The best of Asia

Contains all my trips within Asia

The Kingdom of Siam

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@ Clark International  airport with my sister and mom.

We are going on a 6-day (April 23-28) trip to Bangkok. It’s not the usual amazing race tour because we need not wake up early therefore it’s gonna be a relaxing one. It will be my mom’s nth time in Thailand hence we didn’t purchase any package tour. Our airfare tickets cost around P5000 each via Seair. I was so excited for this trip coz I’ve heard a lot of stories from Mama about this place.

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We stayed at Four Seasons.. International House.. (Hehe Kala mo yung sosyal na hotel noh!? Syempre budget Traveller mga to.) 

We did a little stroll along the area. Exchanged dollars for Baht and found thisImage

Kahit papano may nakakapag english pa naman sa kanila.

From here we bought our tours.

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We were looking for money changers but we found this  night market along the area. It was great to know that all shopping centers like MBK, Platinum, Prattunam Market are only walking distance from our hotel. After dinner we slept early and prepared ourselves for a whole day city tour.

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Elephant ride in the jungle for only 600 Thai Baht per head.

It was a bit scary because they’re really big and the one you’re sitting on isn’t really safe you could fall off anytime. I had to tighten my grip because I was a bit worried.

Our elephant’s name is Boe. Everytime his trainer says “Hey Boe” “Boe would respond through trumpeting (I got this word on yahoo).

But I pity those elephants because their skin looks like it has been ripped off.

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Our tour guide said that the original floating Market in Thailand is in Damnoen Saduak. It is  110 kilometers from Bangkok in Rachaburi province. There are a lot of good stuffs here like clothes, hats, sandals, souvenirs etc.  You can even buy your lunch from boats floating along the area.

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I’ve noticed that Thai people has preserved their rich culture very well. This Market has been here for over 100 years.

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sipping coconut while shopping. Aylavet!!

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Handicraft Center

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Two men started carving this 2 years ago. It still ain’t done pero hanep ang galing!!Image

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Here’s a closer look of this ingenious art.

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Furnitures that they’re selling

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I wanna buy this one for my library. I can’t afford it. It’s so expensive. Furnitures here are being exported all over the world

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Donya Wilma our sponsor for every tour.

Next Stop: Samphran Elephant Ground

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We watched Elephant Show

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fed the elephants 🙂

ImageCrocodile  Show

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Took photos with the tiger which is the scariest thing I’ve done in my life.

After my sister put down the Tiger’s tail one of them looked at us with ready to kill look and growled. Luckily I’m still alive.

I wonder how they trained them not to kill people hence I did some research and found out that these Tigers were drugged. I feel sad about it. Let’s not  support this kind of business. I’d rather see happy looking Tigers than groggy, sad and abused animals. If you love to travel be a protector of these creatures and the environment because one day travelling won’t be fun anymore because everything has been ruined by man.

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After all encounters with wildlife and a bit of  Taste of Thai’s culture, We went to see a cultural show called “Siam Niramit” It is one of the world’s greatest show.

This show is about Thailand’s history and culture and their early affairs with neighboring countries.

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I am a big fan of Theme Parks. My mom gave up a day of shopping to experience this theme park. I will create a separate post for this one. Watch out 🙂

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I am not a buddhist but I know some Buddhist principles that I apply in my life. 🙂

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. This temple is called Wat Traimit it houses a 3-meter tall Golden Buddha image

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Wat Pho houses the  giant Reclining Buddha. Tulala talaga ako sa laki nito. I didn’t expect it to be this big. Iba talaga ang sa picture at sa totoong buhay.

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Syempre nag wish kame! 🙂

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Grand Palace in Bangkok. This is the King’s palace that I’m referring to in my blog’s tag line.

I love the food in thailand we even survived by thriving on street food. While we were here we ate a lot of fruits that are being sold on the streets. Our favorite is Durian which is very cheap compare to those being sold in the Philippines. There are also lots of fashionable clothes which are very not costly. The people are friendly who are very much like filipinos. Even if they could not speak english well, it’s not that hard to communicate with them. Sometimes, I do get lost in translation but we managed to figure it all out.

