Bangkok trip III – shopping in Pratunam

2nd day in BKK and we had instant noodles for breakfast. Nat urged us to wake up early and so we did but the shops were barely opened!

Most shops open after 10am although the signs say they would be open at 9.30am. Since some shops were not opened yet, we looked for a place to yamcha but couldn’t find any ngam taste. Headed to another mall next door and wooohoo, saw the pristine white dresses, tops & skirts with roses embroidery at the window dressing! Wow. Beautiful. Casual. Must go in!

Had a great time shopping in Pratunam wholesale area.

I found a list of shopping malls after I came back, as I blog now haha: Shopping Malls in Bangkok

We just needed to walk outside our hotel and see shopping malls, it’s that easy.

The wholesale only works if you buy 3 pieces or more. If you buy 1 piece, there usually wouldn’t be discount. There’s also no fitting room in most wholesale malls but you can try it on fully clothed if you ask the promoters.

MBK (Mah Boon Krong) is a mix of wholesale of cheap stuff and moderately-priced (read: not luxury like couture or even branded). Indra Square is like the old Sungei Wang – the clothes were not so updated but the price is cheaper than other modern malls. Of course, it’s less glamourous and the food court is very small. Food was cheap :) Even that mall needs you to purchase coupon at the counter and you can get back the cash if you do not finish the coupon.

Nat pestered me to buy clothes with her so that she could get discount. How selfish is that when I wouldn’t even wear those designs? I just replied, “Not my type.” Chai told her, “Don’t force people to buy lah.” Nat had also cajoled Chai to buy the same range of clothes with her but we all have different styles.

Nat is into chunky, flashy and bold, Chai is into casual, loose/tight, Taiwan fashion while I’m into simple and accentuating cuts, no weird shapes please.

There are hidden gems in Indra Square though, 1 of the older malls in BKK, like the custom-made & off-rack dresses right at the food court corner that Nat fell in love with a satin off-shoulder dress. It just copies the designs from bridal magazines and you can also see the dressmakers at work (2 of them when we went there) next to the fitting room.

Right outside the mall, there was a row of Caucasion mannequins in white (linen or cotton?) tops, skirts & dresses with embroidered threads!! VERY BEAUTIFUL! We all stared in awe. MUST CHECK IT OUT, we almost skippedĀ  inside.

There was a corner shop selling white tops only, some with eyelet. Very innocent and clean but the cloth was hard. The shop wasn’t fully opened then and we walked off to other shops.

Some of the promoters suck. It was like they were so bored, hated working there and didn’t want to answer any questions or show the examples. The smarter ones would tell us, “Oh, we have another outlet but different styles, come I bring you.” Double business.

Finally when we saw the shop of the white tops and stuff, we had to wait for awhile – there were a few people doing wholesale business and the owner just ignored us. If the clothes weren’t so pretty, we would’ve left! The least the owner could do is acknowledge us and tell us to just browse the designs first.

When the business group left, she turned her attention to us and we bargained. We practically wanted the whole shop! All of us fell in love with the peasant crop-top that needed flat stomach. Ahhh.. *automatically squeeze in stomach and stood taller* We all imagined how gorgeous we’d look in that top.

“This 1 no more. This last,” the owner said.

“Ahhhhhhhhh???!!!!!!” All of us moaned. “When got stock?”

“Next week.”

Aiyo… we’d left already! :(

The price was around 250 to 220 baht for each top.

Chai eyed the mannequin and said, “I take this, can?”

“You take it off,” owner told her.

“Ha? You take it off for me lah? How do I take it off?” Chai told her.

What is this? Owner asking customer to take the clothes off mannequin. Did she mean differently? Seriously, you’d expect Bangkok citizens, a big city in Thailand, to understand English since they are getting so much income from Western tourists. There were times we were better off punching the total price that we wanted to pay than telling them in English or even sign (fingers) language. Nat and Chai said Japan’s like this also, they only speak their own language. How … tortoise head in shell.

