I woke up on our second day in Bangkok filled with happiness.
With my Dad arriving late the night before, I finally had my whole family back under one roof. And that roof came with a rooftop pool and a view to die for, courtesy of the Shama Suites on Soi Sukhumvit. I’d considered booking one of Bangkok’s lavish hotels but in the end wanted us all behind the same door, and hence went for a condo instead. Our two bedroom suite was simple but spacious and came with the nice perks of a kitchenette and a washing machine.
My Dad had requested one thing, and that was a little relaxation. After the whirlwind first day I had subjected my mom and Olivia to, they vigorously agreed. So we spent the morning swimming and sunbathing by the pool, and I spent it relishing the first time in my life I’ve been tanner than my sister.
We chose Shama Suites pretty exclusively because of this pool, but I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to be on a Skytrain stop, have tons of room, and have the freedom to wash your own clothes and cook or order in your own food.
After our morning of delicious laziness, we decided to explore one of the sides of tourism that Bangkok is particularly famous for: shopping. Personally I prefer the Chatachuk Market, but unfortunately we weren’t in Bangkok on the weekend and I knew my sister in particular would go ga-ga for Bangkok’s ritzy mega malls.
Our first stop was MBK, infamous among backpackers as the place to stock up on everything from cheap DVDs to contact lenses. It’s a bit chaotic though, and we soon escaped to the hushed halls of Siam Center, where we hit up my new favorite store, Loft.
The most amazing part about shopping in Bangkok during the holidays is, by far, viewing the Christmas decorations in the blazing heat. Rather than snow, these creations have the monstrosity of the BTS Skytrain as a background.
Even in 95% Buddhist Thailand, Santa still holds court in December. Though he is sponsored by Mastercard.
Some of the decorations were extremely clever, like this Christmas tree in front of Siam Discovery made entirely from empty plastic Coca Cola bottles.
Inside there was another bottle tree- and a Ronald McDonald giving the wai.
Our final stop on the Bangkok mall tour was the ritziest of all- Siam Paragon. The malls in Bangkok are very different from their counterparts in the US, one of the main differences being that the phrases fine dining and shopping mall co-exist quite peacefully in Bangkok.
Which is how we found ourselves eating quite an upscale meal at Greyhound, a restaurant with one of the finest chandelier collections I have ever laid eyes on. My parents couldn’t get over how reasonable the prices were for a place with leather menus.
I told them hey, that’s just Thailand for you. Excellent style and even better prices.
Have you ever spent Christmas in a hot tropical climate?
Did they decorate with the same fervor that the Thais do?