City Of Life


Krung Thep Mahanakhon (กรุงเทพมหานคร) or known to us as Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand, a country that lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. Only about 3 hrs 20 mins flight from Manila. GMT +7 hrs.

The Suvarnabhumi Airport was huge. Upon arrival, there were staff from the tourist information desk who approached us and gave tips and brouchures on the local area and tourist spots. At first I was hesitant to entertain them as I thought they will just forcefully sell tours but they didn't! In fact they were so nice and I never thought there is still "free smile" in the world! Then he wrote our hotel address in Thai alphabets and that piece of paper became very helpful to us. ( I advise you to have this too) We carried it with us all the time because most Thai taxi drivers do not speak english. We went out and took the airport taxi lined just in front of the airport. There was a THB50 airport surcharge in addition to the metered fare.
Things to do In Bangkok.
Eat Thai Food!

If there is anything on top of my Bangkok to do list, it would be to eat, eat and eat more Thai food! Don't despair, coz its cheap! Of all the places I've been to, this is the only place where I indulge in dining out! Imagine on our Japan trip, breakfast was cup noodles bought from the nearby family mart, in London, we packed cooked adobo (a filipino dish made of either pork or chicken) in our luggage and heat in our London apartment and ate it for two days! =D (when it was announced on the plane that certain type of meat is banned in U.K we got so nervous thinking we would be deported back because of adobo in our luggage, hahaha! but at least because of our adobo we spent less british pounds!) This is what made Thailand different from my previous travels, everything seemed cheap.

Have A Thai MasSage.Second on my list is, to get a soothing thai massage! There are plenty of massage houses in Bangkok, you can even let them come to your hotel room. Perfect for recapping the day of sightseeing and shopping. The price starts from thb300 (though according to my friend she found a thb150 massage in a residential area).

Go ShoPping.

There are lots of Shopping Malls in Bangkok. Many tourists come here to shop for clothes and then sell it again because its cheaper in Thailand. From bazaars to upscale malls, from pirated or copied designers bags to genuine, expensive brands your dollars will come a long way here :)

The upscale, SIAM PARAGON

MBK MALL, more like "greenhills type in Manila" with all the cheap things, you have to know how to haggle though to get the best price.
Visit the TeMpLes
Thais are devoted Buddhists. 95% of this nation are Buddhists. No wonder temples are all over. In fact, its top tourist's attractions are the Temples. The big three include: The Wat Phra Kaeo, The Wat PHo and Wat Arun.

Wat Phra Kaeo or the Temple of Emerald Buddha.

There is an entrance fee of 200 baht to enter this temple, there are also english speaking guide if you wish to learn more about the temple, Buddhism and to better explore the place.
 There are a number of Temples inside The Grand Palace
 Shoes are to be removed and left outside the Temple

And it is not allowed to enter it wearing revealing clothes, shawls are available at the entrance 'love the intricate details of this structure!

Wat Pho or the Temple of the reclining Buddha just south of Grand Palace is the temple of the reclining Buddha, said to be the oldest temple in Bangkok established in the 16th century. An entrance of 50 baht is to be paid. There are "tuktuk" outside the Grand Palace that offer services to go to the other temples nearby. We paid 20 baht good for 2 persons sharing the "tuktuk" .
Stroll in the PaRk.
At about 4pm, before sunset, we decided to spend the rest of the day in Lumpini Park, just right at the heart of Bangkok. We almost didn't get to reach to the park as another "scam "almost stopped us! Scammers are all around this city and it's just sooooo annoying! One tuktuk driver said that Lumpini park is closed, we walked and ask another driver and said there are no people in the park and its better to go there in the morning, but we insisted to still be taken there and when we reached the entrance it was not close at all. Even when we already reached the place the tuktuk driver was still discouraging us to enter the park instead he wants to bring us somewhere else, and I knew he will only take us to a gem store!

Bangkok Transport: There is the famous tuktuk which can accommodate up to 2 persons only, price starts at 20 baht. It can take you almost everywhere in the City. Be wary though as tuktuk driver might overprice. You have to make sure that before you board you have already talked about the price for the service. There are also lots of colorful taxis available too, insist on the meter as even taxis do overprice. Like the tuktuk, they are also doing the scam like they will give you a fix price and then take you to the gemstone before you are brought to where you want to be. Bangkok also have a very good subway system that is present everywhere.
Bangkok Scams.

