In all of our married life together, we have never spent a night away from the kids. Wherever we went, gusto ko nakabuntot talaga sila, familia sagrada, lol. And that’s 24 years today ha, ganun katagal!
Now that we’re empty nesters, I realized the kids can actually be left on their own na (somewhat). It’s time for a honeymoon for Kap & me. Kami naman. We have devoted all of our married life in service to the kids. As in everything we do is talaga for them & with them in mind, so we deserve these 4 days away & alone. Yes, iikot malamang ang pwet ko, I will worry 24/7 for sure, but I know the kids can survive the 4 days that we will be away. I’m actually more worried about how I will take it hehe. Baka ako yung hindi makatulog!
As usual, our misadventures began even before we left the country for Bangkok lol. Kap & I were sick to the bones from the flu. We were both bingi & ngongo from colds & coughs. But hey, the show much go on. So at 3 am Thursday morning, we quickly showered & went to the airport for Kap’s Bangkok Birthday Getaway. :)
Even at the wee hours of the morning, the airport was packed with travelers. Walang oras na pinipili. #pilapamore
We learned na to book the emergency exit seats for more legroom kasi nga sobrang sikip ang Cebu Pac, huwag lang sana babagsak at talagang una ako mag-panic kasehoda pang nag-promise akong tumulong! :P Keber, jump agad!
We were kinda nervous coz it’s been a while since we took the reigns. The kids have always led us from the time they turned teens. Kakayanin kaya namin ni Kap on our own? Hindi kaya kami mawala at pulutin sa kangkungan???
As soon as we landed, we asked the Information where to buy a sim card for our pocket wifi. We were directed to the exit where a stall was selling sim cards. Yaay, success! We got the 3 day unli 4g for 200 baht (300 php). Then another success, we were able to wrangle an uber car all on our own. Kakayanin! ;))
Before leaving, I asked Kap if it’s ok to book a local guide para stress-free ang honeymoon namin. Follow lang ng follow. He was in a good mood when I asked kaya nakuha ko ang matamis niyang “Oo”. ;) Instead of getting a regular package tour (ayaw ko ng maingay at magulo sa bus), we booked with WITHLOCALS.COM. I liked that I was able to see the itsura of available guides on their website & was able to choose based on online ratings & experience provided. I was also able to chat with them before booking & got recommendations on what sights are more popular & worth seeing. Pati young ugly nila matitimpla mo din with the chat so out of the 3 I interviewed, the pleasant & helpful Moddy made the cut. Plus, saWITHLOCAS.COM, we can also customize the package, unlike in group tours na set in stone ang itinerary. I highly recommend WITHLOCALS.COM on your next travels. <3
Holiday Inn Bangkok Sukhumvit
22 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand +66 2 683 4888
Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life. It’s a city of contrasts with action at every turn. CLICK HERE to see what sights & fun you can have when in Bangkok!
Ate was able to get a great deal at Holiday Inn Sukhumvit. Since it was just Kap & I, I didn’t want to stay in a B&B. Parang ang lungkot sobra, so Ate booked us a Deluxe Double Non-Smoking Room for 3 nights. Total price inclusive of VAT & SC is THB 10,961.40 or around 17k php. With breakfast pa and located in the heart on Bangkok, so pwede na.
May condom pa talagang nakasiksik amidst the chichiria. Sorry, the bank is closed, wala nang silbi yan, trololol! If you’re on a budget, I highly endorse Holiday Inn Sukhumvit. Not 5-star accommodation, but pwede na if you’re just going to stay the night & be out the whole day anyway. Clean, spacious, comfy, and equipped with everything you may need away from home.
