Thailand 2013 : Indra Regent, Siam Paragon and Lady boys

For Christmas this year (well … last year, since this entry’s 7 months late), our family went to Bangkok.  The last time Ezra and I were there was back in 2009, so we were pretty excited.  Thailand will always hold a special place in our hearts because back when we lived in Myanmar, there were no direct flights from the Philippines and we would always have to spend the night in Bangkok.

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This is the second year in a row where we spent Christmas day at the airport 😀 We went there early because last time we flew on Christmas day, it was very crowded
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We were pretty relaxed this time since we had plenty of time to spare before our flight.  We took advantage of the airport’s free wifi to surf the net while waiting.

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After a peaceful 3-hour flight, we landed safely in Bangkok.

We booked a shuttle to take us to our hotel, but the van that was supposed to pick us up got stuck in traffic due to the protests.  Fortunately the company had this little lounge where we could wait.

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Garcia girls on their iPads.  What were we so busy with?

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Why Candy Crush of course.

After a short wait our shuttle arrived to take us to our hotel, the Indra Regent Hotel.

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My parents have stayed in this hotel countless times before because of work, but this was Ezra’s and my first time there.

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It was Christmas day so naturally they had this huge Christmas tree in the lobby

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Hallway leading to our room

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My parents booked the Lanna Suite, which was at the very end of the hallway.

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Ezra posing with the beautifully carved door to our suite

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Inside, there’s this little foyer.  If you turn right at the end you have Ezra’s and my room, and to the left is my parents room

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Ezra and I were surprised by how spacious our room was.  You could probably fit two more beds in there.  Plus, we had a queen sized bed each.  Plenty of room to roll around while we sleep 😀

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The master’s bed room was even fancier of course.  But it had a lot furniture so they didn’t have as much space to move around.  They had a vanity table, a sofa set and a four poster bed.

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Cute mirror
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The master’s bathroom also had a shower and a tub 😀 (Our room only had the shower)

Since we haven’t had dinner yet, we decided to walk around outside and look for a place to eat after dropping our luggage off.  Our hotel is actually connected to a shopping mall, which has a nice food court, but they close at around 6pm. It was pretty late so most of the restaurants were already closed too.  We did see lots of these carts selling Thai street food.  We were pretty tempted to try them, only we didn’t have plates or utensils we could use.  I think these are mainly made for take-out customers.

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Eventually we found a small family-owned restaurant nearby that was still open and we had our dinner there.

Afterwards my dad went back to our hotel to rest, but we girls wanted to get a head start on our shopping.  We were in Thailand after all!  Fortunately our hotel is located right in the center of Pratunam Market.  It’s every shopper’s dream to have so many shops outside their doorstep.

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Everything was so affordable.  And we didn’t even have to bargain that much.  I ended up buying 5 dresses and 2 earrings in the two hours we spent there that evening.

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My mom wasn’t that interested in shopping for clothes but she did get excited when she saw these little buko juice.  They’re her favorite.  I expected them to taste like a regular coconut water but I was pleasantly surprised to find out how sweet and delicious they were.  I’m not sure if it’s a special kind of coconut or they did something to it, but it was super yummy.  Ezra and I got soon got addicted to these too and we’d buy one every night.

The next day my mom had to work, so she stayed in the room while my dad showed Ezra and I around the mall.  But before that, we had breakfast at our hotel first.

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The breakfast room was open air, which we enjoyed because the weather was nice and cool.  We just had to make sure to keep a close eye on our food because there were lots of birds in the area waiting to steal them off our plates.

While we were eating, one of the staff came up to us to tell us that we were in the wrong breakfast room.  She told us that since we booked a suite, we should have had our breakfast at their second breakfast room.  We were almost finished eating so we told them we’d rather not transfer.  But after we were done, we decided to go down to the other breakfast room to see what they offered.

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Unlike the other breakfast room, this one was indoor.  I expect that the guests appreciate that during the summer, but since it was December, it didn’t really make a big difference.  And to be honest, the buffet was pretty much the same as the other breakfast room, except this one had an omelette station and bacon.  (Well, I suppose for some people the presence of bacon is enough reason to upgrade….).  But honestly, we preferred the other breakfast room because it was more spacious.

My parents told us that the hotel had a koi pond nearby, so we decided to go and check it out

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We passed by the pool on our way there.

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Ezra and I got all excited when we saw the all the huge fish in the Koi pondIMG_5522a (6)

Look how big they are!  Some of them were longer than our arms!

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After playing with the fish, my mom went back to the room to work and my dad took us to go shopping at Indra Square, which was connected to our hotel.  (You can access it via the 2nd floor).  I picked up a dress and a phone case there.

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Ezra found this giant lolly and she convinced my dad to get it for her.  It took her three days to finish the entire thing.

My parents wanted us to see this mall called Siam Paragon, so we decided to have our lunch there.  We went back to our room to pick my mom up and grabbed a cab to take us there.  It’s actually walking distance from our hotel, but we were really hungry so we wanted to get there faster.

