Oh Well, no one joined, no one sent me a message, so no winner, all the people who liked my fb page are my friends. So sad. :(
Well, I’m still thinking of continuing the promo period until March. So, if you’re game with it, just say yes in the comment section below, and I will decide in just a week, if I get good response, then I will consider, giving it away again.
Hey Wanderers, I’m giving it for real, don’t miss that chance! :)
Last year, my friends and I decided to book our flight towards Beijing not only to see the sights but to experience winter and snow for the first time. My friend’s parents decided to join us, so my plan on “backpacking” Beijing—meaning no tour guides, with only the 4 of us wandering around with a map in our hand- went down the drain. :)
Nevertheless, I loved the idea that we will have a tour guide, a van and a very knowledgeable tour. :) Knowing that I won’t stress about where to go, or to speak in Mandarin just to get to our destination.
I chose Rain. Rain was very accommodating, very knowledgeable about the history of Beijing, as well as very trustworthy. We paid her after the tour, and she even offered us a discount. :) Moreover, her rate is cheaper compared to other tourguides, upon searching for the cheapest PRIVATE TOUR in Beijing. I found Rain in synotrip.
Rain is a certified tour guide, as seen in her website. She is very smart, and very kind. She is patient enough for us while we take pictures in the very cold winter day/night. Our driver is none other than her husband, who is really “handsome” haha, and very accommodating. However, unlike Rain, her husband, rarely talks to us since he only knows basic English. Rain on the other hand, is very knowledgeable in English. Rain is good in conversational english. She doesn’t eat her words unlike other Chinese tour guides, so you don’t need to worry in asking again and again “pardon” “please repeat that” what’s that? “sorry” since you don’t need to. You can easily understand her. :)
Her rate is:
600RMB or Chinese Yuan per day (for 9 hours) with van and tour guide.
300RMB one way airport transfers
400RMB tour guide and van within the city
If you exceeded the 9 hours per day tour, these are the charges: 60RMB per hour
Here’s my 3 DAY ITINERARY WITH RAIN
December 21 : Airport Pick Up Service (12:05 am)
6:30/7:00am Pick up from hotel, go to Juyongguan Pass (2hours), then Badaling Great wall(4 hours) Then we are going to tour the following: Olympic Green andWangfujing St., Houhai Area, Qianmen Street. Payment is 600RMB with 60RMB/hour overtime charge.
Our first day is so tiring, but we really wanna see all the highlights in Beijing. So, please understand. and mind you, it is doable. :) not that tiring especially since it was cold and you won’t sweat.
December 22,: Tian’an Men Square, Forbidden City (please take note that we want to tour every inch of Forbidden City, like going to the museums etc.), Jingshan Park, Behai Park and Ghost Street (if time permits) 400RMB fixed rate with additional 50RMB/hour for overtime (just tour guide with no transportation anymore, since they are near each other)
December 23: Summer Palace (3 hours), Temple of Heaven, Lama Temple, Silk Market . 600RMB with 60RMB/hour overtime payment then transfer going to the airport (300RMB)
The staff, architecture, facilities (even the shampoo, conditioner, bath soap) define luxury at its best. The shampoo, conditioner and bath soap are made of high end brands. The buildings stand tall, showing its grandeur design. The staff are well trained. Trained enough to make everyone smile.
Let me tell you that this is not a sponsored post, I’ll tell you my honest opinion about Misibis Bay. No sugar coating. My real review. My real opinion.
I went here last September 2012, only for a day tour which costs more or less P3500.00 per person. We were told to meet up in Hotel Venezia at 6am which is located inside one of the luxury subdivisions in Legazpi City, called Renaissance Garden.
We rode a van in order to get there, the van contains separate seats and a spacious leg room. The staff will hand you a bottled water just in case you get thirsty. and the way towards the resort is not that rocky, so, it is not tiring at all. Just hate the part, when we waited for the other guests to arrive, or to get ready, the other guests that we are sharing the van with are late, knowing that they’re staying in Venezia itself– which is managed by the same company that holds Misibis Bay. The hotel should have told them to hurry up or else they’ll be left behind without refund, instead, the hotel staff did not do anything but let us wait– which I think is too wrong and too long.
