4th trip in 2012: Bangkok 2012! (22-25 June 2012)

Have you ever attended a Thai wedding?

Neither did I until in June. My cousin Danny’s now wife, Peung is a Thai, and we went over to Bangkok for a Thailand wedding.

It’s my sister and my first trip to Thailand, and we were pretty excited then. Though to be honest, after hearing a story about my cousin’s godsis’s friend, we are kinda scared. But I still like shopping in Thailand.

Those of us who went were: Si Ku, Si Kim, Sa Yi, Donny (his GF arrived later), Joey (Don’s god sis), Mon (Joey’s friend), Jack and his wife (Dan’s friend), Dua Kim, my sis and I.

Anyways, my cousin Danny booked a bus for us and upon arrival, he picked us up at the airport.

We stayed at Golden Tulip Soverign Hotel. So far the most atas hotel that I stayed in.


FIrst time got black label.


Bathroom has a shower thingy and bath tub. Size of bathroom is like 3/4 my bedroom in SG.

Went to Platinum first for shopping. 2 hours weren’t enough. Heck, one day wasn’t enough too.

We walked to MBK for dinner. Walked because my cousin said it’s near but yea we forgot that their “near” and SG is different haha.


100 Baht lol.


Mango Sticky rice (my sis’s)

Hahaha. A funny episode happened here. I took out the chicken skin coz it was wayy too oily for my liking (and tasteless too). Dan and Don were like “why did you not eat the skin?!?!” Hahahaha

I think during this trip, our relatives realised that we are very healthy.

Day 2 – 23 June

Day 2 saw us vising Chatuchak (aka JJ Market). Sis and I followed Joey and Mon around as all are girls.
They brought us to the animals section and also clothes section.

Saw lots of animals including those flying squirrels and rats! Unfortunately they don’t allow photos for some.




Spot the kitty

Got a cat collar for Midnight coz his was almost falling apart.

We had lunch at one of the stalls, that Joey said was the cleanest amongst the rest.
Food was absolutely delicious.

We had some coconut ice cream and drink. Treat by Joey. Yums!

We went back to Platinum, where we got a lot more clothes again. muahaha.
Sis and I got the timing wrong. So we ended up waiting for Joey and Mon and while waiting we had some ice cream thingy from Ice Monster.

Continued shopping, and by the time we came out, there was a brilliant sunset outside Platinum. A lot of people stopped to take pics.

Joey wanted to bring us to this place to eat King Prawns. But she couldn’t find it, so we stopped to eat at this really cosy place owned by a Granny. Food was damn good. Pity I didn’t get the name 🙁


Milk baked pork. Damn good. Gravy was awesome!


Tom Yum soup.


Fish cake!


Lala! (Clams)


Morning Glory aka Kang Kong! Wah I didn’t know that!


Thai Curry!


The lady will take a picture of you using her digital cam. Do spot me if you’re there! They have pictures on their walls!

Then we took a tuk tuk and met with Donny and his gf Viviana.
That was when we heard the scary story >.< Basically it was about one of their friend's gf being taken away just suddenly. Lost for a few months now 🙁 WE went to eat some Fish Porridge at a roadside stall.


Awesome soymilk.

Aaand, we got some insects to try! Woohoo!! One off my to do list. haha
We got these. No idea what they are haha:


Haha. Joey took a video of me and Mon trying. My sis tried one too. Don didn’t dare hahaha.

Went for manicure and pedicure. 400 Baht including painting of finger nails. As we were wearing shoes, they said it will ruin painting of the nails so they would rather not do it at all.


Mine’s the one on the right.

Day 3 – 24th June
Day 3 was Danny’s wedding day!!
We woke up early for breakfast (hotel buffet), and then went for the tea ceremony.

Thailand’s tea ceremony is rather different from SG. Or maybe because this was held at a hotel? It was pretty grand and staged like a talk show. I didn’t know what was going on half the time. haha.

