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Going Around Bangkok (Malls) – Day 2.1

After spending half of our day at the Grand Palace we hired a taxi to MBK mall for 250 THB. It accommodates all of us, this time not splitting into two groups. We’re used to heat as we also live in a tropical country but Thailand’s weather is super! We’re all sweating hard as we tour the Grand Palace. So all of us can’t wait to be confined in an air-conditioned room – malls! Bangkok is home to many lavish malls. Part of the rapid growth of it is due to city’s climate. Most of the year it is simply too hot to be outdoor.

MBK Shopping Center has eight floors and packed with 2000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. If you’re into bargain shopping and thrift shops this mall is for you where prices for some stalls are negotiable. Haggle all you want. It is easy to reach  through a direct walkway linking to National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station.

And so our mall hopping starts. I’m able to buy tamarind candy as pasalubong here.

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After MBK we went to Siam Center and met with Milan.

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6:00 PM – Ate at The Pizza Company. Our host’s treat. Lucky to have generous friends. 🙂

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We rode BTS train from Siam station to Asoke station for the famed Terminal 21 mall. It’s nice that most of their mall are easy access to train stations. 😀

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www.zayzaexplores.com

Terminal 21 is a shopping mall in Bangkok with one of a kind concept putting world famous cities in one place. Here you can enjoy Tokyo, London, Paris, Istanbul, Rome and San Francisco. You’ll feel like a jet-setter with it’s airport feel. We enjoyed traveling riding escalators bringing us to different cities. Even each floor’s rest room were themed and coordinated. We had fun of course taking pictures. They offer free wifi but you have to register at the information booth. Your access is good for one year. Isn’t amazing? 😛 The mall is indeed a unique one and a delight for sure to shoppers and mall goers alike.

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Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, CA

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Hollywood, CA

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San Francisco!

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Restrooms (up and below)

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London!

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Rome!

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8:45 PM – BTS again from Asoke to On Nut station

We went to On Nut market just beneath the BTS station. Stalls start to set up here around dusk, selling mainly women’s fashion items and accessories. Not able to buy anything though.

9:15 PM – Takrai Hom Spa Massage

And how can we missed the authentic thai massage (even just a foot massage). After a long day of walking our feet definitely deserved this. This is just near the BTS On Nut station. There’s actually a lot of local foot massage stalls in the area.

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www.zayzaexplores.com

11:15 PM – Tesco Lotus

Tesco Lotus is a hypermarket chain in Thailand. This one is in On Nut. It has direct access to On Nut station. Here we had our last minute pasalubong shopping and funny because here were able to buy a lot. Or we’re just panicking as this is our last chance to shop. I’m amazed that they’re still open that late. We went back to On Nut market and checked the stalls again then after decided to have our dinner or should I call it midnight snack. 😀

Where we had our dinner – near On Nut night market.

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www.zayzaexplores.com

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Going home we took a cab and arrived around 2:30 AM! It has been a long day (as always) but we still can’t sleep as we have to fixed our things for our morning flight back home.

Expenses Day 02 THB PHP
Taxi (85THB) and toll gate (45THB) divided into 4 = 32 32 43
Chao Phraya Express Boat 40 54
Grand Palace Entrance Fee 500 683
Taxi to MBK (250THB) divided into 7 = 34 34 49
BTS from Asoke station to On Nut station 31 42
Takrai Hom Foot Massage 150 205
Dinner: Khao Pad, Pork Stir Fry with Morning Glory (50), 2 Fried Tilapia with Garlic and Pepper (150) = 90 THB each 90 123
Taxi (On Nut to Rachaprarop) divided into 4 50 68
Total 927 1267

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Grand Palace | Wat Phra Kaew – Day 2

Day 2 is dedicated to Grand Palace and mall hopping. Jha will be with us today, she filed a leave from work to be our tour guide for a day. Though still sleepy we all woke up early as we’re all excited to visit Grand Palace. But the excitement was slightly dampened when the taxi we hired tricked us.  Instead of bringing us to the BTS Skytrain station we were brought somewhere in Silom along the Chao Phraya River when they found out we plan to go to the Grand Palace.  We were brought in a different place, had to pay a toll gate aside from our taxi fare. It seems they get commissions for every tourist who’ll be availing their services. I’m not sure if they’re sort of a travel agency  but we don’t want a package tour as we only plan to visit the Grand Palace. The taxi drivers didn’t bother to ask if we want to be brought there and decided for themselves. The tour they’re offering is expensive and beyond our budget. So we left and decided to walk our way out.