The travel time is about 1.5 hours, and during the whole trip, I was wide awake, because of my curiosity as well as my excitement. I just can’t contain it.
When I saw the gate, I felt my heart thump more than the usual. When the gate opened, smiles and greetings are in the air, although I can’t hear it myself since I’m still inside the van. I just saw them smiling so kindly to us. Giving us a warm welcome. And just few seconds after, I can hear a loud sound, and there it is, the Ibalong dance. 2 youngsters are dancing to greet us with their lovely costume and dance moves, after which we were brought to the main lobby.
The staff is courteous, always smiling and the best part is, they make you feel like a King or queen even just for a day. Upon arrival in Misibis Bay, My brother and I were greeted by the Ibalong dance (Ibalong is a tale/legend about Albay). Provided us with our own complimentary juice, and waited by their staff who answered our every whim– but, we didn’t overstep our boundaries though, we just asked information regarding the resort. All throughout that day I spent in Misibis made me think that I can feel rich even for just a time.
About the facilities, It has everything that you ask for a resort, except for the horse riding part (though I’m not sure, if they don’t have this). :) They have hotel rooms which costs about P20,000 per night. Which is expensive for the Filipino middle class. But, hey, what they are selling here is the exclusivity, or may I say the luxury, and their target are those people who love it. So, if you want to feel a little luxury yourself, and you can afford it, then why not spend it here.
The facilities include the gym, which is quite small in size, about 40sqm, but has 2 treadmill, and the usual things that you see in a gym. Pardon my brother, I asked him to pose for me. :)
In Misibis, there are 3 pools. The best pools are the ones near the villas and of course the infinity pool, since the other one is for the youngsters. Isn’t the view awesome?
AS FOR THE BEACH… Well, all I can say is that it is so-so. Why? The sand is not as white as they claim. For me, it is brown. The sand is inconsistent, some powdery while some sandy. And the beach itself is not amazing, it is only a small stretch of beach. The water is not the boracay blue—light blue–instead it is dark blue with a hint of a green. And while swimming, you’ll realize that you are stepping in rocks, which have this green moss or algae, or whatever, so I guess, the hint of green color was from those. And mind you, it is a bit slippery, so be careful. If I’m the person who wants to go here just because of the beach, then you’ll be disappointed, just like me, who thought that it has a long stretch of white sand as the pictures and the promo materials depict, but the truth is it is not the same. I’d rather go to Caramoan or beaches in Sorsogon if my main point is to go the beach. .If you are planning on a vacation where you can walk or jog in the sand, then this is not the resort you should be looking at. Stay in Boracay or other resorts instead. .
The beach is the downside, but hey, there are only few people who will share the beach with you, so it is not that bad, especially if you are looking for privacy or exclusivity, which Boracay’s white beach can’t offer you.
AS FOR THE FOOD. Well, it’s buffet and it’s included in our day tour package. The buffet table has variety, few but enough.I love the dessert table too. I ate halo-halo from there. Although I would say that the taste is just so-so. It is good but not that good to say WOW! And if you buy an ala carte food here, the lowest price you could get is P300.00, expensive yes. But, you are in the right place to spend, and you went there to spend anyway, so why not?
AS FOR THE STAFF. Part of what I love in Misibis are the smiling, ready to help staff that serves your every whim. Ask them and they will answer. All I can say is Filipino hospitality at its finest. I have no qualms about the staff, and also… they make sure you are safe in every way, they always remind you to wear your life jackets, and life guards are just within your sight. It is amazing to see how they make sure that you are having a great time.
WHAT MADE ME ENJOY MISIBIS ARE THE RESORT ACTIVITIES. Sports or other activities are free for day tour guests. I tried ziplining, hobie cat sailing, snorkeling and touring cagraray island, and of course swimming…swimming..swimming.