Our tour in Bangkok is nothing like the other Asian trips I’ve had.  Bangkok is like a one-stop shop of everything. It’s a big city but you will also experience a country-side like tour. It houses all kinds of shopping centers for all levels of consumers,  You can pig out on food because everything tastes good. They have a very rich culture which is interesting and they will let you experience wildlife that cannot be seen elsewhere.

Will I ever go back again? Yes. because I have not experienced their red light district and I haven’t seen Phuket. Now you know why wonder why I love to wander in Thailand.

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Categories: Thailand, The best of Asia | Tags: | Leave a comment

Butterfly meets the Merlion

My mom sis, cousin and Mama’s BFF and kids went to Singapore . I was really excited for this trip because it’s been 2 years since I went out of the country plus I heard a lot about Singapore that is why I know that I’m gonna have a lot of fun here. Actually mom’s original travel plan for this summer is an Asian cruise (star cruse). However I told her that I don’t wanna stay on the vessel long enough. I want to see Singapore in it’s entirety not just a portion of it and a portion of Bangkok and another portion of Malaysia. So she realized that it’ll be better to visit one country at a time instead of seeing them partly.
Day 1
This is my cousin Irish Joy at Seair’s plane. It was my first time to board seair I guess their plane is cozier than CebuPac’s, this is because we were not crowded there were a lot of empty seats that time. Our fare only costs around P7,000.
For some weird reason, when I was young I thought Singapore is a part of the Philippines. I thought it was a distant province. It was my aunt who told me that Singapore is a country. I don’t actually remember why I thought that way. But I guess it was because Singapore was part of the everyday news back then..
My first impression of Singapore after I got out of Changi airport is that it looks like Clark. I think its very nice because there are loads of trees even if you’re inside a city. I wish Angeles City was like this.
We were starving when we arrived at Singapore. After we checked in at Hotel 81 Bugis, Our local friend brought us here. I’m sorry but I don’t remember the name of some of the food that we ate here.. But I’ll guarantee you that the food here is really great! I’ll give it a rating of 5 out of 5.
Vegetable soup 🙂
Chicken Rice
This one looks and tastes like chop suey
Coconut in can I love this one
Chili crab
Shrimp
Squid
After eating loads, we got back at the hotel and guess what we did? we slept. We were not in a rush because we are gonna be here for 5 days anyway. That’s why I’m never gonna book a 3 day tour again coz you’re not gonna savor the trip that much when you’re always in a hurry.
When I woke up it was already nightfall. We hit the streets and went to Suntec mall and booked for the hop in and hop off tour bus. Then it was again time for dinner.
Then after we got our tickets, we went for a little stroll and ate dinner again
Beach Road Singapore
Singapore’s traffic management is comparable to New York City
I like the City’s ambiance. It’s very modern, there are cameras all over the city and you’ll feel really secured to walk around, just make sure you won’t break the rules coz Singapore is a FINE city. You’ll get fined for every wrong move :p
There are plenty of restaurants a few steps from the hotel and we chose a Shabushabu house that is a bit different from what is being served in Fortune Restaurant in Angeles City. Here you get to choose the food that will be part of your shabushabu soup. There loads to choose from. There are squid, frogs,pork, squidballs, shrimp, fish, vegetables and many many more.
Preparing shabushabu
Again, I am so full, I ate so much. We decided to sleep early to prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s adventure. I’m lovin Singapore on the first day even if we haven’t done a lot of things.
Day 2
Our next stop is at Sentosa. Universal Studios is what I’m really looking forward here in Singapore. I love theme Parks! 🙂
This bus can take us anywhere in Singapore
Finally we’re here 🙂 I like it here at Sentosa it’s like a one stop place for fun. However 1 day is not enough.
USSG wee I’m so happy I feel like a kid 🙂
Woody Wood Pecker
He is the cutest guy I’ve seen in Singapore. However he’s a horse.. :p haha!!
New York Singapore. This portion is really cool because I really felt as if I’m in NYC
Craziest ride I’ve experienced in my entire life.
After a whole day in USSG ou next stop is to see the light show and Ocean Park
We missed the bus that will take us back to Suntec Mall, so we had to take the taxi home.
But before we called the night. We tried a treat that we definitely love.
Ice cream 😀 There is an ice cream house in Bugis Street that you shoudn’t miss! Especialy if you love durian
Day 3
The next day, we woke up early to eat The food Republic and set ourselves for another round of exhausting adventure. And here we are for another round of City Tour and fun fun fun 🙂
I bought these clothes in Suntec. I was running out of clothes already coz I change a lot during this trip
Seems that we were the only tourist on the bus.. Naaa!! They were all downstairs coz It just rained. They’re scared to get wet :p
Check out the photos that we got when we were on top of the bus
Police Station
Skycrapers
Singapore Flyer
We are at Sentosa again..
able car ride in SG is better than Cable Car ride in ocean Park Hong Kong.
Marina Bay Sands most beautiful structure I’ve ever seen. Someday I will experience you..haha! Papayaman muna ako :p
Night Safari at Singapore
The fire dance
Then again, before we end the night, we had another round of Ice cream
Durian Sago Ice cream–The best!
At the end of the night my Joy and I went to Clark Quay and had some fun.
Night life at Clark Quay: The clubs were too crowded that’s why we decided to just have few drinks.

