Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas at Bangkok

Dec 22, 2006 (Friday SG). I went out of office around 3pm for flight to Bangkok Thailand (BKK) around 6pm. Unluckily, my friend and I missed the flight for some reason. So we tried to check if there are other flights going to BKK, luckily we had reserved an 8.40pm flight but was delayed of some problem with the reservation. The flight took more or less 2 hours from SG to BKK.

Wow the airport in Thailand is huge. The weather was great, cool breeze around 22 ÂșC. The place of my friend is around 45-minute drive from the airport. I stayed at my friend's penthouse at Tai Ping tower, great place and location overlooking BKK.

My 3-day activities were as follows:
Day 1
1. Breakfast (Chubby Chef atTai Ping Towers)
2. Visit Royal Temple
3. Visit Reclining Buddha (20 acres large)
4. Lunch at Oriental Hotel
5. Siam Ocean World (Siam Paragon Mall)
6. Watch Eragon (Siam Paragon Mall)
7. Dinner at Ootaya (Siam Paragon Mall)




Well traffic in BKK has no difference in Manila. Tricycle is also means of transportation in the metropolis, only different in style because passengers seat at the back car of the motor. Buses pick up passenger along the way and there are street vendors too unlike Singapore, which is very rare.

Day 2
1. Get up at 6am and head to floating market
2. Lunch with Thai friends at Pan Pacific Hotel
3. Jim Thompson House Museum
4. SPA - Thai massage
5. Dinner with other friends
6. Bar at Dome, State Tower
7. Pat Pong! (wow amazing exhibition of ??????)

My second day was the best. My friend's folks
joined us in the floating market (thanks for driving us, more than two hour (back and forth) drive towards the floating market at Dumnuensaduak), it was really a great experience in; imagine people buying food, souvenir and other stuff using a boat, sailing in a canal. My friend's mom is like a tourist too;
she enjoyed the pastille making (candy from coconut).

After arriving home and unloading all things, we went to see his friends and had lunch at Pan Pacific hotel; food was so good the dumplings and the duck (eww i ate the duck skin). I think our lunch last for more or less 2 hours. And after the long lunch they send us off to Jim Thompson House Museum where you can see the traditional thai houses..... all the details of architecture... the roof... etc..

Since we wave a lot of time left, we went to some malls and look for pirated stuff for my mac, unluckily the store, which sells stuff for mac was closed that time. No choice to do so we went window-shopping to other malls, sleeps at starbucks and had thai massage while we wait for other friends for dinner. Finally they came in before the spa finished, Rod, Brandon and Dave (the 1st two are English teacher in Japan and Dave is a stud at NZ). We ate at a riverside restaurant overlooking the suspended bridge. After the not so spicy dinner because Dave is not used to spicy stuff, my friend and I send them off to a cab to a bar, the Dome at State Tower, while we pick up Erika to join in the bar (an English teacher too in Beijing). At the bar..... drink.... chitchat... and plan for next activity. Since we all guys plan to see the pingpong show at Pat Pong then we have to send off Erika to her hotel, yes.. We invited her but she decided not to go =).

Well the show was really awesome hehehe although the performers are quite old (sad to say, that's the only way they can make a living, but maybe a famous prostitute during their 20s) using their genital they did the following:
1. Whistle
2. Insert 3 ping pong balls and shoot in a glass
3. Dart
4. Pull 3-meter cloth with flower
5. Pull 3-meter string with blades
6. Puffing cigarette
7. the best... opening a bottle cap (grosss!!!!)
So dont you have fun with them guys... or else who know what will happen to your toooot... (hahaha)

Day3
1. Lunch with friend's folks
2. Haircut
3. Pack stuff
4. Bye bye BKK
I woke up quite late and was almost lunchtime. My friend's mom prepared lunch for us... she prepared a set of spinach lasagna, corn and onion soup and I was so full huhuhu. After that we went to a salon for haircut and look how my hair looks now hahaha, like an army student. After the haircut we went home immediately to pack our things and leave home early for airport because we cannot tell how the traffic will be. We arrived at the airport 2 hours before the flight back to SG so we spent some time window-shopping, and had dinner there too.