Zipline. (which is crazy, because it was my first time, and is part of my bucket list). The area you’ll be hanging into, is a cliff. Yes, a cliff. And it is about 400m long. By which IF… JUST IF.. IF the cable holding your dear life snaps, then just close your eyes, say your prayer and wish that you’ll be getting into heaven. I loove the zipline here. It’s adrenaline pumping, heart thumping and of course an experience of a life time. My first zipline is in here, and it is a 400m and below is a cliff, not those sissy types of zipline like that in the mall of asia, that is only 6-7 m high from the ground- I call that sissy zipline. I’m glad that my first time was as scary as this! hah!
The zipline here though has a stop in the middle, so it is not a straight 400m. But, the stop is in the middle of a cliff, so in any way, to get back to the main road, you need to ride it again, this time, in a not-so-scary part… and mind you, I was scared during my first “flight” but I don’t have a choice but to get to the other side by doing it again.
Snorkeling. That was my first time that I touched the expensive yet yummy sea cucumber that East Asians love to eat. And the fishes that surround you is really amazing, A lot of different fishes. Schools of fishes (yes, fishes, since there are different schools of them). This is fun and I was really happy that I tried it. All the snorkeling gears are free, the bread that you’ll feed to the fish and you’ll have your snorkeling guide too.
Hobie Cat Sailing. I just love sailing with this light-material looking boat. ha! I don’t know how to describe it, just look at the pictures below: Well, I love riding it because it was my first time and that I love how we move because of the wind. We are sailing fast and went so far beyond the boundary because the wind is powerful, which adds to the excitement. Those who are scared to try this, don’t worry you are required to wear a life vest.
Kayaking. It was hard. I just kept on circling and circling, and a bit scared, so I stopped. Although it is just for a while it was fun!
Stand Up paddle surfing. I’m telling you, this is impossible! haha! I tried this one and knew about it because of the Amazing Race and I tried to imitate it. Although it looks easy but it is not. Really, it is not. haha. This is where you will need to stand in a surfing board and paddle yourself to move while you’re in the water. It’s fun but seriously hard.
Then the tour. The tour took us to see what’s in the Cagraray Island. We were touring using a golf cart, we went to the theater, the beautiful church/chapel, the part of the resort for the middle class, where the hanging bridge is located, and 2 pools can be seen. zipline site and the snorkeling site. :)
Relaxing. My brother and I waited until it is not that hot anymore to swim or try the activities. So, the first thing we did was to go to the building where the facilities like table tennis/ billiards *(if I remember it right), and the soccer game table, lots of sofas, tables, magazines, televisions and internet-ready computers. We stayed there and played everything until we got bored, ate lunch and started the activities that I mentioned above.
Swimming. We went to every pool that we can see. But we didn’t even try to dip ourselves in the kiddie pool. haha. But my first instinct was to go to the beach, and we swim there, although just for a few minutes. I noticed that there is bar in the beach, so you can order your drinks, alcoholic or not in that bar. There’s also a bar in the infinity pool itself, you can buy your ice cold shakes or alcoholic drinks while swimming in the infinity pool and savoring the blue sea amid the blue sky.
In short, I enjoyed Misibis. It is hard to tell otherwise, especially because of the list of activities they offer, especially the zip line. But most of all, what I loved here is the exclusivity of the resort. You will think that you’re the only guests in the place. I experienced having the beach and pool by myself, and not only that, I felt that I’m being served by the staff as if I’m a queen. Although they can improve in terms of the food, but I don’t know how they’ll improve the beach. hah! :)
If you’ll ask me whether the money is worth it? YES, for the experience. But I can say that once is enough.
My judgment: MISIBIS IS NOT ONLY A PLACE: IT’S AN EXPERIENCE IN ITSELF.
Last December 2012, my friends and I went to Beijing, China, and as you know, December is part of the winter months in Beijing. The temperature may drop up to -15 degrees celsius so, before going there, I made sure that I was ready to face the cold winter weather in Beijing!
