Backpacking Southeast Asia 2012: Destination no. 3 – Bangkok, Thailand (Part 1)

Finally, it’s our official stop at Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok! It’s day 6 of our 23-day journey around Southeast Asia. So far we’ve been to Siem Reap in Cambodia and Kanchanaburi in Thailand. We’ll be staying at Bangkok for 6 days and 5 nights with 1 day trip to Ayutthaya. The plan is just to chill around the metro and do a little bit of sightseeing. I’ll be dividing our stay at Bangkok in to a two-part posts, the first part which is this one will contain the chill part and the second part will contain the sightseeing part.

We stayed at Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok which is located at the city center and is just walking distance to Bangkok’s famous shopping centers: CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, MBK, and Platinum Fashion Mall. Too fancy for a backpacking trip you might say, but this 5 nights stay was all for free, thanks to my earned Marriott Rewards Points from my previous on-site assignments in the US. By the way, I must say, that among all the Marriott chain hotels that I’ve been (which is already a handful by now) it has always been those that are located in Thailand which had the best customer service! I’ve been to Phuket before and during that trip we stayed at Courtyard by Marriott in Kamala Beach and Courtyard by Marriott in Patong Beach, both stays were perfect just like this (too bad, both hotels are now closed)! Yes, we’re getting special treatments, exclusive perks and extra attention because I am a Marriott Platinum Elite Rewards Member, but Thailand has been the best at it so far!

Tip no.1, if you’re on a budget you can opt to stay at guesthouses/hostels at Khao San Road (watch the movie The Beach of Leonardo di Caprio, that’s where he stayed before he headed for Phuket). Just beware of scams and possible theft. It’s cheap and near to most of the tourist spots, but it’s an area where you can’t let down your guard and be too trusting. I’ve stayed there with a friend the first time I’ve been to Thailand, and oh boy, as two clueless first timers in Khao San Road, you can just guess what happened. Yes, we’ve lost some valuables and money, and we’ve been scammed on our trip to Phuket. The lessons were: always, always have an eye and take care of your belongings and never, never book any trips or tours in Khao San Road! There are also some guesthouses that are not in Khao San Road, so you can try those out as well, there are plenty if you search via I didn’t tell you this to discourage you in staying at Khao San Road, do try to stay there or even just pass by the area (it becomes a street market at night), it will be a great addition to your Thailand experience.

Our Itinerary:
Chill. Chill. Chill.

We arrived in Bangkok late in the afternoon. We checked-in at our hotel, they gave us a free room upgrade to one of those that are located at the executive level, free access to the executive lounge, free buffet breakfast at their Momo Cafe for our entire stay, and free tickets to Madame Tussauds Bangkok. Sweet!

I wasn’t able to take photos of our room since our stuff were all over the place, I can just tell you how inviting it was that even though we were hungry (we haven’t eaten lunch yet) it was so hard to get up from our bed, so we just settled for the welcome basket of snacks and fruits and rested for a while.
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After some rest and freshening-up, we went to the executive lounge to eat (they serve breakfast in the morning, hors d’oeuvre in the afternoon, and night snacks at night) as we believe that the tastiest meals are those that are free!
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After having our fill, we decided to walk around the city and check-out what’s nearby, and that’s when we discovered that our hotel was located at the heart of Bangkok’s shopping district. We just hang-out a bit around the metro, did some shopping and then headed back to the hotel. We had some late night snacks at the executive lounge, checked our e-mails and stuff, and then we called it a night. Indeed, it was one chill first day in the city of smiles.
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The next day was still a chill day. We woke up a bit late and had our breakfast at the hotel’s MoMo Cafe. One of my girl friends was so thankful for this experience, she even exclaimed that she had never ever had that much bacon in her entire life (she munched on it for all five days we stayed there – she just can’t have enough, haha)!
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After having our breakfast, we went to Madame Tussauds Bangkok at Siam Discovery. It wasn’t in our plan to go there but since we were given free tickets by the hotel, why waste that right? I have been to Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong and Las Vegas and there’s nothing much of a difference. They have the usual politics and royalties, philosophy and arts, sports, pop stars, movie stars, and heroes/cartoon characters sections. Some minor difference is having Thai personalities, Asian cartoon characters, and Justin Bieber and this interactive game (à la Xbox’s Just Dance) on which you can dance to his songs, haha!
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When we were done taking photos with almost all the wax figures at Madame Tussauds, we just went around the area and did some food tripping and shopping. I had my quick fix of satay chicken, sticky rice and Thai iced tea for late lunch, yum! Then we tired our feet by walking around the area, we went from Siam Paragon, to MBK, to Platinum Fashion Mall, to CentralWorld! I’ll take what I’ve said a while ago that it’s another chill day. Walking all day long is no chill at all!

Our third day was a sightseeing day which is on a separate post. Our fourth day was a day trip to Ayutthaya which is on a separate post as well. On our fifth day which is technically our last whole day in Bangkok, we made it sure that it will be another chill day. So on that day we just meet-up with some friends, did some last-minute shopping, and chill at the hotel’s pool area. What a way to end our Bangkok trip! Thank you, Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok for the awesome service and top notch city hotel experience!

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