Category Archives: Thailand

Reblog- Backpacking Thailand by backpackies Anonymous

We are suffering from the “travel” itch again! It was time for us to go somewhere. Anywhere will do.  Sitting in Penang for too long was driving us nuts. Don’t get me wrong, Penang is a wonderful place. But it was time to just pack our bags, and go for some GO GO dancing! Some RnR.
Bangkok was cheap and it had a direct flight from Penang. We kept going into Air Asia’s waiting lounge. Which meant that we had to wait for hours, till we actually got RE-directed to the PAY page. Only to be kicked out with an ERROR message telling me that the transaction did not go through. Yes, we feel your pain especially when you plan out to wake up at 2am just to sit in front of the computer, hoping to be the first person to score some CHEAPO flights. We hear your pain. There is nothing much you can do, but try and try again. I think the best time to surf for cheap flights, especially when their PROMOTIONS are on, is during the 3am – 5am window. Some say its between 7am to 9am. But 9am is basically your cap, as you know people nowadays. The first thing they do at work is UPDATE FACEBOOK and BUY cheap flights.

Long story short, we were off !!! We paid RM 205 per person one way from Penang to Bangkok. Which was dirt cheap. These are some of the pictures we snapped throughout our travel.

Checking in on Air Asia. Look at the mess behind the counter! I bet you if you throw your over weight bags over there, without her noticing, i don't think you need to pay for excess luggage

Oh come on! Penang International Airport is such a beautiful airport. Where is the soap for the sink man! Why are all the dispensers empty?

What's to BRAVO about this picture?

To date, i still do not understand the meaning of the toilet signs at the Penang International Airport.

Sawadee Krup! Welcome to Bangkok. See how enthusiastic my girlfriend was when she heard i was going to revisit Patpong? (For the writeup of course!!)

When you reach Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.  Once you get off the plane, there will be shuttle buses waiting to transit you to the arrival terminal.

From the plane you will need to take a shuttle bus to the terminal

About 4 years back, the only transportation out of Suvarnabhumi Airport was just the taxi. At that time, the taxis would cost between 400 THB to 800 THB for a normal cab to central Bangkok. Now the times have changed. You have a couple of options. Here is a list of options and the floor in which you need to go, to get it.

We wanted to take the Airport Rail Link to town because we heard it was fast and cheap.  Check them out here > Bangkok Airport Train
Unfortunately, when we arrived, the train had left and the next train was going to arrive 30 minutes later. I decided that we should take the taxi. My reasoning was, since there was 2 of us, and it would cost around 380 THB for the 2 of us to get to town by taxi, which was about 170 THB more expensive than taking the train. Train for one way was 90 THB per person/ per way. And 150 THB per person/return.

Because our first guesthouse was not located along the main BTS SKY TRAIN lines, this meant that if we were to take the train, we would still end up either walking from the nearest BTS station or taking a taxi to our guesthouse which was somewhere in SILOM.
We stayed at Just Beds. And the place is simply a steal!  You have to got to check it out. We will blog about this in the next blog.
So to get to the trains, there are plenty of signs that will lead you there.

Naaah! this is the way to the airport bus counter

The train counter is on B floor.

Just in case you decided to wait for the train, the Thai’s are very considerate, where they have made their chairs comfortable for you to rest on. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep and miss the train !

Along the way you can find plenty of chairs where you can sleep on, if you have an early/ late flight and want to skimp on hotels and taxi fair to Suvarnabhumi Airport

We proceeded straight to the taxi stand, where you will have to tell the person at the counter where you want to go, and he/she will write your destination on the piece of paper which you will then hand over to the taxi driver.

Organized taxi booth to any where in Bangkok can be taken from here

Watch out for peak hours where the traffic in Bangkok is utter madness. In case your flight arrives around 4pm to 6pm. Then we suggest maybe by taking the train, it will certainly save you plenty of time, instead of getting stuck in the taxi. This is only IF your guesthouse/hotel is in the city center like Silom or Sukhumvit.

Riding pillion on a motorcycle is probably the fastest way to get from point A to point B. It might not be the safest though. Average fare for a bike like this starts from 20 THB to 30 THB for short distances. They might charge you more, because you are a foreigner.

HAILING A MOTORCYCLE – What i normally do, which i know is ” SICK ” to others is that, i will have a Thai person write down my destination on a piece of paper. I will first ask how much the charge is. Then i will act deaf/dumb and show the piece of paper to the rider. After getting down, i will just pay the man the money without saying a word and walk off. It has worked before for me. I hope it will too for you.  Unless you are not as CHEAP as me.