Well, I’m in love with the cold weather, so I was really excited to enjoy this climate-change (no, not that climate change that you are thinking! :)) but what I didn’t know about is the craziness, yes the craziness of preparing for a winter escapade! The craziness started when I knew that the cold freaking weather can go down at -20 degrees celsius, crazy right?? A person living in the tropics might just die (o, ika nga sa filipino, mangisay nalang ako! haha) Therefore, as early as 2 months before my flight, I started shopping for my winter outfits…. it is crazy ‘coz unlike my other trips, I just wear whatever I already have, but this, this needs preparation. if we are not prepared going to that “war” ! Knowing that our climate is +32 degrees celsius more, and the lowest that we can get is 18 degrees. If we weren’t ready we will never be able to go out and look around the areas that we are supposed to see, so before going out your tropical-usually hot climate country, you should be prepared. Anyway, nuff said. So here are my little tips, for your crazy climate temperature-change, ermm… snow-laden vacation:
1. Research on how low the temperature can get. If the temperature goes down to a negative, then you need to follow my advice, if it’s not, but you are the type of person who cannot withstand a 20 degrees airconditioned room, then you can also follow my advice (especially those going to HK, since last year December 2012, when I went there, the temp dropped to 5 degrees celsius, which it is not supposed to do because HK temp is usually above 10 degrees!! and yeah, I was really glad that I have my Beijing clothing with me that time! :))
2. If you can fathom buying second hand clothing for your winter escapade, then why not? that’s what I did. I bought clothes from the ukay-ukay or thrift shops in Harrison Plaza, just behind the national book store. For only P150,00 to P350.00 you can get a down jacket or a coat. This is the best way to save money for your trip, why? because a down jacket or a coat may cost you more than your airticket going to your destination (I’m talking about my kind, who patiently waits for seat sales of various airlines and get the usual P15,000 worth or airticket for only P2000-P5000). heh! :) But, if you have the money, why not splurge? My philosophy why I bought second hand clothing is that I will only use it once. Just make sure that you soak it up with the best cleaners that you have! But, if you are the yucky-it’s second hand type, then try the Surplus stalls located in the Mall of Asia (the biggest surplus store, they sell coats and down jackets too, quite expensive than the usual second hands but it is all worth it too). However, I bought my other two coats in the Surplus Store inside a mall in Divisoria, that mall nearest to Lucky China Town, and along Reyna Regente Street, it is before you arrive the much well-known 168 mall. I’ll put the name here when I remember its name. Well, in the top floor of that mall, there is this surplus shop which sells various branded clothing for only a dime. I bought there an Anne Klein coat for only P100.00. hah! such a great deal? ayt?! Well, these are surpluses, so they are not “ukays” or second hands, they are overruns or surpluses, but always check for damages! :)
3. The type of textile/cloth used in your clothing may make or break your vacation, so please.. please…. please… (3 cute pleases, with a wink! :)) you should remember this clothing that will never ever ever ever make you warm during this vacation, don’t make any of these are your jacket, but you can use them as an outer pants. :)
Maong or those in your jeans
leather – don’t use leather jackets there, except if you wanna die or if you have a bike! hah! :) peace, to the leather lovers!
Because these textiles or tela does not retain moisture, they absorb them! your clothes need to retain moisture because that very same moisture will warm you up. Nah, I don’t get the idea, but from my thorough research, that was what I found.
Best textiles/cloth that can help you:
So, just check while you buy your clothes, it can be found in the tags of the clothes.
Things to buy for your winter escapade!
Outer Jacket – must be made of wool, or goose feathers (you know, the one which will make you look like a Michelin man, but if you have this you will definitely survive the battle :)
Inner Jacket – you should have 3-4 layers of clothing, so here is the other one, it can be a cardigan made of wool, polyester and all. But not those mentioned above that should not be worn.
Your woolen or stitched/ gantsillo kind of sweater.Or any shirts not made from those mentioned above (cotton etc.)
