A Meet-The-Nomads Feature

Flipnomad.com publishes a weekly article which features backpackers and travelers. I actually got impressed with the blogger's idea. I know for sure a lot of us wanted to know the best and the worst trips, and the most important lesson learned by our favorite travel blogger. It's also inspiring to know how the pioneer travelers started their passion.

I admit Im still a newbie that's why Im a bit surprised when the blogger asked me if I wanted to be featured in his site. I agreed, it's also my way of showing support to the blogger's article.
Here's a newbie's interview: (all experts were once beginners naman, right?)

Meet the Nomads - Chyng Reyes


Meet the Nomads archive - must see!
thanks for the feature FLIP. your "Meet The Nomads" idea is brilliant.

Day 8: Grand Palace Complex

The highlight of a Thailand visit is to eat an authentic Pad Thai of course to see the Grand Palace complex.

For directions, the map can clearly make you understand your route. It's so easy (and cheap) to get to Grand Palace the Do-It-Yourself way.

ride the BTS from Ratchathewi station (our hotel location) to Saphan Taksin.
take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to get to Ta Chang. that's how simple it is.

Btw, you need to be very careful. Avoid the cab and tuktuk drivers. They'll tell you there's an ongoing holiday or celebration so you can't come. Wag kayo magpauto ha. Madaming scammers sa Bangkok!

Sol, my travel buddy, and I just followed where the people are heading to. And there, we're in front of the gate.

welcome to Grand Palace

Operation: 8:30am-3:30pm
Entrance Fee: 350baht
Attire: Dress Up Properly

where should we go first?

a mythological giant guarding the gate

Sol, my travel buddy

Our eyes explored around and we both agreed that the place is so grand indeed. Every structure, image, and figure are very detailed and obviously well maintained. Super kahanga-hanga.

Wat Phra Kaeo / Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This is Thailand's most important and sacred temple, so you're expected to act with due respect inside it. It houses the tiny Emerald Buddha, which is located high above the heads of the worshipers and tourists.

Wat Phra Kaeo / Temple of the Emerald Buddha

two demon figures guarding the gates

gold and glittering protectors

see how detailed these images are done

Im simply impressed.
It's prohibited to take pictures inside. We complied. I really find it disrespectful to walk inside a worship hall.

blue, red, and white = colors of Thailand flag
gold = abundance

Kinnon (mythological creature, half bird, half man) on top

Btw, I found a glittering white structure beside it.

unnamed white structure

Chakri Maha Prasat / the Grand Palace. A complex of buildings in Bangkok, Thailand. It served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from the 18th century onwards.

first glimpse of the grand palace

Chakri Maha Prasat Hall

day 8 of my backpacking SEA trip: Grand Palace Complex
(mukha na kong may karamdaman jan)

a stunning corner view

Very near to Grand Palace Hall is the Dusit Maha Prasat. An audience hall, where affairs of the state were con duct ed and royal ceremonies performed.

Dusit Maha Prasat

I really believe this complex is being cleaned everyday

everything is shiny and well maintained

Temple of the Reclining Buddha / Wat Pho or Wat Phra. Mainly famous for the huge Reclining Buddha. The highly impressive gold plated reclining Buddha is 46m long and 15m high.

huge golden Buddha with its feet

in Nirvana position

a portrait shot

Temple of the Dawn / Wat Arun. Best viewed as the sun sets. You need to cross the river to see this place up close.

the Temple of the Dawn

the guards at Wat Arun

the very steep way up

the detailed temple walls

the battalion

the soloist

the view from top

It's been a hot and tiring day. Dagdag pa yung nakapants ka dahil bawal magshorts.

Luckily, we found this rewarding food in the market.
Told you, this is the highlight of every visit to Thailand.

best tasting pad thai ever

50baht lang. Totoo nga na yung yummiest food in Thailand are just found in the streets.

Day 7: Sawasdee Bangkok

I intentionally write this entry in Tagalog, in memory of depriving myself to speak Tagalog for 4 days.

Heto na naman, I need to pack my things dahil lilipat na naman ako ng country. Eeww, mas madami na yung dirty clothes ko inside my trolley. Anyway, final leg na naman: Bangkok, so keri na.

fried noodles with veggies and meat + fruit + lemon iced tea
my free breakfast of choice from Bou Savy Gueshouse

Super good! Kinareer ko ang paggamit ng chopstix! It's not the usual free breakfast kasi i've got to choose what I like. Ayoko ng tinapay lang for breakfast. Ayoko din ng coffee.

