Category Archives: Shopping Mall
This is my third time travelling to Bangkok. Although it was a short vacation however, it was a fulfilling trip as I went to a few places that not many tourists had gone to. We went to explore the inner Bangkok for 3 days 2 nights between 21 and 23 Feb 2014.
It was a planned trip since Dec 2013. We booked the Jetstar air tickets and accommodation as well which is located at the central Bangkok. But we were indecisive of whether should we proceed our plans to Bangkok when the protests were started in many areas in Bangkok since January 2014. Change of flight tickets was a problem because Jetstar would incur S$100 two ways for postpone flight details. Hence two persons would incur charges of S$200! We decided to go on as planned as the penalty by Jetstar was too expensive, we might as well use the money on accommodation and to stay further away from the protest areas.
We monitored the situation in Bangkok every day. The situation became bad to worse. There were bombings happened in many parts in Bangkok. Due to this we stayed further from Bangkok central still with easy access via BTS station. We booked 31 Suite Boutique hotel near Phrom Pong BTS which is one station away from the protest site, Asok.
We are happy with the hotel. The hotel is considered a budget hotel with essential room and hotel facilities. It was a pleasant comfortable stay for two nights.
This itinerary trip was to stay away from the Bangkok city.
Day 1: Chatuchak Market & Chocolate Ville
This was our 3rd trip to Bangkok within 2 years. Our last trip, we did not visit Chatuchak market. As soon we arrived Bangkok at 11am, we immediately leave our luggage in the hotel and went to the market which every Friday is wholesale day. There are good and bad to go on the wholesale day. The good side, there were so much less people especially tourists. The down side was most of the garment shops were closed. There are two MRT stations or known as BTS stations to reach Chatuchak Market. You may alight at Mo Chit BTS station and take about 5 minutes walking distance. Another option is you can change train at Mo Chit BTS to Kamphaeng Phet BTS station. Kamphaeng Phet BTS lead you to direct entrance of Chatuchak Market.
If its your first time visiting Chatuchak Market, it would be best for you to go on weekends as all shops open. Although the market opens at 6am-6pm but I would advise you to arrive at around 8-9am so that most shops open at that time.
After the Chatuchak Market, we scheduled to go to Chocolate Ville (CV). CV is a theme park, No not the theme parks that there are rides available. The uniqueness of CV is it has got nothing to do with Chocolate ingredients at all. The buildings and architectures are in the oldies of American and British themes. CV operates at 4pm to 12am every day where there are many picturesque scenes for photo shooting and also a high end of dining experience (Western & Thai food). There is only one restaurant there. The restaurant tends to be very crowded, so to ensure you get a table, make sure you reserve a table one or two days before you plan to dine there. You may make reservation at CV’s facebook page. So how to get there?
For us, we travelled to CV by taxi as it is the only means of transport. Outside the Mo Chit BTS there are many taxis on queue to pick up passengers. We took one of the taxis to Chocolate Ville. Make sure you have a printed Chocolate Ville map with you to show to the taxi driver. Even though they are Taxi Drivers but does not mean they know the place as the place is pretty outskirt.
Also ensure when taking a taxi, ask the driver if he use meter or flat rate. Leave the taxi if he charge on flat rate. Meter charges are always cheaper than the flat rate. Our meter transport to CV cost only THB145 with 45 minutes journey include traffic jam. Of course, travelling from city centre may cost more as the location is further than Mo Chit BTS. Returning from CV may have trouble due to limited taxis available. However, not to worry, if you leave early, there shouldn’t be any problem getting a taxi. We arrived about 4:30pm and left at 8pm. We walked out to the main road and there were already 3 taxis waiting, unfortunately all charges us flat rate. A taxi driver charged us THB400 going back to Mo Chit BTS. We managed to bargain and reduce the price to THB350 which was still double rate than the meter fare. Darn! The taxi driver was quite reluctantly to reduce the price claiming there were traffic congestion which we found it was not bad after all. Therefore I would advise you to go early and leave early taxis from CV are limited. CV is not a touristic place but for locals where most of the locals travel by car.
So if you are also planning to go to Chatuchak Market and Chocolate Ville, just like us, you may consider to go to Chatuchak Market in the late morning. But beware that Bangkok can be really hot in the afternoon. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and stay hydrated.
