07 March 2012

Amazing Thailand
(Floating Market, Ocean World and Pat Pong)

When going to a different country, it's vital to get as much information as you can to make your stay easier. Upon arriving at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok we grabbed almost every free map available at the counters. Almost because we didn't get maps not in english. The maps helped us navigate through Bangkok and the ads around the map paved the way for our Floating Market Tour. I've seen Floating Market Tours on the internet go as low as 650BHT. So when we saw an ad on the maps that offered 500BHT per person, we immediatey booked it.

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is roughly 2 hours away from the city proper and is popular among tourists. This floating market is featured in most tourism ads of Thailand. I remember this particular spot in a tourism ad I saw in CNN.

The floating market is a must try for first time Thailand visitors but the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is too much tourist-friendly that somehow I felt like it's a show. It's still a great experience nonetheless and Damnoen Saduak is thought to be better than those near the city, created specifically for tourists.

The food, as with everything I tasted in Thailand, was awesome. I had duck and a bottle of coke for lunch then after strolling around the market, we tried their coffee and was great.

Next time around, I'll visit floating markets, used by locals, selling real everyday items and not souvenirs. 

On the way back to the city, there was one last stop which was still part of the tour, the Royal Thai Handicraft Center. I was at awe with the craftsmanship needed to create such pieces.

Back in the city, we headed straight to Siam Square to visit the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia, The Siam Ocean World. It has a steep ticket price at 990BHT (2010 price) and is not really a must see for tourists. The experience is much the same with Manila Ocean Park.

We met a couple of friends who are locals for dinner and to hopefully guide us to another Thai attraction, Pat Pong. It's just a few blocks away from our hotel and is not recognizable as a red light district due to the souvenir shops all around. But just walking around the place, you'll know you're there. People will approach you from all angles offering you "ping pong show" and "bottle open." I'll let your imagination figure out what they're talking about. Inside one of the bars and seeing the show, I would say that it might be disturbing for some. The main attraction ladies look horrible and the bare chested pretty ones are actually ladyboys. Having a funny story to tell was the only good thing I got out of that experience.

If you're looking for pictures of what's inside that Pat Pong bar, you won't see a single one here. Believe me, I'm doing you a favor.

Floating Market Tour: Php750
Boat ride to Main Market: Php225
Lunch and Coffee: Php150
Siam Ocean World: Php1,485
Dinner + Pat Pong: Php825
Skytrain day pass: Php180
Day 2 TOTAL: Php3,615 per person

Airfare and Hotel TOTAL: Php9,738.52 
Day 1 TOTAL: Php1,435.50
Day 2 TOTAL: Php3,615.00
Total after Day 2: Php14,789.02

***exchange rate assumption: 1BHT = Php1.50

Next: Amazing Thailand (MBK and Pantip)

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