Backpacking is an adventure. You meet different kind of people from all walks of life. You have the chance to know and understand their culture and all.
When I went to Boracay, Philippines this year. I decided to book a hostel, for a change. And there are a lot to choose from.
However, after reading some of the reviews from different kind of Hostels in Boracay. I choose MNL beach hostel Boracay. One reason is that the room is air-condition. Because, other bed and breakfast hostels only have fan rooms. And I cannot live with that (not that I am very picky, I just need some cool place to standby when the outside world is at 25 degrees… you know what I mean)
MNL Boracay Beach Hostel is located just a 15-minute drive from Boracay Jetty Port, which is a 20-minute boat ride from Caticlan Jetty Port. It offers free Wi-Fi and 24-hour front desk service.
The rooms of MNL Boracay Beach Hostel has air condition, concrete flooring, and a wardrobe or a locker. There is a shared toilet and a shared bathroom. Some rooms also include an en-suite bathroom and balcony.
The hostel has a shared kitchen. The stay include continental breakfast. Toast and bananas are over flowing (no kidding).
They also have a bar. A Roof top where you can sit around and mingle with other travelers. Billiard table and a hammock.
There are also restaurants only a 10-minute walk away, offering local and Chinese cuisine.D’Mall is a 10-minute walk from the hostel. Kalibo International Airport is a 2-hour drive away.
Since It’s my first time staying on a Hostel. I can say that I enjoyed my stay. Because I met new friends and made new memories. I’ll definitely recommend and go back to this hostel.
Note: Book 1 month in advance during peak season (specially LA Boracay. They are normally fully book that time)
(After all the confirmed bookings and flights. I received a call from my Family in the Philippines that my grandmother was in the ICU. I was in doubt if I should push through with this travel or not. However, Since my flights and bookings are mostly promos, I cannot cancel nor refund it. So I need to continue my original plan. And YES, my heart was really not on a festive mood to travel. And since I am in Bangkok, at the back of my mind, I’ll just make the most of it. )
So, it’s the second day in Bangkok. I woke up late. And sad to say I was not able to get the morning tour that i was planning the day before, which was a bum. Instead of getting another tour which will start around 4pm, I decided to wallow inside my room for a moment and plan on my own tour instead.
After battling with myself whether to take a shower or just sleep the whole afternoon. I choose to shower.
My itinerary was a total mess after not following it. Instead of visiting the malls and exploring Khaosan road. I decided to see the Wats. So I drag myself to take a shower. Prep my things and went out.
And since I am a budget traveler (which I wish I’m not) I took the train From Silom going to the sky train. When I arrived in the Sky train station I ask for direction where to ride a bus or what I should be riding going to the Wats. And believe it or not, I wish I did not ask…I was lost …literally LOST and I have no Idea where to go, since most of the people I ask, either they don’t talk in English or they really don’t understand what I was babbling.
So for 2 hours walking through the streets of Bangkok, and still try my luck to ask on how to get to the Wats, it was no help at all. The hard part is, the signage’s are written in Thai, I was like… Okay. I’ll just get a taxi.
By the way with that perilous journey, I was able to enjoy the street of Bangkok. Bangkok provides mouth watering tropical fruits , barbeques and some of Thailand’s delicacies are just laid there waiting to be eaten. So, that 2 hours was really not a waste of time at all.
After the turmoil I have of being lost. Thank God for Taxi drivers that don’t take advantage. I arrived safe and sound near the grand palace. And the taxi only cost me 130 baht, not bad. I walked my way through the traffic. Took a picture of the vicinity and the 3 elephants in the middle of the road. (note: if you plan to visit the Wats, it would be best if you will just ride a taxi. For one its much faster and easier. Just make sure to advise the driver where you are heading exactly, because sometimes, they do take advantage. And yes, watch out for scams and those tok toks, they are just overrated.) It was a bitter sweet moment. Walking by myself. Camera in my hands. And watching those groups that are uberly happy. Them taking picture on one another. And it dawn on me … I am Alone. Then again..I am here because I want to be alone. So I tread the street around the wats.
The first place that I visited was the Grand Palace. When I saw how much is the entrance fee I was doubtful if I’ll pushed through or not. I decided not to go inside since my time was really limited and I have other wats to explore. And my budget was depreciating. no regrets. After exploring the grounds of Grand Palace. I decided to eat. Yes, I was famished. I stopped on one of the places where most tourist eat.Just walking distance from the Grand palace. And guess what I have for lunch? You got it right. Pad Thai, again. Sorry guys, but I will never get tired of eating Pad thai. hihihi.
After taking my lunch. The next Wat that I was going to visit was Wat pho. Before you reach Wat Pho, your eyes will be entertain by street vendors along the way selling stuff. From souvenirs, knickknacks and street foods. Some of the sale items are some what off. Some sells used combs, glasses, weird looking dolls and some old biscuit box. Not sure if its for a collection or just simply for the sake of selling it.
(to be continued. more pictures of wats on my next blog..)
I want to feel that sense of independence when you are in a new place. Learning their culture and trying their delicacy.
And guess what! I just have the perfect chance to do it.
I plotted my leave. Booked my flight and my hotel. And the rest follows.
Don’t go chasing Airports….
I booked a flight from Dubai to Bangkok. Since I am a self-confess budget traveller, I booked a cheap flight. However, with that cheap flight, I have to wait for 5 hours before I transit from one plane to the other.
