Posted in Family, Friendship, Good gifts, Gratitude, Lessons Learned, Travel, Travel Highlights

Summer Special… (Part 2)

Travelling is one of life’s best teachers. You learn about history, culture, language, you learn how to adapt, socialize, you realize that the world is big (and beautiful) and you are just a small (but blessed and special) part of it, you learn how to be grateful for what and how you are, you learn more about yourself and the family, friends, and even the strangers you are travelling with.

P4280099

On our 2nd day in Bangkok, our first stop was the Floating Market, another first and unique experience for us. Nikky was able to experience floating market in Bangkok, but on that day, our driver brought us to the first/original Floating Market which was far from the city center, between 1.5 – 2 hour drive. The Floating Market experience which lasts for about an hour costs 5,000 Baht. We were actually not expecting to pay anything for the Floating Market ride, unless we buy something, so we were quite shocked when we were told that the cost for the experience was 5,000 Baht! Anyway, we charged it to experience, appreciated that we had a wonderful and safe ride, the boat was made of sturdy and shiny wood and it was shaded/covered – we were protected from direct sunlight and heat! Lesson no. 1 – when offered with something, be it an experience, food, or anything, ask first how much it costs – when travelling, barely anything is for free! πŸ˜›

During the boat ride, we didn’t buy anything except food. πŸ™‚ One common denominator in our group is we all LOVE to eat!! We are very passionate about satisfying our gastronomic cravings. πŸ˜›

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2411.JPG

IMG_3532
We bought sticky rice, mooping (really tender, tasty pork barbeque), and some fruits πŸ™‚

After the Floating Market experience, our tummies were ready for lunch, yet another Thai lunch! πŸ™‚ Our driver brought us to Maeklong Train Station Market.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2463.JPG

Here’s what we had for Day 2 lunch πŸ™‚ – all soooo goood, yummeeehh and cheap too!! πŸ˜‰

And of course, a Thai meal wouldn’t be complete without….

P4280261
Thai Milk tea! πŸ˜›

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2454.JPGP4280245After lunch, some train station photo-op πŸ˜›

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2459.JPG

Another common denominator with this group is we all love taking photos and groupiesΒ β™₯Β 

After lunch, we tried to do some shopping around the Train Station Market, but it was too hot!!

Our next stop was Golden Buddha (Sukhothai Traimit). The Sukhothai Traimit Golden Buddha is the largest Golden Buddha Image in the world, it was made of pure gold, with a price value of 28.5 million pounds and ages over 700 years by now. It is a valuable treasure of Thailand and Buddhism.

P4280283

Outside the temple, it looks like this, photos below. We only went to the top floor. There’s a museum on the ground or 2nd floor but we didn’t go anymore.

exif_temp_imageexif_temp_image_1

Our last stop for the day before dinner is another top favorite – Jim Thompson House Museum. Thank you Eia and Gill for recommending this. πŸ™‚ This is where you will learn something new, there’s a 30-40 minute guided-tour around the house museum – you will know who Jim Thompson is – you’ll learn a bit of history, your eyes will feast on all the rich, beautiful art collections inside, you will be refreshed with the greens and waters around. πŸ™‚ We all loved it!Β β™₯Β 

P4280302P4280289 (2)

P4280286
James H. W. Thompson

After the guided tour, we went to the boutique where the Jim Thompson products are displayed and sold.Β My heart melt with all the beautiful silk products at the Jim Thompson boutique. I love the quality, the luxurious feel and the prints of the bags and scarves. It was love at first sight with thisΒ rice-large-silk-twill-hobo-bag but had to control myself from bringing it home, too expensive for me! πŸ˜›

But I knew from my meltingΒ β™₯Β πŸ˜› that I had to buy something as a remembrance from this trip, and it has to be from Jim Thompson.

IMG_3981
This beautiful scarf called for me and I happily gave in.Β β™₯β™₯β™₯Β On this scarf are all my favourite colours and more!

After my happy purchase, Nikky wanted to check out the restaurant inside Jim Thompson, so we did and we were happy to learn that all pastries were 50% off from 5-7pm! By that time, around 6pm, we were all exhausted, and loading up some sugar was a welcome treat with a beautiful, calming view of a big koi pond. πŸ™‚

exif_temp_image

We loved all the cakes, sooo pretty and yummy!! πŸ™‚

IMG_3580
Pastries are always best with coffee so it’s high time for cappuccino – a break from Thai milk tea ;P

Before we called it a day, we took some photos with the Tuktuk inside Jim Thompson.

“Tuk-tuks or ‘sam lor’ (three-wheeled) used to be everyone’s favourite way of getting around Bangkok before the BTS, MRT and colourful taxis took over.”

