Having a 7.05am flight is tiring to say the least, but thankfully I live rather near the airport, so I managed to get more sleep than my gf who lives on the other side of Singapore. I took the first train to the airport at 5.20am from Tanah Merah station, which is an interchange station for passengers heading to the airport. It takes roughly 10min from Tanah Merah interchange to the airport, and after hopping onto the Skytrain (since the train does not have a direct connection to Terminal 1, you can either take an internal train from Terminal 2 or 3, or even walk if you so desire), I was at the Jetstar check-in rows by 5.40am.
Surprisingly, this time around there wasn’t much of a queue, as compared to when we went to Taipei (also w/Jetstar, checking in at 5.45am) last July. We breezed through the check-in process, since we only had carry-on baggage, and received our boarding passes promptly. Saying our goodbyes to our loved ones, we passed through the immigration channel, and made our way to have breakfast at one of the many F&B outlets within the airside area. We headed to Killiney Kopitiam for a quick breakfast of eggs and toast, and then headed to our gate for boarding.
Despite the fact that our gate was one of the furthest away from the main area (which you enter after passing immigration), the many travelators ensured that we reached there in 5-10min.
My pretty gf, who’s also a certified yoga instructor btw (RYT 200), in a crow pose. Follow her on instagram @yogiryl and http://yogiryl.strikingly.com/ if you’re interested. She’s also currently conducting lessons in Singapore. Contact her directly for more information if you’re interested in trying out yoga! 🙂
Boarding was done efficiently and we departed Singapore on time. The flight was pleasantly uneventful, and we managed to grab some shut-eye before landing in Bangkok at around 8.35am local time. Since we had no check-in baggage, we were able to clear immigration and reach landside very quickly. We went straight to the Airport Rail Link station, which is connected to the main terminal at B2 (I think?). Tourists will be pleased to know that you can approach the information counter at the Airport Rail Link station and get free SIM cards (with 20mb data).
Tickets from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city (City Line) cost roughly 35-45 baht, depending on which stop you intend to alight at. If you intend to take the express train, it’ll probably cost slightly more, but the express service was temporarily halted when we were there. Our tickets to Ratchaprarop cost 40 baht per person, and the journey took about 40min. The train was pretty packed, probably because it stopped at every station on the line and it was almost 9am by then (rush hour for commuters on a weekday).
Upon arriving at Ratchaprarop, we took a while to get our bearings, helped by the fact that the Baiyoke Sky Tower was a landmark that couldn’t be missed. Once we oriented ourselves, we walked in the direction of Platinum Mall, which was near to our hotel. Even with hand-carry baggage, it was still not easy dragging our luggage along uneven and narrow paths. The flip side was that the street stalls were already open for business, so we got to do some ‘shopping’ with our eyes as we headed to our hotel. We didn’t stop to buy anything as we just wanted to dump our luggage at the hotel haha, although we noted where certain items of interest were.
The hotel we stayed at throughout this trip was GLOW Pratunam, which is actually housed within a shopping mall opposite Platinum Mall. The mall is called Shibuya 19, and appears to be a rather small and unknown mall (many tuktuk and taxi drivers had no idea where that was, we ended up telling them Shibuya Pratunam Market instead haha). Alternatively, get a name card from the hotel, saves all the trouble. 😉 The mall has a few shops on the 1st & 2nd floors, but the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors were mainly empty. There is a small food court on the 6th floor, but we weren’t impressed by the food they had on offer. Platinum Mall’s food court was way better.
Once entering the mall (Shibuya 19), you will need to find the lift lobby (next to Starbucks, which sadly isn’t 24/7). Take the lift to the 7th floor, which is the main lobby/restaurant/massage area of GLOW Pratunam.
I must admit that my first impression of GLOW Pratunam was that it didn’t look as cool as the pictures online seemed to suggest. Furthermore, check-in took a long while, and they even forgot to provide us with welcome drinks (*all guests get a welcome drink upon arrival). I had to ask their manager for it before they finally provided us with the welcome drink. The drink was refreshing, probably also because we had walked under the hot sun with our luggages before that.
It was about 10.30am by the time we were done, and we headed straight down to explore the street stalls around our area. The stalls sell both perishables (orange juice, fresh fruits, waffles, hotdogs, etc) and non-perishables (bags, shoes, slippers, shirts, pants, shorts, etc). The items are usually priced around 100 baht (which was around S$4.15 at the time we changed money), but you can usually haggle over the price with the street vendors. Of course, if you buy more than 1 item, the vendors will be more likely to agree to a bargain! 😉
Around noon, we started walking over to Central World, a huge shopping mall behind Platinum Mall. We couldn’t get there fast enough as it was sweltering hot whewww. The cold blast of air-con as we stepped inside was greeted with relief and rejoicing haha. Lunch that day was with a friend at Yum Saap, a local chain of restaurants serving delicious yet affordable Thai food.
