Saturday, May 28, 2016

Travel Guide: Thailand in 6 Days

(Under Construction, but all the relevant data you need is here)

Travel Thailand on your own. Skip the tour guide, and have an adventure of a lifetime.

The travel guide below replicates our 6-day experience in Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi in the wonderful country of Thailand. You may freely use this, or edit it to your liking.

Oh, and what's best is that we spent less than $340 (USD) each for the whole trip (airfare excluded). Sounds good? ;)


WHERE TO STAY

We stayed at a homestay inn in Soi Si Bamphen, Sathon District, Bangkok City. It is near the MRT Lumphini Station. From MRT Lumphini Station, take a motorbike to Lido. The driver will then bring you to the street where the inn is located. We found out about the place through Airbnb.

The neighborhood is quiet, and very fit for tourists, travelers and backpackers. Restaurants, quiet bars, cafes and massage parlors abound in the neighborhood. A 7 Eleven is also nearby.


Cafes and restaurants are just around the corner

Massage parlors, too. Try Baan House Massage for your day-end retreats.


Here is the profile of the owner of the homestay inn: https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/1927968
You may click on the Listings to view the rooms offered: https://www.airbnb.com/wishlists/2092488


ITINERARY

Day 1, Saturday: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Siam Complex, and a little rest

We arrived at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok City at 10AM (Bangkok time). We had our Philippine Peso (PHP) exchanged to Thailand Baht (THB) at SuperRich Money Exchange, then bought a Thai Traveler sim card at an AIS booth.

We had 1 PHP = 0.745 THB at SuperRich, compared to 1 PHP = 0.54 THB in other money exchange stalls you'll see early on in Suvarnabhumi Airport (usually banks). SuperRich gives the best value for your PHP. It is located at the lower level of the aiport, near the train line. Ask around, or visit www.travelsaveworld.com for a comprehensive review (and tips on exchanging PHP for travel abroad).

You'll also easily see an AIS booth in the airport for your Thai Traveler sim card. AIS is equivalent to Smart or Globe in the Philippines. We had a sim card for 7 days at 299 THB. It is inclusive of calls and texts worth 100 THB, and 1.5 GB mobile data. Click here to know the benefits of having an AIS Thai Traveler sim with you.

1. Airport Rail Link to Inn/Hotel

The easiest and smartest way to get out of Suvarnabhumi Airport is via the Airport Rail Link. Head on to the lower level of the airport to board the train that will lead to your inn/hotel in Bangkok City. There is no need to go outside the airport grounds - it is directly connected to the airport.

The Airport Rail Link (via Makkasan Station) is connected to the MRT Line (MRT Phetchaburi Station) and BTS Skytrain (BTS Phaya Thai Station). Most hotels and inns are connected via the MRT and BTS Skytrain. Click here to see how all lines are connected. It's really convenient and cheap to travel Thailand via their train lines.

Operating hours of the Airport Rail Link is 6am - 12mn.

In our case, we got off at Makkasan Station and headed to MRT Phetchaburi Station to bring us to MRT Lumphini Station. From MRT Lumphini Station, we walked to our inn at Soi Si Bamphen. We can also take a motorbike at 20 THB each, but we did not know how to, yet, at that time.

2. Lunch at Anchalee Bar and Restaurant

Upon checking in, we had an authentic Thai lunch at Anchalee Bar and Restaurant. It's located just outside of our homestay, and tourists mostly eat and drink here.




3. Chatuchak Weekend Market!

We then headed on to experience the Chatuchak Weekend Market! It was a lively scene filled with vibrant Thai clothing, accessories, local crafts, and a lot more! Price-wise, it's like shopping at Divisoria. Some were also more expensive than we expected. Well, of course, it is a place clad with a hundred locals, and a thousand more tourists.





- Ride the MRT to Chatuchak Park Station
- Travel time: about 15 minutes if I am not mistaken. It's via the MRT so it won't take up much of your time.
- Open on Saturdays and Sundays, 6am to 6pm

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Travel Guide: Ayutthaya Day Trip


A sneak peek of Wat Phra Mahathat from the outside

In our 2nd day in Bangkok, which was a Sunday, we headed to explore Thailand's old capital, Ayutthaya. It is about 1 hour away from Bangkok by minivan. This is a must-see when in Bangkok for it is clad with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a lot of breathtaking sceneries. The city-province has a relaxing, quiet vibe compared to Bangkok, and this is one you would want to definitely experience when in Thailand.

See the guide below for your exciting day trip in Ayutthaya!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Thailand Travel Tips

Here are a few travel tips to make every cent and second count in your trip to Thailand. You may want to read this in detail before heading on. Thailand is a beautiful country with a very rich cultural heritage, modern infrastructure, delectable food in every corner, and you wouldn't want to miss every pulse the country has to offer.

Know before you go

Drinking Water

Do not drink tap water. Restaurants do not offer free "house water" as well. You'll have to drink from a bottled mineral water at all times.

