Cool Travel Diary: Myanmar

myanmar burma blog

 

Myanmar – Located at the eastern area of Southeast Asia just at the border between Thailand and Bangladesh, Myanmar or as westerners call it Burma was once a closed nation ruled by the military junta that halted the country’s progress up until a democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi started a revolution that awakened the people and exposed the governments atrocities to the world. Cool Travel Blog visited the land of golden pagodas last May 2015 to celebrate a long Labor Day weekend. Myanmar is one of the countries in our bucket list that captured us through its rich history, culture & friendly people.

Myanmar opened to the world after democracy was been restored. We took the chance to visit this magnificent country since airfares, accommodations & attractions are cheap. We travelled around the 2 places in Myanmar spending about five days discovering places and checked our things to do in Myanmar list.

It is easy traveling in Myanmar, One can take a sleeper bus to get to all major places such as Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon and many others. We arrived early afternoon in Yangon from Bangkok via Airasia and we couldn’t contain our excitement seeing Golden Pagodas, Temples while we were at the plane.

We then hired a taxi to take us to the bus terminal for Bagan easily since lots of local drivers will happily take you to your destination. Don’t worry about communication though since most Myanmar People speak and understand very good English surprisingly!

QUICK TIP

Before going to Myanmar make sure you CHANGE ALL YOUR MONEY to US Dollars! As a personal experience, I suggest getting different set of bills in PRISTINE Condition.

Book online for a worry free bus ticket going to Bagan and other areas. We booked our bus ticket at http://myanmarbusticket.com/. So Book in Advance since seats are limited!

Money exchange outlet outside the Arrival Hall has great rates. This money exchange outlet is beside the coffee shop at the right most exit. Just make sure to keep half of your US Dollars and have the half of them changed.

It was almost sundown as we go towards our bus station. The sunset was really beautiful with its orange-red ambience that made us think how wonderful it would be to witness this magnificent event at an ancient place. We arrived at the bus station after 30 minutes from the airport where scenes are chaotic with plenty of people, unpaved roads, old dirty buildings therefore I won’t suggest travelers to eat on the area but try to bring your own snack so that you won’t upset your stomachs upon arrival or during transit to your destination.

Yangon Bus Terminal
Restless and Tired At Yangon’s Bus Terminal

The bus ride going to Bagan was a smooth one. Snacks, water and cold towels were provided, as chairs were quite comfortable with a good amount of legroom for a relaxing sleep. We haven’t eaten dinner but it was good to know that these sleeper buses had a stopover for a quick toilet and meal break. Food wasn’t really good at the place but they had some biscuits or local delicacies that you can fill your tummy with. After traveling for almost 8 hours, we arrived at the land of thousand pagodas, BAGAN.

It was still dark during 5am in the morning and the sun hasn’t risen up yet. We took our first meal of Myanmar with local coffee. Even though we haven’t much eat any full meal we never felt hungry due to our excitement. There are a lot of local drivers pushing themselves to get their services which was quite annoying, so we decided to wait until the first light to ride a taxi going to our hotel.

Amazing Bagan Hotel Room
Checked In at the Amazing Bagan Hotel with this Room.

We stayed for about 3 days in Amazing Bagan Hotel which is a boutique hotel at the heart of Bagan City. This hotel serves amazing and delicious breakfast as well as superb views of the plains of Bagan at their restaurant. Do be careful since there are squirrels stealing your food too that were kind of cute! We spent our 3 days exploring the ancient temples in Bagan by ourselves by renting an electric bike. Bagan is a huge place and it gets hot & dry during summertime so breaking a sweat with a bicycle is an experience you can try like we do!

Sunrise Bagan
Magical Sunrise of Bagan

Witnessing the sunsets and sunrise on an ancient place is a lifetime experience indeed that one can witness. As the sun hovers over the horizon and as silhouettes of temples appears there is no word to describe it but magical in such ways.

After spending 3 days in Bagan, we head down over to Yangon and spent a day touring the city before heading back to Bangkok. We stayed over at the cozy Thanlawin Guesthouse near a huge park within the new business districts. We were then happy to see one of our local friends as he took us to an adventure on his home city from seeing the majestic shwedagon pagoda, the picturesque lake of Kandwadgyi to now one of our favorite Myanmar cuisine: SHAN noodles and Green Tea Leaf Salad which are a must definite try when you are in Yangon or places in Myanmar!

