Shopping in Bangkok, Part 2

One of the stores I really loved in Bangkok was Loft at Siam Discovery. This is a really nice wasteland, and I have been to Loft in Tokyo. I don’t even have to buy a lot. Whenever I see colorful objects and stationery, my eyes are already getting full. Just leave me here for two hours and I’m good.

Loft, Bangkok
Loft, Bangkok
Loft
Loft, Bangkok

I wish some visionary businessman would bring LOFT to Manila. Check this out.
Another store I hoarded in was Uniqlo in Central World

Uniqlo at Central World

straight to the Undercover collab with Jun Takahashi.

Uniqlo at Central World

I bought tons of basics, pajama pants, and clothes for Christian

Uniqlo at Central World

Can’t wait for Uniqlo to open at Mall of Asia. I’ll be there in a couple of days for an exclusive preview!!
Next, Joey took me and Jeroen to the Chatuchak weekend market via Mr. Chim’s van.

Mr. Chim's van

I think I’m too old for Chatuchak. I really suffered through the heat, but was able to get some loot from this nameless store.

Chatuchak

Chatuchak is where you might see artists selling their own wares, like this one. I had him sign this really comfy tee that cost 250 baht.

Chatuchak
Chatuchak

Why not?

Chatuchak

Spotted Manny Pacquiao among the world’s most recognizable icons (150 baht each)

Chatuchak

We crossed over across the street and saw this nature-loving tourist walking barefoot in the 38-degree heat

No shoes

Maybe he was looking for this store

Would you shop here?

Saw some unpolished furniture. Nice design, bad finish

Chatuchak furniture
Chatuchak furniture

Then back to the hotel for a much needed shower and merienda before heading out again.
Yes, we love the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.

Room service at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Room service at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

And here’s my loot for the day. Thank you Joey!

Uniqlo and  Chatuchak loot

Best new series: Scandal

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to watch Scandal, I finally watched all seven episodes of Season 1 in two days. But now I’m so annoyed that seven episodes are so bitin. What is the English word for “bitin“?
How long do I have to wait for Season 2?
This political thriller takes place in Washington DC and revolves around Olivia Pope and her crisis management staff, as well as the White House and the people around the President.

scandal cast

I downloaded and watched all episodes not knowing what to expect and was surprised that the lead character is African-American actress, Kerry Washington. Never since Lisa Bonet (my peg in the ’80s) have I liked another African-American actress this much. I find her so pretty, though she is normy and not chica like Lisa Bonet was.

Kerry WashingtonLisa Bonet
L-R: Kerry Washington now and Lisa Bonet in the ’80s

Olivia Pope’s job is to save high profile people from dangerous/embarrassing/scandalous situations like rape, kidnapping, divorce, adultery, even murder.
The lengths they do to make problems go away is very interesting to me, having been involved in some problems that could’ve been managed in the past. I sure could’ve used Olivia Pope. This is the reason I decided to get myself some protection.

To all those asking which show is worth watching now, I recommend this one. You will learn a lot about Washington, The White House, and how things work for people in power.

To know more about Scandal, click HERE.

Shopping in Bangkok

The first thing you have to know about shopping in Bangkok, is if you’re a doña like me, you don’t have to walk and sweat, go from hot street to cold mall, go up and down the stairs and take the sky train. You can always hire a car and driver to take you around town.
My sister recommended Mr. Chim, whom Jeroen and I hired for four days in Bangkok.
Mr. Chim drives his own van. He is kind, on time, and trustworthy.

card-1

Hiring a van cost us anywhere from 1,800 – 3,000 baht per day. The rate changes depending on the hours, parking, and tolls paid. I also recommend giving Mr. Chim a tip as he is the nicest driver you’ll ever meet.
Mr. Chim picked us up at the Mandarin Oriental at 11 AM.

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My Thai BFF Joey was in charge of booking him a day in advance, including dropping us off at the airport on the last day. I have known this guy since 1985. We were classmates in U.P. Fine Arts.

