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5D4N Khao Yai and Bangkok DAY 1

1st: S'pore Changi Airport Terminal 1 -> Bangkok Suvarnbhumi Airport -> Khao Yai (Hotel Together) -> Pak chong Night Market -> Ban Mai Chay Nam Restaurant and Museum

After a year, we are back at Bangkok again for a short 5D4N free and easy trip! This time round we added in Khao Yai, which is a 2.5-3 hours drive away from Bangkok. The weather is supposed to be relatively cooler than Bangkok since its situated among the mountains, however when we were there in mid November, it is still pretty hot (about 30 degrees) The temperature only drop during the early morning and late night to air-con temperature.

We booked our flights on Thai Airways as it was cheaper than SQ and Cathay Pacific, and we did not want to take a budget flight (e.g. scoot, jetstar, air asia). Our outbound flight is TG404 due for departure at 12.25pm from T1 Gate D48.

Gate D48
Waiting area after security clearance
 There was a lot of people on board the plane, may it be travellers or people on business trip. There was some delay and the boarding call came at about 12.10pm.

Time to board the plane!!
We were lucky to board a relatively new plane and it is Boeing 787-9 which means a Dreamliner plane that has been highly raved about!

Business class 

Economy class
The screens are much bigger and perhaps clearer too! We took the old version of Thai Airway plane on our return flight :/ We must say we missed this Dreamliner!

button to adjust the window pane brightness
Boeing 787 also make do away with window shades, instead they have button on each window and you can adjust how much light you want it to enter. Of course, this feature is locked during ascending and descending for safety reasons, just like how our window shades need to be drawn up upon ascending or descending.

Rainy morning @ SG
 Possibly due to wet weather and heavy air traffic, the plane departed at around 12.45pm, 20 mins behind time however it was eventually able to catch up with its intended arrival time.

Changi T5 ?

up in the clouds, above Malaysia waters
We were served with food at about 1.40pm. Note that this is in Singapore time. BKK time is 1 hour behind SG (i.e. 12.40pm for 1.40pm SG time)

 We were given a choice of Thai Style fish with rice or Soy Sauce Chicken with noodles.

Thai Style fish with rice

Soy sauce chicken with noodles
 As usual, plane food using SATS catering are always good! The salad is a mixture of cucumber and tuna while dessert is some sort of agar agar with yam paste at the bottom.

White fluffy clouds and we are reaching!

It is only a 2hr 20 mins flight journey from Singapore to BKK and we were originally slated to reach Suvarnabhumi Airport by 1.45pm BKK time which we did despite the delay during takeoff.
Bangkok !
 We took sometime (about 20 mins) to clear the immigration and baggage collection was pretty smooth.

As we exit the arrival gates, we headed for Gate 3 to meet our driver who will be with us for 3 days for our journey from BKK to Khao Yai and back to BKK. We have searched online and contacted a few English speaking drivers who go Khao Yai and decided to settle with Mr Pakit's team of drivers and we are so glad that we made the right choice.

As we have 5 person this time round, for a more comfortable journey we decided to book with a Toyota commuter van (which can take up to 10 pax). Mr Pakit charged us 11,000 Baht in total for 3 days. They operate based on trust and no deposit required. We just need to pay THB 4000 each for the first 2 days and THB 3000 on the last day to our driver. Generally, the van rental for our 3 Days itinerary is between 10,000 - 12,500 baht for those drivers which we enquire. We did not choose the lowest quote but ended choosing Mr Pakit team as we thought he was quite thoughtful to draft out our brief itinerary for us. E.g. we said we wanted to visit Ayyuthaya and he listed a lot of temples and floating market which we can visit. Also, he gave clear instruction e.g. to meet at gate 3 of BKK airport on our arrival day which the other drivers which we enquired did not give.

conversation with Mr Pakit (1 of 3)

conversation with Mr Pakit (2 of 3)
conversation with Mr Pakit (3 of 3)
We reached gate 3 of second level (which is the same level as the arrival hall of Suvarnabhumi airport - just turn right and walk straight when u exit the arrival gates) at about 2.25pm. Our driver, Mr Num just happen to walk in the gate with the sign 'I love bangkok'.

signage held by Mr Num
 I guess they estimated our security clearance and baggage collection to take 1 hour, but it was faster. Nevertheless, after we met him, he went to drive his van over and we waited for him at the pick up area.

Mr Num's van is in quite a good condition and knowing that the weather is hot (30 degrees), he offered us chilled water/soft drink in his iced box and crackers for munching along the way. It is not just for that day, but for all 3 days he offered us that.

inside of Mr Num's van
 Mr Num was able to speak basic english to us but of course sometimes he couldn't comprehend what we are saying too. But we can feel that he tried to answer all our questions about Khao yai/bangkok as much as he can.

