Monday, October 24, 2011

Thailand Trip : Bangkok Day 2

Itinerary : Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and dinner cruise.

We woke up quite early and had breakfast at the hotel. The breakfast was served in buffet from 7.00 - 11.00 am. There were only 6 kinds of courses available beside cereal, fruits and toast. The food was not that great, but still ok to start the day. We departed from hotel at 8.00 am and went to Grand Palace. Since it was still early, we decided to take a walk for a little sightseeing. From hotel, we walked about 15-20 minutes to Siam BTS station, which is located in front of Siam Paragon shopping mall. We took sky train from Siam to Saphan Taksin. From Saphan Taksin BTS we walked down to the Sathorn pier and took Chao Phraya river boat taxi with orange flag to Tha Chang pier.

Sathorn Pier 

BTS operation hour is 6 am - midnight. To ride on BTS, you have to buy the ticket first in ticketing machine. The machine only accepts coins. There's an office in every BTS station that provides coin exchange. If you only have notes, you can exchange them there. 1 day pass ticket is also available, it costs THB 120. If you take BTS so many times in a day, it's better to buy one day pass, it will cost you cheaper. If you ever take a Chao Phraya river boat, don't take a tourist boat, it's expensive. Take the local boat instead, they're much cheaper. Unless you have plan to take a day tour with the boat, don't buy the ticket in a ticket box at the pier. It's for 1 day pass costs THB 150. If you only ride the boat to get to a certain destination, just pass the ticket box and wait for the right boat to come to the pier. Once you on the boat, an officer will go around the boat and ask for money, that's when you pay. There are view kinds of local boat and you have to be sure which one to take so you can get to the pier you want. For further information see

Inside river boat taxi

From Tha Chang pier, we walked for about 5 minutes to the Grand Palace. The Grand Palace was packed with tourists. Be careful with scams around Grand Palace. There are many Thai people with a very neat appearance and fluent in English tell tourists that Grand Palace is currently close due to Buddha Day or Pray Day, etc and they will offer a very cheap tuk tuk ride for about THB 20-30 to Lucky Buddha or Happy Buddha or Black Buddha Temple, which they say only open once a year, and to the tailor or jewelry store. You will end up wasting your time and spend lots of money in the stores. When you reach Grand Palace just go with tourist crowd right to the entrance. If some Thai people come to you say the Grand Palace is close and offer a cheap tuk tuk ride, just ignore them and keep walking to the entrance. Grand Palace is open every day all year round. Only proper dress allowed to enter Grand Palace. We spent about 1.5 hours inside The Grand Palace then we went to Wat Pho.

Grand Palace ticket booth

Wat Pho is located next to Grand Palace, but we ended up walking around the big Grand Palace to reach Wat Pho. There were some scams too around Wat Pho. What they told me was Wat Pho give free admission to the tourists at 1 pm. Again, just ignore them and walk straight to the entrance. The main attraction in Wat Pho is a giant sleeping Buddha statue.

Giant sleeping Buddha statue

We spent about 45 minutes in Wat Pho and continued to Wat Arun. Wat Arun is located accross the river. Before went to Wat Arun, we bought a fried chicken in a street food stall and it was really nice. From Wat Pho, we walked to Tha Tien Pier and took a boat cross Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun. We decided not enter the Wat Arun, only took some pictures from outside, then we go back to the pier and took boat to cross the river again and go back to Tha Tien Pier.

Wat Arun

It was almost 1 pm when we reach Tha Tien pier and we went for lunch at the restaurant nearby. Apparently the restaurant was used as a filming location of Korea TV Show "Running Man". I ordered Pad Thai and my boyfriend ordered a dish that the name was hard to spell, also Thai ice coffee for drink. The Thai ice coffee was so nice! I really like it.

Restaurant location
Pad Thai
Dish with difficult name

We were supposed to took bus no 60 then continue with Khlong Boat to go to Platinum after lunch. We went around to look for bus no 60, but we couldn't find it. We asked an officer nearby bus stop, he also didn't know. I tried to ask a Thai lady but she pointed us to a guy with tourist police badge, which is offer us a cheap tuk tuk and yes! it was a scam. After wandering around for almost 30 minutes, we decided to skip Platinum and go back to the hotel. It was already 2.30 pm, even if we made it to Platinum, we wouldn't have enough time to shop. We walked to Tha Chang pier and rode on flag orange boat to Saphan Taksin. From Saphan Taksin we took BTS to Phaya Thai, which is required a transit in Siam. From Phaya Thai we took ARL city link to Ratchaprarop station and made a walk to the hotel. On the way to the hotel, we bought some street foods They were very good and cheap. It was almost 4 pm when we reached the hotel.

It was my boyfriend birthday at that day. I've booked dinner cruise for two to celebrate his birthday. Of course, I kept it a secret until then. I booked White Orchid Dinner Cruise with transfer from and got a really nice price. Since our hotel is located in a small alley that can't be passed by car, the driver picked us in Indra Regent Hotel. It was only 3 minutes walk from our hotel. I was told the driver will pick us up at 6.20 pm, but when we reached the hotel at 6.10 pm the driver was already waiting for us. At around 7.15 pm we reached River City pier. The cruise started at 7.45 pm and ended at 9.45 pm. It was about 100 guests join the cruise. The food served was international buffet. They were not great but good enough. I really like the desserts especially almond pudding. The view along Chao Phraya River at night was really nice. We can see illumination of Wat Arun, Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Rama Bridge, and many more.


Grand Palace
Wat Arun
Rama Bridge

Live music accompanied us during the dinner and there were 3 "Calypso" performances after the dinner. The Calypso wasn't ladyboys, but some boys dressed up as women and they were really pretty!.

"Celine Dion"

BTS Siam - Saphan Taksin - THB 30/way
Chao Phraya boat orange flag - THB 15/way (flat fare)
Wat Pho-Wat Arun boat - THB 3/way
BTS Saphan Taksin - Phaya Thai - THB 35/way
Grand Palace admission fee - THB 400
Wat Pho admission fee - THB 50
Pad Thai - THB 120
Dish with difficult name - THB 150
Thai ice coffee - THB 50
BTS Phaya Thai - Ratchaprarop - THB 15/way
Dinner cruise - THB 952/pax

Street foods :
Fried Chicken - THB 20
Pineapple - THB 20
Melon - THB 20
Mango - THB 15
Sausage - THB 10


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