I’m sitting here at Mango Tree at the Bangkok Airport, waiting for the overpriced Thai food that I ordered. Cheap food at Suvarnabhumi meant fast food, and I’m in no mood for Burger King today.
I am leaving Bangkok today, alone once more. The girls took the red eye flight from Bangkok to Manila last night, giving them one whole day to spend in Bangkok and just enough time to shower before heading to work.
Yesterday was epic. Among the four of us, Cla was the only first timer in Bangkok, and she wasn’t in the mood for temple-hopping. That leaves the tennis and the shopping, and since Nadal pulled out, we were all for dollie shopping.
We woke up relatively early, and since they already packed their bags the night before, we took our time getting ready. We did not have breakfast at the hostel; instead we went up to the rooftop to take pictures of our dolls. Of course, what’s a trip with dollie friend without taking time to take photos of our toys? Like me, Rotch and Rael brought Pinky Street dolls — Makoto (The Girl Who Leapt through Time) and Pucci (Kira Kira DS Game). Cla brought her pink Baby Treeson and Addie, a Dal. As always, I have Sayuri (Sumire) with me, along with Caine (Range Murata).
After checking out of HI-Sukhumvit, we headed to MBK for brunch, and for the girls to leave their bags before we head out for some major shopping. Our main destination was Chatuchak, to go back to the doll stores we stumbled upon last Saturday and to look for the shop we initially set out to find (but didn’t because I forgot to check the address of the store). However, we knew Chatuchak would be too hot during the early afternoon, so we arranged our itinerary so it would be our last stop before heading back to MBK.
We headed to Chinatown first. I took them to the doll shop I discovered last June, and Cla went crazy buying stuff that we don’t easily get in Manila. I already had my fill of this store from my last trip, and I was content to just stand back and watch them shop. I was actually saving my money for the stores in Chatuchak. From Chinatown, we headed back to the city center by taxi. The great thing about traveling with a group is that you get to split the cost of the taxi. Depending on the time of day, it is much cheaper to travel by taxi in Bangkok if you’re traveling with friends. Taking the BTS Skytrain from Thong Lor (where the hostel is) to National Stadium (where MBK is) would have cost us 30 baht each. The same distance cost 73 baht in light traffic in the taxi, and when divided by four, only cost us 17.50 baht each.
We had the taxi driver take us to Central World, where Rotch bought her Liverpool training bag. We savored the airconditioning inside the mall, and took advantage of the clean restrooms. We had some cool drinks at the central food hall before heading back out to the street. We walked to the Siam BTS station, where we took the train to Morchit. It was past 3 o’clock in the afternoon when we arrived at Chatuchak, and it was still pretty hot and very crowded. We pretty much cut through the huge weekend market to get to the Chatuchak Plaza, where the doll store is. Armed with our Chatuchak map and the address of the store, we found Monae Glow without much problem. They had two stores in Zone A, Soi 7, right across each other. One is where most of the doll accessories are sold, the other where the actual dolls are on display and for sale, along with more clothes and their area for making custom dolls. The prices in the shops at Chatuchak are more expensive than in Chinatown, but they offer more choices, more brands and generally better clothes.
After paying for the clothes, we continued walking down Soi 7 until we emerged in the street fronting the JJ Mall. We entered the mall, going up to the 2nd floor where the Bambino shop is. Aside from selling rare and regular release Pullips, Dals and Taeyangs, they also sell Momokos, J-dolls and Obitsu bodies, a great replacement body for doll’s stock bodies. What’s great about these stores in Chatuchak is that they are run by collectors, so they really know their dolls and they know which clothes sell, and which clothes fit a particular doll. We left the mall satisfied, and walked back to the Chatucak weekend market for some souvenir shopping. It was past 5 o’clock already, and the sun was setting. It wasn’t as hot as when we arrived, making the walk back to the train station much more pleasant. Rotch, Rael and Cla ended up shopping again, this time for human clothes. We were all impressed by the range of clothing found at the market, and they all walked off with a shirt or two.
Because sometimes, you just have to do the touristy stuff. Forget Ronald McDonald, it’s Geoffrey the Giraffe for me.
We were quiet in the train back to the city, all of us exhausted. They had one more shopping to do at MBK, for Thai snacks to give to family and friends in Manila. Another round of packing was done, rearranging their things to fit everything into their bags. We had one last dinner together at the MBK food court, with Rotch and Cla facing one of the many TV scattered around the food court, engrossed with the football game. It seems they weren’t the only fans around — when Arsenal scored a goal, one section of the food court let out a loud cheer.
At 8 o’clock, we parted ways. Them walking to the taxi stand, me back to the BTS. I had one last stop before heading back to the hostel — Kinokuniya at Siam Paragon. After years of refusing to read The Beach by Alex Garland, I finally gave in and picked up a copy. It was ironic because throughout my travels, I’ve been seeing this book in stores and hostels, but when I wanted to buy it, there weren’t any copies in Manila. I’ve already started reading the book last night and I was quickly engrossed. The story started in Bangkok, and it was rather fitting that I also started reading it in Bangkok.
P.S. Thank you British Airways first class lounge for leaving your wi-fi unsecured.