At Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok with the gang
With Jess in Pratunam, Bangkok, Thailand
Showing off my 15-hour train ticket to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I used to dream this and just read it off blogs.
Enjoying the wholesale shopping experience in Pratunam Bangkok
Hua Lamphong train station taking a coffee break!
Inside wholesale shopping in Pratunam, Bangkok
Flying in BKK was a breath of fresh air. Granted we arrived at 930pm it’s immigration check point system is one of the most organized and the pass through is very fast. We stayed in a condo at Soi 19 Petchaburi (pronounced as Petbuli) Road. The area is so central to wholesale shopping, street food and transit. We took the cab from BKK to the condo and negotiated about THB400. This amount started at THB455. Wait until you get to the cab to negotiate with the driver not the person who found you that cab at the airport counter where you stand in line.
One of the things I love about Bangkok is that street food allowed me to stay on track with my Cavemom (Paleo) lifestyle. I ate and ate and ate non-stop! The ingredients are fresh and mostly organic cooking. With the location where we were staying my favorite part was that we can just go downstairs whenever it’s time to eat our meals. The best part, it’s so cheap to travel to here! I budgeted $20/day and I can honestly say that we did it with less than that all inclusive except extra shopping so far.
On day 1 we went to experience wholesale shopping. Although I’m the brain of this whole trip, my sister in-law Jiji joined us and met us in Thailand from the Philippines then took us on a little insider tour of her business life…wholesaling clothes. Prices are already super cheap but with her buying power it was dirt cheap! We participated in shopping only up to how much our backpack can handle.
This was also the day that we went to Hua Lamphong train station to go book our 15-hour Chiang Mai overnight sleeper train ride. We paid THB845 for the entire ride! This mode of transportation allowed us to save money versus a quick plane ride, chit chat and bond with each other over beer, laugh over our conversations and most of all it saved us for a night of accommodation. The number one backpacking rule is pinch your pennies because you don’t have a lot. At the train station someone will take you upstairs to try and sell you an all inclusive package. It’s still a cost effective alternative if you’re not on backpacking budget. If you are don’t get fooled, you can do better plus where’s the adventure in that!!! We decided against it unanimously (5 Cavemoms) and took a chance to book our accommodation, elephant farm experience, etc. when we get there. I’m so glad to have the privilege of traveling with such amazing cats! I spent $17 today and this includes the condo accommodation. The train ride is separate. If we stayed at a hostel this number would improve but we stayed in this district because of the wholesale business convenience for my sister in-law.
On day 2 we enjoyed our daily foodie experience on Bangkok’s Paleo friendly street food then booked a tuc tuc ride for the Watpho temple. The temple was an amazing unheard of experience for me but the gem shop stops were not but I expected that because my husband recorded a show for me on NatGeo about Bangkok’s scam and what to expect and it was play by play true to what I saw on the show. We even got the same lady from the gem shop who were on that show that told the show host the same BS we heard when we went “it’s our 20th year anniversary and if you don’t buy today and come back I can’t guarantee that sale will be here ” VERBATIM! We played along with tuc tuc driver and we finally got to the Watpho temple. One of the most amazing experience ever! The pictures says it all. After an hour in the temple we headed out to meet the other half of the group at the mall. Somehow our tuc tuc driver knows we didn’t buy any gem at the two previous shop stops so he insisted on taking us to another one and we finally had to insist against his wishes and politely told him we have to be at this place at a certain time to meet the rest of our party so he took us. The entire tuc tuc ride was THB150 total and the temple entrance fee was THB100 per person about $5 and $3.30 respectively. I spent $16.77 on day 2 – again all inclusive!