Sawasdee ka, Bangkok

 

Our weekend trip last July can only be summarized in one word – spontaneous. As we don’t have a very clear itinerary on what to do, where to go, what places we must visit, and so we just decided to let our feet guide us, let our eyes see what’s in there and let our tummies be full of the different Thai cuisines we’ve been craving for.

thai lion air, our official carrier (haha)


In order for us to have an overview, we discussed on the plane which places to go, and  since we will arrive quite late already in Bangkok, we just decided to go to Night markets. We landed at the old airport, Don Mueang International Airport, via Thai Lion Air. Our airfare was a bit expensive since we booked our flights quite late already. We took taxi to our hostel, Udee Bangkok Hostel, which I booked via booking.com. This hostel is a bit far from the central but, it’s nearer to the airport. It’s also a bit far from the bts station (Saphan Kwai) and may take atleast 15-20mins walk depending on your speed. Nevertheless, this hostel is of good quality. We had a simple breakfast which was included in our booking (toast, cereals and oats, fruits, coffee and tea, and some sandwiches), the triple room provided and the shared toilet are both clean and spacious, and of course, the owners of the hostel are both friendly and accommodating. However, I do recommend to have a good hostel or hotel in the central part of the city (around Siam station) if you love shopping at night markets since it will be easier and more accessible especially the transportation.

Map of the neighborhood around Udee Bangkok Hostel posted in the stairwell

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me, mich and emily 🙂

 

FIRST DAY: Our first stop was the Talad Rot Fai night market at Udom Suk station. From the Saphan Kwai BTS station, you need to take a cab since it’s a bit far. Do endure the traffic jam as it may subside after sometime, and the place is worth it!


A lot of food, clothes, shoes and accessories which are quite cheap and affordable can be found in this night market. As i am always attracted to clothes, this night market satisfied my cravings cos everything is relatively cheap but, have good quality (like those being sold in Ph!). Unlike in Taiwan, the gastronomical side of my being was the one replenished, here in Bangkok, all my stress vanished, shopping! (hehe). We also had dinner here, as expected, even if you say less spicy, it will still be spicy!

SECOND DAY: The next day we decided to visit the temples. Although I don’t practice Buddhisim, I’m fond of going to places like this. Makes me wonder how faith can turn an individual into different being. Anyway, we first found our way to the ferry or the river taxis along the Chao Phraya River. For easy guide, I found this helpful website on how to go the different temples, what boat to take and the costs, and where to alight: Bangkok Ferry Guide

We alighted at Tha Tien pier for Wat Pho and then cross the river to Wat Arun (which was currently being renovated when we visited). We did not visit the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Mahathat as we don’t have enough time.

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Emily and Michelle’s jumpshot :)))

 

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Reclining Buddha

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crossing the river to Wat Arun

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The passenger boats always come full from different piers so when a tourist ferry came we just decided to board on it even if it  cost us more than the normal ferry. As we were very hungry waiting for the ferry to come, we just decided to alight at Ratchawong and visited Chinatown, desperately looking for good food. In the end, we ate some Pad Thai along the streets of Chinatown. 🙂

The best Pad Thai I’ve ever tasted :))

After lurking around Chinatown, we headed straight to Chatuchak weekend market. If you want to buy anything, you can find it here. However, it’s so big that you really need a whole day (or more) if you want to go around. In order to buy specific things, you can based on the map they have for all the stores inside so you won’t get lost (yes, there’s a possibility of getting lost). I missed Divisoria in Manila actually, cos the prices there are still much cheaper. The only thing I like in Bangkok night or weekend markets are the quality of their products. Though not branded, the quality of the textile and seam are so nice that you won’t think of not buying it. They have a variety of styles and designs to choose from which are in trend nowadays.

After going to Chatuchak, we still went back to the city and spend our last night on night markets (yes, never ending night markets!). We went to Siam Square and Pratunam. We bought some souvenirs and cute stuff for our friends and colleagues. After the long weekend, we went back to our hostel at Saphan Kwai and packed our things for tomorrow’s flight.

