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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / bangkok

Some of you might know by now that the days of rushing to board an Air Asia flight just to get “good seats” is over. The low cost carrier actually assign seats by the time you check in. No need for that Xpress Boarding gimmick anymore, a relief, right?

Well, maybe.

You see, now there is this wonderful offer from Air Asia aptly named “Pick A Seat” service. For RM 25 per person, you get to choose the hot seats (first 5 rows, and the 2 rows next to emergency exits) that comes with extra leg rooms.

Well, we figure our legs aren’t exceptionally long, so we chose the standard seats. On the way to Bangkok, everything was well good. On the way back, we got this little surprise thrown to us by the airline.

Despite checking in together almost 3 hours in advance, we were assigned SEPARATE SEATS 19A & 20A.

Air Asia random seat assignments

Naturally Mell and I thought it must be a mistake, so we asked the ticket issuing officer if we could be seated together. The answer was very simply, no.

The seats were assigned randomly by the system and can’t be changed. You can however, pay RM 25 for hot seats if you want to be seated together (the RM 5 “standard” seat arrangement deal was not explained)

We then went to the sales counter (there was no customer service counter at Bangkok Airport for Air Asia) to state our case and tried to get it all sorted out without avail. The lady politely asked if we want to have the hot seats, or we could talk to the ticket issuing lady again. Ding dong.

We weren’t exactly very happy with their explanation of how their system works, and why we can’t get seats that are next to each other cos they are already “assigned”. I even asked them to show if the seats are all assigned to those who paid extra with no free adjacent seats anymore, but of course my request was rejected.

So we boarded the plane and seated separately. Apparently there were quite a few parties who had the same treatment. People started exchanging seats as soon as everyone boarded the plane, and we eventually moved to a row of empty seats at the back of the plane.

What I want to know is how that seat assignment algorithm in their system is written.

The one place at Bangkok every girl must visit is of course, the Chatuchak weekend market. 15,000 stalls selling everything from accessories, clothes, furniture, decorative items, to pets and food. Everything that you ever need, you can find them here, and usually cheap.

Mellissa at Chatuchak Weekend Market
Mell picking up some 10 baht a piece earrings

Our first trip to Chatuchak was on Saturday just before noon. It was way too hot and the girl somehow decided to buy 4 pieces of mugs for 15 baht each (a very good deal, I must agree) among other stuff which kinda made carrying the spoils a bit too tiring. We ended up spending half an hour for foot massage, nice!

We went there again on Sunday evening after spending some time in the city. This time around we got quite a bit more than previous trip (but no clay kitchenware this time), Mell got some 20 pieces of clothes and I got myself 3 pieces yey!

Mellissa at Chatuchak Weekend Market
that small pile of 3 shirts was what I bought, the rest belongs to Mell

After 3 days at the funky room 202 “Hong Kong Pat”, we moved to room 303 “Medicine Machine” at Reflections Rooms. Instead of the converted shop lot, this room looks like it was a small office, about the size of 2.5 standard hotel room. Will have more pictures posted soon.

Room 303 at Reflections Bangkok
Room 303 – Medicine Machine

2 more days in Bangkok, and it’s been as awesome as it can get. I think a trip to the city is in schedule tomorrow, perhaps to catch another movie and visit the Ocean World at Siam Paragon. Be back soon with proper naisss photos!

We arrived at Bangkok late last night after a very noisy flight that reminds me very much of Puduraya. After escaping the slaughtering attempt by “official” airport taxi that asked for 1100 baht for a trip to the hotel, we took a standard cab and paid less than 500 baht to Reflections Rooms at Pradipat Rd.

KY and Mellissa at Bangkok
Mell & KY says Hi!

The room is much more awesome that we had expected, disco lights, funky furniture, eccentric decorations, soft toy chair. We are encouraged actually to paint the walls too. I have tonnes of pictures taken with the el big-o camera but you’ll have to be satisfied with this one taken by the camera phone for now.

Hong Kong Pat at Reflections Rooms, Bangkok
Hong Kong Pat (room 202) at Reflections

We went to Siam Paragon today and watched Confessions of a Shopaholic. Which was awesome( (Mell’s word, ok I agreed). It was my first time having to stand up in a cinema while the images of the King came up (last I did was when they used to play Negaraku in local cinemas).

Tomorrow’s destination is Chatuchak weekend market. Lets hope we wake up early enough to enjoy the free breakfast.

It is a known fact that tourists are often treated as fresh meat in just about any country. Taxi drivers will try to charge you more, you pay more at pasar malam, and even some restaurants will have 2 different menus, one for the locals, another for foreigners. This is a story on how we got conned at Patpong, the red light district of Bangkok.

So after a long day chilling around the city, the three of us (including Terence & Dree) decided that a visit to Thailand is never complete without going to Patpong. We boarded the train and headed to the station nearest to the red light district.

