THAILAND: #THAIGOALS Temple Run at Bangkok and Ayutthaya

Thailand: my first Indochina destination. I dreamed of visiting Buddhist temples especially the ones incribed in UNESCO World Heritage List. I love appreciating different cultures, learning the symbolisms, tasting foreign cuisine, buying snacks as souvenirs and many more. With these reasons and just in time, my officemate urged us to take a summer trip in this famous backpacking destination. We planned our itinerary (mainly for heritage trips) as we have only four days to spend. Hence, we took the Bangkok-Ayutthaya combo. Promo airfares, budget accommodation and discounted activities collide to give us a memorable travel at our ASEAN neighbor. Note that ASEAN countries are visa-free for us Filipinos.08

Without further ado, I’m sharing our first trip last April 25-28, 2019 at the Amazing Kingdom of Indochina: Thailand, or officially the Kingdom of Thailand ราชอาณาจักรไทย!04

 

Highlights per City:

BANGKOK กรุงเทพมหานคร
-Khao San Road
-Chocolate Ville (a restaurant theme park; free admission)
-The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha)
-Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
-Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
-Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple)
-Weekend and Night Markets like Chatuchak, Ratchada, Pratunam, Patpong
-Major monuments like Democracy, Victory, Jubilee and City Pillar Shrine

AYUTTHAYA พระนครศรีอยุธยา
-Bang Pa-in Palace (royal summer residence)
-Ayothaya Floating Market (manmade touristy floating market)
-Ayutthaya Historical Park has UNESCO World heritage temple ruins such as:
*Wat Mahathat (famous Buddha head)
*Wat Phra Sri Sanphet (most beautiful temple ruins)
*Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bopit (golden Buddha inside)
– Wat Lokayasutharam (reclining Buddha on temple ruins)
-Ayutthaya Sunset Boat Ride (with fish feeding)
See other famous spots along the river:
*Wat Phanan Choeng
*Wat Phutthai Sawan
*Saint Joseph Church
*Wat Chaiwatthanaram

THAILAND ITINERARY

1ST DAY (THURSDAY) BKK Arrival and Chocolate Ville
4:00 AM Meet up at NAIA terminal 3IMG20190425053850
Breakfast
7:35 AM FLIGHT. Adjust clock to GMT+7 ICT or Indochina Time

9:35 AM THAILAND ARRIVAL.

002
Welcome to Thailand ประเทศไทย!

Claim KLOOK Passes at BKK Airport basement.
Walk to BKK Airport Link Basement floor and claim Thailand Wifi. Exchange currency at Superrich. 1PHP=0.6THB

IMG20190427064400
Thai Baht บาทไทย Bills and Coins (1PHP=0.6THB)
IMG20190427064812
Transportation:
₱352 – Airport Rail Link (ARL) Smart Pass with ฿170 credits ₱1408 for 4pax via KLOOK
₱475 – BTS Rabbit card with ฿200 credits ₱1900 for 4pax via KLOOK

Smile 4G WiFi Security Deposit THB1000 (refundable when WiFi returned)
1:06 PM Walk to ARL Suvarnabhumi Station, tap ARL Smart Pass and ride train. Alight at ARL Phaya Thai Station.
Book JustGrab or GRABCar from ARL Phaya Thai Station to Star Dome Inn THB134/4pax
Check-in at Star Dome Inn THB4770 for 4D3N good for 4pax prvivate room with breakfast
Star Dome Inn Security Deposit THB500 (refundable upon check-out)
3:26 PM LUNCH
JustGrab from Star Dome Inn to ARL Phaya Thai Station THB145/4pax. Ride train and alight at ARL Hua Mak station.
JustGrab from ARL Hua Mak station to Chocolate Ville THB220/4pax
7:45 PM Arrived at Chocolate Ville. Explore and photoshoot. *Optional to eat at any of their restaurants in the theme park003
9:00 PM JustGrab from Chocolate Ville to Star Dome Inn THB400/4pax
9:50 PM Arrive at Inn. DINNER
REST

2ND DAY (FRIDAY) Ayutthaya Day Tour01
BREAKFAST
JustGrab from Star Dome Inn to BTS Victory Monument station THB141/4pax
8:30 AM Show KLOOK confirmation email at meeting area. ETD Bangkok to Ayutthaya Bus Tour by KLOOK.
9:50 AM Bang Pa-In Palace tour. Explore. Rest at museum area to buy drinks or ice cream.030204050607
12:00 PM Arrive at CK Ayothaya restaurant (free use of CR). Roam around Ayothaya Floating Market area. Ride boat by showing sticker given by KLOOK guide.08
LUNCH
2:00 PM ETD Ayothaya Floating Market to Ayutthaya Historical Park. Follow assigned KLOOK guide to visit each temple ruins.0910

Roam around Wat Mahathat (Buddha head), Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Phra Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Lokaya Sutha, etc.
Always remove footwear when entering temples. Phra Mongkhon Bophit Donation to get fortune paper1112

13
Chedi is an alternative term for a Buddhist stupa, mainly used in Thailand. “The shape of the stupa represents the Buddha, crowned and sitting in meditation posture on a lion throne. His crown is the top of the spire; his head is the square at the spire’s base; his body is the vase shape; his legs are the four steps of the lower terrace; and the base is his throne.”

