Eating out in Chiang Mai was easier compared to Bangkok because Chiang Mai was a smaller city. In fact, we just have to walk 10 meters and we could get papaya salad made fresh by our neighbor in his home-turned-restaurant-at-night. Beside his house, another neighbor sells banana and vegetable fritters. In Chiang Mai, you walk just a distance of five meters and another restaurant, diner, or stall selling food will greet you. Here are my top recommendations.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown in the world. Bangkok’s Chinatown is like a city within a city. We attempted to cover all of Chinatown, but three days is just not enough. I realized that when you come to Bangkok’s Chinatown, you must have a purpose and must know the exact location of that purpose. Otherwise, you’ll end up lost, although we didn’t mind for there are sights to see, treasures to discover, including gold, and lots of gold, and delicious food to eat in every corner.
We capped our day at Ayutthaya at its floating market. It was not the “floating market” that we saw in National Geographic images. It was very far from it. I read (after we visited the market) that this was meant for the locals, which explained why there were only a handful of foreign tourists, and I would not be surprised to learn that the river was a manmade river. Despite this, and the steep 200baht for a few minutes of river cruise, I think I enjoyed looking at how Thai people spend their holidays. Read on if you want to know more about this floating market.
Ayutthaya, once Thailand’s capital for more than 400 years, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that I already marked for visit in our trip to Thailand. I did not pre-book a tour with any agency and I set no expectations on what might happen or what to see when we get there. We decided to venture out on a Monday, and I think it was a fun (and not to mention, affordable) day trip from Bangkok. Read on for more details.
Our first Sunday in Bangkok, we decided to pay the king a visit. From our hostel in Silom, we rode a cab (hailed through Uber), and went to The Grand Palace. The cab driver dropped us off near the entrance of Wat Po because the road circumnavigating the palace is one way only and some parts are closed. We saw many people wearing black, many Chinese people, and many Koreans dressed to the nines. When we got to the entrance, we didn’t expect to join a mob to enter the palace.
Bangkok is an ancient city. It is massive, chaotic, and confusing. Touring the city will sap up your energy and will bring you blisters the size of your own toes. I found that using the Chao Phraya tourist boats make moving from one tourist spot to another easier than hailing taxis and arguing with the driver when he gets the location wrong. It is also inexpensive at THB180 for the whole day. Here is my guide to using the river cruise to see all that you must see in Bangkok.
Touring the Angkor archaeological park in one day is not enough. But we still had time to explore the town of Siem Reap despite the very limited time we had in the country. While on our way to Angkor Wat, I instantly liked the town because of its shady trees and its cute cafes, shops, and architecture. Here are my 10 things to do to enjoy Siem Reap outside of the famous historic temples.
I can walk around Angkor Wat, everyday, if only to find my inner peace.
Dumaguete is hip, cool, and laid back. The city’s boulevard is my favorite college professor’s favorite strolling place. To me, Dumaguete is not just the hip university city that it is, it is also an extension of Siquijor because my grandpa used to work here and we would come here to visit him when school was off. It is easy to explore the small city in a day and hop on to another destination after the sun sets. If you only have one day in Dumaguete, then read on for my recommendations.
This guide to a Visita Iglesia in Siquijor was something I wrote for Tripzilla before this year’s Holy Week. I patterned this after a recent visita iglesia I did with a guest who visited Siquijor for the first time. While Siquijor will not boast of centuries-old and magnificent churches, we do have our share of historic churches.
On our second day in Tagbilaran, I was aiming to wake up at 6AM to be able to eat puto and tsokolate at their public market because as far as I can remember, the tsokolate I drank in Tagbilaran was the best tsokolate I had in my life (no offense to my Grandma!). But I wasn’t able to wake up at 6AM because the bed was so inviting and I did some work before I went to sleep the night before so I was exhausted. Anyway, a reason to visit again. Here is what I would do if I am not doing the Bohol countryside tour.