Bangkok Part 1 – Shopping/Nightlife

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My husband and I have been wanting to experience Thailand for awhile after hearing so many fun stories from friends and colleagues. We would often hear it’s the destination for cheap delicious food…cheap relaxing massages…and cheap shopping. And did I mention everything there is pretty cheap? We spent in total about 2 1/2 weeks in Thailand – Bangkok for 5 days and the rest of the vacation in Phuket. Everything we’ve heard about Thailand was pretty accurate during our time there. The food was amazingly delicious – I think I ate my way through Bangkok and Phuket. In short, this is my take on Thailand – It’s a great place to visit if you’re on a budget. You want to eat good authentic Thai food. You love massages and shopping.

I will be releasing my Thailand travel posts into different segments, starting with this first post highlighting shopping and nightlife in Bangkok. I will be releasing part two later in the month, which goes over food and temples to visit in Bangkok. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions!

* Please note, unless otherwise stated, all images belong to Dots & Honey *

~ SHOPPING/ENTERTAINMENT ~

For shopaholics active shoppers like myself, I had such a fun time shopping in Thailand because everything was for the most part, rather inexpensive. {Higher end clothes is a bit more expensive, but still pretty good compared to prices here in the states}. So just how inexpensive? For every US dollar, we are looking at roughly 32 Thai baht currency. Yeap.

Siam Paragon

Siam Paragon
Photo Credit: wikipedia.com

Recommended by our friend who is from Thailand, Siam Paragon is a LARGE shopping center that caters to both high end and affordable fashion. There is a wide selection of stores, ranging from local Thai retail shops to your Jimmy Choos and Burberry. The highlight for me was their Paragon department store. Inside just this one department store boasts 6 levels of endless merchant options – from beauty, contemporary, evening wear, lingerie, and more. You can easily spend an entire day at the Siam Paragon mall.

If you want to take a break from shopping, you can catch a film in 4D {complete with physical effects including strobe lights, vibrations, or air jets} at their large Paragon Cineplex.

Paragon Cineplex

In addition to the endless shopping options, there is a massive food court on the ground floor of the mall. It’s not your typical food court at the mall in the states. Their food court seems to be divided into sections. There is a large section dedicated to restaurants, a section of just street food, and another section of their local fast food fare or asian cuisine. It’s the most ideal set up for tourists as there are so many different options to try in just one location.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Floating Market

A must-do in Bangkok, the floating market is definitely one of the more unique things to do in Thailand. In the “comfort” of the boat, you are being taken to vendors along the waters where you can haggle/shop for souvenirs as well as buy and eat food from your boat.

Know Before You Go:

~ The souvenirs sold in the floating market are marked up {tourist trap}. It’s definitely still worth going for the novelty of it, but I would advise saving your money and getting your souvenirs elsewhere.

~ The fumes as you’re going around the water can be quite heavy at times…and dirty because they are using old car exhausts for the boats.

~ Have cash handy.

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~ NIGHTLIFE ~

Asiatique The Riverfront Night Market

Asiatique

The night market is a great place to practice your haggling skills {mine were pretty terrible, so my husband did most of it for me}. Opened since May 2012, Asiatique The Riverfront is a huge casual night market. There are over a thousand little vendor shops selling souvenirs, home decor, clothes, and trinkets. {Great place to snatch up two or three Thai silk scarves!}. Asiatique also has over 40 restaurants with plenty of international dining options.

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Calypso Cabaret

Also located in Asiatique, you can have a few drinks and catch a cabaret show after doing some shopping. Considered one of the more popular and unique entertainment experiences for tourists, cabaret “ladyboy” shows are quite popular in Bangkok. It was admittedly a rather flamboyant and campy production, but it was still nevertheless, quite the lively and entertaining show. We definitely crossed this off our checklist!

Calypso Cabaret

Calpyso Cabaret 1

Sky Bar

Sirocco Sky Bar
*Photo credit: GuideThailande.com*

If you want to experience a sophisticated night out in Bangkok with a well dressed crowd, definitely check out the Sky Bar. Two interesting facts about Sky Bar…Fact #1 – Sky Bar is the world’s highest open air bar. Fact #2 – Sky Bar is featured in the film Hangover Part II. The classy Sky Bar is located up on the 61st floor inside the Lebua Hotel where you can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of Bangkok. We went at night and it really was quite breathtaking. In addition to the lovely view and drinks, guests are also treated to live jazz music, which only made the evening even better. I highly recommend checking out Sky Bar on your Bangkok visit, it will probably be the best rooftop bar you’ll ever experience.

Know Before You Go:

~ The hotel and sky bar is a classy establishment, so a dress code is strictly enforced: No flip flops, athletic, or torn clothing. For guys, no sleeveless shirts, open shoes, or shorts. Dress code also applies to children.

~ They unfortunately have specific no-photography areas up in the sky bar. The area where they actually do allow photography is rather restricted and small, especially on a crowded night, so I highly recommend not to get up there too late because that’s what happened to us. If you do go at night, be mindful pictures may not come out very well.

 Route 66 Night Club

Route 66

We were able to squeeze in a night of clubbing during our stay in Bangkok and we sure partied it up {till 4:30am to be exact}. We were very unfamiliar with the clubbing scene there and just randomly chose Route 66 after doing some research online. There fortunately wasn’t much of a wait to get inside, despite the large showing of people. It was also nice to see so many tourists from all over the world at the club too. Our group of 6 split their large vodka bucket, which was an awesome way to kick off the night. The dance floor was quite small, but there were many tables inside and outside, which was a plus. The atmosphere and lively crowd were great, drinks were really affordable, and lots of space outside. At times, I preferred staying outside because I could still hear the music and I didn’t feel as restricted in space.

Know Before You Go:

– There is a dress code enforced – no shorts, no sandals, or athletic shoes.

– Entry fee for tourists is 300 baht, but that also gets you drink coupons.

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