Friday, September 18, 2015

[Suggested Itinerary] Bangkok, Thailand Travel and Lifestyle Guide 2015

A continuation from my previous blog entry- Bangkok Food Guide, this blog entry is dedicated for those who wishes to shop and to pamper themselves with facial/ spa treatment. One does not need to be rich to travel well; Thailand offers affordable luxury, a place where you can spoil yourself with lavish treatment without putting a dent on the wallet. Not only a haven for food but Bangkok is also well-known as a shopping paradise. 

*This post is brought to you by Tourism Authority of Thailand* 

To See:
1) Jim Thompson House & Museum
Address: 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 9 am to 6 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 02- 216 7368
Directions: Take BTS and exit National Stadium Station Exit 1
Ticket Prices: 150 THB for adults/ 100 THB for those who are under 22 years old

Jim Thompson, an American architect who stayed and lived at Bangkok for his retirement after he found himself fell in love with Thailand. Jim devoted himself to the silk industry and contributed substantially to the growth of the industry. His uniquely designed house is now a museum, which is best representing the traditional Thai architecture. At Jim Thompson's, one gets to witness the process of extracting silk and a guided tour with clear explanation on the brilliantly constructed Thai building. A cool place for one to understand the rich cultural heritage of the Thai. 

2) Bangkok Sealife Ocean World
Address: B1 and B2 of Siam Paragon Shopping Centre, 991 Rama 1 Roa, Pathum Wan, 10330, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 10 am to 9 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +662 687 2000
Ticket Prices: 990 THB for adults; 790 THB for children.
Directions: Enter from BTS Siam Station into Siam Paragon Shopping Centre

Partake in a fun-filled family activities at one of the largest aquariums in South East Asia- Sea Life Ocean World of Bangkok, housed within the iconic Siam Paragon Shopping Centre. The space holds many interesting and rare underworld living organism; some notable ones are Sharks, Penguins, Otters, Amphibians, Coral Reefs and various marine creatures. Other activities available (at additional costs) are Ocean Walker, 4D Cinema, Ocean Feeding Boat, you can even dive with the Sharks! More information about the place is available on their website: Sea Life Bangkok.

3) 3D Art in Paradise Bangkok
Address: 99 Esplanade, Room No. 408, 4th Floor of Ratchadapisek Road, Din Daeng, 10400, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 10 am to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +66 (0) 2 660 9130
Ticket Prices: 400 THB for adults; 200 THB for children (oversea tourists; 50% discount for local Thais).
Directions: MRT Station Gate (Exit 3) 

The first 3D museum at Bangkok, 3D Arts in Paradise is especially suitable for young travelers. One can take uncountable selfies or group photos together in this artsy space. There are 6 happy zones in total, namely the Aquarium & Safari Zone, the Nature Zone, the Fantasy Zone, the Classic Zone, the Modern Zone and the Media Art Zone. Unlike the one in Penang, this 3D museum at Bangkok is a lot bigger and features many international famous spots and famous paints.

4) Muay Thai Live Show @ Asiatique
Address: 2194, Chareonkrung Soi 74-76, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours (Show Time): 8 pm to 9:30 pm. Daily.
Contact Number (Ticket Hotline): +66 (0)2 108 5999
Ticket Price: 1,500 THB per person.
Directions: Take BTS Train to Saphan Taksin Station and take the FREE shuttle (a very good opportunity to cruise Chao Phraya River).

Shopping and Dining are the only thing that one can do at Asiatique. Catch the live Muay Thai Show at The Stage, right near to the entrance of Asiatique from the main road. There are 2 different parts to the show; it first started with the history of Muay Thai and how it was transformed and widely used; the latter part showcased 2 live fighting sessions by volunteers (or rather, a competition). A different way of experiencing the Thai culture.

To Pamper:
1) Dermaster- World Class Medical Centers
Address: 342, Soi Sukhumvit 63 (Ekkamai) between Soi Ekkamai 18-20, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 9 am to 8 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +66 (0)2 714 4471
Directions: We'd recommend taking a cab. Hotel transportation is however, available for those who have made advance-booking (subject to Terms & Conditions).

Thailand is boosting its medical tourism in recent years thus, the booming of aesthetic enhancement solution providers in the country. Dermaster, one of the biggest premier beauty institutions in Thailand, offers full range of aesthetic services- Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic, Body Slimming, Hair Restoration and Transplantation Procedures to stem cell therapy for anti-aging with cutting-edge medical technology. A team of experienced doctors and medical personnel will be there to assist and attend to your needs. The boutique hospital clinic is also the only marketer for thread lifting in Bangkok and is well-known for recommending what customers really need (hard sell is not being practiced here).