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The inside of Mr. Chim’s van looks more like a car-house. He did mention he was going to buy a new van, so I’m looking forward to using that next time. :)

Inside Mr. Chim's van

As per my stylist friend Joey, our first stop was Erawan Plaza

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Inside are Lanvin

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Alexander Wang

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Before anything else, we had to eat. When in Thailand, we eat Thai. Like everyday.
Joey and I had a nice chat n’ chew at Nara restaurant where he explained to me the politics of Thai bath houses :)

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I ordered the appetizer sampler and was sad they put sauce on everything, but I ate it anyway. Not bad.

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Next stop: Comme des Garçons

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I tried on all of these. I didn’t buy all, but I did enough damage to become an elite member of Club 21 :)

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Here’s the multi-brand Club 21 store which owns CDG in Bangkok and in Singapore

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We walked to Gaysorn Shopping Centre

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and saw this restaurant called Thann, covered in paper leaves, which is a scary fire hazard, if you really think about it.

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I’m also scared of creepy crawlies hiding within the leaves

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Amazing though

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I can’t remember buying anything at Gaysorn. Sretsis’ sales assistant was on a very long break apparently. We could not enter, nor did Joey particularly push for it.

Sretsis

Gaysorn is where I saw Dean. I am trying not to think about him so much.
Flynow is no longer what it used to be. Now they have more interesting windows than merchandise.

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Then Joey took me to the new location of WWA, which I used to like.

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I was not feeling WWA this time. It felt more like WQ (walang quenta).
These shoes were too tight and I’m no longer into the shock value of metal soles. At my age, I find them dangerously trippy.

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(To be continued)

The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

Singapore has the legendary Raffles Hotel and Bangkok has the Mandarin Oriental. (Wish we had the same kind of old world elegance in Manila, but we don’t.) Just take a look at the awards won by the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok in 2012:

DestinAsian Readers’ Choice Awards 2012:
Best Hotel in Bangkok

The Gallivanter’s Guide 2012
3rd Best City Hotel Worldwide
2nd Best City Hotel in Southeast Asia
Editor’s Choice Award for O-Zone: Commitment to Staff

Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2012
Best for Food
Best for Service

I was lucky to be a guest of Louis Vuitton in one of the world’s best hotels.
Right in front of the entrance is a little Louis Vuitton shop.

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Grand flower arrangements will greet you at the lobby

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Everyday there are bodyguards all around as royalty goes in and out of the hotel. It’s my first time to encounter many sheiks in white robes. This hotel seriously reeks of wealth. I feel like a peasant in CDG.
They handed me this fragrant sampaguita thingy upon arrival. I super love sampaguita.

Louis Vuitton invite

After checking in, we were led to the old wing of the hotel, down this hallway and all the way to the end

The Author's Wing

So excited to go up this loft

The Author's Wing

The door opens to a living room and study

Room 160

And this old TV with a wonky remote control that needs updating :)

Our room

They bring up our bags

Room 160

Room 160

I check out the bathroom. It needs updating too, and certain corners need to be seriously cleaned. But for four nights, I can take it.

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I just have to close my eyes or look away when showering and try not to see the black mildew formed at the bottom of the glass enclosure

The bathroom

The toilet is really clean

The loo

and the amenities really classy

Amenities

The airconditioner needs to be checked as its temperature was inconsistent—cold in the living room and hot in the loft bedroom. Maybe the beds need lighter sheets?

Bed

The best thing about this place is really the room service. Because I don’t eat on the plane, I was starving by the time we checked in. I was excited to eat because I know that my favorite Thai chef in the world, Chef Sumet Sumpachanyanont, is based here.

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok’s Thai master chef and TV culinary show host  Sumet Sumpachanyanont
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s Thai master chef and TV culinary show host Sumet Sumpachanyanont was a guest chef at the Mandarin Oriental Manila earlier this year

Room service was quick and served in a breakfast nook facing the poolside

Breakfast nook

Room service date with Jeroen

Jeroen and I shared the Thai pomelo salad with chicken, shrimp, crisp-fried shallots and herbs

Yaam Som-O

The grilled beef sirloin salad with onions, tomatoes, celery, chillies, lime juice was our favorite. Ate this everyday with Hom Mali rice

Yaam Nuea Yaang

The mango sticky rice at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is the best in the world. Ate this twice a day and gained 2 lbs.

Mango with sticky rice

Overall we had the best time and will be back with the kids. More on Bangkok in a few.

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok/

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