that we went to including Chatuchak, we constantly heard reminders and read warning signs posted all over, to be careful of NON-THAI pickpockets. Regardless of the nationality of the pickpockets, losing hard-earned-money or shopping bags should not be part of the experience. You may also try safe-guarding your valuables by layering your wallets and bags (bag on bag or wallet inside a wallet, get it?).

warning

# 3.  BRING REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS TO CUT ON THE USE OF PLASTICS.

I know. We forgot ours in the luggage. Sorry.

one happy shopper

# 4. WHEN BUDGET ALLOWS, BUY IT.  THOU SHALL NOT PROCASTINATE.

Forget about comparing prices and canvassing from one shop to the next. With the vast and massive stretch of Chatuchak, chances are you’ll never find your good-finds again once you passed them up to look for cheaper or better ones.

Before you think that we splurged and indulged too much, here are the facts : We only bought 3 colored round neck-T-shirts for Gabby (all for 50o baht), one XXL shirt for me (200 baht), a bag for Tina and my mom (200 baht each), 3 white-sando for Gabby (all for 100 baht) and few baht spent for toilet entries and food (separte Thai food post soon!). We’re happy to spend time on family bonding over a little shopping rather than burn more cash (how we wish we have more!) in this favorite Bangkok Weekend Market.  Blessed are those who bring so much budget for shopping, they’ll end up happier. :D
chatuchak 9
beads and souvenirs from chatuchak
shirts in chatuchak
adorable keychains from chatuchak
colored sneakers
avatar on shirts
bags!

# 5.  APPRECIATE THE THINGS BEYOND THE ORDINARY.

We’ve only been to Chatuchak twice but each experience has been rewarding. Not because we went home with so many loots but by mere seeing this market over again in a differnt perspective was good enough for us. I don’t know with you, but we absolutely enjoy looking at special things that aren’t found on a daily basis.

cute oriental things
even flowers are sold in chatuchak weekend market
horror masks
thai souvenirs in chatuchak
more shirts
books in chatuchak weekend market
thai massage, anyone?
brass souvenirs chatuchak

For those who have gone to Chatuchak, they know and understand how huge it is. To those who have not, prepare to be impressed or worse, exhausted. Think of your local market (probably Divisoria in Manila or Central Market in Kuala Lumpur) times 3 or even 5 times the size. My approximation may sound an exaggeration but it’s really an enormous weekend market that can suck out not only your wallet’s content but energy too.

# 6. TRY OUT THAI FOOD AND OTHER GASTRONOMIC OFFERINGS AT YOUR OWN RISK.

We sampled Pad Thai, Fried Rice and few other things in Chatuchak Market (photos of the other dishes on the succeeding blog posts). We also savored Thai ice popsicles, a chocholate drink made extra-frothy by pulling it up on air, and one of a kind-coconut ice cream served on coconut shell. Since this is a public market, sanitation is always an issue, ergo, savor everything at your own risk.

ice popsicles in thailand
ice pops in chatuchak weekend market, bangkok
making it frothy
chocolate drink
fried quail egg
thai barbecue
there's one happy diner!
thai fried foods
coco ice cream!
coconut ice cream
chatuchak 34

#7. FORGET ABOUT WORRIES. JUST SHOP, EAT, AND HAVE FUN!

tourists in chatuchak market
chatuchak 38
must wear hats

This Blog’s Bangkok 2012 Series includes :

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23
Aug
12

BANGKOK 2012 SERIES : WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND MYSTIC PLACE!

Have you ever experienced staying in 3 different rooms in 1 boutique hotel with 36-themed-room-choices, impeccable service, accessible location at a very affordable cost? Those ideal qualities are absolutely difficult to find in one accomodation but very possible. Ask TripAdvisor. ;)

mystic place bangkok 1

When Tina and I decided to revisit Bangkok for our weeklong Hari Raya holiday from work and Gabby from school, we narrowed down the list of hotels that we thought would best cater to our budget and needs. From the existing blogs and tripadvisor reviews available online, we finally made a choice a few months back, to book at Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok for a 4D3N accomodation.

mystic place bangkok 3

I immediately received a response from Mystic Place after I reserved a room by emailing them directly. That was an early-plus-points for the hotel and left a very nice impression of the team. Customer service to me, should never be compromise at all times, regardless if it’s expensive or otherwise.