On our visit, we were fortunate to experience their signature Facial Treatment. The trial session lasted 30 minutes but a full-fledged session would last for 1 hour and 45 minutes. It costs 4,800 THB per session and one day advance-booking is required. It gives our faces an instant whitening effect. The whole session was soothing and relaxing; everything was well-considered and well-thought. The perfect place to pamper yourself with a facial treatment of 5-star service.

2) Divana Virtue Spa
Address: 10, Srivieng Road, Silom, Bangrak, 10500, Bangkok, Thailand.
Business Hours: 10 am to 11 pm on every Saturday to Monday; 11 am to 11 pm on Tuesdays to Fridays. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +66 (0) 2236 6788-9
Divana Spa Thailand Facebook Page
Directions: BTS Surasak Station

Pearl (Director of Divana Spa)

"Passion for Love" derives from the Indian word of "Divana", which is the brand name of the industry-leading Spa provider. Guests will be treated royally by the servers; there are many packages for Spas available at Divana but for a start, we would recommend their signature Nurture Spa Essence (130 minutes/ 2,850 THB). The aforementioned Spa treatment is uncomplicated and straight-forward. Divana uses recipe imported from France. There are four types of Scrubs and four types of Essential Oils available respectively; they are Rose, Olive, Green Tea and Sesame (for Scrub) while Honey will be infused together with your preferred choice of Scrub. For Essential Oils, there were Lavender, Olive, Rose and Eucalyptus.

The Spa treatment includes a soothing massage session as well, the perfect solution for your tiring shopping legs and your stiff neck problem (craning at the computer screen for office workers). Refreshing Tea and Fruits will also be served after the Spa session.

To Learn:
1) Chef Naj Thai Cooking School
Address: 42, Convent Road, Silom, 10500, Bangkok, Thailand (opposite to BNH Hospital).
Cooking Class Schedule: 9 am to 1 pm; 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. 1 day advance reservation is required. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: +66 (0)2 632 1004-6
Price: 2,500 THB per person

Chef Ohm (General Manager of Naj Exquisite Thai Cuisine)

If you are amazed by the culinary skills of the Thais, learn from Chef Ohm, General Manager of Naj, Exquisite Thai Cuisine; on how to cook some really authentic and traditional Thai dishes. We followed Chef Ohm on a guided tour to Samyan Wet Market (near to Chulalongkorn University) to grab some fresh ingredients for our cooking class. The very knowledgeable Chef Ohm gave us a clear picture on how to pick the freshest ingredients as well as some background on the local food culture- what are the common dishes cooked by ordinary Thai families. 

Back to Chef Naj Cooking Class, the cooking class is open for everyone and 2 classes will be conducted a day. 4 dishes will be taught in a session with recipe and apron provided. The space is well-established for more than 7 years, their vision is to teach their students the most authentic Thai cuisine using recipes passed down from previous generations. A maximum of 30 seats per session available in the cooking class, one day advance reservation is needed to secure a seat.

Chef Ohm may seem young but the MBA (in hospitality) graduate has passion for cooking. He learnt a lot from his grandma and further honed his culinary skills in UK. The eloquent and friendly Chef is indeed, a very good and passionate tutor, guiding us step by step on how to dish out an authentic Thai dish. We were introduced to Tom Yam Pok Teh (Clear Soup Seafood Tom Yum), Pad Kra Pao Moo (Stir Fried Meat with Thai Basil), Pad Thai (Stir Fried Thai Flat Rice Noodles) and Tab Tim Krob (Tapioca-floured Water Chestnuts with Coconut Milk).

I'll  probably share a simple recipe of Pad Thai here (by Chef Ohm):

Ingredients (for ONE serving):
Few slices of Shallots*
Few cloves of minced Garlic*
Some Shrimps*
One Egg
Some sliced Tofu
Some Dried Shrimp*
Some Chinese Chives*
Kway Teow/ Thai Flat Rice Noodles*
Bean Sprounts*
1/2 tbs of Coconut Palm Sugar
1/2 tbs of Tamarind Juice
1 tbs of Fish Sauce
2 tbs of Tomato Ketchup
2 tbs of Chili Sauce
2 tbs of Chili Flakes*
2 tbs of crushed Roasted Peanuts*
2 tbs of Sugar
1 tbs of White Vinegar
2 tbs of Vegetable Oil

Ingredients with * can be adjusted according to personal preferences.

Step 1- Heat up the oil in the wok. Add in Shallot and fry till translucent, followed by Garlic. Fry till aromatic and push them aside.
Step 2- Add Shrimps and fry till half-cooked. Push aside and add in Egg.
Step 3- When all ingredients are half-cooked, add in Koay Teow and Palm Sugar, followed by Tamarind Juice and all the Sauces.
Step 4- Put in Bean Sprouts and Chives. Stir Fry until the Wok Hei has been fully absorbed. Dish out with a halved Lime and sprinkle on the crushed Roasted Peanuts. 

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