Love is sweeter the second time around, that is how I can recount my second visit to Thailand. Thanks to Asia Travel who went crazy in giving me a luxurious overnight stay for two at the Dusit D2 Baraquda Hotel in Pattaya together with a once in a lifetime extreme jungle adventure, the Flight of the Gibbon. I never thought that there is still so much to see in this cultural paradise and once is not enough to discover them all. We wish to extend our utmost gratitude too, to my dear friend and former college classmate Franz for giving us a wondrous tour in the bustling Bangkok metropolis despite his hectic schedule.
Bangkok has gone from good to great since my last visit and it seems that more and more foreigners are enthralled to see what this tropical kingdom has to offer. The metropolitan life in Bangkok is amazing, its skyscrapers, well-paved roads, systematic transportation system from the highways, subway trains and MRT’s can be compared to those first world countries in efficiency and comfort. Traffic in Bangkok is heavy but not chaotic; there seem to be a virtual rule that a driver has to keep his hands-off honking or just has to deliberately keep a safe distance from a vehicle in orderly fashion. These are good signs that Bangkok is at par with its neighboring countries in the Indochina Peninsula. Remarkably, the Thai people are true to their being soft-spoken both in attitude and character. I specifically noticed that over the years, the Thai people kept their traditional way of greeting that is truly amazing. The way the Thais would clasp their hands together and makes a little bow while uttering cute words such as ‘Sawasdee Krab’ or “Kapkunkap’ never cease to mesmerize me.
At the heart of the sun-drenched, highly cosmopolitan Bangkok lie the intrinsic, elaborate architecture of Wat Po and the sheer elegance and magnificence of the Grand Palace; just like the thousands of tourists that flock these daily despite the scourging heat of the sun. Thailand has kept their symbols and treasures intact for the world to see and wonder.
Franz has made sure that we experience the things Thailand is very famous for, aside from riding a tuk-tuk, yes, the cuisine and of course the all-time favorite, shopping.
Thai cuisine is one of the most authentic in the world and their ridiculous way of incorporating everything hot and super-hot in any dishes is mind-boggling. My curiosity was not able to prepare my palate to the discriminating ‘hotness’ that is Tom Yam Gai and Pad Thais! But a ‘holiday’ in this gastronomic haven is incomplete without tasting these and more, care for some crab chilli fried rice and the delicious Tom Kha kai?
Bangkok will not run out of good places to devour various dishes that will absolutely match any budget; be it on the streets, side-walks or in malls such as the popular bargain hunters’ utopia – the MBK mall. Feast your eyes in many affordable shopping items in MBK and Chatuchak.
MBK would be a little more expensive but it is open daily unlike the Chatuchak weekend market. It was a blessing to be in Bangkok right in time for the weekend market where it seemed like a Disneyland both for the number of tourists that frolic around and a certain ecstasy of finding grand but all within our budget.
If only there’s enough space our Cebu Pacific flight can handle, I would have
gotten more quality clothes, bags, shoes and a vast array of souvenir items to choose from, again, all within our budget.
Bangkok is not really our ultimate destination; ATCrazy.com of Asia Travel had so much in-store for us in the City of Pattaya and the ultimate Flight of the Gibbon Adventure. The city of Pattaya is a two-hour bus ride from Bangkok. It is the second most visited city in Thailand and perhaps one of the most daring I have ever seen.
Pattaya is a bustling city too, most especially at night. It is a relatively small city but with thousands of foreign visitors daily. The city is a well-arranged urban tourist destination. Its periphery is similar to the semi-white sand beach cove in Hawaii and Sao Paolo that makes it more picturesque. A walk in the streets of Pattaya at night is a sensual feast; more than the many languages that you can hear from people walking around, the bustling ‘sinful’ nightlife is incredible and intriguing. Words cannot, and I would no longer dare to describe the picture of Pattaya at night, one just has to see this city and the extravagant daring nightlife only this city could offer to anyone who dares!
The charming, ultra-modern and chic Dusit D2 Baraquda Pattaya Hotel was our two-night ‘not-so’ humble abode courtesy of the ATCrazy.com.
The friendly staff of the front desk welcomed us with great smiles and served us with thirst quenching guava juice in eclectically designed moving glasses.
After all, I noticed; everything in this hotel is eclectic. Although the lobby incorporates straight lines and symmetrical patterns; most of its accents and decorations are uniquely well-thought of, if you know what I mean. The hotel offers 5-star luxury convenience and comfort from the rooms, amenities, facilities, breakfast and friendly service. Its proximity to the heart of the nightlife activities is one of its best features.
The Flight of the Gibbon in Pattaya, an hour drive on board a mini tourist van, was a great treat from ATCrazy.com. I say it is crazy indeed to even go through this thrilling and absolutely high-adrenalin adventure in Pattaya’s 30,000 acres of ultra-wet rainforests. It is a man-made crazy adventure mimicking the flight of the Gibbons in the heart of century-old jungles where nature and its elements set the stage.
The drenching downpour in the jungle made our zip line adventure, on top of giant trees up to 70 meters high, made the setting of this crazy flight more heart pumping. Three hours of traversing and flying from one tree to another was well-worth it. And I thought I’ve done it all until this one!
It is astounding how far the Kingdom of Thailand has gone despite its infamous political turmoil recently. The speedy recovery from those dark moments in its history, Thailand, with the leadership of its mighty king can definitely conquer further progress within its grasp. This second adventure has brought us through the bustling and vibrant night scape of Thai cities’ concrete jungles to the heart of the tropical rainforests. To re-experience the sights, sounds, heritage and the formidable culture of Siam that I have not seen before would not have been possible without the ‘craziness’ of Asia Travel’s ATCrazy.com.
I am sure that there is a lot more this wonderful kingdom can offer. Love is sweeter the second time around but every good trip has its end. Parting is such a sweet sorrow as I left my heart in Thailand; I need to be able to get it back as soon as possible. Until next time – KapKunKap!