Taking the famous Tuk Tuk on the highway would be suicide! Bargain hard for the right price first

I think the maximum you can get on a tuk tuk is 3 adults or maybe 5 kids. Depending on your size really. The tuk tuk driver often is reluctant to ride with more than 3 adults on board. Maybe 4 girls will do the trick? Who knows?

Because our guesthouses we were staying was located around Siam Square and Silom, we opted to ride the Sky Train often. It was not only faster but air conditioned as well. We hate to bargain- if its not for shopping purposes.

We ended up traveling around mostly by Sky Train, because it was cooler (air conditioning) and because we were staying in the city center, it was easily connected to all the malls, restaurants and famous attractions

Check out this TUK TUK that we saw in Ayuthaya! Ayuthaya is about 2 hours by Minivan from Bangkok. Its a nice city to walk around and see the ancient ruins.

Woah! Speed racer is in town

Another thing you should know about the working Thai’s is that, they are very trendy! Taking this in to account, make sure you dress up when you are heading to the clubs or to a nice restaurant!

Every where i turn , everywhere i see, i see everyone playing with an I phone!

I practically lived off street food in Bangkok. There was just so many types of food by the road, and all of them were delicious!! I wouldn’t say that they are cheap. I prefer the word “Affordable”.

You got to love the street food in Bangkok

Sometimes it makes you wonder, with all the smog and soot from tuk tuks and the infamous Bangkok traffic, that are the fruits sold by the road side dirty?

I saw these kebab’s on sale along Khao San Road! Lovely! (It is not common Thai street food, but because its on Khao San Road, everything is westernized

We caught a vendor feeding this squirrel alcohol! Poor squirrel!!

And of course, every single Thai is really friendly. This Mama San was apparently the leader for this pack of “Beach Boys”. They stopped to get the same meat skewers as me, when i managed to slide in a shot!

The next day we went sightseeing. One of the must see’s in Bangkok would be the Grand Palace. You will have to see it at least once.

Wat Pho was our next destination.
Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok (with an area of 50 rai, 80,000 square metres) and is home to more than one thousand Buddha Images as well as one of the largest single Buddha images of 160 ft length- the Reclining Buddha.

Wat Pho is also famous for its Traditional Thai Massages. The temple is considered the first public university of Thailand, teaching students in the fields of religion, science and literature through murals and sculptures.In 1962 a school for traditional medicine and massage was established.The temple is home to one of the earliest Thai massage schools.

On the way back from Wat Pho, we went through the amulet market, which has the biggest collection of Amulets for sale in Bangkok.
But amongst all these holy stones and amulets, its amazing what you can find ! This is truly AMAZING THAILAND!


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Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, budget hotels bangkok, Thailand

My virgin visit to Patpong Bangkok by backpackies

My first night out in Bangkok and the ‘helpful’ receptionist at my Guesthouse already points the direction to the nearest night market – PATPONG. (Of course everyone has obviously heard of PATPONG, except me who still thought it was the BEST night market in Bangkok.

I was staying at Just Beds a nice small boutique hotel which had rates that were quite reasonable. (I will blog about it a little while). It was stated there on their website that it would be a 10 minute walk to Patpong. But i thought since i was going to be tired from all that wonderful shopping that i envisioned in my head, i took a taxi there. The cab costed me 50 THB something  (please dont get me started on the sang (cents)) The zeros 0000 behind the notes are already confusing me enough.

There are two ends to Patpong sandwhiched between Silom and Suriwong Roads, just down from the Sala Daeng Skytrain Station and is home to the city’s most popular and renowned night market, many fine shops, restaurants, five star hotels and the main draw of all, some of the city’s most boisterous nightlife.

ping pong show pat pong night market

Welcome patpong! You wanna see show...banana show, ping pong show...tiger show

The Patpong area as we know it today, was founded in the late 1960s when a number of bars were erected for the US servicemen who were enjoying R + R away from the battlefields of Vietnam. By day the area was home to the offices of international companies, including a number of airlines, but by night it transformed into something far more exciting.

When the troops pulled out in 1975, Thailand’s increasing tourist trade discovered the area and since then Patpong has been a magnet for tourists and locals alike.

pat pong bangkok

some soi's are so narrow even the skinny lady boys have a hard time squeezing in between the taxi and the road side stall to get pass traffic!