Kandawgyi Lake Yangon
Kandwadgyi Lake in Yangon

Myanmar is simply Magical and Magnificent. After days of exploring this country I really loved every bit of this country and plan to go back. Years of seclusion from westerners may have been good and bad but things were well preserved from the friendly people to their ancient cities and temples. We can’t wait to see how Myanmar becomes in the future.

We will definitely be back soon. Cool Travel Blog LOVES Myanmar! Check out the Video of our whole trip Below!

5 Best Ayutthaya Attractions

best ayutthaya attractions

If you happen to be in Bangkok, you can easily go to Ayutthaya city that is about an hour and a half north of the capital city. There are lots of places to visit and attractions to see in Thailand’s old capital city either may you be in a day tour or spending 2 days just like us.

One can opt to book a day tour via travel agencies around Bangkok but you may not enjoy and experience Ayutthaya as it should be. We recommend either staying overnight on the ancient city to get a short and in depth experience about the old kingdom, its history and more.

Cool Travel Blog visited at least 30 or more temples around Ayutthaya but if you want to go to the major temples and avoid exhaustion (yeah biking is hella exhausting but rewarding and recommended too!) you can ask your guide or a driver to take you to this Do-it-yourself temple tour.

Wat Chaiwattanaram

Wat Chaiwattanaram Ayutthaya
Wat Chaiwattanaram

Built during the 1300s in a khmer styled architecture, this temple is located at the western area of Ayutthaya is really good for sunrise photo ops since the ruins are really well kept and structures are still intact. We went here early morning to catch the sunrise but unfortunately our legs gave up since you have to cross the bridge above the chao phraya river. If you can’t go by bike, one can hire a tuktuk or by boat.

Wat lokayasutharam

Wat lokayasutharam
Wat lokayasutharam

If you have been touring Bangkok and have been to the reclining Buddha, this place is the granddaddy of that temple. Wat lokayasutharam is a temple that has one of the biggest reclining buddhas in Thailand which is cast in stone with a whopping 37 meter long and 8 meter high! Wat lokayasutharam is a really big area where you can see several ruins along the road that is good for photo opportunity minus the crowd. Fun Fact, if you happen to be a video game enthusiast, this is where Sagat of Street Fighter fights!

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

After visiting several temples around Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is quite different structurally since it has this 3 cone shaped chedi structure. When you come here by morning or late afternoon, we suggest that you avoid the crowd to really feel the places magic and meditate in the silence as the sun goes down or rises. You can only imagine how it must have been during the old days.

Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat

Happen to come across ads and postcards from Thailand? Chances are you will see a buddhas head wrapped in tree roots which this temple is known for. Located at the center of Ayutthaya historical park, and easily accessible by bicycle. We also suggest going here during sundown to avoid the crowd and witness the majestic changing of day to night. A magical huge place that you can truly appreciate. It is best to go to wat mahathat during late afternoon to avoid the massive tour bus crowds and see the sunset at the inner portion of the temple complex. The sunset is magnificent to see since you will see the silhouettes of ayutthaya park when the sun goes down.

Wat Phra Ram

Wat Phra Ram
Wat Phra Ram

Wat Phra Ram is located inside the Ayutthaya historical park and would be the first temple that would greet you. This temple is really majestic to look at with its architecture and landscape beauty since it is surrounded by a lake. Try climbing up the steps towards the top of the ruins and you can see a great view of the rest of the historical park.

Ayutthaya and its ruins really take you back in time. It gives you a glimpse how the kingdom of Thailand was during the olden days. Living here in Thailand for a year, the visit to the best Ayutthaya attractions helped us know more of the Thai peoples rich history, culture and devotion to their religion.

Travel Diary: Ancient City of Ayutthaya

ayutthaya blog

After the new years eve party and going on a drinking binge for a few days in Bangkok, me and my wife headed up north the ancient capital city of Thailand, Ayutthaya.

A UNESCO heritage site, Ayutthaya is a kingdom that existed around 1351 to 1700s which was one of the wealthiest cities across asia until it was sacked by the Burmese-siam war. We recommend that you don’t book any day trip on any travel agency but instead try to spend a couple of days in Ayutthaya because of its relaxing atmosphere. If you happen to go there by yourselves, the best way to go to Ayutthaya is by catching the minibus at victory monument early morning since it would take 2-3 hours to get there. Minibus station is located at the Victory monument and prices range from 150-200 baht per person. The van should be located at the back of the bazaar so you have to ask around where the ticket counters are.

Minivan To Ayutthaya
Minivan To Ayutthaya

We arrived in Ayutthaya about noontime and took our lunch at a nearby noodle shop that really has great selection of dimsum, soups and more. Prices are shockingly cheap compared to our usual meals in Phuket and in Bangkok. The noodle just cost us 25 Baht for a really big bowl and we hardly finished 1 serving!

