Category Archives: Food

Bangkok: A Glimpse of Siam

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This is the second part of my post about Bangkok, Thailand. In here, I want to share all the must see tourist spots around Bangkok.

As mentioned on my previous post, The Fairy Flies to Bangkok, three days is somewhat short for first timers in Bangkok who also plans to do shopping.

For us, (MJ , Tonette and I), we decided to do both shopping and sight seeing which meant less rest for us. Our hotel room was really just used for sleeping and taking baths.  Nevertheless, we are really happy with what we were able to see and experience without having to go through long hours on the road.

Below’s a view of old Thailand (Siam) within the busy Bangkok city.

Note: You will notice though, that some photos displayed us with colorful coats. Yes, it is due to rain during our tour days. It was bit difficult as we were not prepared of the rainfall. We had to hurriedly buy coats and take a look around before we become soaked.

  • Grand Palace

One of the nearest temple near our hotel. This has a huge area and  is located at the heart of the city which boasts of majestically crafted temples. It also has the famous Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald  Buddha.

Inside Grand Palace

at the Grand Palace

  • Wat PhoTemple of Reclining Buddha

Temple in Phra Nakhon where the huge reclining Buddha is housed. It is so huge that one will have a   hard time taking a photo of the whole stretch of  Buddha as it won’t fit the normal digital camera.

Ticket to Wat Pho with free bottle of water

At Wat Pho entrance

A closer view of The Reclining Buddha

at the end of The Reclining Buddha

  • Wat Arun – The Temple of Dawn

This is another interesting temple where getting there starts with embarking through a ferry. I believe  that it really should be called Temple of Dawn because when you witness the sunrise through this towering temple, you will truly admire it’s magnificence.

At the ferry dock going to Wat Arun

The Wat Arun temple

Buddha inside Wat Arun

Ferry port , Wat Arun side

  • Muang BoranAncient City 

The Ancient City is indeed a living picture of Siam. We had to travel around 40 minutes by  taxi to get to the Ancient City. We were so amazed by many temples and palace that depicts the  olden times and rich culture of Thailand. We had to rent a golf cart in order to go around the massive  land area of the  Ancient City. There are too many photos taken here  but I can only show you so much.

            The Ancient city is a spectacle to behold.

A Map of Ancient City

  • Patpong Night Market

Patpong is an entertainment district which is more internationally known as a red light district.  We went there by BTS mainly to walk around and see the night market ( shopping-as always).  But of course, we can’t help but also be curious of how this famous red light district really is.

Upon arriving there at around 6PM, the streets are lined up with both women and transgender clad in revealing clothes and even wearing sexy costumes. Pamphlets for the night shows are being aggressively offered to tourists and locals alike. Pingpong shows are offered minute by minute as you walk along the street.

Words of caution:Once you decided to go inside a night club, beware as most will lure you to buying drinks after drinks with unbelievably high bill in the end. Also, taking photos here is actually not acceptable and be very discreet should one wish to shoot photos.

Since we are not really there for the show, we decided to go through the night market and eat along the street of Patpong.

Dining at Patpong

Since this post had been picture heavy, I will have to separate photos of food and other interesting sights of Bangkok in another entry.

There were just too many memories gathered in three days of being in this city.♣

 

The Fairy Flies to Bangkok

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“To travel is to live.”-  Hans Christian Andersen

November 24,  2012.

This date was when I started to live and live my dreams.  Traveling had always been in my thoughts. But as said, you have to turn thoughts into actions. So together with good friends Mj and Tonette, we took the trip to Bangkok, Thailand.

We booked the flight from Diosdado Macapagal International Airport to Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The trip to Clark felt long as we were too excited to get down and hop in the plane. Victory Liner took us to Clark and we alighted just in front of the airport.

No hassle.Our flight was at night but it was not too crowded there so we didn’t have any problems. Just some chit chats and time flied quickly.

At Diosdado Macapagal International Airport

Start reading below to get to know a few basic things  about Bangkok, and of course of one thing it’s known for-Shopping!

Upon arriving at Suvarnabhumi  International Airport, it is too noticeable how Filipino and some Thais look alike and how it is also hard to communicate in English. One must have enough patience and creativity in order to let Thai people understood what you wanted to say (Though, very admirable of them how they love their language. )

Trying to tell taxi driver to take us to hotel

There are taxis waiting outside the airport in colorful bodies. I was amazed to see green, pink, and yellow cabs painted brightly.

Colored cabs along the street of Bangkok

We arrived late at night at the hotel and so we had to go straight to sleep and get up in time for the next day’s busy trip. Tip for those who wanted a comfortable room, accessible location and good food, try the Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam and you’ll get all these in that property.

