Back from Thai

... and I sooo wanna go back soon! But I have to really really really save first. Haha. Simot sarap lng talaga pera namin! Later I'll show you why. Haha. But I also enjoyed our tours. Especially when we visited some year 1700 ruins. Surreal ika nga ni Mich. :) And even if there were some few bad experiences, we still had a blast.

(Click HERE to see all photos of our trip!)

Tips (and some Facts):

1) Dito bawal ang tanga. Eh tanga kami nung first day. Haha! Don't ever believe anyone when they say they'd drop you anywhere you want for free or just for a mere fare but in return you have to go with the drivers to some gallery or shop so they could have their coupons stamped. NO NO NO! On our first day there was a very nice person/driver who said he'd drop us off to the market for 3o baht, but he asked us to go with him to 2 Gem galleries (turns out pag-aari ng gobyerno nila, in fairness nice marketing tactic for tourists ha) so he could have his coupon stamped for his kid's uniform. So kami naman si tanga sumama kc mura eh tapos ambait pa nakakaloko. Eh ayun we ended up spending almost 2K baht on souvenirs (mahal ang alahas! kaya souvenirs nalang--souvenirs na half the price sa labas- eh kesa nga alahas!). They'll tell you na its ok if you don't buy anything just pretend you're looking but mahihiya ka nalang na hindi bumili lalo na if you have your personal sales rep that's forever on your tail! So ayun gastos! 3x pa kami bumalik coz our Royal Grand Palace free tour is sponsored pala by them, so no choice. Boo.

secret shot inside the gallery

Again, bawal ang tanga. There are really a lot of people who will do anything for money. They can appear as nice as Santa but can turn evil in a snap of a finger. So ayun na nga. My first day in Thailand was super stressful and headache inducing. Naganalyze kami ni Mich kung bakit kami pareho may headache and we ended up choosing from a) pagod, b) gutom, c) puyat. But we both agreed na ang masakit sa ulo--are the gem factories!!! And that freakin' nice i-need-a-stamp-from-my-sponsor driver. Ambait ni kuya as in over. He was even nice enough to warn us against other thais who might fool us into going in the gem gallery again (na gawain naman nia, kami naman tanga d pa nagtaka) or scrape off our money. Turns out, in the end sha talaga ang manloloko! So just because we really believed he was nice we asked him to pick us up after our half-day tour. He was really persuading us to go to this exotic erotic funny show call "Ping Pong" (?, not so sure about the name) near Patpong (a night spot in Thailand). So we told him we'd check out the show and we'd watch if it's not that expensive. But our main goal was really just to check out the night market there and eat. So come 8:30 we met up with him. We were so tired from the tour (+ the heat) plus I have a mild headache so we decided to just drop the show and just eat, shop and probably go to some spa. We were inside his Ford Hilux discussing our itinerary for the night. He keeps on butting in that we have to see the show, as in non-stop. So sumenyas si Mich na "baka may commission sha". So we said we'd still check it out to see the price since we only brought 1K baht with us (to cut the gastos na din). The driver took us to this uber scary place full of scary looking people + mala-chinese mafias. I really didn't watch the show so I asked Mich to go with him to check it out. When they came back Mich kept asking me if I wanted to watch and I kept saying No. Yun pala mukha kasing mga goons mga andun and the place is super small and they're really forcing people to watch. Good thing I stayed in the car kung hindi nahila na din kami sa loob. And besides ang mahal! 1K baht/person. Duh! Pang-sho2pping ko nalang my money. So yun nga Mich and I ended up fighting (sa galit ko din sa driver who works there pala, langya sha!). As in tantrums talaga ako coz I really don't like it when people push or forces me to do something ayokong gawin (again at this point I wanted to smack the driver's face). So sa inis ko dakdak to the max ako, and I had a huge fight with Mich that turned out to be semi-staged and essential para makaalis kami dun. We still paid the driver 400 for doing nothing. Fuck sha. So there, a day after someone asked us again if we want a free ride and this time we almost shouted at the top of our lungs a sounding "NO!!!!". Wais na to noh!

