We spent the morning of our second day in Bangkok exploring the tourist spots around the city. It was more challenging than our first day because the locations are a little far from each other. Thankfully, strangers who we asked for directions are more than willing to help, proof that Bangkok is not as dangerous as some people thought it was.
The Jim Thompson House
From our guesthouse, we took the BTS to National Stadium Station (W1), Silom Line. We took Exit 1 and walked straight to Soi Kasemsan 2, a 5-minute walk brought us to the Jim Thompson House.
The Jim Thompson House was the exact home of American businessman Jim Thompson, who revitalized the Thai silk industry during World War 2. His home now serves as a museum for his antique collections, with a retail store for Thai silk and restaurant.
The entrance fee is 100 Baht (Php 136) for adults and 50 Baht (Php 68) for visitors below 25 years old. The entrance fee includes a guided tour in English, French, or Japanese.
As we wait for our tour, we were encouraged to walk around the place and take photos, because taking photos during the guided tour isn't allowed.
The interiors of the house are a combination of Asian and Western influence, with furniture and displays bought by Mr. Thompson from his travels from different countries.
I was personally inspired on how Mr. Thompson designed his home. As a traveler, I would love to fill my future home with bits and pieces from my travels.
It was unfortunate that Mr. Thompson disappeared in Malaysia during the 1960's. Today, his house is maintained and run by The James HW Thompson Foundation.
On our way out, we were glad that there is a free shuttle ride from the Jim Thompson House to the main road, so we saved a few calories. Yay!
The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall
From the National Stadium (W1) Station, we rode the BTS to Victory Monument (N3) Station, Sukhumvit Line. From Exit No. 3, we walked towards Victory Monument to look for a bus.
We got a bit confused so we asked a noodle vendor for the bus stop. He willingly took us to the bus terminal, which is a few meters from his cart.
We paid 10 Baht (Php 14) for bus fare and asked the conductor to drop us off at Vimanmek Mansion. Vimanmek Mansion is the world's largest teakwood house. As a royal property, the visitors are required to dress appropriately. The entrance fee is 100 Baht (Php 136), but if you have visited the Grand Palace prior to visiting Vimanmek, your entrance is free (as long as you show your ticket from Grand Palace).
However, we were more interested in Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.
Located at the back of the Vimanmek Mansion, Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall used to be a reception hall for the Dusit Palace. It now serves as a museum and venue for state occasions.
Like Vimanmek, the attire was also strict and photography wasn't allowed inside. The entrance fee is 150 Baht (Php 204). You may also show your Grand Palace ticket so you can enter for free. :)
Chatuchak Weekend Market
From Vimanmek Mansion, we rode a bus back to Victory Monument for 12 Baht, then rode the BTS from Victory Monument (N3) to Mo Chit (N8) Station, where the popular Chatuchak Weekend Market is located.
Most stalls are only open during weekends, and since it was a Saturday, we went gaga and bought everything we can carry.
The market is divided into 27 stalls:
Section 1 - Amulets, books, collectibles, food shops, café
Section 2 to 4 - Collectibles, home décor, paintings, terra cotta
Section 5 to 6 - Clothes, adornments, miscellaneous products
Section 7 to 9 - Antiques, furniture, ceramics, handicrafts
Section 10 to 24 - Clothes, consumer products, adornments, household appliances, pets
Section 17 to 19 - Ceramics, fresh and dry food
Section 22 to 26 - Antiques, furniture, handicrafts
Section 27 - Books, food and dessert shops, collectibles
Good quality jeans can be as cheap as 350 Baht (Php 476) and shirts (I bought mostly shirts) can be as cheap as 140 Baht (Php 190). As any good shopper, don't forget to haggle. ;)
We were so tired after roaming around Chatuchak that we decided to eat our dinner there before we went home. After we freshened up, we went out for a drink at a sky bar suggested by our host, as we will fly to Chiang Mai the next day.
Note: 1 Baht = 1.36 Pesos
The Jim Thompson House: 9:00AM to 5:00PM
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall: 9:30AM to 4:00PM, closed on Mondays