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Surprisingly Good

Inspite of having some bad days or really annoying circumstances that arise, some unexpected events do make a person quite happy.

Well, in my case, I was just told by my boss-friend, Myles that I will be going back to Bangkok. Yes. I’m going back there where I did have a great adventure, new culture exposure and experience, plus met new Thai friends… pretty and of course cute ones ;) Like the first one, going back there now because of work. Will be spear heading an event for Beach Hut Clear Spray Sunblock. But this time, my friend Gian, who’s the International Business Manager of Naturale Laboratories, Inc. in Thailand will be there with me.

I’m excited. Can’t deny that. I get to see Bangkok again, which I undeniably somehow feel in love with, which my friends and colleagues joke about… do I really like the place or is it to someone who’s in Bangkok that I fell in love with? I just laughed with them.

I never announced or shared this trip idea to my family and friends until I saw that I am booked. When the e-ticket was sent, Myles immediately texted me. It was until I saw the email myself containing the e-ticket that finally sinked in to me. I am indeed and truly going back to Bangkok Ü

Happiness in it’s simplest manifestation…

(Where the hell, did I get that phrase….?)

Gian and I more frequently talked over YM and Skype to plan for the event. Both of us were excited to see each other. It’s been months. I’m excited… and scared.

Excited because aside from seeing my friends and being in a different place, I get to practice my skills and expertise with less intrusion. With this opportunity (again) we’ll have learnings which hopefully we can apply here in the Philippines. Scared… because it’s an event.. and it’s an unfamiliar place. Not quite my territory.

No challenge have ever been assigned to anyone if they can’t accomplish it… or at least learn from it. We’ll get through with this… I have my teammates and colleagues with me ;)

But for now, let me cherish the moment… upon confirming this flight I texted a few Thai friends, Put, Ten and Da. And surprisingly, Put replied quite fast.

I’ll see you soon, guys… with a few bags of dried mangoes and milk chocolates as requested.

I’ll be in the land where definitely I’ll be smiling a lot ;)

 

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Travelling Farther North (Part 2: Baguio)

My introduction to this trip was showing the infamous Lion’s Head in Kennon Road going to Baguio. Seeing that structure is an indication that you are near the city of Pines already. Unfortunately, we didn’t take the Kennon Road but instead took the much safer yet longer route to Baguio via Marcos Highway.

A little backgrounder on the said road: Obviously, it was created during the presidential reign of the late Ferdinand Marcos. He even had his head bust statue placed at a certain peak that when you pass that highway to Baguio you’d be reminded who made that road for you. It may be considered machismo but mostly specially by the activists but admittedly or not, it has been a tourist attraction. But it has torn down or blown off at a certain period. I don’t know exactly when but I remember seeing a footage of that action. Oh well, I was disappointed to know what. I have hoping if not seeing and having a photo op of the Lion’s head at least I get a glimpse of the Marcos bust. But all I saw was what’s left of the latter, it’s bust frame.

The road was wider making it safer to take compared to Kennon Road. It’s just a bit far and the safer refered just for the width of the road, but this road is quite steep. It was my first time (in my recollection) to be on a trip to Baguio taking that road. So I was wide awake, secured my seatbelt and swooning over the fog, the curves and the sight.

For video footages of driving along Marcos Highway, check out my multiply site

We reached Baguio almost past 12noon. Tita Rory is our distant relative is quite a local in the area. She comes there a little quite often to check out their house in the non-city area of Baguio.


(L-R) Me, Tita Rory, my Nanay and Tita Nelly, also a distant relative

(Nanay and me: Poinsenttias!!! Now do you know where I got my cam whore attitude ;)
We stayed at her place. We ate packed prepared food for lunch, did a few quick cleaning of the house, freshen ourselves up and then off to have a quick peek of what Baguio now offers.

It’s been decades since I last went to Baguio. I can’t even recall when was it. What’s more vivid in my memory was the visits we had there when we, my cousins and I are quite small. We used to stay at the Baguio Park Hotel in from of the Burham Park. We like taking bicycle rides at that park. Baguio for me is foggy, cold and pine tree.


But this is Baguio now. Houses on the cliffs. Traffic. Pollution. Populated. And SM Baguio.

Wow. The change.


SM Baguio is now considered to be a tourist attraction in the area. It was built taking the shape of a mountain side. And claimed the only SM Mall that uses no airconditioning. Well, obviously they should not have any aircons on, they’re in Baguio, the coolest (in weather) area in the Philippines.