As I was eating, naisip ko: OMG, 4 days na kong hindi nagsasalita ng Tagalog! Grabe, nakakamiss pala..

For the 2nights accommodation, 1 free dinner, daily breakfast, free transfers, and I also purchase a but ticket to Bangkok- I only paid $29! Super cheap!

Bou Savy Guesthouse
Siem Reap, Cambodia

At 9am, sinundo na ako ng bus. Actually maliit na bus. Wala ngang cabin storage so patong-patong lang ang mga bags naming backpackers. Mostly are westerners. Aside from me, isa lang ang nakita kong solo backpacker din. At isa pa sa napansin ko, sa buong bus, ako at yung mga teenage Japanese boys lang ang mukhang bagong ligo. Kadiri yung mga westerners, halatang bagong gising, kinuha yung big backpacks, at sumakay na sa bus. Eeww. Maputi lang sila pero hindi sila hygenic.! And do I need to mention they dont smell good? 0_o

To shorten the story, it was hassle free exiting Poipet, the Cambodia border. Ang weird lang ay yung madaming stopovers. Nakipagbonding ako sa Cambodian couple (the guy works for the Thai immigration) so naisip ko sya na ang susundan ko para di ako mapahamak, as you know madaming horror stories sa immigration ng Thailand.

Act of Kindness #4: This couple shared their lunch to me, yeah wala akong food dahil malay ko bang dapat magbaon ng lunch?

Opcors na-enjoy ko ang version nila ng kanin in a bamboo plus yung barbecue yata. It doesn't matter anyway, Im just very thankful. Im in the middle of nowhere at may nagmabuting loob sakin. Ü

Between 1-2pm siguro, narating na din namin ang Aranyaprathet - border ng Thailand. Kung saan kami tinuro ng konduktor ng bus, dun din ako pumila para magpa-stamp ng passport out of Cambodia.

crossing the borders by land

Bilang hila-hila ko ang trolley, bitbit ang camera bag, plus sympre naka-payong ako dahil mainit - hindi ko na ineffortan ilabas pa ang camera ko at kumuha ng shots.

Napansin kong sa left side lumalakad ang mga tao (at this point it's very hard to distinguish kung sino ang Thai, Cambodian, o Pinoy) so sumunod lang din ako. Until I reached the immigration. I read thru Nina's blog na I need to skip the 1st crowd kahit may pila dun, dapat pumasok sa loob. At tama nga, dun ako pumila sa loob. Ang sungit ng matandang lalaki sa immigration, parang ayaw ako bigyan ng form. Papel lang naman yun, tse! Pero at least yun lang ang bad experience ko sa Thai immigration officer. After that, my passport was stamped and I officially entered Thailand!

how ironic! (yet I find this very interesting)

I thought yung bus fare na binayad ko is from Siem Reap to Thailand border lang. Hindi pala. Hinabol ako ng konduktor ng bus at sinasabi nyang kelangan ko siyang sundan. So I did. Perfect kasi wala din akong nakikitang bus or tuktuk sa paligid. Nakita ko ulit yung mga kasama ko sa bus, and we all waited to be transported to Bangkok. Mas comfortable na yung bus ngayon kasi maluwag. I occupied 2 seats para makatulog ako, for change. But I didn't sleep. This place is new, every sight on the road delighted me.

Travel time from the border to Bangkok (Khao San) was nearly 6 hours. Bumaba ako ng bus right away, grabbed my things and talked to a Thai cab driver. Mejo mahirap makipagnegotiate kasi they spoke very little English. I learned my lesson in Macau, dont just print the map your hotel, you need the Chinese name of where you are staying. At dahil solo ako in Thailand, I made sure I printed the hotel name and location in Thai.

Among the many hostels/guesthouse/hotels in Bangkok, I settled in a hotel na may promo. Joke lang. Hihi I settled for a place that's near the train station. As always, the map is the 1st thing to consider in picking an accommodation.

study your map 1st, and all your next questions will be no-nonsense ;)

I picked The Residence (The Residence Rajtaevee) Hotel in Petchburi Road. This hotel is around 150m to Rajtaevee station. Walking distance din sa Pantip plaza (for gadgets shopping). Very convenient din yung free shuttle to Siam station/Siam square. And most of all, I got this for 999baht per night for a twin room with free breakfast.