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THIRD DAY: We just went to Big C supermarket to look for some stuff. I bought one beer and some food. Then on our way back to hostel, we tried the ‘expensive’ tuktuk ride. It’s my fault though cos I did not bargain. I forgot how much it is but, I remember it cost us like the taxi drive from Siam Central to Saphan Kwai. Anyway, after packing all our reamining things, we then headed to the Airport and went back to Sg.

Here are some useful links we used during our 3days stay in BKK:

Night Markets

BTS Bangkok Map

Chao Phraya River Guide

 

 

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sun and sand, hello Bora!

Boracay Island, Philippines. Boracay is a beautiful island located in Visayas -which is one of the three main islands in the Philippines. Mostly packed with tourists and even locals during peak season, this island turns into a hot and wild venue of countless parties that will surely give you a memorable nightlife experience. However, as I am not a party-lover and a more relaxed type of traveler, I prefer the quiet moments and peaceful ambiance of the beach. And I must say, if you want to just enjoy Boracay like the way I wanted, don’t go during peak season, else you might find it too crowded, noisy and busy island that might just ruin your trip.

I went last June with my family and I must say it was the best vacation I had so far. First of all, we are complete for a summer outing as a family for the first time outside Luzon. Second, it was really a memorable experience since we tried different things unlike the first time we went there, and last but not the least, we celebrated each and every occasion that I missed back home (Mother’s day, Dad’s birthday, Noel’s university graduation, and ate Xin’s passing of the Bar Exam).

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i really love walking on this pristine white sand!

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sunset at its finest ❤

We only spend 3days and 2 nights in Boracay, a very short family getaway. But, I already miss having those three precious days 🙂 Anyway, to start off our vacation, we arrived at Kalibo International Airport in Aklan. I would still recommend to buy air tickets which will directly go to Caticlan so that it’s less hassle. As for our case, after we arrived at the airport, we still rode a van which was about 1-2hours ride to Caticlan , paid a lot of fees (environmental and terminal fee), rode a jetty from Caticlan port to Boracay Island and lastly, an e-tricycle from the port to our hotel.

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Jetty to Boracay Island

We stayed at Chateau de Boracay which is located at Station 2, it was a bit difficult to find at first since it was inside Villa de Oro Resort. But, we realized in the end that it’s very accessible if you pass from the main road towards the beach passing through the La Carmela Boracay resort. The family room that I booked was just nice. It was spacious even if we were 5 adults inside, and the beds were very comfortable. I did not manage to take a picture of the room because first, we were very hungry that time that I forgot to take a picture, and second, I already want to go outside and see the beach, and lastly I’m really not sure if I want to write this up (ehehe, excuses). The only two downside of this hotel were the free breakfast because of the limited choices they have and the weak wifi connection. Actually, I don’t care much on the latter part since I want to be present at every moment with my family on this vacation.

After checking-in and putting our things in the room, we strolled outside Station 2 and went to D’talipapa to have our early dinner. Since we all love seafood and no one is allergic to it, we decided to buy some fresh ones from the market and go to a restaurant who will cook it according to the dish we wanted. It was a very sumptuous meal and I really missed the Pinoy style cooking 🙂

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Here’s our before and after picture 😀 we really did enjoy the food!

After eating we went back to the hotel, change our clothes and decided to experience a nightlife in the island. We all went to drink some cocktails, beers and juice (for ate Xin :D). I’m really happy even until now, I hope we can have more happy memories like this. haha they say money can’t buy you happiness, but actually, it can, as long as you know how to use it well 🙂

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strolling at night 🙂

 

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cheers!! 🙂

The next day was our only adventure day! We still went for the island hopping, and yes, we did not regret because we visited the Puka Beach unlike the first time we were there. Oh how I love that part of Boracay. The water is so blue, clean and very clear unlike in station 1,2, & 3. The locals there tried to explain to us that it’s really like that during this season because of the wind, a lot of sea plants/seaweeds go to the shore. Anyway, after Puka Beach we ate our lunch. It was a buffet style and fortunately it was very delicious :).

