This trip was a planned spontaneous decision. Confusing? I wasn’t supposed to go with them even though I wanted so badly because I just came from a 2 month trip in Europe. Talk about expenses and leaving my work a lot. I was resigned to my obvious fate that my mom wouldn’t allow me even when I explained that I’d be totally free since I’m gonna use my flight points. But she stood her ground and banned me from any more travels this year.
She only relented when my friend convinced her to give me a break after working on a certain project. Bless you my friend <3 So here we go…
The first thing you notice about Bangkok when you arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport is the number of ads for whitening products. Like the Philippines, a fair skin is more desired especially by women. And you can see this in the number of fair-skinned and slim ladies even in the market.
On our first day, we took an hour and a half long canal cruise for 400 baht each and disembarked at Tha Tien. It’s the perfect stop to have some snacks at Tha Tien Market before touring the nearby Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
Entrance to the Wat Pho is at 100 baht per foreigner, and free to locals. As a first class royal temple, you can find the school of Thai medicine within the complex. The school is said to be the birthplace of Thai massage where it is still practiced to this day.
You can also find the famous reclining Buddha and the 108 bronze bowls representing the number of auspicious characters of Buddha. Though it may not be a pilgrimage site, the grandeur of this 14m x 46m statue with inlaid mother of pearl is more than enough to draw the streams of visitors to this temple.
Bangkok being the capital of Thailand, is the jump off point for tourists coming in to the country. More specifically, if you want to travel to nearby cities from Bangkok, Victory Point is the place you should be familiar with. Here you will find mini-buses going to different cities. There is a small terminal where you can purchase your tickets and the mini-buses leave at 30min-hourly intervals.
One of the places we headed to was a 2-hr ride to the Historic City of Ayutthaya – a UNESCO World Heritage Site north of Bangkok. Now that’s one more off my list! #travelgoals #UNESCOgoals Some signs spell it as Ayothaya/Ayutthaya/Ayotthaya, anyway let’s not debate about it and stick with the official UNESCO spelling. Okay~ Allot an entire day for Phra Nakhon si Ayutthaya so you can get the most out of your 4hr roundtrip ride out.
From the drop-off point of the mini-bus, you can find lots of tuk-tuks in a row. These tuk-tuks are bigger than those in Bangkok City which could only sit about 4. The tuk-tuks in Ayutthaya resemble a multicab and could sit about 6-8. The friendly drivers charge 200 baht per hour of the tour regardless of the number of persons. So for our group of 5, the price came cheap. Like a private vehicle, they will take you wherever you want to go and wait for you to go to the next location.
You can ride elephants and cuddle tigers for around 1500 baht (or not, if you are an advocate against cruelty to animals). You can also enjoy some shopping and fill your tummy with local cuisine and snacks at the Floating Market which is just a few meters from the animal show. Entrance for tourists at the Floating Market is at 200 baht each and that includes a 10-minute boat ride and a cultural show.
There are more than 10 attractions in this island surround by 3 rivers. Sadly, our time allowed us to go only to Wat Mahathat. The 50 baht entrance fee appears rather small compared to the size of this area. In my estimation, we were only able to explore 1/4 of the complex. We spent loads of time taking selfies and group shots rather than relieving history. We decided that we have to go back to this place anyway and maybe next time, we’ll hire a tour guide to tell us the full story. The majestic ruins of this city from the 14th century commands undivided attention from thoughts of shopping and selcas.
We capped Day 2 with some shopping at the Platinum Fashion Mall. This is the largest indoor fashion outlet in Bangkok. Here you won’t find major brands, but locally-made items and other import products at cheap prices. We were advised to refrain from shopping here since Chatuchak Market or JJ Market is much cheaper. However, I couldn’t find my style of semi-formal otona style outfits at JJ Market.
The next day, we took another 2-hr mini-bus south of Bangkok to Pattaya City. In contrast to historic Ayutthaya, this place is modern and full of youthful vibe. The proximity to islands made it a good party place and a place for investors.
Back in central Bangkok on our 4th day, we spent our afternoon scouring JJ Market for the cheapest finds. Indeed, there are loads of items there from wildlife to furniture to bath supplies and of course, fashion items! The place is one huge outdoor market mapped out by category of for sale products. Tip: download a map and head straight to what you want to buy, or else you’ll get lost wandering the 8000 stalls and getting tempted by cheap items. Not to worry with your excess baggage as various cargo services are everywhere.
Our last night in Thailand was spent in a 2-hr dinner buffet river cruise which my friend booked online for 1008 baht each. We tried our best to enjoy the night as we sang along with the Pinoy entertainment band and took photos with the cultural performers.
The days quickly flew by. Suddenly, it’s about time to head home. I wonder where our next adventure will lead us. I can’t wait to pack my bags again.