|Chakri Maha Prasat Hall|
I would like to share to you my unforgettable experiences in the Land of the Free, the culturally rich country of Thailand. I went there with my boss and colleagues to attend a conference and also with my family to celebrate mom’s birthday and to spend the remaining days of vacation together.
|Last glimpse of Pinas|
Visiting another country again after four long years was such a thrilling experience for me – getting familiarized with the culture, interacting with the people, visiting exciting destinations – the list goes on. But what made the trip most special was the presence of the people that I am close to.
Never did I (or we) consider going out of the country this year, that’s why I am thankful to God for giving us the opportunity to present researches in Bangkok and for providing the finances to fund the entire trip.
|First view of Thailand|
Five days in Thailand felt like two weeks not because time seemed to move slowly but because I’ve experienced so much that I couldn’t believe everything happened in less than a week. Our first afternoon in Bangkok had us all wet due to the heavy downpour in the city. The roads were so congested then that it wasn’t a good idea to hail a taxi so we walked our way to the hotel without umbrellas or any rain gear. My boss exclaimed that it felt like he was in the Philippines at that very moment. Talk about a common scenario.
|Is this a highway or a parking lot?|
Our first dinner was a blast. Imagine enjoying a night of authentic Thai culinary experience. I can hardly stand after a filling five-course dinner courtesy of Mike. We also celebrated during that night mom’s 57th birthday.
|Selection of appetizers|
|Happy birthday mom!|
On Day 2 we headed 120 kilometers south of Bangkok to visit the bustling City of Pattaya. It was a day filled with laughter and stories as we visited popular attractions in the city and in the neighboring Municipality of Jomtien. We went to Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya Floating Market and Mini Siam.
|At Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Pattaya. Shot by my boss, Sir Glen|
|Taking a break after some exhausting shopping in Pattaya Floating Market|
|My colleagues at Mini Siam|
After a morning stroll in the beach, we bid Pattaya goodbye on Day 3 to attend the conference as my colleague Ma'am Leah presented her research. It was another unique experience as people of different nationalities gathered in the conference to exchange ideas. I spent the night with my family and Mike as we marveled at the view of Bangkok’s skyline in Baiyoke Sky Tower.
|Our first day at the conference. Photo by Sir Glen.|
|Flying away. Photo by Mike|
|Brightly lit Bangkok|
Day 4 had me, my boss, Ma'am Lea, and my other colleagues nervous and excited as we presented our researches in the morning. We got interesting feedback and suggestions from other participants in the conference. In the afternoon, we went shopping like crazy in the world’s largest jewelry store, Gems Gallery, and in Chatuchak Weekend Market, the largest of its kind in Thailand. I think I exhausted my travel funds here. Haha.
|With colleagues during our presentation day. Photo by Kuya Chris.|
|Jewelry shopping at the Gems Gallery. Photo by Ma'am Lea.|
On our last day, we visited several cultural and heritage sites in Bangkok like the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Vimanmek Mansion, Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, and a few others. We didn’t mind the scorching heat of the sun nor the patience-testing temperature because the sights were just spectacular. Early in the afternoon, we left for the airport to catch our flight back here in the Philippines.
|Mimicking at the Grand Palace. Taken by Ma'am Lea|
|The reclining Buddha at the background. Photo by Ma'am Leah|
On our way home, my luggage weighed 5 kilos heavier and my bucket of memories was filled to the brim. It was an experience that I will surely miss!