We passed by a stall who sells something like Thai’s version of Pinoy halo-halo, we tried one at first and we liked it. Only for the price of 20 THB.

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We asked around on how to get to the nearest BTS Station. It’s not easy to follow instructions as it’s hard to understand each word. We really have to listen well. As we walked we saw Lebua State Tower where they filmed the Hangover Movie 2.

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Finally we reached the BTS Taksin Station but found out it’s best to take the Chao Phraya Tourist boat from Sathorn Pier. BTS Saphan Taksin is the last station before crossing the Chao Phraya River and connects to the Chao Phraya Express boat at the Sathorn Pier.

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While cruising there’s a guide sharing bits of history and stories of landmarks we passed by.

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Here’s Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn). It can be access through Tha Tien Station via the Chao Phraya River boat. You can ride a river crossing ferry to Wat Po (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) for 3 THB and vice versa. Thinking back, what happened earlier is a blessing in disguise as we’re able to pass by other “wats” we’re not able to visit. Yes there’s a lot of  “wats” in Bangkok.

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View of the Grand Palace while still on boat.

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At the Maharaj Pier. Just 5 to 10 minutes walk and you’ll be in the grounds of Grand Palace in no time.

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It’s always interesting to walk in a foreign country, getting different looks from locals, trying their food, getting the feel and the vibe of the place as you observe people and culture.

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And we’re ready to enter The Grand Palace for 500 THB.

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The Grand Palace complex was established in 1782 and consists of not only the royal residence and throne halls but also government offices as well as the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). The Emerald Buddha is enshrined on a golden traditional Thai style throne and changes to three seasonal costumes (summer, rainy season and winter). Only His Majesty, The King can come close and change the Emerald Buddha’s clothes.

The Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha will welcome you upon entering the Grand Palace.

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Already packed with tourist. It is said that this is the number one must-see-sight when in Bangkok. No visit is complete without it.

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The Upper Terrace: Phra Siratana Chedi, Phra Mondop, Royal Pantheon (partly hidden from the picture) and miniature Angkor Wat (not in picture).

Details on details, intricate details actually. Boasting impressive architecture and craftsmanship all over the place. In awe everywhere I look.

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Pictures are not allowed once inside Wat Phra Kaew.

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Temple guardians also called Yaksa Tavarnval (gate-keeping giants).

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Decorating the exterior wall is the mural of the Ramayana.

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Phra Mondop is an exquisitely decorated library containing sacred Buddhist scriptures.

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Phra Mondop

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Behind me and Rj (below) is the Phra Siratana Chedi shining bright.

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One of the two golden chedis fronting the Royal Pantheon.

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Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat is a blend of Thai traditional architecture and a combination of 19th-century European styles. It is situated on the northernmost part of the Phra Thinang Chakri group.

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Few of our group shots inside the palace complex:

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It will take about half of your day to tour the Grand Palace complex. I’m not sure we’re able to see everything as some areas were closed. I couldn’t agree more that one must not missed visiting here when in Bangkok.

Getting here:

  • Take a skytrain to the Saphan Taksin station (ride the Silom Line) then cross the street to the boat terminal. And just like we did purchase a ticket from the Chao Phraya Express Boat, Sathorn Pier – starting point. Disembark at the Maharaj Pier. Grand Palace is just few minutes walk.
  • Or simply ride a taxi from where you are and ask the driver to bring you to the Grand Palace. Make sure that he’s using the taxi meter though. Traffic here can also be worse.