Small shopping stalls overflow into the side streets of Silom and Suriwong but the main shopping is in Patpong Soi 1 itself.
(Soi means small street in Thai). There are plenty of things to buy here, ranging from shoes, fake watches, souvenirs, jerseys but all with over hiked up prices just to cater for the farang (white man) market. So if you are buying something here, make sure you bargain hard.
(This is what we normally do. If they open a price, lets say 500THB, we offer 50 THB. I know its ridiculous but it’s also shows how much we are prepared to offer, which isn’t a lot. Then you need to bargain up while the seller bargains down. Bargain till you meet a middle point where both of you are happy. What ever it is, just try to enjoy yourself. No point, if you guys and up yelling 4 letter words and being angry about it in the end. I have seen many people who cannot handle stress end up like that.

patpong bangkok

jerseys of every team and every player you can think of

patpong night market bangkok

flower soap handcrafted

patpong bangkok

creative pillow covers - very colourful with nice 'meaningful' words

patpong night market

zooming in on the wordings so you OLD fellas can read what it means

bangkok night shopping market patpong

glasses galore!!

Girls will love Patpong. But generally we noticed that all the street markets sell almost the same things. Here you will find plenty of sun glasses, earrings, hair accessories, hand bags and shoes.

bangkok patpong night market

stitch and donald makes smoking marijuana so illgally happy

Patpong has developed and it is not just known as a red light area.  Patpong is more diverse than any of the city’s other bar areas and is home to open air bars, live music venues, pool halls, gogo bars and other specialty bars.  You truly are spoiled for choice.

bangkok patpong

angry bird fever is madness in bangkok

Even if you are a shopping freak, you still got to eat don’t you? All around Patpong are small food stalls selling the local snacks and meals. Most common you will see is fried or BBQ food stuff. Below you will see a fried chicken stall selling every single part of the chicken FRIED!
Did you know that in Thailand: Fried chicken skin is a delicacy?

patpong night market

fried chicken!

The sushi stall had quite a variety going on for 5 THB each . I missed the Unagi Sushi, though i don’t think they have it.

bangkok patpong night market

fresh road side sushi

We passed by this stall selling pork rice. Man it was so good that if melted in our mouths. I would definitely go back there for another. A normal plate with pork meat, vegetables and 1 egg costs about 45 THB.

bangkok patpong night market

fatty pork rice served with vegetables and egg

patpong night market bangkok

Yummy pork rice, that is cooked will its so soft that it half melts in your mouth

patpong bangkok night market

Fresh seafood any one?

I kind of doubt how clean it is though since it is directly beside a busy road side. Mostly they will taste delicious after covered in tuk tuk smoke.

patpong bangkok thailand

steamed soft bread dipped in a mix of pandan kaya and coconut milk

bangkok night market

after a full tummy we venture further into patpong

They have a whole group for this??? Kewl….. i didnt know that. Did you??
As you reach the Suriwong end of Patpong. If you turn left, you are a very horny man. If you turn right you are gay.
We turned right just to be sure they got their left and right -RIGHT!
We discovered a street and here is what we saw..

patpong dream boys

Check out the patpong dream boys

patpong lady boys

Dream street in patpong- every girls fantasy?

Of course there are toys here for sale as well in case you got bored with your toy boy.

patpong bangkok

A variety of tools for everyone

patpong bangkok boysThis guy even gave me the happy pose! He is really loving his job.
You get to sit with girls, kiss them, entertain them, free drinks, and you get PAID! What a job….

Of course just on the other street are where all the lady boys or KA TUEYS (thai) hang out. They were so friendly that one of them kept flashing her panties at me. What a syiok i got! (SHOCK)

patpong night market bangkok

of course Patpong is crawling with lady boys as well

Just ignore the lady boy on the right. He/she is just trying to be friendly.

What we were trying to figure out was, out in the middle of all this fantasy we were suddenly hearing some hymns….from a choir. And here was a group of students trying to collect donations from all of those poor farangs who have just went shopping in PATPONG.

pat pong night market bangkok

And all of a sudden we see this band of innocent school children collecting donations

PATPONG besides being a famous red light district and shopping market, it is where you will find great bars and clubs to hang out at. We were sitting in one of them, sipping our over priced beer as we watch how the touts try their best to pull tourists into a ping-pong show.

We hope this give you an overall of what to expect in Patpong, Bangkok. If you guys have any more questions about Patpong please do add us on facebook at backpackies is on facebook.

If you want to ask us where the best ping-pong shows or tiger shows. I’m sorry we do not know. (Seriously).
Good luck and happy travelling.

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Filed under Air Asia, being happy while backpacking, Thailand

Hadyai Thailand with backpackies

We arrived in Hat Yai,Thailand by mini van from Penang. It took us roughly 4 hours and cost Rm 28 per person. This is the railway station in Hat Yai.  The train from Hat Yai to Penang takes around 7-8 hours journey. From this railway station, you can connect to Hua Hin and Bangkok up north, and to Singapore down south.
In this blog, we will be writing about what is worth doing in Hat Yai as well as what makes Hat Yai special.

