Kap & I had our own vested interests in going to Bangkok hehe. Mine was the elephant ride & the floating market. His was the ping pong show. My naughty Kap! :P
We figured, let’s make it 3 strikes on Sunday -our last full day in Thailand, and so I booked a tour for each activity. I gotta admit, I’m also curious about the ping pong show. We had numerous friends who regaled us with funny stories of contracting pelvic muscles that it really piqued my interest. Like, we can really do THAT??? *bulging eyes* Besides, what harm could it do when I have my valiant protector right there beside me. ;) We should definitely take advantage of our time away from the kids to do “adult” stuff, lol.
I thought of booking with WITHLOCALS.COM again for the elephant ride & floating market, but I found out that we were going to take a public transportation to get there, and that my friends, didn’t sit well with me. I preferred the comforts of a private van, especially considering BKK’s hot & humid weather.
How to get there: Take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (+66 (0)2 434 5557-8) to Samut Sangkhram Ratchaburi province, 80 km southwest of Bangkok. You can then walk along the passageway to the market, or take a boat to the market pier. Opening Hours: 07:00 – 11:00 (every day)
So I bought 2 slots from Pha Jab Tours (Mobile: 087-1074477, 081-9322279) under the Management of Royal Exclusive Travel for an Elephant Ride & Floating Market Combo Tour at Damnoen Saduak. Cost was 1,150 baht per person or around 1.8k php/person. This includes pick up to & from our hotel & entrance fees (elephant ride & floating market boat ride). If you’re with a group, you could probably just rent an uber van & the cost may come out considerably less. (An elephant ride for 2 charges 600 baht or roughly 950 php).
A quick breakfast before getting picked up. The hotel staff were so nice to accommodate us even before 6 am. We told them we were joining an early tour & they gave us the green light to start digging in. :)
We got the Joined Group Tour but you can also opt for a Private Tour. Yun nga lang, double/triple ng presyo. We were 12 in a van, and the trip took around an hour each way. It was a snug ride & mej maingay with young kids in the van, pero better pa rin than commuting on or own tapos malamang nakatayo pa.
I feel that 1,8k per person is sulit na for us coz they gave Kap & I one elephant each naman (the others rode 2 per elephant). Natakot sigurong mapilay yung hayop sa bigat ko hehe. And ayaw ko rin ng madaming chechebureche, I want our trip to be as hassle-free & as stress-free as possible kaya book nalang ng book.
It was a bumpy ride, our heads bobbing with each step. ;)) Caution: Do not ride on a full stomach. I was nervous at first, but the elephants were very gentle. This one even played with Kap. <3
The bench was tied around the elephant belly with cloth strings lang, pwedeng umikot anytime, so I really held on for dear life. As you can see, sira na yung isang tuhod ko -tadtad ng salonpas. Ayaw ko maging dalawa pa, lol! I could actually feel the elephant move right under my feet, matigas ang batok nya, maskulado hehe.
After our 30-minute elephant ride, we headed to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market which was around 10 minutes away. Damnoen Saduak is the most popular floating market in Thailand, great for photo opportunities. It also provides a different market experience despite the scorching heat & glaring sun. A must-do when in Bangkok.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market consists of a maze of narrow khlongs (canals), and can be navigated by boat. Female traders, often wearing traditional mo hom apparel (blue farmers’ shirts) with wide-brimmed straw hats (ngob) use sampans (small wooden boats) to sell their wares, often produce that comes directly from farms.
The floating market is crowded with tourists and is considered a tourist trap. As such, the wares tend to be overpriced so bargaining is a common practice. Traders can be found preparing and selling ice cream to combat the heat.
These boats are often full of vegetables and colorful fruits that are quite photogenic, if you’re into photography. The market is often the busiest in the morning around 7 am to 9 am, and is active until noon.
We had some time to spare before the van headed back to the hotel, so we took the opportunity of trying out some local Thai dishes at the market grounds. Of course, top on my list is Pad Thai. Yum! <3
It seems that all we do is drink, drink, and drink some more so I am always looking for the toilet, lol! An alternate to water, cold & refreshing ice cream bar to beat the Bangkok heat. I’m so in love with the coconut flavor! <3
We asked our guide if we could get dropped off the most convenient route to the Kingpower Rangnam Outlet. She was kind enough to agree so we shaved some time off from what was supposed to be a roundabout trip back & forth our hotel and got to window shop at Kingpower at a more leisurely pace before meeting up with Moddy for our naughty night tour.
Unfortunately though, nothing caught our fancy. The stocks weren’t up to date or even at par with shopping outlets in other countries. It didn’t carry our favorite brands too. Sayang, duty free pa naman, walang tax.
King Power International Group is a fully-owned Thai company. Hopefully, they will carry other brands & labels soon. Sayang, ang ganda pa naman ng building, very modern & spacious. We just enjoyed the cool air-conditioning & took a reprieve from the unbearable outdoor heat.