Bits of Info:

  • Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand’s most sacred site so a strict dress code applies
  • Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves
  • Women must be modestly dressed, no see-through clothes/ bare shoulders
  • No flip-flops, only closed shoes
  • Opening Hours: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Entrance Fee: 500 THB
  • Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)
  • Riding the Chao Praya Express Boat gives you access to many of the landmarks and attractions in Bangkok. Buying an all day pass for 150 THB you can get you on and off here, it’s unlimited ride from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. It leaves every 30 minutes and connects to total 8 piers along Chao Phraya River.
  • Wat means temple
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Exploring Aha-mazing Bangkok – Day 1

We don’t get to sleep much as we arrived in Bangkok 2 AM and we have to wake up with less than two-hour sleep for an early tour. It’ll be a busy day for sure as we have to squeeze in most of the activities for only two days. Jha booked  us a half-day tour “Floating Market”. We didn’t avail the whole-day tour the agency is offering as the second half will be spent touring on a crocodile farm. And we don’t want that as we only have limited time in Bangkok. This half-day tour is the only tour we booked and the rest were DIY (do-it-yourself).

Two things we want to experience while in Bangkok. (1) Riding an elephant and (2) floating market. Both wishes were granted. Thanks Madam Jha for arranging our tour.

6:30 AM – We were fetched by our tour guide from where we’re staying.

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With our guide, Ate Gina (in black at the left side)

8:10 AM – Chang Puak Camp

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Chang Puak Camp is in Damnoen Saduak. Chang Puak means white elephant. White elephant as per our guide is only for the king. The camp is like an adventure park. There’s a lot of activities to choose here from elephant riding to elephant feeding. They also offer ATV riding and gun shooting.

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As this is a side trip and not really included in the package we have to pay extra for the elephant ride. It’s just near the floating market so they usually agreed to bring their guests here for the elephant experience. The reason also we can’t stay long.

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www.zayzaexplores.com

The name of our elephant is Hong-hun and he is 7 years old. The elephant ride is 30 minutes. It’s fun riding an elephant but a bit scary too. I was afraid any moment I’ll fall off from the chair atop the elephant. The road is narrow too that one wrong step and we’ll all be drenched in the water.

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Well actually there’s really a part that the elephant will submerge in the water and that even made me uneasy sitting on top. Haha. All along I’ve been thinking that we’ll be thrown from our sit. It’s thrilling actually once you’re in the water. It’s just the transition from land to water since it looks like steep from where we are sitted.

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There’s a souvenir photo at the end that you may opt get for the price of 200 THB. Well obviously we got ours.

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www.zayzaexplores.com

9:00 AM – Floating Market

We hopped in a boat and paddle through for a 10-minute ride to the floating market.

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The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is more than a 100 years old. Located in Ratchaburi province, it is more or less two hours away from Bangkok and the most popular floating market amongst tourists. It could be really crowded especially on weekends. You’ll see a lot of souvenir shops. Great finds from food to clothes to interesting display items.

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You can ride a boat to go around the floating market for 150 THB.

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Wooden boats paddle here and there either with tourists or with locals selling their produce.

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Brunch! We’re not able to eat breakfast due to early call time.

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What we had: Chicken Noodles (50 THB), Shrimp Pad Thai (120 THB), Crispy Pork and Rice (100 THB) and Crab Fried Rice (120 THB)

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A lot is offering this to tourists. Didn’t dare to try though. 😀

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Resting from walking while waiting for others in our tour group.

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10:55 AM – Left the floating market.

11:07 AM – Royal Thai Handicraft Center

Not far from the floating market is the Royal Thai Handicraft Center. They sell traditional Thai products and souvenirs to tourists. The place is huge packed with so many beautiful things. Wood carvings are impressive and shows Thai’s rich history and culture. I love it here because we’re not pressured to buy anything, simply appreciating the beauty of everything and taking lots of photos. 😛

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1:25 PM – Gems Gallery International

Our last stop for this half-day tour. It’s nice to see wide array of jewelries. Though I’m not a fan of those (even fancy ones) I enjoyed looking around. Pictures are not allowed inside.