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We found this interesting sign on our cab window.  It’s an illustration of things that aren’t allowed inside the vehicle. Some of them were very clear, but some were confusing.  Ezra and I were laughing at the  the one the middle because we figured it meant “no hanky panky in the cab”, but my mom’s convinced that it meant “no fighting”, lol.  What do you guys think?  Also, the one on the far right has us stumped.  Is that a sheep or a goat?  Ezra says it looks like a ghost.  So “no haunting the cab”?

After a short ride, we made it to Siam Paragon

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We were greeted by these bears from Harrods Cafe:

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Ezra spotted this little guy from afar and she got all excited because she thought it was Happy from Fairy Tale:

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She was wrong, but she took a picture with him anyway.

One of the mall’s main attraction is the aquarium on the ground floor, called Siam Ocean World.

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There’s an entrance fee but they have a nice display at the entrance where you could take pictures.  We were pretty hungry so we figured we would come back after eating.  But when we looked down from the 2nd floor, Ezra saw this Santa shark mascot walking around, and she got so excited that she jumped on the escalator to chase after him.

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It only took a few seconds for us to go down but Shark Santa somehow managed to disappear in that short amount of time! 😦

Since we were already there, we figured we might as well take a few photos

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My mom posted this on her FB for Father’s day

IMG_5540b (26)There was also a Madame Tussads there.  Again, we decided not to go inside because we were already hungry and we didn’t have that much time to spare.

After this we grabbed some lunch at the food court before going to see the famous Gourmet Market, where they sold all sorts of yummy goodies.  I especially liked looking at all the pretty cakes there:

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So many strawberry cakes!

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Christmas cake pops

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IMG_5540b (31)aLollies
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Look at these adorable cup desserts. My sweet tooth was going wild by the time we left.

I bought some dried apples and Ezra bought some of her favorite mini fruit jellies.

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I found a poster with some familiar faces while we were walking around.  It’s the guys from Pee Mak (minus Mario Maurer).

After this, we walked around the mall for a bit before deciding to go back to our hotel to rest. We had a show to catch that evening and we wanted to relax a bit before getting ready again.  We went outside where we found this loooong line of people waiting for a cab:

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The line moved extremely slowly too …

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Ezra didn’t seem to mind.  She was too busy eating her fruit jellies.  (Which aren’t really fruits.  They’re made of some kind of sweet bean paste and wrapped up in a thin layer of jelly designed to look like fruits.  They’re really yummy :D)

After standing in line for a while and realizing that we’ve barely moved, figured it would be a better use of our time to just walk back to our hotel.

On our way there we passed a few more big malls, like Central WorldIMG_5542 (5)

They also had a nice display outside where we took pictures

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This was where my first self portrait of 2014 was taken

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We saw lots of photoshoots happening there

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Everything was so Christmassy 😀

Eventually we made it back to our hotel, where we took a short nap before getting ready for the Calypso Lady Boy show.  If you spend some time on 9gag, then you probably know that Thailand is notorious for having lots of beautiful lady boys.

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In our seats, waiting for the show to start
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The red light gave the whole place a seductive and naughty feel

The show had lots of singing and dancing from the lady boys.  It was interesting to see how feminine some of them looked.  Some were a big draggish, but there were a few who could definitely pass as a woman. Here are some pictures I took:
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This was supposed to be Marilyn Monroe

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They did the Korean fan dance

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The hostess for the evening

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I think they put this guy in mainly for comedic relief.  He did a couple of funny stuff with the audience

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Elvis in the house!

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This “girl” was really cute.  She was Ezra’s and my favorite.

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Some macho looking guys in bikinis.

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Lady boy in a red bikini

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They ended their show with a performance of All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey

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After the show, the performers waited outside to greet the audience.
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You can have your pictures taken with them in exchange for a small tip

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I wasn’t able to get a photo with our favorite performer, but here’s a solo shot I managed to take of her

The rest of our time in Bangkok was spent going around the different shopping areas.  We did sign up for a short tour of Ayutthaya  and a riverboat cruise on our fourth day there, which I talk about in a separate entry.  I was planning on sharing some photos of the night market here, but I figured it would be better if I made a separate entry for that too since this one’s getting pretty long. You can read those entries here :

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14 thoughts on “Thailand 2013 : Indra Regent, Siam Paragon and Lady boys

  1. Pingback: INSTABITS : December 2013 | What I have shown you is reality ...

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  3. Just a Thai passerby.

    …I’m not sure if it’s a special kind of coconut or they did something to it, but it was super yummy… >>> They did nothing. It’s a special kind of coconut called Ma-Praw-Narm-Hom (Sweet smell coconut).

    …Ezra and I were laughing at the the one the middle because we figured it meant “no hanky panky in the cab”, but my mom’s convinced that it meant “no fighting”, lol… >>> You are right. I have to tell you that no one really did it in the cab in public. 🙂 It’s just a joke.

