Saturday, November 15, 2008

oh, how fast the baht flies

don't count on keeping a lot of your baht when you travel to bangkok. here in the land of bazaars, tiangge, and cheap food, temptation is always waiting for you around the corner. no matter how much you say you won't go shopping, bangkok will not let you leave without at least a shopping bag in hand.

we girls have scoured MBK (and eaten at the fifth, too! yummy food!), platinum, and chatuchak. it's amazing how women don't get tired when they're shopping. when we do feel some pain in our feet, there are massage places everywhere, ready to give you the rubdown that you need.

aside from shopping, bangkok's requisite sights will also have you handing your baht over for admission fees. entrance to the grand palace is THB 300, which includes ticket to the vimanmek mansion (i'm hoping to make the trip there today). i did the audio guide thing since i went solo, and it was pretty informative.

the reclining buddha charges THB 50 for admission, with guides going for THB 200-400, depending on the number of people. wat arun is also at THB 50. the ferry ride on chao phraya ranges from THB 14 to 19, depending on the boat. the BTS skytrain tickets and MRT subway tokens can go as high as THB 39.

meals can be as cheap as THB 25, or as expensive as THB 300. today's breakfast at chatuchak cost us THB 25 each, for warm noodle soup with beef and meatballs. the other day, we paid THB 40 for noodle soup with pork in a locally-popular and dingy noodle stall. in MBK's the fifth, my meal cost almost THB 200, for pad thai seafood and a tall glass of thai iced tea.

my wallet's seen a lot of action in this city, but i'm not regretting anything. for the entire trip, including cambodia, i haven't even gone over PHP 30,000. for 9 days, including budget-luxury package and accommodation in cambodia, and a centrally located hotel here in bangkok with private bathrooms and TV. i think that's a pretty good deal. just goes to show that fun doesn't have to cost that much.

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