WHETHER you fancy navigating through floating markets or shopping in huge malls Thailand's capital can offer you the best of both worlds. With surprisingly cheap finds, everything you want is in the treasure trove of this famous Asian destination. The moment I arrived in Golden Tulip Hotel, I booked an Uber to the historical sites in Phra Nakon. From there, I walked to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and Wat Phra Kaeo Temples.
Touring inside the Wat Pho cost me one hundred and sixty pesos. Within the oldest and largest temple complex lies the forty six meter long Buddha along with a thousand more human-sized Buddha structures all clad in gold. For two hours, I roamed around and discovered so much about Bangkok and its history. Famished from my day tour, I was brought to the Chatuchak Night Market by a local tuk-tuk. It was a Saturday eve so I was able to enjoy the colorful array of stalls filled with food, clothes and a lot more.
Would you believe one huge plate of Pad Thai only cost me seventy pesos? For months of traveling to Bangkok, I noticed the best food is usually found in the streets. Not only is it cheaper, it is way more tastier. Chatuchak only opens on the weekends so make sure to plan ahead. Since the night was still young and I wanted to explore more, Khao San Road was the best option.
There, ping-pong shows, booze, fried insects and massage centers along the streets were a hit. It reminded me of Davao’s Roxas Night Market only with a lot more wine and foreigners partying like there is no tomorrow. I ate some bamboo worms that tasted more like beef plus some Banana Nutella roti. Sweet, crunchy and savory, it is a hundred times better than the usual crepes. Try it with Thai milk tea and you will be impressed.
I finally capped my night off with a relaxing foot massage along the sidewalk with some mango sticky rice on hand, as if it wasn’t too much.
The next morning, I headed to Platinum Mall and bought clothes. I spent a couple of hundred pesos for four nice tops and splurged on groceries at the Rama-9 mall and 7 Eleven.
If you are planning to visit Bangkok, I suggest you drop by the nearest 7-Eleven store. They offer a wide array of delicious ready-to-eat meals and sweets plus some beauty products, toys, a huge selection of beers and many more. With a thousand pesos, one can buy dozens of treats.
By noon, I bought some chicken, seafood and pork balls with chili sauce near my hotel for lunch and they were flavorful. Then I tried the crackling pork with Thai fried rice topped with scrambled eggs. All these for less than two hundred pesos. At night, I visited the Ratchada Train Market and ate jumbo shrimps and pork ribs cowboy style. If you are familiar with the spicy noodle challenge, it was exactly the same. Their house sauce was extremely hot but I still devoured it with a plate of rice using my bare hands.
Glutted with too much food, I walked around and bought a pair of cute glasses. The next day, I packed my stuff with a happy heart. For sure I am still traveling back to Bangkok next month so there is still a lot more to try.
With night markets and malls that are too many to count, I literally had a hard time deciding where to go. With my three thousand peso budget, I got to try everything.
In Bangkok, it is always their food that will tell you its story.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on March 09, 2018.
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