Mom and I departed for Singapore in the morning of Chinese New Year Eve via Singapore Airline. The initial plan was to travel with Royal Brunei Airline on a direct route flight to Bangkok but the timing wasn’t in favor. Sister wasn’t keen of celebrating CNY Eve on her own in Singapore. So, I searched for fares for Brunei to Bangkok but transiting in Singapore.
We could travel to Bangkok on the same day with a layover of two hours in Singapore but we stayed overnight and took a morning flight to Bangkok on the next day. We had CNY Eve dinner at The Carvery, Park Hotel Alexandra. It was rare seeing the roads so quiet as compared to usual. According to the Grab driver who sent us to the airport on the next morning, this was the quietest CNY in Singapore as compared to before.
Dressed in red for the occasion. It was still early by the time we finished dinner. We took the public bus to Vivo City as I needed to get my Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil sharpened, buy some pants from UNIQLO and Organic Cotton Pads from The Body Shop. Unfortunately, all the three shops which I needed to visit at Vivo City closed early for the occasion.
As most of the shops were closed for the day, there was nothing much to do at Vivo City. We headed home early to pack for our trip the next day. Our flight was 9:45AM the next morning and we arrived at Singapore Changi Airport before 8AM. Check-in was a brisk and we had extra time in hand after clearing Immigration.
Immigration clearance at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport wasn’t as horrendous as I anticipated it to be. We cleared Immigration in less than half an hour but it took us some time in locating our pre-booked driver. One of my colleagues passed me the contact of Anthony whom she engaged when she went Bangkok two years ago. It was Anthony whom I engaged for our Khao Yai road trip but he fell ill on the day and assigned one of his colleagues to bring us around.
His car was well stocked with snacks and beverages. He even had a cooler box stored in the car trunk. We liked his customer service. He was extremely attentive to elderly. He even helped Mom with the doors when getting on and alighting the car. However, his understanding of English was limited in my opinion. Communication can be a bit challenging but we managed just fine.
Before our arrival in Bangkok, Anthony had drafted an itinerary for our Khao Yai road trip to which we canceled quite a bit of the attractions he suggested. We covered Primo Piazza on the first day and hit Pak Chong Night Market for dinner. I was being told by friends that Thailand could be a bit chilly this year due to weather transition but it was extremely hot when we were there.
On the way to Khao Yai from Suvarnabhumi Airport, we stopped at a market centre for lunch before we hit the road. The patrons were mostly locals so we ordered what we were familiar with. I had Pad Thai and requested for no beansprout. It was a bit challenging in communicating so hand language was the efficient and effective way of communication.
Pad Thai | ฿35
The chef was kind enough to make me a separate plate and even further confirmed with me the ingredients that I wanted. He picked a handful of beansprouts to confirm if I wanted to omit them and some spring onions as well. I liked the texture of the glass noodles. It was well cooked and flavored in my opinion. However, the diced tofu was a bit sour for my liking.
Thai Coconut Pudding Pancakes | ฿20
Sister and I ended up getting the same thing. We ventured the market on our own. The batter was made of coconut milk topped with some sweet fillings. The batter was nice. It was slightly crispy on the crust and the filling was soft but flavorful.
After we finished our lunch half an hour later, we hit the road for Khao Yai and stopped at Primo Piazza for our first attraction of the day. The weather was hot during the day and it didn’t help much either that I was in long sleeves.
The entrance fee for Primo Piazza is ฿200 per person. There wasn’t much to see at Primo Piazza apart from the Merino, Alpaca and Donkey. You get to feed them. Remember not to lose the tickets you paid for at the entrance as you’d need them to reimburse the “grass” for feeding at the barn.
The good thing about wearing long sleeves was reducing the risk of getting sunburnt though. Primo Piazza is an Italian inspired attraction with Italian architectures. It makes Primo Piazza one of the must visit landmarks in Khao Yai. After having our pictures taken with the signature Italian inspired architectures, we moved on to the barn where you’ll get to meet three different kinds of animals.
Before entering the barn, you’ll need to present your ticket to the person-in-charge and you’ll be given a handful of greens to feed the animals. Be warned that the barn can be quite smelly but bearable. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. LOL!
The Alpaca! This was what intrigued Sister’s intention to visit Primo Piazza. Alpaca is similar to Llama but they are not the same. They are often confused. However, we found out that the Alpacas didn’t like to be petted as compared to the Merino and Donkey.
This was the only flattering picture of myself feeding the animals. It was hot, stuffy and smelly in the barn. We left as soon as we were done feeding the animals.
Quite candid I must say and I was rather impressed with my skill at capturing it. LOL! Our next stop after Primo Piazza was the hotel. As our accommodation at Khao Yai doesn’t operate on an all day long basis, we proceeded to the hotel after Primo Piazza. Our accommodation was Hotel Khao Yai Terrazzo. We checked in and refreshed ourselves for dinner. *Hotel review will be in another separate blog entry*
Anthony had arranged us dinner at Ban Mai Chay Nam Museum & Restaurant as per the drafted itinerary but we chose to go for local and hit Pak Chong Night Market located in Mu Si. Pak Chong Night Market is also one of the must-visit landmarks in Khao Yai. It is considered as the biggest night market in Khao Yai.
The colorful toppings caught my attention. I thought they were egg sticks until the stall owner told me that they were Butter Bread. The bread were brushed with butter and then toasted.
Butter Bread | ฿20
I ordered a plain one with no topping but the stall owner recommended me some sweet condensed milk or else the taste of butter would be too overwhelming. True enough, it would be overwhelming without the sweet condensed milk. I liked the soft and fluffy texture of the bread.
Taro Pancake | ฿10
The batter wasn’t coconut milk flavored but I liked the textured. It was slightly chewy made of glutinous rice flour. They were served with different fillings and I chose mine Taro filled.
Pork Sausage | ฿10
Thai version of Pork Sausage was like Taiwanese version of 大肠包小肠. They were good. The flavor was spot on with tad bit of sour taste. Kind of regretting that we only got one to share among the three of us. Aside from these three in the pictures, we also bought a packet of Chicken Rice, Pork Knuckle Rice and Siu Mai to share.
As there were limited seating available at Pak Chong Night Market, we chose to return to the hotel with the food we bought. So, this pretty much summed up our first day in Khao Yai. Do stay tune for more if you are interested.