Upcoming trip: Bangkok Shopping here we come!

Unlike the previous trips which were mostly 4 days / 3 nights, this is but a short(er) trip of 3 days / 2 nights. So here is a brief introduction to our almost-there escapade which was born out of a need for a holiday but yet not wanting to utilize too many leave days. It would seem that most if not all my trips to Bangkok so far have been born out of spontaneity and shorter than I would have liked, but oh wells... 😅😹😹

Breakdown (per person):
  • Flight tickets:  S$191.20
  • Travel Insurance: S$0
  • Accommodation for 2 nights: S$94.90
  • TOTAL: S$286.10

Flight - Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines was having a promotion and the flights to Bangkok were going for as low as S$188. Considering that the promotional price is almost equivalent to a budget airline flight minus the add-ons (e.g. luggage, food etc…), it was definitely a steal!

Greatly tempted, Ms.D and I thought about it for a while before we bought the tickets in the first week of January, the day before the promotion ended. The promotion ended on 6th January 2017 and the traveling date must be by March 2017. The dates that we wanted to travel on were slightly higher than the promoted S$188.

We had waited a day and the price actually increased by 10 cents! In the end, it was S$191.20 per person but it was still worth it and the timing was not that bad either. 😆
The timing is not that bad, at least by the time we arrived at the hotel, we can check in and head off for some dinner and shopping!
There was another flight back at midnight but it was a little too late, so 1215 it was.

An average budget flight from Singapore to Bangkok with promotion costs between S$160 – 200/++ if you intend to include luggage etc… Without promotions and with luggage (depending on the weight you purchase), it would probably cost between S$200-300+/-. So an offer on board a full flight plane for S$191.20 which also includes a 30kg luggage allowance (both ways) is a pretty good value for money deal, don’t you think? 😆

And since I booked the flight using my Citibank Premiermiles credit card, we saved on travel insurance (yippee).

Accommodation - Glow Pratunam Hotel

As this is just solely a shopping trip we wanted to be near (walking distance to) Platinum Mall, Pratunam Market, Central World and surrounding area, we initially wanted to stay at Novotel Platinum Hotel but the price was not really very attractive. 

After a quick search and comparison via Hotellook, we shortlisted down to Glow Pratunam Hotel which was at an attractive price of S$99 (without breakfast) or S$129 (with breakfast) per night. Whether it was the rate with or without breakfast, when we hit the check out button via Agoda or Expedia, the price increased (even more) after including the (hidden) additional fees.
Agoda's price of S$264
S$233.37 from Expedia was cheaper cheaper than Agoda but we manged to get a cheaper rate of S$189.80 (inclusive of breakfast!)

Glow Pratunam Hotel was one of the choices for my first trip to Bangkok with PrincessyLee but the Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok was about S$60 cheaper at that time. So naturally we went with Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok instead.

This time although the price for Glow Pratunam Hotel was attractive, MS.D managed to make it even more amazing. She managed to book the hotel at S$189.80 for 2 nights via Traveloka!😍😍

It was my first time hearing of Traveloka and apparently the company specializes in travel within South East Asia so it is relatively niche. Just like Expedia, Zuji, Agoda etc…, Traveloka functions as a booking platform for both flights and hotels. Traveloka also allows you to book hotels along with your flight bookings, so you can settle both at the same time. Unlike other booking platforms, the prices stated by Traveloka are upfront and with no hidden charges or taxes so that is a plus.

Seeing how Traveloka does offer cheaper pricing in this instance, it is certainly a good platform to bookmark for future travel escapades, especially when you are researching for the most value-added (cheapest) option. Ms.D has used it before for a hotel in Indonesia before, so she is more of an expert than me. I just 💜💚💛 it when friends share new travel tips and platforms. 😊

Note: Do take note of the fine print though. For our booking although it comes with breakfast and as it is the cheapest deal out of the other offers online, it does not come with WiFi. 😱😱😱

Do stay tuned of a review of how our stay/check-in went using Traveloka!

Communications - Pocket WiFi Thai

Since the hotel booking does not come with WiFi, there are a few options to stay connected. One is to get a local SIM card for 299 baht (about S$12) for 7 days, or rent a pocket WiFi.

[DTAC Happy Tourist 3G Prepaid SIM Card]

Since we will be in Bangkok for only 3 days, I decided to rent a pocket WiFi instead for convenience sake (saving the hassle to take out and replace the SIM card, and besides I don't think we will be calling anyone).

Just as with SIM cards, there are quite a few options for the loaning the pocket WiFi device. For Singaporeans traveling to Thailand, there is the option to rent the from Changi Recommends at the Changi Ariport. There was an ongoing promotion for S$5 per day for Thailand. Collection and returning the device would be at Changi Airport.
From Changi Recommends

However, I find that a little too troublesome for this short trip. Going to Changi Aiport earlier just to collect the device and return it upon return seemed a little too much effort for such a short trip, especially if it is a little further than I would like from the check-in counter/arrival hall etc... Ok, in the end I just want to maximize time and save time walking that little bit extra (a.k.a super lazy). 😛

Most of the other options from other companies mostly offered return of the device via the nearest Post Office in Thailand (e.g. airports), not exactly very convenient for such a short trip. So I decided to go with Pocket WiFi Thai - a company which offers collection and return of the WiFi device at the Suvarnabhummi Airport or your accommodation in Bangkok (now what is what I call convenience)!

You can rent the 4G device for USD$7.45 (about S$10.50) for the 4G device  per day.

[More about Pocket WiFi Thai]

For that little time saved having to go early to Changi Airport to collect the device and having to go to the counter to return it upon arrival back at Changi Airport, or having to return the device at the nearest Post Office in Bangkok, that little bit more is worth it. Time can be saved as the device from Pocket WiFi Thai can be collected and return at your accommodation if you are in Bangkok.
Note: There is a deposit of USD$50, which would be refunded 24-48 hours after you have returned the device.

[Review of our experience with Pocket WiFi Thai]

 Thai Pocket Wifi: As easy as 1, 2, 3.

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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