Before flying to bangkok, I already knew that scams are everywhere in Bangkok's touristy places that's why I never thought I will be victimized by it. Believe me they are just too good to perform this. When we got down infront of the Grand Palace from the taxi on our first day in Bangkok, a man wearing ID presented himself to us and ask if we are thai, then knowing that we are not, he said, foreigners should use the other door, I didn't know that this was already the scam that I read on the net, so although I was hesitant, we obliged then suddenly another man came saying that it is close at that time and suggested he will bring us to Wat Pho by tuktuk for 20baht we'll get to see 3 places including the gem store. This was when I realized that this is indeed already the famous scam in Bangkok! We then left them and proceeded back to the main entrance and found out it was open and will close at 5pm!
Again when we went out, we were already very hungry and decide to take the taxi, to my surprised the taxi too was doing this scam! It took us long very we finally agreed to ride the taxi. Since we were already hungry and no taxi seemed to be available that doesn't do scam, we then just took the taxi that charged us 50 baht to take us to MBK mall but first we have to drop by at a gem store! He told us all the lies he can, like he said, the government is promoting gems that is why he has to take us first to the gem store, by that he will be given a coupon for free petrol! It's definitely a lie because in the map that we got from the airport, there is a warning there about these scams but if you show it to them, they will say our map is not good!!!lol
There are more scams in Bangkok, to be aware read bangkokscams.com or search the net before going.


Kabayan Beach Resort

Summer. I have planned a trip to Boracay Island in the Philippines supposedly for May. but the month of May entered with heavy rain showers and even a forecast of a storm. I dropped all the plans until I reached Manila on 12th of May. All throughout my first week of stay in Manila never rained so I had a last minute plan to go to the beach that is near Manila. I first planned to go to Subic but can't find a resort with a good beach water and a swimming pool. Next option was either Ternate, Cavite or Batangas. I found Aquatico Resort in Laiya upon browsing the net and immediately contacted them. The resort was fully booked. I contacted another 5 resorts in the area with the same response. I then settled for Kabayan Beach Resort in Laiya, San Juan even if the only available room they have was in the extension of the resort, which is about 80 meters away from the beach and outside the resort proper. The area is gated, adjacent to the main entrance of the resort. There are 4 cottages lined inside plus a staff house at the rear end. The first cottage as you enter the gate is Malungay cottage which accommodates 2 pax, the 3 other cottages are for 4 to 6 persons. Since internet booking is not available, to confirm the reservations, I was asked to pay 50% of the booking fee and deposited it to metrobank. A scanned copy of the receipt has to be faxed or emailed back to the resort and they will send you an email confirmation. I find this process very inconvenient!

Getting there. We took SLEX from Taguig and left home at 1230 noon time. The traffic was heavy. It took us an hour and 15 minutes to exit SLEX. From there we followed the signs to Laiya. The drive was smooth and signage are a lot, so even if we didn't check the detailed driving directions we printed from the hotel website, we reached the resort without a miss. Thumbs up to Batangas Officials for that! The total driving time from Manila to the resort was 4 hours!

The Petchay Cottage. It's an air conditioned bungalow with two queen size bed, a dresser and a wardrobe. Safety deposit box is also available inside the room to keep your important belongings. There is an attached bathroom clean and large enough. Outside the bedroom is a veranda with long table, a cabled tv, hot and cold water dispenser with free 5 gallons of mineral water, a refrigerator, cooking stove and utensils if you plan to cook. They encourage cooking so, you may bring in food without the usual corkage fee.

The Resort. Apart from the beach, there is a small swimming pool, a small chapel, restaurant and sari-sari store which sells just about anything like souvenir shirts. If you want to use the pool, you have to pay 100 pesos each and has to be in proper swimming attire. If you have forgotten to bring your swimsuits, its also available in their store.

The Beach. We woke up at 5:30 am to enjoy the beach before it gets crowded as it was a weekend. The sand was white but don't expect boracay sand of course. The water was very shallow and pebbly in the first 6 meters but clean.


Osaka Japan


Japan日本, Nihon or Nippon?, officially 日本国 Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku) is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, People's Republic of China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters which make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".
(source: wikipedia).


Japan is less than 5 hours away from Manila. Compared to the other neighboring Asian countries, Filipinos need a visa to enter Japan, and you have to present quite lot of documents before being given a visa, which makes it quite difficult to obtain (if you apply from the Philippines), but the good thing is it is free of charge (gratis). I got my Japanese visa here in Dubai. Unlike in the Philippines, I just presented my employment certificate, bank statement and hotel booking and itinerary and got my visa after 7 days.

My Trip. After 10 hours of flying from Dubai to Osaka, we arrived in Kansai International Airport at 1700 hrs and took the JR line to our hotel. Signage were all written in Japanese and you hardly find someone who speaks English in Osaka. The weather was still so cold. People were still wearing winter jackets paired with short skirts and knee high socks! They were all so cute in their get ups. Exactly same as that of Japanese manga. Even there school uniform were oh so short-pleated skirt! There were so many shops selling socks in different styles and color. Noticeably, Japanese people are very disciplined. Whenever we take the escalator or stairs anywhere in the City, even if there is no sign to keep right, everybody walks to the right and stands on the left. So if you are in a hurry, there is always a free space to walk or run. If you do not like to walk, then stand on the left side of the escalator and never block the walk way.