And the façade. Consistent in branding… hehehe


The roofing/ceiling I guess is that makes this mall aircon-less


The site in one of the balcony floors: The Cathedral


Photo op: Tita Rory, my Nanay and Tita Nelly by the balcony


Self-portrait no. 1, attempt no. 1… oops! Missed the Cathedral view


Self-portait no. 2, attempt no. 2… got it! But I prefer the first one

What what can one do in SM Baguio?


EAT: Tita Nelly, Nanay and Tita Rory eating mini bibingkas standing at the foodcourt. They said if it isn’t Baguio they won’t be caught doing that. Hehehe. Well, it’s the same as being in any other SM Mall in Manila. One can eat, walk around and hangout seating on a bench sighting some view in SM Baguio. It’s a weekend, and there are lots of people. We just stayed for less than an hour and off to the next destination.

Oh, before we left… I have been craving for ice cream since that morning. And finally, I have satisfied that craving.


Me and my vanilla ice cream dipped in strawberry flavored coating. Eating ice cream in a cold area? Who cares! I LOOOOOVE ice cream. Period.

Obviously, I am more observant and conscious now. Folks here are fashionable. Perhaps it’s the weather that made them dress that way. Boots, scarves, jackets, trench coats. Plus Baguio is known for having lots of ukay-ukay hubs. Ukay-ukay for those who are not familiar with it is a store that carries second hand items sold for a cheaper price. Items here range from shoes, clothes and bags. If you’re not quite conscious of being fashionable and not that “sensitive” on wearing or having not quite new garments, ukay-ukay is the answer. Too bad we have no time for some ukay visit, perhaps the next time I’ll definitely put that in my itinerary.

Next stop: Baguio Public Market. I’m not quite sure if it’s called the Maharlika Market but it’s where the supposedly cheap goodies are. I have not much of photos in this area because we are warned to guard off our belongings like bags, wallets and cellphones aside from my hands are quite occupied with stuff bought by Nanay and my titas. One thing I’m sure of, silver here is CHEAP. Nabbed a few earrings for my 3 goddaughters (php50.00 each from php80.00) and one simple danggling for me (php100.00 from php120.00).

They bought some broom, a known pasalubong from Baguio, some strawberry jams and ube yams, peanut brittles and fresh veggies which we cooked that night for our dinner.


Flowers are cheap here too. The bouquet was being sold for about php200.00 at first and later the vendor dropped the price to a hundred. Well, if I’m a man I’d snatch that one for sure, for too bad I’m not and don’t have anyone to give the flowers too. Besides, we are to leave the next day, it might not reach Manila in good state.

That was for day 1, Saturday. The next day (Sunday), it was planned to start the day by hearing mass at 5:30 in the Cathedral and head back to Bulacan right after lunch time.


In all fairness, this is just taken with my ever reliable SE K610i. No Photoshop involved (exempt for resizing).

A few photo op after the mass…


At the stairs of Beatitudes. I didn’t notice that this Beatitude about mourning is where we stopped. Timely? Hehehe.

Session Road was closed to traffic that weekend. The week before we came was the Penangbengga Week, a famous flower festival in Baguio.


My Nanay loves flowers, specially one of a kind orchids. Unfortunately, we are too early at that time that the shops are still close. Well, if you can’t take the flowers physically home, take some photos. A cheaper way pa. Hihihi.

Went back at home for a quick breakfast then headed for La Trinidad Valley, Benguet for their famous strawberries!!!


More housing along the cliff. I’m not really afraid of heights but I won’t choose to live in such. I wonder how they get up there.

Reaching the “fields”, it’s not just strawberries that are planted there. Veggies of all sorts that require cool climate are harvested in the area.


Farmers harvesting lettuce


Nanay eagerly pointing the fields. Near her I believe are leeks.

And of course, what we really came for in La Trinidad…


Strawberries!!!


Yum!

And yet, I don’t eat fruits :( Including these sweet strawberries. But not so far from where I stood, I heard a bell clinging… ICE CREEEEEAAAM!


Saved by the bell… my almost finished strawberry ice cream.


These are the shrubs where the strawberries came from. Wonder why there’s some sort of black plastic wrap on the soil bed? It keeps the strawberries from getting dirty with soil. Clever.

More photo op… :p


A few hours left before departure, we took a few photos over The Mansion, as they call the Malacañang in Baguio. This is where the reigning president stays when s/he is in the city of Pines.


