Aguinaldo Shrine: The House of Independence

Aguinaldo Shrine - Kawit, Cavite
With nothing to do and having had a long vacation already (due to the Lenten season), my friend and I decided to have a historical trip down south last April 9. We went to Cavite and visited some historical sites there. One of the sites we visited was the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. Aguinaldo Shrine, the ancestral house of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, is the site of proclamation of Philippine Independence. Unfortunately for us, we were not able to enter Aguinaldo's house as it is closed every Monday, the day we were there, so we just explored and take photos around the shrine.

Thailand | Bangkok Summer Adventure 2011: Lessons Learned, Tips & Guides

As you may have read from my previous posts, Bangkok was where my first travel abroad is.  And being a newbie traveler, I had a lot of adventures and misadventures there. Here are some of the things I learned from the said travel. These things may be based on my Bangkok experience but I’m sure these could still serve as a reminder especially to newbies wishing to travel to their dream destination, wherever it may be. :)

Do not be late. Be at the airport at least two hours before your flight, much better if you're at the airport three hours before your flight. If you have read my first post in this series, I mentioned there that a friend arrived at the airport late, an hour or less before our flight if I remember it right. Good thing ours was a delayed flight, we never encounter any problem checking in. But I have friends who did encounter problems, just because they were late.

Thailand | Bangkok Summer Adventure 2011: Chao Phraya River Cruise

Bhumibol Bridge, a suspension bridge over the Chao Phraya River
During our city tour and before leaving for the Grand Palace, Sam our tour guide, asked us if we might be interested on a river cruise later in the evening. Since we don’t have any plans for the night, we decided to take his offer and bought tickets (1,100 baht per person with buffet dinner) for the Chao Phraya River Cruise.

Thailand | Bangkok Summer Adventure 2011: The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace - Bangkok, Thailand
Being a first-timer in traveling abroad, we went to Bangkok with no plans, certainly no itinerary. But since I searched and read about the city before our flight, I remembered coming across an article that says a visit to Bangkok wouldn't be complete without seeing one of its famous attraction, The Grand Palace. And so, from Chatuchak Market where our tour guide Sam dropped us off after the tour, we decided to explore the city on our own and visit The Grand Palace - this after buying some souvenirs for families and friends (Chatuchak Market is a famous market in Bangkok that offers variety of souvenir items, from handicrafts, fabrics, clothing, etc.)

From the Chatuchak Market, we tried to hail a cab but it took us a lot of time before we got one. (In Bangkok, cab drivers prefer contracting out the fare rather than using their taxi meter.) After more than 30 minutes of hailing a cab and negotiating with the fare, we got lucky one cab took us in. But not without a catch. He agreed to take us in if we would agree to take the highway which means paying toll fees and the driver said we are the ones to pay for it (Bangkok charged toll fees for using their expressways/highways, and they really are "express" ways. If only our country could follow suit, I guess there will be options for commuters for a fast and convenient way to their destination.) Instead of wasting more time hailing and haggling, we took the cab and off we go the palace.

Expressway as it is, we reached our destination fast! And then we saw one of Bangkok's pride, The Grand Palace. See the photo above, that's the view of the palace that will welcome anyone who comes to visit the place (the photo was taken just after the entrance to the palace complex, before paying the entrance fee).

The Grand Palace complex was established in 1872. It consists of the royal residence (The Grand Palace is the former residence of the King of Thailand), throne halls, a number of government offices and of course, the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). Many tourists flock the complex to see and admire the beauty of the buildings and structures; they were so artfully and intricately designed, you'll wonder how they were built during those times. I am not good with words and descriptions so just check out the photos below (but am also a noob in photography so please bear with my photos) to see for yourself how beautifully and artfully built the structures inside the complex are. :D

Throng of people going inside The Grand Palace
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Temple of the Emerald Buddha is one of the most venerated sites in Thailand where people convene to pay respect to their Lord Buddha and His teachings. It is enshrined in a traditional Thai-style throne known as busabok (a throne made of gilded-carved wood). The Buddha is carved from a block of green jade and was first discovered in 1434 in a stupa in Chiang Rai. The sacred image is clad with one of the three seasonal costumes which are changed in a ceremony presided over by His Majesty, the King. (source: The Grand Palace flyers given to tourists)

right-most structure is the side of the Temple

a welcoming topiary :D

house of statues of past ruling Chakri dynasty...or boundary stones for phra ubosot?!? ...IDK!!! :))
see the details of this photo? this is how artfully and intricately designed the structures were!

a close-up shot of the photo above
The Grand Palace exit...

Planning to go to Bangkok? Don't forget to include The Grand Palace in your itinerary. With the history and culture attached to the place and the beautiful architectures inside, you wouldn't regret including this place in your itinerary. :)


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
Entrance Fee: 350 baht