I knew it was going to be a very tiring day. I had work until 2AM on Thursday and our flight is at 6:20 AM. From work, I went to the BGC Bus Terminal in Ayala to meet up with Mine, my Bangkok buddy! She got there a little over 3AM and then we took a cab to NAIA T3. Kuyang driver was trying to charge us a flat fare of PHP300. That’s too much because Celine and I took a taxi from Glorietta to T1 a couple of months back and it just cost us around PHP130 on a metered fare. We were about to move on to the next cab when he said PHP200 will be fine. We OKed it since it was in the wee hours of the morning anyway.We got there not too long after. I was 4am but wow, there were a lot of people at the airport! First order of business was to pay the travel tax – PHP1,620. After that, we went ahead and checked in. I’ve done web checked in for the two of us so we went to the web checkin queue to get our boarding passes. There wasn’t really any fuss and it was pretty quick.
After checking in, we went upstairs to have breakfast. We decided to eat at Bowls and Wraps cause there were too many people at Jolibee. I wanted some pancakes pa naman. Oh well. I ordered tapsilog while Mine had bistek tagalog.
We went downstairs to immigration at around 5am. I was so surprised to find out that there’s no terminal fee anymore! That is such great news! I don’t have to pay an additional PHP550 anymore. YAAAAAY.
There was no fuss at the immigration as well. I gave my passport and she just confirmed if I’ll be coming back on Feb 1 as well just like my friend, then she stamped my passport. We didn’t wait long before boarding started.
It’s a 3-hour flight to Bangkok but since there’s an hour time difference between Bangkok and Manila, our ETA in Bangkok is 8:55 AM. I’m so surprised to see how beautiful Suvarnabhumi Airport is! Changi will always be the prettiest but this definitely doesn’t fall behind. There’s free WiFi and the walkalators are all working. LOL, walkalators are such a dealbreaker for me. I love the airport design, too. I love how they mixed tradition with modern.
After clearing immigration, we went to to money changer so that we can get some THB to pay for our transpo going to our hotel. Of course, exchange rate is super high at the airport. We took the airport link to Praya Thai, which is located at the heart of the city. A girl who saw us discussing helped us. She even took us to the elevator and pressed B (for basement) since that’s where the train is located. The fare is THB45 for each person. If you have the exact fare, you can do it on the card machine – you can choose the language – English or Thai. We opted to buy from the window instead. You are given a token that you will scan upon entrance. The train looks nice but there aren’t a lot of seats. We were tired from the flight but we had no choice but to stand up. It was nice though because we got to do some sightseeing. Our first thought upon arriving though was – there’s a lot of water in Bangkok! We were actually joking that each residence can probably have their own fishpond if they want to. LOL.The train ride to Praya Thai took about an hour, I guess. Airports are usually far from the city and this was no exemption. When we got to Praya Thai, we had no idea how to get to Khao San. It’s not connected to any of the trains so we knew that we were either going to take a bus, taxi or tuktuk to Khao San. I’m pretty sure we looked so lost then so a tuktuk driver approached us and when we said we were going to Khao San, he charged us THB150. We agrees because we totally had no idea to get to Khao San and of course, we want to experience riding a tuktuk. We would later find out that THB150 is pretty expensive. In fact, there’s a warning sign in our guest house to avoid riding tuktuks because they charge too high. So we thought we would never ride that again. Which actually makes sense. You don’t know how they’re getting the fares they charge since they don’t have a meter. At least if you take a taxi, there’s a meter so you actually have an ide why they’re charging you that amount.
But it’s not so bad. It was a refreshing way to go around Bangkok. Second thing we noticed about Thailand is that they love their King. There are heaps of pictures of him and the royal family everywhere! I later found out (from reading online) that he’s sick that’s why people put up pictures of him everywhere. He’s now 88 years old. It’s just so amazing because I don’t think people from other countries with monarchy are like this. I don’t think the British people have pictures of Prince William or Prince Harry all over the UK. I also read that there’s a law against saying bad things about the King but even so, I could feel the genuine love of the Thai people based on what I see on their roads and establishments.
We arrived at our hotel at around noon. We walked along Khao San Road (which looks a lot like Divisoria. LOL.) but it was too hot for us to appreciate it. A lot of foreigners since this is known to be a backpacker’s haven. It wasn’t hard to find our guest house and I think the location’s great. It is not along Khao San Road but very near it. The guest house’s owner said that we have to wait until 1PM before we could check in. We had a light lunch at the guest house’s restaurant. I had a ham and egg sandwich and mango juice. Then, we went out to buy a sim card at 7-11 and to the money changer.Ok, sim cards are super expensive in Thailand! WHHHHHY?! So there are two kinds, the first one is only for call and text (costs THB200) and the other one is with data (THB300). Why is there even a sim just for calling?! Plus, you have to buy a separate load card which cost us THB45. Since we have WiFi in the hotel anyway, we opted for the first one. Seriously though, THB200 is a lot for a sim card and it already has free load. These are really cheap in Manila so I’m really bummed about this. We had to buy a sim card though because Mine had to call a toll free number for her ATM card issues (It didn’t allow us to call the toll free number though.) and I thought we would need it in Cha Am (and I was right!). So the sim card plus load was THB245 in total. Ugh. I am so selling that sim card to friends who will go to Thailand soon!
Anyway, it’s pretty hard to deal with anyone in Thailand because they talk to you in Thai even of it’s obvious that you’re a foreigner. Good thing, a co-tourist explained it to us. We would could experience more of this lost in translation moments as we go through our 4-day trip.
Money changers. There’s a lot in Khaosan. The best thing to do is ask around first before giving them your money. Choose the one with the highest exchange rate. I suggest go with Rainbow. The lady over there is pretty nice, too.
We checked in a little before 1PM. Our hotel’s pretty simple. It’s kind of like our first hotel in Kota Kinabalu. There was a queen-size bed, a table, an area where we can hang our things, a small table and a bathroom. Very very minimal. It was just ok since it cost us THB1200 for two nights. Really really cheap. I’m good as long as there’s aircon and hot water. Also, the bed was quite big.We both didn’t get any sleep the previous night so we took a nap. I think I slept before 2PM. When I opened my eyes, it was already 6PM. LOL. The sun set late in Bangkok. The sunset was at around 7PM.
Our hotel is near Rambuttri Alley and Khaosan Road. We actually went to Rambuttri first, then went around to Khaosan and went back to Rambuttri. Khaosan is where you go if you want to party but at the time, all we wanted was to eat.There’s an alley though where True Khaosan Museum was located. There’s an open air restaurant and it giveS you European feels. We didn’t eat there though, just took pictures. LOL!
There are a lot of food stalls on both streets. I ate corn while Mine ate some sort of dessert. I really don’t know what its called and it tastes interesting. LOL.Then, Mine went to buy strawberry milkshake from across the street – Sip Ham Sang Road. In fair, it was yummy! Everything on these streets are super delicious!
The scorpions and spiders were crazy though! My friends think that I should have tried it but NO. Hahaha!
In as much as we would like to walk around some more, we could really use some dinner. We settled at this small restaurant called Tam Kin Kan. They have a pad thai stall in front but they also have tables by the side of the road and inside. We ordered pad thai, veggie rolls and fried rice. They were very cheap!!! While eating, we had so much fun observing everyone passing by. LOL. I’m not going to elaborate so as not to offend anyone.
We went back to our hotel before 10PM. I just wanted to figure out how to go to Superflow Beach Club but we didn’t go out anymore. We slept again. LOL. Titas of Manila mode. First day in Bangkok and all we did was eat.