Sunday, 3 February 2019

Bangkok & Khao Yai trip – Prologue

I asked my sis & mom if they are keen to go overseas on next year Chinese New Year as it falls on Tue & Wed, so taking 2 days leave will extend the trip to a week long. We have been to Bangkok during CNY period before hence this time I decided to visit Khao Yai. My sis suggested extending till weekend so that she can shop in Bangkok. 

I searched for the cheapest air ticket using skyscanner and the cheapest price is taking Air Asia for the departure leg and Thai Lion Air for the return leg. Although Thai Lion Air ticket is almost the same as Air Asia and Scoot for the return leg but it includes free 20kg check in baggage, hence the nett price is still cheaper. The total fare for both leg is $250 inclusive of sharing 2 X 20kg check in baggage for the departure leg.

I plan to head straight to Khao Yai after landing at Don Mueang Airport and the travel time is about 2hr. I have booked a driver Neck who will pick us up from the airport and drive us around in Khao Yai for 2 days and return to Bangkok. I found Neck contact online and whatsapp her (Hp: +66 83 305 5270) and she quoted us THB 3,500 for Innova car or THB4,000 for van. The charges include petrol, toll fee and driver accommodation.

At first, I planned to stay at Escape Khao Yai in Khao Yai for it's sleek modern architecture.  However the deluxe room was fully booked on the dates I wanted and my sis asked me if there's cheaper alternatives. I have decided to stay at Ma Moths House Khao Yai which is clean and value for money. I make the booking via agoda as Ma Moths House does not have it's own website, 3 nights stay cost $120 excluding breakfast and includes S$3 gift card which can be used for future booking.

In Bangkok, I choose to stay in The House Pratunam which is newly open in Aug 18 and for the close proximity to Platinium mall & Pratunam market. There is discount of 40% for booking of minimum 3 nights and additional 10% for registering as a member. The rate for 3 nights superior twin room with balcony is THB3,817 ~ S$160 excluding breakfast.

I plan to purchase local SIM card as I intend to take grab in Bangkok. The most popular SIM card is DTAC Happy Tourist SIM. There are 2 types: THB299 (8 days of unlimited data) and THB599 (15 days of unlimited data). I found out that Klook is selling the 8 days SIM card at S$5.50 for collection at Suvarnabhumi Airport or Siam Center but S$6.70 for collection at Don Muang Airport. It is so much cheaper compared to purchasing from DTAC booth at the airport, which cost THB299 ~ S$12. Furthermore, I saw that there is S$6 off for First-Time App Users on Safra website so this SIM card is almost free.

I have emailed Farm Chokchai to make reservation for their tour and they redirected me to Ticket 2 Attractions to book the tickets. I found out that the admission to Primo Piazza, PB Valley and GranMonte are slightly cheaper on this website.

Itinerary for this trip: 
Day 1: Reach Bangkok at 4.30pm (GMT +7), Check into Escape Khao Yai
Day 2: The Birder's Lodge Café, PB Valley, Palio Khaoyai, The Chocolate Factory Khao Yai, Please Don’t Tell Khao Yai
Day 3: Thames Valley Khao Yai, Suwan Farm, Farm Chokchai, Khao Yai Panorama Farm, Fairy's Scone House Khaoyai, Maneesorn sunflower field
Day 4: The Bloom, Dairy Home Farm Shop, Check into Period Pratunam, Rod Fai Train Night Market Srinakarin
Day 5: Shopping @ Platinium Mall, Shopping @ Siam Square One
Day 6: Shopping @ Chatuchak, Shopping @ Union Mall, Asiatique
Day 7: Shopping @ Pratunam Market, Depart Bangkok @ 5.35pm (GMT +7)

Budget for this trip S$1,000: 
- S$250 for accommodation 
- S$200 for transport 
- S$50 for admission
- S$200 for food 
- S$300 for shopping & miscellaneous

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