The center of Hat Yai has got to be Lee Garden Plaza/ Hotel. Tell any one “Lee Garden” and they will know where to go. So staying around this complex is also a good idea. It is near to food stalls, markets, money changers, travel agents and also strategic so you wont get lost. Checking into Lee Garden Hotel, we got this room for 1150 THB. It has free workable wifi, nice view and its clean.

The breakfast buffet included in the room rate is just average. Make sure you head down early to get a good choice of food. The food seems to finish early because this hotel mostly caters for group tours!

As it is in the center of town, you dont need to worry about transportation. There are plenty of tuk tuk’s, motorcycles and private cas waiting just outside the complex to ferry you anywhere. Make sure you bargain! They run till the night around 1am. After that you need to becareful when taking these transportation. Mostof them will overcharge you if they see that you are drunk.

Just outside Lee Garden is an evening market selling all sorts of craft and food. At night food stalls selling dumplings, assorted fried fish balls, sausages, mango sticky rice, BBQ squid and cheap birds nest’s can be seen parading outside. Plenty of street dining and drinking around here.

This is the road side scene around Lee Garden. Road side seating and dining. We arent very sure if the road side 100 THB birds nest is really birds nest. Because the proper shops are selling birds nest at 500THB a bowl. Well maybe they just put in small quantities of birds nest or they just put low quality birds nest in. (If you ask, they will all tell you its birds nest)

Hitting the pubs at night for some all night long happy hour! Post Laser Disc has a quite good live band that plays international music.

In most of the pubs, the waitresses will drink and accompany you.

One thing you got to try here is the ICE CREAM. This is the local coconut ice cream you can find on the streets. They use half of the coconut shell as the bowl. Creamy  ice-cream with a rich coconut flavour topped with crushed peanuts is served this weird assortment of pieces of bread, nuts and coconut meat…for 25 THB 🙂 YUMMY!

And if you are up for something more fancy, head over to Swensons at Lee Garden Plaza, the Ice Cream there is simply delicious, and affordable as well! AWESOME! I always cant leave Hat Yai without getting my satisfying fill of Swensons Ice Cream!

This is the chocolate indulgence! Lovely rich chocolate ice cream topped with hot chocolate fudge, and crispy chocolate wafers, whipped cream and a chocolate crunchy ball on top! Oh and you are also given extra chocolate fudge by the side…. in case you havent already have enough chocolate!

The Thai Seafood here in Hat Yai is lovely! Although most people make a short trip to Songkla or Kok Yoh for fresh seafood. There are still some good restaurants around Hat Yai town. They serve fresh seafood at reasonable prices. And the beauty of it is, you get to bring your own bottle of alcohol and drink while you dine with no corkage!

If you fancy eating seafood by the beach, you can always head to the seaside and buy some food along with you and eat there. It’s common to take away food here in Thailand. If there is something i noticed here in Thailand is that Thai’s love picnics!

Fresh grilled cat fish with chili and garlic dip! Yummy! Also try the assorted grilled meat (sausage and meat balls)!

Most tourists come to Hat Yai for cheap shopping. If you have already been spoilt by Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, dont expect the same variety of shopping here in Hat Yai.
Here in Hat Yai, you can find bags,quirky shirts, slippers, dried food and electronics. Among the famous street markets are Santisook Market, Kim Yong Market and the big Pasar.

If you explore Hat Yai town by foot, you will also notice  a lot of  Chinese shops selling a plethora of Chinese goods. Below is a Chinese shop selling prayer stuff like incense,nicely crafted candles., god statues, lanterns etc.

Asian tourists come here to buy dried foodstuff. Cashew nuts,ground nuts, squid, anchovies, berries and all are fresh and are sold wholesale here.  The anchovies fried with spice and aromatic leaves and a little sugar is very nice.

Below is a shot of pasar- the big market in Hat Yai. It is more like a local wet and dry market. There are a few sections in the market. The dry food section which is like below, selling beans, dried vegetables, spice.

The wet market which opens only in the early morning and in the evening sells meat, fish and vegetables.  Here you can find and learn the different ingredients used to make those delicious Thai food.

Although there is just so much to see in Hat Yai, the best is a short week end trip. You would be able to cover most of Hat Yai in this period.
The best time to visit Hat Yai is during the festivals. Loy Kratong (Thai New Year), Songkran (Water festival) and Chinese New Year.
For more information on Hat Yai – do join our travel group – Backpackies on face book!
Have a fun holiday!


