Travel Diaries: My Bangkok Birthday Trip – Day 1

Last year I told myself that I wont leave town on my birthday.  That was after I went to Cebu on my speacial day with my friend, Cat.  I just wanted to tick-off one of my to-do’s (travelling on my special day) and went ahead for the experience, not to mention, of course, my need to rest and the desire to bond and travel again with my bestest of friends.

But this year I did it again.

The trip was my boyfriend J’s birthday gift to me.  So tell me how could I say No?!  As you all know I love to travel and this would be my chance to travel out-of-the-country again after ten years.  And hello, for free?!  That was a no-brainer!

The trip was set from June 16 -20 in Bangkok.  J invited his other friends Caloy and Candy with her boyfriend Jonnie.

J booked around March for our flight and around May for the hotel.  We were all busy that was why there was no prepared itinerary.

Our flight was at 7:20AM.  Since we need to check-in atleast two hours before, J and I travelled going to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), or more known as Clark Airport, on the night of the 15th via Philtranco’s last trip to Clark.  Initially, we thought there was a 2AM trip to Clark but when we inquired, there was none anymore.  We thought it was okay since we could stay and sleep at the airport instead (like those we’ve seen at NAIA 3).  We arrived at Clark around midnight and we went straight inside.  But we were shocked to see that there were only a number of seats so we were resigned to sleep the night sitting down.  But shockers of all shockers, we were asked by one security personnel to wait outside because they would close at 2AM.  The same man even questioned how were able to pass through the entrance when our flight was the next day (guess, their SOP was not to allow passengers through whose flight was after 2AM).  We told him we just went straight ahead inside.  How could we know?  He was doubtful and said that we might had passed through the side gate or we arrived after 12mn.  We told him again that we went inside through the main gate and around 12mn but he insisted otherwise.  At the end we gave in and went out.  What pissed me off in this situation was not really us having to go out to wait but the fact that he insisted that we either passed through the side entrance or we went in after 12mn.  We were made to look like liars when the real truth was he was not doing  his job right.  If he were at his post and watching everyone going in and checking their tickets, he could have intercepted us.

Anyways, we waited at the waiting area just across the airport.  The airport closed and there were no one outside except those airport personnel.  Due to fatigue I was able to sleep for about an hour despite the uncomfortable seats and cold breeze.  I woke up so J could take his turn.  However, he couldnt sleep anymore.  When I woke up, there were a couple of passengers also waiting.  After a while passengers kept on arriving.

waiting outside the airport

Past four in the morning the airport opened and we checked in.  There was a slight hesitation when we were on queu at the Immigration.  Although we were really tourists and ‘clean’, the stories about passengers being questioned and not being allowed to leave were playing in my mind.  On our turn, I handed our passports.  The counter was a little high for me so I needed to tiptoe to talk the Immigration Officer properly.  While he was checking the passports and disembarkation cards, he asked who I was travelling with.  I replied and his next question was where I was working,  I answered San Miguel and he asked for the company ID.  Upon showing him, everything was a breeze.  He just made a followup question while stamping our passports where J was working and then we were allowed to go.

While waiting for our flight, J & I were able to steal a few minutes of sleep.  After a while we woke up and waited patiently for our boarding time.

We boarded on time and I was shocked to learn that we were flying via SeaAir.  I knew perfectly well that we booked via Tiger Airways.  Anyways, I just had to pray hard.  And hard I prayed as we encountered a few turbulence.  I always wanted to travel and fly but I was never a fan of flying especially with an Airbus or those other small aircrafts.  I tried to sleep just so I couldnt feel those turbulence.

We arrived in Thailand on time but our plane was made to wait for 20 minutes because of airport congestion.

When we disembarked we were conscious of our exit because J was told that Suvarnabhumi International Airport Bangkok was quite big and we might miss our correct exit.  We were amazed at how big the airport.  We were walking quite a while when we started to doubt whether we were taking the right direction.  Our co-passengers were walking ahead of us, straight ahead.  But when we saw an Immigration counter on our left, we asked the ushers/airport personnel if we can take a line there.  They said yes.

After our passports were checked and stamped, our next dilemma was the correct exit.  We decided to take the Airport Rail Link going to our hotel.  After a few minutes of hesitation and doubt, we asked a couple of information desk and we were asked to go to the airport’s basement where the train line was located     .  Next problem was what station to disembark.  After a few analysis and questioning, we were asked to disembark on the last station, Phayathai.  It took only 30 minutes or less to reach our destination.

for one-way ride, instead of cards, tokens were used
Airport City Link Train

my J checking out Bangkok map

We didn’t know where to go after but my recollection of one government agency being near our hotel made our decision correct.  The walk was neither long nor short.  But I guess carrying a luggage was a feat in itself.  I felt tired but I didn’t want to start complaining.  I didn’t want to spoil our trip with my kaartehan.

We reached our hotel, First Hotel, and checked in.  There were a couple of bad  reviews about the hotel so I was a little hesitant.  Good was we were reserved in their main tower (as the reviews said that the extension wing was worse).  When we went in, the room was clean and big.  The first thing I checked was the bed because the worst review I’ve read was the bed having bed bugs.  Surprisingly, it was immaculately clean.  Next I checked the bathroom, it was also clean and big, with a bathtub.  The toiletries were also complete.  The only thing I didnt expect was that there were only a few channels.  Not CNN, no HBO but there was one English channel.

We rested for a while and then went out for a late lunch.  We passed by a number of malls and fast food chains.  We were deciding where to eat.  We wanted to immerse ourselves but quite hesitant of the street foods.  Neither did we want to eat at KFC and McDonald’s.  So we ended up at A&W.

wala sa Pinas nito! hahaha!

first time kumain ng fried chicken! hehe!

And then the start of the ‘exploration’!

infront of our fave mall!

his fave mall as well

one of the outside temples near Central World

after exploring three different malls, it was coffee time!
left a message to Mom via FB using the shop’s free WiFi

After resting we were trying to look for a bar.  The place recommended to J when we checked was far from the City.  We decided to walk again to see if there were any bars nearby.  After an hour and so and without seeing any bars, we decided to go back.  The feet then were really hurting, I wanted to give up.  I felt hot as well after that long walk.

So I asked J for a cold drink.  The only open store then was McDonald’s.  J bought coke and fries.  I rested my feet and I felt a little relieved.  We were about to return to the hotel when we passed by Henry J. Bean’s Bar and Grill located at Amari Watergate Bangkok Hotel (also along Petchaburi Road).  As J wanted to experience night life in Bangkok and since I didn’t want to deprive him of a couple bottle of beers, we went inside.

at the entrance of the bar

other foreign tourists partying inside

J checking out Competition
San Mig Light was a bit pricey in Bangkok

couple alone time : )

Tiring but super fun first day.

I was so happy as J’s excitement and enthusiasm were contagious.  This was his first out-of-the-country so I wanted him to really enjoy and remember this trip.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

July 2012
S M T W T F S
« Jun   Sep »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
%d bloggers like this: