We arrived in Bangkok around 1 in the morning (BKK time). We did not avail of an airport transfer (airport to hotel) because we knew beforehand that we can use Uber. Uber offers a flat rate of 350 Baht for a trip from Suvarnabhumi airport, and we also had to shoulder the toll fee of 25 Baht. If you do not have the app, you can opt to use Grab or avail of the airport transfer services available at the arrival hall. It was actually quite a quick ride along Sirat Expressway. I heard that on a regular day, the said highway is always packed (almost like a parking lot).
I’ve heard from friends that there are a lot of places we can visit if we want to go on a shopping spree. Bangkok is known as a shopping hub for Filipinos (some even travel to the city just to hoard items and sell it back in the country)–and they are right. From all the places we got to list down, we decided to visit Platinum Mall, Siam Paragon, Siam Center, and MBK.
This mall is just a few blocks away from our hotel. We were told that if we want to buy clothes at a wholesale price, this is the place to go. There are 3 zones, each with 7 floors. Each floor caters to a specific category such as the 1st and 2nd floors of all zones are women fashion clothes. We took a picture of the directory so that it would be easier for us to navigate. We were not able to visit all floors and all zones though because of time constraints, but we were able to roam around the 1st, 2nd, and 6th floors.
Buying clothes here can be tough in the sense that there are A LOT of choices. Chances are you will not find the same item in another store, or only 2 or 3 stalls will have the same item. Most of the stores we went to offered the wholesale price when you buy at least 3 items. Some allow mixing items, some do not. It is best if you ask first how much is the per piece price then the wholesale price. I was lucky enough to find a store that allowed me to buy 2 items at wholesale. Prices can also drop like crazy! I bought a skirt that was priced at 450 Baht per item, but when I bought 2 the price went down to 390 per piece. It would be of big help if you bring a big plastic or bag with you when you shop. There are even bayong–like bags with wheels that are being sold and widely used by people who shop in this mall. If you want to check all floors, you might need the entire day (or half a day if you are fast) to do it.
We had our lunch at KFC found on the 6th floor of this mall. Compared to the KFC branches in Manila, the ones in Bangkok do not offer rice meals with their chicken (aside from the rice bowl meal).
Beside Platinum Mall is Pantip Plaza, known as their IT mall. We did not enter Pantip Plaza, but the foreign exchange stall outside it is worth mentioning. Among all the stalls we went to have our USD exchanged, this one offered the best deal. At the time of our visit, 1 USD = 34.65 THB (if you exchange 50 or 100 USD; below 50 USD has a lower exhcange rate), as opposed to other stalls that offered a rate ranging from 34.35 to 34.50 THB.
SIAM CENTER and SIAM PARAGON
These two malls are right beside each other. If I were to compare, Siam Paragon (SP) is more high-end than Siam Center (SC). SP has high-end stores such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes, and even sports cars like McLaren and Lamborghini. SC has a younger vibe, having stores catering to young adults such as Sephora and Victoria’s Secret.
They say this mall is similar to our Greenhills Shopping Center. However, after visiting the place, I beg to disagree. I kind of got disappointed because some people said that MBK is a big mall (well, it is) where you can buy lots of stuff, but I didn’t even get to find any item to my interest.
After visiting all those malls, there were still 2 places on our list to visit for the day–House of Paws and Star Pilates Bangkok.
HOUSE OF PAWS
Before heading to Star Pilates, we dropped by one of the dog cafes in Bangkok–House of Paws. For us to be able to interact with the dogs, we had to buy at least 1 drink per person. There is also an option to buy treats you can give to the dogs yourself for 50 THB/pack. Aside from drinks, they also sell cupcakes with a candy/cookie in the shape of a dog on top. We had to remove our footwear and use the slippers provided by the cafe.
At the time of our visit there were 6 dogs in the cafe: Captain (beagle), Leo (alaskan malamute), Richie (shetland sheepdog), Jaykop (old english sheepdog), Charlie (welsh corgi), and Buckie (west highland white x schnauzer). They were all lovely! It was actually my first time seeing a corgi and a sheepdog in person. I kinda restrained myself from hugging them because they might get mad at me. 😀
The cafe is open from 11am to 9pm, and you can interact with the dogs of the day. Just be sure to clean your hands before and after playing with them. The cafe provides alcohol/alcogel you can use.
STAR PILATES BANGKOK
Of course I would not let the opportunity pass without me trying aerial classes. After several attempts in searching, I found Star Pilates Bangkok–a studio within Chan Issara Tower (beside Crowne Plaza Hotel Silom) that offers aerial hoops and aerial hammock (they call it yoga fly). We had quite a hard time looking for the studio because we were directed by Google Map to the back of the building. Before attending the class, I sent a message to them asking for the class schedule and rates. You can chat with them through the website, or you can send them an email. They do respond pretty quickly.
I attended their 1-hour aerial hoops class at 8:30pm under Kru Khanom, and the walk-in rate is 800 THB. There were 3 hoops and thick crash mats the students can use. Compared to the hoops I am used to, theirs is quite thick and smaller in diameter. I think this kind of hoop is used more for spinning than for practicing tricks. Yes, I did have a great time in the class as we did more doubles tricks on a spinning hoop. I did not have a hard time expressing myself because the teacher understood and spoke English well.
This day is probably our “most expensive day” with all the shopping we did, added the class I took. I ended Bangkok Day 1 with a sore body, but it was all worth it. ~~