Bangkok - Day 2

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Waking up at 530am was the hardest thing to do especially the day after a plane ride coming here. I was still feeling funny from the plane (I know it's a shorter trip but I'm weird!) but I had to get up. Our tour bus was scheduled to pick us up at 7:00am. So we had to be ready before that, but why that early? We wanted to have some breakfast first before leaving! It was an hour and a half trip to Ayutthaya - we had to be filled first right?

Mabs had arranged for us to take the Ayutthaya tour from the agency called River Sun Cruise tour. The bus we got on was not filled - thus, I wondered if there were less tourist this time of year of something was off. The drive up to Ayutthaya was nice and funny - our tour guide Pon, was really really entertaining. He was talking non stop for about 30-40 minutes about the history of Bangkok and Ayutthaya. It was a relief that he had a sense of humor, because he cracked us up once in a while. I think SE and I were the only ones listening - KY and my Panget had dozed off instantly. The weather was kind of gloomy - we were told that there were no rains for the day but the sky will be dimmer than usual. When we got off the bus - my gosh was it chilly. I'm still in disbelief with Bangkok's weather.

By the way - when we reached our first stop - I saw other buses from the same agency. There were a lot of tourists then! Most of them sounded they came from Australia.

Bang Pa-In Grand Summer Palace
The place was magnificent! It was huuuuuuuuge! And I think in the middle sits the Grand Palace - which was built by Queen Sirikit for a whopping USD9,000,000.00!! That info was from Pon - the tour guide - according to him, since the previous Ramas (kings) had consorts and concubines - the money was distributed, but with the present Rama - he has his one and only - thus she was allowed (and privileged) to build such grande of a palace. The color of the palace is cute! Purple! I took a peek from the side windows and saw that it had a French-Victorian design. Very modern, grande(again), and expensive!!


Spacious, elegant and pristine clean!


This is my favorite pic of the Summer Palace
it was shot by KY - nice noh?!


French Victorian Style - in Purple!


Ayutthaya Ruins
There are certain places, ruins to be exact that when you set foot on them, there's a feeling of nostalgia and disbelief that you are actually standing where the royalties and ancestors of the great land once walked! This is what I felt when I saw the ruins. I was in awe, the place looked destroyed but I bet they looked marvelous then! There were pictures/graphics actually that showed what it looked like before it was ruined.


One of the Buddha statues that
remained to be complete.


Oldest Buddha temple in Thailand
I grew up going to temples, making offerings every two weeks to To Ti Kong, burning Chinese paper folded to look like gold bullions. That's why I appreciate going inside Buddha temples. The ones we went to is one of the oldest in Bangkok. I couldn't believe that what I saw belonged to the 18th century! It didn't look old - it actually looked regal! I prayed in the first temple that we went to, made an offering and went to get some 'advice' from a Buddha-fortune-machine.


The main Buddha


2 Buddhas sitting in front


Me at the Oldest Buddha statue
in
the whole of Thailand



Reclining Buddha
I asked my friend why the Buddha had it's body wrapped up. He just said that it's done out of respect. Okay, maybe he was naked! But when I got a closer look on the face of the Buddha - it brought gave me chills - the smile that I saw was different. I've actually never seen a smiling Buddha except for the fat chubby Buddha figurines that we have in the house. I assumed that he must be feeling really good! Hahaha..

Reclining Budda - look at the smile!


Last Stop: River Cruise on the way back to Bangkok
We boarded an air-conditioned boat (thank goodness!) And the food they they served was a mix of Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine buffet style. It wasn't bad, it was filling and the Pad Thai was great! This was the part that I loved the most, because after eating KY, SE and I talked I think for 2 hours! It's times like these that made me smile and feel really blessed to have friends like them. I love them so dearly and I'm so glad that we've kept in touch all these years. I can't explain it but let me put it this way - it's like I was home with them - there's the ease and comfort knowing that I can tell them everything and not be judged.

We arrived at River City at4:00pm, it was right on schedule. We boarded a bus to bring us back to our hotel. For some reason, the driver said for us to take the seats at the back. The reason we learned was that we were the last ones to be dropped off. I thought that since all the passengers were in the same area - we would be back at the hotel in 30 minutes, but I was dead wrong - we got to the hotel exactly an hour after we boarded! My gosh - the traffic was that bad, that bad! Crazy actually.