They hired a professional photographer for this, and had lots of lighting set up, so I had an awesome time shooting pictures. The lighting was just awesome and a dream come true.

Here are some of my photos:

My cousin Donny


Danny and his proud mum!


Waiting for the ceremony to start!


SG people who went

Then we had the wedding lunch.. The culture’s really different from SG, in which, if you’re late, you don’t get to eat the food that was served earlier that’s all.

We found out how Danny and Peung met!


Danny got a bit emotional. Aww!

Anyway, in the afternoon, we followed Uncle Alex and Aunt Lilian to a shopping centre, walked around and had “dirt cheap” Swenson’s!

And some awesome dinner afterwards:

At night, we went to the skybar to chill and drink the free drinks that were given to us by the hotel.

Day 4 – 25th June
Last Day! We went to Chinatown for a walk. Nothing much there but really cheap items to buy wholesale.
Had a great lunch, and bought some really cheap stuff to sell.

They had some miniature exhibition thing there at Grand China Princess Hotel.


Lunch

Went back to the hotel lobby to chill.

Had a great experience, and I think it’s just awesome to be able to travel with family! We bonded closer, despite some unhappiness, but I kinda like how I feel comfortable just chatting and hanging out with everyone. 🙂

Would love to have another family trip again!

Continue Reading

4 days tour (2 May to 5 May)

This post is long overdue. Be prepared for a super long entry!! Get a cup or something first 😀

Day 1 (2 May)
Woke up super early (5am?), and walked in the dark road to the cinema near our place to wait for a mini bus to fetch us to where we’ll be taking the coach to. There was a spiderman inflatable thing at the cinema top.
Advertisement for Spiderman 3.

Anyway, the coach we were supposed to sit in for 4 days was one of the biggest. Group of around 40 people with one tour guide and 2 coach drivers. The tour guide’s quite friendly and all and he looks really like Sunny Sin. =X But well, when he told us the itenary for the 4 days, we realised that we weren’t only going to Jiu Zhai Gou and Huang Long. The journey on the bus was super tiring and boring at times but the best part was when we saw the mountains.

Learnt a lot from the tour guide about the tribe people living in the mountains. 藏族 (zang tribe). Their religion is a kind of Buddhism and they have these flags all over the place that actually have their prayer words on it and their belief is that when the wind blows, it’s like chanting their prayers out. And placing these flags in different parts mean different stuff. For example, putting it on the side of the road means that they are actually praying for safer journeys for people passing by on the cars, but if you see a bunch of it on the back of a village, that place is actually burial ground for the family living in that village. One flag represents one of the dead. Only the Dalai Lama or some priests can decide the colour of the flag for the family.

Took a picture with a yak (牦牛). The pronunciation for yak in Chinese actually sounds like “furry cow”. Haha. So I had no idea it was a yak until day 3 when we went to a place that sells yak meat (more about that later).

And we went to this place that looks really like an old city. They have Muslims living there as well and Halal restaurants. Quite cool right?

We got a new insight on the old-fashioned type of toilets in China. For the female toilets, it was just a drain with partitions, no doors and no flushing system. It was very weird using these toilets at first as everyone would be able to see you while waiting for their turn outside, but we got used to it after that.
Day 2
Continued our journey to Jiu Zhai Gou. We passed by places covered with snow and understood why the hotel was so cold yesterday.

Upon reaching Jiu Zhai Gou, we took a bus to the top of Jiu Zhai Gou and saw many breathtaking lakes, waterfalls and mountains. We were told that a lake was the filming location for the movie “Hero” 英雄 (starring Jet Li) and the waterfall where they shot “Journey to the west” 西游记.The only thing I didn’t enjoy was that we had to wait for the rest of the tour group and tour guide before we could continue to the next location at Jiu Zhai Gou. A lot of time was spent waiting for the other people and these people didn’t really care if they’re late or not. -_-“At night, we went to the home of a Zang race family. On the way there, our tour guide warned us that if we were to drink the wine provided, we would have to finish the whole cup or it would offend them.There, we were ushered to a big room which was able to fit the whole tour group. One of the family members taught us how they called single men and woman (“se lan” and “se mou”). They also sang us their tribal songs. They barbequed goat for us to eat and also food like potatoes, and a type of barley which tastes like popcorn. We were also given a cup of wine and milk each. Luckily for us, this family doesn’t drink and we were told that it was alright if we did not finish the cup of wine. The wine tasted like those Hua Diao Jiu that is used to cook food.

