20 July 2011

Bangkok March 2011 - Part II

Continued from the previous post.

The next day, we woke up late and took our time to wash up before heading out for shopping. First stop was Platinum Mall. We had been to BKK several times and this was our first time stepping into Platinum Mall. Was overwhelmed by the number of shops selling all sorts of fashion, accesssories and stuff!

Then we realised our stomaches were rumbling from hunger and headed to the foodcourt for lunch. Really spoilt for choice with many varieties of food which looked good and best of all, very cheap! We had to purchase a stored value card to buy the food and drinks but the the value could be refunded subsequently if not used up. I think this is quite a good system as the stall owners don't need to handle cash and the food court management could find out the turnover of the various stalls easily.

My Braised Pork Knuckle Rice. Looked tantalising and tasted even better! The pork was flavourful and skin nearly melt-in-the-mouth.
Hubby ordered this 'Hor Fun' (flat rice noodle) which tasted good too!

After lunch, it was shopping all the way. I couldn't remember in sequence of all the malls we went to those few days; all I remember was Siam Paragon, Emporium, Central Mall, Platinum, MBK... but honestly, I didn't buy a lot, really :p, mostly window shopping.

After the intensive shopping, we went back to the hotel to unload our stuff and rest for a while before our highlight of our trip, dinner cruise along Chaophraya River. During our previous trips, we had wanted to take the river cruise but didn't do it, so this time we were determined to give it a try.

The river cruise cost 1400 Thai baht person, inclusive of return transfers to and fro our hotel, thai and international buffet, welcome drink, onboard live band and cultural shows and of course cruise along the Chaophraya River.

When we arrived at the Rivery City Pier, it was very crowded with mostly tourists and some locals (mainly couples). Besides the Grand Pearl, there are other similar dinner cruises such as Chaophraya Princess, Manohara etc. Just as we were comparing the different cruise boats and wondering which was the Grand Pearl, a vessel with a saxophonist standing at the bow steered into the pier. Talk about a grand entrance! I was truly impressed.

Was pleased that we had a seat at the bow just a table away from the saxophonist. But disappointed that he left after playing a few songs. I thought he would be there the whole night :( That would be lovely.
Tables at the bow around were mostly catered for couples. More romantic I guess :)
There are also indoor seats and upper deck (for larger groups) with a stage for cultural shows and later towards the night a live band.
While waiting for the cruise to depart the pier, I checked out the buffet line. Ok, the usual appetizers, sushi, soups, hot dishes, fruits and desserts. Not really impressive.

In fact, we were a little disappointed as the dishes were mainly international and very limited thai selections. Well, with most guests being 'farangs' (Thai slang for foreigners), I guess they had to cater to different needs. Was also quite surprised that the buffet dinner lasted for less than an hour, we thought we could slowly savour the food while enjoying the breeze and scenery.

Anyways, the highlight of the cruise was the sights along the river and not so much on food right? We were supposed to see Wat Arun - The Temple of Dawn, the Grand Palace, Wat Pra Kaew - The Temple of Emerald Buddha, Pinklao Bridge and Taksin Bridge; but there was no commentary so we were not sure which is which. It didn't matter to us, we just soaked in the atmosphere while feeling the gentle breeze as the cruise meandered along the river.

It was interesting to see the serenity of the palaces and temples at night but somehow the peace was marred by the loud music and bright lights of the cruise boats.

Towards the last part of the cruise, the live band started playing disco/pop music and many foreigners went to the upper deck and started dancing. And all the other cruise boats too! At one point, I thought the different cruise boats were competing for the loudest music! I had expected a peaceful and romantic dinner cruise but oh well... apparently not.

Nonetheless, it was an interesting experience which we had to try once. We noticed several restaurants along the river, probably we would try them next time round instead.

After the cruise, back to the hotel for a good night's rest.

To be continued...

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1 comment:

  1. The cruise looks like a lot of fun. I'd like to find out more about the shopping malls!