Me, Nanay, Tita Rory and Tita Nelly. I can honestly say that I am not much of a fan of our government today. I just encouraged the group to take some photos at The Mansion for keepsake… memories.

It’s perimeter by the way is the only place where pines trees are still visible which one can bearly smell on the breeze. Somehow that gave me a few minutes in reminiscing the Baguio that I knew before.

That was a quick weekend getaway. But I’m quite satisfied. Specially that this is another travel I made with my fave red chucks.

 

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What I Learn in Traveling I Learn It in Thailand

This entry has been long overdue. But needless to say, I was still able to finish and post it, finally… hope it will help you or at least give some entertainment ;)

1.) Luck does come in at a perfect timing.
It was fate that put me in the position to be sent there in Thailand. My so-called expertise was needed there. To work, was my priority but God’s so nice to me lately (and my boss-friend who gave me extended 2 days company paid) than I was given time to explore the city. Plus, I call myself additionally lucky to have such 2 nice Thai gentlemen with me when I was alone in a country I am not familiar with. They showed me around Bangkok at the shortest given time. Who would be the best tour guides but the local Thais themselves! Blessings do come… perhaps in bundles as well ;)

2.) First-hand experience.
Nothing beats seeing, hearing and perhaps stepping on the actual path of the palaces that you once saw in the geography or history books. I was there primarily for work and yet, I was really fortunate to see and experience their culture, their past, and their current lifestyle. One get to understand, believe and learn from it. Being there, seeing what some are just telling me before, I finally understood how they feel about it and why they are feeling that way. “They” pertains to both Thai people and my colleagues who’ve been there in Thailand.

3.) Acceptance of Western Influence is not bad after all.
Thailand was not really conquered by Europeans but their King and his successors never resisted them. It’s obvious at the palaces architectures and during my museum tours. The museum guide would say, “…these are gifts from other European countries to the royal family…” more than what your fingers can count! Also, they sent their sons and daughters to Europe to study and comes back to Thailand bringing back what they learned and applying perhaps. Adaptation of foreign influence is not bad as long as you don’t forget who you are and where you came from.

4.) Expressing anger will do you no good.
I am emotional. Specially now when in terms of my work, I don’t like “surprises”. Yet, even though I was miles away it never missed me. But because I have no other choice and I’m the only one there, performance and delivery is a must. Me, being a drama queen as called by my close friends was all calm and peaceful there in Bangkok. Surprisingly, I am. I have to control my temper and anger. I can’t complain. I can’t exclaimed. No one will understand. In other words, I don’t have an audience.

5.) Music links everyone.
Foreign as I am in Thailand, Put, one of the kind, nice looking Thai gents shared his music preferences. Thanks to the bluetooth technology, we were able to exchange songs with our phones ;) And that was the start of the wall of ice being melted Ü

6.) Annoyance, fury, flirtation and curses all have the same tone whatever language they are in.
Yep. I am a witness of this myself. I have heard this from someone before when she was somewhere across the country. I didn’t believe it at first but hearing it myself, I just smiled. And you’ll know, believe me you’ll know.

7.) Beware of judging people by the way they look.
Well, unless you are indeed a Caucasian it’s definitely obvious you are one. But if you’re Filipino, Malaysian, Korean, Japanese or Chinese… there’s a big chance that you can be mistaken as Thai. I’m a Filipino and is always spoken with Pasa Thai. So I guess I sort of blend in. But I did have to learn some basic Thai phrases to explain than I don’t understand Thai (mai kao chai pasa thai), and that I’m from Philippines and speak English (khun Pilipin, pasa anglit).

I guess because Philippines is Thailand’s neighboring country that’s why there are some resemblances on the citizens physical feature and also some on food and culture.

8.) Pack light.
Well, what I mean more is bring a bigger luggage or make sure you have lots of room for souvenirs. Shopping here is haven! There’s always a night bazaar and if you know where to look for bargains, you’ll definitely have bargains! So be sure if you go visit Thailand, allot a budget not just for tours but also for shopping!

9.) Have an open and adventurous palette.
I’m not even sure if my term was right. But keep in mind, just be open and adventurous! It’s a once in a lifetime experience! I’m not a loco for spicy food and really is very selective in what to eat but in Thailand, you have to forget your diet and try everything! I have eaten food that I also said no to. It’s all worth the try. Really. Because you’ll be sorry if you missed out the chance.