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smile! where’s dad? ahhh swimming haha #gopro

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with the sibs 🙂

We then proceeded for some snorkeling, and then stopped by the Crystal cove where I just spent my time sleeping outside. (Promise next time I’ll go inside and pay the P200 fee, haha). Anyway, after a quick nap, we proceeded to our last stop which was the Magic Island. Good thing, one of the passengers in our boat bought tickets inside to see, and for us three, we tried cliff diving for the first time. After practicing at 5m, 7m, me and my bro decided to try the 8,9, and 10 meters high. Ohhh the adrenaline junkies. Too bad for me though, I landed wrongly for the 10m high and I got a lot of bruises on my thighs and arms. Well, too much for YOLO though hehe.

After the boat ride, since we alighted at Station 1, we decided to see the famous grotto on a boulder and took family picture(s) there.

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familia Cruz 🙂

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my lovely parents 🙂 ❤

After which we went again to D’Talipapa for our dinner which is my favorite – Sinigang na Hipon! (Prawns in Tamarind Soup base, did I translate that correctly? haha) anyway, we slept happy and full that night and woke up by the rain outside. Our last agenda before going home was to try Parasailing while our mom and dad had a different agenda – to rest and go around the island for souvenir shopping. Good thing, it stopped raining and we proceeded to Station 1 since the dive shop recommended by my sis’s friend was located there. We availed the parasailing for the three of us. It was really a very memorable experience and good thing, no one was afraid of heights among the three of us (yeah well, we all did the cliff dive, right? hehe).

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off to the parasailing point via speedboat!

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up, up, and away!

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happy feet, oh look at that height 🙂 that’s the speedboat pulling us.

Lastly, before really going home and after all the last minute shopping, and after eating our lunch at Mang Inasa(r)l (cos we were so irritated on their service, haha) we decided to have a massage, yes, in public! haha. The cost is just nice (P350/hr) and it’s like you’re also helping the locals there 🙂

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Okay! that’s it 🙂 for the fare breakdown, since I usually just right all my expenses to tally with my budget, I decided to give you guys an estimate for a 3d/2n for 5 adults Boracay getaway. This cost however, can still be decreased if you availed cheaper tickets to and fro Boracay and if you’re lucky to have a direct flight to Caticlan instead of Kalibo.

Fees:
Air flight for 5pax, mnl-klo return: P18374
Van + Boat ride to Boracay: 1000 for 5pax, 175/pax terminal fee & envi fee
Return to Caticlan: P1250 for 5 pax + 100terminal fee, ate Xin
Hotel via Agoda (family room): P5800
Etrike ride (two-way, to and fro hotel): P300
Paluto dinner dtalipapa (1st night): 1050 market, 1235                                                                 (seafood to cook: lapulapu, scallops, oyster, squid)
Paluto dinner dtalipapa(2nd night): sinigang na hipon P650 market + P550 luto
Lunch: mang inasal(r): P750
Massage: P350 per pax * 4
Island hopping with lunch: P600 per pax * 5
Parasailing: P1200 per pax * 3

Total=32783.56 +7000(ate xin)
so the estimate per person is around~P8000 

Here is the video I created using go pro app 🙂 please use laptop if you want to view, hehe the music i used has a copyright, wrong move 😀

 

Posted in #itsmorefuninthephilippines, ALL ABOUT ASIA, beach, discover Philippines, Philippines, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

why are millenials so obssessed with travelling?