Yi Long was then picked to compete with a single girl in terms of singing and if he lost, he would have to “marry” that girl and join the family. Of course, all these were just for fun. And the group of us helped him a bit. And he ended up losing and had to “marry” the girl. Lol. Okay. The guys say that no matter what, as long as you are picked, you’ll get married. it’s just who gets married to whose family. Sorry for the mistake.

After the dinner, we joined the group of people outside around a fire to dance. Had fun lah. everyone was trying to learn the steps from the family but ended up running around in circles and all. Hahaha.

Day 3
Our main highlight of Day 3 is to visit 黄龙 Huang Long (“Yellow Dragon”) The tour guide brought us to the source of a river located at the top of a snow mountain for us to take pictures.

Then, we were brought to this huge area that sells yak meat, products made from yak skin, yak horn and some food products made from sesame seed and barley.

We then went to another exhibition hall that sells herbs. It was an interesting insight to the type of herbs and their medicinal value. Next stop was an exhibition hall of crystals. Henry, Yi Long and Hwa Swee bought crystal pendants for their mothers. The tour guide assured us that if we found out that the crystals were fake, we could get a double refund for the product and the tour agency would get a complain lodge against them.

Huang Long was the next stop. The tour guide gave us 4 hours to tour the place. It was a tiring climb for us as the oxygen level was low and it was a 3.5km hike up and another 3.5km down the mountain. Unfortunately, many of the streams, rivers, waterfalls and fountains were frozen due to the cold weather.

At night, we were again allocated to stay at the hotel which we went to on the first night. The wait for hot water was again long, and in the middle of the night, I realised that they turned of the bed heater and air warmer in the room. -_-” It was only turned on in the morning lor. Idiotic. The next morning, only Henry and Yi Long’s hotel room toilet had water. The rest of us had no water to use to wash up.

Day 4
Woke up early. Some guy in the same tour group knocked Jia Hui and my hotel’s room door mistakening us for his family. :S I was quite sarcastic with him. haha. Oops.

Went for a tea appreciation thing at this place where the 羌族 (Qiang tribe) lives. The lady who introduced us and taught us how to appreciate tea is super humourous. haha. She told us that in her tribe, the men stay at home to do housework and everything. And the women give birth and work. And they even hit their husbands to “teach” them. Haha. Oh and they choose their husbands because they are well-behaved and listen to them. And the girls used to get married when
13 or 14 years old but nowadays they get married
when they turn 18. When the guys heard this fact, they started telling
me and Jia Hui that we’re old already.

Then we went to this place where they sell stuff made from yak’s horn and I realised that all the girls behind the counter were wearing the Qiang tribe traditional costume. And they were all married already coz they all looked around my age.

Anyway, it occurred to me that the marriages in the tribal groups around here are not because of love but because the man to be married can help fix the house or help in farming etc etc. I dunno if this is
a good thing or not honestly, but it makes me think that at least the girls confirm will get married.
Saw lots of scenery and the hotel we live in actually is 3000m above sea level in the mountains! So the weather was super cold and all.

The journey back to Chengdu was painfully long anyway. So near yet so far. Why is this place so big? But glad that I’m back here already. haha.
————————————————————————
Alright. Lazy to post the pictures, so here’s the link for them: http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y116/galovesongs/Chengdu/2%20to%205%20May%20Trip/.

Continue Reading