10.) Bring your camera, have spare battery and memory/compact flash cards (or film if you’re still using an SLR).
Oh yes! I never, ever go out without spares. We just went around Bangkok and there’s a LOT to see. What more if we went to the outskirts of the city like Ayunthaya.

These are just want I learned for now. Hopefully I will have more when I go back there.

And this is really undeniable, can’t wait to go back to Thailand ;)

 

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A Week in Bangkok (Part 2: Food and People)

I have shared the sights of Bangkok, Thailand. Now, another best part…

FOOOOOODDDDD…

As a backgrounder, almost everyone knows I am not really into spicy food. Nor do I eat fruits and I only eat very selective vegetables. But when I was in Bangkok, things changed… well, not all of it. Almost for 3 months prior to my trip, I am on a quite unique diet. No rice, sweets and other carbs diet to make it simple. I was warned that I will forget that diet… (Sorry, Faye, my diet nazi… Thailand experience won’t be complete if I don’t eat!)

When we came in early morning of Saturday, when we woke up, we are really hungry and we headed off to Siam Paragon to buy materials for the gondola display for me to setup. Tummy grumbling, we looked for the ‘food court” and decided to give Thai food a try. Of course, expect that we’re not familiar with the names of famous Thai cuisine, we depended on how it looks like and what most of the people are ordering. So, Kuya Lito, Ate Mila and I ended up getting these:

Our first Thai meal

Spring rolls, grilled and boiled duck, and what we thought a different kinds of crunchy food, was just a really crispy fried scrambled eggs. I was a little disappointed on the scallops part of my crunchy scrambled egg. But after 10 minutes or less…

All are gone! Hehehe. No food is really bad is you’re REALLY hungry ;)

A decent Thai meal was not experienced by your truly until my 3rd day. But I get through the days with instant Tom Yum noodles and street food bought just outside the office. Too bad I wasn’t able to take photos of these yummy street food but it definitely filled me up and they are not just merely ordinary street food you can think of. They’re the cleanest street food I ever encountered and is definitely a very good treat!

So, with all the work and the starvation for some REAL Thai food, we were advised that there is a great music joint just around the corner where they serve affordable and great Thai meals. The place’s name is JAZZ Bar (?) and these filled my appetite for more authentic Thai food:

1st REAL Thai meal: Close up of photos are not nice but let me go through what we ordered: (from top-clockwise) Phad Thai, Tom Yum Kung, Sauteed Beef with garlic, sticky rice, Cha Yen (Thai milk tea) and shrimp with broccoli.

Those were the kick off. That meal gave me my favorite drink EVER. Guys, meet:

Thai drinks: Cha Yen, a Thai version of milk tea. And the beer that made me look like an authentic drinker to my new Thai friends, Chang (light), a known Thai beer brand that is supposedly “strong”.

Since we’re into drinks. Ten somehow made me deal with a few fears in my life…

These are not worms. Well, I thought they were worms when Ten pointed them to me by the streets of downtown Bangkok. I forgot what they were called but it seemed they were like Thailand’s version of black gulaman.

It’s sweet juice is refreshing and the jelly are like gummy wormies… slicky and slippery, yet yummy!

More of introduction to spicy Thai food: Ten brought us for dinner at a restaurant called SomTum Nua. As I recall from those who already been and experienced Thailand, som tum refers to papaya. And yes, we did try it.

2 plates of Som Tum (papaya) salad

All my families and friends knew I don’t eat fruits and very selective on veggies but these babies are good. So, Ten… if you happen to read this, my mom is definitely thanking you for making me eat papaya. Someone’s having a treat when he sets his foot to Philippines ;)

(Clockwise from top) Sticky rice inside that small basket-like container, northern version of Tom Yum Kung (that’s really, REALLY spicy and a plateful of grilles pork’s neck. It has a term/name but being Nemcy as I am, I didn’t remember the Thai name of the dish.

The group that enjoyed the dinner (despite the crying over the spiciness of the dishes)

And why would we go to a farther place when almost everyday, authentic Thai food is within my reach. Just across the street where I was staying a famous lunch location, more of what we call a “carenderia” or “turo-turo”, good, affordable and authentic Thai food is served.

A good combination of sticky thick noodles with pork and Cha Yen

And forgetting about my no rice diet, had this crispy chicken topped on rice with tomatoes that I proudly ate. Ran out of Cha Yen that day so I tried a different tea. Forgot the name again, but it’s sweet tea as Put explained to me. It was good but my heart still goes for Cha Yen.