Thai people are genuinely warm and friendly, while we were eating at the cafeteria we were asking an old man who was also sitting at our table where our hotel was since sometimes minibuses stops at different areas in Ayutthaya and the map I had made no sense at all. He was willing to help us by taking us to our hotel with his personal car. We were honestly hesitant at first since we were cautious of scams or we may get tagged with hefty price tags for taking us to our hotel but we were wrong. Khun Suwat didn’t know any information about our hotel since it’s relatively new but after about 30 minutes, we were able to find our hotel just above the river near a temple.

We were really thankful for the old man for taking us but we were not able to meet up again since he had a meeting at night, we would have taken him to dinner to know more about him and about Ayutthaya. We stayed at a really good cozy hotel called Q Zone Boutique Hotel, a really clean new budget accommodation good for families and couples minutes away from the main area of Ayutthaya. Our standard room had Breakfast included was also really good as well as the staff were really helpful and friendly to provide us local information where local people eat.

Bike Rental in Ayutthaya
Rent a Bike in Ayutthaya! Highly Recommended!

After we have settled in the hotel, we have prepared what temples to visit in Ayutthaya by asking for a map at the lobby and renting a bicycle. You can rent their bicycle for about 100 Baht the whole day and Ayutthaya is fairly a small city so you can really roam around it. There is nothing better to do than bike around the ancient city because traffic is non-existent, trees are all around to give shade and the air was fresh too!

We were able to visit more than 30 temples in Ayutthaya for our first day tour and it was really tiring but fulfilling. After having a bath and a couple of minutes to relax, we headed to a famous Thai bbq place that our hotel recommended just 3 minutes away. Everything at the Thai Bbq place was not a disappointment, we ordered a couple of food and had the barbeque and soup and we just paid for it about 600 baht. A bonus point also is that this restaurant was just beside the river of Ayutthaya and you can hear the sound of nature to really make you relax and have a great conversation.

Thai BBQ Dinner in Ayutthaya
Thai BBQ Dinner in Ayutthaya

On the next day, we decided to check more temples in the wee hours of the morning to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately, we were too tired from our first day tour that we didn’t wake up early. We went to the outskirts of Ayutthaya to catch the sunrise and other temples and took us about 2-3 hours to complete our temple tours.

After breakfast and a quick nap and bath, we checked out of our lovely hotel and went back home. Ayutthaya indeed was a really majestic place. This ancient city really would take you back and make you feel its glory days and era. A well recommended city for those who don’t have time to visit Bagan or Siem Reap. You can also check out what Cool Travel Blog recommends the best Ayutthaya attractions.

6 Thai temples you have to visit on your travels

Wat Pho

Thailand is a popular destination in South-east Asia, known for its party atmosphere and beautiful beaches. What you might not know about Thailand is you’ll never be far away from a great temple – with a staggering 40,717 Buddhist temples in the country. And with 33,902 of them still in active use today, it’s worth taking time out of your schedule to visit a few. We’ve picked six of our favourites.

Wat Rong Khun

  1. Wat Rong Khun

Starting with one of the most photographed and recognisable temples in Thailand, Wat Rong Khun is bright white with pieces of glass that have been put into the plaster to sparkle in the sun. It’s a few miles outside Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, and the walls are adorned with images of Moammar Kadafi, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Harry Potter, Hello Kitty and Freddy Krueger, in direct opposition to the more traditional styles of other Thai temples.

Wat Pho

  1. Wat Pho

If you’re in Bangkok, you should visit Wat Pho. Better known as the temple of the reclining Buddha, it’s home to a 46-metre long Buddha completely covered in gold leaf. At the Buddha’s feet, there are 108 illustrations used to symbolise the actions that led the Buddha to perfection.

Ayutthaya Temples

  1. Ayutthaya temples

There are few better ways to experience Thailand’s rich and fascinating history than visiting some of the many ancient ruins and temples. Ayutthaya, a UNESCO world heritage sites, comes highly recommended by 1cover. And it’s no surprise. The historic city is home to hundreds of ancient statues and ruins, including Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Mahathat.

Sukothai

  1. Sukhothai

Picturesque ruins don’t get much better than Sukhothai Historical Park, which contains the remains of dozens of 13th to 15th century temples. Many of the temples are either well preserved or restored, and have their own distinct style – most notably the presence of a walking Buddha.