Filed under backpacking, being happy while backpacking, Hat Yai Thailand, Thailand

Hadyai Idea Market

Hatyai- Thailand’s southern entertainment capital.
Hat Yai’s skyline is very flat and spread out, but in actual fact, almost all the tourist activity central’s around a very small area. It is possible to explore Hat Yai City either by foot combined with tuk tuk or just by motorcycle.
One of the attraction within Hatyai worth visiting is the Idea Market held in Lee Garden Plaza.
This weekly market was originally held outside the Lee Garden Plaza but has been moved into the shopping complex due to the overwhelming response and also to improve the shoppers experience as the indoors are air conditioned compared the outside.
After they shifted the market indoors, it is less affected by rain and sun shine. We still remember about 1 1/2 years back. When it started to rain, everyone will be scattered running for shelter. Stalls will be closed and what a let down!

backpacking hat yai with backpackies

Panorama sweep shot of Hat Yai Skyline

Most of the traders here comprises of teenagers and young adults. These young minds adds to the refreshing burst of creativity and difference in the products and craft sold here.
Despite the small space area, almost everything is handmade and different from each other. This creates so much variety of things to see here.

lee garden plaza hat yai

Weekend Idea Market at Lee Garden Plaza

Among the interesting things you will see here are, custom made fridge magnets and home made wall clocks. They also make their own ear rings.They love to make them in nice colorful cartoonish designs. They make excelent gifts for kids and girls. The wooden wall clocks are pretty ingenious as well. They simply install a simple clock movement on to their drawing or art piece. And voila! a designer clock! Thailand is the only place in Asia that i’ve seen these type of clocks been made. There are also clocks that spot your favorite foot ball team, others have cute loving comments and some with vintage vehicles.

backpackies backpacking hat yai
There is a stall that lets you pick your metal bracelet / ring and then write down what wordings you want imprinted on it. He doesnt use the conventional engraving. He uses a chisel and hammer to knock your letters in. Therefore it stays there forever and lasts longer. Knocking is FREE! How cool is that. Nowadays not many things are free. ONLY IN THAILAND!!

backpacking hat yai

Personal Engraving on stainless steel and silver jewellery

The stall below sells nice handmade leather key chains, phone rings ( i think that’s what its called. Its to be hung on hand phones so that you can hold it). They also have bracelets and book marks. Again, you get to let him write down what kind of wordings you want on it. FREE WORDINGS! Im so loving Thailand!

hat yai market

customized leather key chains, book marks and bracelets

I think the Thai’s have managed to find a niche market in terms of customization. This is the very first time Ive seen customized plastic rings. You get to choose what ever icons or letters to be put on the ring. The ring, alphabets and icons come in many vibrant colors!

backpacking hat yai

Customized colorful alphabet plastic rings

You can also find leather belts, wallets, hand phone pouches, belt buckles, and bracelets. They are quite reasonably priced too too. For example, a studded leather belt with a fancy cowboy buckle will cost around 550 THB.

backpacking thailand

leather products

I wonder why they only sell Liverpool dolls.

backpacking hat yai

Liverpool - you will never walk alone!

Here are the rings again! Im showing it because i bought one. Its to add to my bling bling accessories when i go out clubbing.

lee garden plaza

customized rings

Talking about plastic stuff. Check out what else they sell here. LEGO looking pendants that will get the kids screaming, and also plastic bracelets. The colorful mix was the one that got me attracted.

backpacking hat yai

creative necklaces made from lego

But if WOOD is your thing then check out the wooden dolls sold here. These wooden puppets can move and dance when you pull its strings.

backpacking hat yai lee garden

wooden dolls

There also seems to be plenty of watches sold here. These watches are different from what you will find in Hat Yai city. These are more colourful and have artsy designs on them

lee garden plaza

Check out the customized shoes. Take a pick of what design you want and the artist will draw it for you. Your spanking new designer shoes will be ready in a few hours.

lee garden market

hand drawn fabric shoes

One of the things that never bores me is their own designed t-shirts. Love the wordings and graphics on these t’s. Cheap too. A t-shirt costs around 120 THB.

lee garden plaza

nicely designed t shirts

Below are some other stuff we saw at the market

lee garden plaza

paper mache coin boxes, key chains, and table ornaments

lee garden week end market

CD pouches, coin purse, hand bag

lee garden market

very nice unique handphone pouches and bags can be found here

lee garden market

hand crafted flower candles

lee garden plaza

even the miniature street food tempts me!

After you are done shopping and you are hungry, you can always check out the many restaurants within Lee Garden Plaza or just walk out to the streets where there are plenty of road side stalls available.

Once again we at backpackies wish you guys a safe and fun-tastic holiday!
If you have facebook do join us at BACKPACKIES IS ON FACEBOOK!

We at backpackies are dedicated to make your holiday a fun, comfortable and bed bug prostitute free!

