Tuesday, July 29, 2014

First trip to bangkok.

Arriving in Bangkok!
Papa Saigh has been working in Bangkok this month, and it's our first experience having him away for weeks at a time for work. Although we miss him while he's away, it's a great opportunity for us to visit the other countries that he's working in. So this month, Linna and I took our first trip to Bangkok, and we'll be heading back later this week for another (and longer) visit!

Bangkok is in Thailand, and it's just a two-hour flight from Singapore. I'm used to flying 19+ hours by myself with Linna, so this flight is easy-peasy! We stayed at the Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok in Sukhumvit (area of Bangkok), which is the hotel Papa Saigh is working in. The hotel is brand new and GORGEOUS! The floral scent inside the hotel makes me want to stay there forever, and the service we received as guests was phenomenal. We were saluted by the guard at the front gate every time we left and returned to the hotel, and the staff made sure all of our needs were met. I seriously felt like royalty staying at this hotel!

Every morning, we enjoyed a breakfast buffet in the hotel's Twenty-Seven Bites restaurant. These breakfasts were about as nice as the fancy Sunday champagne brunches we've experienced in Singapore, only MUCH less expensive. They had dozens of Thai, Indian, and Western dishes, but my favorite part about the breakfasts were the "young" coconuts. They were cracked open by a chef with a huge knife right in front us, and the coconut water and "meat" inside was mouth-watering. Linna, on the other hand, wasn't too pleased. She preferred the chocolate croissants and cereal:) I'm seriously looking forward to our trip back to Bangkok later this week, JUST so I can sink my teeth into those little gems!

Delicious "young" coconuts at the hotel. Linna preferred other menu items:)

Terminal 21 in Bangkok.
View from our hotel room.
Linna loved shopping... haha!
Super comfy and cute outfit I found for Linna at Terminal 21,
by a Thai designer. Just $12USD. Going back for more!

Papa Saigh also surprised me with a couple in-room Thai massages, while he took Linna to the hotel's pool. If you've never had a REAL Thai massage... GET ONE! The massage therapist stretched and bent my body in ways I didn't think were possible. It was like a yoga session without having to use my muscles! Linna loved the hotel's pool, Papa Saigh loved spending some quality time with his little lady, and Mama Saigh got some relaxing "kid-free" time... A win for all involved!

Papa Saigh and I also hired a babysitter for Linna one night so we could go to dinner. We were the first people to EVER eat on the balcony at the hotel's Attico restaurant! The view from this balcony is amazing, as it's up on the 28th floor. Since Papa Saigh sampled some of the dishes at this restaurant prior to our visit, he made suggestions on what to order for dinner. We each had a different gnocchi dish, and they were fantastic. On a couple evenings, we ordered room service for dinner, and the hotel's Pad Thai dish is one of the best I've ever had. Now you see why I didn't want to leave, right?!

Date night with this stud at Attico at Radisson Blu Bangkok.

Shopping in Bangkok is SO much cheaper than in Singapore, so we hit up two indoor shopping centers, and one outdoor market during our visit. Terminal 21 and Siam Paragon were my favorites, as they were air-conditioned and very clean. I think we spent about 45 minutes at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, as it's not very stroller-friendly, and it was SO hot and stinky! Linna slept in her stroller during our Chatuchak visit, but her face was all red and sweaty, so it was hard for me to enjoy my time there. I guess I'm more of an indoor-gal in these types of situations.

Linna and Papa Saigh chillin' at the hotel's pool. Gorgeous day!

Papa Saigh and Linna sleeping in one of our "cloud" beds at Radisson Blu in Bangkok!

The coolest guard ever at the hotel!

Bangkok's power-lines stress me out!

Taxis are also inexpensive in Bangkok, but traffic is awful! I heard that the train system is another cheap (and faster) way to get around Bangkok, but they are NOT stroller-friendly, as you have to climb lots of stairs to board and exit (no lifts/escalators). Terminal 21 is walking distance from the Radisson Blu, but Linna and I took a taxi to Siam Paragon, where we spent an afternoon at Kidzania. This place was SO cool... especially for the older kids. Kidzania is basically a village just for kids, where they're taught different jobs and skills. It's set up like a mini-town, with everything from a hospital and fire station, to a pet shop and restaurants. Kids are taught how to do various jobs such as parcel delivery, dental work, sushi making, and even working at a newspaper! Kids get to wear uniforms, work a variety of jobs, where they can earn money and even open their own Kidzania bank account. Linna spent most of her time up in the toddler area (for kids under age 4), where they had a huge play-kitchen, sand pit, ball pit, and a balloon artist to entertain the kids. Most of the "jobs" outside the toddler area are targeted for kids age 4 to 15, but Linna took a fire-fighting course which kept her attention for all of five minutes:) She enjoyed running around though, and I think it will be more her speed in a year or so. Rumor has it that there will be a Kidzania opening next year in Singapore, and one is also coming to the US!

Kidzania in Bangkok. At the entrance, every kid is given a security bracelet that staff
can scan to track and locate each child throughout the "city".

Linna and another little girl in the Kidzania Toddler-Area's Kitchen.

Some kids being taken around in an ambulance, while they "worked" at the Kidzania Hospital.
Too cute! They had a fire truck that came through every half hour or so too, with little
firefighters-in-training on their way to help put out a "big fire".

Tiny sushi makers in a Kidzania restaurant. 
Linna training to be a firefighter at Kidzania in Bangkok.

While Bangkok is very busy and stinky (often smells like poop), it is such a fun place to visit. It reminds me a lot of Manhattan actually. Some of our friends that we met in Singapore recently moved to Bangkok, so we got to visit their new place while we were there too! Clare and Roger have three little boys (Baby Ethan was just a couple days old when we visited), and they have lived in countries all over the world. They are "SERIOUS" expats, and some of the most down-to-earth people we've ever met!

Mama Saigh and our friends' brand new baby!

We are really looking forward to spending more time with them during our upcoming visit to Bangkok. I'm also hoping to see more of Bangkok, including the floating markets and temples. Papa Saigh will be working during most of our visit, so Linna and I will venture out on our own. Here's to adding more stamps on our passports!

See you again soon Bangkok!

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