Bangkok Ping Pong Show, got conned
all these go-go clubs and ping pong bars

The place has more flashy neons and interesting sign boards than the whole of downtown KL. Thai girl, Thai boy, lady boy, go-go bars, you name it, they have it. There is also a lot of street stores selling “I love Bangkok” T-shirts and imitation Bell & Ross watches. As we were walking along the shops, we were ushered by many pimps asking if we wanted girls, beer, ping pong shows, etc. We kept rejecting them.

Bangkok Ping Pong Show, got conned
look at the 2 guys in black and yellow shirts, dodgy?

And then one particular pimp told us “You wan watch ping pong show? 1 minute no pay, you no like you go, free. If you like, just stay and buy drinks. 200 baht per beer, that’s all!” (10 baht is roughly 1 Malaysian Ringgit)

Wanting to experience everything Bangkok has to offer (sans the STD activities), we reluctantly said yes. The guy then led us to a bar a level on top of the popular shops/restaurants/bars.

We sensed something wrong as we went in, there were no customer in that place. A group of not-so-great looking girls were on the stage, dancing half naked, trying to be seductive but failing miserably.

We ordered our drinks, 2 beers and a coke, and then the show started. A chunky lady stripped and started shooting darts on balloons. It was done in such mechanical precision and ease, dart in hole, squeeze, dart flies, pops balloon. I was as impressed as worried about her aiming as we were only a couple meters away from the stage.

Bangkok Ping Pong Show, got conned
ping pong balls love Terence

Then came the ping pong show, same thing: ping pong in the hole, squeeze, ping pong flying at Terence. Poor guy had to swat away all the incoming missiles lest having them landing on his face. It was a lot more scary than funny, I kid you not.

In between, the girls kept cajoling us to buy them drinks, 100 baht per coke. We kept saying no, but goddamn dree finally agreed to one coke per girl after the shemale kept pestering him, dude is weak. He didn’t even realize that was 100 baht x 10 girls!

Only 10 minutes into the whole thing, we decided to make a move and called for the bill. It was 3,900 baht!!!

We were like WTF, and started arguing with the lady boss (who was as big as Terence) saying the other guy told us it was 200 bath per beer and the show is free. She said she didn’t know who that was, and this is her bar. I put down a 1,000 baht bill and prepared to walk away, but our good friend dree kept saying “dude just pay just pay I’ll pay you guys back” in a very emo and worried voice. We kept arguing for a bit and decided to give them 3,000 baht as there were about 10 of them surrounding us already..

1,000 baht per person for a lesson to be smarter tourists. Lucky I didn’t have to touch any ping pong ball.

The long overdue pictures from Bangkok is here, the Black and White series anyway. I still have some architectural photos (mainly temples) yet to be processed, and of course that juicy story from red light district and the other food hunts around the city. But anyway, here is my very small contribution to the world of photography.

The photostream at flickr is here.

showmanship, Bangkok tour 2008
showmanship

I was walking around taking photographs, and suddenly this ice cream seller started performing for me. He scoop up the ice cream, threw it up about 20 feet and drop it on the cup. This was his victory pose after performing his trick. It was a shame I did not manage to capture that in action, but at least we have this pose.

tuk-tuk, the 3 wheeled taxi - Bangkok
taxi stand

Tuk-tuk, the three wheeler “taxis” are omnipresence everywhere in the city. You can catch a short ride for as low as 20 baht. However, do be careful as some of them do conspire with shops in an attempt to con unsuspecting customers. The normal taxis, on the other hand, are very reliable and honest in Bangkok.

line up - elephant statues at Bangkok
the line up

This photo is taken at the famous 4 faced Buddha statue (Thao Maha Brahma). It is said that many Hong Kong celebrities pay their respect at this place yearly.

busy chatuchak weekend market, bangkok
the crowd, chatuchak weekend market

Chatuchak weekend market is a congregation of over 6000 stalls selling anything from bacon stick to foot massages to pet rabbits. The place is packed with bargain hunters and clueless tourists alike.

divers at chow praya river, bangkok
divers at chow praya river

These kids at chow praya river make a living by fetching and reselling animals released to the river. Here they are just warming up to start the day. It is a common practice for pilgrims to release animals to the wild. (for good karma?)

bell ringing, bangkok temples
ringtone

A baby girl guided by her father to ring the bell at the temple, probably for the first time in her life.

guardians, guards at bangkok
guards – emerald Buddha temple

The guards at Emerald Buddha temple reminds me of those Buckingham Palace guards. They were completely stationary with only movements on their eyeballs. Respect.

fat boy supper, Bangkok trip
fat boy supper

Day or night, you can find hawker stalls by every roadside. Bangkok is the city very favorable to food hunters like me, I just wish I had a bigger stomach.