Apr 10, 2010

Watching Muay Thai Fight in Bangkok


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Watching Muay Thai Fight in Bangkok was, to me, the highlight of our visit in the city that we're never tired of. 

Look at the writing! And yup, it's McDonald's


Pad Thai, their kind of noodle with beansprouts,
seafood topping, lemon grass,... Love it!

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The Cheapest Lodging: the Airport... and A Friend's Apartment

Flight from Shenzhen to Bangkok took about 3 hours time. There’s an hour of time difference, where Shenzhen is ahead of Bangkok. Our flight was delayed, that’s so expected of Air Asia, so we arrived at Bangkok at about 2.30 AM. We didn’t book any hotel because we were staying at my friend Erika’s apartment. So we decided to continue our sleep on Svarnabhumi airport’s benches until morning comes because we didn’t wanna knock on anyone’s door at such hour. Plus, I had always been curious what it’s like to sleep in an airport ^_^ It wasn’t bad, actually. Well that’s probably because it’s a really nice airport :D

Shops and restaurants in the airport started business quite early. We had our very early breakfast at 6-ish AM. The air conditioner got pretty cold, so hot soups and hot tea were such a bliss to have that morning.





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At about 7.30 AM we arrived at Erika’s very-nice service apartment by taxi. It cost us about THB 350 including the toll fee. The name of it is Chatrium Residence and it’s located on Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra street, in the Chonongsee area. You can also rent a unit with daily rates there. But Erika lives there with her husband and their two cute little children.

It was a very lovely stay there, we felt so welcome there. I know Erika’s gonna read this post, but I’m not writing all this good stuff because of that! Honestly, I’m so glad and thankful that I have quite many friends in diverse places who warmly house me and my mates when traveling. I just hope that I haven’t really troubled anyone though..hehe.

Us with Erika and her li'l Arina ^_^



--> Hit the Town.. Starting with.. the Mall and Market..!!

After a fresh shower, breakfast (yes, again) cooked by Erika herself, and a chit chat of long-time-no-see-except-through-facebook friends, Renny and I took off at noon to the Siam Paragon mall. We rode the shuttle car from the apartment to Sala Daeng BTS station. The apartment isn’t so close to any public transportation station – that is, not in walking distance. Well it’s easy to get a cab there, but we wanted something more.. budget.

From Sala Daeng, we went to Siam Paragon mall, got off at Siam station. You can take a look at the BTS map here.

Renny needed to check out some golf shoes for her brother in law, and after that we checked out the movie theater. It’s funny that we both had been wondering about watching a movie abroad when traveling, just for fun. And the poster of Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland was everywhere, so we thought it’d be fun to check it out. Unfortunately the movie premiered on March 4th while we were scheduled to go home on the 2nd.



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Unrelated to the cinema schedule, we saved our movie agenda for the next day and moved on to Chatuchak weekend market for thrifty shopping! Yay! How to get there from Siam station? Just get on the Mo Chit BTS line and hop off at the last station. Then walk about 10 minutes to the market’s entrance. You’re gonna see lots of sidewalk vendors there, selling various stuff like food, accessories, purses, even clothes.

Renny and her favorite healthy snack: strawberry
They're much bigger than the ones in Indonesia

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We spent about 3 hours shopping in the market. I got myself a skirt, a mini dress, some blouses, and a pair of glasses. Renny bought a little more stuff than I did. I knew she wanted to shop a little more after we had dinner (chicken noodle soup for about THB 40 that tasted just okay), but oh boy, I couldn’t shop anymore, I was just too tired and got enough of it. Sorry for being a not-so-fun shopping mate, there.



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Khaosan Road, to avoid shopping, to find Erika’s address!

Actually at this point I wanted to go home (geez, what am I? 80? It was still 7.30 PM, for god’s sake!) but Renny still wanted to roam about town, so I suggested that we go to some place which doesn’t require shopping. She wouldn’t mind going anywhere but didn’t have any idea either. So I suggested Khaosan Road cos that was the only thing that came to mind..haha.

We took a cab to Khaosan Rd because it’s nowhere near any BTS nor MRT station. We didn’t take any bus in Bangkok to reduce any risk of getting lost due to language barrier. So it was the BTS, MRT, or taxi. Hm, we didn’t even take tuktuk because they’re known to charge you more than they should if they know you’re tourists. Although people do mistake our look for Thai girls, they’d instantly know instantly that we’re tourists once we open our mouths.. and maps.

