Bangkok: Elephants, Temples and The Shopping Mecca of Asia

14 Mar

We were all excited to start exploring the beautiful city of Bangkok. On our official first day, we got up at 7am and was out of our doors by 7:30 am.

First, we finally got the chance to have our money exchanged. (Currency: Php1 = Thb 0.71)

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We were given a complimentary City Tour by our transport service. Since we had a bit of time before our pickup time at 8am, we got a chance to explore Pratunam.

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We found out that the location of our hotel was the best for shoppers. We lived right across the cheapest shopping area for clothes. (Most dresses were at Thb 100 – Thb 200) Though, we weren’t able tos hop yet because we didn’t have time.

By around 8:30, we finally began our city tour. The tour guide was really unfriendly at first. She was sort of rude and very unhelpful. She never gave us information unless we asked. But she eventually became nicer as the day continued.

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Our first stop was at Kulampong Temple. The majestic beauty of this temple was simply breathtaking. We weren’t given information about the temple though. We were left to appreciate the temple by ourselves, so we just resorted to taking pictures instead.

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Our next stop was in Gems Gallery International Manufacturer. This was probably my least favorite among all the paces we’ve been to that day. But the place was interesting and beautiful all the same. The tour would start off with them showing you a VTR of how different gems are made into jewelry. Next, they will show you their factory and then finally, to their showroom that featured rows upon rows of beautiful gem-encrusted jewelries. I wasn’t able to take pictures inside though because photos were not allowed inside.

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We were supposed to go to Hua Hin for our elephant riding. However, we were advised by our guide that the Elephant Village was nearer. We finally agreed after negotiating the price of the round trip fee to Thb 1,500 (divided by 5 people = Thb 300 / pax). The trip from Bangkok to the Elephant Village was for 1 & 1/2 hour.

We also had our lunch in one of the roadside restaurants that served authentic Thai restaurant.

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I ended up having a bowl of Tom Yum Noodles. It was really good and spicy enough for my taste. I spent Thb 40 for the noodles and Thb 10 for the bottle of mineral water.

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They make the noodle soup in front of you and will also give you a choice of what kind of noodle you want.

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After satisfying our hungry bellies, it seemed like our tour guide developed a better mood because she gave us one pack of tamarinds for dessert.

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We finally got to the Elephant Village 30 minutes after we had our lunch. We were all excited to finally meet these Asian gentle giants.

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We paid Thb 600 per person to have a 30-minute trek in the elephants’ backs.

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Our elephant’s name was Tong Yu. His trainer has been with him for 20 years already. It was a really thrilling and amazing experience.

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Though the trainers were somewhat rude because they demanded for tips, we still had a great time. We went around the jungle and even crossed a small river. After the ride, they usually sell a snapshot of yourself. After the ride, they usually you a snapshot of yourself for Thb 200. But it’s up to you if you’ll get or not. We also got the chance to be carried by Tong Yu. We paid Thb 150 for four people.

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This was one of the highlights of my trip to Bangkok. You should definitely try this if you want a complete Bangkok experience. Thought it was a bit expensive compared to temples, it was worth more than every cent we paid.

After experiencing the best of nature, we asked our van to drop us off at Terminal 22 to give our boys some time to shop.

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Terminal 21 is probably one of the most amazing malls I’ve ever been to. It was filled with levels upon levels of different boutiques and stores that had clothes that ranged from cheap to cheap expensive prices.

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One of my favorite part of the mall was their restrooms. I liked the Greek-inspired restrooms that had stone pillars, majestic fountains and huge beautiful mirrors.

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Another favorite was the Persian lanterns in one of their floors. The picture don’t really do half the justice that these beauties deserve, but I hope it’ll give you a bit of an idea how amazing these looked.

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Tired from all the extreme activities we did the entire day, we decided to have one heavy snack in one of the restaurants we saw in their gigantic food court, Yoshinoya. It was a Japanese restaurant. I had Green Iced Tea, which I really hated, and a small bowl of Beef Rice Bowl, which was exceptionally good.

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When we finally finished, we took a taxi outside the mall going back to Pratunam. We paid Thb 200 for the whole trip since there were 5 of us. On our ride going back to our street, we experienced the terrible traffic in Bangkok. It took us almost an hour to arrive when the trip would normally take around 10 minutes without traffic.

We took the chance to shop around the Pratunam sidewalk shops before walking back to our hotel. There were lots of shops that sold Thb 150-dresses, shoes and anything you can think of. This street is truly the best shopping area for shoppaholics.

After a few minutes of rest in our hotel, we changed into shorts and tshirts, and went back outside to have dinner.

We tried the Thb 15 chicken barbecue, which was really good.

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We also ate Chicken Pad Thai (Thb 65) and Coconut Juice (Thb 35) in one of the sidewalk restaurants.

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wpid-20140303_225255.jpgWe ended the night with one can of beer in our rooms. Just enough alcohol to make sure we get a good night rest for another long day tomorrow.

Today was a good start to our Bangkok adventure. Tomorrow will be another day of immersing in this beautiful city’s culture.

Till then, toodles! ❤

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