Underwear- no, not that usual underwear we use in the tropics, but you can still wear them. No, you should still wear them. So what I’m saying here is that, after wearing your usual panties-bra or briefs, you should wear this “winter-ready underwears” which is called long-johns, or what we call warmers with heat-tech technology. It looks like leggings and tights, but aside from the same appearance, the latter does not have the same capability of making you stay warm. What you buy here is the heat-tech technology. I bought one pair mine in UNIQLO which is P795.00 and one pair from Marks and Spencers which costs P1395.00 per piece. For a pair in M&S I bought it for P2500.00 and it will depend on the type or quality of the warmers you’ll gonna buy. But, you can go to 168 mall, 2nd floor, and there is a stall there selling underwear, ask them to give you warmers or long johns. And you can buy a pair for P450.00. Well, the difference between those sold in UNIQLO and 168 mall is the thickness. the one sold in 168 is thicker which means it will be bulkier to look at once you worn all the outfits, on the other hand those sold in Marks and Spencers or UNIQLO are super thin, it feels as if it’s your second skin. By the way, this is very important, don’t forget to buy this!
Socks - Please buy a pair of heat-tech socks, not those ordinary ones as most of them are made in cotton, which is not a good textile to use because when it gets wet, it absorbs it, and stays cold for the rest of the time. Remember, you are going to a snowy filled place, and snow is water, and when it gets to you, it will feel wet and cold. This happened to one of my friends who used cotton or ordinary socks, she said, her feet felt numb.
Scarf - Buy one in any stores that you will find, Buy those stitched/gantsillo/knitted ones, or those pashmina kind of scarves not those bought for the beach, the ones which are transparent or look like it would not shield you from anything.
Gloves - Don’t buy leather gloves unless you want to sacrifice your hands by making them feel numb all the time. leather does not, never, makes you feel warm, and actually it will make you feel cold. Knitted or mittens are recommended.
Hat - Though you can buy it in your destination, it is still good if you already have this with you. It is one of the most important, as heat escapes almost 90 percent from our head. Hence, to keep you warm, you should make sure that you have a head gear
Earmuffs- Oh, I tell you, this is not for show! They have their own use, which is to make your head and ear nice and warm. I’ll tell you, you wanna protect your ears, they are also prone to frost bite. you don’t wan’t to home, earless, aren’t you? hahaha. But you can buy this in the place of your destination, as it is cheaper there than buying here.
Boots/ Shoes- don’t use leather, unless your shoes are those trekking-in-southpole-mount-everest- kind of leather shoes, then why not? Boots sold here in our country is nothing but for the purpose of design, not functionality, so it would not help you at all. I saw one in Aldo, it’s an uggs type, so it would be helpful. You can also try buying in Forever 21, or if not, visit the thrift shop I metioned above, since they also sell these goodies. However, I didn’t buy it because I’m afraid of athletes’ foot. :) So, I got mine in F21. Make sure that it looks warm and cozy. Rubber Shoes ladies and gentlemen, is not, never will be a winter shoes. the cold slips through the rubber, which will make you say “I’m cold” all the time. Trust me, my friend told me that she had made a mistake! hahaha. But, I tell you, you can buy shoes in the place of your destination. It’s actually better to buy there as it is cheaper, so you can use your rubber shoes for a time, then just buy there, make sure, you will be shopping during your first day, but if not, better buy here or in your home country
Petroleum Jelly - Instead of the usual lip balm, use this. Your lips will be extremely dry that an ordinary lip balm (may it be burt’s bees or nivea) cannot withstand. Petroleum Jelly is the best to prevent wind burns and dryness. Believe me, in our group, they insisted in using their balms and later on they said that it doesn’t work, and they asked to share in my petroleum jelly
Skin lotion and face moisturizers- due to the dry temperature, you need this to prevent wind burn.
One of the down side of traveling in winter, is how bulky your luggage can get, or that you will have the same jacket for the rest of the trip. Worry not, my fellow travelers who loves winter clothing. You can minimize your luggage by buying those vacuum bags that make your clothes thinner when you put it in your luggage. Trust me, they will be flat, but there’s no need to iron it again!