Late night check-in

Getting your way around Bangkok is pretty easy as our hotel is quite near to their train station-the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) also known as BTS Skytrain. It is quite similar to our MRT and LRT , though quite spacious. You will have to buy token-like tickets. Tellers are only there to exchange your bills into coins but still you have to buy your own ticket on the slot machine, similar to our LRT Line 2.

Buying tickets at BTS

Inside the spacious BTS

However, should you wish to experience the famous tuktuk, you may bargain with drivers to take you to nearby places. Though in our experience, riding a tuktuk and a taxi will somehow cost you almost the same.

Tuktuk ride

We only had 3 days n Bangkok, which is relatively short if you would want to shop and tour the whole city because it would take you at least 3 days to shop through all their many malls and flea markets!

Chatuchak Weekend Market (also Jatujak)

Dubbed as the world’s largest weekend market, this place is definitely one that should not be missed while in Bangkok, specially to all shopaholics and entrepreneurs out there.

As the name implies, this is a weekend market which means almost all stalls are only open on weekends. Since we arrived Saturday, we had to go straight to Chatuchak before actually seeing the tourists spots. The market is a haven for all hard to find things ,be it plants, antiques, pets,food, collectibles, home decors,clothes and even books. One whole day is not enough to go through every stall- based on our experience.

  • Food

Street foods along Chatuchak

Another food cart

  • Shopping

Sandal shop

Headbands

Cards ,arts and plants

  • Street

Busy Chatuchak street

Shopping along Chatuchak

Also, make sure you have enough Baht (THB) so that you don’t waste time finding a money changer booth. Though, If you ran out of Baht, there are definitely money changers in the area. What’s good is that Baht and Peso have minimal exchange rate difference.

Baht

Shopping Malls

Bangkok as I said again and again is indeed a shopping paradise. If you plan to hoard things, to put up a business, to update your wardrobe, then this is definitely the city for you. Keep in mind however that goods here are more costly if you compare it to Chatuchak and other flea markets. Nevertheless, it is still quite affordable and if you are too good of a shopper, you will get some good deals.

To reiterate, you have to make sure you exchange enough Baht so that when you start your shopping saga, you don’t run out of “weapon” or else you go back to start ( which is looking for money changers usually at ground floor or corners of every floor).

  • MBK

Anyone who wants to go shopping will probably not want to miss MBK as it is the largest shopping mall in Bangkok.  Over 2,000 stores filled with merchandise can be found here. Though, it is quite noticeable that you may find some sellers too snob so you just need more patience when dealing with them.

While waiting for MBK to open

Inside MBK

  •  Platinum Fashion Mall

This is another shopping mall that is quite near to our hotel and is even just walking distance from there.  Like MBK, there are quite alot of good finds here. I was able to buy bags around THB 200 which is just around Php 280 pesos and some tops at THB 150.

Platinum Mall

Shopping at Platinum Fashion Mall

I assure you there are alot of other shopping malls in Bangkok that you can visit.  For those that will be in Bangkok for only 3 days, you can visit at least 3 shopping malls if you will still go out for a trip to their tourist spots. I suggest you plan a trip to Bangkok solely for shopping.

There’s too much to share about Bangkok and I will have to dedicate another entry to showcase some cultural heritage, tourist spots and food to be tried.

My next post will take you to the historical wonders the city has. Get ready to be delighted as we had.

Some photo credits: Mj and Tonette

A List of Why I Love Bulacan

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I want to share some things that are worth coming back here.

As a young girl, I grew up having my vacations in Bulacan. To be exact, in Pulong Buhangin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan. I actually lived there for a couple of years. Life there was simple. You wake up, do chores,eat meals (which you wouldn’t worry what to cook),visit and hang out with neighbors then  have merienda, at sunset, watch television and go to sleep.

Mine was simpler – wake up, eat breakfast, play,eat lunch,sleep,eat merienda,play,eat dinner,sleep. If you will notice, the words just repeated, which means my day to day was just simple that I had to repeat activities. 🙂

in Bulacan

Celebrating my birthday with Mama

Things changed as years passed. Lesser trips to Bulacan. There where even vacations we did not went home. Till recently, we started going home again. Few constructions, growing neighborhood,developed lands. Inspite of these changes, still I felt like I had never left.

In this generation that are full of buildings,gadgets,fast paced life,I want to share some things that are worth coming back and should be appreciated.

HOMECOOK MEALS

 

Truly,whenever I think of Bulacan, I always remember sumptuous meals prepared by my Ate (my tita) and Mama. Even restaurants would not compare to the cooking we have in Bulacan. Whether its poultry, fish, seafood or vegetables and fruits,everything is fresh. We do not worry on where to buy and get these as it’s mostly available within reach. My Ate is good with planting crops and small plants. She can grab calmansi,chili, guava etc.just at the backyard.