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Chatuchak Market Bangkok / Jatujak Market – Going shopping crazy with

Destination Chatuchak Market (or also known as Jatujak Market), Bangkok!!


chatuchak market bangkok

What the hell are we doing? Ans: Backpacking bangkok

Before you decide to head out to Chatuchak Market for the first time, read below. (This doesnt apply to people who frequent the market and already know what they want to buy and ARE NOT TEMPTED BY BARGAINS AND WILL NOT SPEND HOURS SHOPPING AND COMING BACK WITH TONS OF TOTALLY UNECESSARY ITEMS)

As first timer, chances are high that you will be spending at least half a day here. So here are a few things we suggest you to have, to make shopping here at Chatuchak an enjoyable one.

* Wear light and comfortable clothing, e.g. shorts and a t-shirt/tank-top
* Wear comfortable shoes, e.g. a pair of sneakers or sandals
* Protect yourself against the sun, by wearing sunglasses, a hat and use sunscreen
* Bring a backpack for storing your new-found treasures. It is recommended that you wear your backpack on the front rather than on your back
* Always have bottled drinking water handy
* Bring enough cash. Most vendors do not accept credit cards, and it can be a long walk to the next ATM
* Beware of pickpockets
* Plan to go in the morning, as it can get very hot and crowded in the afternoon
* Free maps are available from one of the information kiosks

backpacking thailand

Trapped in traffic during rush hour. Seems like every hour is rush hour here in Bangkok

If you are hungry for the real Thai-experience, then maybe you can take a tuk tuk to the market. Remember to bargain first!

traveling around bangkok

Plenty of tuk tuk's around Bangkok city

Don’t bother taking a tuk tuk if you are a late bird. The atmosphere is very conducive (by that we mean less traffic and smoke) if you are planning to go to the market around 7-8am. Any later, be prepared to smell smoke and get caught in jams.

backpacking thailand

being stuck in traffic on a tuk tuk is worse. You gotta love smoke and fumes before you take the ride

backpacking thailand

Sawaadee Krup, No farting in tuk tuk krup.. Khap Khun Krup

You don’t need to be good in your sense of direction. The moment you get down, there will be street vendors setting up stalls, shoppers swarming like a bunch of bees to the entrance of the market and tons of arts, craft and product spilling over to the walkways. Follow the crowd! 😀

backpacking thailand

Statue admiring you while you admire it back @ the Art Section in Chatuchak Market Bangkok

One thing about the Thai’s is, they sell what you need and want. There are plenty of these drink stalls littered everywhere. You will need a few if you are spending half a day here in the heat.

backpacking bangkok

Vendors selling drinks to cool off outside Chatuchak Market

We saw a lot of skillfully crafted art at the Arts and Home deco section.

backpacking thailand

Buddha preaches serenity and peace - On sale for 6500 THB! (gold plating)

backpacking thailand

buddha image centralized around the zodiac groups

An important thing that will help you is, the map of Chatuchak Market. This Map lets you know where is what and what is where. Trust me. If you go in the market without a map and decide you want to look for something from your shopping list. Chances are you might be stuck doing rounds in either the food or the pets section.
You can get your own print out map from the entrance. There are tourism people giving them out for free. (Until they are finished of course). Here is a map of Chatuchak Market and a rough lay out of where everything is. Important places to remember:
1) Exits and entrances
2) Toilets
3) ATM’s
4) Tourist help office
5) Where the stalls are at

backpacking thailand

Map of Chatuchak market Bangkok

This map points out the different segments of the market.

backpacking bangkok

The market is divided into different segments

Welcome to the “Worlds Biggest Weekend Market”. Here is what to expect…

backpacking thailand

Chatuchak Market gets really crowded by 10am! You need to squeeze your way thru some shops at times

backpacking thailand

Skillfully done arts are sold here for a bargain

budget hotel bangkok

fancy fake ciggaretes sold at the market

backpacking bangkok

Shirtless studs selling furry cute pussy cats? what a combination!!

backpacking bangkok

tastefully designed hand woven palm leaf bags

backpacking thailand

you can find all sorts of slippers, shoes, locally designed foot wear in this market! All of them cheap cheap!

backpacking thailand

colourful wooden bangles that costs like 50 THB each. They sell the same at Roxy, Reef and other surfer shops at 10x the price!

backapcking thailand

Straw hats of all shapes and sizes sold here. There is a long mirror by the road where anyone can just pick one up and try!

shopping at chatuchak market

Take a break and have soe famous pulled tea! Awe as he acrobatically throws your tea and pulls it in to another cup below

budget shopping at chatuchak market

Plenty of food stalls here. The chicken rice was really goooood.

chatuchak weekend market bangkok

feast yourselves on the street food

chatuchak weekend market bangkok

narrow steamy lanes filled with shopping galore

It gets super hot and crowded in the afternoons. Thats why we suggest for you guys to come here early in the morning.

chatuchak weekend market bangkok

meet the cuties!