2:12 PM – Platinum Mall

We asked our van driver to dropped us to Platinum Mall. We’ll do a little bit of shopping. Haha. Actually I’m not able to buy anything. Saleslady here are a bit blunt and frank. I’m on the chubby side and when we asked for sizes they’ll say “For you? No!” Haha. Kaloka si Ate, ayaw makabenta. You’re  not even allowed to try the items as they will say, “no can try”. So yes, I declare I don’t like this mall. Haha joke! #bitter

The Platinum Fashion Mall is a 5 billion baht (100 million euro) shopping mall in Pratunam, Bangkok, Thailand, which specializes in fashion clothes and accessories retail and wholesale. It is a six-storey complex with an 11-storey condominium building above the complex. –Wikipedia

The mall is huge and kind of overwhelming for first timers like us. There are too many shops to choose from. So when you find something you like buy it as you might have a hard time finding it again. Price wise it’s cheaper when you buy 3 or more, they consider it wholesale. There’s a different wing for boys and girls. The place is clean and organized.

4:00 PM – Late lunch in Mc Donald’s Platinum. Ordered their cheeseburger set for 109 THB.

6:00 PM – We met with Silken at Central World.

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We walked around Isetan Mall then took the walkway to Siam Paragon Mall.

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We went inside H&M since they’re on sale. We saw Erich Gonzales (PH’s local celebrity) shopping. Tey as always can’t contain herself and asked to take a picture with her.

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We also checked their grocery store for possible pasalubong but we end up buying other things for personal consumption. Lol.

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8:10 AM – Left Siam Paragon. We rode BTS Train from Mo Chit Station to Victory Monument Station. We went to the Night Market / tiangge area opposite Century Plaza. From there we went to “suki” again near their office for dinner. It’s a long walk and we’re all tired from walking the wholeday.

We ordered 7 pad thai (30 THB), stir fry crispy kale (30 THB), stir fry pork with asparagus (90 THB) and water (10 THB).

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12:15 AM – Khao San Road

Oh yes our day isn’t done yet. Since we don’t have time to go to Patpong, we went to Khao San instead. After dinner we went back home, refresh and recharge for few minutes.

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Khao San Road is a short street in central Bangkok. We took a cab to get here again splitting into two groups. It’s just a kilometer away from The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. You’ll see here a lot of backpackers and tourist alike being strangers to friends sharing each unique travel stories. They’re drawn here because the place offers cheap accommodation, budget hostels, internet cafes, souvenir shops, food stalls, restaurant and bars.  It can be chaotic with tourist partying at night and the back to back blasting sounds of bars. Also make sure to mind your things as there are incident of pick-pocketing in the area.

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Few of the food stalls you can see here.

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A European guy offered to take a picture of us when he saw that we’re struggling to have a group photo. Haha.
www.zayzaexplores.comI like it here, people were chilling and laughing so hard like there’s no tomorrow. Lol. All you can feel is the positive energy from people from different countries sharing good laughs and silly stories. Though we’re still enjoying the vibrant vibe of the place we have to leave for another activity tomorrow. We just had a few drinks and a quick walk and we’re ready to call it a night.

