Being the needy and clingy person I am, how did you guys think I fared on a trip alone to the Land of Smiles? Okay lah, I’m actually quite independent, but I’ve never travelled alone in my entire life, and so I thought it would be fun to share my experience with you guys all in one post! For more of my adventures in Bangkok previously, you can find them here!
And now… It’s Explodingbelly’s Adventure Time! Bedtime story ahead!
So, I reached the airport bright and early on a Thursday morning, and thank goodness for it being a Thursday, I did not face any crazy queues at the immigration line. The first thing I did after getting out of the customs? BUY SIM CARD, because I’m a slave to social media as you all can tell. I went to get mine at Dtac because that was what we randomly got on our previous trip and it was rather affordable and SUPER CONVENIENT TO GET! Wanted to share this tip with you guys previously, but I didn’t get a chance to take pictures because I was too paiseh, so I made sure I did this time round!
If you’re intending to get a SIM card, DON’T GO AND QUEUE AT THE COUNTERS! Go straight to this machine, because there is practically NO queue, and you still get the SIM card!
The best part is that, even though it’s supposedly “manual”, i.e. like we have to do it on our own, they have staff stationed at the machine to help you with EVERYTHING. SO all I had to do was to prepare my passport and money, and hand it over to the staff!
Besides, the way to get the sim is pretty easy, you just scan your passport to register and then make a purchase. THAT’S ALL – 3 easy steps!
How much is it?
They’ve got 2 options on the machine!
7-day (299 baht, ~S$12) entitles you to:
Free 7-day UNLIMITED data usage (1.5GB at maximum speed)
Free 100-baht call credit (apparently it’s 1baht/minute for INTERNATIONAL CALLS; you can CALL and talk to your boy/girlfriend for 1 hour 40 minutes, whoever said making international calls is expensive! But don’t needy leh)
15-day (599 baht, ~S$24) entitles you to:
Free 15-day UNLIMITED data usage (4GB at maximum speed)
Free 100-baht call credit
Affordable right? Even if you’re there for just 3 days like me, the 7-day option is still WORTH IT.
After paying and getting your card,
The staff still helps you to change your sim card and makes sure that you are successfully connected before they give you back your phone. CUSTOMER SERVICE 10/10.
I happily got my phone back and took the longgggg train ride to Phaya Thai on the Airport Rail Link, and then transferred to Chit Lom because I planned to head to CentralWorld as my first stop! I was a little nervous about taking the train alone for the first time but later came to realize that… It’s actually the same as Singapore BUT BETTER. The people there are so amicable, someone actually squeezed a little space for me to sit because he said it’s going to be a long journey! SO TOUCHED! Nobody in Singapore would do that for me, even when I got on the train in that huge brace. Yes, I’m grudge bearing like this and have no faith in Singaporeans.
I finally reached Chit Lom and saw that they had a mini bazaar just beneath the BTS station, so I excitedly went over! The first meal of the entire trip was..My favorite Thai dish – TOM YUM. And this comes with huge tiger prawns. I later regretted because I saw that the pork belly rice looked super appetizing, and also cause they only had outdoor seats and I was eating this under the 35 degree heat. What was I thinking?
I was also really excited because my meals are usually planned when I’m out traveling and this was probably my first time having a spontaneous meal like this! VERY HAPPY. #cheapthrill. But this has got me really excited for some alone time in the 3 days, and off I went to CentralWorld for some MATCHA at Kyoto Inari!
Located on level 6 of CentralWorld is Kyoto Inari – the place with MATCHA EVERYTHING. I got this Matcha Milkshake at just 149 baht, ~S$6! WHAT. This was one indulgent milkshake.
Okay before I got my matcha fix, I actually saw a SANRIO SALE in the mall.. And guess who got herself a S$19 gudetama pouch? HAHA I’ll feature it later. But oh boy, I remembered how excited I was feeling at that time of the prospect of being alone and having the freedom to buy everything in sight! Since I had some time before checking in to my hotel at Thong Lor, and it was scorching hot on the outside, I decided to chill at Kyoto Inari! Thank goodness for the good connection on the go, I could show off to my friends how much fun I was having in just 2 hours within touchdown. Hehe.
I finally decided to stop being a sloth and find my way to my hotel – Residence @ Thong Lor, which turned out to be 2.3km away from the nearest BTS. I cry. BUT THANK GOODNESS for the existence of INTERNET AND GOOGLE MAPS, I managed to find my way there. Otherwise I’d have settled for sleeping on the streets because there was NO WAY I WAS GOING TO FIND MY WAY THERE.
After gushing over the room for like an hour, I had no plans but decided to go exploring the area as it was still early! I randomly walked into different alleys (since it was still bright, I not scared), and my trusty google map brought me to… This amazing looking Japanese inspired cafe – Jaiyen. I’ve never heard of it before, I’ve never seen it before, but that little bit of exploration brought me to this place. Oh boy, I was so thrilled. I wanted coffee initially, but I saw this little jelly bucket with a choice of 2 ice creams. And I got a dessert instead. SO CUTE, HOW TO RESIST?! I chose thai milk tea and matcha for my ice cream. Mmmm. I then decided to try watching a movie in Bangkok, because I wondered how different the experience would be!
BUT. I felt so lost because I didn’t know where the nearest cinema was and I was lazy to take a train to Phrom Phong or Siam just to watch a movie! Hehe. Then I remembered, ohhhh I could actually google for it and then find my way there. And guess what. The nearest cineplex was 3km away from me… Omg. Should I even go?
