Thursday, May 19, 2005

Sawasdee Kaa Bangkok, Thailand

Sawasdee Kaa Bangkok, Thailand

I was a little girl left alone in NAIA Terminal 1, not really little at least I felt little. I was there on my own…bravely overcoming fear of being left alone in a foreign place. My destination…Bangkok, Thailand.

Sawasdee Kaa (with a low nod). Thai people are really sweet when they say the phrase which means greetings in their native tongue.

I arrived at Bangkok International airport after 3 hours & 15 minutes, a coach from the conference welcomed me at the airport. Then we were on our way to the Menam Riverside Hotel. It is located outside the main city of Bangkok. It lies near the famous Chao Phraya River. The hotel, although old is beautiful and truly very Thai-ish. The people in Thailand are very sweet, polite & helpful especially with directions. I was able to see a few temples with all the various kinds of Buddha...standing, lying, kneeling, sitting etc. Buddha in all his glory and positions hehehe.

Bangkok’s skytrain is very much like our MRT except for the way people avail of the electronic card. Theirs is high tech. I went to Chatuchak weekend market with a new friend I met there, a Filipina who happens to be a director of an environmental NGO situated at Cagayan de Oro. We went to the other side of Bangkok in hot pursuit of an adventure and shopping. From Menam Riverside Hotel, Ate Au and I rode the hotel’s canal boat We stopped at Saphan Taksin, the very first skytrain station from where we reside. From Saphan Taksin we transferred to BTS2 where the central station for 1 & 2 is Siam. The last stop is where we took off, it is the Mo Chit station. From the train station, the Chatuchak Park is just 50 meters away. At the back of the park is the market. This is where the real adventure begins.

Lot ra kha dai mai? This is the term that I mastered hehehe. It simply means any discount? Hehehe. A few Thai appreciates it when you haggle. They like tourists asking them to lower their prices and they are very eager to give. When you shop in Thailand you have to forget about the convertion rate. And you’ll enjoy shopping from clothes to bags to shoes, trinkets, souvenirs and even dogs. Yes they sell puppies like bags there. Cute little pups were placed on the huge baskets. Dogs with all kind of breeds are all there ready for their new masters.

Thailand is very much dominated by tourists, in fact I think I have seen more foreigners than local people. And I have grandest dinner ever at Bangkok Oriental Hotel, it is not really about the food. It was the company, I dined out with my bosses and the posh people of Thailand were dining at the very same veranda we were dinning. The place was really something, it has a French Quarter which is exactly what it looked like from hundred of years ago. It was well maintained and since Thailand was never colonized the architecture was preserved.

And then I have to go home. I was so excited to go home. My four days in Bangkok seems like forever. Being in Thailand weather wise is really just like the hot Manila weather. In fact it is hotter out there and humid too. Bangkok was the second hottest place in the planet, second to Mecca. Their normal temp is 40 degrees Celsius. It was really hot outdoors Thailand that you would just want to curl up in your hotel than go around.

When I was leaving the country and arriving back I can’t help but remember the movie “Love Actually” where Hugh Grant’s character as the PM talks about airports and how it brings the feeling of love to everyone. I had a lot of time to spare while waiting for my flight to Bangkok. While sitting on the waiting lounge I missed my family. I thought that if I was really going away for good I would never ever spend my time waiting for the plane to arrive and board us. I would probably wait at the entrance of the airport with my family and will just board on the final call. And when I get back, I would probably run from the immigration to the exit. Hehehe. Oh well, that’s me.

And this is my boring Bangkok story. I will probably upload the airport pictures soon for I don’t have any pictures posing outside a temple or a tourist destination. What I have were pictures of the hotel, the airport and duty free, hehehe all without me.

Feel free to write your comments if you have. I will be writing about something worthwhile soon. The shout outs I mentioned will be uploaded soon. I promise :).

PS: Yes I will be writing about something worthwhile yes, it will be about love and life and my own share of the experience. I am not an expert on this field but letting you guys know what I went through and if I can share about this, and if you could share yours too will be a good waste of our time. Now here’s the teaser, anything less than extra ordinary is just a waste of my time, I don’t want to be 60 years old and married to the second best thinking about whatever happened to the one who got away. Oh well, talking about love is like dancing about architecture. Hahaha labo halo halo :).

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