I had walked through Khaosan Rd in my first visit to Bangkok a few years ago, but I didn’t remember it as being as crowded as now. Whew!

Me and my favorite healthy snack: mango
They combine it with sticky rice, but,
"Could I just have the mango, please?"



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Oh, now I remember another reason why I suggested Khaosan Rd. I needed an internet access. What for? Well, I needed to open my facebook inbox to see Erika’s apartment address. Apparently her address and phone number wasn’t saved in my mobile, and I left my little travel notebook at her place. D’oh! And I knew for sure that internet cafes are easy to find on Khaosan Rd because it’s THE street for backpackers, who are usually big on using the internet.

Funny thing is that I just couldn’t stay away from shopping. I bought a t-shirt from a street seller. Hahahaha… well how could I resist?? The t-shirt was yellow with silhouette of a kid and his dino pet! And I also got one for a friend with the picture of a vector zebra whose stripes dissolve from a bar code! Cool, eh??


Cheapo flights!

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Then we went back to Erika’s place by taxi, costing about THB 100. It was already late, almost midnight. Being a nursing mother, Erika was still up when we arrived, and we gossiped about 2 hours until her baby was awake she had to breastfeed him. By the way, Erika and I went to the same college and were members of the same organization. Renny went to a different school, but she was involved in the conversation and at the end she learned so many juicy things about friends of Erika and mine without even knowing the people.. Hahahahaaa..

Yummy Tom Yum

The next morning, Mommy Erika cooked us the famous Thai soup called tom yum. It’s sour with tomato flavor (and other ingredients which I’m not really sure), and it’s filled with squid, shrimp, and sometimes fish. Yummo in the tummo!




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We – and mainly I – got involved in a serious conversation with Ade, Erika’s husband, about developing my website (www.indohoy.com, come come check it out!), that we started our trip that day a bit later than we’ve planned.

I felt home...!



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Cinema Theatre at Siam Paragon


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We took cab straight to Siam Paragon mall and chose to see Wolfman. My aim? To watch a movie with Thai subtitle, but still able to understand the story. Hence an English language movie.

I secretly took a pic inside the cinema..
just to have a doc of Thai subtitled movie..
please don't sue me *kiss kiss*



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The theater was veerrryy nice! I don’t think Jakarta has anything like it. The chairs were.. oh Lord, as comfy as my spring bed, quite huge chairs. They’ve actually got several kinds of theaters with different ticket prices. But the one that we chose was I think the cheapest one, THB 170 / pax or so. Man, I’m still curious with the one that has half-round cinema screen, but that one cost a fortune. Alright, next time I’m going to Bangkok, I’ll be preparing budget for that **grin**


Daybreakers... a film with a Placebo song as the OST
Gotta watch it!

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Fight fight fight!

I wanted to see a muay thai fight (also called as thaiboxing) at the biggest and most famous stadium in Bangkok called the Lumpini Stadium, but too bad their fight schedules didn’t match our stay in Bangkok. So the second biggest stadium, the Ratchadamnoen, became our next choice. You can check out their schedules here http://bangkok.sawadee.com/muaythai.htm .

We bought the THB 1,700 VIP ticket/ pax from one of the men standing around the lobby selling tickets, whereas it’s THB 2,000 /pax if you buy it from the official booth which is also in the lobby. Don’t ask me why there are different ticket prices, cos I don’t know, and all I care is that we got cheaper prices for the same class! Yay to that!



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VIP class is obviously right on the side of the boxing ring. I was kinda scared at first, imagining blood and violence would be happening so close to my very own eyes. But according to the ticket seller, the lower class seats didn’t seem more comforting either, as a lot of people would be screaming and yelling and form a mad scramble.


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In reality, both classes weren’t as horrible as I thought ^_^ But I was glad to have bought the VIP tickets because muay thai is such an engaging sport to watch. It’s not only because I do the sports as well (purely as sports, I don’t go fighting anyone on the ring, but I haven’t been exercising much lately).

