BANGKOK 2012

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Dubai – Hanoi Vietnam – Hue Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh Vietnam – (border crossing to Cambodia) – Siem Reap Cambodia (border crossing Thailand) – Bangkok Thailand. After crossing the border between Cambodia and Thailand, we ended up in Khao San Road where the mini van dropped us (me and sister Kristine). I visited Thailand last year (2011) but I never heard or I am unaware about the Khao San Road. Maybe because I am not focus in the backpacking travels. Khao San Road, is just a small road like cut road in between to main roads. Its a very lively street and honestly I’ll never get bored of this place. *This is where you should be when you wanted a all day-all night party. Seeing myself holding a bottle of beer at 12noon drinking until night! *This is where you should be when you need to sleep in a cheap and comfortable hostels and Inns. Staying in an Inn with the amenities of a hotel but the price of a hostel. * This is the place where you can meet alot of travelers,males & females,bisexual, all types of travelers. You will know that guys are travelers in a their hippies & lumber sexual form, untidy, tanned skin, the smell of Sun and beer and you know they came from a full moon party in Koh Pangan. Ladies in their sexy worn out denim shorts and sleeveless exposing a very nice tanned skin,women laughing with newly meet friends, drinking and never ending partying. *This is the place where you should be when you wanted to eat EXOTIC Foods, street foods, Thai foods. *This is the place where you should be when you require all forms of certificates. Marriage certificate, driver’s license.etc. *This is the place where you should be when you need to change your outfit, when you have the power of good bargaining, shopping. *This is a place for all tattoos, rings and piercings. ——What else do you need—–?? That’s how I have seen and experience Khao San Road.

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I will never deny the fact in the world this is favorite soup. All recipes and varieties of Tom Yum soup I like…. and this is just 110 Thai Baht. So someone called me “Miss Tom Yum” that time because I am eating breakfast-lunch-dinner only Tom Yum. 🙂

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Restaurants in Khao San Area where you can eat each meal for as low as 100 Thai Baht.

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One of the things you need to do is to have a massage. Thai massage is very good. This is foot massage in Khao San Road.

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Khao San Entertainment,all break dancing, balancing dance, all sort of performers. Free to see but you can give an amount for their effort.

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Meals in Platinum Mall is little bit costly compared to other area in Bangkok.their food is a little bit spicy also. Platinum Mall is the best experience for shopping, ever..all sort of copy dresses.. fashion dresses,denims, shirts, bags , accessories. Name it and you can have it all.

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Another night in lively Khao San Road

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Small street , on a narrow space, in Khao San.

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Want to have a tattoo?

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My sister loves to eat,here back in Silk Bar, Khao San Road.

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The design is nice , and food in this restaurant is very affordable. Im having my SHEESHA here all the time. Flavor: Strawberry. Very easy to find.

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On our way to Platinum Mall, in Pratunam Area, colorful taxis in Bangkok.

KRABI

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Dubai- Hanoi-Hue-Saigon-SiemReap-Bangkok-Krabi-Bangkok-Dubai ———————————————–After almost a month of traveling, finally we went to Krabi. This town is just 1hr.& 25mins. from Bangkok via plane. We took the Thai Airways at $80.00/ return. This is mostly visited durin October-April because drier season. Unfortunately we went during rainy season which is May 2012. There are many things to do but we opted for an island hopping tour and booked with OrchidTours (www.aonangorchid-resort.com) which is at 1,200 Thai Baht.

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BAMBOO ISLAND. The tour includes buffet lunch, 4 small islands, Phi Phi Island and Maya Bay. The ride was so rough because its was drizzling and the weather was windy.At first it was okay but later on,it was really bumpy sea waves ride. Thankfully the sun set and we reach the Bamboo island.

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There are announcement and a warning that in case there will be Tsunami, you should climb in the highest area of the Island. Bamboo island is Idyllic, very serene and i like it , its not crowded, unlike Phi Phi and Maya island.

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KRABI, the weather is rainy and gloomy. There are alot of cafes and Inns around the area. We rented a scooter and drove everyday around. The cost of Scooter for 24hrs. is 150 Thai Baht.

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This is a view from the restaurant, while boats on dock and we were having our lunch. This is PHI PHI ISLAND.