-------------------------Arrival in Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan

----------------------------------------JR Railway Station, connected from the Airport --------------------------------------------------------------------------The Japanese Yen

JPY 1 is equal to PHP 0.50/ JPY 1=uSD 0.01
Japan is regarded as an expensive country. Travelling to Japan can indeed be very costly but as in any other cities in the world, there are always ways for traveling on a budget specially if you plan ahead. First on the list of course is to book for budget hotels. There are available hostels and guesthouses in Japan, from traditional ryokan or western style.

A ryokan (旅館?) is a type of traditional Japanese inn dating from the Edo period (1603–1868), when they served travelers along Japan's highways. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata and talk with the owner. (wikipedia)

The Weekly Mansion Otamae.

Through the recommendation of my colleague, we booked a 3-night stay for 17600 yen at The Weekly Mansion and didn't regret it. The room though old is spacious by Japanese standard, with 1 double bed and a single bed good for the 3 of us. Its a studio room with kitchenette complete with cooking pans and utensils. There is a sitting area, a balcony and tv. in the room. The toilet was tiny and looked like the one you see in a cabin and flush was a bit noisy too, but for the cheap price we paid, and the good location, it was good enough. There were plenty of restaurants around, a convenience store and the Osaka Castle was a walking distance away as well as the subway station. Front desk closes at 8pm. (review also posted on trip advisory.com)
---------------------------------------------------------https://meandmyitchyfeet.blogspot.com/2009/06/japan-in-spring.html---------Yummy Japanese Food!

------------------------------Hot Ramen, perfect for a very cold first night in Osaka!

On our first night in Osaka, we ate a hefty bowl of ramen in restaurant near our hostel which cost us 800 yen. In Japan they don't ask you what you want for drinks, instead gives you a glass of water before serving the food. Then followed by tea. The average price we pay for one order of meal (like that in the picture) is 800-1500 yen and food models are usually displayed outside the restaurant which is very helpful for us since we just have to point whichever we like.

(since menus are mostly written in Japanese or the server doesn't speak English). Note: It is considered bad manner to eat while walking on the streets of Japan.

------------------------------------------Mingling with the locals at Namba Market

We planned to go to Universal Studios which is also in Osaka but we spent so
much time in Namba, a crowded shopping street in Osaka and before we knew it, it was already late(grrr). We spent a lot of time looking for a jacket since my friend didn't bring one because she was expecting that it won't be cold anymore at this time of the year. Finally, my friend got a non-branded leather-like jacket at 15000 yen. I don't advice shopping in japan as it is very expensive.
----------------------------------------------------The Osaka Castle

-------------Passing through the NHK Building on our way to Osaka Castle

--We chanced upon some Japanese girls in Japanese Kimono on our way back. The next morning after visiting the Osaka Castle, we checked out of the Weekly Mansion and headed back to Kansai International Airport via the Airport limousine which is parked at the Sheraton Hotel Osaka and flew to TOKYO via JAL!

Tokyo! Tokyo

Tokyo! Tokyo!

Japan In Spring....

TOKYO.Tokyo (東京, Tōkyō?), officially Tokyo Metropolis (東京都, Tōkyō-to?),[2] is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan and is located on the eastern side of the main island Honshū. The twenty-three special wards of Tokyo, each governed as a city, cover the area that was once the city of Tokyo in the eastern part of the prefecture, totaling over 8 million people. The population of the prefecture exceeds 12 million. The prefecture is the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, the world's most populous metropolitan area with 35 million people and the world's largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$1.191 trillion at purchasing power parity in 2005.

Tokyo is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family. (wiipedia)

----------------------------------------------------The Tokyo Tower
333m Height of the Tower. Since its opening in 1958, the Tokyo Tower has been the world's tallest self-supporting steel tower. The Eiffel Tower in Paris is 320 m high. http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/

Entrance is at 820 yen each up to the intermediate floor where you can have a view of tokyo from 150 m high. If you want to be on the top observation floor you'll have to pay 1420 yen. For those who have been to Eiffel Tower in Paris, its just the same except that it is slightly taller. The time we went to the Tokyo Tower was almost the cold as when we were in Paris!

My Trip. We arrived in Tokyo, one of the most populous cities in the world via Japan Airlines (JAL) on the 4th day of our Japan trip. Tokyo is an hour and 10 minutes flight from Osaka. It was a my first time to fly with JAL and I loved it! You may also reach Tokyo from Osaka through the Shinkansen line or the bullet train. After a deadly walk searching for the hostel we booked through booking.com, we immediately ran outside to catch a taxi to take us to The Tokyo Tower which took us 3000 yen!! We decided to take the taxi although there was a train that stops near the Tokyo Tower because it was already getting late and we have already lost all our energy walking through the asakusa in search for our hotel!

