Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Wat Pho" In Bangkok

"Wat Pho" or the Temple of The Reclining Buddha is the largest temple in Bangkok and is very famous for it's majestic reclining Buddha.  It is located just behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.  Thailand is known for it's many grand and well maintained temples and your visit to the country will not be complete without paying a visit to one of these temples.  For this trip, we have chosen to spend half day at Wat Pho or  the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

We left the hotel past 9 AM.  I was lucky to have contacted a taxi just after 5 minutes of waiting in front of the hotel.

One tip that I would share with you when you are in Bangkok is to check with the taxi driver first if he is using the meter before you board the taxi.  Some of the taxi drivers are taking advantage of foreigners and don't want to use the meter.  However, you always have an alternative transportation just in case, as there are also plenty of "tuk-tuks" around the city and there is a BTS monorail transit which is a way cheaper.

We reached our destination in a matter of 15 mins and I was surprised to see how many tourist buses were there around the area.  The taxi driver told me that it is a normal thing there and that the  buses come in the same number everyday.  Really surprising!

Entrance Fee to Wat Pho is THB100 per person or about $3.50.  This includes the whole day pass and a bottle of cold mineral water (lol).  Maybe because they are anticipating that it's really tiring to roam around that very huge area.  It's really big inside and there are a number of temples to visit.

Our first stop was at the temple of the reclining Buddha.  We were mesmerized by the grand reclining Buddha statue in hues of gold.  A excellent work of art!

For the Thai people, this is a very sacred temple and visitors are expected to show respect for their belief and tradition while at the temple.  We were asked to remove our shoes and they gave us a blue cloth bag to put our shoes in place while roaming inside.  Those foreigners who were in sleeveless and shorts were given robes to wear while inside the temple. It's fortunate though that they allowed visitors to take photos and videos. 

I took part in doing one of the traditions of the "Thais" while inside the temple, and that is to drop 1 pc of coin in every bowl along that long line leading to the exit. I bought THB20 worth of small coins in a small bowl and I was offered a prayer by a temple worker as he handed to me the bowl of coins.

As we went out of the temple of the Reclining Buddha, we took some fresh air while posing for pics at the compound where gardens and water features are located.  You would notice from the pics. that there were so many Europeans visiting Bangkok. 

There are so many golden statues around. The architecture of the temples are really awesome!

You will not feel tired to look around as everything that you see is a master piece. Wonderful works of art!

A visit to "Wat Pho" has been a very beautiful experience for all of us.  This cultural master piece had just shown how rich Thailand is when it comes to their history and tradition.  All the places I visited at Bangkok had only proved that Thailand's cultural heritage is still intact and this makes the country a favorite destination for travelers.

Wat Pho is located at 2 Sanam Chai Road Bangkok, Thailand.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bangkok's Madam Tussauds Wax Museum

Bangkok, known as the shopping capital of the world due to it's large number of shopping malls, markets and shops is not only a haven for shopping.  Well, that's also what I thought before I came to visit this amazing city in Thailand.  I discovered that apart from being a shopping paradise, Bangkok is also home to many attractions such as parks, museums and temples.  On our second day at Bangkok, we took the chance to visit Madam Tussauds Wax Museum located on the 6th Floor of Siam Discovery right at the heart of Bangkok.

Madam Tussauds is a home to over 90 wax figures distributed on 10 zones.  Inside the museum, you will get that chance to see, touch and even have a photo taken with your famous international celebrities.  Political leaders, artists and international showbiz personalities were among the subject of the wax figures and you may be surprised that they appeared to be there "for real" as the wax figures were made exactly how these personalities are, copying exactly their facial features, hair, skin tone, eyes, physique... everything!

Here are some of our photos taken inside the museum:

Me, posing with a known political leader.  Can you recognize him?

Below, my daughter grabbing a chance to sit on Queen Elizabeth's throne. I bet, you could feel that excitement wearing that Royal crown (lol)

Below, a photo of my daughter with the famous artist, Picasso

Here are more of our favorites! with Brad Pitt?

How about posing with your favorite sports personalities?

And how about seeing yourself giving a speech on TV?

These are just some of the many exciting things that you can see and experience inside the Madam Tussauds Wax Museum.  I think you should prepare extra batteries for your cameras and cell phones as well as extra memory cards as you will never ran out of exciting photo opps with all your favorite stars.

You can also end up your visit to Madam Tussauds by grabbing some souvenir items at the museum's souvenir shop located near the exit.  Prices ranging from THB50 to THB500.

So if you happen to visit Bangkok and you want to experience a different excitement, apart from shopping of course, then you can have a visit to Madam Tussauds Wax Museum.  It is ideally located right inside the Siam paragon mall and near to MBK mall so, it's not really out of the way if you want to experience a different kind of fun.

Tips :  The entrance ticket to the museum is being sold at Siam Paragon at a discounted price of THB680.  It's original price is THB800.  But I got my tickets from the hotel's tours and travel office and it's much cheaper at THB550.  If you want, you will also have the option to buy a combo ticket at a much cheaper price and that includes a visit to Siam Ocean World located on the same building.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dream World Theme Park : Bangkok Thailand

On top of my list on our Bangkok tour is a visit to Dream World Theme Park, Thailand's very own Disneyland!  This is one of the many attractions in Bangkok and a favorite destination of both locals and tourists.  This is a must see place for both kids and adults and is really ideal for the whole family. 