I bought 5 vacuum bags from Japan Home Store for P88 or P66 pesos each. and then…. it does it magic.
This is how we looked! BTW, i practiced wearing my clothes before my flight to Beijing, just to see how it looks, but nah! when you’re there already, sish to fashion!! This is true, I didn’t care about how I look because I care more about how I’ll survive the cold! :)
Together with BORACAY RESIDENCES, Yannah the Wanderer is giving up a 3 DAYS 2 NIGHTS STAYin the lovely Boracay Residences for 4 persons with free daily breakfasts, transfers to and from Boracay port and 24 hours shuttle service to any point in Boracay, This package is valid for the whole 2014, except during holidays.
This promo is in view of the incoming Second year anniversary of Yannah the Wanderer’s blog this coming December 14, 2013, and as thanksgiving to all my readers and followers! :)
Promo will run from November 24, 2013, at 8:00 pm +8 GMT until January 10, 2014. Raffle and receiving of entries will be until January 10, 2013, 7:00pm Philippine time. The determination of winner will be on January 10, 2014, 11:00 pm.
Joining is easy!
1. Create a group of four (4) people, and choose a team leader. One group consisting of 4 persons = 1 entry
3. The team leader will send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com) with these details:
a. Name of the team leader, contact number, email address, residential address, and FB Account links and name
b. Name of the other 3 group members, email address, residential address, contact number and FB account links and FB name
c. the team leader will answer this question, in just 2-3 sentences: What do you think is the best travel destination in the Philippines, aside from Boracay? Why?
4. The name of the team leader will be the one entered into the raffle, which will be done on January 10, 2013, at 11:00pm.
5. The raffle will be made through a randomizer app and the winner’s name will be posted here in this blog, as well as YTW’s FB account.
6. The reservation will be coursed thru YTW. :)
All details sent to YTW will be confidential :)
1. Anyone within the Philippines can join.
2. Only one entry per group/ 4 fb accounts. Only one entry is given even if you shuffle your group and names of team leaders. As long as it is composed of the same group members. Any violation will disqualify all entries made.
3. Two (2) entries of the same person forming a different group is valid, as long as the other 3 members are different from the previous group, and the team leader’s name is different. Hence, there should be a maximum of 2 groups or 2 entries per person.
If the same person is included in the raffle 3 times, such entry is invalid and will disqualify the other entries with the same person in the raffle.
4. Only accounts that are at least 3 months old can join. If it is found that the FB account is less than 3 months old during the determination of the winner, such winner will be disqualified. And another raffle will be made.
5. It is not necessary that all 4 group members who won the promo will join the trip to Boracay, as long as two of the members of the winning group will be joining the trip. The voucher will be non-transferable only to the two members of the team, hence, the other 2 members can be changed, but only upon written consent of the other 2 members that will be substituted.
I’ve been to a lot of Royal Palaces, like the daeksuk and gyeongbok palaces of Seoul and the Forbidden City and Summer Palace of Beijing; yet it doesn’t tire me to visit any royal palaces around the planet. Palaces appeal to me like a bee on flower buds. I’m attracted naturally, but I don’t know why? Maybe I’m a princess during my past life? :p Anyway, what made this experience in Bangkok’s Royal Palace different is that this palace still serves the monarchs of Thailand. Unlike the other palaces that I’ve been to, most of them are considered as a museum and are not used for royal events.
The Palace in Bangkok still serves the present Royal Family, however, it’s not the royal residence anymore, that’s why tourist (like me) are allowed entry, but sometimes royal gatherings are held there.
