Do not hesitate to call us “venturesome travelers” after you read this post! (winks)
My dad, husband and I were unanimous in deciding NOT to make prior arrangements for our trip to Bangkok – except for our hotel – last July 2010.With confidence; I told my co-trippers, “Just leave it all to me as I will be your tour guide guys!” Yes. I did take full responsibility of how our trip would go, even if ‘twas also my first time to visit the so-called amazing place. Surprisingly, dad and hubby trusted me. Whew!
When the date of our flight was only a month away, apprehension started to haunt me doggedly. My confidence wobbled. I thought, “If only we were going to Hawaii or Saudi or any place I’ve been, it would have not been this difficult and stressful!” Anyhow, since the cause of my anxiety was insufficient knowledge about the place, I quickly typed “THAILAND” and hit enter! (From the bottom of my heart, whoever you are, thank you for inventing the computer and for putting helpful information on the internet.) Browsing the internet – almost every day – was patiently done just for me to be able to find useful tips about travelling to Bangkok, Thailand. I did print out maps and directions, both in English and Thai, and other stuff that I perceived would help make our trip a successful and wonderful one. Also, I asked a couple of friends, who had the chance to visit the said country, to share their experiences so that I would have a hint of Thailand. By the way, I would like to confess that I cheated! I booked at least one-day guided tour; just in case our first day in Thailand, with me as a guide, would turn out to be a disaster. I was just playing safe you know! Hehehe
The day has come! When we were still at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the three of us were discussing whether we should buy Thai Bahts there or just wait till we would arrive in Thailand. We were not quite satisfied of the exchange rate; hence, we decided to just take care of the matter when we get there (Thailand). What a big mistake!
Adventurous; exciting; inexpensive and unique; these adjectives kept lingering in our minds as we were patiently waiting to go on board. The degree of our excitement raised to the highest level as the ground attendant announced the passengers’ embarkation. It was already late and the flight would take approximately three hours; yet, my eyes refused to close. Throughout the flight, I was holding my passport, reading the stuff I printed and praying that I would not mess up and ruin our adventure. After a little over three hours, we safely landed at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Since we didn’t have checked in luggage, we were able to quickly disembark and hurriedly head the immigration area. Getting a visa at the airport was just a piece of cake; thus, waiting didn’t take much of our precious time.
As soon as we passed the immigration thing, we directly approached the money changers. I scratched my head upon seeing the not-so-good exchange rate. Since it was dad who promised to pay our expenses, I felt sorry for him. Leaving us with no choice, as we didn’t have Thai bahts on hand, we just bought one thousand THB anyway – with a hope that the black market outside the airport would have a better rate.
While we were looking for the way out, a woman from the help desk was waving at us and politely offering assistance to us. We grabbed the opportunity and asked her which way we should go and what taxi we should take. She showed us the direction and told us the approximate amount that we needed to pay. From the airport to Khaosan Road, we were told that it would cost us 500 THB. What a relief! We had a thousand THB on hand, right? But just before we left, she excitedly informed us that their government was offering a free tour for all the first time tourists in Thailand. (Oh, it’s us!) She gave us brochures which contained different trips and reminded us to ignore the prices below them as it’s offered free of charge! (Wow!) After I selected the type of tour that looked appealing and fun, she told us that there’s a 500 THB donation to be given to our personal tour guide. We thought that the deal was good, so we paid the amount and gave her our hotel’s address and phone number. We thanked her and bid good bye!
As soon as we got out the airport, the three of us had the same reaction – it’s just like the Philippines! The yellow metered taxi and the system on how to get one at the airport were pretty much the same back in the Philippines. Yay! My friendly spouse tried to start a conversation with the taxi driver. Unfortunately, the driver didn’t know how to speak English! He couldn’t even read a direction that was written in his own language. I was kind of nervous and just like what I thought; he dropped us off in the wrong hotel. (Such a bummer!) While carrying our luggage and the rain was pouring at 3 am, we hastily looked for our hotel. There were a couple of vagabonds that we saw in the corner of the city and drunken people partying along the street. We’re so blessed to find one tourist who was able to direct us to our hotel. Whew!
We only slept for about 4 hours as the lady at the airport said that our tour guide would arrive at 7:30 am. We were already at our hotel’s lobby 30 minutes before the scheduled time. Our tour guide arrived an hour and 30 minutes late because she had a hard time finding our hotel. Since she’s pretty and nice, she’s forgiven!
Pom, our tour guide, was so kind to allow us to explore Thailand at its best! The country’s Buddha, temples, belief and history really amazed me. Oh, the mind-boggling numbers of Lady-boys in Thailand really surprised me too! Every time I would see beautiful Thai ladies along the way, I couldn’t help from thinking, “Are they real women?”
This is my dad’s fave place. He bought his pendant that’s made of genuine stone here.
PAD THAI: our favorite thai food!!!!
We ended our first day in Thailand with a smile!
Our second day in Thailand was more fun! Our first stop was the floating market. We were so glad because we got the chance to shop something authentic from Thailand to be given as presents for our family back home. We loved the place except for the dirty river!
Look at the tourists in the background; they’re enjoying the experience!
Rowel was so brave to eat the authentic THai noodles at the floating market!
After 4 hours of shopping, our paid tour guide (not POM), brought us to this floating restaurant to have our lunch there. I didn’t really enjoy the food though, but the restaurant’s view was beautiful!
Not wasting our time, we started travelling back to the city, as the Floating Market’s almost 2 hours away from Bangkok. We arrived just in time for the Elephant and crocodile shows. By the way, it was my first time to see a real life elephant and I was really stunned!
Entrance to the elephant show
It’s for real!
The elephant show was spectacular indeed!!!!
On the other hand, I was shouting like crazy while watching the crocodile show. It was truly a mind-blowing experience!!!
Before our tour was ended, we went to the Rose Garden in Bangkok. Although there was a spot of resemblance to the Filipino culture, the element of Thailand’s traditions and ethnicity was still distinguishable. Certainly, the Thai boxing was unique to them. Overall, the cultural show was fantastic!
So what do you think? Is Thailand amazing? It is for you to judge!