Disclaimer: I’m probably your most boring kind of traveller to read about. If you’re looking for how it was to be travelling solo in Bangkok with nightlife involved, click away, cos clubbing’s not my thing 😂
Still here? Good. It means you’re not looking for nightlife recount experiences from here. So! I just came back last week from an extended solo trip to Bangkok, and I’m excited to write it down!
For this trip, it was pretty unplanned (I only had the idea to go, just a few weeks before the trip). I’d wondered if I’ll be able to do Bangkok solo, because it isn’t exactly the kind of cities you’ll enjoy being solo at, somehow? However, I’m skipping all the touristy activities (you’ll read below why). Finally, I decided on 10 days of me-time in Bangkok, and thoroughly enjoyed my trip! Here’s how I’ll summarize it:
Bangkok Travelogue in Numbers
• 8 nights at an AirBNB, 2 nights at a boutique hotel
AirBNB (condo in Asoke)
This time, I chose to stay 8 nights at an AirBNB condo in Asoke, and then 2 nights at a boutique hotel near Victory Monument BTS. Very glad with my arrangement, because the AirBNB turned out to be a wonderful choice! I loved the space and the option to live like it’s really my home in Bangkok. The location was perfect for my solo trip too – an easy 5-7min walk to Terminal 21, the wonderful mall with a lot of food and shopping options.
K Maison Boutique Hotel
As for K Maison boutique hotel, it was VERY PRETTY and the service from the staff (thank you Tommy and the porter!) was wonderful. The room layout was very different from the conventional hotel room, especially the bathroom area. The room was relatively small compared to the amount of space I had in the AirBNB though, although an Airbnb and hotel shouldn’t be compared side by side, of course.
| Book K Maison boutique hotel on Booking.com or Agoda.com |
• 0 mornings of waking up in a rush to be productive
It was extremely lovely to wake up and the only things I needed to make decisions for the day are: what should I eat? Where should I go? What time should I practise yoga? I actually had intended the trip to be one where I’ll work on more stuff for my professional ventures, but sometimes this just can’t happen, so I also learned to let go and go with the flow.
But I finished designing my media kit for this travel blog, yay!
• 2 nights of trouble sleeping
No, it has nothing to do with the supernatural! Once, it was at my Airbnb condo. My mind was just too restless to fall asleep, even after two sessions of Headspace meditation. The other time was my first night in the hotel. The aircon unit was a little too loud for my liking (I didn’t bring earplugs!), and there were random sounds coming through the roof, or people talking too loudly further down the corridor at 3am.
• 0 sightseeing experiences
I’ve been to Bangkok quite a few times and had already done the usual touristy things: visit Grand Palace, take a tuk-tuk ride, do a river cruise down Chao Phraya to feed catfishes and check out temples, attend festivals like Loy Krathong, see floating markets, chill at night markets, etc etc.
So this trip, I did none of those, choosing to relax and only do and go where I feel like.
• 5 times of using Uber / Grab
My last trip was in 2013. At least twice in the past, we’d gotten off a taxi annoyed, because the taxi-driver went back on his promise of using the meter, demanding a higher fixed price after driving off. It wasn’t always about the price, it’s the ethics which I don’t agree with. So you can imagine how stressful it will be if I were to take a taxi alone in Bangkok.
This time, I was very relieved that
Uber and Grab is both available in Bangkok! My airport transfers were done using them, as well as getting to a few places. The process was smooth. Simply use the same Uber and Grab app in your phone. The prices were reasonable too (I compare everything with Singapore prices btw).
One tip though, traffic is a killer being Bangkok. Your driver could be nearby, but still stuck in congested traffic. Buffer more time than the app’s estimated time.
• Indulge with 2 Thai massages, 2 foot massages, 1 spa
Both full-body Thai massages were done at a massage salon at Pratunam. The first time, it was really good and I was so happy that I found an alternative to Healthland. Therefore, I went back again another day. It was done by an older lady and she seemed to be doing the massage on turbo mode, doing all the massages hard and fast. I didn’t enjoy it at all. Any other suggestions for guaranteed-good massages?
For the foot massages, once was at Healthland (Asoke), a place I used to enjoy going. Another foot massage was at “King and I” spa, very near my accommodation in Asoke. The former was not bad while the latter was not enjoyable.
