Traveling is one of my favorite things to do.  Some might say that it is one expensive hobby that I have but I can counter attack that.  I believe that you just have to wait for the perfect timing.  Well, I don’t remember when Cebu Pacific Airlines started their “Every Juan flies” promo (please check out www.cebupacificair.com for their latest promos) but I am a testament to that corporate goal.  I have taken every chance to travel by availing of their promos. 

 

So here’s my latest travel blog post.

Destination:  Bangkok, Thailand

How to get there:  By air 

 

Budget: 15,000 inclusive of fares, taxes, accommodation and food 

 

Travel companions: Trina, Lilet, Dennis, Mars and Carrie (my friends from SMC plus one)

the travelers

the travelers

First impression:  Well, my first impression of Bangkok was it was like Quezon City.  The fly-over reminded me of the local road.  Since we arrived almost midnight, the weather was hard to be judged.  The mood and the setting basically reminded me of our country, the Philippines.  During the first day that we roamed around the city, it was Monday, I have noticed that majority of the people was wearing Yellow; apparently, it was their way of showing loyalty to the King.  You could really feel the nationalism in the air.

Highlight of the trip:  Bangkok is the center of the country’s political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities.  It is one country that I find very rich in culture.  It is the home of their palace and temples.  And as a part of our traveling objectives cultural immersion is a must.  It is one thing that we really look forward to.

  • Our first stop was the Grand Palace Complex; there you’d find the Grand Palace, the Museum and Wat Phra Keow, or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.  Shorts and T-shirts are not acceptable in the complex.  You would need to wear socks, shoes and a shirt with at least short sleeves.  If you wear a long-sleeved shirt, the sleeves must be rolled down.  If you happen to forget this, no worries, at the entrance of the palace you can borrow clothes that would meet their standards.  This practice is being made as a sign of respect to the culture and King of Thailand.  Duration: ½ day tour  

 

  • After tiring ourselves from the palace, we decided to eat and look for the mall that we could find.  Our desired destination was Mah Boon Krong (MBK) Shopping Center it is an eight-storey building with almost 2,000 shops to offer.  And here where all the adventure begins, we had a hard time looking for a cab and it was too costly that we decided to ride a bus.  The best part from all this trouble was having a very perky attitude, I was able to gain a friend and she helped us to locate our next stop.  Voila! The day has only started to my friends, yes, it was shopping time.  When we got back to the hotel, I got too freaked out to see my feet with all the nerves very clearly shown up.  I couldn’t believe that I was that tired that I haven’t seen my feet like that.  Apparently, there are some useful girl tips when you’d experience this situation.  First you should do is to lie down in bed with your feet up against the wall in between 45 – 90 degrees.  That would really do the trick.  I almost didn’t believe that but it was effective.  Duration: ½ day tour

  • The next day we woke up early, our next stop was the old Bangkok – Siam or Ayutthaya, here we were able to see a lot of temples. Wat Phra Sri San Phet, the largest temple in Ayutthaya used as the royal temple-cum-palace by several kings which were built in 14th Century.  We also visited other temples like Wat Chai Wattanaram, Wat Pa Nan Chern and the high pagodas like Wat Ratch Bur Ra Na, Wat Pra Ram.  We were also able to go to Pang Chang and got close encounters with the local elephants.  It was one of my favorite experiences.  I consider this as one of the luckiest day in my stay because we got a good deal from our driver, he led us to a local restaurant like a small eatery in the Philippines and we were able to savor on local Thai food with a very reasonable price.  Well, basically, the cost to travel in Thailand and food is very affordable and reasonable; the best thing why I think anyone should go to Thailand.   Duration: ½ to 1 day tour 
  • After the cultural immersion in Ayutthaya we got back to the city and it was shopping time again.  We spend a couple of hours in the local malls and one of the best stops to do the shopping is in the Suan Luam Night Bazaar.  I got so comfortable in the place because it reminded me of Tiendesitas, but so much better, there were bands performing and mind you big screens were set-up to enjoy the event with television channels like sports and news are being shown.  The food as usual was great and very affordable.  And of course, not to forget the night bazaar was superb, there a lot of goods to choose from.  I must say a lot of great deals.  Duration: night tour  

  • And my personal favorite during trip was while my friends are busy with looking for stuffs in the night bazaar; it was my time to obsess on looking for the cheapest way of transportation back to the hotel.   I have researched, navigated, asked around on how to find the local Metro Station.  Luckily, I was able to meet and made friend with a very nice and reliable local.  This was such a pretty big achievement for me that I realized that I really love to travel and join the Amazing Race.          
Local words learned: Whenever I visit a foreign country, I also try to learn few words that I know would help me along the way and in case of troubles.  These are the first two words that I’ve learned during the trip.  Sa-wat dee (Hello) and Ka poon kah (Thank you)
Things to do and see:  If you love cultural immersion these stops are recommendable, the temples or as they locally call it, the Wat.  There’s a lot to choose from Wat Phra Keow, Wat Traimit, Wat Pho among others.  (You can also refer to the highlights) 

If you love shopping which I think 100% of most women are, there are a lot of good malls in Bangkok, MBK, Siam Paragon, The Emporium, Panthip Plaza (if you love Electronic/computer), and night bazaar in Suan Luam Market among the thousand list of shopping malls.

If you love Elephants, you can go to Pang Chang to see, feed and have pictures with them.

If you love going to the beach, the nearest place to go to is Pattaya.  There are a lot of things to see and experience in Thailand, it depends on what type of traveler you are.

Tips:   Here are some useful tips that I’ve learned from the travels that I’ve done in the past and in Bangkok as well. 

  1. Travel with map.  Learn how to read one.  Navigate well. 
  2. Always look at the local transport and try to learn how their schedule works. 
  3. Always put a smile.  There’s a high chance that the locals will smile back at you.
  4. Learn and know when to control your spending.  You can always travel without spending too much.  For a start, you can always find a great deal in airfares by regularly checking out Cebu Pacific’s www.cebupacificair.com.
  5. Respect thy local’s culture.  Always respect how they do things and join if possible.  Like observing silence, wearing the proper clothes among other things.  In short, be respectful.
  6. Always bring US dollar; in this trip we had a problem exchanging the local peso to Thai Baht.  Luckily after

Things that I’d try when I’d go back:  I am a sand, beach lover, and if I’d go back to Thailand, what I would probably go to next is Phuket and Pattaya.  The reason why I wasn’t able to visit last time was we only focused on staying in Bangkok and staying there for 3 ½ days isn’t enough to start with.  One more place in Bangkok that I’d probably want to try to see is Pat Pong; we weren’t able to visit the place because we got too tired of the shopping the night that we were supposed to go there.  Too bad I wasn’t able to see the beautiful lady boys of Thailand.

 

Traveling is one bad habit that I won’t stop doing.  Learning a new culture, seeing beautiful places and meeting nice people are some much fun to do.  Traveling with friends is one more thing; spending time with them is really one of the best things to do.  And for the readers of this blog, I hope you’d find this post helpful.

 

 

Local food that I’ve tried:  During one of our trips we have encountered congestion in traffic; our very friendly and reliable driver introduced us to Kluey Kaek, a local fried banana.   It was really tasty and I believe this is a must try for Bangkok bound travelers.   

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