Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bangkok Day 1 - Suvarnabhumi Airport - Glow Hotel - Chocoville

Hello readers! Finally updating my post on my birthday holiday trip for this year! Since last year, i would travel to celebrate my birthday. I was in Taiwan back then and this year we are going to Bangkok! It can be considered the first time Jeremy visited Bangkok on a holiday trip. For me, this will be my second visit to Bangkok. This is also the first time we are travelling on couple date with Jieying & Terence!

We bought the tickets first, jetstar was having a promo so it costs only $269.16 for 2 pax, 2 way, baggage allowance 25kg each (upon return) + seat selection.  For Jieying & Terence, it cost only $245.16 because they didn't opt for the seat selection. I usually prefer to get out of the plane fast so avoid long queue when clearing the immigration so i will usually have the add on of seat selection.

Mummy preparing this traditional birthday longevity noodles for me with angbao too! 
Just before i was due to travel, colleague aka friends, Selina, Xiao Yun, Irene and Jessica were celebrating my birthday in advance. Selina got these cakes from starbucks, initially she told me that she was going to get some stuffs from starbucks, and i didn't thought of anything suspicious and even offered to go together. Hahaha. Somehow, i was being diverted away before presenting my first 3 slices of birthday cake for this year. This year, i think i have received the most number of cakes in slices. 
As it was a morning flight, so we returned back to Tampines house the night before and it was unexpected but Jeremy sis bought a birthday cake for me! This strawberry shortcake is so good! I still got an angbao from Jeremy mama. Haha

We arranged to meet at the airport, with the self check in machine introduced sometime back ago, it was a breeze to check in. Our boarding pass issued!

We had some time for breakfast before shopping at the DFS store before boarding~
 A group photo before take off!

As Jieying & Terence didn't select their seats, so they were assigned at the back, it happened that the flight that we were taking were rather empty! This was taken when we was taking off but there were many seats unoccupied!

During the flight, i was filling up the declaration form when suddenly Jieying & Terence appeared at our row and presenting to me my birthday cake! Hahaha, another unexpected surprise, birthday celebration in the plane. Initially, i thought they ordered something, i didn't even see them holding any paperbag that contain this cake! Even though Jieying was saying the cake has melt and was not at its original cute state anymore, but i thought it still look pretty decent! Thanks for getting me these cute cakes!
 All you need is a photo editor app and it looks pretty nice after some filter!
As this is my second visit to Bangkok, we were quite familiar with the area and once we have cleared the immigration and collected our luggage, the first thing to do was to buy our sim card. When you exit from the arrival hall, there are many counters available for you to purchase your sim card. We will go to the extreme end of the different counters and get the DTAC mobile data card, the price is still at 299 baht when we purchased (valid for 7 days unlimited mobile data)

So, we took the airport railway link that will bring us directly to the city. You will have to go down  the basement level and there will be directional signage to the way to buy your token to take the railway link. For us, even thought i thought we can alight at Phaya Thai before changing line to alight at Ratchathewi station but somehow, it seems we alight early again at Ratchapraprop station so we decide to walk to our hotel instead since it's the same distance that we walked before. Just that, this time round, we try to take some shortcut. The weather was pretty hot and unknowingly as we walked, we found this Brown coffee shop that JJ bought for his daily coffee perk during our last visit. Their coffee is pretty good!

As the time is too early for us to check in to our rooms, so we placed our luggage with concierge and headed to Platinum mall for our lunch first. We ordered a few dishes to share, we had so much good food for this trip! 

Platinum fashion mall is a good place to shop because there are so many levels and you don't have to shop under the hot sun. I am not sure if it's seasonal but the guys actually bought more stuffs than us! The last time when i visited in nov, the roadside stalls outside the mall only appeared in the evening but now it has changed to running on a whole day basis and the stalls were arranged neatly with tentage for each seller. If you walked to the Macdonald store, you will be able to find popular Demi Concept pop up store and try their matcha ice-cream! They used to have the thai milk-tea flavour but it only offer either vanilla or matcha ice-cream.

They used to have the thai milk-tea flavour but it seems that they only offer either vanilla or matcha flavour ice-cream now.

After that, we went back to check if our rooms was ready. This time round, we stay in different hotel because of our own preference. I wanted to try a new hotel, and don't mind paying higher room rates because i am looking for visual appeal, comfort even if i am not going to spend the whole day in the room, eventually i go for Glow Hotel. It's not hard to miss it because the whole building is in hot pink color! Haha. I heard that the hotel is pretty new and it's quite popular, their design of the rooms is more nearer to my expectations. However for Jieying, her basic needs is simple, the cost is the main factor while at the same time offering decent accommodation will do. So that's how we ended up staying in different hotels as she booked back the same hotel we stayed previously, Centrepoint at Pratunam.

