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.

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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.

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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

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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/

Salvador Dali x Walt Disney

What happens when two of the world’s greatest geniuses—a surrealist and an animator—collaborate on a short film?
The result is Destino, a six-minute sequence combining animation with live dancers and special effects in the same format as Fantasia.
Produced in 1945-1946, the film tells the story of Chronos, the personification of time and its inability to realize a desire to love a mortal. While Walt Disney described it as “a simple story about a young girl in search of true love.”
As a fan of both Dalí and Disney, I’m amazed I only saw this now. (Thanks Jude!)

Plains & Prints end of season sale!

Now’s the time to get your work wear essentials as Plains & Prints holds its End of Season Sale.
Don’t miss this exciting sale and be ready for any occasion inside or outside the office.
From trendy accessories to timeless closet staples, get as much as 50% off on great selections from June 13 to July 1, 2012.

plains and prints end of season sale

Special privileges for BPI Cardholders
On June 12, BPI cardholders get first dibs via exclusive sale at Plains & Prints Glorietta 1 & 5, Shangri-la Plaza, TriNoma, SM Mall of Asia and Alabang Town Center.
During the one-day private sale, for a minimum purchase of P2,000, BPI Cardholders get a 15% discount coupon valid on regular items purchased from July 2 to July 1, 2013. Plus a Zalora gift voucher worth Php 250, which may be used on any Plains & Prints product on sale at zalora.com.ph.

During the End of Season Sale from June 13 to July 1, for a minimum purchase of Php 2,000 at participating branches, BPI Cardholders can get a 10% discount coupon, which they can use to purchase regular items from July 2, 2012 to July 1, 2013. They’ll also get a Zalora gift voucher worth Php 250.

For more details, go to http://www.plainsandprints.com.

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