141516 (2)17 (2)

5:00 PM Ayutthaya Sunset Boat Ride with fish feeding. See by the river: Wat Phanan Choeng, Wat Phutthai Sawan, Saint Joseph Church, Wat Chaiwatthanaram191820

6:00 PM End of sunset boat tour. Eat at food market nearby.
6:30 PM ETD Ayutthaya to Bangkok. Gave some tip to our KLOOK guide THB10
8:00 PM ETA Bangkok. DINNER
9:00 PM BTS Phaya Thai Station to Silom (Sukhumvit Line) then transfer to Silom Line and alight at Sala Daeng station. Use BTS Rabbit Card.
9:30 PM Walk towards Patpong Night Market. Touts will approach to offer services. Just look around..hehe
10:00 PM Walk toward MRT Silom Station, buy token, ride train and alight at Thailand Cultural Center Station (THB30 Single journey)
10:30 PM Walk towards Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market (Open 5pm-1am). Food trip and explore!
11:40 PM JustGrab from MRT Thailand Cultural Center Station to Star Dome Inn THB259/4pax
REST

3RD DAY (SATURDAY) Bangkok Temple Run001

8:00 AM BREAKFAST
8:30 AM Walk from inn to Grand Palace. Jubilee monument and City Pillar Shrine on the way.05
9:20 AM Buy ticket at Grand Palace THB500 and explore the area. Enter the Temple of Emerald Buddha by leaving footwear outside.060709-min101112-min13
11:30 AM Exit Grand Palace then Just Grab from Grand Palace to Wat Pho (So hot weather!) THB76/4pax
12:10 PM Buy ticket at Wat Pho THB200 and explore the area. Enter the Temple of Reclining Buddha by putting footwear in plastic and return on bin outside.141516
1:10 PM LUNCH
Tha Thien Pier to Wat Arun Pier boat ride THB4
2:00 PM Buy ticket at Wat Arun THB50 and explore the area. *Optional buy souvenirs nearby17
Wat Arun Pier to Tha Thien Pier boat ride THB4
JustGrab from Tha Thien Pier to Wat Benchamabophit “Marble Temple” THB100/4pax
3:30 PM Buy ticket at “Marble Temple” THB50 and explore the area.18
4:00 PM Exit the temple and walk towards Dusit Plaza with Equestrian Monument and Throne Hall on the background.19
JustGrab from Marble Temple to Star Dome Inn for quick rest and dinner. THB84/4pax
DINNER
6:00 PM JustGrab from Inn to Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market THB168/4pax
Roam around the market to buy some souvenirs.
Ride train at MRT Thailand Cultural Center Station and alight at Sukhumvit Station. (THB21 Single Journey)
Transfer to BTS Asok Station and alight at Chit Lom Station. Use BTS Rabbit Card.
10:30 PM Walk towards Big C Supercenter-Ratchadamri. Enjoy grocery shopping!
JustGrab back to inn THB122/4pax
REST

20-min
Some THAI DISHES we had: Tom Yum Kung, Spicy Papaya Salad, Pork Basil Rice, Boat Noodles, Mango Sticky Rice, Thai Milk Tea, Pineapple Fried Rice, Pad Thai, Spicy Chicken Papaya Rice Bowl

4TH DAY (SUNDAY) BKK Departure
BREAKFAST (Eat at airport to check-in baggage early)
6:00 AM Check-out from Star Dome Inn. Get the THB500 deposit. JustGrab from here to ARL Phaya Thai station. THB145/4pax
Use elevator going to concourse level, tap ARL Smart Pass and ride train. Alight at ARL Suvarnabhumi Station. *Optional refund ARL Smart Pass
6:45 AM Walk towards Magic Food Point for BREAKFAST (for affordable Thai food). Buy food coupons at the counter and unused coupons can be returned.
Return Smile 4G Wifi and get the THB1000 security deposit. You can buy more snacks to eat and to take home at nearby 7-11!
Waited for check-in counters to open. Photoshoot at guardian statues.
Counters opened and last luggage inspection before going to boarding gate.
11:15 AM FLIGHT. Adjust clock to GMT+8 PHT
3:50 PM PH ARRIVAL

IMG20190429115505-min
All food items (bought at Big C and 7-11 in airport) and garments (shirt and pants from Ayutthaya) for ฿537

Itinerary and Expenses (4D3N)

