Saturday, January 03, 2009

Holiday in Thailand

My end-of-year holiday in Bangkok & Pattaya was a roaring success. Five days of shopping, sight-seeing, water sports, lounging on the beach, going to shows, and indulging in great food... it was just perfect.

Bangkok is like any other metropolitan city – sky scrapers, fly-overs, bumper-to-bumper traffic and crowded. I stayed at the Royal Benja Hotel, conveniently located close to the sky train station which gave easy access to the shopping malls. I spent two whole days shopping at Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Siam Paragon and MBK. Between them these malls pretty much covered the entire spectrum of unbranded and branded stores. It was overwhelming. I found some great shoes in Siam Paragon Department Store, but didn’t have much luck with clothes & accessories though.

Better than shopping was the food hall in Siam Paragon. The desserts spread had my mouth watering and going round and round in circles unable to decide what to order. ‘Special Fruit Cake’ at ‘Secret Recipe’ was the best of the four desserts I tried. It was delicious with lots of cream and fresh fruits.

I went to the must see show in Bangkok, Siam Niramit. It’s a musical about Thailand’s history and culture. The whole evening was like a dream – buffet dinner, personal tour of artificial Thai village inhabited with actors dressed in traditional costumes and play acting different village scenes, classical music & dance performances in the courtyard, and finally the actual show which lasted for an hour and half. The show was larger than life & so magnificent. Imagine elephants actually walking around on the stage, auditorium walls come alive with ligthening and sudden appearance of dancer who transforms into a picture while you watch… you just have to see it to believe it.

Buddhism is the religion of 96% percent of Thailand’s 63 million population so naturally there are lot of Buddhist temples. We visited the temple of reclining Buddha, which was quite interesting.

I was blown away by the jewellery collection at the Gems Factory in Pattaya. I couldn’t not buy anything, so i got ruby earrings & pendant set in silver.

I went to the two must see shows in Pattaya - The Adult Show.. there are multiple choices, i went for the Russian Strip Tease Show. The girls were young, pretty and had nice figure. The music, dance and costumes were great. Then there Tiffany’s Show It’s another must-see show in Pattaya. It’s a dance show. The sets, costumes and performances were brilliant. I couldn’t believe it when our tour guide told us later that all the female artistes were actually transvestites. You just can’t tell!

On New Year day I went to coral island where I did parasailing (my first time… it was great), went for a water scooter ride, had the best Thai food, and discovered the joy of lounging on the beach sipping tea… it was lovely. On the way back I went shopping at Royal Garden Plaza. It was a much smaller mall compared to the ones I went to in Bangkok but I liked this one much better because I got lots of nice tops at Zein and Ten & Co. at very reasonable prices. And then shopping for hair accessories at Motip was delightful. My day was made.

1 comment:

Jannavi said...

Sounds like you had a fun trip!
We were in Bangok and Phuket/Phi Phi Island last August, and I agree it was an awesome place to visit. In Bangkok we stayed at a hotel in Siam Center, and the scenery reminded me of a clean Chennai :) We ate at an awesome Kashmiri place, the name of which I forget. I recall another meal when I ordered green curry with vegetables and asked for it to be was I crying when I ate it! All I can say is it was finger licking good :)
We saw a show similar to what you have described in Phuket.
Next time, go see Phi Phi is untouched. The kids snorkeled and M loved the sea shells we saw. She still carries it around the house and shows it to friends who visit.