Thailand | Bangkok Summer Adventure 2011: The City Tour

We bought our Bangkok Summer Adventure 2011 package tour from PAL's (Philippine Airlines) swing-around package. It includes airfare, accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, hotel/airport transfers and half day city tour. So on our second day, our first agenda was to join the city tour that was part of the package. The tour includes a visit to three of Bangkok's temples, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Intharawihan and Wat Pho. However, because we enjoyed photographing the first two temples (Wat Benchamabophit & Wat Intharawihan), we spent most of our time on these first two we were not able to get to the last one *sad*. Also included in the package is a visit to The Gems Gallery, a jewelry factory.

Wat Benchamabophit

Wat Benchamabophit or The Marble Temple was our first stop and the first temple we visited for our half-day city tour. It is a Buddhist temple located in the Dusit district and is one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok. It was built in 1899 at the request of King Chulalongkorn, the fifth monarch of Thailand. Thus the temple's name Wat Benchamabophit which literally means Temple of the Fifth King. (source: Wikipedia)

Wat Benchamabophit is generally made of marbles. Because of this, it gave the temple a modern look. But despite this look, it still characterizes the typical Bangkok temple: beautiful and flamboyant. :)

Wat Benchamabophit (photo courtesy  of my friend bipong)
back side of the temple
various posing Buddhas inside Wat Benchamabophit
inside Wat Benchamabophit grounds
 Wat Intharawihan

Wat Intharawihan, originally called Wat Rai Phrik is a temple located in the Nakhon district of Bangkok and was built during the beginning of Ayutthaya period (1350 - 1767). It features a 32-meter high and 10-meter wide standing buddha, the world's tallest standing buddha. It is decorated in glass mosaic and 24-karat gold. It took more than 60 years before the completion of this buddha. (source: Wikipedia)

Wat Intharawihan
the tallest standing Buddha
inside Wat Intharawihan grounds...
 The Gems Gallery

After the visit to these two temples, we proceeded to the jewelry factory. There, we were shown a short video clip featuring the ruby stone and how it is produced. According to the video clip, Thailand is one of the major producers of high quality ruby stones in the world. So as a souvenir, I bought a silver ring with a ruby stone on it (talking about impulsive buying here, tsk tsk!!). :D

There it is, our half-day city tour in Bangkok. Except for the amazing temples, there is nothing extraordinary on this day. We were on a guided tour, with provisions for transportation so we didn't encounter any difficulty. Our tour guide Sam, is very kind, he took our pictures and let us enjoy taking photos around. The downside is, we weren't able to visit the temple of the reclining buddha. :(

Anyway, after the guided tour, we asked Sam to drop us off at Jatuchak Mall instead of dropping us off at our hotel. From there, we decided to explore Bangkok on our own and go to The Grand Palace, one of city's must-see destination. I'll talk about our adventures in The Grand Palace on my next post. Till then... :)


Bangkok Adventure (day 1): Bangkok Summer Adventure 2011
Bangkok Adventure (day 2, AM): The City Tour
Bangkok Adventure (day 2, PM): The Grand Palace
Bangkok Adventure (day 2, night): Chao Phraya River Cruise

Date of Visit: April 30, 2011

Thailand | Bangkok Summer Adventure

Tuk-tuk replica at MBK mall, just for photo-ops :D,
I don’t have a photo of the real one but it’s actually smaller, with just a row of seats, unlike this replica
Last summer 2011, I was able to go out of the country for the first time. My destination – Bangkok, Thailand! I was so excited with this trip I made sure that I have all the necessary requirements and clearances with me, (though I heard from colleagues that they weren’t asked for it).  I have contractual obligation with a certain agency in the government; hence the need to get so many clearances. And I’d rather get one beforehand than encounter some problems at the immigration on the day of our departure.  It's my first travel abroad so I'd better be prepared than sorry

We flew out via Philippine Airlines, supposed to leave Manila at around 10:30am, but we were delayed for some reasons, a delay that I am so thankful for because my friend was late.  If not for the delayed flight, I could have had the biggest disappointment in my life. :P

In Bangkok, we stayed at the Bangkok Palace Hotel, a palace but not so grand a palace…hehe! Since it was a delayed flight, we were not able to go around the city on our first day.  We were only able to go to the MBK mall, one of the shopping centers in Bangkok.

Bangkok Palace Hotel (photo courtesy of Bipong)
After some time roaming around the mall, we had our dinner at Sumo & Cocco Pazzo Restaurant, a restaurant that serves various Asian dishes. And since it was our chance to have a taste of Thailand, of course we chose Thai dishes. We ordered yam ruam mit talay, guay-tiew tom yam, khao klug kapi & another seafood main course for my friend (I forgot what it's called) . Of all the foods we ordered, I particularly liked the seafood salad (yam ruam mit talay), it’s a little bit spicy but I love the taste of the salad dressing they used, a sweet-sour dressing with a distinct flavor of coriander blended with some other authentic Thai spices (this according to the menu, whatever that is, hehe!).  The soup (guay-tiew tom yam), a seafood soup with fish fillet and noodles (the one usually used in lasagna, if I am not mistaken), was also good and a bit spicy too. For my main course, I had the khao klug kapi, a food combo of fried rice, sausage, pork & egg. The fried rice is like our ‘bagoong’ rice, the pork like our adobo, Thai-style...hehe.

Yam Ruam Mit Talay (seafood salad)
Guay-Tiew Tom Yam (seafood soup)
Khao Klug Kapi
It's already late when we finished our dinner so we just head back to the hotel. On our way there, we rode the ‘tuk-tuk’, Bangkok’s famous mode of transportation.  ‘Tuk-tuk’ is like our tricycle here in the Philippines, only bigger and I think more powerful, because they are so fast it felt like we’re in a race and flying (hehe…I was just exaggerating here but really they’re so fast and the driver seemed oblivious of other much bigger vehicles around, it really was scary!).

Be forewarned though, Bangkok cabs and ‘tuk-tuk’ drivers charged so much (cab drivers don’t usually use their taxi meter) you have to haggle first before you get in.  Otherwise, be ready to spend a hefty amount for the fare. Or else, you'll end up having an argument with the driver, something you wouldn't want to happen while on a foreign land.

There it is, my first day/night in Bangkok, Thailand, my first international travel.  I will post more of my adventures in Bangkok next time, with more photos of course.  Till my next post! :)


This is a re-post/re-write. I already posted about this travel on my other blog but I decided to transfer it here for reasons I'm sure you already know. I've also been away for the past week, I don't have enough time to write a new one. So for the next few weeks, my posts will be all about my last year's travel to Bangkok. Hope to still hear from you folks! :)

Bangkok Adventure (day 1): Bangkok Summer Adventure 2011
Bangkok Adventure (day 2, AM): The City Tour
Bangkok Adventure (day 2, PM): The Grand Palace
Bangkok Adventure (day 2, night): Chao Phraya River Cruise

Date of Visit:  April 29 - May 1, 2011

Cavite | Overnight Camping at Pico de Loro

Mt. Pico de Loro - the summit
Except when I joined vibouac during my high school days, I never again experienced camping out.  It’s not because I am picky though. Camping out usually entails outdoor adventures which I am not that fond of. I am not an adventurous type of person. As I wrote in my Manalmon post, I'm more of a couch potato, hehe. But of course, I do get out of my comfort zone from time to time. :D