Naloko nila kami. Boo.

Look for good bargains. Everything's cheaper here (except for the feelingeros na tuktuk na yan, mas mahal pa sa taxi!!!). So try to book a cheap hotel. We stayed at Ecotel and it was super worth it. Read my Ecotel review & some pictures HERE! Here are some pics na din sa tamad magclick ng link:
Mich loves the glass shower. Haha.
Our room! na may window pero pader yung view--at least may window.
Hallway as we're walking to our room sa dulo

The Best Shopping Places

* Chatuchak Market - Dito lang naman ata naubos pera ko. Haha! It's a weekend bazaar with 15,000 stalls selling different items from clothes, accs, shoes, housewares, decos, etc. etc. Don't shop at the aircon stalls or yung mala-Eastwood ang itsura (mahal dun!). Walk pa until you reach the mala-divisoria na itsurang part--DUN MURA!!! Hahaha! I was able to buy a nice skirt for 100 baht! At the end of the day, para ng zombie si Mich sa sakit ng paa nia. Pero in fairness mas magaling sha mag-haggle sakin! Perfect team kami, haha.

the map ng kawalan. woohoo.

me shopping for some glow balls (hindi mala katrina halili ha--decoration po sa bahay!); I swear gusto ko na maghubad dito sa init!

this is the mala-eastwood part--mahal dito remember!

anong napala ko? eh di mga ito!

I know people might say Pratunam is the best place to shop but I'm sorry wala akong nakitang worth buying dito. This is not your place to shop if you want nicely designed clothes. If you want value station or 168 looking clothes eh okay dito sa Pratunam--but if you want some 50th Ave Galleria looking clothes and accs sa Chatuchak kau OR OR OR...

* Siam Square (specifically sa The Bonanza) - Dito ako nasanay kausapin ng Thai language. I think ito talaga homeland ko. Haha. WTF even the tour guides said I look like Thai (si Mich din sometimes haha). So ayun at first whenever someone speaks to me in Thai I explain pa pero nung tumagal nag no2d nalang ako sabay Sorry or Thank you and then walk out. Hahaha! Anyway, the best place to shop din dito! I was able to buy a nice gladiator heels for 299 baht. Oha! Winner! And some dresses I bought na tig P600 - P1K dito sa Pinas 250 baht lang dun!

* GSP - the set-up is 50th avenue-ish. May mahal, may mura kaya pagalingan nalang maghanap (Aisa) and maghaggle (Mich). I was able to buy my winning blazer here for 300 baht. Buti nalang! Coz I was actually on the verge of submitting an order form na to a multiply seller here sa Pinas for a blazer worth P1200. Buti nalang!

..swerte ko lng coz June-August is Thailand's Grand Sale! Yipeeeee! O d pa huli ang lahat, pero mahal na ang ticket! Bleh. :P

4) Haggle to death - As I've said magaling ako maghanap (i can find the bestest deals anywhere) pero d mashado sa paghaggle. Dito ko nadiscover ang hidden talent ni Mich na may super room for improvement pa! Next time baka for free na ibigay samin! Hahaha! Plus--bumabaha ng tibo dito and duda ko may crush kay Mich mga tindera kaya pag sa kanya laging discounted plus may hirit pa na "ok ok for you--special" (with magulong thai accent). Ayun, special paaaa. I was able to buy a nice black bag na at first ayaw ako tawaran but when Mich entered the haggling conversation aba! oo agad. Boooooo.

5) Taxi vs. Tuktuk - TAXI!!! I know national sasakyan ang tuktuk but then graboooso sa over ang overpriced fare nila! As in short distance ang gusto nilang bayad is 200 baht. And then 100 baht itatawid ka lang sa kabilang side ng road. What the?! NO way highway! So we just took a cab and we only paid 90 baht. Less than half the price. So yeah cab to death kami dito. PLUS all cabs are new, doesn't smell like paa or panis na laway or canal (smells like pad thai sometimes though) and are colored bright pink, neon green, yellow and orange. Makes me sing "Sunny day..nananana...". I missed riding the train (coz ma-train sa HK and Sing) and I kept insisting we try it but we never got the chance coz malayo sa hotel and d naman convenient for our location. So sad. Maybe next time!