The Oak Hotel. We stayed at the Oak hotel for 2 nights. The room was very small but cute and clean, very basic with t.v, a cabin-like bathroom and a very nice looking bathrobe. It was more expensive in Tokyo than in Osaka. We paid 15000 yen for a double room. The staff were young and nice, and its a relief that they speak good english. There were 3 internet kiosks in the lobby free for use, but of course you have to queue and should limit your use since there are others who are waiting, too. There was also a dining area and kitchen in the communal area next to the reception where you can cook, prepare your food and wash laundry, a vending machine for packed drinks like coffee, juices and water and some crackers. What I liked most was, they have posted a map of the area and all of Tokyo's tourist's attractions complete with suggestions on how to get there, how much it would cost via bus, subway or taxi... cool! At least you can budget everything and also plan your itinerary for the day accordingly. Since it is a youth hostel and more of a backpackers place, guests were mostly young and from around the world. Asakusa was also very near as well as the Ueno Park.

Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries.

For many centuries, Asakusa used to be Tokyo's leading entertainment district. During the Edo Period, when the district was still located outside the city limits, Asakusa was the site of kabuki theaters and a large red light district. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, modern types of entertainment, including movies, set foot in Asakusa.

Large parts of Asakusa were destroyed in the air raids of World War Two. While the area around the rebuilt Sensoji has regained its former popularity after the war, the same cannot be said for Asakusa's entertainment district.
(excerp taken from

Kaminarimon Gate leading to Sensoji Temple, which we visited on our last day in Tokyo.

----------------------------------Souvenir shops along the way to the Temple

----------------------------------------- Sampling Japanese street food!------------------------------------------The Senso Ji Temple Ground

-------------------------------------------------One of the many Pagodas

------------------------------------UENO PARK, Sakura tree.
It is best to visit the Ueno Park when the Cherry blossoms are in full bloom. You may check the jnto website for the flowering dates, usually during the last week of March to April. Unfortunately when we went there, it was just starting to bloom, =(....


Tokyo Disneyland

TOKYO DISNEYLAND. From Tokyo Station, take JR Keiyo Line or JR Musashino Line (about 15 minutes) get off at JR Maihama Station (South Exit). Entrance fee is at 5,800 yen for a day's passport of fun and entertainment!

I was surprised to see a big crowd of visitors flocking to the resort as soon as it opens at 0900 on a Monday morning.

As soon as we entered the park, we saw an escorted Mickey Mouse and immediately kept our camera ready for a pose, but he only obliged to take photos with the kids so we ended up like paparazzis running after him! Then came all the other Disney characters who were more accommodating.

-------------------------------------------------Mickey Mouse
The next star we followed was Donald Duck! but unlike Mickey, he was not escorted so we got a chance to stay close to him.
----------------------------------------------Donald Duck
So much on Mickey's superstar status, there is an official house in the resort if you want to have a photo with him. Posted on the gate of the house says " queuing time from this point: 1 hour and 30 minutes." Yes, you have to stand and queue outside the house for one and a half hour to get a photo with Mickey Mouse.
-----------------------------------------------Mickey's House
When you finally get inside his house, first you will pass through the living room, music room, kitchen, laundry and finally Mickey's room. Only 5 groups can enter the room and you have to wait again for your turn.
-----------------------------------------'Official' Photo with Mickey Mouse
If you are on a short trip to Japan and wish to explore the rides inside the resort, it is advisable to purchase a fast pass since practically all rides, shows and meet and greet sessions have long queue which takes about an hour on the average each.

The usual Disney parade took off at 2:30 in the afternoon, and again if you wish to get a good view of the parade, you have to sit under the scorching heat at least an hour earlier before the parade otherwise there wont be any place to sit.
----------------------------------------------------Disney Parade
Since we only had a day to explore the park, we were only able to enjoy one ride, which was the space mountain in tomorrowland. It was just a 2-minute ride after an hour of queuing. Don't worry, at the end of every queue, there is an advised of how long you have to be in the line so its up to you whether to go on or not.

Tokyo Disneyland is divided into 7 themed lands namely Westernland, tomorrowland, Toontown, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Cricker Country and World Bazaar. The park is quite big and has plenty of rides compared to Hong Kong Disneyland and Paris Disneyland plus has more visitors, so it is advisable to allot at least two days for the resort. As with the other Disneyland Resorts, there are also Disney hotels near it.

For more information visit their website http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/. Enjoy!

Me and My Itchy Feet :)

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