Sunday, November 10, 2013

BKK, I think I love you!

So after a weekend of staying local and 2 weeks of work we decided it was time to return to Bangkok. Amata is only about an hour from Bangkok via mini bus so it is the perfect weekend escape. Friday right at 3.45, Alex, Nichole, and I legged it to the end of the road to grab a mini bus before the traffic hits. Apparently if you can leave Amata before 4.15 you are in the clear. After a comfortable mini bus ride, unlike the one to Rayong, we got dropped off near the Bang Na BTS (Bangkok Transit Station) to catch the skytrain to the station near our weekend pad. For all the traveling I have done in my life I have funnily enough never stayed in a hostel, however, this weekend I broke this trend and as Nichole stated while we settled in to our dorm - "you've lost your hostel vigrinity!" And no Alex and I would not let her make that her FB status. We stayed in a place recommended to us by some other Kaset OEGers called 1YOLO. I guess it is kind of fitting to stay in a hostel for the first time with You Only Live Once because what else are you going to do when you need out of Amata and a cheap place to stay in an amazing city?

Public transportation that makes sense!
1YOLO hostel model - Alex :)

1YOLO was clean and cheap. 400 baht per night so about 26 dollars for our weekend stay. We ended up getting a dorm to ourselves on the top floor so we got lucky. After arriving we headed out for some dinner and to wait on Melissa to join us. Robin Hood, an irish pub, was were we picked. We had a delicious and expensive meal but like I said in my Koh Samet post - when you travel outside of your local area it is okay to eat Western food because as soon as you get back on Monday you'll be feasting on the Thai food on your only street again! Dinner was followed by drinks. We headed up to soi (road) 22 and got a drink at a relatively quiet bar. I had forgotten that Nichole and Alex did not go out at night during orientation because of jet lag so they had yet to experience the site of an older Western man with a Thai lady hanging off his arm. Amazing to watch them stare and question it, well more like her. Melissa finally joined us and we got anther round, or two, and shared our Thailand life stories about school and locations. I have to say Melissa wins because of her stories. Her living really does make Amata Mansion sound and feel like a mansion. A quick break down of Melissa's Thai life: she has no hot water or sink, she has to hand wash her clothes, there is no real food shop where she is so she eats by getting ramen from a guy in her apartment that has a shop in his home, oh and she often walks by burning rice fields on the way to work. After getting her a pizza we headed to a bar advertising on its sign that it had an Ice Bar and we were very disappointed when it turned out to be a tiny room with no one in it. The plus side of this bar/club was the all girl Thai band rocking some No Doubt and Florence. Of course, we danced.

Saturday late morning we headed to heaven, Siam Paragon mall. I needed more school clothes and shoes, and of course walked away with much more. We spent an entire day in the mall. After hours of walking around we still did not manage to seen all of it. The girls started their day with Starbucks and I wasn't about to leave without one so before returning to 1YOLO I grabbed a Starbucks and relaxed with all my purchases. They hardest thing to find amongst all the stores was shoes. Apparently big feet is not a common thing in Thailand or it is and they just don't restock often? H&M, Forever XXI, Gap, Steve Madden, and the department store shoe section were useless. I finally found a pair of Thai brand TOMs in the sports section of the department store in my size and a decent color for work. It was a task and I wish I had gotten something a little more work styled but after looking for shoes for hours I just got fed up. Despite the shoe issue, Siam Paragon was a success and it was not the last time we will be there. The mall has a huge movie theatre with English movies and an aquarium in the basement - can't wait to lose a day in that mall again. I just need to only buy what I really need - a trait I never have known but maybe I'll develop it in Thailand!?!


After shopping we went back to relax at 1YOLO and get ready for a night out in Bangkok. All we had really planned before heading to BKK was having dinner at the Mexican place on soi 11. After Gina joined us, she has Sunday/Monday weekends because it's Thailand and why not, we headed to soi 11 with rumbling stomachs only to get to the Mexican place to find no tables and a long wait according to the owner. Who knew we should have called for a reservation? Not us! We settled on the French place down the way and then headed to a popular bar called Cheap Charlie's followed by the bus bars for bucket drinks. After meeting up with 3 other other girls from OEG, who we just happened to run into getting off the BTS at the mall, we laughed and drank more before heading to the club at the hotel at the end of the road - Levels. I had been there on a week night during orientation and on a Saturday night it is like another place. Packed with people from all over the world, great music, and lots more laughing as we danced the night away. As the lights came on Alex turns to me and says - "why is it closing?" I replied - "because it is 3.00 AM!" It was clear that time had gone by way to fast because her face turned from disappointment to confusion as she tried to figure it out. The dance floor, that is how!

Red cups in Thailand!
Siam Paragon entrance
Benefit makeup counter giving away cotton candy - this never happens in America!
Thailand signs are just as good as signs in Qatar!
Alex is a woman with many beautiful faces - we found this out this weekend.

Sunday we woke up and after complaining about how tequila is no ones friend we all headed to find the other Mexican place on soi 18 - can you tell we really wanted Mexican this weekend? Turns out BKK didn't want us to have Mexican because after walking to the road we found out it was closed - how lucky! BKK clearly wanted us to see its malls though because just down the road was yet another one. Terminal 21 is a mall themed after an airport. All the escalator signs are airport signs, the guys at the entrance doors are dressed like a pilots, and every floor is a different location around the world. After lunch at Subway - boy was it nice to munch on a sub - we wondered up the floors to the tech floor so Alex could purchase some counterfeit beats and I could get a keyboard for my iPad. It is a good one and makes typing on my iPad faster but I am still missing my laptop.

The trip home was the BTS to a bus station where we got lucky and jumped on a bus leaving and heading past Amata. Total travel cost for buses to and from BBK was about 150 baht so it is clear that BKK is an easy and affordable way to get away from Amata but next time I won't take my credit card with me to the mall! It was so nice to spend the weekend in the city and to catch up with people in different locations. BKK was amazing and I had such a great time getting to know the city better - can't wait to go back!

I forgot to mention the grocery store at Terminal 21. So much good food!!! Such a better selection than Tesco Lotus and as we are walking around Nichole goes - "come look at this...cheese! I hate Tesco Lotus!!!"


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