6) Traffic - Wala ka ng magagawa sa lala ng traffic dito. Mas malala pa ata sa traffic dito sa Pinas. As iiiiin. Our tour guide supported it with the fact that there are 10 million people in Bangkok alone and 4 million have cars. So imagine nalang. And in fairness wala ako nakitang tetano inducing cars dun! Halos lahat latest models. I did see some old model vehicles pero mga 5 pcs only.

7) Tours - I know it maybe cheaper to tour places alone BUT buti nalang nag tour package kami coz we need not worry about the transpo or being fooled again. There was this one tour we joined na may Australians na kasali so kami naman eavesdrop sa kwento nila. I heard one of them say na in their previous trip to Thailand they tried to expore the place by themselves. So there was this taxi driver daw who told them he'd bring them to the floating market. But they were brought to a slum area with a river that have 2 barges in it (no cute little boats or veggies or whatsoever) all he saw was those barges and houses with plasma TVs (wow slum area pa ha) so theypaid 1500 baht just to be able to get out of there. So ayun afraid na sila kaya nag tour package na. Haha.

Places to Visit
* Royal Grand Palace - at Bangkok--Super nice. This is where their Kings stayed before. As in fabulous puro gold! Haha. Google nio nalang yung history ok. Haha.

ayaw mag-smile ni kuya. Damot.

a miniature model of Angkor Wat made by their 5th King (Rama V or Chulalongkorn)

palace where the king stays

uber amazing painting! Ang nice ng gold details. Nice lahat!

* River Kwai/Death Railway/War Museum - sama sama na sila kc kasama sha sa isang tour. Hehe. And related sila coz it highlights the Japanese invasion of Thailand during the 1940's. I'd tell you to google it nalang din but to give you a brief history--the Japanese brought political prisoners in Thailand from Burma and Singapore so they could make a railway where they can tranpost good and oil from Burma to Thailand. Death railway kc obviously d sila nag-party nuon--madami po namatay sa 1 year in the making of this railway (na supposedly 5 years to build daw--wows). So we boarded a motor boat going to the Death Railway....

starting point of our whole day tour

boat ride to the death railway = 300 baht din to. But since ayaw namin mag mukhang un-cool sa iba naming ka tour, ayan sumakay na din kami

it's forbidden to touch monks--pro d bawal mag-smile. yiheeee.

Death Railway - surreal din. Just imagine 1 year lng ginawa to ng political prisoners. Huwaw.

ay bat naman all war? wag naman ganun. heehee.

hala mich ayan na yung train! You could take the railway tour by walking or that train. Walk nalang kami--eh ang takbo ng train 10 km/2 hours ata.

Eto sa War Museum bawal daw magpicture. Buut nakapicture kami konti. This is where actual items recovered from the campsites are displayed. As well as visual representation of what happened during that hard times. Depressing sha. Pero maaaliw kayo sa guestbook sa dulo. Hanapin ang sulat ng Japanese. (see last pic)

ayan na museum na!

Anjan sa case yung mga letters and shavers etc etc na nakuha from political prisoners.
free tea or coffee after the museum tour!

War Cemetery where 6K+ pows were buried.

Oh sorry na nga daw eh.