At another mall, we saw the same designs and some different designs! When I asked the price, it was around 200 baht. What?! We had paid more earlier! I bought another top here. This was probably Indra Square..

For lunch, we had mee, keow teow (nice!), salad, tong sui and ice cream (can only buy 1 scoop – weird huh?) in the food court.

Nat fell in love with a lilac wrap with gold and light blue prints too near the food court and we teased her, “Aiyo… you are really Indian!”

“No ah! This is.. (looking for excuses face) Thai ma! Thai also have this design,” she defended herself. “Um.. should I buy?” We calculated her purchases and she had spent about 5000 baht already! Wah, so fast in 1/2 day shopping!

We walked around the top floor, which had only a handful customers and it was like the mall was going to be closed down. Nat said there were career wear on the top floor but the designs that we saw su – wasn’t our taste and the materials looked cheap and wrinkly. Mind you, they were above 400 baht too! Disappointed. Chai and IĀ  needed more career wear.

When we reached the escalator again, Nat decided to buy the wrap. Haha. When would she get married and we’d wear the beach wear tops we just bought? A white beach wedding.. so romantic. Or for her, it would be Indian dancing wedding ahha.

At night, we passed by CentralWorld Shopping Complex to go to Siam Paragon for dinner & movie. Nat exclaimed and insisted, “We must go to Siam Paragon, the cinema is incredible, it’s like a theater!”

OK.. Chai was reluctant to watch movie in BKK but the other alternative was to see transvestite which we both were against. Nat kept saying, “I want to go gay bar and see the transexuals perform.” Frankly, both Chai and I weren’t into watch tiger shows. I hate the way transvestites make money and sell their female bodies to men who just think of them as stupid sexual objects. They are women now, they should be proud and take care of themselves, not cheapen our gender!

Yeah, I know, BKK is not full of rich people. There are poor people who resorted to sex and drugs. Even the ministers open health (right *sarcastic*) spas with side business. Corrupted. It’s a shame that such gentle people had to make a living in the dark oppression.

For dinner, we would NOT go to Once Upon a Time again haha.

Since we’d go for a movie in Siam Paragon, we’d have dinner at the food court too. Nat said the food court had a lot of choices :)

That was when we found out from our hotel reception that there was free tuk-tuk. There was another Chinese/Malaysian/Singaporean couple who told us like we were dufus, “Actually you can take taxi there.” Whoa, we knew we could take taxi but we could take taxi in Malaysia, so why take taxi?! We wanted to soak BKK culture. Heh, actually, we didn’t see that many locals take tuk-tuk.

Tuk-tuk’s the 3 wheels open-air motorised taxis. It’s like a trishaw but motorized. The tuk-tuk drivers would shut off the motor when stopping in traffic light or jam. There are lots of blinking bright lights inside and outside the vehicle. It’s loud and the drivers are crazy! They may just U-turn to go to the other road opposite and some may even try to con you by bringing you to places you don’t want because they get commission.

If you need to be somewhere fast, tuk-tuk’s the better choice compared to taxi as it’s smaller and it can manuver over tight lanes. Most of the car drivers are wild but also lenient – they will just let you cut their lanes.

All the taxis in BKK are in super bright colours – red, pink, blue. Practically 1/2 of the vehicles on the streets are make up of taxis and tuk-tuks.

There are VERY FEW trees in the city. Very hot. Quite polluted. 2 of the bad side effects from riding tuk-tuks is bad skin and dirty hair! Dust sticks to skin and flyaway hair. Though I supposed if we were going so fast, the wind would just push the dust away from us..

Oh yeah, you can bargain the rate even with tuk-tuks. Best to ask locals how much the rate is. With our hotel, we asked the receptionist and the tourist guide. There are times when taking the train is better, it’s like LRT Putra but the routes wouldn’t curve as much.. The small LCD screen would show ads and when it’s nearing the next stop, it will show the next Station name. Useful if you can’t see the signboards at the train station or have hearing problem. They do announce the train station.