Fast-forward to August 18, 2012, Saturday, we arrived at Mo Chit Central Bus Station in Bangkok from Penang-Hat Yai route (I’ll have a separate blog post for our trip on this series) at 6AM, Thailand time (Thailand ‘s clock is an hour late of Malaysia’s & the Philippines’).  We took a taxi cab from the bus station to Pradipat Road where Mystic Place is located. The trip took less than 10 minutes only for a fixed rate of 150 baht (most of our taxi fares in this Bangkok holiday were metered except for this).

It was Taz who’s on duty at the reception when we arrived. He welcomed us warmly and knew my name even before providing him my passport for check in. We didn’t expect either of the two rooms we reserved to be available at that hour since I didn’t notify them of an early arrival. Nonetheless, luck was on our side after learning from Taz that there’s one available room for us to check in and to freshen up. With assurance that our luggage and bags will be transferred to our chosen room at 12 noon despite we’re out, we’re grateful to avail of the early check in at a reasonable additional charge of 500 baht.
mystic place bangkok 8
mystic place bangkok 2
mystic place bangkok 7

After we checked in at the reception, we’re led to our temporary room passing via the breakfast nook, computer lounge and to the stairs. Because the two buildings of Mystic Place only have 3 floors, there’s no lift; but it’s not a big deal and wasn’t a hassle to us; seeing the quirky designs in each level actually made the going up and down the stairs more interesting and healthy actually! :)
mystic place bangkok 16
mystic place bangkok 14
mystic place bangkok 13
mystic place bangkok 15
mystic place bangkok lobby 1
mystic place bangkok 9
mystic place bangkok lobby
mystic place bangkok lobby 2

The lounge and breakfast area has that charming atmosphere; it can put anyone into relaxed mood instantly.

mystic place bangkok 11
I personally liked the fact that Mystic Place features functional recycled arts and materials. Case in point – those handmade curtains, they’re made of plastic red beads and old pages of newspapers and magazines…
mystic place bangkok 10
mystic place bangkok 13

The package we availed for 4D3N accommodation all in Superior Rooms plus the additional charge for early-check-in was only less than 6000 baht and it came with complimentary services :

  • Tuk Tuk Shuttle to BTS, MRT and Chatuchak Weekend Market
  • Cable TV
  • Fast Wireless Internet Access all over Mystic Place
  • Breakfast (7AM-10AM)

How wonderful was that? It’s a steal if you ask me.

We’re happy even with the breakfast they provided. The buffet spread had fried and scrambled eggs, BACON (honestly, this made our Bangkok stay glorious!!!), sausages, ham, noodles, fried rice, a vegetable dish, cereals -much to Tina and Gabby’s delight, choices of bread with jams and garlic butter spread (it’s our favorite!!!) plus fresh fruits, yoghurt, free-flowing juices and a cup of coffee. We had buffet breakfast for 2 mornings and on our last day, a set meal was offered and something similar on the spread. Everything was delicious! :D
mystic place bangkok 12
my breakfast plate mystic place bangkok
tropical fruits mystic place bangkok
breakfast plate mystic place bangkok
mystic place bangkok breakfast
mystic place bangkok 17
gabby + breakfast mystic place bangkok
gabby & me at mystic place bangkok

Now, the rooms.

Availing of the early check in at another room that we did not book only made our experience even better. Besides the expected 2 hotel rooms to try, we ended up sampling 3! :D

Our Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok # 1 : Room 408 (No name yet)

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Obviously, Gabby was overjoyed. :D He tried to pose as meditating…
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Then I asked him jump onto the bed, he obliged effortlessly…
happy at mystic place bangkok
Then his personal bliss or must be the room suddenly possessed him! Tell me, this boy has pure talent! hehehehe! :P
gabby funny at mystic place bangkok
All the 3 rooms we had have split-type air conditioning units. You don’t get that in other budget or even other boutique hotels, much more in backpackers inn, do you? ;)
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Let the photos speak for this room with no name yet…
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How do you like to take warm or cold shower with those eyes on the planks and Marilyn Monroe watching you? :)
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Here’s my family after few hours of rest and freshening up, all set to go to Chatuchak Market! (It will be on a separte blog post!)
tina and gabby at mystic place bangkokgabby & tina at mystic place bangkok
at mystic place bangkok
gabby & me at mystic place bangkok

FREE shuttle tuk tuk service to Chatuchak Market and/or BTS Train station. The ride only took few minutes; it certainly spelled convenience!
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As we value location in choosing hotels other than affordability, Mystic Place is 10 minutes away by foot and less than that by tuk tuk or taxi cab from BTS -Saphan Khwai Station. From there, BTS took us to a few malls and sites we visited.

