After a mini-tour of Southeast Asia, I am happy to be back at home sharing fun moments from my trip with my friends and others in the blog realm. My first stop was of course Bangkok, Thailand, where, most unfortunately, I had only a day and a half to explore. Technically I was travelling on a contracts tour, but even lawyers deserve a little fun, right?
There is so much to see and do in this incredible city, and one of my biggest recommendations is visiting the Grand Palace. The Grand Palace, built in 1782, housed the king of Thailand as well as the royal court. Very much in line with Thai culture and traditions, the grounds are ornate, colorful, and vibrant. Today the Grand Palace is considered the most sacred of places in Thailand, as it serves as a Buddhist temple. In fact, Buddha’s robes are still changed on a seasonal basis in line with Buddhist history and tradition. If you are staying in the center of town, please note that it takes about thirty-five to forty-five minutes each way, and you will likely spend at least two hours touring the site. Also note that as it is viewed as a sacred spot, you must dress respectfully. While it may be hot, avoid sandals as well as bearing a lot of skin. If you are not appropriately dressed, you will not be allowed in. However, do not fret, as even if you are perhaps visiting immediately following another excursion, you may purchase a wrap and other items to cover yourself. When you tour holy and/or sacred sites such as churches, temples, mosques, etc., it is always beneficial to bring a wrap or shawl in your bag.
For more on the Grand Palace, including dress code and hours of operation, click here.
As you can probably guess, after I visited the Grand Palace, it was off to Sukhumvit Road for a little retail therapy. If you are like me and do not enjoy heat and humidity, I highly recommend getting around the city by sky train. It is super easy to use, and it is air-conditioned.
My first shopping stop was Terminal 21, which is literally right across the street from the Westin Hotel on Sukhumvit Road. As the name indicates, this shopping haven pays tribute to various international locations on each floor.
If you are looking for fun and affordable trinkets and accessories, I highly recommend visiting Pink Pussy. Yes, that really is the name of the store (and I have a picture to prove it). They have great clutches, scarves, purse, and hair accessories. I was able to snag two clutches, scarves, jeweled hair clips, and bag charms for about $80. The whole buying items in twos was completely unintentional.
As you leave Pink Pussy, you will venture straight into a mini jewelry haven, where you can score great handmade jewelry ranging anywhere between $20 and $80 dollars. The great thing about buying handmade creations from small boutiques is the likelihood of someone else sporting the same pair of hearings or bracelets is pretty slim to none. Much like jewelry designer Kendra Scott, many of the local jewelry makers place an emphasis on bold stones.
After browsing through the jewelry aisles, it was time for a snack. Anyone who has met me at least once knows my obsession with desserts, so when I walked by a fabulous éclair boutique appropriately titled “Éclairs with Flair”, I just could not say no. Each éclair is so artfully presented. Did I mention that they are cheap?!?
My little sugar high was exactly what I needed to continue onward in my shopping excursion. Unlike many shopping centers in Bangkok, Terminal 21 has tons of mini boutiques with unique pieces. Each boutique prides itself on decorating the façade with the latest fashion trends, which were all about being bold and wearing vibrant patterns and fabrics. For the men, it was all about pairing board shorts with funky t-shirts for a cool, surfer boy look. For women, the stores showcased pastels, florals, and animal prints. By animal prints, I don’t mean cheetah or tiger prints. There were dresses, skirts, tops, and more covered with animal graphics such as cats and turtles. The more outrageous the print, the better. Thai fashions involve mixing various textured prints at different lengths to create looks that truly pop out and make a statement. One great local store I recommend is JASPAL. JASPAL first opened its doors in 1972 and has since spread to numerous stores in Thailand and Malaysia. JASPAL’s clothing and accessories range from sleek with defined lines to funky, unique, and fun. I purchased the sweater below in grey, and it looks and feels amazing!
It was time to leave Terminal 21 for a taste of Thailand’s luxury shopping. Siam Square is the place to go to see the latest from both global fashion houses such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi as well as local fashion icons. While I loved looking at the countless window creations in stores such as Valentino and Salvatore Ferragamo, Siam provides a truly artistic shopping experience. There are countless works of art scattered throughout the mall that provides for a fun fashion experience.
While at Siam, I fell in love with a great clutch designer, Debutante O’Couture. If you are looking for some eye-catching designs (quite literally), this designer is for you. I could not resist the urge to snag the Little Monster clutch.
As I walked through the beautiful butterfly garden, my nearly twenty-four hours of travelling finally hit me like a ton of bricks. I gathered my things as I prepared myself to return to my hotel room, when I was asked to attend a fashion show. Suddenly my fatigue vanished, and I truly enjoyed viewing the vibrant designs of some of Thailand’s great designs while the evening breeze came through. This breeze was most welcome after a long, hot day, and of course the perfect transition to my next stop in the city, Breeze Restaurant.
Breeze is the highest open-air restaurant in Bangkok, and naturally, the view is incredible. While you are definitely paying for the view, the food and service is wonderful. I am told that The Hangover II was also shot at Breeze. While I couldn’t get myself to watch that movie, I don’t blame them for selecting this amazing restaurant.
Bangkok is an incredible, vibrant city filled with kind and hard working people. I highly recommend making a stop, even if you only have twenty-four hours to spare. After my brief moments in Bangkok, it was time to visit Kuala Lumpur.