It’s true, you’ll meet a lot of people and new friends when you travel.
But there are times that you’ll just encounter a person whom you didn’t become a friend, but will leave an indelible mark in your memory.
Just like this woman in Khao San Road in Bangkok. We just finished having a foot massage that night when we decided to stay for a while and drink some beer.
Chang, a Thai beer, was surprisingly good.
It’s not so strong like beers here in the Philippines. It has a mix taste of fruity apple in it. We chatted for a while. We were thankful for our new Pinoy friends in Bangkok for showing us around the city. We were having a great time until a strange woman approached us. She has this weird hair and all. But hey we were in Bangkok, our minds were open for anything new, so it was okay and fun that she talked to us.
We crossed the Chao Phraya River from Wat Arun to reach another temple complex in Bangkok.
Just a few minutes of walking, passing through some shops and street food, we reached Wat Pho or The Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
My high school friend, Gev, went straight to the ticketing booth. There’s an entrance fee worth 100 Baht. While waiting, I took the chance to observe, looked at tuktuks and saw some Thais praying at the little temples. One very significant moment that I’ve witnessed was a mother teaching her daughter how to pray while kneeling and uttering words of praise and meditation.
If you’re a keen diver, you’ve got to head to Thailand. Full of amazing underwater opportunities, the country should be on every diver’s must-visit list. With an average sea temperature of 28 degrees Celsius and beautifully clear waters, conditions are ideal. We’ve picked some of our favourite places. Check them out:
1. Hin Muang
As this Thailand country guide explains, Thailand boasts some of the best diving spots in the world. It’s also one of the cheapest places to learn. They suggest Hin Muang as a great place to start your diving trip. It offers great visibility and the chance to see some large underwater creatures – such as manta rays and whale sharks.
In Hin Muang, you’ll also find purple rock – Thailand’s highest vertical wall, covered with vibrant purple soft corals. But it’s not a dive for newbies, so make sure you’ve got plenty of experience first.
We hailed a taxi in Bangkok going to our next destination. Good thing our friends Joey and Sar, who’ve been based in Bangkok for a while, accompanied us to tour the temples in the city.
The sun has just risen when we arrived at Wat Arun temple. This is one of the most popular landmarks in Bangkok for its spectacular view of the temple from the Chao Phraya River. It creates a stunning reflection and glitter from afar.
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Our journey started at the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Station) for an early morning bus ride going to Cambodia.
The station is just near the center of Bangkok, you can just hail a taxi and you’ll reach the bus station in minutes. Just tell the taxi driver that you’re going to Mochit 2 Bus Station, or you can print out the words in Thai character for easier communication.
This is a huge and more organized terminal than what we have in the Philippines. Some westerners would find the station inferior, but for a Filipino, it’s way better than the bus stations we have back home.
There are two early morning bus schedule going to Siem Reap (8am and 9am), travel time from Bangkok is about 8 hours.
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I was ready to call it a night.
After a whole day of exploring Bangkok with my longtime friends, marvelling at those temples and haggling for the best buys at the weekend market, We were dead tired and ready to just lay on our beds and sleep.
But our newfound friends in Bangkok told us our experience would not be complete without trying Khao San Road which is just a few blocks away from our hotel.
I said, “hmm Khao San Road…Khao San Road.” I kept repeating it a few times before deciding to give it a try. I even convinced my travel buddies to go with us.
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I remember my excitement for this trip.
It was my first time to travel outside the Philippines. I have been travelling within my country for quite some time, and to experience other culture is something that I always look forward to.
At 2 in the morning, we landed at Bangkok International Airport, commencing my journey with my close friends in the captivating countries of Thailand and Cambodia. We planned to stay in Thailand for a few days, explore the city then backpack towards Cambodia by bus.
Arriving at Thailand airport already had an effect on me. I was amused at how the structure reflects the Thai culture, unlike our airport way back home which is just basic and plain.
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