First touristy thing of the day, visit to Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn. We took the sky train, then the boat. Moddy, our guide, wanted us to try all the public transpos in Bangkok, Thailand. How I longed to tell her OMG we have that back home -BEEN THERE DONE THAT, can we just take the uber? But I didn’t want to be rude hehe. And this is actually one way of trying out the local life. Kaya ilabas nalang agad ang salonpas at mag-double dose ng ponstan! :P
Moddy is highly energetic & very talkative. Laging naka-smile. <3 Her good vibes is contagious so kahit pagoda, brisk walk pa rin ako to keep up. Do hit her up when you visit Bangkok, Thailand for a private tour. Email Moddy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +66 896 796 263 / + 66 896 796 263.
How to call Bangkok in Thailand from Philippines:
00 – Exit code when making an international call from Philippines.
66 – Thai country code for inbound calls.
2 – Bangkok city code.
00 + 66 + 2 + Local Number – International dialing code format.
To get to Wat Arun, we first took the Sky Train (BTS) which was a 10-minute walk from our hotel. Then a big boat, and finally a small boat to get to the temple.
Wat Arun is almost directly opposite Wat Pho, so it is very easy to get to. From Sapphan Taksin boat pier, you can take a river boat that stops at pier 8. From here a small shuttle boat takes you from one side of the river to the other for only 3 baht. Entry to the temple is 100 baht.
One of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks and known from many postcards, Wat Arun Ratchawararam is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River.
Also commonly known as “the Temple of Dawn”, Wat Arun is one of only six temples of the highest grade of the first class Royal Temples, and therefore one of Thailand’s most revered temples. Wat Arun is best known for its massive prang with a height of more than 80 meters. It is the highest in Thailand.
Unbelievably, there are over 31,200 Buddhist temples spread around Thailand. In Thai these are called Wat. One of these, the Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn, is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. Sitting majestically on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, the legendary Wat Arun is one of the most striking riverside landmarks of Thailand.
This Wat or Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. In the mythology of Tibetan Buddhism, Mount Meru is a place that represents the center of the universe and the single-pointedness of mind sought by adepts. Thousands of miles in height, Meru is located somewhere beyond the physical plane of reality, in a realm of perfection and transcendence. The four-corner prang of Wat Arun, which house images of the guardian gods of the four directions, reinforces this mystical symbolism.
Second stop – Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (which was unfortunately closed for the cremation of the King huhu) and a must-see for any first-time visitor in Bangkok. It’s one of the largest temple complexes in the city and famed for its giant reclining Buddha that measures 46 metres long and is covered in gold leaf.
Although the image is sometimes referred to as the lying Buddha or the sleeping Buddha, the Reclining Buddha shows the passing of the Buddha into final Nirvana after death.
The temple complex is open daily from 8 am until 6.30 pm, with a lunch break from noon until 1 pm. Admission is 100 Thai Baht per person.
On a side note, Wat Pho is the one of the original Thai Massage, CLICK HERE to read about its history.
The Wat Pho temple complex contains a large number of structures, including an ubosot or ordination hall, a number of viharns, a scripture hall and almost 100 chedis.
The outside walls of the bot contain more than 150 bas reliefs cut out of marble stone showing scenes from the Ramakien epic. Inside a large open gallery you will find a display of almost 400 gilded Buddha images.
Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple complex in Bangkok, it houses more than 1,000 Buddha images which is more than any other Wat in Thailand. Most of the images were brought over from abandoned temples in places as Ayutthaya and Sukhothai by order of King Rama I. The soles of the Buddha’s feet that are about 3 meters high and almost 5 meters long are inlaid with mother of pearl in 108 segments, showing in great detail the 108 lakshanas or auspicious characteristics of the Buddha.