Renny doesn’t thaibox but she got into the fights as well. For me, it was entertainment and education at the same time. I saw some moves that I have not been introduced to by my trainers, and I could see how the moves were executed when involved in real fights, some are quite different with how it’s done when shadow boxing. Of course the moves in real fights are much faster and with more strength.

The ritual before starting a fight
Sorta like stretching and praying in some traditionall moves



One of the winners of many fights that night


video

Watch this!



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There was a Thai man sitting next to me and a German student next to him, it’s a couple of travel guide and the tourist. They drank cans and cans of beer, and I could smell the alcohol when talking with them. Renny lost THB 20 in a bet with the German guy over a fight. Conversation with the Thai guy was quite difficult because he didn’t really speak proper English, but the German guy was pretty fun to talk to, he told us quite a lot about his travels throughout Asia, and he couldn’t believe it when I told him that I do box. A little female creature like me? Boxing? No way! Well, yes way, siree.

After turning down these guys’ offer to join them clubbing somewhere, we headed home by taxi, but we stopped by a souvenir shop next to the exit. The stuff there were pretty pricey for me, but I did purchase some. Boxing glove key chains, a small statuette of muay thai babies, and a watch with pictures of Khaosan unique features on it. Renny bought one with Thai numbers and it’s got the guidance of how to read the numbers in Thai in the back of the carton wrap. The watch was THB 500 each, the baby fighters was, I think THB 450, and the key chain was.. I forgot.

Fight, baby, fight!

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Oh, when Renny and I just got in the cab to get to the stadium, in the afternoon. The driver laughed out of disbelief that we were going to see a fight. Hey, excuse moi! What’s so funny about two cute and petite (kind of) girls who are often mistaken for teenagers watching a muay thai fight? Oh alright, the answer is in the question.

New Found Glory

We went to the Platinum Fashion Mall in the Pratunam area to get these trolley bag suitcase.. err.. whatever it’s called. Actually they’re also sold in Chatuchak market, but Renny wanted the rainbow one specifically and we didn’t find it there. We got info that we could find it in Platinum, and it’s cheaper there. I wanted to get one for myself too, but I wasn’t as specific as Renny. Turns out, we found the right bags with the right size (there are small and large ones) not in the Platinum Mall, but in one of the shops across the mall. It was a pretty good bargain, THB 250 each, I think.




The Platinum mall itself,… well, I’ve heard about it quite long ago, but I was told that it’s a wholesale market, where you’d have to buy a bunch of the same or similar items. So I thought, I’m not gonna wear the same clothes everyday nor gonna open a cothing store, so I neglected the idea of checking it out. But now I found out that wholesale means you can even pick only 2 or 3 items in one purchase, and the items don’t have to be identical. And guess what, we canceled our Thai massage plan for shopping here.
Dudettes, the stuff are ridiculously cute, fashionable, and.. my favorite word.. cheap! Plus, it’s an air-conditioned building with clean floors, escalators, and open not only in weekends. We are so gonna shop there next time we’re back in Bangkok, and probably just gonna skip the hot open-aired and crowded Chatuchak.



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Jakarta Awaits

Our flight back home to Jakarta was scheduled to depart at 8-ish PM. We still had to pack our bags, and it was great having the large newly bought bags because everything got in! Later on when we checked our baggage in the airport, turned out that we had about 9 kg excess baggage in total! Whew.. there went our THB 2000 (my share was only THB 300ish, and the rest was Renny’s).

All in all, this trip has been grreeatt! Lotsa good shopping, lotsa new places, lotsa new experiences, and.. lotsa new discoveries about.. myself J Surely hope you can make use of my travel notes here for your future travels, although, well, there are quite some details that I forgot. But you know, maybe you should try traveling without fixed itineraries, cos getting lost could be much fun and such a memorable experience! ^_^ I bet some of you have been there, too.. teehee.

3 comments:

  1. hehehe
    Bangkok is great! too bad i don't know the specific location of the fried fish restaurant, otherwise i'd highly recommend you to go. SOOOOOOO, where is your next destination?!

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  2. hehehe.
    pengen lagi ke bangkok. asal gak kelebihan baggage lagi aja.

    :P

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  3. @ick4fish: next destination is the Celebes Island!! still within Indonesia :D

    @flirty: yuuuukkk.. hunting tiket murah dulu :D

    ReplyDelete