This is my write-up for the open call that I joined recently. Unfortunately, it didn’t qualify. Haha. Just want to share this with everyone 😁

“YOLO – You Only Live Once”. These four words became popular these past few years. It’s so attractive that many young adults and professionals ask themselves, “so why not travel as much as I can and as far as I can?” If people have the capability, money and time, just do it. It is like a hedonistic approach but not in a negative perspective. As years passed by, more and more people live their life by “work-save-travel-enjoy” cycle. Oh, the majestic hype of traveling – this loud and extravagant trend is now occupying the calendars and schedules of most millennials I know. Even the social media, airline websites and travel tours are booming with advertisements and discounts. Either going up on the mountains, exploring virgin beaches and islands, or going on abroad and being immersed with their variety of food and culture. The power and knowledge of using the internet is like a breakthrough of information that is not available back in the day.

Millennials who are known to be easy-going individuals tend to engage in such trend because it gives them the freedom they needed after a tedious work at the office. Often, it is like a scapegoat from those busy meetings, long work hours and overtimes they do. Travelling makes young professionals have their freedom to rest fully with a beautiful scenery, to enjoy their hard-earned money and to fully engage to the activities they desperately wanted and planned to do for the past few months.

Travelling makes young people forget the hardships in their jobs, family or love life. It is like a therapeutic way of fixing the mind of these young professionals in order to stay motivated in their own day jobs. Frankly speaking, most of the millennials have short patience with regards to their work. High turnover rates and low productivity in the work area are some of the key indicators that are affected if employees are not motivated. Hence, we have the so called “Vacation Leave”, the best privilege that companies provide aside from the salary and medical benefits, and of course, the millennials know how to utilize each and every leave they have. Often times it is the solution to keep these good employees on track.

Itineraries, plane tickets, bus rides, and latest gadgets that may help document their trips are all packed in their rucksacks and they are good to go. Becoming obsessed in travelling means being preoccupied in the idea that travelling can make our lives much better and lighter with a greater purpose and boost our self-worth. Most of the time, when people are being asked why do they travel a lot, their answer can be like this: “I travel because I want to see the world with my own eyes, to feel the winter breeze on my cheeks, to feel the sand on my feet, to indulge gastronomically with my mouth, to feel the waves with my own hands, and to rest my body in a comfortable lounge with the sound of the sea and the sky.” For some, the experience they get can be too overwhelming that they learned a lot from it and these memories tend to help them explore themselves and grow as a fully independent individual.

And yes, the aftermath comes in. They now have the bragging rights posting everything in their own social media, photos and memories are being shared and liked. Tourist spots became more crowded because of the different travel blogs sharing their own itineraries and experiences. The hype is there, positive or negative effect it may bring, young people like that and they engage to that. This is where independency comes in, millennials plan carefully each and every trip so as not to waste time, energy and money. They patiently wait for seat sale promotions because travelling now can be cheap, you just need to have the skill to book those seats and voila, all set and itinerary will come next in mind.

Millennials become so obsessed in travelling that it has become a habit. Whether it’s a group or solo travel, they become bolder, wiser and more independent. They have gone down to a different path that most of their parents did not take. The experience becomes overwhelming and makes travelling addictive to the young.

I myself is guilty with every notion above. Travelling is like a pill that makes you tremble with happiness and excitement. Millennials like that feeling, whether they go broke or need to work more after a trip, they don’t mind. It is like a motivation and they look forward to that. But, in the end it will only be a phase in their lives and they know once they already have their own responsibilities, everything will change. So there, YOLO it is.

We all have that inside us. Through travelling, we satisfy our cravings for that passion, experience and personal growth.

I guess you’ll never know what’s in the end of the rainbow anyway if you will not go.

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not for me

I know myself for taking things too seriously sometimes, especially if I know it has become important to me. I guessed I had enough for the past few days. Writing this may help me reduce that weird and stupid feeling that i have, for now.