Day 2: Chinatown, Sampeng Lane, Pak Khlong Talat, Asiatique and Terminal 21
Chinatown is our next place in our itinerary. We had been to Chinatown before, it’s just that in order to go to Sampeng Lane, we need to bypass Chinatown which is along Yaowarat Road. Sampeng Lane is another wholesale market. The nearest BTS station to Chinatown is Hua Lamphong. However, we encountered “helpful” by passer twice. Once was in my first trip and now again. They volunteered to be helpful to guide lady travellers for direction even they were not been approached. Lady travellers travelling alone or two are best to ignore them as we do not know their motives. Thailand is well known with black magic. On this trip, we were approached by a security uniform man who speaks English. Though we were not harm but better be safe than sorry. If we want to ask questions, the best people to ask are staff working in 7-Eleven, those working in cafes or by passers who are youngsters. Although these people may have the difficulty to converse in English at least they do not have motives and they are genuine.
Along Yaowarat road we saw they were market with crowded of people. We took a left turn. The road led us to Soi Wanit 1 Road. Retails and stalls, and fruit stalls are often seen.
Walking straight along Soi Wanit 1, we finally arrived Sampeng Lane. The lane is very narrow and the retails are very near to each other. Sampeng Lane has very big crowds of locals. Human congestion! You can find many wholesale items. Make sure your belongings are safe at all times as you know pickpockets appear at crowded places. We just walked half of Sampeng Lane due to the crowd.
We continued to the Yaowarat Road which already the end of the Chinatown Road to have a break at KFC restaurant.
Walking further about 10 minutes from KFC, we finally arrived Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market). We had never seen so many flowers before. And more over the red roses were so cheap. Only THB50 for two dozens of roses or maybe more. There are other flowers such as carnations, orchids and flowers for prayers. It was a great experience eventhough we did not buy any flowers.
The flower market is very near to Victory Monument Pier, where we took Chao Phraya ferry ride to Sathorn Taksin Pier for to transfer to a free shuttle ferry boat to Asiatique. Public ferry ride on Chao Phraya river is a very convenient transportation for the tourists and as well for the locals. You may make any stops however, please beware in order to differentiate which ferry to take, people identify them on the flag colour of the ferry boat and the directions. There are green, blue, yellow and orange maybe more others.
Some are tourist ferry boats. The lowest cost where the ferry stops at each Pier would be the Orange flag. Orange flag cost only THB15 per person. Just enter the ferry boat, probably you may see many people enters the boat.
No worries although you do not have tickets with you. Soon you will hear a lady ferry conductor came from nowehere. She will shake her collected coins in the metal container to get your attention that she is here to collect money for tickets. The conductor could not identify whether you had already paid for tickets but this is based on thrust. Just ask how much for a ticket. Other colours of flag may skip on certain piers as some are express ferry boats.
Coincidently once we arrived Sathorn Taksin Pier, the Asiatique ferry boat arrived. Need not to wait. Asiatique is a shopping mall converted from warehouses. It is a very interesting mall that it has got the similarity with the Red Brick Warehouse in Hakodate, Hokkaido where originally the buildings were used for trading but now it has converted to shopping centre.
I guess Asiatique imitated the idea from Red Brick Warehouse. Do not go early because the Asiatique opens at 5pm to midnight.
Asiatique have various shops available such as clothings, home decor items, jewellery accessories, accessories for doggies, eyewears, arts and more.
There are also many restaurants there such as Western, Thai, and Japanese cuisine. After walking and shopping for some time, since we in Thailand, we always chose Thai food – we selected a restaurant called Yum Saap. I often see this restaurant in other malls. We tried and the food was good plus the price were reasonable.
To get back to the city centre, just take a return Asiatique ferry boat and back to Sathorn Taksin Pier. The Saphan Taksin BTS station is just right infront the pier.
As this was our last evening to spend in Bangkok, eventhough our foots were breaking apart.. and since my watch says 8:30pm, we made a one last stop at Terminal 21. When we arrived at BTS Asok, there were big crowd of protesters seen gathering at road junction and they were watching big screen projector. Large Thailand flags were seen waving. Speech were given by one of the protester leaders. Anyway, as long they guai guai sat there and don’t make any mess,.. Bangkok is still peaceful for tourists to visit.
We took an hour brief walk around the mall and we went to Gourmet Market (Lower Ground Floor) to get some snacks and also for our tomorrow’s breakfast. We bought salad for tomorrow’s breakfast. Well, gotta eat healthy after many heavy eatings in Bangkok. The unique of the salad, you can pick any dishes available. Once you picked the selections into a bowl, give it to a staff near the salad counter. She will weight and pack for you. If I’m not wrong, my bowl of salad was around THB100.
Day 3: Benjasiri Park and Au Bon Pain cafe
We woke up early so we still have a bit of time to take a short walk nearby our hotel before we head to the airport. The nearest shopping mall is Emporium which that time it was yet to open. Beside the Emporium there is a park called Benjasiri Park. There were many Japanese expatriates exercise at the park. All of a sudden at that moment I felt i was in Sapporo Park. There was a large pond and the pond has got many tortoises. If you have children, do bring some breads along to feed the hungry tortoises.
