Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Hello, Bangkok!

Every year, I try to plan a grand vacation for me and my son.  This year, I was blessed not just to have one grand vacation, but two!  Last July, my son and I went to Hong Kong, and last November, we went to Thailand, and this time we traveled together with the lolas!  Kib hasn't seen his lola for two years.  He was so delighted to spend this holiday with his lola.  


The entourage at the departure area of NAIA 3

I planned the holiday as early as August because we wanted to get tickets at a cheap price.  Since we are traveling with seniors, I planned for a 6-day stay so that our itinerary won't be cramped.  I booked an early flight so we can take a long rest for Day 1.

We stayed at Silom area near a Hindu temple.












Here's our itinerary:

DAY 1--Just relaxed at our hostel the whole day.  Ate dinner at a nearby market (street food set-up).




Eat all the Thai dishes at a cheap price!


DAY 2--Went to Royal Crematorium, City Temple Shrine, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace (just viewed it from the outside because the entrance fee is very costly, 500 baht each), Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and Wat Yanawa.


Ferry station, either you ride the public ferry (at 15 baht each regardless of the distance) or rent a longboat but it's costly

Longboats can be rented for private tours

Royal Crematorium


City Pillar Shrine

Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha at the background





The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho



Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn

Wat Yanawa


DAY 3--Went to other temples around Bangkok (Wat Intharawihan, Wat Benchamabophit, Loha Prasat, Golden Mountain, Wat Traimit, shopping at Palladium)


Wat Intharawihan



Wat Benchamabophit



Loha Prasat


Golden Mountain



Golden Buddha or Wat Traimit


At Palladium


DAY 4--Went to Ayutthaya via train



Trains in Bangkok Railway Station has a combination of classic and modern trains













Better to rent a tuktuk when going around Ayutthaya to save time.  It's 300 baht per person for four hours


DAY 5--Shopping at MBK and Thai massage




DAY 6--back to the Philippines

Bangkok is a wonderful place!  People are nice, commodities are cheap, and there are lots of activities to do there!

Here are some of the things that you MUST DO when in Bangkok:

1.  Ride the water taxi.  This is the most convenient way to go to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun.  It only costs 15 baht each person regardless of the distance.





2.  Street food is part of Thai culture, so look for a popular place where you can eat al fresco.  Food is also cheap, so don't hesitate to indulge on eating local dishes.  Thais love spicy food, so better ask first if the dish is spicy or not.  Must-try dishes are pad thai, tom yum, and mango sticky rice.








3.  Tourist spots are a bit far from the train station, so better to ride Uber or Grab instead.  Ride a tuktuk ONCE only.  Bangkok tuktuk drivers tend to rip off tourists so ride it just for the experience.  A tip on riding Uber or Grab: once you booked a driver, contact the driver via SMS to tell that you're a tourist/foreigner.  


Tuktuk in Bangkok.  You have to haggle for fare first before riding

The temples (wat) are far from each other, and the best way to get from one temple to another is to ride a taxi


4.  Use simple English.  No need to use complicated words nor even speak in complete sentences. 


Thais are not fluent in English, so just use simple words and phrases

5.  Dress appropriately when visiting temples (wat).  No sleeveless, shorts, cropped top, torn jeans.  If you are wearing shorts or sleeveless top, have a scarf with you.  It's okay to take photos inside the temples, but Buddhists do not want visitors to make fun of Buddha.



This is a scarf.  I was wearing shorts underneath




6.  Get a local sim card.  There is a booth (dtac) at the airport where you can get a sim card that you can use for unlimited internet for 7 days.  You can choose either 2mbps or 8mbps sim.  There is a need for me to be connected all the time because of work.  Yes, it was a working holiday for me then, huhu.


Once in a while, we need to make a stop because I need to answer inquiries 


7.  Get a Thai massage.  Your visit in Thailand won't be complete without experiencing an authentic Thai massage.


Thai massage is more on putting pressure on your muscles and stretching.  Kib was also treated with a massage because he's a trooper!


8.  Try to visit neighboring provinces.  Ayutthaya and Pattaya are near Bangkok, it'll only take 1 1/2-2 hours of travel time.  You can have a day tour to those places.  We opted to go to Ayutthaya to see ruins of old temples.  



Yes, that's me, taking a short nap while waiting for the train going back to Bangkok


It was really a learning experience for us!  I encourage you to visit Thailand too as it offers a lot of things for you to learn and embrace the beauty of being Asian.  More adventures to come for us!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I would like to visit Thailand after visiting Vietnam (just to try authentic Viet foods, he-he!) I hv a few questions:
    1) Which airline did u fly with & why?
    2) Do u know of any Phil travel agencies specializing in Thai tours?
    3) How much did you pay for the Thai street foods?
    Thanks in advance Donna!

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    Replies
    1. Hello! Thanks for dropping by!
      To answer your questions:
      1. I flew via Cebu Pacific. It's cheap and has a direct flight from Manila to Bangkok. Other LCCs (low-cost carriers) like Scoot and Tiger don't have a direct flight going to Bangkok. Would advise to get tickets way ahead of time as airfares tend to increase as your travel dates gets nearer and nearer. I paid 28k for the airfare which I booked in August but when I checked around early November, it's already around 49k.

      2. I am not sure of travel agencies, but Bangkok is very easy to navigate :) If you really wish to arrange tours, you can just go to a travel agency in Bangkok instead. Ask for help from your hotel's front desk. I looked for a hostel/hotel at Trivago

      3. Thai street food can be as low as 50 baht per meal

      If you have any other questions, please let me know :)

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  2. wow awesome..! all this photos looks beautifull & foods are amazing dear you all looks fabulous thanks for sharing..
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    ReplyDelete