I’m a newbie with this kind of stuff and  I guess it is not really for me. I am not good in socializing with people whom I do not really know. Stranger danger they say. However, you cannot avoid others that’s why friendships and relationships happen. With the right people, I can be very very comfortable. I may not be able to express fully my concern but, my mind wants me to type things even it’s purely illogical now, as you do not know what I’m talking about. Anyway, this experience is just one of those collective stupid things we do in order to understand life, and human relationships. I’m just being too hard on myself that adds stress, instead of energy and which should not be the case because I should have known what I signed up for.

I guess I just feel sad and I hope you can read this now and make me understand that things aren’t always going my way. Yeah I’m now talking to you up there, why do you need to leave that early? Surely I am now being selfish, as always. I need a psychologist now to keep me from being insane about those seemingly good people turned out as life lessons.I need my best friend now, and it’s sad that I can’t turn to you now. I miss talking to you, rather, we, talking to each other about everything under the sun. I feel stupid now tums, I really do. I can hear you laugh at me and saying things like, “It’s OK tums to feel sad, everything will come on it’s right time” or the classic “Everything happens for a reason and a purpose” but, I still do believe that. Whenever I miss you, I found myself reading your letters to me. You’ve given me this kind of friendship that will not last even if we’re apart. And I know you paved way by giving me trusted friends that I have right now.

Anyway, my human heart can’t take it though, weird, I guess attachment is really in my blood. I get attached too easily, and the next thing I know I find myself detaching from everything. You may think I’m too clingy and obsessive but, that’s not really my issue here. People do and say whatever they want but, they have no right to think everything is a game and can manipulate others cos, unknowing of the intentions, they allow you. They allow you to their realm, their inner most thoughts, your weird dreams and fantasies. Oh I hate myself for trusting even if I know i should not have. Maybe it’s really just in my nature that i would prefer to be treated fairly and honestly the way i treat anybody else. And now i just feel really really weird and stupid.

Each and everyday we meet different sorts of people, either they offer you friendship or not, give you that heavenly cloud nine feeling or make your life miserable as hell. Overall it’s our choices to make and to keep. We decide for ourselves because it’s our ultimate task in this life. We choose what will make us and define us. We have that free will and whatever the effect of the cause we made, it’s our responsibility to stand on our ground or humbly take back those pretending words we blurted out.

Okay I’m being highly irrational now, weird I guess. I’ll just make myself useful and  just wonder for now how things will work out. Oh and I shouldn’t have given a fuss over this. One shot but, I’m done, not for me though.

 

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On a side note – Re: Ph elections

For the past year I’ve been living in this busy city, Singapore. The unique capability of this country to devolop, sustain and continuously improve on every aspect is awed by different nations. The first time I stepped on this land, everything became different, and glittery in my eyes. New perspectives and ideas came into my mind. Being an OFW (overseas Filipino worker) makes you more radical in terms of criticizing your own country. Yes, I do it sometimes because being away from your family makes you realize a lot of things, a LOT loads of weird and difficult stuff that makes you different in someway from your previous  self. I sometimes think, how come we never have the same economic growth even if we have more wealth in terms of our natural resources? And why can’t the government make all the professionals stay in their homeland instead of working and serving for other country?  Why do they need to raise the tax of middle income earners and still we don’t see any improvement at all? Are we just impatient to see the progress or there’s no progress at all? Do we just need to depend on the government, who as we all say, corrupt and crooked? Or can we help make a stand and a change for the fate of our country?

Being a voter is a right and an obligation of every citizen of the country. You will be the one who can help change the fate of our dear Philippines. It’s saddens me actually, when people don’t realize how important that one vote they will contribute. We cannot stop the crime and corruption in one blink, but by voting the appropriate leader who can bring the change that we want, we might have the chance. All in all it still depends on our hands. After the elections, hopefully leaders and the masses will respect those who will win and support them in whatever way.

 “united we stand, divided we fall” hopefully we will always remember this saying.

Anyway, sorry for this rough and a bit idealistic post. I guess I’m still confused on who to vote since elections already started for Ph here in SG.

featured photo not mine*

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