3Sixty

3Sixty

Don't miss

One Night in Bangkok

Shopping as far as the Bangkok Eye can see! On the third and final leg of his six-day tour around Thailand, Matthew Mok stops at the royal beach town of Hua Hin en route to his second “hometown” Bangkok.

Part 1: To Lampang with Love

Part 2: To Chiang Mai with Love

Our van was caught in the evening rush hour gridlock as we made our way to our hotel in Pratunam area in sin city Bangkok. Through the window, I gazed at the nearby pedestrian bridge and saw feet clambering down from it, matched by their equally tired but still friendly faces of Bangkok folks. Ahhh….the fumes, the adrenaline rush, the sweet tangerine juice stalls by the road….it felt like home again. I usually visit Bangkok about five times a year for holiday, but since I had not done so in the last two years, I was pleasantly surprised by what’s new in this favourite city of mine.

 

24 Hours Earlier 

Just a day ago, we were in Hua Hin, Thailand’s popular royal beach town, about 2.5 hours away from Bangkok central. Stopping by Maeklong Railway Market along the way, we saw why the locals call it the Scary Market! 

Maeklong Railway Market-Scary Market-Hua Hin-Bangkok-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

Hordes of tourists crowding the best vantage point to capture the passing train 

     For four times each day, a train runs through the market where locals shop for their daily essentials. And every time a train approaches, the peddlers will push their stalls-on-wheels away from the track by a few inches –complete with their poultry products and all— just to allow the train to pass by, leaving some goods beside the railway track. Indeed, a fascinating watch! There were even tourists who arrived here via the train from other provinces.

     After much ‘’chasing after the train’’, we arrived at Lungkhan Seafood Restaurant in Samut Songkhran province for lunch. Hungry for more of the best Thai dishes, we ordered an array of seafood goodness enough to satisfy an army.  

Razor Clam-Grilled Mackerel-Lungkhan Seafood Restaurant-Samut Songkhran-Bangkok-Hua Hin-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

Deep fried fish-Seafood Tom Yam Soup-Lungkhan Seafood Restaurant-Samut Songkhran-Bangkok-Hua Hin-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

Steamed prawns-Lungkhan Seafood Restaurant-Samut Songkhran-Bangkok-Hua Hin-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

Thai Pomelo Dessert-Pomelo-Lungkhan Seafood Restaurant-Samut Songkhran-Bangkok-Hua Hin-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

Lungkhan Seafood Restaurant-Samut Songkhran-Bangkok-Hua Hin-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

Food stalls outside the restaurant served up even more choices for all to have a seafood picnic by the sea. 

Lungkhan Seafood Restaurant-Samut Songkhran-Bangkok-Hua Hin-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

During school holidays, locals love to gather in Samut for picnic. 

Lungkhan Seafood Restaurant-Samut Songkhran-Bangkok-Hua Hin-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

       Just before we reached Hua Hin, we passed by Cha-am Beach in the beautiful Petchburi province. This long stretch of shoreline dotted with beach chairs and pine trees is one of Bangkokians’ favourite weekend destinations, especially for families and couples. Many city dwellers would drive out here just to escape the metropolis for a day or two.    

     Finally, Hua Hin beckoned. The first thing I noticed about this town was the litter-free streets. We stopped at the quintessential Hua Hin Railway Station for a memento that we finally made it here!

Hua Hin Railway Station-Hua Hin-Bangkok-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

     The day ended with yet another yummy seafood dinner at Chaolay Seafood Restaurant perched on stilts by the beach, followed by a quick visit to Hua Hin Night Market for some souvenir shopping. 

Chaolay Seafood Restaurant-Chaolay-Hua Hin-Bangkok-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

Expect to see lots of tourists at Chaolay as it is said that even Thai royalty had visited it 

Hua Hin Night Market-Hua Hin-Thailand-Bangkok-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

Lots of creative souvenirs on offer 

     As we drove back to Bangkok the next day, we visited Wat Huai Mongkhon to see the biggest statue of Luang Pu Thuat. He was a revered Buddhist monk in all of Siam, said to have performed miracles. 

