Sunday, 3 March 2013

BKK II Day 4-5: MBK & The Finale


The last time that we visited Bangkok, we didn't have a good impression of MBK Center because 1) it looked a bit run-down and 2) we didn't have much time to explore the place. However, I've heard a lot about how the manicures and stuff were cheaper there so this time we decided to spend more time there as we were sure my mum-in-law would love it.

MBK Center

True enough, my mum-in-law was elated as we bought a whole lot of souvenirs from a shop near the taxi stand the minute we exited the taxi. I found out that the bags there were also cheaper than those at Platinum Mall so I bought a few.

However, the service we got was terrible. Some of the staff were snappy when we asked them some questions and another gave us a black face when we were counting the money to pay her. One rude lady even flicked her fingers at the hubby's arm and glared at him when he stopped the stroller outside her store while waiting for me to buy a bag. I was horrified! Why were these people being so mean to us?

And then I got my answer when I was buying another bag at another store. One of the tourists was being a little rude to one of the staff which got her very frustrated and angry. I then realized that their hostility probably stems from the unhappiness that they felt towards tourists in general. Of course this might just be my experience or that it was just a bad day to shop. In any case, they're lucky that their goods were cheap otherwise I won't be going back again.

The hubby told me to get my pedicures done since it would take a while. I chose Red Nails because it looked quite professional from the outside and there were a lot of people inside.

A nail salon full of people

Despite the limited number of nail colours to choose from, the comfort of the massage chair and the skill of the manicurist made up for it. I was pleased with my bright pink, well-pedicured nails =)

By the time I was done, it was time to eat so we had lunch at The Fifth Food Avenue on the 5th floor because the hubby was intrigued by its concept (similar to Marche).

The Fifth Food Avenue
Individual stalls selling a variety of international fare from Japanese to Italian
Clockwise from top left: Fruit juices from the fruit stall; Assorted seafood pineapple rice;
Seafood fried rice; Tom yum soup

After a while, we realised that this restaurant mainly catered to tourists (there were hardly any locals around) so the food were quite expensive. Although the food tasted ok, mum-in-law felt it was not worth the price we paid. It's unlikely that we will ever return again in future.

We decided to cross the road to Siam Discovery located diagonally across MBK to patronise Agnes B (where the hubby got me a new lanyard <3) and the famous Naraya. When we were finally done with all the shopping, we took a long 30 minute walk once again back to our hotel (with all the eating that we've been doing, we really needed the exercise! *laughs*). As the weather was really hot, we changed into our swim wear for a quick dip in the pool while my mum-in-law continued shopping at Platinum Mall (yes, she is more of a shopaholic than me!).

Wearing her new Hello Kitty swim robe her grandma just bought
She really, really loves the water just like me! =)

What better way to relax after a swim than to have our final session of massage at our hotel's very own spa. Although the massages were more expensive than any we've done so far, we didn't have to walk far away, were guaranteed better service and there was a 10% discount for hotel guests.

Getting our feet washed

You truly have to pay for quality indeed! The masseuse here were very skillful in applying the right pressure at the right places that made us all relaxed and very pleased. The hubby, who normally disliked massages as sometimes he would feel sore afterwards, commented that he felt no pain during and after the massage. Although my girl disturbed us by running and jumping around, we still enjoyed our massage overall and would definitely go back again. Our only regret is not going for our massages here right from the beginning! =)

As it was already late, we had dinner at our hotel's restaurant as well.

Clockwise from top left: Stir-fried kailan; fried noodles;
Roast duck; Tom yum soup with prawns

I promised my girl that if she were to sit still and finish her food, she would get an ice-cream from the 7-11 downstairs as a reward. When we discovered that the 7-11 didn't sell ice-cream, I decided to buy one for her from the McDonald's down the street so as not to break my promise to her.

From the satisfied look on her face, you can tell she absolutely loved it =)

Later we went back and laid out all the clothes we bought for her.

My girl's shopping loot from her grandma and me!
(70% of my mum-in-law's purchases these days are for my girl -_-)

One of the reasons why we love Bangkok! =)


We were leaving for Singapore at noon so we had a quick breakfast in the morning and made our way to the airport. The cab driver who drove us from the airport to our hotel on the first day actually made an appointment with us to take us back to the airport so that we didn't have to wait for a cab (win-win for both sides).

Checking in our box and luggage

I didn't manage to claim my tax refund the last year so this time I made sure to ask the receptionist the exact details on how to get my refund. She advised me to get my goods inspected at the Customs Inspection for VAT Refund near the entrance of the Departure Hall before crossing immigration.

Customs Inspection for VAT Refund

Remember to get a stamp from the officer as your receipt is not valid without an official stamp. I forgot to get my receipt stamped last year and therefore missed out on getting my refund. After getting a stamp, you will need to then cross immigration and receive your monetary refund at the VAT counters at the transit area. It's a complicated process but I suppose it's worth it if you can save some money =)

Despite all the shopping, we ended up with quite a lot of baht left so I bought some cosmetics at the shops only to find out that it's actually cheaper at Changi airport *sigh*.

Nevertheless, I'll definitely be back to Bangkok again soon. See you for now =)

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