Bangkok Thailand

Cheap Thrills : How to find the best bargains in Bangkok

Many a cities in its folds, Bangkok never stops to amaze you. The city is known for its sky scrapers, traditional floating markets, riding in Tuk Tuk, soaking up the (in)famous night life, amazing foot massages, gorgeous temples, river cruises, Thai hospitality, street food (roasted insects, anyone?!), ice cold coconut water and so much more. We had planned to see all the facets of the city but once we entered first mall in Bangkok, the trip was mostly about shopping, on how to loot bags, shoes, clothes and everything nice!

Things to do we did

Shopping like a king, on a pauper’s budget:

Not just sugar rush, promise of good clothes also can get you high (true story!)– we were literally rushing from one shop to the other, slight nod for a “yes”, picking an entire range when we could not decide on a colour, measuring pants/shorts around the neck for a fit – shopping in Bangkok is in a different league. High concept multi storied malls, shops selling everything from soaps, jewellery, bed sheets, towels, passport covers, clothes, shoes, bags, pradas, LVs and their counterfeits all on the same street – it is so contrasting but truly inclusive. The malls are like flea markets with comfort of air conditioners, entertainment, cafes to recharge when you are tired of dragging bags. Once the malls closed, we would continue ransacking the night markets for more – shopping till you drop has never been truer! My sister’s hidden bargaining skills came to the fore and she was soooo charming!! “Noooooo I can’t”, would say the seller at the hideously low offer. Bhakti would put another number in the calculator and pass it over, “Yessssss, you can!” After few back and forth of nos and yeses, we would be shoving our shopping in the bags. You would be amazed at how one can buy so much at so little and for things that were really top of the trends.

Marvelling at the Temples:

Taking a break from shopping, mostly to please my Dad, who over the last two days was left to guard our shopping when it was over, we went on a temple tour. The Buddhist temples in Bangkok are the spiritual centre of this bustling metropolis – the carvings, architecture and the calming aura reflect a different side to the city of excesses. Reclining Buddha is one of the most iconic images and it’s truly spectacular but we actually enjoyed spending time in the courtyards of the temple with its vibrantly mosaic-ed stupas. The marble Buddha temple was adorned for the New Year with simple white strings criss-crossed into a neat grid across the courtyard which looked spectacular as a gust of wind would make it move gently.


Not from the souvenir shops

Self-confessed shopaholics! All those proclamations about not spending the moolah on materialistic things but on “experiences” very quickly went down the drain in Bangkok. Terror struck when we started packing, but with Bhakti and Viral (world’s best packers!), one can be sure of getting everything in the bag. Also, looking at the spread on the bed, I altruistically exclaimed that I wouldn’t shop for the rest of the year (broke it the very next weekend though).

Bangkok was the third and the final leg of my surprise visit to my parents and guess what, Viral showed up to spend the new year’s eve with me! The Surprisor became the Surprisee and I could not have wished for a better start to the New Year. We could have gone to see fireworks while on a river cruise, a wonderful meal at a roof top terrace restaurant or at least at the poolside of our own hotel’s terrace – but when you have your most favourite people, just being together is enough without any bells and whistles. This New Year will be truly special!

PS: Ours was mostly a shopping trip; so before writing the blog I asked Viral, “Why don’t you write instead about that time when you went to Bangkok with your friends?”

“We were also mostly shopping”, he quipped without looking at me

“Shopping for whom?” I asked, thinking there wasn’t much for men and I can barely imagine Viral haggling with the vendors.

“For you baby; remember that bracelet I got you?”

“That’s what you got in all of three days you were there?”.

“Yup”, he replied with a poker face.

Bro code at Stag-dos is a tough thing to break indeed!

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