Look even Ronald loves Khao San Road. 😛

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Summary of expenses Day 01:

Expenses Day 01 THB PHP
Half-day Tour 3600 4938
Elephant Ride 600 825
Souvenir Photo 200 274
Brunch: Crab Fried Rice 120 164.5
Mineral Water 10 14
Lunch: Mc Donald’s Cheeseburger Set 109 149.5
BTS Train Fare 30 41
Dinner: Pad Thai 30 41
Dinner: Stir Crispy Kale (30THB) and Stir Fry Pork with Asparagus (90THB) = 120/6 20 27
Taxi Fare (Khao San) 100 137
Total  4819 6611

 

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Aha-mazing Bangkok – Day 00

I visited Bangkok wayback 2013 with my officemates (who happen to be my close friends). We have friends who now works there and they invited us to visit them. Booking with officemates on a seat-sale is always a challenge. First, we’re too many so finding a seat-sale is hard. We don’t want to split or have different flights. Clingy as we are. 🙂 So as always trips are either too short or too long depending on the dates available that can accommodate all of us. But most often it’s too short so our activities are always jam-packed and always in a hurry. Second, we have to consider our leaves. There can’t too many of us to file a vacation. Good thing two of us transferred to another department. So leaves are a bit easier to manage.

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While waiting at the airport. Earl MIA (missing in action)

We were in Bangkok first week of May and the temperature never goes down to 34 degrees. We really felt it when we visited The Grand Palace on our second day. It’s so hot and humid. Jha said it’s hotter than the Philippines. We’re sweaty all over especially our boys Rj and Earl.

Our flight arrived past midnight. 2 AM to be exact. There’s a slight delay from our flight in Manila. We boarded the plane 10:10 PM and it left 10:30 PM. It’s a good 3 and a half hours travel from Manila to Bangkok. Manila is one hour behind.

We we’re fetched by Jha and Milan (our host while in BKK) at the airport. Vans and taxi are the only available mode of transportation. Train is no longer available at the time we arrived at the airport. We hired a taxi and split into two groups. Taxi is 200 THB but Jha paid for it. 😀

We were dropped somewhere near our friend’s office to have our late dinner. They call it “suki” since they frequent the place. Silken met us there. They all work in the same company.

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I had or most of us should I say had thai fried rice for 30 THB.

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From there we just walked to our friend’s place. They were renting a condominium not far from their workplace. On our way we passed by a convenience store. We went inside to check how different PH’s 7/11 from BKK’s. Haha. Well they have bigger sizes of Yakult to start. 😀

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To end our long day, we all had a taste of mango sticky rice Jha prepared. Being a fan of mangoes (ripe or not) I easily fell in love the first taste. I love the combination of mango, sticky rice and coconut milk.

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Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niaow Ma Muang)

Mango sticky rice is a Thai classic famous dessert. Just put some fresh mango slices over the sticky rice (also known as sweet rice) and smother a coconut milk.

We had our peso exchange to thai baht at Terminal 3, not far from Cebu Pacific’s area. There’s a money changer there.
Summary of expenses for the day:
 
Expenses Day 00 THB PHP
Terminal Fee 1620
Travel Tax 550
Thai Fried Rice 30 41.15
Total   2211.15
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4D and 3N – PPS and El Nido Itinerary and Expenses

I’ve been mentioning that this tour was booked with a travel agency. My friend arranged our trip as I’m busy for my wedding preps. It’s a good 4 days and 3 nights stay in Palawan back in 2013. If you read my blog about this trip this is a late post. I’m not sure if all prices quoted here are current but let me share this to you as this might still be helpful as a  reference.

First let me share some info about the travel agency 🙂

MLG Tours and Travel Services (Formerly Angies Travel and Tours)
Address: #8 Talakitok St., New Buncag, Puerto Princesa City
Contact #s: (048) 4330245 | (048) 7230374 | 09175751953
Website: http://www.mlgtourspalawan.com
Email Address: info.mlgtourspalawan@gmail.com

***Package Inclusions for 4D&3N:
– 2 nights at El Nido La Casa Beach Resort based on triple sharing; 1 night at Havila bed and Breakfast on double and quadruple sharing
– Daily set breakfast, buffet lunch on underground river tour; packed lunch on El Nido island hopping tour
– Tours: Underground River and El Nido Island Hopping (Tour A)
– Round trip public air-conditioned van land transfer PPS- El Nido
– Boat and shed rentals during island hopping