Wat Chiang Dao

  1. Wat Tham Pha Plong

If you’re prepared to work a bit harder, then walk up the 500 steps that lead to Wat Tham Pha Plong temple. It sits in a small cave half way up the side of a mountain and is a peaceful place to visit. There are great views of the forest below, and, if you’re lucky, you can make part in a meditation class – you’ll probably have to be willing to get up early, though.

Wat Panthurat

  1. Panturat temple

In the jungle reserve of Khao Sok National Park, you won’t be the only visitor to Panturat temple. Hidden inside a cave, the temple and surrounding area is also home to loads of monkeys too, all of which are very friendly and will steal food from you.

Where have you visited in Thailand? Share your recommendations with us.

5 Cool Temples To See in Bangkok

Temples to Visit in Bangkok

Thailand is home to one of the largest Buddhist population in the world since the early centuries. From the ancient temples of Ayutthaya north of Bangkok to the current city where thousands of temples are around for Thai people to worship and pray to.

95% of the Thai population is Theravada Buddhist and since Thailand is predominantly Buddhist country there are several major temples worth going to in Bangkok. Check the full list below:

Temples To See in Bangkok

Wat Pho

Wat Pho Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho contains a huge gigantic gold plated Buddha that measures 46×15 meters! This temple is also located just across the Grand Palace and is also well known to be Thailand’s first university. Wat pho is also well known to be a center for teaching and training traditional Thai Massage. So if you happen to be in the old city of Bangkok, you won’t miss this marvel.

Wat Arun

Wat Arun during Sunset
Wat Arun during Sunset

Just across the Grand Palace and Wat Pho is Wat Arun or called “temple of dawn”. Sitting at the foot of the chao phraya river, this temple has a porcelain encrusted central pagoda that sparkles when hit by the sun. This temple is easily accessible by ferry boat from the saphan thaksin BTS station. Wat arun is also one of the most picturesque temples to see in Bangkok when across the river during the sunset or at night so better get your cameras ready and look for a really nice spot!

Wat Traimit

Wat Traimit Solid Gold Buddha
Wat Traimit Solid Gold Buddha

Wat Traimit in Chinatown is home to one of the most unique Buddhas I ever seen in Thailand. The Golden Buddha is the world’s largest solid gold statue that weighs 5,500 Kilogram and sculpted during the 1238-1583 CE! Legend has it that this Buddha was plastered over with stucco to hide it from the pillaging Burmese army during the 1700’s and was later found at Wat Traimit. Currently the price of this solid gold Buddha is belieed to be about $300 million dollar but the historical value incalculable.

Wat Phra Kaeo

Wat Phra Keaw
Wat Phra Keaw

The temple of the emerald Buddha inside the Grand Palace is known to have one of Thailand highly detailed architectural features on a Temple. It is also home to a treasure of Thai Arts. Entrance fee cost 500 THB for both Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo but unfortunately, we were not able to visit the grand palace because we were taken in for a ride by some tuktuk scammer which led us to a hidden gem below.

Wat Intarawihan

Wat Intarawihan
Wat Intarawihan

Although we got scammed by a tuktuk thinking that the palace was closed etc for a holiday, and we went to several tailor shops and jewelers around the city, Wat Intarawihan is one of the places the tuktuk led us to. We arrived at the place during the nighttime and a huge 32-meter high Buddha pops out over the horizon. This temple was built around the 14th or 15th century and worth visiting as well.

These are just the few temples where we recommend to go to in Bangkok. There are other temples as well to avoid the crowds but that would be on a different article already. A word of advice is to really be cautious about scams so that it won’t waste your time and convenience. One can really see the beauty of Thai culture and their religion thru observing them on these sacred places.

Let us know what you think or if you have other temples to see in Bangkok or suggest by commenting below or share this with your friends who are planning to go to Bangkok!

5 Cool Places to visit in Bangkok

places to visit in Bangkok

Having revisited Bangkok the main city of Thailand twice for the past year and last holiday season, Cool Travel Blog would like to recommend these cool places to visit in when you are spending a couple of days in Bangkok Thailand may it be on a budget or a luxury splurge.

Bangkok is home to a lot of places to visit and several of them are just within walking distance. From temples, places to eat, where to shop or just a place to hangout, one can enjoy these things for a short while in Bangkok.

Places to visit in Bangkok

Bangkok’s old city

Rattanakosin Island AKA Old Bangkok
Rattanakosin Island AKA Old Bangkok

Established on 1872 by King Rama I, Rattanakosin or the old city of Bangkok boasts a lot of Temples, Accommodations, Café and Restaurants that surely will delight you. Walking or biking around the old city is recommended since you can visit these landmarks and attractions such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Giant Swing, Democracy Monument, Wat Saket and more! Khaosan Road is also minutes away from these places so do prepare to take really long worthwhile walks and be careful about infamous Bangkok scams. 

