I’ve always wanted to travel. I’ve been to several fun places here in the Philippines but I always want to travel internationally. In 2013 I was gearing up to do just that but some silly things got in the way. Like losing my job. To spare you of the boredom of my story for that pain in the *** of a year, let me just tell you that I was able to grind it out and by early 2014, my plan to travel outside the Republika ng Pilipinas was back on track.
And last November we were finally able to travel to Thailand, (me, Set and Iris) the first ever country that we’ve been to. If you are curious why we chose Thailand, it was because we were after the availability of the seat sale. Hahaha However, Thailand proved to be the best choice, it was our first but Thailand took care of us immensely. There may be some roadblocks along the trip but it was helluva experience!!!
I don’t know if there was a field trip that day or Grand Palace just really has that LOT of tourist.
500baht for the Grand Palace entrance
I was wearing a sort of malong because you can’t enter wearing shorts or mini skirts. I had to walk back all the way from the main entrance and on the streets to find a sarong and rented it for 30baht.
100baht entrance fee
From Bangkok proper you have to ride a bus or a van for almost 2 hours to reach Ayuttaya. In our case we were not aware that we bought a ticket for a van (70baht) ride but it was okay. I think it’s faster than a bus ride. When we got there, there were people offering different kinds of tour, fortunately we hired someone who is honest and trustworthy. We hired Nitnit, our personal driver for 1 day Ayuttaya tour for 600baht each. We thought it was more comfy and less hassle than renting a bike or going on our own since the tourist spots are miles away from each other. And comfy it was as we were riding a Suzuki Swift for the tour, cool right?
Our elephant Dolemon, was smart and showed a lot of tricks to us. Dolemon and our guide has been to Manila years ago for a show. Our guide even knows some Tagalog words like salamat po and mabuhay, and he’s also a fan of Pacquiao and kept showing us a magazine who has Pacquiao on the cover. I would also like to note that even though we were really planning to give tip to our guide, I think it’s really necessary and they would really ask you for it.
The elephant ride was 400baht per person for 20 minutes. It involved a lot of haggling, mind you. Haha We were supposed to go to 5 temples but due to unfortunate circumstances (which I will be telling in another post), we were only able to go to 3 main tourist spot.
Skydiving is really the thing I was looking forward to in this trip. I would not write much about it here cause I will be having a separate post for it! Yes ganun sya ka big deal sakin, of course! Who wouldn’t?! It was an experience that really got me into cloud 9, literally! Hahaha
Slava, my guide! Thank you!
You can’t even shout! It was weeks of feeling anxious, fear, and excitement and finally, I’m flying!!! #YOLO Would love to do it again if not for the price! But really I would love to do it again, soon! hahaha
Meeting and knowing people
When we were waiting for our flight to Thailand, we got a chance to talk to people. There was Renebeth, a physicist who’s going to Thailand alone for a conference. She was bisaya that’s why we got along so easily. We also met Mon, a Thai. At first we thought she’s Filipina as she was also in the same hotel that we were staying in Manila. Later on, we found out she’s a Thai and was on a 10 days vacation in the Philippines, alone. She was very nice and friendly. She even helped us get our way around Suvarnabhumi airport and assisted us on our sim cards and money exchange. She settled us first with a taxi to our hotel before she rode her own taxi, thank you Mon!
L-R: Renebeth, Josette, Me, Mon and Iris at Suvarnabhumi International airport
I can finally say that even though traveling can really leave a hole in your pocket, it is totally worth it! All of my trips did require me to spend half of my salary and even more… I am happy that I’d spend my money on travels, trips and experiences. It is more rewarding and liberating than to spend it on materials things that would someday lose it’s value and deteriorate. Experiences and memories, these are everlasting gems you can keep in your lifetime. The learnings and discoveries you made in your self and in the world are more than worth it. It makes you humble, it makes you stop thinking so full of yourself. The world is very big, you’d realize you’re just a small dot in it and that will make you more humble and more open to life’s challenges.