***Package exclusions:
Php 200 / pax ETDF (Environmental Tax Dev’t Fee)
Rent of kayaks and snorkeling gears

Here’s our 4D&3N – PPS and El Nido Itinerary (time and details of our activities are on my Palawan blog posts)

Day 1
– Arrival at the airport
– Lunch (charge to guest)
– Proceed to San Jose Terminal
– Depart for El Nido (6-hour drive to El Nido)
– Overnight at El Nido accommodation – La Casa Teresa Beach Resort
– Dinner (charge to guest)

Day 2
– El Nido Island Hopping – Tour A (wholeday)
– Activities : swimming, snorkeling, fish feeding
– Lunch at the island
– Dinner (charge to guest)

Day 3
– Back to PPS
– City Tour in the afternoon (not included in the package we booked with MLG Tours and Travel)

Day 4
– Underground River Tour
– Flight back to Manila (late afternoon)

 Here’s our breakdown of expenses for 4 days:

Expenses PHP
MLG Tours total package cost/pax (based on 6 pax) 5,895

 

Expenses – Day 1 PHP
Lunch (fastfood take out) 125
Dinner (P555 split into 6) 92.5
Total 217.5

 

Expenses – Day 2 PHP
ETDF 200
Dinner (paluto) 108
Total 308

 

Expenses Day 3 PHP
Lunch 99
City Tour 400/pax (including van and guide) 400
Souvenir picture at the Crocodile Farm (optional) 200
Crocodile sisig (optional) 200
Chaolong’s beef stew with noodles (my order) 55
Total 954

 

Expenses – Day 4 PHP
Terminal fee 40
Dinner 105
Total 145

 

TOTAL for 4 days PHP 7,302

***Breakdown of expenses  exclusion: air fare and pasalubong.

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PPS (Day 4) – Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

A UNESCO Heritage Site, never miss visiting Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also known as Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) when in Puerto Princesa. The national park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range and is part of the West Philippine Sea. Since 1992 it is being managed by the city government.

In 2012 it was named as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature so getting visitor’s entry permit gets a bit stricter and harder. It’s better to secure this before flying to Palawan. Most of the time it is fully booked especially during summer as they expect huge influx of tourists. There are  also guidelines to follow. Since our tour were booked with a travel agency all these were taken care before our arrival.

5:45 AM – Early breakfast. We have to wake up 5 AM as we have an early call time. We have to be ready when the van arrives to pick us.

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Good morning says our bloated eyes and face! Haha

6:20 AM – We left Havila Bed and Breakfast. We brought all our things with us because after the tour we plan to go somewhere else or straight to the airport. While inside the van our guide Ate Aileen (from the travel agency) explains a bit of history of the underground river, our itinerary and what to do and expect from the tour. From PPS to Sabang it will take usually two hours travel time.

7:45 AM – Stop over at Jazz’ Souvenir and Cafeteria. Public toilets available here as well. From here to Sabang it will take us 20 minutes.

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Jazz’ Souvenir and Cafeteria

8:20 AM – Arrived in Sabang. It is a small village in Puerto Princesa and the gateway to the underground river. We were seated upon arrival while Ate Aileen registers for us. We have to wait for our group to be called. Tours are pretty organize.

To get to the famed Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park you have to take a 15 to 20-minute motorized boat ride to the wharf.

TIP: While on the boat don’t missed to look around and enjoy the stunning view. Indeed a beautiful creation of God.

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Upon arrival there’s a short walk to the entrance of the underground river. There, paddle boats are waiting. You have to register again.

Here we are already in the paddle boat and so hyped to start the tour.

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Puerto Princesa Underground River is 8.2 km long and is actually one of the world’s longest and navigable underground river. For the regular tourist tour though, we’re only seeing the 1.2 km part of it.

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Cave’s entrance. Say hello to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park!

Inside it’s dark,  you’ll see caves with major formations of stalactites and stalagmites. The smell is also not that good, mainly because of the bats who inhabited the place and for sure there’s a lot of them hanging on the cave. But I don’t mind them, I’m just in awe the whole time I’m inside.

