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Monday, September 19, 2016

Day 1 : KCH - KUL - DMK

This trip to Bangkok was planned way back in April with us purchasing our flight tickets and booking our hotels, and then arranging the itinerary and booking a driver for our 6-day trip.

From then on, there was much anticipation as we talked about what we wanted to do,  and mainly what we wanted to buy in Bangkok. My friends were already talking about buying back crates of fresh mangoes, Zebra stainless steel kitchenwares, Pandora bracelets and charms, Wacoal push-up bras, Pocky, and Tao Kae Noi seaweed snack. Friends asked us to help them buy Siangpure medicated oil - which they claimed to be "very good".

We flew Malindo Air all the way from Kuching to Don Muang International Airport. It's my first time flying Malindo Air, and I already liked it very much. Firstly, each of us had a 30kg baggage allowance, and we could check in our luggage all the way to Thailand. That made it so convenient.

Next, I found the flights to be very comfortable. There was more room, more leg space, and the seats were reclined at a comfortable angle. There was entertainment on board, and refreshment was also served.

Refreshment on board Malindo Air
It turned out they they served the same things on every flight! We had these on every sector we flew, and by the end of the trip, we ate the same things four times. Lol! 

2 days before our trip, we had already known that our flight to Don Muang International Airport was retimed to an hour later. It was unfortunate, but at least we were informed about the delay.

Instead of waiting at the airport, we took the free shuttle from KLIA to Mitsui Outlet Park.

 A shopping haven

It's also my first time here, and I was quite excited to see the branded items being sold here - Nike, Adidas, Puma, Fila, Dr. Martens, Skechers, and many other brands. Right there and then, I bought 2 pairs of shoes from Crocs.

My friends were bemused. I'd started my buying spree before we'd even reached Thailand! Lol! Being an avid lover of Crocs, the shoes were just too cheap for me to resist! Imagine getting 2 pairs for only RM179!

Assam Laksa, RM10.90
We had lunch at the food court at Mitsui Outlet Park; I quite enjoyed the Assam Laksa with its spicy and fishy broth. Yums.

Our ride to Bangkok

Approaching Bangkok 

We landed in Don Muang International Airport at about 6.10 p.m. local time. Don Muang is the old airport and serves airlines like Malindo, Lion Air and Airasia, and other domestic Thai airlines like Nok Airways.

Just passed immigration checks and on the way to claim the luggage

After the immigration checks, collecting of our luggage and exiting the airport, we were greeted by our guide/driver, Mr. Lim. He was a Thai Chinese who spoke Mandarin, so it was easier to communicate with him. He was the one who arranged our itinerary and allocated to us drivers for specific days of our trip.
 

We boarded an SUV van to our hotel, White Palace Hotel - which we booked via Agoda - at the Pratunam district of Bangkok. I had checked Tripadvisor before the trip, where reviews and photos of the hotel did not seem too encouraging. I had lowered my expectations greatly, lest I get disappointed.

A middle-aged woman greeted us upon arrival. She spoke comprehensible English, but she had a cold demeanour, hardly friendly. We had booked 3 rooms for 6 pax. But our travelling party consisted of 7 persons. Hence, she refused to check us in till we paid THB400 for the extra person.

The lobby

The room

The room 

We were baffled because we had not disclosed to her that there were 7 of us. She must have been really particular about the number of guests and headcounted us while we were at the lobby.

We squeezed into 1 of the 2 tiny elevators which brought us up to the 6th floor. The room was dimly-lit; consisted of 2 beds, television, a fridge, but no hairdryer, no coffee and tea making facilities. The bathroom too, looked outdated and was fitted with a tub. It was not a posh place to stay. I was only glad that the bed was clean.

The hotel was located inside an alley. We exited the hotel and walked 30m down the alley, and found a bustling night market! It was so exciting! There were vendors selling all sorts of food and fruits, clothes and shoes and bags.

A stall selling mango sticky rice 

Grilled prawns! Yums! 

Along this alley were 3 7-11 outlets! Excuse me for getting excited over 7-11 outlets, but in Thailand, I loved to browse and buy the different products they sold there!

That evening, we had our dinner at a small eatery near the night market. Everything was delicious! And cheap too!

Chang Beer to quench our thirst and to celebrate the start of our holiday .... 

 They call this "Rice Soup"; I had a taste of the porridge and I liked it! 

Thai-style soup with seafood - I had this; there were flat rice noodles inside the soup; I wasn't much interested in the noodles as much as I was interested in the soup! It was spicy, citrusy, tangy and savoury at the same time! Very yum indeed.  

Noodles with gravy; this was also delicious  

Pad thai; Pad thai seemed to be a little sweet for my liking .... 

After dinner, we retired to the hotel to rest .... we were to travel to Hua Hin the next day ...... 

   

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