Chinatown

Bangkok Chinatown
Bangkok Chinatown

Just south of Rattanakosin or the old city lies the Chinatown of Bangkok. Chinatown is home to thousands of chinese migrants dating back to the early centuries. One can find lots of really cheap food, cheap goods, chinese temples and jewelry. The last time we went to Chinatown, we passed by a jewelry shop having really low prices for genuine Thai Gold. One of the best temples to visit in Bangkok is in Chinatown that housed the only solid gold Buddha.

Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market

Looking for pasalubongs or souvenirs for your loved ones, families or friends? Thinking about opening an online shop for clothes? Then fret not, Chatuchak market is your place. Chatuchak market or JJ market as locally called is home to a gazillion of cheap things to buy in Thailand. This is a mecca for shoppers both local and foreigners since most if not all sellers in Thailand get their supplies in wholesale prices at this market but they only open during the weekends so you have to set your schedule well! I also advise men who wants to avoid the crowd or long walks to chill at the park beside the market.

Victory Monument

Victory Monument
Victory Monument

Victory monument is hard not to miss since this is one of the central areas of Bangkok where all mass transportation meet going to the north, south, east and west of the capital city. One can see different people from all walks of life in this area that is why mostly one can find food, malls or bazaars in its surroundings.

Siam – Chitlom – Phloen Chit

Siam Paragon at Siam Shopping District
Siam Paragon at Siam Shopping District

Siam district is the shopping district of Bangkok that has all the biggest malls in Thailand from the most cheapest finds at Platinum Mall, trendy and hip at Siam square to the most luxurious over at Siam Paragon. If you want to splurge in luxury this is the place to be. One can also visit Thailand’s National Art Gallery where they feature exclusive works of both old and new local Thai artists.

Bangkok really is a nice place to go to anytime of the year even if you are just on a short vacation or in a long one, there are really a lot of places to visit in Thailand’s biggest city.

Let us know what you think or if you have other places to visit in bangkok by suggesting or by commenting below or share this with your friends who’s planning to go to Bangkok!

Travel Diary: Bangkok Revisit

bangkok blog 2

Our second time to visit the capital city of Thailand. Where everything was perfect and not like before the first time we went to Bangkok! It was the holiday season and the owner of our law firm in Phuket decided to close the office for the long weekend for us to enjoy the holiday season.

This was the first time that we spent Christmas and the rest of the holidays away from home in the Philippines. It was kind of sad since Thai people don’t celebrate Christmas being a Buddhist country. A consolation for the holiday thou is that one of our good buddy decided to spend her holiday weekend over here in Thailand.

After we have spent our Christmas in Phuket, we have decided to head up to Bangkok to take the boredom away from being in the island for a couple of months. Although Phuket is a really nice place to relax and have a vacation during the holidays, the city dwelling spirit within us kind of misses the hustle and bustle of the city.

Thailand Sleeper Bus
Thailand Sleeper Bus

It takes about 12 hours on an overnight bus from Phuket to Bangkok and its quite cheap and comfortable too! I would definitely recommend anyone who is willing to save on accommodation and trip time to try it when going to Bangkok or vice versa. Earliest time of departure are at 5pm in the afternoon and would reach Bangkok at 5am the next day at Sai Tai Mai (Southern Bus Terminal) which is quite nearest to the Taling Chan floating market and about 20 minutes away from Khaosan road where we planned to stay for a couple of nights and spend a new years eve party.

We checked in at Khaosan Palace since there was still an available standard room promotion although I warn people who want to have a quiet rest not to stay here since this is one of the areas placed smack right in the center of Khaosan’s party scene. Time flew by while a couple of beers consumed, pizzas eaten, pad thais filled our stomach from afternoon till night, khaosan road really is one of our favorite hang out places in Southeast Asia.

Pizza and Beer in Khaosan
Pizza and Beer in Khaosan

Spending the new years won’t be complete without a party. We met with our fabulous Philippine friend Elger and his british boyfriend James along with their set of friends in Bangkok. Its quite really refreshing to party with lots of people who enjoys dancing, shouting, drinking a lot since me and my wife got used to partying with ourselves in Phuket. It was a great new years eve party since khaosan road was closed for the celebration, thousands of both Thai and Foreigners converge to celebrate the new year and break the new years resolution not to get drunk on the first day of the year lol!

