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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Coz Siam What Siam!

Siam Discovery also houses the Channel V office/studio

at Siam Paragon

In the heart of Bangkok's most vibrant shopping district lies three malls right beside each other: Siam Paragon, Siam Square and Siam Discovery.

Aside from being premier shopping destinations of favorite foreign and local brands, Siam Paragon and Siam Discovery both house two of Bangkok's fave tourist/local  destinations: the Siam Ocean World and Madame Tussaud's Bangkok.

WARNING: before I give you the 411 on these places, let me give you a warning on opportunistic cab drivers. This happened to us the last time we got on one to go to the Siam area. 

at Siam Paragon
After telling the cabbie where we wanted to go, he "informed" us that tickets to Siam Ocean World AREN'T sold on the area itself. For the past two days, the hotel travel agents at the hotel and even a tour guide at Samphran have offered to sell us tickets for Ocean World. 

shopping (both for groceries and for fashion items) made easy...they've got it all!
We had no problem buying the tickets from them, it's just that we had flyers of the place (which I picked up at the airport arrivals lounge) informing us of a 20% discount to all foreign visitors of the place.

We had just come from a quick yet icky canal taxi ride and was kinda worried that should the cabbie be telling the truth about the tickets, and should we have not listened to his advice, We would have to be driving back and forth . It seemed incredulous that a popular tourist attraction would not be selling tickets at their location and instead, be sold a few blocks away. 

He brought us to a "government" ticketing office, which turned out to be another travel agency. The resourceful cabbie probably had a commission from waylaying unsuspecting (as well as hot and tired) tourists like us.

Apparently, they are sold at Siam Paragon. Tourist or not, great ticket packages of both Madame Tussaud's and Ocean World are sold there. Should you buy both tickets, a 40% discount is even given to you outright!

Despite what happened to us earlier that day, we just charged it to experience and moved on with our lives. The first place we visited was:

SIAM OCEAN WORLD: (see website here)
Getting There:
Siam Ocean World is located on levels B1-B2 of Siam Paragon department store in the heart of Bangkok.It's also in proximity to the city center's most vibrant shopping district, Siam, which includes the Siam Discovery Centre and Siam Square, and is easily accessible by private transport, the BTS sky train, or bus and taxi services.

Admission Fees :
rates vary depending on where you buy it from and if you bought a combo. I think ours was around 1300 baht/person
* click here to view promos on ticket for both Ocean World and Madame Tussaud's
*The ticket we bought from the travel agency included a glass bottom ride and tickets to the 5D cinema.

You may tour the ff. 7 zones at the Siam Ocean World:

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL: amazing aquatic animals other than fish
DEEP REEF: an 8 meter upright tank displaying life in the coral reefs
feeding time can be quite interesting at the deep reef

a diver hooked up to a communicator  mask gets to talk to the audience and hear them as well
at the LIVING OCEAN zone

...where other small creatures of the rain forest are featured

...where,  you may get your photo taken for free where it will be edited and sold at the Shark Shop or Monster Shop

penguins and other critters may be found at the  ROCKY SHORE
a 270 degree tunnel awaits you at the OPEN OCEAN

Here's a look at our glass bottom ride:
at 100 baht a cup, you could feed the fishies while on the boat ride

life vests for everyone

one of the many sharks in the tank (it's the top of the 280 degree tunnel)
At the 5D experience (we watched the Little Prince):
getting comfy in our movie theater seats
And took MORE pictures of the place:

MAX in a tuktuk aquarium

going digital...

with the interactive screens/games near the Monster Shop
having a lime and strawberry ice cream sundae by the feeding pier

a boat ride to feed the fish is available at certain times

want  to hold live fishes in your hands..try the touch pool. it's free!

a microwave aquarium

get me outta here!!

picking up our pics at the Monster Shop (various photo packages
depending on the size, amount or how you want it printed)

and shopping for souvenirs as well
right in front of the jaws of a megalodon

after spending our entire morning at the Siam Ocean World, we walked two buildings away to the 6th flr of Siam Discovery:
MAX and his real parents :p
 MADAME TUSSSAUD'S BANGKOK: (see website here)
Madame Tussaud's (pronounced: ma-DAM tyu-SOh ) is located at the 6th floor of the Siam Discovery. 

Admission varies too like that at Siam Ocean World _(SOW). Our 4 year old got in for free, and using a discount coupon/map of Madame Tussaud's from the SOW ticket lady, we were able to get a 20% discount off our tickets. 

At 700 baht per adult  (less 20%), and a 100 baht for the guidebook, we got to see wax figures of famous Thai personalities as well as internationally known pop stars, political figures, world leaders, inventors, musicians and many more.

various facts and general info on the subjects are available

with the Dalai Lama

singing with Pavarotti

snuggling with a cranky Beckham
There are around 33 wax figures (give or take depending on the museum's decision) to this 2 floor museum with a small gift shop at the top. The place was filled with the usual interactive elements (extra costumes, props, VR games) to make the experience more entertaining.

having my image included in the game was so coool!
playing dress up with Madonna

Our 4 year old did get to enjoy the sights and sounds that Siam Ocean World had to offer (expect for the part where the mascots wanted to hang out with him, and he hid under the hood of his stroller). 
MAX under cover...literally!
But the wax museum was a bit of a drag for him. Madame Tussaud's (in locations where there are) is a fun, must see exhibit. However, should you be bringing younger kids, pack a little something for them to do, while us parents get a run of the place and act like kids (lol).

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

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