Tiger Beer is good but Red Horse is better :p
Day 4
On our last day we had a very weird experience right after we check out from the hotel. Mom and thea gone shopping at the nearby stores while Joy and I was waiting for Roslie at the bus stop. Some guy from Sri Lanka went up to us and ask about a mall we don’t know about. And then he introduced himself and started a little chat. He said he was alone and he was in SG for a film project he was asking if we would like to have lunch with him but we told him that we’re about to leave soon.. Then he started talking about being so good in giving massage and he tried to convince me to get into the hotel and promised me that his intention was clean and he just wants to be friend. Then we noticed that a 4 or 5 men that looks like somewhere from his country started to surround us and they chatted with him. I started to get nervous and we suddenly walked away and entered in 711 where we feel very safe. Then they were gone. Thank God nothing bad happened. Then we also went to little India and shopped for Chocolates
Before we boarded the plane we had a delicious treat from:
Steak
My lunch
And of course, ICE CREAM!! :))
And that ends my trip to Singapore. Overall I love Singapore. I wish to go back even if it’s just for a day. Guess where I’ll spend it? in Universal Studios of course! I wish I could post all our photos and share you every details and share everything that I learned during this trip. Maybe I’ll just save those for your questions. Please feel free to comment, ask questions, give suggestions and follow this blog.
See you on my next trip 🙂
-Zzy Martinez
Categories: Singapore, The best of Asia | Tags: | Leave a comment

Panda Hotel Review- Tsuen Wan Hong Kong

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Panda Hotel is only 30 minutes away from the hong Kong International Airport in Tsuen Wan.Its location is also accessible because it is near the MTR. Cabs are also available everywhere. When we got in, I was surprised because I didn’t expect that it will look like a 5 star hotel, because I know that my mother would not spend so much just for the hotel. I actually love it. It’s very clean and even smells good inside. 

Every time we got back in the hotel, the rooms were cleaned already. I like their services a lot. You can even trust them coz nothing got lost during our stay.

But I’d rather not stay here because I like it better in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST).  is like the grand central station for Hong Kong Shopaholics. Panda hotel is the very last stop of MTR, it’s like an hour away from TST. On our first day, we even took the cab and its very expensive till we learned to ride the MTR. But I’m not discouraging you from availing the hotel’s services; it’s a good hotel, go for it.

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Mending my broken heart in Hong Kong

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This Hong Kong trip is supposed to be my 18th birthday gift from my father (Alternative to USA trip because our visa application was denied). However we were only able to pursue this trip a 3 years later (Hindi ko alam bakit hindi matuloy-tuloy). So I was already 21 when I had my first out of the country tour and to my dismay natapat pa sa panahon pinagpalit ako ng jowakels ko ng 5 years sa iba. 

We woke up at around 5am for this trip. I was excited but the extra baggage in my heart makes me feel sluggish. I couldn’t feel complete happiness because at the back of my mind I wasn’t okay.

