Our adventure in Cambodia has just ended and it’s Hello Thailand! We arrived in the Poi Pet border around 3:00pm and the sun is still scorching hot. Our van stopped by the the farthest stopover and made us walk. 😛 I was in a bad mood and you can’t blame me. I was hungry, exhausted and felt really hot in my Sunday dress then I had to walk that far?!? This is an adventure right? 😛
Anyhoots, the line in the Cambodian Immigration wasn’t long and the officer who stamped my passport smiled at me and said, “Oh, from Philippines? Mabuhay!” That was enough to lighten my mood. Ang babaw ko diba? 🙂 Buses and vans from Cambodia aren’t allowed to cross the border. I’m not sure with private car owners but buses and cars that came from Thailand are allowed to pass by the Poi Pet border, for some reason that I don’t know. So people who cross the border from Cambodia had to walk from Poi Pet to Aranyaprathet. Don’t worry, it isn’t as long as the walk to Angkor Wat unless you have several loaded bags like ours. In reaching the Thai Immigration, we filled up an Arrival/Departure Card. Be sure to ask for one from the officers there, don’t want to make the same mistake again! Make sure you don’t leave the place of stay and the point of exit blank. Oh, I almost overlook this, don’t loose the red stickers that your driver from Poi Pet gave you. Not that I lost mine but just to tell you someone from their company who is waiting on the other side will fetch you for your second ride going to Bangkok. Those stickers mean they will not have to charge you for another ride.
The Thai Immigration is a well air conditioned place 🙂 a big relief for the heat. After getting your passports stamped, wait at the waiting area and someone will come over for you. Present your red stickers and numbers will be written on those. If you’re early, you get to seat on the front and I’m so glad we did! You’ll ride an open van that will bring you to a canteen and you will have to wait for another 30 minutes or more for an air conditioned van. Then off you’ll go to Bangkok. We had a 40 minute stop over by a 7/11 store on our way to the city and had something to eat. It was a sticky rice and the tastiest fried chicken! My mom loved it.
The Thai people have a deep love for their monarch and it’s family. So it’s a common scene to find pictures and monuments stood for them.
Since we were new in Thailand, we didn’t know that Khao San (the drop-off location) was the hotspot for tourists already. Sorry, wasn’t able to google the place, no internet connection! We tried to contact our friend who lives in Bangkok but we are having trouble with the number he gave us. Still, it was alright both sides did all they could to communicate. Stuck with only our wits, guts and a lot of prayers we searched for a cheaper place to crash on in this unfamiliar city. It was a big help that our good friend Sir John was able to visit Thailand once or twice. His knowledge of the place, despite limited was a beacon of hope for us. We checked in the hotel that he stayed on during conventions, The Nasa Vegas Hotel.
If there was one thing that I took note of the Thai people, it is how helpful and patient they were to foreigners who don’t know where they are going, like us!! Hahaha. Research is really a must when you travel. Our driver, whose job was to only bring us to Khao San Road extended an extra mile to bring us to Nasa Vegas Hotel and even let us use his phone to try and call our friend. Also, the receptionist in the hotel that we stayed in was tolerant enough to guide us in the use of Agoda.com for hotel bookings. It was such an experience that we learned what to do. Though I have to say, what I didn’t like was that the internet connection in the hotel wasn’t free even to its clients who have a checked in on it. You have to pay 150 Baht for a 24 hour connection.
That night, we planned what to do and where to go first tomorrow. We also did our groceries in Family Mart, as Thai prices are almost similar to the Philippines. We had to tighten our budget allowances in order to stretch it further for Singapore. After a long talk, we had good night’s rest in our hotel rooms and the next day we were very ready to jumpstart our Thai adventure!
We inquired for the tourist information at the Hotel’s lobby. The price for going to the Floating Market, city tour, Hua Lumphong Station and Khao San road was a whopping 2,500 Baht! My dad asked if it could be lowered to 1,800 Baht and the driver said he could only lower it to 2,000 Baht. So we said that we had to check outside tours first, he followed us and agreed to the 1,800 Baht. Heehee. 😛 Our first stop was the Floating Market of Damnoen Saduak.
It was a 2 hour ride and I slept a lot! Sloth. 🙂 We inquired for the price and we got the shock of our lives! It costs 2,000 Baht per person there were 5 of us and that’s a total 10,000 Baht almost like 10,000 PHP for a boat ride. Pang partial payment sa tuition ko na yun ah! We were about to leave when they lowered the price from 2,000 Baht per person to 2,000 Baht for 5 persons. Which kinda sold us out, the catch was we can’t go out of the boat to walk on the market and we won’t be able to see the elephants and tigers. So the boat ride adventure began.
We ate noodles for lunch in the boat ride and it wasn’t bad at all. I just didn’t have the appetite to eat around the water, it didn’t smell bad but it sure looked dark and murky. I was careful not to get my soup splashed on. Heehee. After our boat ride, we headed to the Hua Lumphong Station to buy our tickets going to Malaysia the next day. We also ate our lunch (SUPER spicy basil chicken *drools*), bought plane tickets for Sir John’s return to Vietnam and had a cup of ice cold joe before we returned to our driver and headed to a Gem Production Center.
It was free to tour the place and you can shop for souvenirs at a cheaper price. I’m not allowed to take photos inside so I hope I can make do with the outside. In it, you’ll see tons of gems and jewelries adorned in precious stones. Everything was sparkly and so was their price! Haha. So we immediately went on the 2nd floor to check for souvenirs to buy and we didn’t go out empty-handed. 🙂 Our next stop was the Royal Palace.
I was ecstatic to enter the Palace. But someone just pierced my happy bubble when we reached there 4 minutes passed the closing time. 😦 I took pictures of the Palace gates, its instructions, the Palace guard and was really sad deep inside when Dad said “Why don’t we try feeding the birds?”. I think I just felt my happy candles lit up! My brother who felt the opposite was scared to be latched on by birds, they are going to scratch his precious skin daw. Yuck ah, and so I had the joy of scaring him. *inserts evil, Maleficent-like laugh* #MeanSister
Our last stop for that day was at the Khao San Road. Our driver dropped us there and since it was past his shift he left us and went back to the hotel. We walked in all corners of Khao San, bought souvenirs and took pictures as well. By nightfall, we ate dinner in Clandestino, where we met a Thai singer who is a part of a Pinoy band. She works there part time as a waitress and helped us pick the best-selling Pad Thai that they had. After which we headed to the nearest grocery store to buy our needs for the 24 hour train ride to Malaysia.
That’s it for our first day in Thailand. I’ll update y’all for my blog about our trip from Hua Lumphong, Bangkok to Butterworth, Malaysia! Stay tune guys.
Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!