Went back to the hotel empty-handed & took a quick shower. Then went back to Phunee Thai Massage for a full-body kneading. I can so get used to this kind of pampering. ;)
Phunee Massage is around 10 minutes walking distance from our hotel so on Day 2, I suggested we try the one situated right in front of our hotel. BIG MISTAKE. Nakabayad na kami before we realized our booboo. “Hello Masa” pala yung napasukan namin hehe. That’s why I was wondering why naka-todo make-up yung mga masahista, tapos naka-plunging neckline & palda pa. AT! Niyayaya si Kap umakyat, ihihiwalay sa akin. NO FREAKIN’ WAY. Tabi lang kami forever at bantay-sarado ako. No happy ending for him kung hindi rin lang galing sa akin! :P Kinalabasan? Super sucky massage. Walang kakwenta-kwenta hay. Never again. I’d walk an hour next time basta matino ang pupuntahan. Lesson learned. Anyway, do look for AN when you find yourself in Phunee, she has magic fingers, I swear. Tanggal lahat ng lamig ko ahuhu. Cost of a massage is 250 baht or roughly 400 php/hour + tip.
Promptly at 6pm, Moddy came to Phunee Massage & picked us up for a night tour. I was iffy about going unchaperoned for the ping pong show so I booked Moddy to be our guide that particular night. I read so many scary & unpleasant reviews online that I felt better knowing she had our back. Initially, my plan was to go to Pat Pong for the show, but Moddy dissuaded that idea & recommended Cowboy Street instead. Much safer for us, according to her. We heeded to her wisdom as a local.
Private tour price with Moddy is 18 euro per person or 2.2k for Kap & I. Pwede na knowing we are somewhat safe with her around. Bangkok is a shady place come nighttime, better safe than sorry sa halagang dalawang libo.
Rod Fai Night Market, one of the best night markets in Bangkok according to Moddy, is located on Srinakarin Soi 51 just behind the Seacon Square Shopping Mall. You can take the BTS Skytrain to On Nut Station and get a taxi or uber from there for around 20 minutes. Rod Fai Night Market is open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5:00 pm until 1:00 am.
Freshly showered & after an hour of heavenly massage at Phunee, we were ready for our night adventure.
While shopping is the main highlight at Rod Fai Night Market, be sure not miss out on the amazing street food! Makeshift bars with cheap cocktails and drinks, barbecue stands with sizzling meats, fried noodle stalls, ice cream, drink stands with foaming Thai iced-tea and coffee are wedged in at random spots among the goods, as well as a row of bars and restaurants at the entrance to the market, where you can sit back with a tower of beer, listen to the live band, and soak up the scene. Each vendor employs many design gimmicks – from classic Volkswagen campers to old train bogies in order to attract diners.
Not your usual street food, the stalls at Rod Fai Night Market offer glorious meats & seafood which can put most restos to shame. I swear, I didn’t know which one to eat first! Good thing we came hungry.
Kap & I just shared food from various stalls para makadami. The heart is very willing, but the stomach is already bursting & giving up -and we didn’t even make a dent! Wala pa sa kalahati ang naiikot namin. :P
I would definitely come back to Rod Fai with the giblings. It’s such a fun local activity, I’m sure they would really enjoy the food & the happy vibe kahit pa saksakan ng dami ng tao.
After trying out food from various stalls for our appetizers, we finally settled on this Laksa Seafood Bowl for the main course.
Rod Fai Night Market offers a really unique shopping & eating experience where you are sure to uncover some great items in a very festive environment. It’s definitely worth the trip to experience this alternative taste of Bangkok.
We had to cut short our food trip as the live shows start at 9 pm sharp. We hurriedly left my happy place & took the MRT to get to our next destination. Soi Cowboy is near Sukhumvit Road, between Sukhumvit Soi 21 (also called Soi Asoke) and Soi 23. It’s within walking distance from the BTS Skytrain’s Asok Station and the Bangkok MRT’s Sukhumvit Station.
Soi Cowboy is a short (150 meter long) street in Bangkok with some 40 or so Go-Go bars. It caters mainly to tourists and expats. The streetis home to one of the three largest groups of foreign-oriented bars in the city of Bangkok, the other two being Patpong and Soi Nana Tai.
The Go-Go bars follow the pattern common in Thailand: alcoholic drinks are served and women in bikinis dance on a stage. There’s a topless display, some nude dancing, and yes, even crazy antics such as the popular ping pong show (a form of stage entertainment that consists of women using their pelvic muscles to either hold, eject, or blow objects from their vaginal cavity while dancing & grinding.)
The first bar opened in Soi Cowboy in the early 1970s, but it was not until 1977 that a second bar opened on the street by T. G. “Cowboy” Edwards, a retired American airman. Edwards got his nickname because he often wore a cowboy hat and the soi was given its name in reference to him.
Next time, we’ll go to Pattaya (requires overnight stay due to the distance) nalang. Go-Go bars in Bangkok are total rip-offs. You need to order drinks (250 baht/drink) every time a new show comes out, otherwise you are not allowed to stay & you will be booted out. Buti nalang at makunat itong asawa ko, after one set, lumabas na kami kasi ayaw na niyang magbayadpara lang manuod ng “babaeng nangingitlog” hahaha! Pattaya has a one-time cover charge that includes all the shows already. CLICK HERE to read about the other shows. Warning: Adult Content, may be offensive to some.
Pictures & videos were not allowed to be taken. I was caught midway, lol, and asked to delete. Pasaway talaga! ;))
Personally, the show was really icky, with foreigners treating the females like play things & manhandling them. If you are not thick-skinned -or if you don’t have even a mild sense of humor in you, then I strongly advice that you refrain from watching the show kasi bastos talaga. I wouldn’t want my daughters to watch any of it & be morally tainted. But at my age, I have learned not to take life seriously. It is what it is, part of the Bangkok night experience. Now I can truly say, been there, done that hehe. :P
Last day tomorrow & we go back to Manila. What a weekend it has been, another one for the books with my OTL! <3