After a little shopping for good finds and great eats in Chatuchak Weekend Market, we arrived at the reception of Mystic Place and was informed that our luggage and bags were already transferred by the very reliable bellboys to our reserved room. This was our second room! :)

Our Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok # 2 : Room 403, TRASH CHIC

Again, we love the fact that rooms in Mystic Place has those split type air conditioning units! Comfortability at its best! The beds also have a great size (could pass as king-size beds or maybe larger than a bit), it’s even bigger to fit the three of us; perhaps Mystic Place thought of the length or height of non-Asian tourists. We love it! Now, how do you like the interiors made up of recycled materials put together to come up with Trash Chic Room?

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The walls were made funky and edgy with those sacks of rice in various local prints. Also remarkable things were those side tables made up of crumpled soda cans on the left, and on the other side, crumpled Heineken beer cans.

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The bed cover laid over the immaculate white comforters and sheets were made of various colored zippers…
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Despite this room is located roadside, we’re never disturbed by any noise whatsoever. A small veranda opens from the room to a view of the busy Pradipat Street.
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The doors in Trash Chic…
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The advocacy of recycling and artistic expression continue to to the toilet and shower. That small bag made of sack of rice contains the toiletries. They provide the essentials like conditioning shampoo and body shower gel in pleasant scents, comb, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shower cap and cotton buds. Hot and cold shower is available too! What more can you ask for?
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Rooms also have 2 bath robes in atypical prints. Tina and I tried these on; she even posed as Sadako in one of the photos I have yet to post publicly. :)
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The only downside of Mystic Place for Tina and I was the lack of sachets of instant coffee; we’re coffee lovers more than tea drinkers. Tea making facilities and complimentary bottles of drinking water were there but no coffee. :( Good thing we brought some and bought Gabby a few sachets of instant chocolate drink at the nearby convenience store.
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On our 3rd and last night in Bangkok, we slept in a room called Tropic Cool located at the second level of the other building of Mystic Place. Of the 3 rooms we tried, this one’s our favorite!
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Our Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok # 3 : Room 201, TROPIC COOL

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This is the toilet of Tropic Cool room and if you go few steps up, you’ll find its shower (go find the shower curtain in the next pic) Cool eh? :)
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Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok also has Mystic Cafe located adjacent to the breakfast nook and lounge; it offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. We enjoyed one dinner here (food photos on separate blog post soon!)
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As for customer service, the team of Mystic Place exceeded our expectation. They deserve a salary raise, in my humble opinion and Mystic Place should keep them forever. They define Thai hospitality and honest service. Imagine Nok, the lady receptionist with very chic short hair and high heels, hailing a taxi cab for us in the street due to the absence of the bellboy who probably was busy tending to other guests. As mentioned earlier, the male front desk receptionist, Taz was also warm in receiving us despite we arrived early in the morning. Transferring from one room to the other was never a problem too; we only needed to pack and prepare our things at night then they took care of carrying them to our next hotel room.  And because their tuk tuk driver was not around for some reason on our last day, they offered to call and pay for our tuk tuk to shuttle us to our desired destination.

What do you think of Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok?
As for us, we give it our thumbs up and Gabby his high jump, hehehe!
:D

gabby doing jump shot at mystic place :)

__________________

To the very friendly team of Mystic Place :

Taz, Nok, Ploy, Sun, Joy, Elle, Vut,

Maraming Salamat!

Terima Kasih!

ขอขอบคุณคุณ

Thank you, for making our entire stay in Bangkok

pleasant and memorable!

We hope to come back soon!

~Doc Gelo, Cristina & Gabby :)

__________________

mystic place bangkok team
nok and gabb<a href=nok gabby and tina at mystic place bangkokmystic place bangkok 68

MYSTIC PLACE ROOMS IN BANGKOK | 224/5-9, 224/11-18  Pradipat Rd., Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, THAILAND | Check out the location map and other details of the hotel –> HERE!

_________________

This Bangkok 2012 Blog Series includes :

_________________

10
Dec
09

WE LOVE TRAVELING !