Guava tree

Fresh fruits everyday

Sweet corn

Ate is like a genie that whenever I wish or crave for something, it’s instantly there or prepared the next day!

I can eat almost anything. Sinigang, nilaga,tinola,inihaw, bistek, dinuguan, hipon, alimango, calamares, beef broccoli. Name it, she cooks it.

Beef Broccolli

Bistek (beefsteak)

Shrimp

Bulalo

Grilled squid and chicken

Grilled stuffed bangus (milkfish)

PALABOK

I recognize that there are alot of delicious versions of palabok. However,I would have to put Bulacan’s palabok on top of my list. Special mention to Dhel and Vic’s palabok. Everytime I go home, I would need to buy from them. You pair it with their puto pao and it’s the perfect merienda.

Palabok and puto pao

FIESTA

Bulacan has kept its tradition of fiesta with marching bands(mosiko),sagala and prusisyon.

Mosiko

People lined up on the streets,spectators in front of their houses gazing at the festivities.

I couldn’t help but be proud that traditions like these are still being practiced and experienced by the younger generation.

BALUT

It’s in Bulacan also that I had the courage to try this Pinoy delicacy. Well… not really so courageous as I can’t try the sisiw yet. All these years, I have either my Mama or Ate eat the sisiw. 🙂

Balut

Bondat ;famous vendor of balut-who’s got a big tummy,always in white shirt- is the only vendor we buy balut from. He sells yummy balut with just the right size of chick. I could consume an average of 3 baluts in one seating!

BOODLE FIGHT WITH RELATIVES

I also miss occasional visits to relatives and just hanging out with them over lunch. We make do with what we have. No extra preparations. Just serve what you have and bring what you can. It brings back good ‘ol days when everyone was younger, everyone was there. Now,new kids had replaced me and my cousins.

Some of these nephews and nieces don’t know me much and vice versa. I look forward to moments like these where I get to hang out and laugh with them.

boodle fight with relatives

LANDSCAPE

I still get mesmerized whenever I see beautiful sceneries which I can only enjoy in Bulacan.

I can take pictures all I want,go back everyday and just linger. I could not imagine that I see right before my eyes an Amorsolo painting- blue skies, clouds, carabaos, rice fields and cool breeze. It’s just picturesque….

a view of the fields

Greeneries and fields adorned our barrio. Even just peeking through the backyard, you can enjoy the magnificent nature’s view.  It’s in Bulacan that I still get to appreciate the trees and plants that can only be seen on books nowadays. The silence of the place during holidays will also led you to hear birds chirping,roosters cocking, leaves swaying….

BUTCHI

I have to give butchi a special space on this list as I could only savour this personal favorite in Bulacan. I know that in Bulacan,chicharon is a proud produce,however, I enjoy butchi here more than the ones I buy from the mall/restaurant. The locally made one is bigger and fuller. It usually has a monggo or kamote filling. Ate would always buy me one whenever I go home.

Butchi

 

LECHE FLAN

Alongside with butchi, leche flan is another sweet delicacy I enjoy whenever I am in Bulacan.

Ate could even make alot of llaneras for our own consumption. Leche flan has always been part of my favorites list. I have tasted the best leche flan under our roof and not just a slice but a whole llanera as I please!

I know that perhaps by now you would notice this list full of food. Yes, this is how gastronomically satisfied and proud I am of Bulacan.

ATE

I had been talking much about Ate which I have not yet introduced. This lady is the greatest reason why I love Bulacan and I long to go home everytime. I call her Ate (a-teh), like most in the family because she is the eldest sister of my mom. Thus,she is my mama’s ate,and I also grew up calling her ate. I lived with her for about two years when I was a toddler while my mom’s working. She spoiled me like a grandmother and cared for me like a mother.

Ate

Ate is so cool and so cowboy and a mix of kikay as well. She didn’t start a family of her own. She treated me and my mom her family. Ate as I have mentioned is a cowboy who likes wearing only tokong and jeans most of the time. She can drink beer and even the strongest grape wine there is. She used to smoke tobaco like cigars before, where you could not buy from usual cigarette stores.

She also cannot do away with her nganga. It’s an old pastime she inherited from her mother. I could not even describe fully what it is. She buys ikmo,bunga, mascada then mixes and rolls small portions of those before chewing it. Then after a while she will spit it out. Makes me more curious that I want to research on it. Most of Ate’s contemporary in Bulacan chews nganga and they even bring it with them as they go out. It’s like their version of ‘yosi break.’

I can go on and on with a long list. However, the fulfillment I get whenever I am home cannot amount to the words I have written here. I believe we ll have childhood memories of places we lived, memories that linger and comes alive everytime we come home.