Just opposite the Benjasiri Park there is an American cafe called Au Bon Pain. Too bad this cafe chain is not available in Singapore and Malaysia. We ordered Caramel Latte and Ice Blended Green Tea. The ice-blended was good but not the Caramel Latte as it was tasteless. Anyway, you can give a try on other drinks.
It was a full filling trip as this trip we explored some new places such as Chocolate Ville, Sampeng Lane, Soi Wanit 1 and Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market).
We were at this Bugis Junction and saw a new building opposite.
LUMINA, was a quick glimpse from afar of this new shopping complex opposite the Bugis Junction. The name of this building is very small, and I was so confident and betting with my friend that the name of this complex is LUMINA and she bet for ILUMA for a meal. Dang! I lost…
Doesn’t the name similar with LUNA the Staedtler coloured pencil or Illama?
In fact, no name is indicated inside the building.
Lets check the inside….. 50% of the shops were opened. And most of them opened in just a week or two. So i guessed all shops be opened in 2 months time.
There are 5 floors – cinema, restaurants, fashioned clothing and etc.
I like this restaurant, called Empire State located at 4th floor… Something like New York New York but in a cute way..when we were there, it wasn’t open yet. Maybe you can try…….it is going to be in operation soon.
Supposed to travel to Ipoh 1 day later, but has changed to 1 day earlier.
I did enjoy the short trip in Ipoh, at least from the work break, stress break and the crave for Msian food… hehehe.. Spending money from Singapore Dollar to Malaysia Ringgit really saves me lots. Nice budget spending though 🙂
Have you been to Ipoh? I never been to Ipoh many times… I would say less than 5 times. Ipoh is a nice place to travel only when you enjoyed eating! Hahaha… If you don’t fancy eating, Ipoh is not your place.
Ipoh is very far from Singapore. If only you travelled by land transport. 😦 We took Michelle Yeoh father’s owned coach, Sri Maju from Singapore to Ipoh for S$32 one-way. The coach departed at 12noon and arrived in Ipoh……. guess???? 9:40pm!!! Almost 10 hours and for this 10 hours i already arrived in Athens, Greece! Or another 2 hours I already arrived in London. Our buttocks were sored for sitting for so many hours when arrived….. OK, not to scare you so much, if you have a car, you could arrive in Ipoh for 7-8 hours drive.
Sad to say, Ipoh airport has closed down due short airport runway. And fyi, the transportation for night train from Singapore to/fro Ipoh will not be operated effective 1st April 2009. For info for night train (Senandung Malam) to Ipoh by click here.
About the Hotel we stayed:
Ipoh City Hotel. Not a fantastic hotel, but I like it, current promotion price only RM93 per night (just room). Promotion last till don’t know when as the reception do not want to tell.
Anyway, what I like about the hotel is the bathroom (no bath tub/shower type), large space, quite new, comfortable, no smell/old carpet, < RM100 price and good service. There wasn’t any non-working appliance. Unfortunately the hotel lost some marks on the cleanliness category…. 3 tiny harmless cockroaches seen, still! I killed and flushed them into the toilet! Well, if you are not a choosy and selective type of person….. Ipoh City Hotel is a not bad budget hotel.
Hotel Ipoh City – 18, Jalan Dass, 30300 Ipoh, Perak – Tel: 05-241 8282
If you got the $$$ person, you can go for Tower Regency Hotel from RM150 and above. Hotel just launched in February 2009.
Day 1 – Sored Buttocks, Tired and Hungry
Arrived late in Ipoh and was very hungry, directed to Lou Wong Bean Sprout Chicken (in cantonese Lou Wong Nga Choi Kai)…I am sure you heard before??? What i really like is the hor fun soup they served, pork balls and the juicy bean sprout. To me, the chicken is just ordinary (i prefered Hainanese Chicken). I wondered how they make the bean sprouts so fat and juicy? The hor fun soup is sweet, i emptied the bowl of hor fun and soup. Some people likes to eat Onn Kei Chicken, located just opposite Lou Wong,.. I wanted to try Onn Kei but the shop wasn’t opened that day. Too bad….
What I have learned about Malaysia food business, as long the food is good, customers do not bother about the environment. Many of the good food in Ipoh, the shops are coffee shop style. They do not need to spend a cent on renovation but still people queue and wait and wait for the food……Even cleanliness, people do not bother! Check this out.
If I can give rating for Lou Wong cleanliness, I will give E for ‘very dirty’. But due to the food is good, many people exempted the shop’s hygiene.
