Breather in Bangkok

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April 3, 2017 by hallyrh

After claiming some needed documents from the bank, my mother and I decided to stop for lunch at My Thai Kitchen. Apart from the two of us, the place was completely empty. We were a bit uncomfortable, being the only two patrons, but we wanted to try something else this afternoon. And so we placed our orders:


Gai Yang (Thai style grilled boneless chicken) – Php 270


Stir-fried eggplant with Tahi Basil and garlic – Php 147


Khau Pad Siam (Fried rice Thai style) (Php 80 each)

I was going to order chicken pad Thai, but we had intense rice cravings cause we haven’t had rice in days. And so we ordered some fried rice – good call, because it was probably the best fried rice I’ve ever had! The eggplant and chicken, with their tangy, zesty, Asian flavors complemented the rice well. It’s probably the best meal I’ve had all week!

That little Thai food trip my mom and I tried earlier made me feel kind of retro, which is why I’m doing a little Bangkok throwback from 2012 (I’m also trying to round up some travel stories to make up for my abysmal attendance on this blog. Haha.).

My aunt loves traveling. She makes sure to haul the entire family when her feet starts tingling for adventure, something I’m extremely grateful for, seeing that I owe her almost all of the stamps on my passport. Haha!

In 2012, our summer destination was Bangkok, Thailand.

There really isn’t much difference between the Philippines and Thailand, climate-wise and basing on the citizen’s physical attributes. The similarities end on, of course, language, religion, and food. While we enjoy dishes that are heavily reliant on salt for taste, their food is flavorful with hints of spice, sweetness, and something that is distinctly oriental. They also practice Buddhism, mainly, something that’s apparent even in their architecture.

Our hotel was smack dab in the middle of Pratunam, where the markets flourish at night and sleep in the morning. Our flight arrived around late afternoon, some time around dusk, and we had dinner out in the streets. The following morning, we began our tour. We went to Chonburi Province via rented van, at Nong Nooch Garden & Resort, to watch the popular cultural and elephant shows.



There were foreigners walking around shirtless or in bikini tops, since the summer heat was blazing in Chonburi Province.




The covered theater where the cultural show was held.


The adorable elephants strutting their stuff!




Animals in the Garden.


Perfectly-manicured gardens!


The odd one out.

After that intense heat at Nong Nooch, we traveled back to Bangkok to visit the Reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho temple.





The reclining buddha is 150 feet long…



… and its feet is made of Mother of Pearl.

The structures within the premises of the temple were magnificent. I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know where to point the camera first, LOL.






Later that night, after dinner, the adults decided to explore Bangkok’s red-light district: Patpong. The streets were lined with stalls selling weird sex toys and shadowy sidewalks were flocked by women (and men?!?) decked in skimpy bikinis. It was so culturally fascinating that I raised my phone to take a candid photo of a bunch of go-go girls grouped together at a side street, with plans to filter it black and white and plaster a thought-provoking caption. But they caught me, and they started protesting in their native tongues. Apparently, if I wanted to take a picture, I was obliged to pay: um, no thanks.

The following morning, our destination was The Grand Palace.


According to Wikipedia, The Grand Palace used to be the residence of Siam’s royalty since 1782. Presently, it has been opened to the public as a museum and cultural heritage site, but it still has working royal offices inside.

The place was shimmering with brilliant stones and magnificent golden structures, and again, I had to control myself from running all over place. Never mind the roasting heat of the mid-morning sun — there were plenty of sights to see from temples to pavilions to wall murals, to replicas of the Angkor Wat in Cambodia.





The model of the Angkor Wat at The Temple of the Emerald Buddha







But before anything else, it is important to note that tourists are required to wear appropriate attires before entering the premises of Bangkok’s most sacred grounds and temple. Women must wear modest clothes, and men are required to wear pants and shirts with sleeves. Open-toe footwear should be worn with socks.

Anyway, back to the grounds — I almost couldn’t breathe with all the majestic architecture! What with the glaring sunlight, one would have to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the blinding gleam of gold and bronze; it was all dreamlike. The grottos, pagodas, the manicured lawns, the handsome buildings, and the vast stretch of walls enclosing this unbelievably abundant royal dwelling aren’t things that you would expect to see in a real-life setting.  It truly was a place suitable only for blue bloods.

But of course we had to leave the fairy tale and go back to reality, aka the gritty, sooty streets of Bangkok! That’s exactly what we came for. Besides, vacations would never be complete without any shopping – and Bangkok is quite well-known for its fashionable street markets.



The famous night market in Pratunam, where the merchandise the following morning would be completely different from the items sold the previous night!


Cool mobile bar in the middle of the street.


Tuk-tuks right in the middle of the morning bustle.

And that’s that! After 2 days, it was time to fly back to Manila with my haul of bargain finds from Thailand! But not without stopping first at Bangkok’s popular Siam Paragon right at the heart of the city. The Siam Paragon was the antithesis of Bangkok’s street markets with its high-end brands and luxurious commodities (but personally, I’d still choose the street markets! Haha!).

That was a short weekend trip (we didn’t even get to see the floating market because it was damaged by flood at that time) but it was one of the best nonetheless! I mean, we never really see hoop-shooting elephants and spectacular palaces during 40-degree summer weekends, don’t we?

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