Buti na lang hindi chinecheck in ang baggage sa dibdib kase kung hindi sigurado magbabayad mama ko ng excess baggage. hehe 

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Yey! This is gonna be my first airplane ride. I look happy and excited don’t I?

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Hindi kami napigilan ng swine flu para magtour kahit na nagmamakaawa papa ko.

We stayed at Panda Hotel in Tsuen Wan. Read my review of the hotel here: https://gagaymartinez.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/panda-hotel-review-tsuen-wan-hong-kong/

For this trip my mom purchased a package tour for us. This is like her third time being here. She was in charge of everything since we have no idea how these tours go.

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See how happiness reflects on my face

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On our first day we walked and walked and walked and shopped just like the Hong Kong nationals in Tsuen Wan. Walking along Tsuen Wan made me forget about my problems. Being here feels different which I could not really express in words. The city has a character of its own that seem to feed all the people here with great energy.

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My sister and I. People think we’re also chinese :p

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Nanay ko nakaisip ng pose na to. Pagbigyan nyo na pls.. siya naman ang nagbayad ng trip na to. hahaha!

Jet Li’s angels @ the Avenue of the Stars

Trivia: According to our tour guide Lovely (Kapangalan nya  yung pinagpalit sakin ng ex ko) You are considered wealthy in Hong Kong if you run at least 7 businesses.

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@ Aberdeen fishing village. Hirap ng walang tripod na dala. Sa panahon na to wala pa kming dslr kaya medyo chakabels pa mga pic. 🙂

Next stop happiest place on earth: Disney Land Hong Kong

The moment I set my foot in this place, it felt like Thinkerbell sprinkled some magic dust on me. I heard familiar music playing then my sister and I started guessing which Disney Movie the music was played and we sang along. I felt like I child I wanted to run and play. I felt like a 7 year old again

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When I saw this Mickey I was jumping for joy!

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napa nga nga talaga ako sa ganda ng nakita ko sa lugar na to. When I said nga nga i mean it in a good way not the NGA NGA! we know today

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Black Rice: Best dessert in Hong Kong can be found in Disneyland

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And then I saw the Disney princesses. Everything reminded me of my childhood. The hole in my heart? I forgot about it. I was completely happy and I guess it helped me forgot about the bad things that happened just few days ago.

The place is too big. Hindi talaga namin nasulit. I wish to go back someday and I’ll spend a day in this place. I don’t know why travel agents try to jam pack all tours in 1 day. If you’re purchasing a package tour make it sure that you’ll be able to spend one whole day in Disneyland and another day in Ocean Park. Because believe me a day isn’t even enough for these theme parks.

Trivia: If it wasn’t for the terrorism in Mindanao before, Hong Kong Disneyland should have been Philippines/ Clark Disneyland. Sayang we were not chosen.

Next stop: Ocean Park

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Lahat ng klase ng laslas pulso na rides andito

The difference between disneyland and Oceean Park is that Disneyland is more like for kids because there are really no extreme rides. and ocean park is more like for adults who loves extreme rides. Be prepared for walking. The distance between rides is big. you really have to walk far and fast to get to the next ride plus you need to fall in a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong line.

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There are also lots of cute animals here like this Panda who pooped and made as all say “aaaaaaawwww” when he yawned. He really looks adorable.

On our last day we decided to have another round of shopping. We tried to look for Mongkok and we got lost. It was fun getting lost here.

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This photo reminds me of the movie Taken

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I love the street foods in HK 🙂

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At siyempre chena lang na nagshopping kame sa Feragamo at Prada dito sa Hong Kong :p

So that wraps up my first tour here in HK. This iconic city has definitely helped me forget for a while. I forgot that I was nursing a heartbreak. Here I experienced complete happiness that has help me numbed the pain..me ganon!? Ang drama ko noh!

HK is the beginning of my journey in circumnavigating the world. It is where my learning starts. See you on my next trip! O sya na! Bago dumanak ang dugo..Adios!

Categories: Hong Kong, The best of Asia | Tags: | 1 Comment

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