Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reminisicing Bangkok! (Circa April 2009)

Sights and sound of Thailand

It was my first time to visit the land of smiles. I did not know that my friend and I would have an adventure of a lifetime :) . I left Singapore around 10 am and landed at the bustling Suvarnabhumi airport a little past 12 noon Thailand time. (They are an hour delayed compared to Philippine and Singaproe time). Bustling I should say, probably I am used to the airport here in Singapore. But despite the crowd, I easily found my way to the immigration counter where I have my first taste of Thai hospitality and got my first warm “Sawadi Ka” greeting from the immigration officer. After immigration clearance cleared, I headed to starbucks as this is the place where my friend and I arranged to meet. (She left manila the night before and was already housed by our good friend who is currently based in Thailand finishing his master’s degree...) Boy, Starbucks was quite crowded that day or is it really that crowded always? Good thing, I right away spotted my friends so I did not have to wait long. From the airport, we went to our hotel accommodation, a budget hotel (First House Hotel) which we have booked via http://www.agoda.com/. The location was just great, it’s near the famous shopping haven “Platinum Plaza”. The room only cost around 6,000 php for 6 nights! Sweet! That was indeed a deal isn’t it? They serve daily complimentary breakfast. Though there was not much variety from their breakfast buffet, but I guess it’s our money’s worth after all its budget travel. After we checked in the hotel, we spent the rest of the day touring the city via our tour guide our good friend who happen to be base there already.

Day 2:
After the much needed rest, my friend and I started out early for we are off to visit the Chatuchak Weekend Market. We have read so many great reviews about this place that we have included it in our must see places. It covers around 35 acres of land with over 15,000 stalls. Conquering this market is no easy feat. There is so much to see and so many choices to make. Just make sure that you bring a bottle of water along and wear comfortable airy clothing. For the born shoppers this is the place to be. Geny and I are not shoppers but we were able to gather quite a loot. Ying, you definitely must come here!
Later in the afternoon, as we still have time, we decided to go and Visit the Grand Palace, the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government. If you are wearing shorts and sleeveless then you won’t be allowed inside the Grand Palace. They do provide polo shirt and sarong for a rental fee at the entrance. But my friend vehemently disagreed that we go in wearing those. And these were her exact words “Anne, kalayo sa akong byahe para magpapicture ra sa grand palace na mura ko ug masahista! No way will I pay 300baht too look like a masahista in my pictures!” Translate “I travelled so far just to look like a ‘masahista’ in my pictures! No way!” Since it’s a no way for her, then we just settled having our pictures taking outside the palace. But we promised we will be back properly attired :)

Us in front of the grand palace properly attired. No shorts and no sleeveless blouses.

We thought of going back to the hotel but as the day is still young, we stopped by Suan Pakkad Palace. ‘The Suan Pakkad Palace is the first museum in Thailand where the owner, their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga, decided to convert their private residence, built in the traditional Thai style opened in 1952, is located on 6 Rai on Sri Ayudhya Road, Bangkok, containing their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga's collection of antiquities, which has been passed down through successive generations. The Suan Pakkad Palace is a combination of fine arts and ancient artifacts from the era of H.R.H. Prince Paribatra Sukhumbandhu, son of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn, Rama V and Her Majesty Queen Sukhumala Marasri.’ From http://www.suanpakkad.com/

Behind us is BKK tallest building
Day 3
One of the highlights of the trip is the declaration of State of Emergency of the Thai government when the ‘Reds’ are protesting against the government. The Thai government protesters standard color is yellow. So during the whole duration of the trip red and yellow clothing was a definite NO NO. But that didn't stop us from having fun. Other highlights of our trip was a day tour to Ayuthaya. We get to ride an elephant. (Our elephant poses though are not post worthy therefore no pics to show ;-) and froliciking at Siam paragon , a posh mall :) :) :)...

hmmm why is the Buddha wearing yellow?

the posh Siam Paragon
Nah why am I suddenly walking down memory lane? Because I will definitely visit Bangkok Thailand again for some serious shopping ;-) and have I mentioned that the food was great?!? :)

ox tail
sticky rice and mango

kebab (Persian food at Siam Paragon)

some Thai dish i forgot the name (its sweet and salty with lots of chili paddi)
.....and a friend just announce some travel plans to visit the land of smiles. And I straight away said “Count me in”…. Just hopping that there won’t be any political unrest so all the shops would be open. But if there is, I can always have a pose with them again ;-) *winks*

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