Shop Until You Drop
If the shopaholics want somewhere to go, Thailand, or Bangkok in general is your place. You can shop until you drop here literally. You just might drop in the heat. Jack and I have never sweat so much, not anywhere in Africa had we experienced heat like this. I think it is the humidity that makes it so much worse. Like Africa we ended up coming to Thailand at the hottest time of the year. It can get between 40-45.C
The pricing here is so cheap, you can try to barter with the vendors, sometimes you can be successful at getting the price down a lot, other times not. You walk away thinking, did I pay too much for this? Then you realize even if you did, you just bought a beautiful silk robe for $12!
Don’t even get started on the shoes and purses for all of you with that fetish! We made sure to stay away from any area selling live poultry, can’t be too careful with the bird flu these days! We did get to one area selling puppies. I can only imagine the puppy mills that exist here. I tried not to think about it as we awed over the cute little dogs. They had tea cup chihuahuas and fluffy little things no bigger than a powder puff. They also had little pigs with red and pink bows, probably some kind of potbelly pig.
A stall with food for sale, the 2nd picture believe it not has a bicycle inside all of that stuff. The guy peddles it around as a mobile shop on wheels.
Suan Lum Night Market
We went out again with our fellow travelers from Chilliwack. This time to a place called Suan Lum Night Market. It goes on until midnight. One venue there is a large food court area, it’s the size of a football field. Nothing is done on a small scale here! It has different food vendors around the outside perimeter serving up all kinds of food and drinks. You go to one central stall and buy coupons which are then used to pay for your food at any of the stalls.
The middle is filled with seating and at one end is a giant stage. Live singers come up to entertain throughout the evening. They are young Thai girls and boys trying to take their crack at fame. They sing a lot of North American music as well as some local stuff. Some of them are really good, others sound like they are at Karaoke practice. Many of the girls are doing stuff with gogo dancers, its kind of like watching a cheesy Brittney Spears video. This market was also very good. It has more high end shops than the weekend market. Very nice stuff, but the prices are also higher because of it. Still it is a good bargain for what you get compared to home.
MBK Shopping Mall
On another night guess what we did, more shopping! We got a cab out to a large shopping complex called MBK. This turned out to be our most terrifying ride yet. We swore this driver was going to kill us all. He was getting very impatient with the traffic and swerving into the wrong lane to pass and honking at everyone.
The mall is a very busy place filled with a lot of students. It has great food courts with English subtitles for the food. The food is of good quality and it makes a great place for tourists to get their first fills of Thai cuisine. The mall had 7 floors with steep escalators going up a center opening. It made quite a dizzy experience to look down as you got to the higher floors. One entire floor of the mall was all cell phones stalls. I don’t know how any one vendor could make money. There were hundreds to choose from.
One thing I should mention about the clothing here, or at least what I have experienced so far in Bangkok. Unless you are like size 0 or 1 or 2 at the largest, forget about purchasing clothing. They are all made for tiny barbie doll people. Seriously I think about size 5 is the norm for the largest size offered.
Siam Paragon Shopping Mall
We went to another ultra modern shopping mall. It was called Siam Paragon, they call it the pride of Bangkok. We couldn’t believe the high end shops and restaurants at this place. It had a gourmet grocery store as well. It was stocked with fancy food products and even organic produce. All at a premium price of course. The restaurants were really creative in their decorating. Amazingly modern, you would have thought you were in a mall in New York or something. There was an entire floor of food, it had an an organic ice cream company from New Zealand. This ice cream was to die for, we went back twice! There were fancy pastry shops, sushi bars, crepe makers, and chocolatiers. It was food heaven! There was also a large theater where you had to pre-book your seats before the movie.
We decided to venture into the Chinatown area of Bangkok. It was more crazy than the rest of the city. It had many skinny alleyways with hanging meats, shoes, flying toys, Chinese lanterns hanging and motor bikes squeezing past you.
As the evening approaches many food vendors fill up the larger streets and the whole place turns into a Chinese food delight. The vendors start cooking food of all kinds. The lanterns are lit up and the atmosphere comes alive.
Chatuchuk Weekend Market
We made our way to the Chatuchuk market, or weekend market as it is also called. It was about a half hour away from our hotel. The choices were wait for the bus or pay for a taxi. The bus would be an hour ride that cost about $1. The taxi would be just under $3 and would have us there in a fraction of the time. It is so cheap to travel by taxi here it is hardly worth taking a bus, at least for shorter distances.
The weekend market is the largest shopping mecca we have ever seen. They hand out a map of the area, the stalls of vendors are marked in sections. Housewares, clothing, food vendors, crafts, live animals, jewelery, etc. It goes on for miles. We spent about 4-5 hours there and only saw about ten percent of it, it is that big! We had to leave because it was closing at 6pm.
We decided to take another trip to the Chatuchuck Weekend market. This time we made it into the thick of the animal section. We really can’t describe to you how big this market is. After our second time here we still didn’t come close to seeing it all. The pet section was full of the cutest animals and also somewhat disturbing. There were squirrels on small leashes and rabbits with many different outfits on. Tons of puppies and kittens of all breeds. A lot of the dogs are not ones that should be here in this heat, like huskies for instance! There were all kinds of birds too, some large exotic parrots were among them.
Squirrels, rabbits and plastic feet for sale
After this week in Bangkok we had had our fill. We saw all we wanted to see. So it’s off to the south of Thailand to an island and some well deserved relaxation.