P4280292P4280300

P4280298
Bye for now, friends! Will share our Day 3 experience soon! πŸ™‚

Hope you learned something from our Day 2 adventures and enjoyed it as much as we did! πŸ˜‰

Posted in Family, Friendship, Good gifts, Gratitude, Lessons Learned, Minimalism, note to self, Travel, Travel Highlights

Summer Special… (Part 1)

I’ve been blessed with another short yet definitely sweet and super fun trip this April. It’s a blessing because my favorite sister Kris, I only have one :), and favorite brother-in-law Carlo gifted me with a flight ticket to Bangkok. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much, you’re the best sister and brother to me! πŸ˜€ Thanks much too to Nikky for booking it for our group and taking good care of us all throughout, you’re the best! πŸ™‚

This trip, my 12th country, Thailand, is very special in more ways than one. Aside from being our first time to travel together out of the country, it’s also my sister’s first out of the country trip and she’s 4 months pregnant with the very first grandchild of our growing little family. πŸ™‚ It’s also the first time that we would get to travel with Kris’ and Carlo’s friends/churchmates, Nikky and Tet. πŸ™‚

So many firsts! So many things to be thankful for! πŸ™‚

P4270944
very grateful for these 4, we had so much fun together πŸ™‚

This photo was taken in Bang Pa-In Palace (Summer Palace), our first stop on Day 1 – 18 April – Ayutthaya Day trip. The backdrop is called Phra Thinang (Royal Residence) Aisawan Thiphya-Art (The divine seat of personal freedom). Of all the places that we explored, the Summer Palace is actually my top favorite, we took lots of beautiful photos on this very beautiful place.Β β™₯ IΒ loved that this place has pavilions and gazebos laid out in a garden setting, Western style-buildings, there’s Victorian feel to it, everything is just so lovely.Β β™₯

P4280015

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2290.JPG

P4270965P4270978P4270976

P4270990P4270991P4270992

P4270984.JPG
Keng Boo-Pah Pra-Paht

After taking lots of photos and shortcutting our tour around the Summer Palace because it was getting too hot already, we were ready for my much awaited Thai milk-tea, and Thai lunch!! πŸ˜›

IMG_3422
All smiles – Thai milk tea isΒ β™₯

Here’s our Day 1 Thai lunch, all soooo yummmm!!

IMG_3500
first Thai lunch with our hospitable, generous kuya driver/tour guide πŸ™‚

After lunch, we were ready for another treat – Ayutthaya Historical Park-hopping all afternoon. πŸ™‚

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2335.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR2338.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR2336.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR2344.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR2359.JPG

Thanks to my brother and sister for their GoPro, we’ve got lots of wide-angled photos and super funny videos. πŸ™‚

Next stop, one of the highlights, was our up-close encounter with a biggie but uber cutie elephant πŸ™‚

After our photo-op with cutie elphie, it’s time for my 2nd milk tea! πŸ˜›

P4280141
Too hot at 3pm!!!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2396.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR2392.JPG

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2404.JPG
This was our last stop in Ayutthaya, we’re too exhausted to go inside, we took this photo from the fence πŸ˜›

That’s all for now for my first Thailand trip.

Posts on Day 2-4 will follow in the coming days, hopefully. πŸ™‚

Good night, folks!

Hugs from warm Manila πŸ™‚

Posted in Bucketlist, Europe, Friendship, Good gifts, Gratitude, Travel, Travel Highlights

Europe trip highlights (Part 4)

Rome, Italy: 6-10 June

IMG_9129

I’ve found my first Europe travel buddy because of Colosseum. Why Colosseum? Caye’s main reason for wanting to go to Europe is because she dreams of seeing the Colosseum in its glorious glory. πŸ™‚ So when I first shared to her my dream trip, we’ve got an instant travel buddy in each other. πŸ™‚ We saved the best for last, we put Rome at the end of our trip. Kim also wanted to attend the Pope’s celebration of mass at the Vatican so we had to schedule our trip which would fall on a Wednesday, the day the Pope himself celebrates mass to the public.

IMG_9387
the humongous Vatican City

IMG_9366

In Rome, I have used the panoramic shot the most because everything is wide and humongous!! Just like the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain amongst others.

IMG_8975
the stunningly beautiful Trevi Fountain πŸ™‚

We ate lots of pasta, pizza and consumed so much coffee too, which we all enjoyed!