NYE party in Khaosan
NYE party in Khaosan

On the following day after new year, our friend sunshine went back home in Qatar and we were left by ourselves and we still had about 3 days before work starts again. So since we never really got the whole chance to see Bangkok on the first visit we had, we decided to try visiting some cool places to visit in Bangkok, temples to see in Bangkok and head to the ancient capital city of Ayutthaya to visit their best attractions.

Overall our second visit was really well spent. We partied, got drunk, familiarize the public bus transportations, great food at Chinatown, shopped at the biggest shopping malls and met new friends along the way! We can’t wait to be back.

TRAVEL DIARY: Our First Bangkok Experience

Bangkok Travel Blog

Bangkok it was the year 2009, I remembered this trip so well since it was kind of bittersweet. Bangkok, Thailand is one of our dream destinations back then when we were younger (imagine teen years), we weren’t really amazed with what Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia would offer for our first international travel together.

Bangkok as we knew it offers really cheap food, attractions, lodging and thrills. We booked our flights set on December to enjoy the cooler yet sunny months of the Thai capital city. We were joined with our favorite buddies and decided to stay with one of our good Cebuano friends on her apartment. Everything was all set, flights checked, place to sleep in checked up until the nightmare came.

Traveling before wasn’t really easy breezy for Filipinos, international flights were only in Manila. This was the first time we went to an international destination and had manila as our place to depart up until we got a close call of off loading.

You read that right. Offloading. I firmly still remember the feeling of getting questioned by Immigration Officers where they judged us based on our looks and HAIR!. It was pathetic to think that these officials told us that we are going to our backpacking destination as workers where we had full time jobs back at home. These Immigration officers also asked a lot of papers wherein we only got an hour left till our flights depart. In the end, we didn’t give any money since we provided our company ID’s on the last minute. We were really got frustrated because of the time running out.

We were able to pass immigration 30 minutes left for our flight to depart. It was quite frustrating yet a thrilling experience. I vowed on that day never to pass any Manila airport AGAIN. This was also the time when my wife really got sick with fever so I was bit afraid we couldn’t get in due to the recent “avian flu” or “sars” scare on those time.

Stars aligned and all is set for Bangkok, after the nightmare dreams became true. We were seated at a huge Philippine Airline flight for Bangkok. To ease our mind and nervous tensions, we had complimentary wine served!

On our first day in Bangkok, we fell in love with the place. The warm people, the smiles, food, shopping, the hustle and bustle of the city. It was indeed what I thought it would be.

We spent nights drinking and exploring the local markets, food, cafes, taking quick walks, shopping for grocery at the nearest tesco lotus. It was really simple yet enjoyable up until my wife got really sick that we decided to take her to the emergency room of an international hospital. We took her to seek medical assistance DRUNK! Everyone was loud, enjoying the cold chang beer, leo beer and hongtongs until we were in the hospital.

The international hospital became a mess, my wife got a couple of drinks but still calm and composed whereas my friends got totally drunk and decided to sleep on the hospital lounge, puking all over the place. It seems like they were the one needing medical assistance! Ha!

My wife got better after rehydrating herself and taking medications. We were able to continue touring Bangkok by visiting Khaosan Road a street where all people meet from around the world!

Khaosan Road is a street that transforms at nighttime into a huge drinking area. We met new friends from all over the world, shared travel stories, lecture them about not getting ripped off, talked about how great our country the Philippines is all in good fun and conversations. Up until now, we still like to go to Khaosan for people watching, meet new friends and eat.

We also get the chance to enjoy the famous temples in Bangkok such as the Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Grand Palace but we fell into the Tuktuk trap that took us to see jewelery, small temples and some annoying tailors. Overall it was okay but it took out most of our precious time off. This was part of a Bangkok experience.

It was also a good experience to shop around Bangkok for cheap finds like platinum mall, chatuchak market and my wife and friends were able to visit Thailand’s modern art museum which they found really cool being creative and artistic individuals.

We spent a week long vacation in Bangkok, Thailand. All week we get to visit some interesting sites, taste food, know culture, meet new friends, getting wasted and other things this is why Thailand is one of my favorite travel destination.

5 Cool Things to do in Singapore in 4 days

things to do in singapore

Cool Travel Blog visited the small city-state of Singapore or aptly called the Lion City. Home to about 6 million people that comes from multi cultural races, Singapore is a huge hub to discover culture, food, modern architecture and technology!