Bangkok Royal Palace is a popular tourist spot in Bangkok, hence, a lot of people flock to this place. The crowd here reminded me of my visit in Forbidden City during Spring— people are just everywhere, I almost can’t breathe! I can’t take a decent picture without a stranger sneaking in. So, my judgment: The royal palace in Bangkok is crowded. Period. So, if I’m going to choose whether to go here or Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa In Palace, I will choose the latter— Just because I like peace and quiet :) But, the Bangkok Royal Palace is a different experience all together. Due to the pushing of the crowd (which made it interesting :p), the temples inside (big temples can be found here), as well as museums (that houses war artillery/ weapons during the ancient times) But if great landscaping and beautiful view is what you wanted then a visit to Ayutthaya is a must.
But, a must see here is the hand painted wall that depicts a story (though I forgot the story about it). :)
Like Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa In Palace (Summer Palace of Siam (Thailand) during the ancient times) you can see here various architecture from different cultures; hence you’ll see here buildings with Khmer (Cambodian) styles and European Style, however, the predominant here is Thai architecture. I also liked how the Western style kind of palace was made, I felt like I was in Disneyland!
Thai architecture is very detailed. What I like the most is the building which is made from hand crafted mirrors. They are cut with serious precision so that the sizes will be the same. I just love how detailed they do it.
Khmer architecture had greatly influenced Thailand in the sense that they have almost the same style (this is only based from my observation), but just look at the picture below: they had a miniature version of the Angkor Wat, which according to our tour guide, they want to create something like the Angkor Wat in Thailand during the ancient times.
I suggest that anyone who will visit Thailand to visit at least once this Palace, since this is the symbol (icon) and the most popular tourist sight in Bangkok.
Entrance Fee: 500 BAHT
Operates Daily: 08.30 – 15.30
Address: Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Dress Code: Visitors are required to dress appropriately. Thus the following dress – code (applicable to both ladies and gentlemen):
1. Shorts, mini-skirts, short skirts, tight fitting trousers, as well as tights can not be worn as outer garments.
2. See-through shirts and blouses, as well as culottes or quarter length trousers can not be worn.
3. Sleeveless shirts or vests can not be worn as outer garments.
4. Sandals (without ankle or heel straps) can not be worn.
5. All shirt sleeves, whether long or short, can not be rolled up.
6. Sweat shirts and sweat pants, wind-cheaters, pajamas and fisherman trousers can not be worn.
If Greece has Parthenon, and Cambodia has Angkor Wat, then Thailand has its own Ayutthaya temples. Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand is the home of several temples that had survived the test of time.
BTW, I RATED AYUTTHAYA AS A PLACE NOT TO MISS IN THAILAND!
As per my own observation and also according to our tour guide, the city of Ayutthaya was once a flourishing and progressive city with a lot of hub for trade (since it is circled by three rivers). The Chinese, Burmese, and even Westerners went here for trade. This was once a place where a lot of people traded, lived, eat, pray and love (charot! haha)
In Ayutthaya, there are several temples, they are just a few meters away from each other. Basically, it’s a whole complex of temples. Just like Siam Reap’s Angkor Complex. BTW, I was unable to delineate each one of the temple I visited here in Ayutthaya (I failed to pay attention to our tour guide, because in a way the names of the temples are just so hard to remember, it is even harder to pronounce!) so in this blog post you’ll see a mix of pictures of several temples found in Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya was once a populous and wealthy city, which has its own palace and villages, however, due to wear and tear, and don’t forget to include the occurrence of typhoons, floods and other natural occurrences, the only thing that you will see here are ruins, (well, except for some that survived the wrath of nature). Basically, what is left from this beautiful and once flourishing city are temples. The palaces and village homes are wrecked by nature because they are only made from wood, unlike temples that are made from rocks, brick or hard/heavy materials, the materials themselves explains why temples can stand the test of time. In Thailand, the temples are made from red bricks, and some are rocks akin to the ones found in Angkor Wat.
While standing in front of one of temples in Ayutthaya, I was imagining that I’m in Angkor Wat since the temples and ruins look almost the same with that in Cambodia. :) However, unlike the temples in Cambodia (which is intact) here, most of what you’ll see are pillars and bricks. However, such fact did not make this experience less exciting since it is a different experience all together. And I just love the eerie feeling it projects! :) Moreover, it is nice to visit one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Thailand. According to Wikipedia, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, a vast stretch of historical site in the heart of Ayutthaya city, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since December 13, 1991.