    …Also, the one on the far right has us stumped. Is that a sheep or a goat? Ezra says it looks like a ghost. So “no haunting the cab”?… >>> I’m not sure as it’s hard to see clearly, but I think it’s buffalo. In Thai, calling someone buffalo is to say that he (she) is stupid. So…this sign roughly means “Don’t be a jerk” “Don’t be a stupid” something likes that. (As I told you, some of them are jokes)

    …She was too busy eating her fruit jellies. (Which aren’t really fruits. They’re made of some kind of sweet bean paste and wrapped up in a thin layer of jelly designed to look like fruits. They’re really yummy :D)… >>> It’s called “Look-Choop”. A Thai desert.

    …The show had lots of singing and dancing from the lady boys. It was interesting to see how feminine some of them looked. … >>> Real Thai girls even said that these lady boys are far more prettier than them, and Thai guy even joke that if he approach some girl, the first thing he would do is asking for her id to see if “she” is really “she”, not “he”:)

    I’m strait. But I, like most Thai, don’t mind being friend with this lady boys. I mean, we cannot choose many things in life. We cannot choose which family we would born too, We cannot choose not to be cripple. We cannot choose what sex we would be born. Thai think it’s better to accept them as human instead of treating them like a sub-human creature as people in some countries do. After all these lady boys are not different from us in that they need acceptance and happiness, just like you and me and others do. 🙂

    I live in Chiang Mai. Another destination for many tourists. If you have not visit here, please take my reply as an invitation for your family. It’s different from BKK (and, on average, cheaper) You mom and you dad might like it. Of cause you and you sis would do too.

    Welcome back and be our guest again anytime.

    • Wow, thank you for the very informative comment 🙂

      -I didn’t know that it was a special type of coconut. I thought they processed it or something because it was so yummy. I wish we had them in the Philippines too 🙂
      -A ha! I knew that’s what it meant! My mom wouldn’t believe me, hehe
      -Ooh~ I never knew that Thai people used buffalo as a slang for stupid. That’s interesting. The sign makes sense now. We were really confused when we saw it.
      -So that’s what they’re called 😀 She’s loved them ever since we were kids and we never knew the proper name. We just called it “fruit jellies” XD
      -I agree. Some of the “girls” in the show are prettier than some real girls I’ve met. I would never have guessed that they used to be male. I wouldn’t mind being friends with a lady boy either. I don’t really care if they were born male or female, as long as they have a good heart, that’s all that matters to me 🙂

      Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for giving me a little more understanding of Thai culture. Our family really loves Thailand, and I hope we can visit again soon. I’ve never been to Chiang Mai (I’m not sure about my parents), but I heard it’s beautiful. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit it someday as well 🙂 Thank you!

  4. Accidentally stumble upon your blog again.

    Chiang Mai is…somewhat different from BKK in my opinion. Judging from other tourist, foreigners and Thai, it’s more laid back, chilled out city. The living cost is 28 percent cheaper than that in BKK (while the living cost in Phuket, another tourist destination, is 38 percent higher) No wild night life. These are reasons why may expats choose to live here. Those who come here usually be someone who love culture. If you plan to visit, I would recommend you to do some reviews by searching for blogs of other tourists so that you can have more info about how she is to make your decision.

    You can also shop for goods in CM. But what most famous here is handicrafts. Actually you might already bought clothes which are more cheaper if you bought them in CM. 🙂 Also CM IS called “city of artists” by many Thai since there are lots of artists, craftsmen, musicians.

    If you plan to visit here, the best time should be late Oct-Feb which is the high season for tourism in CM. Avoid summer (except you want to join “Songkran”) because there will be smoke from farmers burning waste from corn and rice fields. If you love shopping and something “hipster”, I would suggest you to come in late Nov. to early Dec. since there will be 2 events that you might like. One is “Gift fair” which sells goods from factories in cheap prices. Most of them are handicrafts. This usually hold for 10 days since Dec. 1st. Another one is “NAP”, Nimmanhaemin Art and Design Promenade, which young local artists and designers will sell their products (Most of them is contemporary arts) NAP usually holds for 5 days. Starts from 5, 6 or 7 of Dec. Below are some pictures of the previous NAP. Just copy and paste.

    http://guidelanna.blogspot.com/2013/12/nap-nimmanhaemin-art-and-design.html

    http://www.dumenu.com/?p=1247

    http://www.bloggang.com/mainblog.php?id=chaarts&month=13-12-2007&group=2&gblog=2

    If you plan to visit during that time, better prepare by booking some accommodation in advance.

    That’s all I can think right now. Hope you enjoy your next trip, no matter where you go. 🙂

    • I see 🙂 We should definitely plan a visit to Chiang Mai soon. We’ve been to Phuket and Pattaya before and we think it’s lovely there too. But yes, the cost of living is definitely higher since it’s a tourist area.

      Thank you so much for all the wonderful information. I’ll keep your comment in mind for when we plan our trip there 😀

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