Luang Phu Thuat-Wat Huai Mongkhon-AirAsia-Hua Hin-Cha-am-Travel 3Sixty

Many people came from all over the country to pay respect and offer prayers 

Luang Phu Thuat-Wat Huai Mongkhon-AirAsia-Hua Hin-Cha-am-Travel 3Sixty

Both sides of the giant statue of Luang Pu Thuat have a similar statue sitting on a wooden elephant, albeit much smaller in size. 

Luang Phu Thuat-Wat Huai Mongkhon-AirAsia-Hua Hin-Cha-am-Travel 3Sixty

If you seek luck, longevity and virility, make sure you circle below the belly of the elephant and touch its wooden penis three times, clockwise

      Next, we arrived at the recently opened Santorini Park in Cha-am, a vast shopping cum playground catering to all ages, in the style of Santorini Island in Greece. 

Santorini-Santorini Park-Cha-am-Hua Hin-Bangkok-Thailand-AirAsia

A fun environment for shopping! 

      The park features the best retail brands for those who love shopping; and theme park attractions, such as the Ferris Wheel, G-Max Reverse Bungee, Flying Swinger, Merry-Go-Round, 4D & 7D Motion Masters, and Tubby, for thrill seekers. Counting myself as one, I tried Tubby for an adrenaline rush. I sat on a sliding tube and screamed all the way down from the towering platform before being shot sky high up in the air. Then, bam! I landed on the huge Ed Hardy airbag, much to my relief.   

Santorini-Santorini Park-Cha-am-Hua Hin-Bangkok-Thailand-AirAsia-Merry-Go-Round

The kids would love spinning on this, while you shop at the many boutiques nearby 

Santorini-Santorini Park-Cha-am-Hua Hin-Bangkok-Thailand-AirAsia-Ferris Wheel

Ride the Ferris Wheel to view the Santorini Park’s lush green surroundings 

Santorini-Santorini Park-Cha-am-Hua Hin-Bangkok-Thailand-AirAsia-Tubby

It’s a bird, no! It’s a plane, no! It’s Matt on the Tubby! 

Shopping galore in Bangkok

Back in Bangkok, we checked out the capital’s recently opened shopping spot, Asiatique The Riverfront.

Open 5pm to midnight daily, Asiatique is where you wanna be! The Bangkok Eye at the background adds fun for the whole family

          Dubbed Bangkok Night Festival Market, Asiatique by the Chao Phraya River is the trendiest landmark in the city to date! Formerly Siam’s first international trading port, the entire area has been beautifully transformed to combine casual street markets with a mall and upscale riverside dining experiences with over 40 restaurants serving Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Italian cuisine. 

You can hop into one of the many shuttle boats from BTS Skytrain Saphan Taksin stop to Asiatique for free 

Ten ‘’warehouses’’ to meet all your shopping needs! 

     Come here for the great shopping, food and ambiance. “Lock” your love at Juliet Love Garden and choose your entertainment for the night at Calypso Bangkok and Joe Louis Thai Puppet Theatre. 

Asiatique-Bangkok-Thailand-AirAsia-Travel 3Sixty

Cheers to an awesome trip around Thailand! 

     By the end of our six-day trip through Thailand, we were all exhausted but thoroughly happy. We experienced the charms of Lampang city, the fascinating facets of Chiang Mai, and tonight, the buzz of Bangkok. I can’t help but wonder—what else does Thailand have in store for me on my next visit in August?

Part 1: To Lampang with Love

Part 2: To Chiang Mai with Love 

What were your most memorable moments in Bangkok? Sound off in Comment section below! 

GETTING THERE AirAsia flies from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok (DMK), 10x daily. For flight information and the lowest fares, go to www.airasia.com.

Fly with the world’s best low-cost airline. Book your holidays, hotels and vacation packages today to get great deals and earn BIG Points!

LET'S BANGKOK THIS YEAR!