Along the Phra Phuttha Saiyat image, you will find 108 bronze bowls where people donate coins believed to bring good fortune. You can “buy” your own stack of coins at the entrance to take part in the ceremony, and make a wish or two as you drop your coins into the bowls. E di syempre pa, go for the gold. ;)) Hala bira! #makeawish
For the price of 43 euro each (2,500 php per person), super sulit na our whole day adventure with Moddy. Also included in her tour package is a complimentary lunch at a local restaurant. I told her I want Thai food all the way, so she took us to a nearby joint via a Tuktuk (3-wheeler rickshaw). And with that last ride, all public transpos in Bangkok have been accounted for! ;)
A popular mode of transportation in Thailand is the tuk-tuk, named because of the sound of the engine. These motorized rickshaws are a hit among tourists for the novelty. They are somewhat faster than taxis in heavy traffic as weaving in and out is easier, but generally about the same or slower. BTS is still the fastest mode of getting around as traffic in BKK is as heavy (if not heavier) as Manila’s. 3 people can fit into one fairly comfortably (if one is not as fat as me!) Fares always have to be bargained for, the initial price they quote is always well over the going rate (for us it’s always been 100 baht or 150 pesos – siguro kasi mabigat ako, lol). It’s essential to bargain the price with tuk-tuks before getting in. If you only ask after the ride, it’s likely to end in a request for an ridiculous fare which can obviously lead to an unpleasant situation. Good thing Moddy was in charge of our day. She was having none of that! ;P
Moddy took us to Baan ThaTien Cafe for a local Thai lunch. Sabi ko basta may masarap na Pad Thai. And true enough, we loved the food there. Mura, pero masarap. She gave us a free hand to order pero syempre naman nahiya kami to get & get since it was her treat. Kaya behaved kami ni Kap sa pag-order. Baka iwan nalang kami bigla ni Moddy hahaha! :P
Kap & I shared a Pad thai (150 php), Then he got a green curry meal (120 php) & I got a red curry meal (120 php). Ang mura diba? Pero jahepa rin to order a lot so bawi nalang when it’s our turn to pay for the food. ;)
Our third & final stop before heading back to our hotel for a quick freshening up is Wat Traimit which houses the world’s largest, massive, golden seated Buddha measuring nearly five metres in height and weighing five and a half tons. In the past, artisans crafted the Buddhas in gold and disguised them from invading armies by a covering of stucco and plaster.
661 Tri Mit Rd, Khwaeng Talat Noi, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
The statue now sits in a new (opened in early 2010) chapel perched high atop a four story marble-clad ziggurat. The second and third floors of the structure house an interpretive center. The second floor exhibits cover the history of the Chinese community in Bangkok, starting with a 3D presentation and moving on through slice-of-life scenes of Chinese traders in years gone by. The third floor museum covers the history of the Golden Buddha image itself. The video presentation at the beginning provides a good brief background on Buddha images in general, as well as the full story of the “subduing Mara” pose for this image. The exhibits cover how the image was made as well as the historical background of how it came to be at Wat Traimit.
At one end of Chinatown, in what was once an otherwise unremarkable temple of Wat Traimit, sits the world’s largest solid gold Buddha image. Made of about 83% pure gold and weighing in at five and a half tons, the 15-foot tall seated image is worth millions of dollars at today’s gold prices. Ilang bracelet kaya ang mapapagawa ko jan? ;P
Moddy was really so nice & accommodating to let us have a shower first back at the hotel at ang lagkit na namin sobra after the 3 temple runs. Kahit na 6 hours lang dapat ang sakop ng tour namin. Visitors to the Temples aren’t allowed to wear shorts (or sleeveless) so Kap had to wear jeans the whole day, kawawa. Bangkok is such a hot & humid country similar to the Philippines. We told Moddy she can already leave us & we can manage on our own, but she still insisted to take us to our hotel then came back to pick us up again for dinner. Ang bait sobra, wala akong masabi.
The Bangkok MRT is another mode of quick transportation around Bangkok, although unlike in Hong Kong, it doesn’t get your everywhere. So it’s either you take the BTS, or the MRT to different & distinct places. The MRT serves 18 stations and stretches for 20 km in a horseshoe shape from Hua Lamphong in the South (near Chinatown) to Bang Sue in the north. Trains arrive every 5-7 minutes, and connects to the BTS Skytrain at Sukhumvit and Silom stations. Stops of particular interest to visitors include Kampaengphet (Chatuchak Weekend Market, Or Tor Kor Market and Rod Fai Market), Sukhumvit (Asok BTS Skytrain), Silom (Saladaeng BTS Skytrain, Pat Pong Night Market and Lumpini Park) and Hua Lamphong (Chinatown and Central Railway Station).