At K Maison Boutique Hotel where I stayed at for two nights, there’s a spa place (Pasithea Ultimate Relaxation) right under the hotel. Since it was newly opened, there’s a promotion for hotel guests. I got convinced to try a package of body scrub and aromatherapy oil massage. The body scrub was great! The aromatherapy oil massage was not bad.
• Thai massage (one hour) at Sabai Massage (Watergate Pavillion, Pratunam): 300baht
• Foot massage (one hour) at Healthland Asoke: 350 baht (will be 400 baht w.e.f 1 Sept 2017)
• Foot massage (one hour) at King and I Spa (not recommended): 400 baht
• 2-hour Body Scrub & Aromatherapy Massage: 1950 baht (before promotion of 40% off for K Maison hotel guests, before 6pm)
• Many times of home yoga
I would have done a lot more yoga if I’d brought my thicker Khataland YoFo travel mat. For this trip, I took my YOGO travel mat along to test. The YOGO mat provides good friction (the surface feels rough), takes up little space in your suitcase, but it’s really too thin for concrete floors. It would work better on carpet or softer surfaces!
One other reason I chose my Airbnb condo was because the place looks very photogenic if I were to take yoga videos there hahaha! Here are some still shots from my home yoga sessions. Don’t mind my obsession! 😜
• 2 hours in Chatuchak
I’d actually looked forward to seeing some of my fave shops in Chatuchak. I was at the clothing sections (sections 20+), but simply could not find my usual preferred corner (I only remember there were short trees between two rows of shops). I also had difficulty trying to orientate my direction. The fashion options were not nice, to my disappointment. I left within two hours – the shortest time I’d ever spent in Chatuchak. I didn’t even take any photos!
• 2 shopping trips to Platinum Fashion Mall
I’d almost forgotten how much more comfortable it was to shop at Platinum (compared to Chatuchak). If you’re not familiar, Platinum is an air-conditioned wholesale fashion mall. Depending on shops, wholesale prices are applicable if you buy at least 2 or 3 items.
Pratunam Market (a big cluster of shops/stalls across the road from Platinum) probably offers similar clothing as Platinum, but at lower prices and without the aircon.
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• 1 hair perm
Yes, I permed my hair in Bangkok! Did it at a salon which ranked as the top few results when I Googled for English-speaking salons. It’s located in a building that you can only reach by car ( I got there back & fro using Grab).
My Italian cold perm turned out quite okay actually. However, I didn’t have a very comfortable experience personally, therefore won’t be returning to that salon in future. The total cost was 4000 baht (S$160 / USD$121) for my hair-perm, with treatment (they put some liquid on my hair for a short while after the conditioner) and haircut.
• 2 times caught in rain
The weather forecast was thunderstorms every day, so it rained quite a bit, especially at night. Twice, I was out when it rained, but I was ready because I had my umbrella in my bag!
• Cafe-hop: 0 cafe visits
I know, I’m sorry! Cafe-hopping is like the must-do thing in developed cities like Bangkok and Singapore, but I just wasn’t too interested to do all the research for the best ones for good food AND a good ambience (because #Instagram). So I skipped it altogether, and didn’t regret. There’s always a next time!
• Over-indulge with 3 Swensen’s ice-cream
Swensen’s in Bangkok only serves ice-cream. The prices were great! My fave Chocolate Crunch sundae was 139 baht including taxes (less than S$6). It was easily half the price of Singapore, so I had it 3 times during my trip. Indulgence!
• 1 mookata (Thai bbq steamboat) dinner
When travelling solo in Bangkok, there’re certain food places you can’t really appreciate doing yourself, such as dining at popular (read: crowded) bbq steamboat restaurants such as Bar-B-Q Plaza / MK Restaurant, or have dinner at Somboon Seafood or Som Tam Nua. In great timing, one of my friends was in Bangkok too and we arranged to have dinner at Bar-B-Q Plaza together!
• 2 crappy Western dinner
I went inside two restaurants, and both times, my dinner was unsatisfying. The taste wasn’t great and the meat patty was also thin. Even a food-stall in a Singapore coffee-shop will do better!
I know, there’s so much good Thai food in Bangkok at better prices, why do I even bother? Simply because I’m travelling solo, hence convenience and comfort got the better of me! Learned my mistake by now.
Uncountable green curry, tom yum, and basil food
Yummy! I love Thai food! Everything is delicious to me!
So that’s it for my Bangkok recap! Bangkok now feels like a better option to me compared to Bali, so it’ll be on my list the next time I need a getaway from Singapore again!
Are you planning to go Bangkok soon?