Don’t forget to detour to visit the animal section. They have all sorts of animals there. But we took the cutest ones to show you of course!

shopping in bangkok

Meet Jhonny Depp as he sells you some bracelets

chatuchak market bangkok

Like i said, there are plenty of street food. I just had to stop for some thing to munch. The food here is too tempting

shopping in bangkok

a cheeky photograph of kids at the river. No, you wont see them live at the Chatuchak Market.

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trying out the different hand made smoking pipes they have

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No these are not coloured dildo's! They are..beleive it or not, glass smoking pipes!

shopping at chatuchak market

Get your own customized shoe painted sneakers! You can either let them design it for you or draw one out yourself

shopping in bangkok

You have got to try the young fragrant coconut jelly! It is chilling awesome for a hot day!

budget travel bangkok

Even she says its good! (good promotion huh)

bangkok markets

Night food stalls be careful of what you are eating, as the lighting isn't very good at night

bangkok night market

the entire atmosphere changes at night. All the stalls are beside the main street and lighted up with simple lighting.

Visit Jatujak Market Bangkok for the latest information on Jatujak/ Chatuchak Market Bangkok

Say what you like, we just love shopping at Chatuchak Market. We hope this prepares you for what to expect and also that you enjoy the whole shopping experience. Shopping at Chatuchak is like taking street shopping to a whole new level from the likes of Suan Lum Night bazaar, Patpong, Silom, Khao San or Victory Monument.

Happy shopping! Watch that budget of yours! 😀 For more wacky budget tips visit us at

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Hat Yai International Airport with backpackies

backpacking hat yai

hat yai international airport check in counters

This is Hat Yai International Airport, around 25 minutes drive from Hat Yai town.
This is the e version of the tourist map that they normally give out at the hotels >> Map of Hat Yai Town
Easiest way to get here is by taxi. A cab from Hat Yai town will cost you around THB 250- 300. you can order a cab from any hotel reception or usually they will wait outside Lee Garden Plaza.
There is a local Sawngteaw that runs past the Airport. They will stop just outside the airport. You will need to walk in which is like around 300 m. Cost around THB 50. There is also an express van airport transfer for THB 150. The office is in Thanon Niphat Uthit 1 . Next to the Thai airways office.
The express vans from the Airport to Hat Yai town is very often (You can buy a ticket from the counter which is just outside the arrival gate) This is a very reliable, fast and cheaper alternative to the taxi. Van’s from Hat Yai town to Airport, there is a fixed time. You have to check at their office.

The food here in the Airport are like in most Airports. EXPENSIVE. There are 4 cafes downstairs and 2 upstairs.

backpacking hat yai

One of the 3 places where you can get a cup of coffee and some snacks

backpacking hat yai

Car Rental Counters

This is another sweep panorama shot of what you will expect at the Hatyai International Airport


This is how the other side of the airport looks like. Nope the massage chairs aren't for free

backpacking thailand

Dairy Queen is fast food outlet selling hot dogs and burgers

For our Muslim friends: be careful to check if the food here are Halal. We know the Kopi Tiam here serves pork.

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Just a gentle reminder. The shops here DO SERVE PORK!

This airport has ATM machines. It is more convenient because if you are backpacking to the Islands of Koh Lipe or around Trang, there are not many ATM machines or banks.

backpacking hat yai

ATM's of all the banks in Thailand are here

backpacking thailand

This is by far the cheapest place for coffee and cakes - on the second floor

If you are flying international, you will need to go use the international departure gate which is at the other end of the second floor.

backpackies in hat yai

Domestic Departure lounge

International Departure

You will need to scan your hand carry and go through customs and immigration.

backpacking hat yai

You need to clear immigrations before you fly international

backpacking thailand

Immigration counter. Customs and security scanning is behind

For tourists, there is a VAT tax refund counter inside.

backpacking hatyai

VAT tax refund

thailand VAT refund for tourists

VAT refund guidelines

VAT thailand tourist refund

You can claim your VAT refund at international Thailand airports

Information on the VAT refund

A VAT refund can be claimed by any non-Thai visitor who

• is not a crew member of an airline;
• departs Thailand by air carrier from an international airport.

How to claim a VAT refund?

1. VAT refund only applies to goods taken out of Thailand within 60 days from the date of purchase.
2. The goods must be purchased from stores displaying the “VAT REFUND FOR TOURISTS” sign.

3. On any day, the value of goods purchased at each participating store shall not be less than 2,000 baht, including VAT. The total amount claimed for refund must not be less than 5,000 baht, including VAT.
4. On the purchasing day, present your passport and ask the sales assistant at the store to complete the VAT Refund Application for Tourist form (P.P. 10) and attach the original tax invoices to the form. Each application form (P.P. 10) must show a value of 2,000 baht or more.