So for our first stop of our day - we will be heading to our Hotel in Khao Yai (Hotel Together) to do check-in of our rooms and luggage before proceeding our for the night market and then lastly, for dinner. Note that Thailand drivers operate on a 12 hours schedule generally, instead of 8 hours for China Drivers. (i.e. for the price you pay, you can engage their driving service for 12 hours a day)

We reached Hotel Together at about 4.50pm. There was no one at the reception at first, but shortly there were 2 staff who came and attended to us. We booked the hotel via Agoda previously, so we just need to produce the booking confirmation to then. No room deposit required. 1 of the staff brought us up to our rooms at the second storey. 

Hotel Together
141 Moo 12 Pakchong Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, 
Pak Chong, Khao Yai, Thailand, 30130

Photo taken on morning of Day 3 (15 Nov)

Photo taken on morning of Day 3 (15 Nov)
We have 5 people in total, so we booked a Superior Triple room (3 pax) and superior garden view room (2 pax). They have family room for those with 4 pax too.

This hotel was only opened recently (3rd quarter of 2017) and they have about 21 rooms in total which is about all those that were shown in the picture above. Note that as there's only 3 levels, there's no elevator. All luggages have to be carried up via staircase. If you have disability or heavy lugagges and do not wish to carry up stairs, might wish to request for level 1 rooms.

Superior Triple room
bathing area
toilet area

1 queen and 1 single bed
1 queen and 1 single bed
Note that the king bed for superior garden room is super king size (bigger than normal king bed)

After checking in and settling our luggage, we departed off again with Mr Num who had kindly waited for us to depart to Pak chong Night Market. We decide to go to the night market first before proceeding for dinner as we heard that the night market seem to close early during weekdays. After all, the sky gets dark early at around 6+! So in order not to miss it, we decide to head to the night market and we reach there at around 5.20pm! It is only about a 15 mins drive away from our hotel.

Pak Chong night bazaar
It was only around 5.20/5.30 and the sky starts to turn a little dark and all the stalls are out and it was certainly bustling with people!

road in Thailand - plenty of motorcycles!

The night market is not really big (possible to conquer all within half hour ) They mainly sell food. Clothes aren't as cheap as Bangkok's pratunam market. We left at about 6pm (spent about half hour there) for our last stop of the day - dinner at Ban Mai Chay Num restaurant.

We reached there at about 6.15pm and there's only 2 river view tables left. Ban Mai Chay Num is both a restaurant and a museum for old toys. The museum is free of charge. The restaurant offers outdoor seating by the river and a mini man-made waterfall. We came here upon reading tripadvisor good reviews. However we thought that it isn't that worth to make a trip here unless you are a fan of old toys. We thought that the old toys leave a creepy feeling and honestly, the food here isn't as nice as what we had for Day 2 and 3. Also, as this is a tourist place, the price is a little more expensive for Thailand standard.

Entrance of Ban Mai Chay Num

Ban Mai Chay Nam museum

river view seating

mini waterfall (water streams down from the bridge)
There's supposed to be a resort for people to stay right across the swing bridge but we saw that the bridge is closed and we deduce that the resort no longer exist.

Note that river side seating might be interesting, but it also attracts alot of mosquitos and flies, and they are drawn to you and the food. We thought that our Day 3 lunch at Ayutthaya by the Chao Phraya river is so much better than this restaurant. No wonder our driver afterwards also commented that actually a lot of people take photos of this restaurant but actually in terms of taste, there's other better and cheaper Thai restaurants.

Menu 1

Menu 2

We ordered the following:

sunflower sprouts
Thai fish cake - THB 150 (SGD 6.20)

Clockwise from top left to bottom: Sunflower sprouts, stir fried prawn and mushroom, mango sticky rice, thai fishcake, mushroom and chicken clear tom yum soup

stir fried prawn and mushroom

mango sticky rice 1 - THB 150 (SGD $6.20)
mango sticky rice 2 - THB 150 (SGD $6.20)
The dishes we ordered range from THB 100 to THB 180. They charge for water too based on the number of bottles opened. In total we were charged THB 1170 ( SGD $ 48.4) which is the second highest meal we spent throughout our trip.

To be honest, we thought that the dishes were average. However, the mango sticky rice there is really nice. we ordered one plate to share and it was too nice, until we order another plate haha. If you happen to be there, be sure to order their mango sticky rice. At THB 150 (SGD $6.2), it maybe a bit pricey but really worth it for the taste!

Mango sticky rice
With that, we left the place with a full but half satisfying tummy (the other half satisfied by the Mango Sticky rice hehe). We left at around 7.30pm and discussed abit of Day 2 itinerary with Mr Num before retreating back to our rooms. Note that as compared to Bangkok, there aren't much nightlife in Khao Yai.

Day 1 of Khao Yai has not been too bad and we can't wait to explore more of Khao Yai the next day!


piyo.piyo said...

Hi there! I'm going to Khao Yai in November and would like to engage Mr Num. Can I have his contact please? I have also emailed you :) Thank you!

Ooi K K said...

Thank for your driver contact, indeed Mr Num is very helpful and give us a lot of tips ie where to eat and attractions. Will engage him on future trips.

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