Kaka goes to BANGKOK: Shopping (round 2), Pole Dancing, and Thai Massage

And then in a blink of an eye, it was already on our third day in Bangkok. We knew from the start that we would not be able to go to the well-known shopping areas so we included Pratunam Market in our plans for this day before we head to my pole class at Rumpuree.

PRATUNAM MARKET

This is another place for thrifty shoppers like me. Pratunam Market is just right across Platinum Mall, and it resembles Divisoria-only a bit cleaner and has more variety. There is even this mall dedicated to denim wear. Denim jeans and shorts are very cheap here, and from what I heard, there are some shops you can ask to customize one for you.

The market itself is not that chaotic (compared to Divisoria), and prices can also drop like crazy! There is this shop where I bought 2 tops of same design but of different color for 120 Baht each (original price was 200 Baht per piece). Talk about price drop! Some stalls will offer you the wholesale price when you buy 3 or more items, or if you buy all the colors of the same design. Luckily, the design I chose only had 2 colors so even just buying 2 items I was given a huge discount.

Chances are you will not find the same item in another stall, so I suggest you buy it once you see it. Try to haggle for the price in a polite way (some give in easily especially when yo have that I’ll-think-about-it look).

After shopping at Pratunam Market, we walked all the way to Amarin Plaza where my pole class will be held. Upon entering the plaza, a mascot outside McDonald’s caught my attention. I was like, who is this? Am I missing something? To my surprise, this mascot was famous in the 80’s. Meet Mayor McCheese!

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Mayor McCheese

WORLD DANCE STUDIO RUMPUREE

When I was planning this trip, one of the first things I searched for was if there is a pole studio around the area-then I came across Rumpuree. This is one of the few pole studios in Bangkok located at Amarin Plaza, beside Grand Hyatt Erawan.

Prior my visit, I sent a message through their Facebook asking what class I can join. Since I already have an experience, they suggested I join the intermediate class under Kru Julien. When I arrived in the studio, as protocol I was asked to sign a registration form and a waiver, and paid the walk-in fee of 500 Baht for the 1-hour class. I like how the studio looked; it gave me a home-y feel. The changing rooms are clean and spacious, ceiling is high, with 5 poles and mirrored walls, and there is enough space for students to practice. At first I thought I was the only student at that time; good thing someone came in.

I told Kru Julien that I have some reservations due to past injuries (I have an injured right shoulder), but he made sure I will still be able to do the tricks. It was in his class that I tried Titanic for the first time and a handstand variation. He was always there assisting me when I did the tricks. I was also surprised to know he is acquainted with some pole people in Manila, and that he is planning to join Philippine Pole Cup (PPC). I wish you all the luck, Kru Julien! I hope to see you in Manila for the competition! 🙂

Next in our things to do was to check Lumphini Park, few blocks away from Amarin Plaza.

LUMPHINI PARK

To get here, we planned to take a tuk-tuk. However, the price they were asking from us was way expensive than if we take an Uber ride. A word of caution-be careful of tuk-tuk drivers who will tell you that the place you plan on visiting is closed, and then he will offer to bring you to another place. I’ve been told that this is one of their ways to earn more from tourists.

We tried hailing a tuk-tuk in front of Grand Hyatt Erawan, and the driver told me that the fare is 100 Baht. I checked Uber, the estimate is around 70 Baht with surge. I tried haggling for the same price but the driver declined because “it is traffic”. Pissed, we decided to walk only to find out that there was NO traffic.

The first thing we looked for when we arrived in Lumphini Park was for a bench to sit on and rest. We found one facing a lake, and a small plaza where some people were practicing Tai Chi. There were some people jogging, some were biking, and some were just enjoying the view. Around 6pm, their national anthem was played and everyone stopped to pay their respects.

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A place to relax at Lumphini Park

Our second to the last stop for the day is Terminal 21 Asok, one of the well-known malls in Bangkok. We took the MRT from Silom to Sukhumvit because it was the easiest mode of transportation from Lumphini to Terminal 21. We felt kind of stupefied when we bought our tickets at the station. After inserting the money, we were wondering why there was no ticket; only to find out that the ticket is in a form of an RFID token. Good thing a lady behind me told us that it should be in the coin change slot. 😛

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MRT RFID token

TERMINAL 21

We got curious as to why the mall is named as such. To our surprise, every floor of Terminal 21 has a different theme, well decorated according to its assigned city. Jp told me that even the restrooms vary. Curious, I checked out the Paris and Rome floor restrooms. I was so amazed on how well-thought the designs are, and how they were able to integrate it throughout the floor. I also got so excited when I saw the toilet seat equipped with a heater and automatic bidet. Talk about being sosyal! 

Located at the top floor is Pier 21, the mall’s food court. There are many restaurants and cuisine to choose from- Japanese, Korean, American, Thai, etc. For us to be able to buy from any of the merchants, we had to get a pre-loaded food court card. In case you were not able to use up all the credits, you will be able to get it in cash once you surrender it after dining.

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Pier 21 food court card

Since we were not yet that hungry, we chose to grab dessert at Tongue Fun Ice Cream and ordered the mini hotpot with toppings. Our chosen flavors were mint chip, milky chocolate, vanilla, caramel almond, and cookies and cream, with mini marshmallows and choco chips as toppings. I like the food, but I did not like the service. When I was placing my order, the person in charge was on the phone THE ENTIRE TIME.

A trip to Bangkok will not be complete without experiencing the authentic Thai Massage. To cap our day, we went for a nice long massage at Health Land Asoke, a few meters from Terminal 21.

HEALTH LAND ASOKE

It was Jp who found this place when he was looking for the best places to get a traditional Thai massage. Health Land Asoke is a big building solely for spa and massage. They offer a wide range of services depending on what you want, and of course, how deep your pocket is. Because we were on a budget, we chose to try the traditional Thai massage.

Each of us paid 500 Baht for the 2-hour service. We had our own room, our footwear exchanged for clean slippers, and were given change of clothes. It is advised to schedule an appointment the day before because a lot of people come here to avail of their services (we had ours booked at 9pm) even as walk-in. Contrary to the Thai massage I’ve experienced in Manila, the one we availed is what they call dry massage because no oil or lotion was applied on our bodies. I like how my masseuse applied pressure on my legs and back (got really tried from all the walking we did so far), and how she massaged my head. I felt so relaxed after the session. We were also given hot tea to enjoy afterwards.

Do mind that giving tips is not required. However, you are highly encouraged to do so because not all of them earn enough to support their families. A little tip may go a long way.

By far this is the most relaxing day we’ve had since we arrived. We did not do much walking, and we even capped out day with a nice long massage. ~~

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