Not all super heroes wear cape. Mummies don’t! We are always yearning for naps, chewing food is a luxury and laundry schedules are about sorting today, washing later, folding eventually and haha what is ironing!? One thing came as a skill though, we mastered showering and powdering our faces in less than 10 minutes, and with a little audience! Fridays were never Woo-Hoo-y anymore until 5th of July. I woke up at 5:30am that Friday, rushed through the getting ready process, washed the dishes in the sink, boiled water for the hubby, prepared baby’s morning feed, called for a cab, did a last shout-out on my facebook wall and stomped out of the house by 6:07am.
We had 3 SAHMs and 1 FTWM to make this Project Babyless Bangkok a success. Thanks to Tiffany, our walking map of Bangkok, we 3 First-Time-Out-Of-Towners-Without-Babies were able to enjoy our weekend away from cooking, chauffeuring, charming and cajoling. We have always travelled with our children and being away from them felt nervy and high at the same time. By good fortune, our husbands were the ones assuring us that everything is going to be alright. So, we left without a heavy heart and set our souls for an exciting trip. Oh and we must not forget to thank the grandparents! They were all activated for our trip to ensure that the men in the house are able to cope without us in Singapore.
|May, Tiffany, Xiao Bin, Jaylene|
We took the first flight out and last flight back via Tiger Air, trying to squeeze in the most of 72 hours. It was a budget trip but it felt nothing close to low-cost at all. There wasn’t a need to queue for hours at Tiger’s gate upon check-in nor did we get shabby linens at Holiday Inn Express. We enjoyed online check-in services like all international flights and have toiletries provided as part of amenities in the hotel!
Arriving at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport, you will be pleasantly surprised to find a spacious, modern and clean terminal. I thought I was in Hong Kong! The queue at immigration was really long but it didn’t take us too long to get our passports stamped. If you’d like a little adventure to beat any traffic on the roads, take the Airport Rail Link. It costs only S$1.80 compared to flagging a taxi at S$20.
How to get to Holiday Inn Express:
Take Airport Rail from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phraya Thai (last stop), change to BTS Skytrain and head to Siam station. From there, change platform for one stop to National Stadium station. The National Stadium station is a stone’s throw to Holiday Inn Express though you can walk from Siam station if you have a light load. In any case, the station control staff are very helpful and will give you directions should you need some.
Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam costs us only S$125nett per person for 3 days 2 nights of accommodation, wi-fi and breakfasts included. Value for money is an understatement. The lobby is small but well-furnished with sufficient sofa seatings for a busy check-in day. I did not expect much from this hotel because hey! We spent only S$80 a day to book a room? As an ex-hotelier, I am rating Holiday Inn Express 5 stars for cleanliness, comfort, service, amenities, facilities and food.
Cleanliness: Not a hair in the shower room, bins are emptied and cups are cleaned.
Comfort: Pillows fluffed, iPod docking system, mineral water, linens and towels are soft, tidy and even a chair for lounging.
Service: Hassle-free, prompt, experienced and friendly.
Amenities: All disposable toiletries provided, wi-fi, hairdryer, coffee & tea maker, in-room safe, and international sockets.
Facilities: Business centre, gym and self-laundry facilities
Food: Breakfast is self-serviced and they call it Express Breakfast Bar. Despite the amount you pay, the spread is actually quite large. An automated coffee-machine which include choices such as hot chocolate and latte. There is a buffet spread of the same food everyday but yummy enough to enjoy (scrambled eggs, sausages, porridge, fried rice, etc). The pastry and bread section is also fairly large with an array of juices & fruits for you to partake.
I am truly impressed with the value I got back, in return for the dollars I parted with. Gosh! I haven’t even mention about its location yet! You can walk to MBK, Siam Paragon and Jim Thompson Museum. There is also a convenience store next to the hotel should you need to grab more mineral water or other essentials. If you are a walker, you can walk to Central World and Platinum Mall. Highly recommended, without a doubt! We even got ourselves connecting rooms on the top floor, which consist of a Queen bed and two Singles.
Frontage Road, Chong Nonsi, Yan Nawa
+66 2 217 7555
Food Galore! We were pigging our way through the holiday and gorging ourselves with as many meals as we can. Still, we did not have enough space to stomach the best Pad Thai and Chicken Wings in town. There must be a next time.
Duck Noodles at Siam Paragon Food Court. You can choose to have sliced duck or drumstick, spicy or non-spicy, dry or wet and of course the type of noodles. Each bowl of duck noodles come with duck blood. It was heavenly. Halt! Before you head to the stalls to make your purchase, do pick up your stored value card from the counter first. The stall owners will tap out your purchases via cards and will not take cash as barter. You are able to cash out whatever amount you decided to cash into the card, so do not worry about having excess. I would suggest 200 baht for a meal and a drink.
Naj is a beautiful restaurant that serves you exquisite Thai cuisine. If you are looking to have dinner in a charming setting to enjoy a glass of wine with, do give Naj a call with your reservations. The house once belonged to an aristocrat family, dating back to the King Rama V’s era. I love the colonial architecture and will return at every visit just to enjoy the atmosphere (and dream about its history). Teak floors, framed windows, antique lamps, golden Thai pagodas and traditional doorways… Remember to call to book your table because they might have corporate events to cater for and walk-ins that have to be turned away.