Yes a Twin Room. Kasi may kasama ako. Siya ang magiging travel buddy ko for this Bangkok trip. She's working for GMA7 in a research department and like me, mahilig din siya magtravel. The catch, never ko pa siya nameet. We will be meeting each other in the hotel lobby for the first time.

a decent twin room

with an en suite bathroom

The Residence Rajtaevee toiletries

The Residence
588/1 Petchburi Road, Rataevee, Bangkok

I waited for my travel buddy in the lobby at ang saya ko dahil finally may nakausap akong Pinoy ako after 4 days. Ansaya ng feeling na nag-uusap kami in Tagalog and the receptionists don't understand us. In the last 3 days kasi, lagi nalang ako yung clueless.

day 7 of this backpacking South East Asia trip
obviously, i already look tired from traveling

To-Do-List: travel with a stranger - check
(thank you sa mga nag-offer maging "stranger" for this To-Do-List, keep your emails coming ha..)

meet Sol, my "stranger travel buddy"
sa Bangkok na mismo kami nagmeet

We checked out Suan Lum Night Bazaar to have dinner. For directions, just follow the map. Napaka-efficient ng train system ng Bangkok.

Suan Lum Night Bazaar

our 1st authentic Thai meal

seafood fried rice, tom yum goong, and thai red curry

Bias ako, may love affair ako with Thai food. We extremely enjoyed the rice and tom yum. Yung red curry- overpowering yung taste, di ko nagustuhan. At nasira pa ang tiyan ko. Badtrip!

next entry is day 8: the grand palace

Angkor Archaeological Park

Cambodia is beyond Angkor Wat. There are lots more of interesting temples around Siem Reap. But before I continued with the tour, here's what I had for lunch.

grilled eggplant with meat
it's so Pinoy, feels like home!

Again, napakataas na ng lagnat ko at that time. I just wished matapos na yung tour. But my wish can't be granted. Andami pang surrounding temples! And this is the hardest part of blogging, I can't remember these temples' names. Drop me a message for corrections, please.

Preah Khan. A huge, highly explorable, monastic complex.

Preah Khan

Preah Khan

Bantay Kdei. Sprawling, largely unrestored, monastic complex in much the same style as a Ta Prohm.

Bantay Kdei

Ta Som. Small Bayon-style monastic omplex consisting of a relatively flat enclosure, face tower gopuras.

Ta Som

Ta Som

Ta Prohm. Of similar designs to Preah Khan and Bantay Kdei, this sprawling monastic complex is only partially cleared of jungle overgrowth.

jungle overgrowth

back view

Ta Prohm - location of Tomb Raider

huge tress crawling up

a very touristy place

Angkor Thom. Literally means "Great City" was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late twelfth century by king Jayavarman VII.

headless Naga - mythological and multiheaded snakes

South Gate of Angkor Thom

closer look

Terrace of the Leper King. An impressively large terrace, named after the Statue of the Leper King that sits on the top. (Leper King because discoloration and moss grew on the original statue was reminiscent of a person with leprosy)

Terrace of the Leper King

wall carvings

Hindu god

Terrace of the Elephants. An impressive, two and a half-meter tall, 300 meter long terrace wall adorned with carved elephants and garudas that spans the heart of Angkor Thom.

Terrace of the Elephants

behind me are the elephant carvings with their huge tusks
dala ko ang payong na yan wherever I go!

yeah, I was impressed with the carvings + the color

Phimeanakas. This celestial temple is an impressive laterite and sandstone pyramid. Legend has it that the golden tower crowned the temple and was inhabited by a serpent, which would transform into a woman. The kings of Angkor were required to make love with the serpent every night, else disaster befall him or the kingdom.


Bayon. The most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak.


why are you smiling?

framed Bayon faces

It rained for 15mins (thank you Lord! hilong-hilo na ko sa init) and the sun became strikingly hot again. Ayun na pala ang definition ng "rainy season" nila. My tour guide explained they dont experience typhoons in Cambodia. I asked him again if they have experience floods, and he said yes. Nyahaha!

meet my tourguide Kim Rieng and his tuktuk driver friend

If I have to plan my Cambodia trip all over again (but luckily I wont kasi lumabo ang mata ko kakasearch ng SEA trip na to), I would spend an extra day in Siem Reap. The place's beauty is beyond Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples. It's worth the not-so-easy-trip to get there.

..whew, next entry: day 7 in Bangkok!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...