The pad thai was decent, and c’mon, where else in Singapore can you get such a meal (main + drink) in an air-conditioned restaurant? Haha possible, but you’d be hard pressed to find such a place!
We headed off in search for dessert after our lunch, or more specifically, in search of After You café. After You is a chain of café with really aesthetically pleasing, and rather tasty desserts, although not exactly very cheap. :p
I didn’t use any of the maple syrup at all, as I felt it was already very sweet on its own. You can taste the sweet honey within the toast as you bite into it, and mmm it was goooood. They were also generous with the ice cream, as two scoops of vanilla ice cream were given. Contrast that to cafés in Singapore, which provide a measly 1 scoop of ice cream on top of your waffle, and in some cafés they even charge you more to have ice cream! Tsk.. For Singaporeans who like Xin Wang’s french toast with ice cream (I myself like it too), let me tell you that After You’s shibuya honey toast trumps it, in terms of taste and value for money.
After being completely stuffed burp, we crossed the street to Big C Supermarket to get some snacks and drinks to chill in our hotel fridge. I would liken it to Giant Hypermart in Singapore.
On our way back to the hotel to check into our room, we passed by the Pratunam pier, which was quiet and empty.
It was almost 3pm by the time we checked into our rooms, and boy, were we surprised when we saw how beautifully our room was decorated. And of course, we were just wowed by the views from our window (we were on the 20th floor, the highest floor). Oh yes, GLOW also provides 4 bottles of mineral water daily, although given that you can get ice-cold water easily and cheaply all around Bangkok (10baht), it seems kind of excessive. But hey, no one complains about getting free stuff right? Haha it’s good for those of us who like to hydrate ourselves before sleeping and right after waking up! (:
The hotel knew we were a couple travelling together, and the amazing housekeep for that level, Joann did this for us! So touched :’)
After taking a quick shower and dumping some of our loot, we headed to Platinum Mall to shop. The gf bought some clothes in the 2h that we were there.
We found this pop-up store outside Grand Diamond suites (which is just adjacent to Platinum mall), selling customizable covers for passports, laptops, and so on. They do require a lead time of around an hour to complete the order, so do bear that in mind if you want to make nice customizable covers. The shop is easily recognizable (I forgot to take a pic) as many people crowd around it, although it’s not the cheapest there. However, the range of items you can choose to customize is much wider so I guess that justifies its higher pricing. Having said that, I think it was only about 170baht (~S$7) per custom-made passport cover (if you choose the thinner passport cover, its slightly cheaper). We went for dinner and then walked around the streets outside of Platinum Mall while waiting. That is where I found this cool clock (100baht, or S$4.15), and bought a leather sling bag for my brother (200baht, or S$8.30)
Dinner was at Platinum food court, which is located on the 6th floor of the mall. The stalls there operate on a cashless card system, so be sure to get a card from the counters located right outside the food court. The card is free, but you have to pre-pay for your meals, so just load whatever amount you think you will need. Fret not, for you can easily refund the unspent balance, and there is no non-refundable deposit. 🙂
For guests returning to GLOW Pratunam after 6pm, do note that the mall’s main entrance is closed, but you can still access the lift lobby through a side entrance. The area outside the mall is transformed into this seafood restaurant after 6pm, and we saw many people having hearty meals there, but we didn’t get to try it on this trip. Maybe next time haha.
We were quite tired after the long day and went for a thai massage at our hotel lobby before retiring to our room. The service provider was Relax Massage Parlour (if I’m not wrong), and it cost 350baht (S$14.50) excluding tips. They do have a happy hour promotion whereby its 50baht off from 11am-5pm (do double-check the timing again, I’m not 100% certain).
It was already 11+pm when we finished the thai massage, and after checking that our joints were still in place, we left a small tip and headed back to wash up. We actually wanted to go to Number One massage parlour, but we were just too tired to move, so we ended up at the hotel lobby instead!
Summary of Day 1:
– Yum Saap at Central World for lunch + Dessert at After You Café
- Check-in to hotel
- Shopped at Platinum Mall & street market around Platinum Mall
- Dinner at Platinum Mall food court
- Thai massage at hotel