1฿ = ₱1.67 (Thai Baht THB to Philippine Peso PHP)
Airline: Cebu Pacific
₱2539.70 – MNL-BKK-MNL roundtrip airfare (₱99+1 promo base fare one way for 2pax) (Booked 07/16/2018)
₱1186.75 – Check-in baggage add-ons: ₱1249 20kg MNL-BKK and 2 x ₱1749 32kg BKK-MNL shared by 4pax
Travel tax: ₱1620

Transportation:
₱352 – Airport Rail Link (ARL) Smart Pass with ฿170 credits ₱1408 for 4pax via KLOOK
₱475 – BTS Rabbit card with ฿200 credits ₱1900 for 4pax via KLOOK

Activity:
₱2374 – Ayutthaya Day Tour with Sunset Boat Ride ₱9504 for 4pax via KLOOK

Accommodation:
฿1192.50 – Star Dome Inn (Paid ฿27900 for 4D3N Quadruple Room with Private Bathroom. Breakfast included reserved via Booking.com). A damage deposit of ฿500 is required on arrival.
Address: 104/1 Soi Ram Buttri, Chakrapong Road, Talat Yot, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand (near Khao San Road)

Pocket Wifi:
₱295 – Smile 4G WiFi (TH Airport Pick Up) for Thailand ₱1180 for 4 days Apr25-28 via KLOOK. A security deposit of ฿1000 will be required during pick up.

D1: BKK Arrival, afternoon check-in and Chocolate Ville (used ARL Smart Pass and JustGrab in GRAB app)
D2: Ayutthaya Day Tour and Food Market (used GRAB, BTS Rabbit card, and MRT)
D3: Bangkok Temple Run and Souvenir Shopping (used GRAB, BTS Rabbit card, and MRT)
D4: Early check-out and BKK departure (used GRAB and ARL Smart Pass)

TOTAL EXPENSES (EXCLUDING AIRFARE, FOOD AND SHOPPING): ₱9,680.80

00Notes:

1. Because of CebPac’s Promo fare last July 2018 ₱99+1 promo base roundtrip, we went at last in amazing Thailand! It was worth the effort to book for group of 4. Good thing they were easy to deal with…hehe #squadgoals

2. Be mindful of dress code and related etiquette especially when visiting temples and palaces. They are posted at entrances that make sure to cover knees and shoulders, no revealing clothing, etc. There are marshalls guarding the premises so be vigilant. So for #OOTD in our D2 and D3: modest clothing (Ex: men: polo pants; women: decent blouse and long skirts).

3. It is at left-hand side of the road (like Japan and UK) where vehicle are so when riding trains and flagging taxi, LEFT always. We used “JustGrab” often, the chepeast ride in GRAB app. Since we are 4 pax/persons, we always share in fare. Because of scorching heat (rising up to 35 degree Celsius when we went), always rehydrate. Use sunblock against heat and it’s cheaper when buying drinking water at groceries, then refill. Avoid SCAM on taxis. We almost fell on it when we tries to ride on a Pink Taxi going Wat Pho offering us THB300! The driver even refused to turn-On his taxi meter so we get out immediately. We sticked to GRAB. They are very responsive! There was one driver who had conversation with that he learned English from a Filipino teacher, and we felt proud. (n_n)

4. Items in 7-11 are cheap even Thai meals where delicious. In Khao San Road and Soi Ram Buttri there are various street foods like Pad Thai (price depends on meat ingredient), Roti and pork barbecue for THB10 lang! Just be careful on what you eat.

5. This maybe not always the case but sometimes, there is deposit for WiFi rental and security deposit for inn/accommodation. These are refundable/returned upon checkout. You can use these for shopping expenses like buying snacks at 7-11 or hand carry boxes of Mango Sticky Rice.

6. We initially planned the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market but we only have two whole-days (each for Ayutthaya and Bangkok Day Tours). Though we had manmade floating market in Ayothaya so it was worth the experience. We visited only the major temples because it was tiring roaming around the city under summer heat. Bangkok heat has no breeze and very humid…huhu. But if you have more time, add the Golden Mount, Giant Swing, Golden Buddha Temple, and Loha Prasat (Iron Castle) nearby. They are close to each other. Refer to Google Maps and Maps.Me to not get lost.

7. Take note of opening hours ng temples and weekend market and night markets. Chatuchak is open until 6pm so we opted Ratchada as it is open up to 1am, because we came from day tours. We took most time shopping at Big C as in grocery shopping to the max! Haven’t tried but I read that there is Tax refund for minimum of THB2000 worth of groceries.

Bangkok and Ayutthaya are the respective modern and ancient capitals of Siam/Thailand. Both have magnificent temples, stupas, chedis, both surrounded by mighty Chao Phraya River. The symbolisms are truly amazing and stories how the cities are founded: past and present indeed. Heritage tour it is! Hoping to explore other areas of Thailand soon! May this post help in your future Thai plans. Enjoy your Thailand trip!

#SharingIsCaring #amazingThailand #squadgoals #summer2019 🇹🇭#THAIGOALS SIGHTSEEING TRIP #BKK #Bangkok #Ayutthaya #heritage00

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