When the couple heard that we were going to Siam Paragon, the girl asked if they could join the tuk-tuk ride with us. We almost wanted to retort her, “Actually, you can take taxi there.”

The recptionist said we could walk to Siam Paragon by taking train to Chidlom Station! Then, the couple also decided to walk. Hey, they could still take the tuk-tuk to wherever they wanted to go. Nat called her bitch at her back.

I didn’t really pay attention at the their conversation as I was chatting online but I got the gist of it.

So in the end, we walked and took pictures along the way. The funny thing in BKK was there were open temples right outside shopping malls! People were actually praying, offering flowers, candles and lighting joss sticks.

We saw a guy promoter in black shirt & black knee-length pants and white sports shoes in 1 of the fragrance & cosmetics counter in CentralWorld! :D Very gayhip.

When we reached Siam Paragon, we walked directly to the food court and bought coupons. Walked almost 1 round and I paid for the crepe. My pouch was open! SHIT! My handphone and camera were gone! I looked around in shock. Went back to the counter to check if I had dropped them and asked the cashier. The bitchy cashier couldn’t understand me and didn’t even try to help me.

Chai called my hp and there was no more ring. Shit. Stolen. Really. Damn. My black Motorola that belongs – belonged to my friend and Konica digital camera (both in black) that belonged to my brother with pictures from his studies in US & father’s trip to China – were stolen!

All the pictures in Bangkok gone! Whoever you are, you’ll get your own karma someday. Or maybe I had stolen stuff from someone in my past live and now I’m paying it. Shit. It sucked. I had no mood for dinner after I discovered they were stolen. My pouch was kept by my side and front at all times.

They tried to cheer me up and I forced myself to eat a bit. I glared at the people around the mall, eyed any handphone and camera. Damn you, thief!

After we ate, we went to the security counter and reported this incident. Again, the staff had to ask what I was talking about and then they called up someone and a guy in suit came with ambassador tag. Dutch, English.

We explained and then I said I wanted to see the cctv. We had to wait for almost 1/2hr in the security room and saw the how the staffs worked. They chit chat, stamp company chop slowly and hard onto documents, read magazines, flirt and put on makeup while we sat there facing them. Seriously, if we had those jobs, we’d be bored to death and quit in a day.

It wasn’t the 1st time there was handphone being stolen in that mall. Even the ambassador admitted there were always things stolen.

When it was our turn, we saw our entrance, us paying at the food counter and walking in 1 section. However, there was a short aisle where there was no camera! That must have been where my stuff were stolen! Sigh. No evidence.

I insisted on reporting to police. I wanted Thai goverment to have me as a statistic of robbery. Nat advised me to just let it go. Even if I reported to police, there was nothing they would do. We argued there and I still wanted to report to police. She could go back or watch movie, whatever, I’d go to the police station myself.

“How could we let you go alone to police station in a different country?” she asked.

All of us had lost our mood. Tired, sad, angry and numbed alternatively.

The shopping mall had someone to take us to the police station. We saw a policeman sleeping on his chair with his mouth open. We could laugh if we were in lighter mood.

The plump and fair policewoman wrote the report in Thai based on the translation done by the ambassador, I supposed. I asked her what did she write and she translated haltingly. “You can ask translator to translate for you,” she gestured at the Thai report copy that she gave to me.

The funny thing was she didn’t ask for my contact info. I told her, “You can call me if my things are found.” I wrote my contacts there.

We came back to the mall and by then, it was 11pm. We went up the cinema and it was empty! What? No midnight show? It was certainly wide. Then we checked out Boots at the ground floor and took tuk-tuk home.

I really wanted to thank Nat & Chai for accompaning me to the police station but I didn’t voice it out.

I immediately WL brother to tell him the bad news and got hungry as I barely at for dinner. Went down to the Family Mart and bought instant noodle. Watched Fashion TV and doozed off.

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2 thoughts on “Bangkok trip III – shopping in Pratunam

  1. Natalie says:

    Your post is very interesting. :] (love it!!!)
    But i do feel sad for your loss though, hope karma can kick their ass :]

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