From our hotel, we got here by taxi which costs me about THB300 or $10.  I bought our ticket from the hotel's tours and travel agency which enabled me to saved a lot from the actual price.  I paid THB530 per pax which includes free entrance to the park, unlimited rides and a free buffet lunch at the park's food pavilion.

We arrived at the theme park past 10 AM and after getting our stickers and meal ticket at the office entrance, we immediately headed to the park's main gate.

Inside the park, you can find a lot of interesting views which are really great for photo shoots.  I particularly like the "Love Garden" and the reason is obvious, I like anything that's colorful and vibrant!  Just like my home garden....  :)

This is my weakness! Seeing so many plants and flowers in a beautifully landscaped garden.

Both my son and daughter were equally delighted seeing lots of interesting views and subjects inside the theme park.  

There are lots of attractions inside Dream World and it seems like one day is not enough to satisfy yourself with the rides or simply to roam around and appreciate the wonderful views of the theme park.

For the young and the young at heart, Dream World offers numerous rides that you will surely enjoy.  You won't get out there until you feel exhausted! Dream World also features a live "Hollwood action show" and an opportunity to meet your favorite cartoon characters in a spectacular, "Colors of the World Parade".  Too bad, these two were cancelled during the time of our visit.  Maybe it depends on the crowd on a particular day.  Dream World features four areas : Fantasy Land, Adventure Land, Dream Garden and Dream Plaza.

There are lots of interesting stuff to see inside Dream World that you can't hardly notice the passing of time.  Actually, the park closes at 5PM, so at this time, rides are starting to cease their operations but they will give you an allowance of 30 mins to enjoy the rest of the scenery and to complete your picture taking before they finally closed down the main gate.

On our way out to the main gate, we were surprised seeing our pictures on display at one shop.  Some were nicely framed, and others were transferred into ceramic plates with the Dream World logo and background.  Hmmm...only then we realized why some Dream World staff took our pictures when we entered the park in the morning.  It might be an additional way for them to earn "extra money" but it's okay because it's also good to bring a souvenir back home.  Anyway, they will not force you to buy if you don't like.  The decision is up to you.

Overall, our visit to Dream World was indeed a pleasant experience and we had fond memories of our one whole day stay inside the theme park. :)

Note: There are so many ways to get to Dream World Bangkok.  You can opt to go there by metered taxi, by aircon bus and by train.  You can also ask your hotel to arrange a transport for you, only that it would be more costly.

Tips : If you are traveling in group, like 3 or more, it would be more convenient to take a metered taxi just like what we did.  It only costs us nearly $10, so it's just about $3 per person.  This is a better alternative especially if you're bringing a small kid with you. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bangkok Tour : At The Hotel

We just had visited Bangkok, Thailand last October 28 and we've stayed there for a week.  This is actually a continuation of my vacation in the Philippines.  Going for a Bangkok tour was a promise I made to my kids.  This is their prize for doing good in school and for not giving me any head ache while I'm away from home.  Yes, they are such a lovely kids and they very well deserved the trip.

Apart from treating my kids, this tour is also my personal gift to myself.  After having stayed in Cambodia working and not having much leisure times, I just think that I well deserved a break.

We had a good trip to Bangkok via Tiger Airways last 28th of October.  It was a pleasant trip and though there was a bit of delay (about an hour), we arrived at Bangkok safe and sound.  I already booked my hotel for our one week stay so everything is easy.  After choosing from countless hotels in Bangkok, I've finally decided to book at Bangkok City Hotel.  This hotel is located at Pechburi Road right in the heart of Bangkok.  I have chosen this hotel for a number of reasons: good location, modern and new facilities (hotel was just built last 2010), nice hotel amenities including a swimming pool on the 5th floor and a self serviced laundry area, convenience as they have a tour agency inside the hotel and of course value for money.

Photos in front of the hotel.

Just beside the hotel, on the right side, you can find a 7-11 convenience store (around 2 mins walk) and in front of 7-11 are 2 ATM machines which I find very helpful in case you need to withdraw some cash.  Cash being dispensed from the machine are all in Thai Baht.  I made use of this facility twice and I didn't have any problem at all.  The bank will normally charge you THB150 for every THB5,000 you withdraw.

On the left side of the hotel, you can find several massage parlours which offer "Thai massage", foot massage and oil massage for a very affordable price.

I was quite pleased to see the facilities of the hotel. All clean and well maintained.  They offer "free wifi" for those who are bringing their laptops and beside the front desk, there is a small business center where you can have a free use of computers and internet for 30 mins each day.  The hotel has 3 elevators so bringing up your luggage will never be a problem.

Photos taken inside the hotel and in our room on the 15th Floor of the building. :)

Hotel's pool on the 5th floor, restaurant on the ground floor and the view of the city of Bangkok from the windows of our room on the 15th Floor.

I wasn't disappointed in choosing this hotel, the service is good and the staff were all nice and warm to their guests.  Rooms amenities are being replenished and changed on a daily basis and rooms are being cleaned everyday.  It's a nice feeling that after you come back to the hotel from whole day's trip around the city, you will arrive in a clean and fresh room.

Well, this is good for a start right? Having chosen a good place to stay, I am now excited to feature the places that we have visited so far.  

Til my next post! Ciao!
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