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THE CLIFF AONANG RESORT. One of the best 50 beautiful resorts in Thailand. We booked early for 2,875 Thai Baht for 2 with Ala Carte’ breakfast. My partner said “the best pineapple juice ever”. Honestly I feel in love with this resort the first time I have seen it online. But don’t be always deceived with the beauty. The disadvantage was, some housekeeping personnel stole my set of gold earrings which I left with my plane ticket, few AED cash in the most secure and inner small pocket of the bag. The next day, time for check out the small amount of cash was gone and the earrings. I informed my partner about the cash and we agreed not to complain,we just let it as a gift for them…. BUT i did not inform my partner that earrings was stolen too. It’s my fault.I should have not kept it in the bag. Lesson learned number 2, dont bring any gold jewelries while on travel. Even the most secretive areas or lockers of the bag,some people can’t get their hands off.

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I wish I know how to swim. Yes, I can jump like this one with life jacket.

HO CHI MINH

HUE- HO CHI MINH CITY. This city is also known as SAIGON. We (me and my sister) traveled by train from HUE to SAIGON which cost more or less $70.00 and believe me, it took us 21hrs. to reach SAIGON. So far the longest ride in my life! We took the 4 sleeping beds, and we shared with some Vietnamese Familieson the train. The disadvantage, they don’t know how to communicate, they cannot speak English. Too bad…. ABOVE PICTURE: train ride,I took alot of shots and I can say that the view is amazing.

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Another photo of unspoiled beauty and natural culture of Vietnam. Someday I wish to go back and see places such as HOI AN which some travelers are explore after visiting HUE, I also wanted to see DA NANG, NHA TRANG, MUIE NE, and DALAT. If you wish to travel to Vietnam , don’t forget to visit places I mentioned here.

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Passing to a small town near Thap Cham. The main transportation vehicle in Vietnam is motorcycle.

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Finally, we reach Saigon, took this photo while sitting in Allez booz.

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We stayed in PHAM NGU LAO area,very famous areafor backpackers, tourist. Be careful and read ahead the dangers and warnings. there aremany pickpocketers and snatchers in this area. We stayed in a hotel, not the best but okay to stay in BUT the main problem, someone took some of my dollar bills when we went for a day tour.They took some dollar bills and some Philippine pesos of my sister. Lesson learned Number 1: don’t leave your money even if there is a safety box, a vault in your room. Always carry it with you along with your passport and impt. documents.

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Walking around Saigon.

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We’re having smoothies, Avocado and Starwberry while reading for the bus schedule heading to Cambodia.

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This is Allez Boo, famous landmark in Pham Ngu Lao street. They offer good food and very affordable.I like their buffalo chicken wings or buttered chicken and pizza. BUT, compared to HANOI, I like Hanoi more. Hanoi is cheaper than Saigon and not so much crowded compared to Saigon.

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The next day,we started our tour by visiting the WAR MUSEUM.

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Vietnamese Kids field trip to the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM.

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Remains of American and Vietnam War

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My sister is seriously reading about the war, looking to its items and reading articles related to US-VIETNAMESE war

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The Museum is all about the AMERICAN-VIETNAMESE War. You can visit their website for more details: http://warremnantsmuseum.com/

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Canons and Tanks

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Thien Hau Temple is located in the main city of Saigon. the street around is very narrow.

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Inside Thien Hau Temple,the place is very well decorated with spiral lanterns, huge jars with incense, candles and you can write down your wishes and ask them to pray for you.

Bến Thành Market- If you are looking for cheap items such as souvenirs, textiles, and garments you should visit this place. I purchased 2 sleeveless summer tops from here which cost only $4.00. My sister is very good at asking discounts or bargaining techniques.

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The day we left Saigon and we are going to CAMBODIA. Millions of motorist.

HUE

HUE IMPERIAL CITY or known as THE CITADEL- As what I can remember this was the capital of Vietnam until 1945. From HANOI we took the train, for 4 sleeping berths to HUE which took us 18 hours maximum and the cost before year 2012 was 902,000 Vietnamese Dong (VND). We left around 9pm from Hanoi Train Station and arrive almost afternoon. From the Railway station, I booked a pick up from the hotel. We stayed in Hanh Danat Hotel (http://www.hanhdathotel.com.vn/) for a very reasonable price with breakfast and the view is amazing from the rooftop.