42 Convent Road, Silom
+66 2 632 2811 3
Lunch 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner 5.30pm to 11.30pm
The best wanton mee in Bangkok can be found at Pratunam, Soi Petchburi 19. From Platinum Mall, cross the overhead bridge to the opposite side. At the bottom of the stairs, turn right at the Goldsmith shop and walk ahead. Look out for the stall on your right. To make sure you got the right shop, look out for the cook! He’s got a funky hairstyle that you won’t miss. The secret to the noodles is the crispy pork lard. I, who swear off lards, ate every bit of it in my 3 bowls of dry wanton mee! They tasted so good, different from what we have in Singapore. There is no bad porky smell in their lards. Thing is, when Tiffany and Xiao Bin said, “MUST HAVE WANTON MEE!”, I thought to myself, “huh? Come Bangkok eat Wanton Mee and not Pad Thai? Sure or not?”
After tasting my first bowl, confirm stamp chop SURE! My taste buds got so excited, I couldn’t resist ordering more. The portion isn’t that large by the way. If you do not want to wait for your second or third rounds, just order 2 bowls at a go. Don’t be deceived by its simplicity because it is very flavourful. The braised pork melts in your mouth, served with salted vegetables and egg. A great accompaniment to your bowl of wanton mee. Do not worry about heat either because the shop is air-conditioned.
4 ladies, 10 bowls of noodles and 2 plates of braised pork. We had a very satisfying lunch and all those fats can be burnt at Platinum Mall. So just dig in!
For dinner, do not give R & L (Rut & Lek) Seafood a miss! It’s a must go if you want to experience street food in Bangkok. It is in the heart of Chinatown. Get the cabby to take you to Nam Sing Birds Nest if he has no idea where R&L is. The staff are all donned in Red shirts with Red chairs and Red umbrellas. Do remember the colour red because you wouldn’t want to go to the wrong seafood stall! Their neighbour is T&K and they are the green shirts. How politically ‘correct’ huh, standing on opposite sides of the roads in Red and Green.
You might get a seat with your back on the road so please baby your haversack on your lap and not your back. We kept our feet off the ground and wiped down every single utensil as paranoid Singaporean ladies would be. You rather be safe than sorry because it really isn’t the cleanest place to be for food. You might find a bin sitting on a chair next to you but aside with the cleanliness, the food is amazing. The seafood is very fresh and the ambience shouts Bangkok. The influx of Chinese tourists must have tripled the past years, so much so the wait-staffs can speak mandarin (even at the Wanton Mee stall).
Their menu is a picture book! Do not worry if you have no idea what to order. Just point at the most delicious fish, prawn, crab or oyster! Everything is signature enough for you to try. We enjoyed every single dish there was on our table and licked our fingers to the bone.
49 – 51 Phadung Dao Road, Yaowarat Road
Mon & Tues 7pm to 3am
Wed & Thurs 9pm to 12am
Fri, Sat & Sun 6pm to 1am
Other than eating, what else do you do in Bangkok? Shopping! Isn’t that every girl’s favourite past-time? What more when you are on a holiday? You spend without batting an eyelid because everything is so much cheaper! We ladies need to pamper our feet and bodies after hours of walking, shopping and eating. Tiffany booked us into 3 sessions of hour-long foot massages every day in Bangkok even before we flew over. It starts with the legs and ends off with head and shoulders. The name of the spa is Urban Retreat. They have experienced masseurs and I had a way better experience there at Urban Retreat than at Healthland (which my husband and I re-named it to Hell Land). When Tiffany suggested daily massages in Thailand, I went, “Nooooooo! My last encounter was so bad I cannot forget!” but she assured me that I will enjoy every bit of Urban Retreat, which I did. We all did.
We were booked into the one at Asok BTS, opposite Terminal21 shopping centre. Whether it is the foot massage or thai massage, they are both at S$16 for 60 minutes. Where in the world will you find relaxing and good massages at this price in Singapore? Now, for the recommendations.
Foot Massage, request for Jit
Head and Shoulders, request for Thom
Thai Massage, request for Tik
BTS Asok Branch
10am to 10pm
To round the last night off with a high, head down to The Roof at Khao San. Some raved that it’s the best bar in Khao San. We stumbled upon The Roof while walking the street. We asked someone for a great bar with live band and we got directed into an alley, three floors up into an acoustic chilled-out bar. The music was way past amateur and they brilliantly re-performed classic tunes from The Beatles to Cold Play. There are balcony seats for you to catch the bustles of Khao San down below with your bottle of Singha or simply hit whatever space there is, in between tables, and jump your night away to the beat. We stayed till the rain stopped and headed back with a night to remember. It has been a long while since I drank or even felt like we were carefree school girls. Being pregnant and breastfeeding just puts alcohol off the list of to-drinks. Now that we are away for 3 days 2 nights, I am not giving my beer a miss!
Just head to Khao San for a night of street shopping and ask, “Where’s The Roof!”
At the end of it all, we must sincerely thank our husbands for giving us this much needed time-off. It was very much appreciated and not every father in town will give their wives such privileges. It’s like we earned an A-star during our appraisal and this was the reward. Great staff recognition from our bosses! We even get picked up by them at the airport with the happy faces of our little ones. We love you daddies and we look forward to Project Babyless Taipei in 2014. Oh! Have we not told you about it yet? Will submit leave form k? Look out for it in your in-tray!
SAHMs can also have a life. Thank you for showing us how Tiffany!