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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bangkok, Thailand: Krung Thep City In South East Asia

TRAVEL DATES: February 14 - 15, 2013

Travel Budget: USD 180

My first international backpacking experience happened in Bangkok, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia afterwards. Mixed feelings encapsulated me again because this was my first travel for this year 2013 and yes, my travel adventure started outside the Philippines!

backpacker
Backpack + Laptop + Camera Bag

I departed NAIA Terminal 3 from Manila, Philippines at 6:30 AM (PHL Time) through Cebu Pacific Air carrier and arrived Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at 8:45 AM (THA Time). It was roughly a three-hour plane ride which I enjoyed a lot...sleeping!

Cebupac

Arriving Bangkok's Airport, I was instantly amazed with it's structural facade and how the airport itself was constructed. It was a huge airport. One of the nicest things about their airport was that they have the "Airport Rail Link" which connected it directly to central Bangkok. How I wish Philippines' government should have thought of this too. :)

Suvarnabhumi Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport_01Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand
Suvarnabhumi Airport (pronounced as "Suvarnabhum" only) 

Bangkok, or Krung Thep for locals, was a city central filled with various cultural races. It was like a salad bowl of every country in every continent of the world. It had made the city more vibrant with a lot of choices to offer. It's too premature to say that I fell in love with Bangkok right there and then but YES, it was a place worthy of such credit.

I've visited a lot of what Bangkok has to offer, from the city's Temples or locally known as "Wat", to Ayutthaya's historical ruins. I never missed the chance to taste what authentic Thai foods are, such as Tom Yum at Pad Thai. I've learned new Thai words which are commonly used for greetings like the "Sawasdee Ka" and "Khop Khun Khap".

Thailand Tom YumState Railway Thailand
              Tom Yum                            Thai Family in the Train 

tuktukBangkok Wat Pho
         Tuk-Tuk                                    Bangkok Wat Pho

I've noticed though that Bangkok men are more accommodating than their women. It's a bit weird because in the Philippines, women are more accommodating and always wearing a smile on their faces. Well, maybe because of language and cultural differences that's why their women are kinda assertive and frequently spoke fast.
Coconut vendorPratunam Food
 Food Vendors in Pratunam Area

Every country has it's positives and negatives and for me, Bangkok knew how to manage these. I'd love going back to this place, hopefully with some knowledge already about Thai Language. Well I admit, it's hard to communicate with them using English.

I remembered when we ate at a restaurant in Khao San Road, I asked where the nearest drugstore is because my head was aching. The waiter replied to me, "Drug Story, Sir?". I did my charade thingy explaining what I'm feeling but at the end of the day, we did not understand each other.

Ayutthaya tickets
Ticketing Entrance at Ayutthaya
Well, I took this as a learning experience and nothing against Thai waiters. They are very accommodating and will surely attend to your needs at their best. Just be sure to wear your smiling face all the time, speak English slowly, and bring enough money, Thai Baht, because their foods and beers are deliciously addictive!

Bangkok Traffic
Bangkok Traffic at 9AM
We stayed at Pratunam Pavilion Hotel during my 2-night stay in Bangkok. The hotel is strategically located in the heart of Pratunam, Bangkok's business center. The hotel rate per night was USD 44 and it was a very good deal because the room was very clean and spacious! Check out their updated room rates from here: www.agoda.com.

Pratunam Pavilion ExteriorPratunam Pavilion Entrance

Pratunam Pavilion Interior

Pratunam BedPratunam Hotel Alley

Pratunam Pavilion Hotel Map
Pratunam Pavilion Map

Browse more information about Thailand from here:

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  4. Guess you are a guy.

    First, don't expect much from people in big cities. Second, culture might played the role here. IN Philippines, which is more westernized, girls don't feel uneasy smiling ot talking with strangers. Here in Thailand is the opposite, esp since you are Filipinos which look like Thai, I guess that one reason why the girls don't smile at you. Because they think you are Thai! And smiling to some Thai guy you never know might be a hint that you interested in him. Not to talk about Thai is still Asian. For example, you might see that we avoid physical contact compare to the West (I don't know about Filipinos) unless somebody we meet is really close friends.

    (However, don't jump to conclusion that she interested in that guy if you see a Thai girl smile at a tourist. They just do that because it's one of our belief: to welcome those who is a guest. That's all. It's mean nothing. If you take it too far, you might end up like a clip I saw: A westerner grabbed a girl's butt when she walked pass him without knowing her and being hit by Thais. Well, I would not blame those Thais in this case. You don't respect others in the first place, so you should not have respect from others as well.)

    If you have trouble communicate with locals, looking for some Thai who pass by for help. Those who dress as an office lady or office guy can do. Just tell them that you are Filipinos and you need help. Most middle class can understand English. they just too shy to speak. But if you ask, they are willing to do.

    PS. You do know about Taxi in BKK. You are right. I have to admit that there are some scammers and cheaters in my country. However, like all the country in this world, there are also some good people.

    I live in Chiang Mai, another tourist destination. If you haven't been here, please take this reply as an invitation.:)

    Welcome and be our guest again anytime you'd like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that very sensible and great observation! Now I understand more about Thai culture and when I go back to Thailand, I'll just smile to myself remembering these tips you posted. Cool cool!

      I'd definitely make Chiang Mai on my bucket list as I've heard from friends how great this city is. I love laid back and relaxed life as opposed to city life.

      Keep traveling! ^^,

      Delete
  5. thanks for the detailed travel to bangkok,, I would like to ask how much is the required pocket money when you are in the immigration? did you exchanged your peso to bhat prior to your travel? will it be same rate or it would lower down the rate if I exchange it it in a money changer in Thailand?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ako! Well, no need to pay any in the immigration since having a PH passport already is enough.

      In terms of money changing, i have mine changed at a money changer in the airport, though I noticed that it is a bit expensive than the exchange shops around downtown. From the Suvarnabhumi airport, you can ride the train going to Bangkok city center, i.e. Pratunam, etc.

      Keep traveling!
      ^^,

      Delete

 

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