Okay, let me start this post by explaining Tiger Airways. They charge for each piece of checked luggage you add, per piece, per way. So we were trying to save money and decided only to take a carry-on (weight limit 7kg = 15 lbs, totally doable for 4 days). Then, everyone told us that everything in Thailand is super cheap- where were they when we were booking this flight?? So we decided to take carry-ons on the way there and then consolidate our stuff into one suitcase (and check it) and put everything we buy in another suitcase for the way back. The problem is that you can only CALL the airline to add checked luggage up to 72 hours before your flight. (No, you cannot add it through the website, and if you wait until you get to the airport, the prices double and triple). On Friday, before we were set to leave, we tried to call from our hotel, but the phone company said the number listed in Tiger’s website was not toll free. Then, we tried to call from a payphone and that didn’t work either. Finally, my wonderful mother tried everything she could as well, but to no avail. So we went with our carry-ons.
The point of that whole story was to explain why I didn’t spend my entire life’s savings at Chatuchak (the weekend market) when we went on Saturday. Because let me tell you, they have everything you could ever need, and at ridiculously low prices. It is paradise! I want to go back, but when I’m rich, and have all the luggage in the world to check. It is rows and rows and rows of shops and stalls. I don’t think it would be possible to see them all in one day. It would take at least 2 days to even walk past them all (let alone shop in them).
We got there at 10, when it opened, and stayed until around 2 o’clock. We walked around, in awe of everything. There are so many different kinds of people and there is so much to look at! Also, unlike at the night market, people aren’t begging for your attention. They know you came there to shop, and they know they have low prices so they wait for you to come to them (which I liked!)
Mostly, we spent our money on food since we couldn’t afford anymore weight in our luggage. And boy, was it good! There are food stalls everywhere, and they serve all kinds of food. I had a waffle for breakfast (it was sold in a bag and it was called “mixed”- it had corn, raisins, and nuts in a chocolate batter. Sounds weird, but really good!), pineapple for a snack, Chinga (Thai beer) for lunch, and ice cream for an afternoon snack- a good day if you ask me haha! I could have stayed there for the entire 4 days, but we eventually had to leave and make our way back to Singapore.
I LOVED Thailand and would love to go back and explore more of the area. I did experience poverty a bit more. There are stray cats and dogs and people begging for money with their crying children in the skytrain stations- which was a bit of an eye-opener for me. The most alarming thing was the number of children I saw that were unsupervised- whether begging for money, riding the skytrain, or running around Chinatown, completely on their own. I guess not everyone can afford to escort their children everywhere or hire a babysitter while they are at work, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit of anxiety and fear each time I saw one of these kids. Singapore is one of the cleanest places I’ve ever been in my life (probably because of the extremely harsh penalties for littering and such), but there are no homeless people. There are some who are obviously not so well off. You see many constructions workers riding in the back of an open truck (called lorries) or all the apartment maids gathered in the botanical gardens on Sunday afternoons for picnics, but you do not seen anyone without shoes or food. Thailand is full of shanties, and there is trash everywhere; many call it a developing country or second world. It’s not all luxury and glamour, but it has some amazing history and is ABSOLUTELY worth a second trip!