And some more of the food enjoyed by my Thai friends:

Spicy noodles

Put enjoying his spicy noodles. It’s spicy enough and yet he placed more of the chili powder that made him perspire while and after eating it Ü

Crispy chicken with rice and veggies

Eaten by a very hungry Ten

There is indeed some similarities of Philippines and Thailand that I realized while I was there. Ten and Put brought me to this place they termed as “ordinary”. Surprisingly it was ordinary in a sense that it is not as fancy as the other restaurants we had eaten. Permit me for associating the place to Philippines very own Pares joint.

Thai food-pares: Thailand’s version of pares carinderia

Chicken in gravy

Beef and chicken balls in noodles

Thailand has always been surprising me in some way or another. An unexpected invitation for dinner that I gladly joined. I met Thai friend of Put named Boy. And the guys had an idea of having dinner at this place:

Bar-B-Q Plaza at MBK

In this joint, you get to cook your own food on a grill. They put a broth for boiling and on the grill, you rub some pork’s skin to extract its fat for the stuff you intend to grill won’t stick on the grills. I don’t suggest you try this idea if you are really hungry for it takes a little while to prepare what you wanted to eat. What makes this barbeque type joint is the sauce. They taught me to squeeze lemon and add a touch up of minced garlic with the sauce. It spiked up a little. And if you are up for a more kick, put some more of the chili flakes.

Some of the food we intend to grill. By the way, 3 hungry gents and a lady consumed 3 plates of this food ensemble.

Put did it expertly prepares, cooks a feast and being nice as he has always been, he’s the one putting cooked food in my bowl for me to consume. Beside him, that’s Boy who treated us for that dinner by the way Ü

And to top it all, they made me try a fruit shake.

Watermelon-squash-lemon shake

Yeah, yeah… I don’t eat fruits but the watermelon-squash-lemon shake is a must try Ü

Another famous Thai food joint Put and Ten bought me to is at S&P Restaurant and Bakery. We had our early dinner here and had these food treats:

Phad Thai tastes great here. Ten was right on me trying it again

I think this was seafood noodles which Put ate

Some fried dumplings and siomai

Fried fish with veggie salad

My Cha Yen, of course

Oh, and this is what Ten ordered for me, a must try… shrimp paste rice topped with scrambled eggs, surrounded by veggies, dried shrimps, crunchy pork and red onions.

I mixed it all up and squeezed lime to it. I don’t eat shrimp paste nor like the smell of it but this dish don’t have that annoying smell I find with the shrimp paste or “bagoong”. Another Thai experience for me ;)

And this is the restaurant’s menu.

Oh, by the way, better try getting yourself some Thai sweets or dessert such as these:

Ice cream…

…and other goodies

Those were taken at Siam Paragon supermarket at the ground floor. Also, I have some famous Thai dessert treats from Put and Ten but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures of it. It slipped my mind because it was sooooo good that I forgot to document it. Really… it was Ü

Odd as it may seem, but have you heard of CHILI Ice Cream? Well, in Thailand there’s such an concoction. At the Spice Factory in Siam Paragon, they serve such flavor and also a peppery flavor. They will let you taste it first on which you’d like to have. I preferred the chili one over the peppery one.

My chili ice cream: a fight of spice and coolness. Flaming or tingling sensation on the tongue but cools down in your throat.

Well, Put seemed to enjoy his ice cream treat too. Hehehe Ü

Another thing, be sure to try Thai sausages. There are a variety of them but surely they all taste great.

Thai sausages

I even had my last dose of those sausages as lunch on my last day there.

And to cap it all, Put, Ten and Da treated me for dinner at MK Trendi as their bon voyage dinner treat for me.

MK Trendi is just across Siam Paragon and along the side of Siam Square.

We had…

… shabu-shabu to be mixed with…

… jade noodles… that’s why it’s colored green ;)

And the…

roasted duck with a very tangy sauce that’s oh so yummy!

The guys, Put and Ten enjoying their bowl of food too Ü

This is Da who still found time to spend to see me despite her busy schedule that week when I was in Bangkok. And me, you is stuffed and about to leave for the airport.

