Monday, 27 July 2015

✈TRAVEL: Bangkok Video Diary

My friend Christy and I went on a 7 day summer holiday to Bangkok last month and it was so good to get some sunshine after having weeks of exams at uni. This trip definitely wasn't as touristy as my last Seoul holiday but focused more on having a relaxing time shopping, and of course enjoying the nightlife. So please excuse the lack of info on tourist locations, and a lack of footage capturing all the places that we went to, but I do have some good recommendations for clubbing.

*watch in HD


We primarily went to indoor shopping malls with good air conditioning (a must for the ridiculous hot and humid weather). I would have liked to also visit the Chatuchak market but we didn't have enough time to go (my cousin who goes on holiday to Thailand frequently recommends it though!).

Central Embassy
This shopping mall is definitely more for those in a spending mood - it's filled primarily with designer labels and the only high street brand that I saw was Zara. They have a rooftop garden/bar which is cute and their top floor is filled with restaurants, my favourite definitely being Nara (online website link HERE). The lower ground holds the Eathai Food Court filled with both fresh fruits and hot meals. Thailand have the freshest coconuts you just can't get in the UK, so make sure to have at least one while you're there.
Opening Hours: 10AM-10PM every day
BTS: Ploen Chit
Address: Ploenchit Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10330

This department store connected to it so that you can transfer from Central Embassy to Central without leaving the buildings. They have a couple Thai designer labels that are fun to window shop, but I was a lot more interested in their supermarket on the lower ground floor with adorable mini trolleys. The makeup section in the supermarket was great, stocking brands like Acnes and Wet 'n' Wild (both unavailable in the UK) at very affordable prices. 

Terminal 21
This shopping centre is interestingly designed as an airport with each floor themed as a different city around the world. The lower couple of floors have more well known high street brands (such as H&M) while the upper floors are filled with smaller independent stores. The shopping mall encompasses a range of products, from clothing to stationery and beauty products. The independent stores have a similar vibe to the shops in Dongdaemun (Seoul, Korea), all selling at fairly decent prices.
Opening Hours: 10AM-10PM
BTS: Asok 


You have to be careful not to end up at sleazy clubs in Bangkok, where the men all seem a bit too creepy. The clubs to definitely avoid are Shock39 and Infinity (both very sleazy and a bit sketchy). Ku De Ta is also one to avoid: the club itself was very nice but is mostly filled with middle aged men in suits wanting to blow off steam after work, accompanied by younger women. Another point to make is that weirdly, on the Saturday that we were there, all the clubs closed fairly early and it seemed to be the equivalent of a Sunday night in London.

Octave Rooftop Bar & Lounge
This was the rooftop bar at our hotel that we were staying at (Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit) and it was one of our favourite places to go to. They have two floors at the top of the hotel: the lower floor was more for dining and the upper floor was more of a bar vibe. The music on the top floor was great and the view was to die for. I just felt incredibly happy taking in the breathtaking view.
Opening Hours: 5PM-1AM
BTS: Thong Lor
Address: 45/F, Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit, 2 Sukhumvit Soi 57, Bangkok

This club has a warehouse feel with great house music with a good bass. The atmosphere at Demo wasn't the best - depending on the time and day, it can feel slightly dead and people aren't as willing to dance but more or less stand around tables to drink most of the time. On the other hand the music makes up for it completely enough for us to go to Demo more than once.
If it's raining on the night, make sure to take an umbrella with you if you don't want to get soaked because you have to walk at least a few hundred metres to get a taxi since they can't pull up right outside the club. They do offer an umbrellas to borrow but the queue for using them tend to be quite long.
More info HERE

Route 66
Route 66 has an entrance fee, but they give you coupons of the same value in return to spend on drinks. The vibe at this club is a lot better than Demo, and they play more mainstream hip hop, pop and R'n'B music. The people here were more open to dancing and seemed more friendly also: if you sit in the seating area outside, you are most likely going to be approached by someone. For girls, you're also likely to be offered a drink by a guy. Overall, the atmosphere is really good and if, for some bizarre reason, you don't enjoy Route 66, it's on the Royal City Avenue (RCA) which has plenty of other clubs to choose from.
More info HERE


Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
The admissions fee to this gallery was really cheap and is one of my favourite galleries I've been to. The white walls was definitely my aesthetics and fit the modern theme. The artwork isn't overly complicated and should be enjoyable for all (whether you're really into art or not) and a small thing that Christy and I really enjoyed was that all the artwork had titles that were straight to the point.
From my memory, the first few floors were purely Thai artists with the top floors consisting of only foreign art. I have to say, we both enjoyed the Thai art a lot more.
Prices: Adults 180 baht // Students 80 baht // Children/Elderly Free
Opening Hours: 10AM-6PM every day but closed on Mondays
Address: 3 Vibhavadi Rangsit, Chatuchak, Bangkok

Boat Trip
We took a boat trip to the Peninsula Hotel. To be honest I can't give you too much information about the details of the boat trip because I didn't organise it. But I do know that we started at the Chao Phraya Pier and this website seems to have more details on available boat rides. We took the shortest trip, taking roughly 20 minutes to reach the Peninsula Hotel, but there are longer boat rides also. I don't think you need to book in advance (we didn't) and there are boats available fairly frequently.

Buddhist Temples
I didn't get a chance to visit the Grand Palace but I did visit a local temple. I personally really enjoy going to temples to spend a couple minutes being peaceful so going to a temple was a must for me, especially since they're harder to find in Europe than in Asia. If you are wanting some peace and quite then I would recommend a local temple over a larger and grander temple that's likely to be filled with tourists. I called the reception from my hotel room and they knew of the most local temples within walking distance which was perfect.


Skytrain (BTS)
The skytrain has only 2 lines and is really easy to navigate around. You can buy a rabbit card (same concept as the Oyster card in London) to top up so you don't have to keep buying single tickets if you're in Bangkok for a while. The BTS fares are really cheap and an easy mode of transport.
More info HERE

Taxis are also a cheap way to travel around Bangkok to areas that you can't get to by BTS. Always make sure to ask to go by meter and not a set price because taxi drivers will definitely try to take advantage of tourists and up the prices. Also keep in mind that the traffic in Bangkok is absolutely awful at times. If you're worried about getting in a shady taxi by yourself, it's always best to ask the hotel receptionists to get you a taxi or any other officials of other buildings (such as the guard outside the art gallery that we went to).


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