Other pictures: http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/omar.m.montero/Christmas2006

*Images edited using Mac iComics, also thanks for the Xmas gift from my uncle Rene, the Zune and travelling bag :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

BBQ night with THAIs

December 9, 2006. My thai friends here in Singapore, invited me and my friend Foyan for a BBQ at Valley Park condo along river valley road. Before going to the place Foyan and I workout first at One George Street Bldg Fitness First (yes I need to workout first before eating a lot of food hehehe).

Foyan and I arrived around 7pm at the place, bringing along nothing but our hungry stomach =). While others are still doing bbq we grab some chips to fill in first and with carrot thai salad (spicy, oops Foyan almost cry of spiciness).

Eat, eat, eat as if there is no tomorrow.... we had satay, chicken sausage, squid, fishballs, fish and chicken wings for bbq, on top of that we had carrot salad, cucumber with onions and some chips, and red wine for drinks.

I call it BBQ night with Thais because only two of us are filipinos there: me and Foy, and the rest are thai nationals. Most of the time they speak thai, but it does not matter because we have the same language which is laughter =), better than english i suppose.

After bbq we had tiramisu cake to share with the birthday month (+january): Oil, Ning and Kong (in order in picture with cake). Hope to see them this Chritmas in Bangkok.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bintan - Lagoon Resort

December 3, 2006 Sunday. Time for Bintan Island, Lagoon Resort in Indonesia (website: http://web.bintanlagoon.com/) to relase the stress out from work. This is a 55 minute travel by speed boat from Singapore to Bintan. I Woke up around 6.30am to prepare for departure at Tanah Merah ferry terminal. Time difference of -1 hour from Singapore. (1st pix: eating light breakfast in the ferry)
The following were the schedule:
1. Swim with dolphins (quota not met)
2. Snorkeling (cancelled due to monsoon)
3. Surfing
4. Swim
5. Eat
6. Shop (2nd pix: At the hotel lounge overlooking the pool and beach)

Upon arrival at the hotel (Bintan Lagoon Resort), they welcome us with a beat of a tribal drum and a glass of lemon grass iced tea. The hotel lodge is overviewing its pool and the beach resort itself. I asked the guest activities receptionist about the current trip, only to find out that we cannot do snorkeling due to monsoon, also swimming with dolphins was postponed due to lack of people going for the trip, they need at least 8 and we lack 2. After this, we went to the spa attendant to confirm our booking in the afternoon, for full body massage. Since theres nothing else to do so we grab heavy breakfast in the hotel buffet area serving pastries, salad, pancakes, omelet, etc. After eating we went out of the hotel and walk towards the shore, took some pictures at the back of the hotel, pictures with the rocks in the shore, with the waves, and look for good spot to lay down and take a rest. Thinking of what to do, we join the crowd in the beach even though almost everybody are surfing. After few hours we went to the hotel pool and swim for awhile, dress-up and tour around the vicinity of the hotel, and went back to the activities receptionist to check if some trip will push though, and there was no luck.
We went back to the beach, grab some drinks and nap. After an hour or less I and one of my closest friend decided to do surfing. We hired instructors (from top picture, in between my friend and I, is my instructor, Ewan), my instructor was 'Ewan' and my friend's was 'Bimo'. Yes, it was fun to do surfing (tsk tsk) and I only had a chance to stand on the board, 3x and all last only in less than a second (hahaha).
But that was really fun, but due to bad weather, red flag was raised, and since it was more than an hour of surfing, we decided to rest besides we cannot surf anymore because of big the waves.
After rinsing we grab a light lunch at the bar on the shore and ordered chicken wings (eat again...), and prepare for next activity.
The next activity was the relaxation part: SPA, we had a full body massage and i preferred lemon grass oil, hmmm I can say that the massage was good enough because I had a good sleep during the course, the massage took an hour (which started around 4pm GMT+7 - Bintan time). Since we only have 2 hours more before the bus transfer us to the port: we maximixe the time by sepending an 1 hour for shopping and an hour for dinner. I did not shop a lot... still saving... I only got 1 working shirt from POLO (30% off). After that, we ate dinner at a japanese restaurant "MIYAKO" inside the hotel. After eating we rested on the lounge while waiting for the bus to come. We went back to Singapore (around 10pm SGT). Next time I wana try Bali, whew to good to be on vacation not thinking of work.

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