A week’s over since my trip in Bangkok and yet I still feel the excitement flooding me. I can’t deny that I am scared at first. I admitted that to Ten, Put and to my friends and colleagues in the Philippines. But as most of them say, Bangkok is one of the safest places in the world. And to add to that… one of the most exciting places as well. I have heard different feedbacks about Thai culture, the food and the people as well. But it pays so much when it is you who will experience it. After which, I feel not alienated anymore. I wish Thailand will adopt me! Hehehe.

I am thankful in meeting Ten, Put and Da, who are not just good-looking but better yet, the kindest people on earth that I’ve ever met! (No joke!) I hope to see you guys soon… or better yet, you come visit us in the Philippines and it will be my turn to show you around ;)

Hay… just looking back at the photos, and writing about them makes me want to jump on the plane and fly back to Thailand! (Can I? CAN I?) :D

Khop Khun Ka, Thailand…

Khop Khun Ma Ka, Ten, Put and Da!

 

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A Week in Bangkok (Part 1: Sights, Culture and People)

This entry has been a bit overdue. But I can’t deny that up to now I am still overwhelmed with my experience in Bangkok. I planned to make it a day to day entry but due to lack of time I just had to do it in one entry. A post Thailand debrief.

I left for Bangkok, Friday night (31 August) for a late night low-cost flight bound for Bangkok. I was sent there to represent my team and assemble our very first gondola store display for our client Beach Hut. I was stressed even the week before the said trip in managing and making sure all will be well. Up until a few minutes before I was picked up by the client service, I am really stressed and tense. All of my colleagues and friends can attest to that. I was awfully quiet from the office to the airport departure terminal.

Tense and scared. I am by myself in the sense that not one Filipino teammate will be there, nor from the client side. Gian, who manages the client’s company in Thailand had some business visa problems. Up till now, he can’t return to Thailand yet. I was alone for this trip.

I was rattled up until the first few days I was there. Example: the setup time became earlier than what I was told due to miscommunications I guess between the distributor and Watson’s. Good thing most of the basic setup is up and almost done. We had to fit everything in the car of Ten, our client’s Thai brand associate there.

God is definitely on our side. God is really good. Imagine this setup did fit in a Honda Jazz car!

GONDOLA SETUP in the office

Yes. Ten, Put and I managed to fit all of those in Ten’s car. Can you imagine me carrying all those stuff though flattened from the airport? I got scared at first when all the baggage from our flight are already out except for that one. One has to be keen in any place s/he goes to. Good thing I noticed an area saying “Oversized Baggage” and right on cue, when I reached it, the display box came out. It was raining hard when the plane touched down the airport, so the packaging box of the gondola are most ruined on four sides. My heart sank. If the damage is up until the box’s contents, guess I have to improvise of the display. Thanks for the Scotch tape and lots of cling-wrap, the trimmings were all dry and intact except for the main gondola at the edges that got wet and a little torn down. I let it dry for a day, did some retouches and it’s good as new.

Behold the first Beach Hut store display outside the Philippines:

PUT AND TEN with Gondola

Displayed for 1 week at Watsons Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

It’s not as perfect as planned. But feedback from our clients in the Philippines, it looks great. Same thing in Bangkok, Ten said the distributor likes it. Colorful and stands out in the store. There are further more suggestions on improving the display and yours truly did that in the next days of my stay in Bangkok.

Now, for the other side of my adventure…

Like what I have been saying to my friends in the Philippines when I was there, I can’t fully enjoy Bangkok if at the back of my head I still have work to do. That’s me. Specially when you are alone representing the design team, I am expected to perform there and do reports. So the setup was, work in the morning, finish as much as one can then we go out late in the afternoon or early evening. Depends on where to go. And I am grateful that despite me being alone there, these 2 very nice, very accommodating (and good-looking) Thai guys showed me around Bangkok.

PUT AND TEN inside Grand Palace

How can we put this adventure of mine? Perhaps I’ll let the pictures speak for itself? Ü And a little explanation/description of the photos.