Coffee all day, everyday! πŸ™‚

On the last day, I needed to have gelato! I wasn’t able to eat gelato everyday because I’m too full from all the pasta, pizza and all the yummy meals we had, my tummy had no more space for dessert! ;P

This was us, in front of our AirBnB, on our last day. We loved our accommodation in Rome so much. It was big, clean and beautiful. The location was great too! πŸ™‚

Rome being the last leg of the trip, I thought, it was okay not to expect too much, anyway we already had the loveliest (more than) 2 weeks of travel, and I was kinda tired already that time, also trying to condition myself that I would leave my dream place in a few days… But lo and behold! God really spoils His children! Rome was sooo lovely!! Just like the rest of the places we’ve been to. I wanted to stay a bit longer, if only I could… It was easy to explore, and everything is sooo beautiful, I love it’s warm colours, it’s cool and sunny weather, the coffee, the gelato, everything… I will surely go back, someday, Godwilling. πŸ™‚ I can’t thank and praise God enough for blessing us with the most wonderful vacation in our beautiful dream place. HE is truly an awesome God and Father, always giving the best gifts to His children. πŸ˜€

Hope you enjoyed my photoblog! πŸ˜‰

Until my next adventure, more to come in 2018! πŸ™‚

Wishing you all the best of everything in the coming year! God’s best, always! πŸ˜‰

 

Posted in Bucketlist, Europe, Family, Friendship, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Travel, Travel Highlights

Europe trip highlights (Part 3)

London, U.K.: 2-5 June

This part of our trip is all about meeting with family and friends. And that makes it so special and dear to my grateful β™₯.Β πŸ™‚

My cousin, Jel, and her family lives in London, she’s been inviting me to visit them since 2008, so I am really grateful and happy to finally have the chance to visit them and spend some quality time with them. πŸ˜€ My aunt, Jel’s mom, was there at that time too, so it was a great time to be in London. πŸ™‚

IMG_0734

Aside from spending time with family and friends, I also had the opportunity to attend the EveryNation church service at Hammersmith. Thanks so much to my dear cousin, Jel, for accompanying me. It meant a lot to me to be able to spend time with the Lord amidst the hectic schedule while on vacation. I am very grateful that my cousin took me to Hammersmith and had a wonderful, comforting time at the church. That Sunday, 4 June, the church invited theΒ Award-winning author Dr. Frank Turek (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist,Β Stealing from God),Β to speak. We were so blessed to listen to his wonderful teaching about the truth of God’s existence amidst all the suffering in the world.

Because this is the London part of the trip, I made an exception on the number of photos to share. I hope you understand. πŸ˜€

Last part of the trip, Rome, will follow. It’s the last, but definitely, not the least. πŸ˜‰

 

Posted in Bucketlist, Europe, Good gifts, Gratitude, Travel, Travel Highlights

Europe trip highlights (Part 2)

Here’s the 2nd part of my Europe trip photoblog. πŸ™‚

Milan, Italy: 26-27 May

IMG_0690
Our AirBnB in Milan πŸ™‚
IMG_0691
I really loved our accommodation in Milan, aside from being so chic, it was accessible to the convenience stores, to the stations, and there’s a nearby park, too. I was able to jog one Saturday morning around the beautiful green park. How I love the fresh air, the cool breeze and the lovely view around the park. πŸ™‚ I felt so blessed and grateful for that wonderful experience. πŸ™‚
IMG_0692
When in Italy, drinking coffee is a must, peroid. πŸ™‚

Paris, France: 28-29 May

IMG_0702

IMG_0699

Selfies while on Seine River Cruise πŸ™‚

IMG_0703
Don’t worry I didn’t buy ;P

Brussels & Gent, Belgium: 31 May – 1 June

IMG_0713

IMG_0712
More Belgian waffle for lunch πŸ™‚

IMG_0711

That’s all for Part 2, hope you enjoyed my photoblog.

Part 3, the last part, will be shared tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Good night, everyone! πŸ˜‰

Posted in Bucketlist, Europe, Good gifts, Gratitude, Travel, Travel Highlights

Europe trip highlights (Part 1)

As we are about to say goodbye and thank you to 2017 in a few days, I would like wrap up my year by sharing some highlights from my Europe trip. I know this is rather so late, I got overwhelmed with lots of photos and stories to share back then, and then I got tied up with work and all the get-togethers. Now that I am officially on vacation, I wouldn’t want to miss the chance to post more about my dream trip. This year’s trip with Caye and Kim is one of the highlights of my best year so far, so it definitely deserves a space here on my personal site. πŸ˜€ I’ve chosen 17 photos/highlights for each city that we visited. Why 17? Because 2017. πŸ™‚

Let me warn you, this is a looooong post, 99% photos and 1% narrative. πŸ˜› But don’t worry, I will share the highlights in 4 parts. πŸ™‚

Florence, Italy: 22 May

IMG_6494

IMG_0653

IMG_0649

Tuscany Tour

(Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa):Β 23 May

Lugano, Switzerland

and

Bellagio,Β Lake Como, Italy: 25 May

That’s it for today. More photos to follow in the coming days. πŸ™‚