We didn’t plan to visit Singapore in the first place due to the fact that we really don’t like concrete jungles. Our first notion of Singapore is that the place is expensive to visit and there wouldn’t be anything else to do.

After a month living in Phuket and having my work permit approved, I have decided to have my wife’s non-immigrant Thailand visa filed in Singapore since you have to file it at the Thai consulate or embassy outside the country.

We went and spent 4 days in Singapore for the filing and approval of my wife’s visa so read along our Cool Things to do in Singapore in 4 days on a budget!

Things to do in Singapore

1. ) Stroll around the city at night!

We stayed at the busy area of Boat Quay near the business district where a multitude of expats, Singaporean workers converge to work day in and day out. We got a really great hostel in Boat Quay with excellent customer service at the 5foot way inn. The first thing to do in Singapore is explore the central district! The hostel is just 10 minutes away from Merlion park where you can also literally walk going to the marina bay sands passing by the esplanade, bridge and unto Marina Bay sands light show. A heaven of photo opportunities not to be missed along the way!

2.) Eat at a Singaporean Hawker Center

Singapore is synonymous with Singapore Chili Crab, your thing to do in Singapore list wouldn’t be complete without EVER trying this dish. Singapore cuisine has lots to offer for the palate like flavors from the Malay, Indian, Chinese, Western and yes FILIPINO. Sweet Tangy and Spicy, Chili Crab is the most popular and well enjoyed food in Singapore greatly shared and enjoyed with families and friends, pair it up with some bread or PAO (as what we call it) and a bowl of Char Kway Teow or Laksa and you are all good! There’s a good hawker center Makan Sutra just beside the esplanade if you happen to pass by going to marina bay sands where you can see a great view of the bay.

3.) Discover “Art Street” of Singapore and its vicinity

Haji lane on Kampung glam is a great spot to take some art enthusiast, hipsters and street artists with its quirky, colorful and small shophouses lining up with some bargain finds. This area is predominately muslim wherein you can see about 3 or more mosques in the area such as the Masjid Sultan. A quick walk will also let you reach Bugis area or district where there are lots of budget hotels, restaurants and a favorite local shopping destination.

4.) Walk around Singapore Botanical Garden



A UNESCO heritage site, Singapore Botanical Garden is a tropical garden founded on 1859! This place is great for outdoor walks when you get tired looking at buildings and the city. A good thing about this place is FREE! There are lot of areas to visit within the Garden such as the orchid gardens, a Rainforest and more. There are also several species on Singapore Botanical Garden the freely roams so better get ready with your cameras or yourselves so that you won’t get surprised seeing monitor lizards around the bushes! This place is great for relaxing, having a picnic with your friends and families as well as jogging or walking your dog. Just do bring water since it is going to be a long walk around this massive area.

5.) Sightseeing in Sentosa Island

Why wouldn’t we miss putting in Sentosa Island on our things to do list? The island has tons of attractions such as the Universal studios, Resorts World, trickeye museum, white sand beach where everyone and anyone can enjoy! Although most of the places has entrance fees you still can get your moneys worth since all of the different experience, food, restos, shops are good!

Bonus: Lucky Plaza shopping in Orchard Road for pasalubongs #kabayan

Being in Phuket Thailand for about a month, we started to miss pinoy food, the best area to eat pinoy food is at Lucky Plaza. If on a budget, there is one Barrio Fiesta carenderia that offers set meals for about $5. If you want jolibee one can go to the top floor and enjoy your craving of chickenjoy, jollispaghetti or yum! Lucky plaza also houses tons of cheap finds for pasalubongs like chocolates, shirts, souvenirs, electronics so we suggest that you try to choose and scrutinize what shop to buy from and haggle before paying. Good to see lots of Kabayans at this joint.

Although at first we don’t like visiting concrete jungles, we were quite wrong about Singapore. The things to do on our list was well spent and it just cost us a “few” baht being in Singapore a first world country.

A clean city, disciplined citizens, great food options of chinese, western, Mediterranean available all around 24/7, infrastructures and the busy rush hours made our trip in Singapore a “fine” one as my eyes for detail lit up wandering around this fine city and what it offered.

5 Cool Things To Do in Kuala Lumpur on a budget

Things To Do in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has its own charm and enchantments for tourists and travelers like us. There are a lot of things to do in Kuala Lumpur while passing by for a couple of days. Team Cool provides a list of the 5 cool things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on a budget.

An hour from Sabah, Malaysia and easily accessible from our hometown Cebu Philippines, Kuala Lumpur the capital of Malaysia is a land with multi ethnicity, culture and religion where the Muslim faith is dominant. We happen to pass by Kuala Lumpur Malaysia before setting our final destination of Phuket, Thailand for work and migration.