Glow hotel doesn't really own the entire building as level 1 is the shibuya mall which sell wholesale fabric, other levels providing massage services as well as a food court. To check in, we had to access the highest floor if i don't remember wrongly, at level 7 their hotel lobby, on the same floor, they have a restaurant, some seating area as well as a massage service corner. To get to the guest rooms, you have to take another lift located at the other side.

 Their seating area
We booked the deluxe room early through expedia so the room rates was considered cheaper than their usual. We were staying for 4 nights and it was $421.22 (include all gst and taxes). This was our deluxe room!

Personally, i feel that this corner, i called it the vanity counter because i used this space to do my
daily makeup is very useful because i could draw the curtains and let the natural sunlight come in.
However, the drawback could be the mirror facing the bed due to some fengshui beliefs.

This is our view when we draw the curtains, the white building opposite was the centrepoint hotel.

You can slide open the wardrobe both side from the bedroom and the bathroom.

We went to check out the hotel facilities as well even though we didn't really use it. They have very big functional spaces.
 I called this the giant 'bathtub' because it doesn't look like a swimming pool to me. That was my first impression when i first saw the pool. Hahaha.
I thought maybe it's the issue of eye level so we went down and check out the pool on closer look, yes it's giant bathtub. Haha.

 No one work out at the gym.

In the gym, i noticed they have this aerobic workout screening on the tv. I thought this was cool because i have never seen other gym displaying workout exercise on tv before. Haha

We went to check out Jieying & Terence room at centrepoint pratunam! Previously i booked a double room in Centrepoint on our first visit with Junjie, but this time they book a king size room so the layout was slightly different. Centrepoint pratunam is one of the hotels in bangkok that has very big space for a normal standard room. In my personal opinion, it would be suitable for family vacation or friends travelling together and doesn't mind the layout design as long as you have a roof over your head. The rates are cheaper than Glow Hotel and they are both located on the same stretch that is walking distance to Platinum Fashion Mall. (Just that you need to make sure not to have more than 2 person check in at the counter because they will require you to pay for a third person charge) Read on my previous unpleasant experience during check in with them over here

Instead of a double bed, for king size room type, they have the sofa and the coffee table that is useful just that their tv or rather i called it a monitor was too small.

After we have settled in, we were planning to visit Chocoville! 

Chocoville address : 351 Khan Na Yao, Khet Khan Na Yao, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10230 Thailand 
Operating hours : 4pm-12am

Do not be fooled by it's name because it doesn't sell anything associated with chocolates. It's a fun and unique attraction if you love to take photographs because the place is huge, their concept was the European village theme so the whole place has been infused with many backdrops or figurines that is associated with their theme.

Basically I did some prior research, no entrance fee is required, the main transport to get there would be taking a cab unless you drive. It was about 30min journey from Pratunam and in case many of you doesn't know. You can use a Grab now in thailand too! 

If you already know how to use the Grab app, simply key in the address, they will locate your address and quote you the price in thai baht. However do take note they accept only thai baht and not cards. You might also want to set aside some buffer time because it could take awhile for the driver to accept your ride especially when we stay in Pratunam area and the roads is always congested. Most drivers can text in english.

Initially, no grab driver wanted to accept our ride to Chocoville, when we try to ask the rate from the flag down cab, they wanted to charge us 500 baht, so we choose to wait. Hahaha, eventually, we manage to get a grab driver that is willing to pick us! I think it was below 200baht plus all the toll charge. It was so cheap especially there were 4 of us!

I guess july is the raining season because it started raining heavily when we reached Chocoville. 
The rain was too heavy so we waited under the shelter before making our way to explore further.You can dine in their restaurant, initially i placed a reservation to sit near the river for our dinner, however due to the rain, most of the outdoor seats are wet so we had to dine indoors instead.

 Had to hold an umbrella because it was drizzling but we wanted to take photos!

 Nobody in sight because everyone was at the shelter.

The rain was getting heavy, so we went for early dinner first at the restaurant. We ordered some dishes and while waiting, Jieying & I went out to explore the places before it turns dark.

Personally, i feel the ideal time to visit Chocoville will be around 3pm onwards, if the weather is good, you will be able to take beautiful photoshoots with all this charming backdrops. However, due to the delay, by the time we reached, it was about 5plus in the evening, so we had only a short time frame for photo-taking.

