Our first full day in Bangkok started, let’s say, a bit later than expected… The 28 or whatever hours I’d been up the day before had ultimately taken its toll and we completely slept through our alarm. That meant the original plan of heading to the Grand Palace early to beat the crowds was completely out of the window. We eventually surfaced at about 10am and decided we’d head to a massive shopping centre called MBK that we’d heard so much about. Getting there from our hotel was easy if not a little longwinded. Firstly we headed out of our hotel through its sister hotel, the Anantara Riverside resort, to catch the boat shuttle up to the metro station.
Once at the metro station we paid our fares of 37 baht each (around 80p) and hopped on the 5 or so stops from our stop at Saphin Taksin to Siam. This ended up not being the most sensible move and we really should have gotten off at the next stop. Regardless though we walked the 10 minutes or so in the crazy heat and humidity and finally MBK came into view.
This place is absolutely gigantic inside. It spans over 7 floors, has more than 2000 vendors, a cinema, bowling and more restaurants than I could possible name.
We ended up having a good look most of the floors and picked up a few naff touristy gifts for the family. Very quickly though our stomachs started rumbling and we headed to the food court. It took us a while to work out what to do, but eventually worked out you had to preload money onto a card which you then used to purchase your food. The choose was a bit overwhelming but I eventually settled on something fairly safe.
Thai red curry with chicken. Two things shocked me about this. Firstly, the price. At only 50 bhat this lunch just over £1! Secondly the spice. You can probably guess from the green chilies in the picture but needless to say they didn’t hold back! Luckily the drinks here were also very cheap, about 50p for a large soft drink, so I had plenty to combat the spice!
Stomachs full we decided to head up to the 5th floor and quickly check out the arcade and an awesome anime shop. On the way there though we spotted a cafe called Maidream. I thought it was a jpop themed cafe on the way past but I now know its a maid cafe which as far as I’m aware is quite popular in Japan. In fact this was the only one of this particular maid cafe outside of Japan. My girlfriend is in love with Japanese culture so she was eager to go in. Me, not so much. But after a bit of arm twisting we headed in.
The first thing I have to say is that the waitresses (maids?) serving in here were all lovely. As much as they could tell I wasn’t buying into this at all they were still keen for me to join in with all their cute little routines when the dishes were served. I’m pretty sure my hand actions were joining in but my face said kill me now. We ended up ordering a dessert each. Oreo cheesecake for me and a very cute waffle my girlfriend.
The waffle we ordered actually came as part of a package which included a Polaroid picture with one of the maids. I can genuinely say that I’ve never come across this in my life. We got a nice picture even though I’m sure I still looked very awkward. When we were first seated we were actually told that we weren’t to take pictures or video of the maids without permission. So it seems like these types of place attract creepy men, who would have guessed??? This also ended up costing about 3 times more than our whole lunch did, but overall it was a cute experience and one of those nice holiday stories to tell!
We had been in the same shopping centre for about 4 hours at this point and decided head back for a rest at the hotel before hitting up the night market. Our night market of choice was Asiatique, conveniently located a short free shuttle boat from the hotel.
We arrived at 8pm and quickly chose a place for dinner. There’s a lot of competition here so if you visit don’t be shocked at the people trying to usher you into their restaurant as you walk by or look at the menu. For dinner we ordered chili scallops, pineapple rice with prawns and massive prawns with stir fried noodles.
All of this was delicious but the portions were huge. Pretty sure I was ready to roll out of the restaurant. Once you include the beer I had and a soft drink this ended up being one or our more expensive meals at 1500 baht. For the service, setting a good quality though, I thought it was totally worth it.
With dinner over we had a slow and full walk around the night market. It was a bit disappointing, just the usual mix of fakes cheap tourist tat that you see everywhere. If you want fake designer bags though I can confirm you’ll find them here! We were both pretty tired at this point and decided to head back and have a drink at the hotels rooftop before bed. At near London prices it ended up being just one drink for me. I got a cocktail which from memory included tequila, lime and ginger ale. And something to make it go purple?
We enjoyed the lovely views of Bangkok before heading for bed around might, ready for an early trip to the Grand Palace the next day!