May 2012 was rainy yet very humid. Although it hot in Dubai where I am working, but the humidity in Southeast Asia was different and everyday we were dehydrated. The CITADEL is huge complex of temples,quarters for princes/princesses and concubines.

Still inside The Citadel,a place for dancing, performing or for guest during Nguyen Dynasty.

One of the receiving area in one of the palaces inside the Citadel City.

Another Temple accessorize by huge jars- still inside The Citadel

Huge jars outside the Yellow-Red Temple in The Citadel. I forgot the name of the temple-so many to remember.

The entrance to the temples and quarters. You can find the miniature display of The Citadel inside this building.

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THIEN MU PAGODA- means the CELESTIAL LADY. as per stories and the legends posted in wikipedia. This Pagoda means: According to the royal annals, Hoang while touring the vicinity, was told of the local legend in which an old lady, known as Thiên Mụ (literally “celestial lady”), dressed in red and blue sat at the site, rubbing her cheeks. She foretold that a lord would come and erect a pagoda on the hill to pray for the country’s prosperity. She then vanished after making her prophecy. Upon hearing this, Hoang ordered the construction of a temple at the site, thus the beginning of Thiên Mụ Tự.

On our way back to the hotel.This is Perfume River

Its to board back to our hotel.

TOMB OF MINH MANG – who would thought that this beautiful garden is in fact a Tomb of Second Emperor Minh Mang of Nguyen Dynasty.

View from the top-opposite temple.

And well, here I am wearing the Vietnamese hat – NON LA. Sometimes referred to as bamboo hats or Conical hat made from leaf. This is part of Vietnamese National Costume. Just outside the Tomb of Khải Định,. we did not go inside the complex, we waited for the other tourist outside drinking Coca Cola.

As part of the tour, we watched and being entertained by this KARATE show.

For souvenirs, you can buy this bags.Very affordable- lets say “cheap”.

We also visited the Village of making INCENSE, but did not stay longer

This is the view from the rooftop of our hotel Hanh Danat Hotel.

IRAN – KISH ISLAND

Shopping Area Kish

This is one of Kish Island of Iran’s shops. Around the corner of Farabi Hotel. I went for what we call ” exit”. You need to go for an exit in order to have your Dubai Employment Visa, so you have an option to go in Oman or here in Kish Iran.

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This is a small Iranian boutique for jeans, trousers, hand leather bags.

Ghost town-like

The place looks like a ghost town. I arrived past midnight and around 9am I’ve got my visa. So it took me only like 9 hours stay. We all took the bus from the airport and drop us in any hotel.I stayed in Farabi Hotel Within that span of time, I managed to look around,took some pictures. There are few restaurants around, Sheesha place (common thing to do in Kish), the place is near on the beach.

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In Kish, there are alot of Filipino and other nationalities, who were stranded for a very long time. The situation is unforgiving and they lived to tell you their story. I spoke to some and they said they have been in Kish for 7 years. One of the main reason for this “exit” is that, the employer promise to provide you an employment visa so you need to go for an exit as law applies. These people waited but visa never happened. They were stuck in that place and no one is helping them. Their family can’t even provide enough money for plane tickets. Each one has its tragic story. Lucky for those people who got their Dubai Employment visas.

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Kish Island of Iran Airport. Upon arrival they had given me an Kish Island ID.

 

HONG KONG – Great destination for Family

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Taken from Ocean Park Tower. We had a full day of rides in Ocean Park. The tallest is The ABYSS ride. Thi is not for faint-hearted people. I told myself I will never try it again. Once is enough to experience the extreme adrenalin. I felt my body was cut into half when they started to dropped us.

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Taken from the Ocean Park Tower

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After a relentless rides, we watched a Dolphin show. These sea mammals are really interesting. Dolphins show off their skills with their trainers as they glide on the water, dance to the music.

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This Cable Car in Ocean Park is the best way to travel from one attraction to another which is located on different sides of the mountain. This ride is from Waterfron and Summit (back).

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This is THE ABYSS- minimum height requirement to ride is 132cm. I was hesitant to try this ride, but when I saw that there are alot of Chinese kids, who were crying at that time due to the height requirement, then I decided to try.

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Well, I am not going up in the Air, this is just for photo-sake.