We rested for about half an hour, then got ready for dinner. My friend Mabs was taking us to see Sirocco, the bar located at the Lebua State Tower, and for dinner - I asked him to bring us to Somboon! I was warned by Mabs to wear closed shoes as the bar is strict with its dress code. I didn't bring any! I was planning to buy actually - good thing KY brought an extra pair - and so I put it in a plastic and stuffed it in my bag.

When we got to the State Tower's elevators - right when Mabs warned me - the ladies told me that I couldn't go up because I was wearing flip flops - I retorted to them that I have a pair in my bag! (Ha! In your face!) But what was said next shocked us. You see they're strict with their dress code (I know, I said that already) - and as stated in a rather large tarpaulin - No ripped clothing. Great! My Panget was wearing his ripped jeans. He was allowed to go up the top floor, but was not allowed to go out to the al fresco bar. Good thing my Panget was still game for it. He let us enjoy and take pictures. Sorry, but there was no decent picture that I can show you, too bad we didn't bring KY's SLR. So for now - you may click here to see the photo gallery of Sirocco's site.

There was something that I didn't like with Sirocco - it was that everyone had to order drinks - had they wanted to or not, it's must. The prices for the drinks were off the charts! For a beer it's BHT290.00 for a Mai Tai that's BHT320.00 for a Pina Colada it's BHT320.00 - AND - you still have to add 17% for VAT! High way roberry!! ARgh.... That's the lowest point of my day - when I got the bill. I was shocked!

I was really raring to get out of the place, but there was still another bar a few floors down. This time we were wary of the lady escorts offering drinks. We ignored them and walked right out! Hahaha.. After that we headed to Somboon!

I was really excited, I kept on telling my friend to bring us to the authentic one because I was warned by Nena about taxi drivers taking their guests to the wrong Somboon! I was still skeptical about the resto when we got there, I was pacified by KY - since she tried this place years ago - she said that this was the real one. I had to check the logo twice! Hahaha.. Apparently - they have a new logo! :)

We ordered - Oyster Cake, Crabs in Yellow Curry, Tom Yum, and a Fish dish. There's a tagalog saying that when everyone's quiet at the dinner table they're 'galit galit' meaning everyone is too hungry to chat. And I think that was what happened with us. But as my Panget put it he said 'Inis Inis' Hahaha!! But still, for us it meant the same. The crabs was greaaaaaaaaaat! The yellow curry sauce was to die for! It was an egg-y-ish concoction.


Crab in Yellow Curry

Looks really yummy, right?

After dinner we had wine at the pool deck over at our place. It was breathtaking - too bad Mabs decided to go to Manila over the weekend. After the drinks - we then headed to the massage place - just down the street. I was told by many to have as many massages as possible - and that it'll be surely worth it.



And so we entered Massage #5. KY and I had the full body Thai Massage while my Panget and SE just opted for the Thai foot massage. And the verdict? It was wonderful! Really really wonderful! Have you tried TonTon's massage? They claim to have been trained by Thais right? Well, it doesn't even compare a little bit! I would be bold enough to say that it's a fake! (Walang sinabi ang TonTon's massage!) After the massage - I felt so great! My therapist was a rather big girl - but she hit all the right spots, I mean all the right spots!

We truly enjoyed our day. And to end it with a Thai massage - well, that's the most rewarding thing!!

6 comments :

  1. Felt the same about the river cruise. Parang reward after all the walking in the ruins. But definitely worth doing.

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  2. Food! I love the food pics! Any more where those came from?;p
    Hey, I've never been to those ruins. I will visit that when I go back. I love historic temples and palaces.=)

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  3. Hi Em! It was really rewarding!

    Hi Ruy! Go and visit Ayutthaya! It's worth the trip!

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  4. Hi,
    How much is the tour cruise? Be going to bangkok kase on thursday. Thanks!

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  5. Hello Anonymous! I think it was around BHT1,800.00 - BHT2,000.00. That's already inclusive of all the entrance fees, lunch, bus pick-up, river cruise, and bus drop off. :)

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  6. Thailand is miracle land for tourists. I like historic temples in Ayuthaya but i didn't has a good chance to go there. Thank you so much for your picture and story blog.

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