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Each of stalactites and stalagmites has a name depicting the images they were named after. Here you’ll see cathedral, Holy Family, Mama Mary and there’s even a vegetable section.

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After the tour, all smile. 🙂

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Last look before leaving…

It’s really deserving to be part of the Seven Wonders of the World. The tour inside is about 45  minutes to 1 hour and is not boring at all. Aside from being fascinated by this natural wonder, you’ll be entertained by tour guides. They throw in punchlines and jokes aside from the usual facts/information they give about the underground river.

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We were refrained from taking pictures from this welcome sign of the underground river when we arrived. So now that the tour is over, how can me miss this right?

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We’re newly weds so I guess we have an excuse for wearing couple shirts. Lol. At our back is the docking area of boats from Sabang to the underground river.

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Panoramic view

11:00 AM – We’re back in Sabang. Ate Aileen is still with us, this time guiding us to the place for our buffet lunch. It is still  included in the tour package we booked with them.

So here we are at the Gusto Grill and Restaurant it’s just a walking distance from the Sabang port.

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There’s a makulit girl who sells tamilok near our table. She keeps on pestering us (but in a nice way) to try it for P100 so we gave in and give it a try.

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So what is tamilok? Tamilok (woodworm) is a famous local delicacy in Palawan. It looks like a worm but it’s actually a mollusk and usually thrives in rotting mangroves. You eat it raw, just dunked dipped it in a vinegar and its ready to be eaten.

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And yes, all of us tried it. Walang kawala. I can’t describe the taste since I just swallowed it. 😀

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12:20 PM – We left Sabang to go back to the city. We asked to be dropped at Robinson’s Puerto Princesa to kill time since our flight is 5:45 PM.

Our time in Palawan might be limited, we may not be able to do other tours or visit other attractions but still felt very blessed to be able to experience all this. You’ll never get tired admiring it’s local and very diverse beauty. Well Palawan, as what General McArthur said, I shall return. 😛

Itinerary and expenses for the whole trip is on a separate post. You may click here.

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Puerto Princesa (Day 3) – City Tour

Day two was indeed a blast touring El Nido. Time to leave this paradise and be back to Puerto Princesa. We were fetched in La Casa Teresa early in the morning. Good thing there were no other passengers, just us, so the travel was comfortable. We were accompanied by Ate Gem (from the travel agency). We intend to have our city tour when we get back in Puerto Princesa.

6:00 AM – Our van left La Casa. Another one hour of rough road as the road project isn’t finished at that time.

7:20 AM – Stop over in Taytay, Palawan

8:41 AM – Another stop over in Bottega Resto Bar and Spa in Roxas

11:30 AM – Finally arrived in Havila Bed and Breakfast, our home for one night while in PPS. We availed the package offered by Kuya Rey (owner of the place) for our city tour. We just have to squeeze in this to our schedule since we have nothing to do in the afternoon. We’re skipping Honda Bay though due to lack of time and the Subterranean River tour we’re doing it tomorrow. City tour is not included in the package we got from the travel agency.

2:00 PM – We went to Robinson’s Puerto Princesa before commencing our tour to have our late lunch.

3:30 PM – We started our tour at the Palawan Crocodile Farm (Palawan Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Center)

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And these cuties welcomed us. We’re on the souvenir area. 🙂

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Posing with the giant crocodile’s skin and skeleton. It is one of the biggest crocodile captured in the waters of Palawan. Imagine if this is alive. Will be scared to death and won’t be able to do this wacky pic for sure.

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At the walkway bridge, from atop you can see the crocodiles.

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With their mouth-open, it seems they’re ready to jump and eat someone but no, it’s their way of releasing body heat. But still scary right?

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Here in the Philippines, crocodile farmers breed and raise only two species of crocodiles, the saltwater crocodile (crocodylus porosus) and the Philippine freshwater crocodile (crocodylus mindorensis) and they both have them in this farm.

