07 August 2007

Bangkok - A Vacation That Never Leaves

It always feels so good to come to Singapore for holidays. The Whampoa Drive serviced apartment I’m staying in is so comfortable and it even provides a really cute dog to sleep with. I think I’ll sample some really good local food like chicken rice and laksa tonight at the open-air café, but before that, I should have a workout at the hotel’s gym first… aahhh… such is the good life… the life of a Singaporean in denial after six days in Bangkok.

Of course this is no serviced apartment (unless I consider mum and dad picking up after me as being service), Whampoa Drive is home. There’s no café but the Whampoa Drive Hawker Centre, and the gym is none other than California Novena. But well, ain’t it nice to pretend like I’m a tourist back home? To limbo that vacation mentality a little longer before finally accepting the fact that I’d been dragged from heaven back down to earth. How does one treat an addiction like Bangkok? With another trip of course! Life should just be one long holiday…

Bangkok Aug 07 collage 1 Bangkok Aug 07 collage 2 Bangkok Aug 07 collage 3 Bangkok Aug 07 collage 4


Airfare : Tiger Airways, S$140 (Return ticket inclusive of SGP and BKK airport tax. Additional S$140 for Michael’s ticket.)

Travel Insurance : S$27.00

Departure (SGP) : 1 Aug 07, Wednesday, 12.10pm (Arrived at BKK local time 1:15pm.)

Departure (BKK) : 6 Aug 07, Monday, BKK local time 8:10pm (arrived SGP at 11:15pm.)

SGP to BKK Flight Duration : Approx. 2 hours

BKK Airport to City : It takes about 40 mins to travel from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the downtown city district of Sathorn using the highway. There’s a 40bht toll for the highway to be borne by the passenger. The airport taxi charges a flat rate of 450bht to city; travelling from city to airport by a metered taxi costs about 300bht.

Accommodation : Metropolitan Hotel, South Sathorn (Free for 2 nights as Michael won first prize in a lucky draw, else the Studio Room we stayed in should cost about S$260 per night). Bab Barr, Sathorn Soi (1,600bht, approx. S$74.42)

Exchange Rate : S$1.00 to 21.50bht (Travel Expenses : S$600, exclude airfare, accommodation and insurance.)

The highlight of this trip would be the stay at the Metropolitan Hotel. Other than that, there’s no where new that I went or did that’s exotic. And that’s a bummer because I can feel myself becoming me a ‘comfort’ traveler rather than a ‘sightseeing’ tourist, and I much prefer being the latter. But with the Met Hotel being a honeycomb, there’re no good reasons to go anywhere else. The hotel is much like a ‘new age’ living space for people buying into the yoga, spa, and holistic health sort of culture.

Almost everywhere I went within the lavender-scented air of the hotel, I’m cocooned in a state of relaxation that made me feel like a white feather floating on angels’ breath (except when the smell of Mic’s smokes plunged the room into a tobacco stink). Our room was pleasingly furnished and the bathroom comes with a set of aroma-oil formulated toiletries that smelt so good. There’re yoga mats everywhere and the Jacuzzi at the health centre was my favorite spot… soft natural daylight diffused into the zen-styled interior with a beige mosaic hot pool of water that bubbles over the pool’s edge. The centre also provided free yoga instructions and body conditioning classes.

I attended an evening’s yoga class and had one-on-one direction from the instructress. She’s very tanned and very pretty. Not beautiful, but pretty. And she really used her whole body when guiding me into the yoga poses. Me being about as flexible as a communist, I pity her for using so much strength to pull and lengthen my body. When doing a seated forward bend, she leaned her whole torso against my back and pushed me forward. For a moment, I forgot the stinging pain behind my knees but felt instead the flattening out of her bosoms, her breath and an icky feeling because I was perspiring like a hog but she was dry, and yet she had skin contact with my sweat like it’s no bother at all. But it was a really good session as she thought me variations to suit my level of flexibility and she pointed out the correct techniques in the stretches. I had never felt sorer from a yoga session the next day.

The other big thing that happened was a hostile confrontation with Mic. I can’t remember how it happened but it was a shouting match. But I think it is good to let out thoughts and feelings of unhappiness the moment it occurred rather than keep it all inside. Anyway, it has been resolved and hopefully this step back pushes our friendship forward by leaps.

Also made some new friends from Hong Kong and reinstated a few old acquaintances from Singapore. Six days flew past so quickly and I hope the months go by faster still so that I can be back in Bangkok again soon. And hopefully the immigration at the new airport would’ve picked up by then. For now, I’ll continue to be a tourist in my own home.

--- Spending List ---

Pork limb rice with additional intestine and egg at Siam Centre foodcourt - 50bht (S$2.32)

Chicken rice (breast meat) at roadside stall outside Station JD - 40bht (S$1.86)

Sharksfin soup, bird’s nest soup, spicy fried fish, 4 steamed big head prawns, oyster omelet, and stir-fry bittergroud leaves Mei Lung Restaurant in Chinatown - 1,700bht (S$79.10)

1 bottle whiskey at Station JD - 1,400bht (S$65.12)
1 bottle soda water - 20bht (S$0.93)

1 bottle Singha beer at go-go show - 200bht to 240bht (S$9.30 to S$11.16)

Traditional Thai massage 1 hour - 250bht (S$11.63)

Taxi starting fare - 35bht (S$1.63)
Per increment - 2bht (S$0.09)

GQ undershirts size L from Tokyu, MBK - round neck (179bht / S$8.33), V-neck (199bht / S$9.26)
Bikiner low-rise white cotton box-brief size S from Zen, WTC - 180bht (S$8.37)
Groovin low-rise yellow nylon box-brief size S from Zen, WTC - 250bht (S$11.63)

Pure Essential Oil (from Chatuchak), 10ml - 80bht (S$3.72)
Pure Essential Oil (from airport), 10ml - 120bht (S$5.58)
Cone-shaped scented incense - 50bht (S$2.33)

Puma shoulder-sling dark brown PVC leather sports bag from Chatuchak - 199bht (S$9.26)

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