5. Before departure, present your goods and submit the VAT Refund Application for tourists (P.P.10) form and original tax invoices to the Customs officers for inspection before check-in.
6. Valuable goods, such as jewelry, gold ornaments, watches, glasses, or pens must once more be inspected by the Revenue officers at the VAT refund office at the departure lounge after passport control.
7. You can either present your claim to Revenue officers or drop it into the box at the Refund Counter or mail from your home back to the Revenue Department of Thailand.

How will the refund be paid?

You can choose to receive your refund by
Refund amount

Refund method (You must specify the method of receiving the refund on your form (P.P.10).)

not exceeding 30,000 baht -cash in Thai baht, draft, credit to credit card account
exceeding 30,000 baht – draft, credit to credit card account

The following fees apply to refund requests

• For cash refund, a fee of 100 baht.
• For draft refund, a fee of 100 baht plus draft issuing fee at the rate charged by banks, and postage.
• For credit to credit card account refund, a fee of 100 baht plus money transfer fee at the rate charged by banks, and postage.


You cannot claim VAT refunds for the following goods:
• prohibited items
• firearms, explosives or any similar items
• gemstones

Some Hints

• Allow yourself adequate time at the airport for the refund process.
• In case your request for refund by draft or credit to credit card account receives no reply within an appropriate period of time, please contact the

The VAT Refund for Tourist Office, Revenue Department,
Phahon Yothin Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.
Tel: 0 2272 9384 to 5, 0 2272 8198 Fax: 0 2617 3559

Inside the Departure lounge, there is free drinking water and toilets.

backpackies in hat yai

in Thailand Monks are VIP's

The seats are comfortable and can be used to sleep.

backpackies thailand

Departure lounge

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Have a safe and fun trip from all of us at backpackies

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Drilling Rigs Koh Samui, Koh Tao. Oil in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao?! by backpackies

The Islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are synonymous with images of near paradise. Crystal clear blue-green waters filled with millions of colorful sea life swimming about in the sea as you snorkel over, its powder white sands that simply melt in your hands as you attempt to pick them up and abundance of peace and quiet! All the time in the world is yours.
Now all of that is about to change! The Oil Rigs are coming to town!
The next time you decide to do some backpacking to the islands, instead of a quiet little town, most likely you will be greeted by shady whore houses and bars- like Pattaya Thailand.

These islands are visited annually by roughly about 50 million tourists, for the natural beaches, attractive dive sites, rock climbing, and natural beauty.
Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao alone have about 800 odd hotels and resorts, that are at risk if these drilling projects are allowed to carry on.
You heard of the famous Ko Tao? Or the Full Moon Party aka “The Greatest Rave Party on Earth”? Well here is a map just to get you up to speed. The Full Moon Party is the craziest and biggest beach rave you will ever see. International Djs will spin the night away to literally tens of thousands of revelers on Koh Phangan’s beaches. Similar parties are held on Koh Samui as well.
See the below map of where these islands are.

backpacking thailand

Thailands triple gems -Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan

backpacking thailand

Koh Tao Island - blissfull paradise

Obviously having an oil rig within the horizon while sipping ice lemonade on the beautiful beach is not anyones idea of “paradise”.
The closest drilling site is 42 km off Koh Samui, but the border of the site is only 5km from the islands beaches.

budget hotels thailand

Koh Samui Thailand

budget hotels in thailand

Roustabouts on the drill floor working pipe

We all know, even though the “Oil Companies” dont admit it, they do cause alot of pollution. Most of it are from the cuttings and dirt that they dig up. They use drilling fluids that are sometimes dumped into the ocean. Causing damage to the environment.

cheap hotels koh samui

Pollution caused by drilling rig

The environmentalists are up in arms against the Oil Deal.

Budget hotels Thailand

Small fishing boats near the beach in Bang Sarn Village near Nakhon Si Thammarat. A pier is proposed to be built near the beach to serve as a shore base facility to support the oil exploration project in the Gulf Of Thailand.

But rallies do very little to stop these big oil companies from continuing with their projects.

Budget hotels Koh Samui

Rallies being held to oppose the oil exploration nearby the top tourist destinations.

budget hotels thailand

Oil exploration projects in the Gulf Of Thailand

Budget hotels thailand

Lagends of what the different icons and colours are for

So the next time you go there, just beware, the water might not be as clean as it is anymore. We hope with this, you stay informed about the current matters of Thailand’s Islands.
For more budget travel information, visit us at
We welcome your ideas, thoughts and comments!

Pictures are courtesy of The Bangkok Post,


Filed under backpacking, being happy while backpacking, budget hotels bangkok, Thailand