Archive for category Thailand
I think this video really hit home why I enjoyed my travels and what I was able to learn while I was walking the streets of Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Thailand this summer.
Hopefully it resonates with you as well!
“Holla. Prepare to get Squalla”
Ok, so this is not exactly how my Thailand trip turned out, but it was still profound and filled with spectacular and memorable adventures.
Firstly, saying hello and Thanks in Thai is not at all pronounced the way it looks. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong but, Sawatdee Khrab sounds more like Sawadee Khup and Kap coon Khrap sounds more like Hapoon Khup.
Now then… after a month and half in China, I was finally about to reunite with my family and have a real 1-week vacation from China and work. I attended a close family friend’s wedding and simultaneously saw many attractions in Thailand.
I woke up exhausted from my 4 hours of sleep, but thrilled at the same time on June 21st. There was nothing more that I wanted to do than get into the plane and sleep for a few hours, but that’s not what happened. My bags were locked and loaded and I graciously went through the security measures at the airport and had a couple hours to kill. They had free WiFi and I pulled up some articles for me to read during the plane ride. I arrived in Guangzhou within a couple hours for my layover and left to Thailand within 2 hours. I arrived in Bangkok at 6:00 pm. I was on the edge of my seat, my emotions were like the rising function of a roller-coaster, right before that first big drop that sends a jolt through your nerves. However, my roller-coaster of emotions became stuck at the very peak when I found out that I had to wait 3 hours for other wedding attendees to arrive before I could depart to the hotel (a 50 dollar taxi ride away from the airport). My eagerness along with my anxiety dropped and I bored my way to the Renaissance Hotel by 10:00 pm. Oh wells, I figured I made it and there was no point in letting my mood sour up what would be a great night so I did not allow the wait to disappoint. I quickly freshened up and found a note from my dear mother which read “We are at the Intercontinental Hotel across the street, come there right after you freshen up, we are eating dinner there.” Oh how I love her :). I ran faster than the wind!
I set out across on my mission to meet my family and see their astonished looks as they would see the new me (I dyed my hair orange from the front).
They met me just as I had pictured they would, enthralled without noticing any of my physical changes, until well, a few minutes after they were able to allow my presence to sink in. Much to my surprise, they did not react negatively or positively, but more like “oh you look like you came from China,” I guess I got what I wanted?
Either way, I devoured down the multi-ethnic dinner without a breath of hesitation and joined my brothers on an outing for the night. It was one to remember all right. Actually every day/night was a great one.
It was a bonding experience and a much needed vacation for the entire family. We saw as many city attractions around a 2-hour driving radius of Bangkok that we possibly could.
It was one of grandeur and a place where we had an opportunity to meet many people. The location: inside the Renaissance Hotel. How convenient? My brothers and I met many new friends and were able to bond more closely than ever before.
Buddhist Temples near Bangkok:
We visited many temples alright. I found it hilarious that we were not allowed to wear shorts or wife-beaters (which explains the funky shirt and pants that my cousin Raj and I are wearing). We just goofed around and took in much of the scenery. Unfortunately, we did not pay for a tour guide so we did not get a cultural and religious understanding of Buddhist history and what’s the purpose behind the temple and the people.
Then, we went on a boring boat ride that we mistook for the floating market. Miss-communication can really be inefficient and waste loads of time and money. I have had plenty of similar experiences in China. Anyways, I took a few pictures (a few hundred) of our surroundings. It was relaxing, but tiring nonetheless–especially with the scorching heat and humid weather. We then topped off the day by observing the gigantic lying Buddha. The temple was massive and I was able to learn a few things about Buddhism there. This was our first day traveling after the wedding concluded… or so we thought.
We later found out that the couple was hosting a young adult’s-teen party. We became great friends with both the groom’s side (Thailand natives) and the bride’s side (the doctors—more cardiologists than I ever thought I would meet in my life). Great people, night and party!
Next stop; Pattaya Beach:
Before we went to the beach, we ate at Pupen’s Seafood, this was our lunch after the 2-hour drive and we ate what would have been a $400 meal in the U.S. for under $90. We had Tom Yung soup (the best shrimp I’ve ever had, and I am not a shrimp fan). I also had a delectable fried fish (LOVED IT!), along with many other sea critters. Then we headed to the beach.
Quite possibly the best beach I have been to, the water was warmer than the shower I took that morning—seriously—and the sand also was a complete different texture as well. When my foot rubbed against the bottom of the water bed, it felt like I was walking on foot massaging scrubbers. Not only that, but the people were sincere and offered us food, drinks etc at a very affordable price. The weather was welcoming us with its tropically alluring aura and boy was it heavenly. We quickly befriended the locals and they were more hospitable than I could have imagined for how intimidating they looked. They provided us with some sheer entertainment and soccer, followed by a Jet Ski ride.
Then to top it off, we ate at Gian’s. This was the BEST restaurant I have ever eaten at, or at least in the TOP 3! The owner of the restaurant was friendly to top it off and I recommend that anyone in or near Pattaya beach go to this place. The owner is an Italian gentleman who moved his restaurant from Manila, Phillipines to Thailand 5 years ago. His food is imported from around the world. An example of this would be the lambchops from New Zealand. He knows the best foods from around the world and serves it freshly cooked. I had a pizza and it was the top 3 best pizzas I have eaten in my life. The food is to die for.
We again went to another temple. It was a different setting, but we again did not have anyone there to explain the cultural significance, so we just observed and followed suit. Also, I took many pictures as well.
On our small quest of attending the floating market we ate fulfilling seafood along the way—and saw some elephants as well trying to trample us and seduce us with their dancing.
But Land ahoy! We found the floating market. There was plenty to see and shop. Although more expensive relatively speaking when comparing the costs to the city, it was worth seeing and much cheaper to buy things when using the power of the American dollar.
We even decided to try Happy Feet—where small fish nibble away at dead skin. It’s supposed to be therapeutic and similar to a pedicure, but I thought of it more as tickle-torture. Whatever you may want to call it, the picture tells the story fairly well.
There were ample number of activities available with plenty more to see, but with the 3-4 hours of rest I had per day/night we accomplished more than I thought imaginable. Thailand was spectacular, but more importantly because of the bond I was able to share with my loved ones (especially my three brothers). We created some ridiculous memories and did things that I am certain we may not have the opportunity to experience again—but if given a chance or opportunity; I would do anything to relive Bangkok again.
Places I still need to see: Ko-Samui, Phuket, experience Full moon party, smaller islands around Thailand!