* Elephant Ride + Bamboo rafting = see pics below nalang for our elephant ride pics. I enjoyed this (si Mich din cguro hahaha! Peor hanggang ngaun may sugat pa din sha form the ticks anf fleas galing kay Dumbo). The Bamboo rafting however--umm, no comment. O cge na nga-- BORING. Hahaha. Inaliw nalang namin sarili namin. Hehe.
ate and her magic sagwan

8) Language - If you think just because you're fluent in English which is a universal language it will be easy breezy to converse with people here. Um, not. We've encountered some people who can't really understand English. Say for example, the elephant rider (during our elephant ride). He asked for my camera so he could take pour pictures on the elephant. He asked me if I wanted to ride on the elephants head (or bunbunan) I refused (eh kc naman short shorts ako na white eh puro putik yung elephant ano naman itsura ko after, haha) so Mich went for it. Eh our giant Dumbo was snacking on grass or leaves 24/7 ata, as in butas ata bituka, kaya he kept on moving. I really thought mahuhulog si Mich kaya hinawakan ko sha sa shirt and she was also kinda freaking out coz we kept on shouting "Stop! No! Go down!" to the rider but he'd just laugh/smile and say "Picture! Cheese!". After 5 mins of struggle Mich realizes our No's or Enough or Stop! would just fall on deaf ears so she just learned to accept her fate on top of the Elephant's head (bunbunan). In fairness matalino yung elephants super cute coz pag mahuhulog na si Mich hinharang nila yung ears nila sa knees nia para mastabilize sha (pinapak nga lang si Mich ng ticks and lice haha). Oha. Haha. And whenever their trainer acts as is they're gonna punch them, the elephant just bows down (awww wawa :c). And then if suddenly your elephants stops and starts wiggling or moving to its left and right don't get scared--nagkakamot lang sila ng pwet nila sa puno (thus my face/expression on the 2nd pic).
8) Change your money to US Dollars first. Turns out our money has little value there. Haha. It's a good thing we asked our officemate (Jig thank you!) how she had her money changed in Thailand when they went there last year. She advised us to buy some dollars first to be exchanged there. So masunuring bata we bought some dollars at Metrobank a few hours before our flight. Sana pala pinalit na namin lahat ng pera namin.

I was expecting to have our few pesos changed at the airport (BKK,
same to what we did in Sing & HK) ). So upon arrival we approached the money changing counter (Siam Intl Bank) but lo and behold! walang Philippine Peso sa list. Hahahaha! So panic kami, buti nalang may dollars. So we had that changed para naman may pang-taxi db. The next day, we went to a money changer near our hotel to have our remaining dollars changed, kasama na din peso (dito may palitan ng peso but compared to $ mas mababa shempre). This is the best money changer in Thailand ( as far as we encountered) and the employees are nice too. :)

9) We just look like them!
I swear. Haha. Nasanay na nga akong kinakausap ng Thai. At first I tried explaining pa that I only understand English, pero nung tumagal kiber na! Whatever, sila naman mapapagod magsalita and ako nod lng ng nod to death. Haha. They on the other hand, becomes amused after realizing na they're talking to deaf ears (better term: foreign ears). And upon learning we're from the Philippines they shout "Manny Pacquiao!" and start those air punching motions. I in turn smile as if I love boxing (which I totally don't).

10) Let them know you're not Thai when ordering food - I already told you how much we look like them. One night Mich and I ate at some carinderia, we ordered rice with pork strips and chili. Everybody knows how much I love chili or spicy foods. But wowowow, THIS is a killer! I used all tissues within my reach wiping off my runny nose. Hahaha! It's so funny. Their cook upon realizing we're foreigners and seeing our faces turn red and as we sniffed our lives away, approached us and said sorry. Sayang I wasn't able to finish my food masarap pa naman. Mga half lang. As in gumiveup ako sa anghang! Hahaha! I finished 1 bottle of mineral water in just 1 minute ata! Haha. Na amaze nga si Mich. But worth it na din coz we only paid 100 baht for our food and drinks. Afterwards, we headed to the nearest 7-11 to buy milk to ease our tongues! (That's their secret: Milk).

O db punong puno ng sili! Killer! Panis!

Me before eating, may premonition nako na d ko kakayanin. Haha.

..... overall it was a meaningful and super fun trip. And I believe I can shop more! So, start na pag-save na naman. :P Wala pa bang 0 fare?!

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