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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bangkok, Heaven for Shopaholics.

Aware of the flood situation in Bangkok, i went prepared with Crocs that will probably float and water-resistant material bag. Speaking of Crocs, you wouldn't believe (so did i) that they now have a lot nicer designs. It's like the ugly duckling who transformed into a swan.

Because of its prettier designs now, i felt convinced to give Crocs a chance. It turns out to be a perfect pair of wedges, especially for travel!
 It is light.
As compared to my other pair that is 1kg! No wonder we always remove our shoes when stepping onto the scale for vanity's sake.

Before i get into the highlights of my trip, let me say i will not be buying anymore group travel deals! I felt so cheated by

The latest group buying deal website to come into the picture, it is by Asia Travels. Which i thought is credible and trust-worthy for travel deals but i was wrong.

Catching the deal sometime in Sept, i read the fine print and thought i was making the right decision. It was $228 + $180 tax = $408 per person in total. I thought that was swell seeing that we take a proper carrier and 5 star accommodation. Also, i looked up the budget airlines and flights to Bangkok over the weekends can be exceptionally expensive, as much as $300.

Making sure that the fine print includes departure dates encompassing the weekends and favourable timings, i made the purchase. As soon as the deal was open for reservations, i called in to Asia Travel. THEY TOLD ME FLIGHTS WERE FULLY BOOKED.

I said, "how can that be! I must be one of the firsts to make a reservation and it's not as if you sold 3000 deals but just 156."

Steven then told me, "weeeell, if you want to take the first flight out/ last flight back/ weekend flight, you have to pay extra."

I was extremely displeased. Then the flood happened and prices dropped etc. Long story short, travel group buy turned out to be unwise.

I could have complained to CASE but just didn't want to go through the hassle, so i didn't let that dampen my holiday mood.
Took my mum as her birthday treat.
Bangkok to most Singaporeans is food, shopping and massage. I dragged my mum to a forensics museum.

Described by an ex colleague who was a former policeman, the route to location was a fairly complicated one where you have to hop onto a bus that won't stop, jump off a moving bum boat etc.

All i did was hail a taxi from my hotel in Silom, got the bellboy to give instructions (taxi drivers are not too good with English), set the meter running and soon i arrive all under sgd 4.

Address : 2nd floor, Adulaydejvigrom Building, Siriraj Hospital, 2 Phrannok Road
Getting there : Take cab (about 30 mins from Silom Road)
Opening Hours : Mon – Sat, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Entrance Fee : 40 baht (foreigners)

 The building is amidst many buildings, the entire area is a hospital cum medical school i believe. Look out for a green sign indicating 'Museum' on the building as the taxi driver is unlikely to know exactly which building it is. This is not the usual tourist spot.
It's a pity that the text on everything was only in Thai. We could only observe and make up stories in our minds. The first hall was the most gruesome of all. Featuring deformed preserved real babies. Photos were not allowed and guards patrol the museums but i snuck in a couple. Although the thought of baby haunting did flash across my mind, i took the risk for the sake of story telling.
Having watched too much horror movies, i did not dare press my nose against the glass to examine the subjects closely. I was half expecting their eyes to flash open at me.

Then in the next hall, was like an exhibition of Faces of Death.

I did not manage to sneak pictures as the guard probably had suspicions of me and stuck close by. There were many death pictures, literally. Mostly pictures of murder victims or accident victims, here you can see photos of children crushed by machines, suicide bombers body blown to pieces, a dead body with tire marks (steamroller probably rolled over him), a victim with a severed head (train accident) and the likes. 

There were rows and rows of physical skulls, one showing how a victim's fractured skull looked like when hammered with an object, another showing a clean bullet shot in from the left but where it exits through the right, it was a hair-line crack.

It was all pretty interesting, and alot more real than graphic effects in a movie. Alas, all description was in Thai. Then, there were also jars and jars of livers, kidneys, stomachs and body parts. My mum says they look like TUR KWA (pig's liver) and makes her want to eat 猪肚 (pig's stomach). 

Well, both my mum and me happen to be Scorpios. We've dark minds.

I managed to sneak another photo and this was a preserved corpse of a rape murderer sentenced to death. Next to it was another preserved corpse who died naturally. If you look closely, there is yellow pus coming out from the rape murderer but none from the good guy. I suspect the rape murderer was sentenced to death via the electric chair thus the body reaction, explaining the pus.

You can buy postcards as souvenirs, and i can see there are many other sick people with such interests like me. They are EVEN SOLD OUT!
 While you are there, take time to explore other mini museums around. They all have NO English translations, can be rather boring but still....

They have prehistoric exhibits (basically displays lots and lots of prehistoric rocks), parasite exhibits;this was closed. I visited Tokyo's one before but there was also no English translation! :( I gave up visiting the rest when my mum complained she was bored.

Then we got "cheated" at Sam Bun Dee Seafood Restaurant, a place a taxi driver recommended. 1 curry crab (sgd 50), chill prawns (sgd 66), tom yum soup (sgd 12) and kang kong (sgd 12) with rice and 2 coconuts came up to about $200 for 2!! Way too expensive for Thailand.

We didn't think it was anything amiss because my brother who frequents Bangkok did recommend to us about Sam Bun Dee that was supposedly cheap and good. When we returned to check with him, he mentioned we went to the tourist trap with the same name!
I only had 2 full days to spend in Bangkok, despite sleeping 3 nights there (grrrrrrrr Travel Group Deal),  so it was shop shop and shop.
 I must say with that loot and 10 hours of walking on both days, my Crocs have served me well! My feet didn't ache one bit! Crocs may not have the best designs, but it has the best interests for our feet definitely.

I'm not quite sure why i'm uploading photos of my buys but i bet you would like to pry!
Spent both days at Platinum Mall, Thailand's largest wholesale center. The more pieces you buy from the same shop, you get the wholesale rate which could range from sgd 2-4 cheaper per piece. I bought accessories at $6-$8, most expensive at $20, watches at $14.
Shoes were $14-$16, with better designs and quality at $100.

If only i can fly like Superman.

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