Editor’s note: This is supposed to be published upon my arrival from BKK , March 2019, but unfortunate series of incidents have happened to me and this article was kept private. Sharing it now and I will be sharing very soon the reason of my hiatus. Get ready for a new article by first week of November. I hope it will inspire you all. Love lots. -ian
To journey to places somehow inspires me to stay healthy. That feeling of excitement that you have something to look forward to just gives me oozing energy in being consistent and religious with medication and treatment. After my recent trip from ICU, I promised myself a zero trip to hospice this year. It’s quiet a challenge to live up to the pledge but nevertheless I had to take courage in making such bold steps.
I filled my 2019 calendar with all my travel wish lists and recently I’ve successfully accomplished list No. 1. I was thrilled knowing that I haven’t traveled abroad since 2018 due to Lupus flares. Blissfully, I’ve been remarkably feeling phenomenal the past weeks and just like a balloon pop, I started the first of the series of my travel adventures in Bangkok, Thailand.
I was traveling from Cebu with a group but when we reached Bangkok I decided to make a gala on my own. I totally drifted away from the planned tour as I wanted to feel more like a local than a tourist. I was also gauging my body’s pace and limit so doing my own itinerary resulted best for me. Like Philippines, Thailand is a tropical country so I had to be extra ready. Here’s how I did it during the 5-day trip:
- Got a hotel in Pratunam. Pratunam means “water gate” and this place is widely known as a prominent shopping district. It’s very strategic due to the availability of shopping centers, department stores and food stalls around the area. It’s also one of the most important transportation routes in Bangkok. It is easy to go to anywhere. Amost all buses pass by the area.
- I arrived early dawn on Wednesday. It was a long trip so I had to rest the entire day. I only went out by night when I felt like my body has fueled up some energy.
- Thursday, I started gallivanting the city through hopping on one bus to another. I had my codigo which I didn’t follow after all. I was enjoying going around, hopping on wrong buses, walking to and fro and speaking to Thais for direction.
- Friday was a whirlwind checking all shopping centers and going around the city in the hope to discover its treasures troves. Some has shocked me especially the “Ping Pong Show”. Some has mesmerised me in discovering how much they value their culture and identity.
- Saturday was another gala day. A Thailand trip is never complete without seeing the floating market so I had to do it. Almost a 2-hour journey going to Talin Chang Floating Market just to find out that it’s only open on a weekend. What can I do but just live the moment with silver lining!
- Sunday was dedicated to buying presents for loved ones. I only bought few, enough for all of them to taste the flavours of Thailand.
- Travel extra light since you’ll be buying items once you get there. Yes, you can’t say no to the wholesale prices of shopping items. You wouldn’t want an excess baggage, right?
- You don’t need a lavish budget, 5000 baht as pocket money for a 5-day trip is more than enough. I was able to work my way out with these numbers and I was on a cloud nine.
- You don’t need to buy local sim with high speed internet, 300 baht is just too much. Save that for something else. The hotel always has a wifi service 24H. Just consider it as a social media holiday should you not be able to share your My Day or ATM Stories. Just wait until you get back to the hotel then you can share your beautiful clicks with friends.
- Before you go out, ask for the calling card of the hotel indicating its complete address. In case you get lost or wanting to go home, you could always show this card to anyone and you will be directed on where to go or what to do.
- Tok tok and taxis are overrated. Some do not even turn their meter on. I had to ask several taxis before I can get a metered one. Best is to ride a bus. Safe, within the budget and comfortable.
- When speaking in English, say it slowly so they could understand. English is not really common in Thailand. Be patient especially when haggling. You can also act what you are trying to say for better understanding.
- I don’t recommend going to Ping Pong Show if you’re a conservative chap.
Good to know:
- Their food is fantastic.
- Their mangoes taste like Papaya. Zero acerbity at all. Must try.
- Coconut in shell tastes like gooseberry. Its true.
- Juices are really fresh. You must try all sorts. You won’t regret it.
- They’re fond of putting sesame seeds on a fried banana and sweetened dried fish.
- There’s a customised plastic for juices.