|Aisawan Dhiphya-Asana Pavilion|
Booking & Reservations
I have to make a spur of the moment decision .... December 24, 2008 I was surfing the net while waiting for dinner to be served. We were also preparing our things because my cousin will be fetching us to go to our home town for our traditional Christmas Noche Buena after the traditional midnight mass. Anyway I opened the website of Cebu Pacific Air and there my eyes opened wide when I saw that they are giving away "Zero Fare" on international flight. I ran fast to the dining and ask my Mom if she's coming with me to Bangkok and she said YES! So I booked our flight on Christmas Eve and that was the greatest gift I've received that Christmas.
Cost of this trip for 2 pax
Roundtrip Fare Davao-Manila www.cebupacificair.com P1,162.04
Roundtrip Fare Manila-Bangkok (www.cebupacificair.com) P3,339.00
Hotel (First House) (www.agoda.com) P3,650.00
Ayitthaya/Bang Pa-in w/ lunch (www.octopustravel.com) P3,602.00
DreamWorld w/ lunch (www.octopustravel.com) P3,834.00
Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Tour (www.octopustravel.com) P2,478.00
Total Cost P18,065.04 ($393)
It's cheap ..... a great gift!!!
March 11, 2009 - Departure
After a very long planning and waiting, this day finally came. Our flight from Davao City was supposed to leave at 2:20pm but there was a slight delay announced by Cebu Pacific Airlines. Our plane took off at 3:15pm and landed at NAIA Terminal 3 around 4:45pm. There was a long excruciating wait at the airport since our flight to Bangkok Thailand was at 9:10 in the evening yet. My mom and I spent the waiting time talking or bonding, since most of the time I am busy with work and we rarely have the time to talk at home.
When boarding was announced, we excitedly queued for our seat. The plane took off on time and landed at Bangkok Airport Suvarnabhumi Airport earlier than the 11:35pm schedule (Bangkok Time). The airport was really big, wide and modern. Signature and exclusive shops are around and it was a long walk before you reach Immigration or they call it Passport Control /booth.
Passing through Immigration went well, we then took our luggage and have our dollars changed to Thai Baht. Since it was our first time in Bangkok and fear of being lost or scammed by a taxi driver I went to the AOT (Airport Official Taxi) Booth for a ride to our hotel. It cost me Tbh1200. I learned later that taxi from the airport to our hotel will only cost 300-400 including the toll fees, well I paid for the convenience and safety.
We arrived at the hotel past midnight, checked in, took our keys and headed to our room for a much needed rest after a long day in airports.
First House Hotel was just a regular cheap hotel located at 14/20-29 Petchburi 19 Rd, Soi Juldis, Phyathai Bangkok 10400, Thailand. Thou it smells old the room was spacious, clean and good for sleeping and stacking goods you bought. Our scheduled tour will start at 7:00am, we are so tired anyway and getting to sleep isn't hard.
March 12, 2009 - Ayutthaya / Bang Pa In Tour (Day 1)
We barely have 4 hours of sleep since we have to wake up at 5:30 to prepare for our first day of tour. Our tour pick-up time was at 6:50am. Breakfast is included in our hotel and just like in any cheap hotels, there's not much choices in the buffet table. I just took some bread, butter, jam, coffee and orange juice. We actually doesn't have the leisure time for breakfast, after a few minutes the tour guide arrived.
The our guide introduced himself to us and took us to the van. There was supposed to be 4 of us on that schedule, the other two was from other hotel but according to the tour guide that they got sick and will not be joining us. Yipeeee . . . . . we have the van for my mom and I =)
One thing nice being booked ahead for a tour, the tour guide said, whether you are alone as long as they have accepted your booking they will give the same service. Besides its easier to handle to handle small group and much easier with us since we are only two (did he really had an easy time with us? hehehehehe.....
First he took us to Bang Pa-in. This is where the Summer House of the King of Bangkok is located. There are several buildings around of Western, Eastern & Northern design infused in Thai structures, a proof of influences of decades of invasions or friendship with neighboring countries.
|Behind us was Aisawan Dhiphya-Asana Pavilion|
|Ho Withun Thasana or Sage's Lookout|
|Wehart Chamrut or Heavely Light|
From there, we went to the Ruins of Ayutthaya where you can see what was left of the temples after the wars. I've learned that there are actually different temple designs that can be seen in that place. These are Burmese, Chinese & Thai temples. Although Thai strongly held on to their identity yet influences of these countries were evidently present and accepted because they have traded with them for a long time and are still trading with them at present.
We then went to the elephant show. Sadly my camera battery was already low and so I was not able to take pictures in this tour. I really cannot quite comprehend if they really treat the animals sacred. I hace seen elephant show in circus and you can actually see them well taken cared of, but here, I think the elephants are malnourished. I am not an animal rights advocate and I am not into animal cruelty either. Anyway its their pet.
We were then treated to a Thai lunch. I was ready to taste a really really hot/spicy authentic thai food but I'm a bit worried about my Mom if she can take it. Anyway the food was served and surprisingly all the dishes were chicken (4 courses) and I am allergic to it. Good thing I always bring antihistamine with me. When I tasted the food it was not really spicy but they also serve us condiments like fish sauce with fresh chili, powdered chili, sugar (yes, they gave us sugar) and a sweet sticky sauce. With the spicy fish sauce the taste became better.
Tour agencies are required to bring tourist to a Gem Factory and so he brought us to Gem Gallery "The Worlds Biggest Jewelry Store ISO 9001:2000". We were led to a video room where we viewed how these precious stones are gathered, refined and set. After the viewing, we were led to the processing area where we can actually see how a stone was transformed into a jewelry. It was again a learning experience and an expensive one. They will actually not force you to buy anything but I just felt in love with a 32 onyx stone ring set in silver. I just knew its for me =)
We were brought back to the hotel afterwards. Traffic in Bangkok is really brutal, you have to bring a lot of patience to survive, well I think it was time for us (me & my Mom) for more bonding. We reached the hotel tired but it never ended our adventure. We just changed clothes and started walking the streets near our hotel. The hotels location was really great because its very near the tiangge, wholesellers mall and yes Bangkok is really a shoppers haven.
Note: When doing a sightseeing tour in Bangkok where most often you will be entering temples (and you are required to take your footwear off) . . . . . wear S L I P P E R S or S A N D A L S. And better not use expensive one's since a possibility that you may not find it again when you come back for it (they have a wide shoe rack at the entrance but you never know ...). AND do bring extra slippers hidden inside your bag just in case you lost what you are wearing. I actually skip some of the temples because I was tired of taking my sneakers off and putting them on again every time.
|Everyone are required to leave their footwear when entering the temple. my Mom was the one sitting having a hard time putting on back her sneakers.|