BTS Skytrain: the Thai people I can say is really disciplined. They fall in line to board the train

BTS Siam Station on a weekend: Sight of people heading in the same direction I am going, back home

BTS Siam Station while waiting for the train at night

Bangkok streets at night: from the Phaya Thai Station view

BTS Phaya Thai Station: Stairs going down to Soi Kolit, the office-house street

The office of Naturale Laboratories (Thailand), Inc. is located near the BTS Phaya Thai Station. Skytrains, their version of our MRT and LRT here, plus their subways are very efficient and indeed reliable. So it’s easy for me to go to to the mall areas like Siam Paragon, MBK, Siam Square and Central World Mall. As long as one is prepared for long walks, you can survive in Bangkok ;)

Siam Paragon signage

Siam Paragon from the Central World Mall

Siam Square on an early Saturday morning

Skywalk (like an overpass) connecting the malls

Central World Mall at night

MBK at night, view from a skywalk

Victory Monument at night: with markets surrounding it. One of my favorite (and dream photography shots). After taking this photo, it did remind me of our monument in the Philippines… the Luneta or Rizal Monument

Until now, I am overwhelmed of where I’ve been and honestly, I don’t know how to share to you the thoughts and photos I took there. Pardon me if my writing is bad or not in order. It’s just that I am really dumbfound on what I saw and experience. Bangkok if I may say is an epitome an old world transforming to a new one. And yet, it preserves their culture and history, keeping it intact and evident. Evidence are seen from the people, the government, the place, their beliefs, their culture.

<b>From the all the King’s palaces to a river boat ride</b>

From the outside: the Grand Palace. Anyone’s trip to Thailand won’t be complete if you don’t see or visit this place

A golden temple inside the Grand Palace

Details of the said golden temple

Another golden temple

Another temple in the Grand Palace grounds

The roof of a temple in the Grand Palace grounds: see the chimes? Their sound seemed to relax anyone who hear them

Rays on Buddha: My favorite shot at the Grand Palace

A part of the whole mural of the Ramayana story. Yes the shiny ink is REALLY gold

The Queen’s Palace

We were lucky enough to witness a ceremony: the changing of guards

I told the guys that I’m not really comfortable being alone in a photo. So they took turns in joining me in every photo we could take Ü

An enormous soldier statue behind me and Ten. We had to use the Beach Hut Frisbee that searched as a sunshade because it was really hot at that time.

See the detailed walls behind me and Put? Those are tiles! Intricately place to create designs/pattern.

Ten and I by an elaborately designed pillar at the Emerald Buddha’s temple. Cameras are not allowed beyond this point. So I just satisfied my eyes with the sight of the famous Buddha when we got inside.

Elephant!!! Yup. When there’s elephant/s, it’s just me and the gentle creature. This photo is the first and ONLY encounter of mine with an elephant that I get to touch. And here, it seemed that I am giving him a pray over?

Me and Put… and our house? Kidding… it’s one of the crowning halls as well.

Me and Ten at the entrance of one of the crowning halls.

Put and I tried to have a fun shot with this happy guard statue.

It’s evident and they proudly proclaim that their kings did embrace the European culture. It’s obviously written and passed on their history, visible in their palaces architectures, and undisguised in museums.

The Summer Palace: reminds of US Capitol state. Made of marble exported from Italy.

This is a place where ladies are not allowed to get in if they are not wearing skirts. It is in respect to the royal families and Thai traditions. If I’m not mistaken, it was Rama V’s palace and now Rama IX, the present king and his royal families summer palace. Cameras are not allowed inside. We had to deposit them by the guard. Even camera phones are not allowed.

The other side of the Summer Palace. The sight of the palace with Rama V statue

Within the grounds of the Summer Palace is the man-made mansion known as the Dusit Mansion. This mansion is made of teak wood and wooden pegs to bind it. No nails were used because nails oxidizes and may cause the corrosion of wood. We were not allowed to take pictures too inside the mansion but as the guide instructs us, it carries now all the precious gifts from the neighboring Asian countries of Thailand to the King stretching towards the European countries.

Dusit Masion’s Entrance

The other half side of the mansion

Ten suggested that we take a longtail boat ride along the river. He said it’s a famous ride in Thailand to see some interesting sites, like a traditional Thai village, Thai house and simply to have a quiet time reflecting? Well, it was an hour ride anyway.

Ten and I with a famous bridge sight before we board the boat

The longtail boat we rode

View from the boat: see the splashing waves? I was really scared. But Ten assured we are safe

A Buddhist temple and statue along the river

A traditional Thai house

We fed the fishes… huge fishes!

Royal boats of the King’s guards

Me, Ate Mila and Kuya Lito disembarking the boat. This is the scariest part of my life… when it was my turn to get off the boat, a strong wave hit the boat, shaking it so hard I nearly fell! If the boatman wasn’t able to grab my other hand, I might have dragged Ten with me overboard! I thought I’d be a mermaid then… hahaha!