The ruins show that this place is a prosperous city before, it can be implied from the different and magnificent structures built during that time. Through the use of your imagination, you might as well see how grand the place is during the 17th century.
Well, for me, the most amazing part in Ayutthaya is the beauty of the ruins with nature as its backdrop. By the way, the photo seen below is one of my favorite parts of Ayutthaya, I just learned that the name of this temple (which is my favorite amongst the other temples) is Wat Phra Mahathat. This temple has a lot of small Buddha’s on its side (although most of the Buddha’s doesn’t have a head or a hand anymore) and on the center is the bigger Buddha statue, and according to our tour guide the Buddha in the center have different costumes during different seasons.
By the way, the cause of the missing parts of the Buddha is due to a Burmese attack in Siam some decades ago. The Burmese intentionally cut off the heads and some parts of the Buddha statues. Although there’s a lot of headless or hand less Buddha’s, the vibe here gives me goosebumps, so in a way I like it here.
I was also amazed on the site where the head (statue) of Buddha is stuck in a tree root. This can also be found in Wat Phra Mahathat. This kind of thing made me remember tomb raider. Well Tomb Raider is shot in Cambodia but I don’t know why Tomb Raider occurred to me during that time.
According to our tour guide, this particular head of Buddha was cut off during the Burmese attack. And during that time a monk is trying to hide it, so that he can preserve it, however, it’s so big that he cannot carry it, so he left it near the tree, and after some time, the tree roots wrapped the Buddha head. I was amazed by this, since it is somehow miraculous that the face of the Buddha was not covered by the roots of the tree.
By the way if you opt to take a picture with this tree, make sure that your head is lower than the Buddha head (so basically you should be squatting or seating), This is to show some kind of respect.
During our visit, there are only few tourist in sight, or let me say, there are none at all. :) Or maybe because it’s not a peak season… (May??) Anyway, this is a place not to miss, you’ll learn and appreciate the place your visiting if you know about its past. And this is a good place to start. It is really a wonderful place, even my 4 year old nephew enjoyed this place.
In Ayutthaya you can also see a recent temple complex where inside you’ll see a big Buddha statue covered with Gold (Though I’m not sure if it is covered with real gold)
There are several ways to get here, it can be by van (which is the most convenient, especially if you have a tour guide), by train, by boat (for scenic views). Here is Wikipedia’s how to get there page. Since I have no idea on how to get there except riding our van (I paid a private tour– I’ll blog about it later.. :) ).
1. If you’ve never been to Angkor Wat, Siam Reap Cambodia, then this place will be exciting for you since the place is like the Angkor temples (well, more like Angkor ruins). And even if you already saw the Angkor temples, the place is still beautiful since it has beautiful parks, landscapes, and elephants on the “run” — err, elephants carrying people around with their driver… :)
2. Bring and wear light clothing and comfortable shoes, and also clothes that will not show your knees or shoulders, it should be sleeved or else you will be forced to use their sarongs, which can cost you to up to P500.00 or 750 baht
3. If your tour includes a long tail boat, opt for the elephant ride instead, it is just so amazing and fun! If you are an animal activist (or protects the rights of animals) then instead of riding them, you can just feed them (It’s so much fun! promise!)
4. Don’t mind the vendors selling you souvenirs since usually they are a bit of a let down and also much expensive. Tell your guide to bring you in a market and start from there
5. Don’t forget to buy a sweet here (it’s ayutthaya’s specialty, however, I forgot what it is called) It looks like hair, pancit/noodles (as thin as a hair strand) but with the color of a cotton candy, and you wrap it in something like a crepe or lumpia wrapper (for filipinos: it looks like a lumpia or turon wrapper. If you go to a market you’ll definitely find one. It really taste nice! and according to our tour guide the taste is different if you buy it in Ayutthaya.