Trying to pose under the rain. Haha

It's amazing how we managed to take so much photos in the short time frame while waiting for our foods. The guys were inside the restaurant using their phone as usual. Posing for the photo!

We were taking photos when it was drizzling, but the results is not bad, usually i will be damm pissed when Jeremy couldn't take a decent photo of me. The rain got really big again so we quickly went inside the restaurant, and we came back at the right timing as the foods has just been served.Haha, ordered this spare ribs because we saw several tables ordered the same so it must be good. Verdict : Not bad!
 This soup was pretty ok only. Not to my liking.

The sky were turning dark.

Somehow, i was quite impressed with this above photo because it make me look taller. I didn't even edit the photos. Haha
We were trying very hard to think of the possible pose, and i like the pose that Jieying and Terence, it could get abit awkward because there were other tourists taking turn to take photo and they began to imitate their pose after they were done.

I would highly recommend you to bring a phone tripod stand to take group photo if you have one, we was adjusting the tripod stand and take photo with a click of the bluetooth clicker.

 The difference between having long leg and short legs. Haha same pose but different feel.

 We spotted so many of this penguin figurines when we were coming out from chocoville

Anyway, generally i think the best time to take photo will be during the daytime with some natural sunlight because taking photos at night require lots of lighting so the effect might not be so good. But nevertheless, we had fun with all the photo-taking even though it was raining. 

The rain doesn't really stops so we decided to take grab to the new night market, the Talad Neon Night market! I couldn't remember how much it cost but i know its even cheaper than the fare we paid to visit Chocoville!

The Talad Neon night market were pretty quiet which i assume because it was a Thursday, there were some foods stall, however most of the stalls are not opened, so we didn't stayed there for long before making our way back to the hotel. While walking back from the neon night market to our hotel, i was grumbling to Jeremy that he didn't really put in any effort to celebrate my birthday, i mean even though this trip is planned as my birthday holiday trip, but i was the one that book the hotel, air tickets to planning the itinerary, all he did was giving me his presence by travelling with me and the fact that he was not even the first one to celebrate my birthday! I was kinda mad. At the same time, it is kinda contradicting because i don't get as excited or see it as an important milestone in my life as i used to when it was my 18th or 21st birthday, consider him unlucky because my friends set the benchmark for this year first so maybe that's how i got this unhappiness rising within me especially the day was ending and nothing comes from him.

This grumbling started after Jieying & Terence walked ahead of us to return back to their hotel first before coming to our room later. So we took our time to walk and end up in Macdonalds where i expressed my frustration and unhappiness toward him. He will always have his own excuses which i always feel, it's not a mattar of not having the adequate resources but whether you put in the effort to create a new surprise when your original plan failed. 

For eg: He told me he tried to email to the hotel staff beforehand to prepare a bouquet of flowers and placed it in our room upon our check in but they was not responsive. I couldn't determine if this is true when he doesn't even know the hotel that we were checking in and doesn't check the itinerary. 

Assuming if this is true, when the staff is not responsive, there is always a 2nd plan, 3rd plan or the 4th. But if you think you put in effort but it was the staff not doing you a favor, i can simply see just 'how much' effort you put in. I was disappointed because sometimes it's all these small little gesture that many do not see it as a big deal that can either sustain your relationship or break your relationship when your displeasure towards your partner started to build up. Especially if your partner has a very good memory like me.

I was texting Jieying throughout while at the Macdonalds, complaining to her etc before eventually returning back to the hotel. I was angry and doesn't want to talk to Jeremy at all, as we reached our room door, beside having a good memory, i am observant too so i noticed the room door 'DND' sign was off, it was strange because i clearly remember it was on when we left the room. But i didn't thought much of it, just as i opened the door, i heard sounds coming from the room. I was shocked because the room was dark and i thought we had accidentally entered the wrong room! This is possible if front desk did a double rooming of checking 2 different guests in the same room!

My first immediate response was to retreat out of the room, but just then Jeremy stopped me and i realised it was Jieying & Terence! Hahaha, so apparently it was arranged with Jeremy beforehand when he pass the keycard to them to enter and decorate the whole room, and i got another 2 slice of cake again. However, i know this surprise doesn't come from Jeremy, it should be Jieying idea and he was trying to cooperate only, trying to pass off it's his idea. Tsk. He was exposed immediately by me, credit still goes to Jieying and thank you for the surprise plus the 4 slices of cake! Haha she even try to decorate the whole room with balloons.

 By the way, this is the first time i tried Tom n Toms Coffee cakes, they are pretty good!

With that,i shall end this post for now.
Till then!