More than a ton of photos and various souvenirs from ref magnets to picture frames, we collect memories when we travel. :D Moments spent together on a trip aboard a plane or a tourist bus going to a particular destination are the most precious and priceless experiences we cherish as a family. :D

Blame my mom who greatly exposed me and my 3 brothers to leisure and pleasure of having vacations especially whenever our dad comes home for his break as an OFW during  our wonder years.  We’ve been to some of the most wonderful places both here and abroad. I’ve never explored the rest of the country but have enjoyed Ilocos, Baguio, La Union, Subic, Laguna, Batangas, Tagaytay, Cavite, Quezon, Cebu, CDO, Roxas City and recently, Boracay. 

I can still vividly remember my very first trip abroad  with my entire family happened during my High School years;  it was via Cathay Pacific bound for Hong Kong (where else?!) and was followed by 2 more travels to the same city of  lights.  Several years and pounds after, we spent 22 glorious days in California and Las Vegas. 

My wife, Tina and I chose Bangkok, Thailand for our honeymoon 2 days after we got married back in January 2004.  About 37 weeks after, our little bundle of joy, Gabby was born. :D  Fastforward to few more months –at exactly 2 weeks after I sworn my oath as a physician, my parents treated me and my family to a 7-week-vacation in Auckland, New Zealand.  En Route to NZ, we had an overnight stay in Brunei Darrussalam and toured the city of Bendar Seri Begawan for half day :D  We also spent transit hours at Brisbane Airport, Australia.  Few more months after and we’re off to Hong Kong again. :D

Trimming down my favorite travel places into 3 isn’t easy.  I’d say HONG KONG,  NEW ZEALAND,  and a toss between USA and THAILAND are countries I consider unforgettable!

In times of  problems at work, news like Martial Law in the South and recessions in the other parts of the globe, don’t you just want to take a deep breath, pause from all these hassles and just reminisce those fun moments spent traveling with your love ones?  :D

(Scroll over the photos for the name of the place.)

HONG KONG : New Year of 2007 (We love this tiny country for being a fantastic shopping and dining haven in Asia!  I love everything in Hong Kong but I wish their cab drivers would know more English!)

 

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND , Summer of 2005  (The place that celebrates mornings and New Years first above all countries! We love the weather; we experienced a single digit centigrade! I miss Kelly Tarlton’s Ocean Adventure, the Sky City Tower, Northshore and Pupuke Lake! (yes, you read it right!  try reading it again slowly, LOL!), I miss Halfmoon Bay, Downtown Auckland and Waiheke Island.  I miss Westfield and Botany Malls, I miss the 5PM-closing time of malls and other establishments! I miss this place where Mother Nature is always at her best!)

USA & THAILAND : toss between California to Las Vegas and Bangkok :D  (We stayed in LA at my aunt and uncle’s place before, and joined a-9-day tour from LA-San Francisco-LA.  We’ve been to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Manns Chinese Theater in Hollywood Boulevard, Santa Monica, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Carmel, Monterey, San Francisco, Fresno and National Parks like Sequoia and Yosemite.  We’ve been to Anaheim – Disneyland and Universal Studios in Hollywood; watched Shamu the Killer Whale in San Diego’ s Sea World and stayed in defunct Stardust and the ever fabulous MGM Grand hotel in LV.  In Vegas, we had bliss at hotel hopping – from Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, NY NY, Bellagio and Paris Hotels. Life can’t be better than those moments!    In BANGKOK, we stayed at Amarri Watergate Hotel and walked the Jatujak and Swan Loom Markets; best part of our trip then–it was sweetest trip ever! Do I need to explain why?)

My top 3 places I wish to experience before I die :  PARIS, FRANCE,  ROME & VENICE, ITALY,  TOKYO, JAPAN

I want to bring my family to Paris and do nothing but breath the air in Eiffel Tower.

I want to explore Rome and walk the steps in Da Vinci Code :D  I want to see how faint Mona Lisa’s smile is at Louvre Museum.

I want to eat authentic sushi and sashimi and ramen and lots of tempura and cross the streets of Tokyo amidst its neon lit forest!

And the list goes on… for as long as the budget allows us to do so, the world remains big for people like us who made traveling a little passion. :D 

:D Where would you spend your dream vacation?

:D Can you be more generous in sharing your most remarkable travels ?  

This is post is my entry to the blog contest of  my newest blog buddy, KG  (applause, applause!)

Prize will go to nobody but Tina if I’ll win :D

To end, here’s my son’s wink taken at you know where…




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