Bangpli (or Bangplee) is a south eastern suburb of Bangkok.
My trip to Bangpli was all about finding out what it would be like to be a GRANDPAcking couple in Bangkok’s suburbs.
I have done a few postings on Thailand: go to SEARCH POSTS and enter Thailand.
Bangpli is much the same so, in this POST, I will concentrate on the differences.
As you would expect, there are Banks and ATMs everywhere in Bangkok and its suburbs.
Getting money is not a problem.
I sought out an ATM that had the THB30,000 maximum and withdrew it. The Thai ATM charged me THB180 for the privilege. My NZ Bank charged me a NZ$5 fee for the insult.
The effective exchange rate was NZ$1 = THB23.80. As a rough guide, this meant that US$1 = THB31.50.
I already had my SIM card from my last visit to Thailand: http://grandpacking.co.nz/destinations/krabi-thailand.
So, all I needed to do was go into a 7/11 Store and buy some top up cards. I purchased THB400 in top ups and used the AIS Smartphone app to purchase a High Speed 2GB Data Package lasting 1 month for THB399.
It was 5:30pm at night so I had a choice or either making my way through rush hour traffic or paying the extra toll charges for the taxi to get there on the toll roads. All up it cost me THB50 for an airport pick up, THB470 on the meter, and THB170 in toll fees. THB690 total.
There aren’t many options when you get out into these parts of Bangkok.
I stayed at Sananwan Palace in a Superior Room with Fan.
There was a problem with their online booking process, so I just sent them an email instead. No problem. The email was answered and the room reserved.
As I booked for more than 7 days, I also got their standard 15% discount. This made the room rate THB340 / night which was excellent value for money.
Sananwan’s main draw is these excellent prices so close to the Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi International Airport. It is a budget hotel and doesn’t pretend to be otherwise.
- It has a small shop where you can buy cheap beer, liquor, munchies, and other odds and sods
- On the first floor it has a swimming pool
- Next to the pool is a self service coffee / tea area (with an honesty box of THB10 per hot drink)
- Also next to the pool is the restaurant area
Sananwan Palace has a core long-term rental clientele of locals. It also attracts local travellers from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines. In addition, you get seasoned expats and seasoned western travellers.
Sananwan Palace is not really a place that people book when they are coming to Thailand on holiday.
You would have to search the internet for rental companies if you want motorised transport.
A trip to the centre of Bangkok involves:
- A 400m walk from Sananwan to the crossroads at Wat Bangpli Yai Nai
- A THB6 Songteow ride from there to the Expressway (10 mins / 3km)
- A THB11 bus ride from there to the nearest BTS Skytrain Station at Udom Suk (30mins / 12 Kms)
- A THB130 1-Day Pass for unlimited BTS transport that day (30mins / 8 Kms)
- The exact reverse to get home again
A total of THB164 for the round trip; With waiting time, allow about 1.5 hours each way.
WHERE TO EAT:
The Sananwan has a restaurant with average prices. Meals start at THB80 for something simple and THB119 for something more substantial.
From the WAT, you can cross over the bridge. When you hit the main road, you will find two places that do ‘all you can eat” steamboats for THB100 per person.
Continue right towards the Big C Supermarket and you will find more cheap Hawker Stalls.
Just outside the Big C there is a market with even more cheap Hawkers Stalls.
WHERE TO DRINK:
Out on the street, there are not many options.
Most people go to a 7/11 Store, buy their drinks, and take them with them to the Hawker Stalls.
The shop at Sananwan is very reasonably priced. A large bottle of self-serve Chang or Ancha is THB50, LEO THB60, Singha THB70, and Heineken THB80. Add THB5 if you want them to bring it up to the restaurant for you.
Personally, I gave up drinking the cheaper Thai beers like Chang a while ago… there are rumours out that they add chemicals… and, my experiences after drinking it are that I agree.
To my dismay, I also found out that Ancha and Leo had a similar effect on me as the Chang – so I have stopped drinking those too. Nowadays I stick to Singha and Heineken. For a change, I’ll have a Sang Som and get some cokes.
Unless you like Thai karaoke with drunken locals, there is none. Make your own.
The better rooms have a TV with some English Cable TV channels.
Thai New Year:
It lasts 3 days and, this year, it was from Monday 13th April to Wednesday 15th April.
If you are there for New Year and venture out onto the streets… PREPARE TO GET WET.
It is traditional to throw water over everyone. You can be sitting in a bus and a bucket of water will come hurling through an open window.
Luckily, it is banned on the Skytrain.
However, if they get you on your way to the Skytrain TAKE NOTICE… the air-conditioned Skytrain can be VERY COLD when you are soaking wet.
They had been preparing for it for a few days; even building a stage in the local park.
Two famous Thai rock bands were scheduled to play on the final night of New Year.
Wednesday started slowly – with a not very impressive parade.
But, come 4pm a band started up and played on until 8pm.
The park was full and there was all sorts of cheap eats available from the Hawker Stalls out on the streets.
It was a nice end to my 4 weeks in Bangkok. The next day, I left for Siem Reap in Cambodia.
There are plenty of sites / blogs telling you where to shop in Bangkok; I won’t duplicate that information here.
From Sananwan Palace head up to the Expressway on a Songteow but, this time, get one that continues towards Bangkok (left) down the Expressway just 1 more stop to the Tesco Lotus Homepro shopping centre. Here you will find a Shopping Mall for locals and some excellent prices on things like clothes.
Or get to the Expressway and continue on a bus towards Bangkok a few more stops to Mega Bangna Shopping Mall. Again, this mall is mainly for locals and has good prices. It is massive so plan a few hours there.
I found the MBK near the National Stadium to be the best one in central Bangkok; I bought a couple of items of clothing there including some cotton cargo shorts for THB300 each and some cotton longs for THB200.
You cannot go to Bangkok without going to the Chatuchak weekend market. I was there 10 years ago and, this time, was a bit disappointed… it is not the bargain hunter’s paradise that it used to be.
WHEN TO GO:
Anytime – this is Bangkok.
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