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We had this photo op with this baby crocodile for a fee which will be use to help fund the cause for crocodile conservation.

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Date won’t lie. I know right. Yes, it’s a late post. 😛

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There are other animals in the farm, as they have a mini zoo at the back. We’re not a able to take a picture though. It’s so hot since it’s almost summer time and all we want that time is an ice cold softdrinks water, water, water… There’s a store who sells crocodile meat. And the boys being boys ordered crocodile sisig for P200.

4:36 PM – Sta. Monica Ranch most commonly known as Mitra’s Farm is located uphill of Sta. Monica and is owned by the family of the late Senator Ramon Mitra. It is open from 6AM – 6PM. The place gives you a panoramic view of Puerto Princesa. Here you can have a glimpse of Honda Bay. Although we skipped this tour at least we had a good view of it up here.

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Aside from picture taking and admiring the view, there are a lot of activities you can do here. You may try their zip line, horseback riding or bounce in the trampoline. Or simply savor the view while in a swing like we did. Saves money too. 😛

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5:15 PM – Baker’s Hill

It has become another popular destination in the Puerto Princesa city tour. Aside from their hopia, chocolate crinkles and other baked goodies and delicacies they’re famous for their theme park on site. They started as an ordinary bakery shop but eventually expanded into theme park. This is a great place for families too as the kids will surely enjoy the place with those life-size statues aside from it’s playground.

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These are just few of the many things you’ll see in Baker’s Hills

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Before leaving of course we have to hoard their famous hopia for only P40-P45 per box.

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We asked Kuya Rey, owner and tour guide of Havila Bed and Breakfast, to bring us to a place where we can buy our pasalubong and he brought us to LRC 908 Market Mall in San Miguel Puerto Princesa. At the time of our visit it was newly opened. It opened November of 2012 and we’re there March of 2013.

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Meet the very friendly Kuya Ninoy of Ninoy and Tin Dried Fish. Their store is just at the front. For orders and queries here’s his contact #: 0948-7437711. Promise nakakatawad sa kanya. 😀

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For dinner we were brought by Kuya Rey to Bona’s Chaolong House and Restaurant in Manalo St. to have a taste of chaolong. Apparently  chaolong and Vietnamese food in general is quite popular in Puerto Princesa as it was once been home to many refugees from Vietnam in the late 70’s. That explains a handful of Vietnamese restaurant in the city.

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When we arrived in Bona’s Chaolong the place was jampacked! We have to wait for quite a while to be seated.

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Chaolong is made of rice noodles in sweet broth and meat. I ordered beef stew and it is served with a plate of bean sprouts, calamansi and basil leaves on the side while my husband ordered Chaolong’s buto-buto with noodles sbs. I’m a fan of Viet food but this one is new to my taste maybe because of its sweetness. It’s not one of those fancy restaurants but many keeps coming back because price wise it’s cheaper than others but still tastes as good.

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And finally back in Havila Bed and Breakfast after a long day. Whew!

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Accommodation: Though our accommodation is inclusive in the package we book with the travel agency let me share some information I got from Kuya Rey regarding their inn during our stay. Will be posting their contact # once I find them. 😀

Havila Bed and Breakfast
Address: 271-f Malvar St., Puerto Princesa City Palawan
– They can accommodate 16 guests
– They have 5 rooms; 3 rooms with in room CR and 2 common CR
– They offer room service
– They provide shuttle service
– Standard rate: P450 per person per night inclusive of breakfast

Bits of Info:

  • Crocodile Farm is open from 8AM – 4PM and entrance fee is P40
  • Mitra’s Farm is open from 6AM – 6PM. No entrance fee but there’s a P20 fee to get inside Mitra’s house. You can get a good view here at their view deck.
  • Free Entrance also to Baker’s Hill
  • Baker’s Hill is close on Mondays

Itinerary and expenses for the whole trip is on a separate post. You may click here.

 

 

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