I’ve had a lot of pictures of the cinema and the BEST POPCORN I’ve ever eaten initially, but I no longer have them.. You’ll find out why soon.
Anyway, if you’re going to watch a movie in BKK, they’ve got CHEESE AND MATCHA FLAVORED POPCORNS. The people behind the counter were super nice and friendly, and I think they kinda knew that the matcha flavor sucked, and forced me to try it before letting me pay. Like they literally refused to accept my money. HAHA! Turns out, yes. The matcha tasted horrible but the cheese one though… I finished the entire box of popcorn. For the first time of my life.
The movie experience was a really nice one but you’d be surprised to hear that the prices of the ticket is about the same as Singapore or even more expensive! The huntsman cost me about S$8 and Batman vs Superman cost $10! But the seats were much more comfy-er and spacious though!
Fun Fact: Everyone has to stand up to pay their respects to the King and sing the national anthem right before the movie starts!
Fun Fact #2 (not very fun): When they state the showtime as 5.20pm, they actually mean the cinema is only ready at 5.20pm.. I tried walking in at 5.15pm and was told that it was not ready yet. The movie started at 6pm.
Huntsman was quite alright, I didn’t fall asleep so that’s a good gauge! I then did what I have always wanted to do every time I’m overseas. EAT A MEAL FROM 7-11. AND I DID. I had my MAMA noodles and instant CP Chicken from 7-11. Heh heh! But was upset that I didn’t manage to find any of my favorite sotong along the street stalls on my THREE km walk back.
Day 2 started off bright and early because I was too excited to use the hotel’s facilities!
I went to the gym to lift some weights and then excitedly took a dip at the INFINITY POOL.
I cry. So BOOTIFUL. There’s more. You just wait for the hotel review. This was also the very spot where my phone mysteriously fell into the infinity pool just as I was swimming towards it and preparing to head back to shower. Not so exciting anymore… I actually had the dilemma to continue enjoying the pool or to figure out what to do with my phone. I also never knew I could dive, until I had to reach to the floor of the pool to grab my phone. I couldn’t find it for a good 5 seconds.
They gave it to me after I showed them my desperate face + waving my phone frantically saying drop into water. Need rice. HAHA!
Okay so what now. There goes my Google map, Whatsapp, Instagram, AND MY PHOTOS. But I stayed weirdly calm as I contacted my worry wart of a mother through FB message on my macbook and everyone else who mattered. Then I decided that I should not let this STUPID mistake of mine ruin my fun. Though I did cut out a couple of places as I wasn’t able to access the maps on the go. I LEARNT THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING CONNECTED EVERYWHERE YOU GO. THE SIM CARD IS LIFE. The insecurity without being connected while overseas is real, guys.
I didn’t want to wander around because I had no internet and no Google maps to save my life. As you can tell, from all my Travelogue posts, I’m extremely dependent on Google maps to navigate.
Since the main agenda was to visit Artbox on that day, I decided to walk around the streets surrounding Artbox until their opening time! I’ve blogged about Artbox here! I’m glad I did because I explored the Phrom phong park, which was extremely calming and breathtaking.
I found several food street food stalls at a secluded alley.
Then I walked around some more, and found a really small flower market.
Artbox was late to open if you’ve managed to read my post. So I got myself some $3 beer and free flow peanuts at a nice little pub nearby art box!
And… You’ve come to the last day of my adventure!
I had a SUPER early check out because.. WITHOUT MY PHONE, MY WATCH AND COMPUTER REGISTERED THE TIME IN SINGAPORE. Sigh. So I misread the time and left the hotel at 9am……
I had to wait for the malls to open at 10am, you literally could see people QUEUEING UP outside the malls and running in when it’s opened. What a sight!
I spent a good hour and a half there before giving up and decided to head to the airport early because my bag was SO HEAVY, the weather was SO HOT, I was literally sweating buckets.
Well. Before I bid Siam goodbye, I decided to dabao some street food to the airport.
So, we’ve come to an end of my solo adventure in Bangkok! While it’s not as action-packed as my previous trips, this was one of the first times I was actually reluctant to go home because I was having SO MUCH FUN.
And I SURVIVED WITHOUT DATA FOR TWO ENTIRE DAYS. But you know what it’s like to be “still alive but barely breathing”? Haha YES. That’s how I felt. Even though it didn’t dampen my spirits during the trip, I did realize (HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AWARE) the importance of staying connected while overseas. There were so many moments when I went “AH IF ONLY I HAD MY PHONE”. That is why I thought the dtac SIM card is something you guys SHOULD really get if you’re in Bangkok, hence the introduction at the start of the post! Fuss free, convenient and really good plans!
For more info check out: http://www.dtac.co.th/en/prepaid/
Besides, did you know? Just by purchasing the Dtac SIM card entitles you to apply for FREE LIFE INSURANCE with 100,000 baht life insurance coverage from Muang Thai Life Assurance Co. Ltd! You’ll receive a SMS once you have successfully connected to dtac to apply. This insurance covers death cause of accident within 7 days! It’s too good of a deal not to share!
Thank you for reading all the way to the end guys! Hope you’ve enjoyed my solo adventures in Bangkok! I’ll be posting up tips on solo traveling SOON, and of course the review of the hotel I’ve been raving about!