After the boat ride, Ten showed us a part of the downtown area of Bangkok.

One of the two last standing historical forts of Bangkok… with a pink cab passing by!

Me beside a Tuktok, traditional Thai ride with the fort behind me

A street vendor… yummy street food!

The old Siam or downtown Bangkok scene

One of the first theaters (and still functioning) in Bangkok

And Thailand trip isn’t complete too if you don’t experience…

… a Tuktok ride! Check out the side mirrors

Ten, me and Put, on board the Tuktuk

It’s like at a moment I was at the present time, or even the future (because honestly, Philippines is way, way behind!) and later on I’m at their past. I am no writer totally transcribe into words how I feel about the place so I really hope the photos will help you see the beauty of our Asian neighbor.

Temple between two malls

Central World Mall’s interior ceiling

This is just a movie preview screen at the Central World Mall

At the heart of the Central World Mall is seen this display: suspended from the ceiling are plastic flowers each on a glass vase and with them are about 10 LCD flat screens playing different shots of flowers.

Below the display was an ensemble of Thai students playing as an orchestra. They were magnificent!

To further understand the mall’s theme, here’s Put and Ten posing on a Global Warming signage at the Central World Mall.

One of my favorite characters is even in Thailand: Emily Strange at Central World

For Anime lovers, Manga Playground for you at Central World Mall ground floor

With a theme we are all familiar where was adapted

Jeffrey the Giraffe of Toys R’ Us… is indeed in Thailand

One if the best places I enjoyed is the Ocean World at Siam Paragon Mall…

And I found Nemo! Well, there are a lot of them in one aquarium

I had fun gossiping with the penguins… hahaha!

I’d like you to see my dream aquariums…

This one…

And this too!

There are fishes inside the car!!!

Tried intimidating the sharks

Overwhelmed at the tunnel aquarium! Got fascinated by my own reflection?

Oh! It’s not just me who got overwhelmed…

Are those dollar coins floating, Ate Mila?

So this is how the bottom of the sting ray looks like!

Oh! how can one miss out this sight… checkout the video

This is the wall of True Coffee, a computer store, bookshop, café and internet shop. This is fascinating because it may look like a digital big sceen when it’s not. It’s made of circular chip type that flips and turns at a certain pattern that seemed to simulate a digital wall.

To almost conclude my Bangkok experience, the guys took me to famous place called Khao San Road. I remember hearing this to Myles where he ate some ‘bug’ delicacies. Well, I’m glad the guys didn’t made me eat bugs for I’m not ready for that (at that time).

Khao San road

That’s Put… leading the way

A traditional True Coffee shop

Bright neon lights and signages at Khao San Road

But this road is very interesting because it’s where you’ll see most tourists and backpackers are. And you know what really surprised me to see?

A San Miguel Beer bar? Yup… there’s one.

And I saw a Philippine flag patch in one of the sewing/clothes store

Have you met Jack Sparrow… the Thai version?

The guys were asking if I’d like to hangout there. I said no. I’d rather have an experience of how they spend their Friday night, the Thai way.

A bottle of Singha (Thai brand), smoke for Put (that’s his hand) and a bottle of Chang beer (Thai brand). If you are wondering how much we had that night… believe it or not, I just had a bottle of Singha and the two guys shared a bottle of Chang. Put doesn’t really drink. He turns red and feels really bad after drinking and Ten had a presentation to make that night for his Saturday morning class. And besides, no one needs to be drunk just to enjoy and have fun! Well, for now… ;)

Oh! How can I forget…

Proud of my tattoo!

I mentioned to the guys that I plan to have a tattoo very soon. And that gave all of us an idea… get a tattoo, at least a henna tattoo! I got a small tattoo in Thai characters saying “Good Luck”.

Some may say that one week is long enough to dwell and know a country’s culture and beauty. But for me, it’s not enough. I’ve only seen Bangkok, just a part of the city. I am sure there is more to see on the outskirts of the city. A more reason to come back… and definitely I will come back. My mission isn’t complete yet. I still haven’t seen, rode or just even petted a real live elephant :p

Cute stuffed elephants I saw in Siam Paragon. Quite expensive though, but I promised myself I will get some the next time I come back!

Oh, by the way, allow me to brag the work we brought to Thailand. This is what the final Beach Hut Clear Spray Sunblock store display/shelf/gondola that would be used for the various Watson’s around Bangkok ;)

To see more of my photos, kindly visit my multiply site Ü

 

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