Having tried all the public transpos na in Bangkok (may taas, may ilalim, may 3-wheeled, may sa tubig), Moddy relented & we rode an Uber to the resto finally! I just showered, ayaw kong maagnas & mangasim agad!
Original and authentic local Thai food is at the heart of The Local by Oamtong. Customers will be delighted with an array of delectable local Thai specialties. Each dish is carefully cooked with love according to a secret family recipe handed down over generations using the finest local ingredients from every region of Thailand.
TBH, when Moddy suggested this place for dinner, my first thought was oh no, for sure another budget place. I really wanted to celebrate our first night in BKK so I was looking forward to a nice dinner sana. But Kap told me bukas nalang kami mag-fine dining para hindi nakakahiya kay Moddy. Aba, surprise surprise! The Local, <3 from the ambience to the food, AY LAVEEET!! Thank you Moddy for taking us here!! :-*
Cheers to a good day, and cheers to a great husband! <3 At syempre pa, since blow-out ni Kap, order to the max si gutom na ako! ;))
When in Bangkok, MAKE SURE you drop by The Local by Oamthong for an authentic Thai meal. A bit pricier than the hole in the wall restos around the city, but hey, YOLO. ;)) May unli rice naman pampalubag loob. Do order the Shrimp Cake & Tom Yum, papanaginipan nyo yan, pramis!
All my Thai faves, sulit ang pagod dala ng nilakad namin the whole day. <3
After our very filling dinner, Kap requested a Thai massage. Thai massage is the most celebrated of Bangkok’s pampering services. Thailand presents a signature massage technique involving traditional systems of holistic beliefs which draws significant influence from India’s ancient Ayurvedic traditions of medical practice. Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic form of healing. Monks and similar practitioners of healing transmitted Ayurvedic techniques to Thailand some 2,500 years ago, thus giving birth to the wonderful phenomenon that is Thai massage.
The locals are your best source of information so even if you don’t have a guide, just ask any local where they get their massages & head that way. In our case, Moddy directed us to Phunee Thai Massage.
Be wary because not all massage parlors are the real thing, especially in naughty Bangkok. Baka sa “Hello Masa” ka mapunta, home of the happy ending. Maguwi ka pa ng sakit. So make sure you go to a reputable massage parlor. How to differentiate? Look at the outfits of the staff. Pag plunging neckline at makapal ang make-up, tapos nakakalat sila sa labas at nag-o-offer ng “Hello, Massaaaaa”, DO NOT ENTER, lol! Made that mistake, but that’s another story, for another blog, meant for another day. ;)
Phunnee Thai Massage in Bangkok has been in operations for more than ten years already, so it’s reputable. And the staff are really good in the art of Thai massage. If you get a Thai or an oil massage, you will be guided to a room upstairs where there are about a dozen mats on the floor, separated by curtains. The interior is not very fancy, but nice and clean, and overall you get good value for your money. Treatments available and prices: Foot Massage: 250 Baht 1 hour | Thai Massage: 250 Baht 1 hour or 450 Baht for 2 hours | Oil Massage: 350 Baht 1 hour or 600 Baht for 2 hours | Fish Spa: 150 Baht 15 minutes | Herbal Sauna: 100 Baht 1 hour.
What can be better than a day choc’ful of adventure, a great dinner & a relaxing massage? Why a surprise at the end of the day of course! Thank you Holiday Inn Sukhumvit for Kap’s birthday cake. Yan lang ang blowing na nangyari at hindi na kami makagalaw sa pagod hehe! #foradultsonly
Day 2, up next. Ang habaaaa noh? Blog nalang nga napagod pa ako! :P Sa susunod na uli, abangan. I hope you enjoyed our Day 1 kwento. :-*