This is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the beginning, please click here.
Friday morning was an odd day to be leaving Hua Hin. Most people recommend to visit Cicada, an artist market, that is open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. But we wanted to make it back to Bangkok for Chatuchak Weekend Market, and we were already leaving on Sunday. So we had to give Cicada a miss, besides I think in the past week, we had our fair share of markets and shopping.
Before that, one last look at our wonderful hotel for the last 4 nights.
Getting back to BKK from Hua Hin was pretty much a straightforward thing. Lug your baggage to the same place you disembark, and pay for the ticket, and board the next available van. Our van was leaving immediately, so we didn’t have to wait long. This time the van wasn’t full – two other ladies, plus a farang and his Thai girlfriend and the driver. I slept throughout the entire journey and by the time we reached Victory Monument, it was almost noon.
From VM we took a walk to our hotel, Bangkok Patio.
It’s a (really) small hotel, chosen primarily for its vicinity to Victory Monument, Chatuchak and Don Mueang. But for the price we were paying, we got a cosy little apartment with 2 room and living room.
Here’s the pool we never used.
After checking in and leaving our luggage (and signing in the wifi), we set out to play with huskies! There’s this cafÃ© we read about where you can play with rare Siberian huskies, and it was quite near our hotel. But since the hotel provided free tuk-tuk services (only to and fro the nearest BTS station), they were so kind enough to drop us off the cafÃ©, which was about 2km away.
Unless you have a map with you, finding this place on your is tough. [email protected] (yes, the name is quite a mouthful) is located at the end of a very long (try not to walk there) lane in a housing area. It is basically a double storey bungalow with a huge compound refurbished with special kennels and large play area for the dogs.
In order to get in, you need to buy tickets for your appointed time. there are limited time slots available, so please check their website or you will end up waiting a really long time as this place is indeed popular.
Tickets to enter cost a hefty THB300 per person. This entitles you to drink, a slice of cake, and up to 2 hours of time with the dogs. If you come at the right time, you can go and play with the huskies first. Or else, you can wait in the cafÃ© with your food and drink, but also depending on the limited seating in the cafÃ©.
We were slightly early for our time slot, and we managed to get a seating inside.
There’s a good selection of food drinks here, and you can opt to order ala carte if you want. But its all rather pricey.
After food and drinks, it was time to visit the dogs. Getting to it isn’t so simple. First we have to watch a 10 minute video on screen about the rules. It was don’t very professionally and in a humourous way – but basically don’t let the dogs lick you, don’t feed them anything, don’t put your rosy cheeks near them, or else they mistake it for their favourite food i.e. carrots.
then you remove your shoes and wear plastic coverings over your feet / socks. After that, the proprietor makes you line up to wash your hands in the bathroom, followed by a long wait for the dogs to come out into the yard. Not sure why this last part takes so long, I imagine them prepping and giving pep talks to the dogs before they are let out to entertain the crowd.
But once they are out, what a beautiful sight! Siberian huskies are known to be fierce and powerful, but here they are well trained that even toddlers are encouraged to play with them.
The dogs live better than some humans – air-conditioned quarters, the best food, ice water to drink, and professionally groomed everyday.
They put some of the dogs in smaller enclosures to allow you to get up close and personal with them. Here they are feeding the dogs their favourite carrot bits.
The only 2 non-huskies here -a shih-Tzu, and an aging Australian sheepdog in the background.
The dogs lap ice water throughout the day to keep cool.
After that, we planned to visit Platinum Fashion Mall, and getting a cab from this area was a huge problem. But the cafÃ© was kind enough to order a Grabcar for us. We got into some 5pm traffic, but made it to Platinum in good time thanks to our awesome driver.
Platinum Fashion Mall is pretty much the same since our last visit years ago, but prices are more rigid now, less tiered pricings. We bought lots of stuff, and after 4 hours, we were really tired. Time for some dinner.
After that we had to settle for a pricey cab ride back to hotel on account of the traffic.
Next – Chatuchak Weekend Market.