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[BANGKOK] Arrival at Don Mueang International Airport, visiting Chinatown night market and Soi Cowboy @ Thailand

Flight to Don Mueang – Bangkok from Penang via AirAsia flight FD402 was a comfortable one. The whole journey took 1 hour and 35 minutes and thanks to AirAsia for random arranging us to sit side by side as well. The time at Thailand (GMT +7) is earlier 1 hour than Malaysia.

Upon arrival Don Mueang International airport, we decided to take the local train from the airport to the city but we were confused by the direction given by the staff at the airport. The skybridge connecting the airport to the train station is located at the center of second floor, few metres away from the information stand. Just recognize the signboard point to Amari Don Muang Airport Hotel for the skybridge to the train station.

Reminder to grab a few interesting items from the tourist information booth on the lower ground at the airport. We managed to get a free sim card and a Bangkok map. Nevertheless, we do feel the personnel on duty were trying to push some tour packages to us but we rejected him politely.

Spotted a senior lady was singing Thai songs at the skybridge. The song was not purely a song but a depiction on the sweetness and bitterness in life, the difference in each of our life, and how one is surviving in this city.

We purchased the train ticket at the counter and the staff on duty has no issues communicating in English. A one way ticket to Hua Lamphong cost 40 Baht. This option is definitely cheaper than taking a cab, while at the meantime you could experience the daily life of Thai people as well.

The train ride was comfortable and it occasionally stopped at different station to pickup and drop people. Some local will board the train at the stop and selling various foods, and I pay my uttermost respect to them as this is how they earn a living. I disdain those young and healthy beggars in Malaysia who kept irritate me in coffee shops or straying by the roadside for money, and gave you an awful expression when you refused to offer any sort of help to them.

Crowd of people at Hua Lamphong train station. 
The train journey from Don Mueang Internation Airport to Hua Lamphong station took approximately 50 minutes. We were relaxed and just enjoyed the scenery. Hua Lamphong station is the terminal station and the size is big. A lot of people were here waiting for their train and they have a designated place for monks as well.

From Hua Lamphong station, we took MRT to Sukhumit (27 baht/pax) to check in our hotel, Wellness Residence.

Wellness Residence is directly opposite Terminal 21 shopping mall and near MRT Sukhumit station. If you come out from the correct exit from MRT Sukhumit Station, it is just on your right. We opt to stay here 1 night for a good rest and the cost is Ringgit Malaysia 99.21 for booking via Agoda.com. Room is small and clean, and the receptionist was friendly. 
The small and interesting lift in Wellness Residence.
The hotel has a small and interesting lift that transfer you to different floors. Address for Wellness Residence is as below:

4/56 Sukhumvit 21 Rd.
Sukhumvit, Bangkok,
Thailand 10110

Chinatown, Bangkok (Yaowarat Rd.)
Night view of Yaowarat Rd., Bangkok Chinatown
A foot therapy shop at Yaowarat Rd.
Pomegranate juice
Orange juice
Since it is still early, we decided to visit Chinatown (Yaowarat Rd) at Bangkok. Going there from Wellness Residence is not hard, just take MRT to Hua Lamphong station, and within 15 minutes walking distance you should reach Chinatown. The night version of Chinatown at Bangkok was totally different from the one in morning, as you may see various stalls selling foods beside the street while the shops are only open in morning.

Tom Yum Gung

Fried mussels

Fried rice, tasted plain
Bird nest soup
The food operators here will try to get a hold on you and get to their stalls, and since our stomach were growling and we just simply decided to drop by Lek & Rui seafood, a corner shop for a try. We ordered a few dishes – fried mussels, tomyam seafood, crab fried rice and bird nest soup to try. Total damage was 680 baht. The food was just average though, with the exceptional of the tomyam serving piping hot and spicy. The special chili sauce served was good though, and it imparted excellent flavor to the plain crab fried rice.

Walking down the Chinatown, you may see a replication of similar stall selling seafood.  We bought a coconut jelly (30 baht) to quench our thirst and cool ourselves.
One glance at Soi Cowboy
A picture speaks a thousand word!
Cute labrador retrievers enjoying at pub at Soi Cowboy
We departed back to Wellness Residence and we spotted some noises and a very happening street just beside Sukhumit MRT Station – Soi Cowboy. There was even barricades setup in the entrance of the road.  Walking down Soi Cowboy was indeed fulfilling to our eyes, you may see school girls, nurses, maids, beachwear and etcetera just in this short street. It is up to one to decide your activities here.

Beware though the tuk tuk drivers waiting you at both entrance of Soi Cowboy, offering you a ride to the infamous ping pong shows. It may turn out to be a scam but the decision is yours to decide.

Read more on our Day 2 on Bangkok here.


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