Here’s a list of the 5 cool things to do in Kuala lumpur on a budget:

Things To Do: Eat At Jalan Alor

  1. Eat and Drink at Jalan Alor

    I’m an avid reader of travel blogs that focuses more on the budget and cheap ways to discover the places to eat. I read somewhere that you get the bang of your buck eating at Jalan Alor along Bukit Bintang. Although it was drizzling a bit before we went there, the place were still full of people eating and drinking at a small road. A similar feel of what Khaosan Road in Bangkok had to offer minus the rowdy drinking part.
    You can literally see a lot of restaurants in a mile high road where it can be confusing which place to eat and go since most of these restaurants offer different cuisine like malay, thai, Vietnamese and everything else. Yes, they do have mcdonalds nearby if you are looking for American food. After managing to scout all the restaurants from first to last, we were hungry and we decided to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant. We ordered soup and a Goi Con (spring roll) for both of us, stir fried noodle, vietnamese iced milk tea and a couple of beer. Took us a few hour to enjoy the night along the road just seeing backpackers alike pass by the road and having chit chats with a cold beer on hand.Things To Do in Kuala Lumpur: Batu Caves
  2. Test your cardio and willpower at Batu Caves
    Another Thing to do in Kuala lumpur is to go Further up north of the city center that comes one of the iconic landmarks of Kuala Lumpur. The Batu Caves, one of the most popular hindu shrine located outside of india is set on a limestone hill with towering statues of Lord Murungan and Hanuman greeting you as you enter this holy place. Upon entering, do be careful and watch our for your belongings because there are cute and playful monkeys waiting to steal your food or any plastic related items. These monkeys are everywhere since they are revered in Hinduism. I suggest that you also try to drink water first before climbing the 272 steps of Batu caves since its going to be hot (depends on the weather thou) and really crowded that it can be exhausting.
    Things To Do in Kuala Lumpur: Old Town
  3. Stroll around the Old Town/Old City Centre

    The good thing about Kuala lumpur is that you can very well go to one place and see lots of cultural landmarks, architecture, art and more. One thing to do in Kuala Lumpur is to visit Merdeka Square which is also called the independence square. A hotspot of buildings with historical interests, this place has one of the tallest flagpole in the world that measures 95 meters! One can also view the magnificent architecture of the Sultan Abdul samad building (photo above) which is inspired by Mughal Architecture and built on the 1800’s. If you may find art interesting you can also visit the KLCG or the Kuala Lumpur Central Gallery which exhibits all the fine art of kuala lumpur both old and new aspiring artists. The Kuala Lumpur Gallery also has a miniature version of the City of Kuala Lumpur where you really can find how the city looks on a birds eye view.
    Things to do in Kuala Lumpur: Chinatown
  4. Cheap Finds and Eats at Chinatown

    There’s a saying that goes God made the world and everything else is made in china, chinese people has been settling in kuala lumpur for centuries ths establishing themselves in the city to have their own Chinatown. Located at the heart of the city center, chinatown or petaling street in that matter is a hotspot for everything cheap. There are several budget hotels, cheap food, souvenir stalls and bootleg stuff! This is a bargain hunters haven, We would really recommend budget travelers to try staying around chinatown since there are also landmarks and places worth going to such as the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. I recommend going to one of the restaurants where locals eat, a buffet style option or a la carte goes for about RM3. One can also savour authentic chinese food such as Siomai, Siopao, soups and dumplings. Foodgasmic place indeed.Things To Do in Kuala Lumpur: Petronas Tower
  5. Take a Selfie under the rain at Petronas Towers

    You can’t end a trip in kuala lumpur without visiting their famous landmark, the petronas towers! Completed on 1996 with 88 floors making it one of the tallest buildings in Asia. An architectural wonder that has muslim motif and houses several oil and foreign companies. We went to see the Petronas towers at Night but it was raining but it didn’t stop us taking a selfie and photo of this wonder. Totally worth going out and getting wet! A photographer tip, there is a park across the tower that you can go to have the perfect photo for the petronas tower, one can get in on the afternoon but not sure if they are open at night. This place is also located beside a luxury mall where you can go buy luxury items for a really discounted rate.

Whenever you come across Kuala lumpur for a couple of days either by transit, leisure or a holiday, you can always do cool things around the metropolis. Transportation is easy, people are friendly (some), cheap hotels, cheap shopping destination are in abundance at the metropolis. 

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