My layover is in Mumbai India. My departure from Dubai was @9:45pm, and since it’s a 2 hour travel by plane, I arrived in Mumbai around 12:14 am. Got a bit lost when I was in the airport, but I manage to find my way to the transit entrance, whew!
So for 5 grueling hours, I toured Mumbai airport. It’s a big airport with lots of kiosk and stalls. The very helpful thing they have there, was that each part of the airport has this PC station. It is helpful since you can access the net easily. You can access your email or Facebook and Google map. Very neat…I know.
My next boarding was @700am. I was with my ever excited self. The fact that I am 3 hours away to my next destination.Which is BANGKOK.
Got in the plane.Seat belt buckled. And I am so ready to see Bangkok.
When flying is a bore...
Flying alone is lonely. You don’t have anyone to talk to, share your thoughts and what not.
Boring. Simply boring. But…being alone could also mean you can talk to someone you don’t know.I am never a people person. The reason why I plan this travel is to test myself, if I am confident enough to talk to people that I have not met.
I arrived in Bangkok and went to the immigration. And I checked out my luggage.
(Note: Once you are in Bangkok, they offer a sim for you to use while you are in the country. I was not able get one since I was not informed about it. )
I was planning to ride a taxi going to the hotel that I booked. I was thinking to have ta taxi so that I will be able to arrive there early. But since most of my friends advised me to ride the train, I have my Dollar exchange to Baht, and headed to the train station.
I booked my stay in Pinnacle Lumpinee. (http://www.pinnaclehotels.com/lumpinee/).
If you will ride a train going to Lumpinee Hotel, you need to change train. From Suvarnabhumi International Airport, then Ratchaprarop Station using the line(s): Airport Link City Line and transfer to Lumphini using the line(s): 13 or 14 or 74. However, what I did, since it was past 3pm and I was not able to call the hotel ahead, I decided to ride a taxi from Ratchaprarop station to Lumpinee hotel.
Language barrier is one of the test I encounter here in Bangkok. The thai people does not have good command in English. So for them to understand, you also need to do some hand gestures and Miming.
After 15 minutes, I arrived in Pinnacle Lumpinee Hotel.
I was greeted by the hotel staff with smile and a welcome drink. I handed my booking details, provided 500bhat as an initial payment, got my keys, and went to my room.
I booked the room on the 10th floor. My view outside was just so stunning. And yes, it would be cool if I was able to share this piece of heaven with someone.
Since, it was early. I decided to take a rest. Then had a shower. Around 5pm, I went out.
I walked for 5 minutes to the train station going to Silom. I decided to go to Silom since it is one train station away from my place, and I’ve read that the night life there is very alive.
I arrived in Silom around 5:30pm and the place was teeming with Thai people (obviously). It’s just amazing to see a different other nationalities and be lost once in a while.
I walk through the street. And since my stomach was grumbling. I decided to eat my dinner. And the first thing comes to my head was…”PAD THAI”. It was like singing in my head repeatedly. Which I don’t find weird coz I really want to try the authentic Pad Thai in Thailand.
After exploring every nooks and crannies of Silom. I found this restaurant that serves authentic pad thai. While checking the menu, the pad thai is kind of expensive, it was for 200 baht per serving. But since I was already there, what the hey! I ordered one. The server was also telling me that I should also try the Sticky rice with mango and coconut Ice cream, I oblige.
Well, my money was not a waste on that place, because the Pad Thai there was DIVINE!!! not really exaggerating, but seriously, it was heaven. The Sticky rice with Mango and coconut Ice cream was to die for. The explosion of sweet and tangy and salty and a little bit of sour in my mouth was really something. I came out from that restaurant satisfied and very happy.
Since the night was still young. I explore Silom more. However, the rain, really ruin my parade. So I went to Starbucks instead and got me a latte.
After 10 minutes. Thank God, the rain stopped.
I ask the attendant in Starbucks if where Phatpong is. She explain to me that I need to take this street and so on.
However, I am not sure why I was brought to Soi 4. Well, soi 4 if you guys don’t know. Is the LGBT strips. Or specifically the Gay strip. Lady boys welcome and greet you to sit on their lounge while enjoying a drink. It was weird because it was not my intention to be lost in that side. But I was thankful though. Because that night was an eye opener for me. 🙂
My night could not get any better…I meet 2 lady boys there. And to think I don’t like talking to people that I don’t know. To my surprise, we were talking about how they arrive in Bangkok, how they come to be like what they are now and what not. It is refreshing, because, I am gay. But I don’t have any gay close friend, and I don’t normally mingle with Gay guys. But being alone, makes me feel like I need to be part of the world somehow. And talking to this ladies was really interesting.
Since I was really dying to try the massage in Thailand, I ask them if they can recommend me a massage parlor where I can have a foot massage. And they pointed a massage parlor across the bar. And without further ado. I went there and ask for a Foot massage with foot spa. And believe it or not it cost me 250bhat only. And that is for 1 and half hour.
After that wonderful massage. I went back to the bar where I was,a while ago. Ordered a breezer so that we can talk a lil bit. But since our talk was getting interesting and my breezer was empty, ordered rum coke to perk my inner self.
I realize that everyone has its own path to choose, be it something great or something that you’ll regret. The important thing is, you tried.
I went back to my hotel a lil tipsy. And yes, no scratches or whatsoever. And I was again alone in my hotel room and no one to share my experience. Bummer.