To save on cash, buy water from 7 Eleven. Bring it with you everywhere. A 600 ml bottle of water from 7 Eleven costs 8 THB, while those in restaurants or street markets cost 10 THB.


The photo above shows a bottled water that costs 30 THB at the Floating Restaurant in Kanchanaburi.

The Language Barrier

Most Thais do not speak nor understand English, so a simple translation book, and a lot of patience and willpower, will be good for you. Here are important information you should be able to communicate efficiently when traveling Thailand:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Los Arcos de Hermano: Team Building Resort Near Manila

Not all may know of this hidden team building resort near Manila. It's a 5-hectare resort clad with swimming pools, cottages, and open spaces for big group activities. Rooms are nestled within the pools' reach; walk a little less than a hundred meters and you're in Los Arcos de Hermano's open Camp Site for more exciting outdoor programs and games.








Los Arcos de Hermano is located in Paradise Farms, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan. It is only 20 minutes away from Fairview (SM Fairview, Robinson's Fairview). You won't have to pass through NLEX anymore. It has been operating for 4 years, but is still continuously developing its grounds for a better, bigger, and more exciting team building venue, family place, and events area.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Where to Stay in Baler: SMART Beach House

There's a huge difference between an establishment directly managed by its owner, and one remotely managed albeit with proper guidance. The difference may not clearly be seen in their books/profits as there are a lot of factors that may affect this. Rather, it is in their customers' experience that this can be drastically felt.

Such is the case with SMART Beach House along Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora. The owners are hands-on in taking care of the business - welcoming the guests, serving them breakfast, assisting in WiFi concerns, etc. It makes the customers feel more valued, which makes their stay feel a lot more worthwhile. It weaves a personal touch to their experience in the resort.

It's a game changer. You're searching "where to stay in Baler" in Google, and a lot of options pop up. You have been to the surf-clad beach several times, and a lot of popular accommodations stand out. Which do you choose this time?

New Building
Yes, SMART Beach House is just along Sabang Beach!
SMART Beach House is a good pick for your accommodations in Baler. It offers a peaceful and relaxing escape from the busy side of Sabang Beach. It is situated beside Pacific Waves Inn and is located just a few meters off Nalu Resort and Costa Pacifica. Say hello to convenience as it stands by the beach - see the waves, or the vast view of the Pacific Ocean bordered by the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges, in an instant!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Balai Anilao

We were in need of a quiet, peaceful break from the stressful atmosphere in Manila, so we turned to Google to search for an affordable sanctuary in Anilao, Batangas. We stumbled upon Balai Anilao, read positive reviews about it in Tripadvisor.com, and booked at once! We weren't sure what to expect as its rates were relatively cheaper than other resorts in Mabini, Anilao, but we trusted in its ratings and headed on.

It took us a good 3 hours to reach the place. The resort is located at the far side of Mabini, Anilao's shoreline. Keep your driving speed to a minimum as they only have a small sign that says "BALAI Parking," which leads to a grassy parking space. We went down the cemented steps towards the sea, walked through stones and sediments by the beach (avoid girly sandals), and reached the friendly place known as Balai Anilao.

We were in awe of what we saw! Everything we were expecting was spot-on. The view of the ocean, the serene atmosphere, the rustic vibe of the place... Most importantly, Balai has a friendly and excellent crew who knows proper customer service.




This is the place for you if you want to have a solitary time with the sea. Stare at it all you want from Balai's dining area, "dock," or veranda. Mats and pillows can be borrowed as well.

Take note that this is a diving resort, so expect no fine sand. Bring your booties as the shore is rocky. If you do not have booties, you may rent at the resort for P100 per day.

We settled down in our room only to be greeted by another surprise - the view was incredible!

The view from our room

Native room set-ups

One of the airconditioned rooms located directly in front of the ocean

The rooms at night
Balai's rooms do not have TVs as their main purpose is to get us in touch with nature and the basics. We are, after all, escaping from the stressful rush of the city. They have, however, an airconditioning system, hot and cold shower, and generator (in case brownout strikes). The rooms are small but comfortable, and the comfort rooms are clean.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Where to Stay in Iloilo City: DB's Hometel

If you are looking for a homey retreat while in Iloilo City, you have to try DB's Hometel.

As the name implies, it is a home-hotel that offers budget-friendly accommodations to the frequent traveler. A single room costs P950 per night while a twin room costs P1,000 per night. This comes with a free breakfast.

Click here for their complete room rates.



You won't have to worry about sanitation as the rooms and comfort rooms are clean. The only downside were the water heater and water pressure. The heater wasn't working, and hardly any water was pouring out of the shower.

What I loved best was their kitchen. Merely looking at it made me feel like I am at home.

More to that, they staff were very accommodating. Actually, everyone in Iloilo has been very accommodating!

DB's Hometel is located in a small alley in DB Ledesma St., Jaro, Iloilo City (but the main entrance is in Jalandoni St., Jaro, Iloilo City). It is near SM City Iloilo.

Click here to visit their website for more information.


Photos shot using smartphone