OK. The bill for the food shown above: RM16.00
Day 2: Rainy afternoon…but was energetic to walk and explore Ipoh
Woke up at 9am for breakfast….. where? Recommended by a resident in Ipoh (friend’s friend).. Foh San Restaurant.
The place is a wonder… My first impression was… as if I have gone back to the future. Inside of the restaurant is very antique. Like the time i was born… 1970s or maybe even 1960s! I actually enjoy the atmosphere there, as if i have gone back to the century when i was baby.
The dim sum is yummy… I like the spare ribs, the spare ribs is welly done than Dragon Gate in Singapore. The varieties of the dim sum are very classic. Not like dim sum in Kuala Lumpur… all sorts of dim sum creations found. To me, i like classic because they are pureeeeeee…. Original..
Even we went on weekdays. Getting an empty table needed a couple of seconds to find. According to my friend, weekends cannot find empty tables. People packed around the restaurant for empty tables. I felt i was so lucky.. able to try out the dim sum on weekday.
Next, the bill…..
Interestingly found that although the restaurant is in 1970s/1960s interior designed, surprisingly there do have a very nice website that you can check.
Lunch time, which i was still full after the dim sum breakfast, not to waste time…. we eat more and put on more weight at Thean Chun coffee shop….
There are a few stalls inside, famous in Kai Si Hor Fun Soup (Chicken Hor Fun Soup), Popiah, Custard and Chee Cheong Fun.
Well, I couldn’t eat anymore at night… so just had light dinner.
Besides eating and eating on the 2nd day in Ipoh, I went to Kinta City, which i find more stuff to see and branded items available there than Ipoh Parade. However, Kinta City is located outside the city whereas, the Ipoh Parade is inside the city. But it is worth to check out the Kinta City…… I found that, the Kinta City is similar with 1 Utama shopping mall (the old wing)…. the interior, exterior designs are the same.. even the floor tiles the same!
Day 3 – The Final Round
Final round…. before leaving back to Kuala Lumpur. Went for Ipoh White Coffee. People said that the famous white coffee in Ipoh is not the Old Town Coffee but Sin Yoon Loong Coffee. It is located directly opposite the Old Town Coffee. I am not sure if this is true.. I just drink lahh!! hahahaha…
For comparison, actually the bread toast compare with Ya Kun Bread Toast (Singapore),… the Ya Kun bread are in brown colour and crunchy. While the Ipoh bread toast is thin bread and light crunchy. You try you will know the difference lahh… hard to explain in words… 😛
Another recommendation is Chau Kueh Teow (Fried Kueh Teow) in Ipoh. I am a Fried Kueh Teow person… I can have Fried Kueh Teow everyday for lunch. Unfortunately, there was not a single good taste Fried Kueh Teow in Singapore. If you try deeply, the Fried Kueh Teow in Singapore taste sweet… and the sweetness is sugarly sweet. I tried many Kueh Teow stalls in Singapore, but never taste…. non sweetness Kueh Teow before… Sad case. Total opposite with Fried Kueh Teow in Malaysia.
Ok.. let’s look at the best kueh teow in Ipoh. This Kueh Teow was actually ordered from a stall located at the opposite (Old Town Coffee Shop).. You can request to send over the plate…
Then…… its Tau Fu Fah time!!!
You know, now i only came to know this Tau Fu Fah shop is called FUNNY MOUNTAIN. The logo is a rat pushing the trolley filled with soya beans……..
And last,…. before I leave back to Kuala Lumpur.. I went to buy Salted Chicken which produced and famous in Ipoh (Aun Kheng Lim) for my mum..RM16.00 for 1 whole piece adult chick…hahaha…The chicken is salty and is steamed chicken with light chinese herbal flavour.
Map for all the places i went…
I don’t really like to talk about Shopping Malls in Singapore.. because all the malls in Singapore are almost the same.
I think this will be my last time writing about malls in Singapore unless there are some unique ones i may visit.
I went to this Jurong Point…The mall is located exactly at the Boon Lay MRT station. The mall has expanded and is very large now.
Have you heard of Mustafa Centre at Serangoon Road or Syed Alwi Road?
When comes to wealth, Indian can be very rich…. that’s what my friend’s says…
It sells range and all sorts of items… whatever things you are looking for, just go to Mustafa Centre. I like going there, just for the sake of looking at the items… Even though they are not the cheapest for selling watch, but they give the second lowest price as compared with the Bencoolen Plaza, in my past blog issues.
All items are in wholesale price… To me, I would recommend you to go.. a place you must go…
For more information, check out their website.
The Mustafa occupies two buildings. The buildings just next to each other. Main centre at their own Mustafa building and branch is at Serangoon Plaza. Open 24/7.