Thailand Travel Diary: Day 5

I still can’t believe that I am diligent enough to write my entire Thailand trip. After a visit to Ayutthaya, the Ancient City, and a romantic dinner cruise along Chao Phraya, let’s continue re-visiting my adventures in Bangkok on my fifth day.

As mentioned in Travel Diary Day 4, Kimchi Man and I went to a Korean travel agency to book us some slots in tour groups. For today, we availed the “Floating Market Tour” because he knew this was included in my bucket list. As always, I am touched by his thoughtfulness.

MAEKLONG RAILWAY MARKET

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The tour guide told us that the floating market would be few hours away from Khao San Road, so I was surprised when our van took an abrupt stop nowhere near a river. He guided us towards a railway, which actually reminded me of one in the Philippines – it has vendors selling various produce. I initially thought we were brought here to do some local shopping, so I walked along the railway and looked what Thais usually have in their market.

Ever the knowledgeable tourist, Kimchi Man informed me that it was no ordinary market for it lies along an active railroad. Few minutes later, I correctly heard alarm clocks going off, and soon, the unmistakable horn of an approaching train. What happened next was both amazing and terrifying.

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Vendors scrambled around to pull back their baskets of goods and undo their shops’ awnings. Customers hurried up to find a safe place far from the rail, while excited tourists prepared their cameras.

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The train then appeared from the curve and proceeded chugging down the entire stretch of the market, brushing stalls few inches away.

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As soon as the last part of the train rolled through, vendors quickly unfolded their stall umbrellas, and like magic, the market was active again like nothing had happened.

TIPS: The Maeklong railway is famous for its one of the largest seafood markets in the country, more commonly known as the “Umbrella Pulldown Market”. It was fun to witness such bizarre yet dangerous display, but just stay on the safe side of the railroad.

DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET

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I have watched several movies with scenes filmed at this world-famous part of Thailand. After that, I started wishing that one day, I would be able to try shopping at the largest and most popular floating market in the country, Damnoen Saduak. Now, I was very happy to scratch one more item in my bucket list!

At first, Kimchi Man and I walked around the area and took some obligatory tourist photos. I noticed that aside from vendors selling in boats, a lot of stores were already situated on either side of the canal. From souvenirs, to fruits, vegetables, and local cuisines, we found a wide array of things to buy.

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Finally, we decided to take a boat and have a tour around the river market. I immediately found the humor in our boat’s name as soon as I sat – the inscription said “F1”. Like other boat “drivers”, ours was a woman whose name I couldn’t correctly pronounce and recall now. She was wearing a plain blue long-sleeve shirt, and I found it amusing that both Kimchi Man and I had the same color.

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The smurfs

Like the photos I saw in Google, boats were full of colourful fruits and vegetables; some were even dedicated to only one fruit, e.g., banana boat. Pun intended. I also saw some selling Pad Thai and other dishes.

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Getting hungry, I glanced at Kimchi Man and pointed at a lady selling delicious-looking snacks. We passed her boat since our boatwoman was paddling fast. However, it was amusing when the lady vendor paddled to us and offered her services.

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There were a lot of things to buy, but we ended up loading ourselves only with fruits. I was happy to personally shop through the busy floating market, but wasn’t able to take a lot of photos while riding the boat. The canal also got congested especially in the shaded area, so the traffic made it impossible for me to get good pictures to share. Nevertheless, the experience was special and fun. I loved that we had our own private boat, unlike others who shared in a group.

TIPS: Although it will give you a traditional market experience, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is becoming tourist-oriented as of late. Prices are also higher compared to outdoor markets. If you don’t like to bring a heavy camera, just remember to prepare a waterproof case or sling bag for your camera phone. I didn’t think of this, so I didn’t take much photos in fear of my S4 swimming in Thailand waters.

THE GRAND PALACE

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It was after lunch when we were dropped off at Khao San Road. Though a bit tired, we proceeded with our next stop for the day – the must-see Grand Palace.

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Bangkok’s most famous landmark, The Grand Palace is a complex of impressive buildings laid very similar to that in Ayutthaya. With its imposing and striking interior, ceremonial occasions like coronations are done within these walls.

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Your Majetsy

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Kimchi Man and I are so tiny in this picture!

Any Bangkok or Thailand trip will not be complete without a tour in The Grand Palace. Make sure to take a lot of photos!

WAT PHRA KAEW

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Within the grounds of the Grand Palace lies Thailand’s most important Buddhist temple, the Wat Phra Kaew. Enshrining the highly revered Buddha image carved from a single block of Jade, this temple is also one of the attractions in the palace both for tourists and locals alike.

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TIPS: With the King’s Palace and Bangkok’s most sacred site, it also follows that there is a strict dress code when visiting here. Visitors must be properly and modesty dressed – no tank tops, bare shoulders, see-through clothes, sandals and flip-flops. If you came unprepared, there is a booth near the entrance where you can rent clothes.

WAT PHO

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Directly adjacent to the Grand Palace, Kimchi Man and I walked under the scorching heat of the sun to Wat Pho. The temple enshrines the largest single Buddha image about 160 feet long, The Reclining Buddha.

The site was originally a center of education for traditional Thai medicine and it was here where Thai massage was born. After the image in Wat Phra Si Sanphet (see TD Day 4) in Ayutthaya was destroyed, King Rama I built a temple to enlarge and restored a reclining Buddha statue.

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wat pho, reclining buddha, bangkok, thailand, travel, tourist, tour, itinerary, blogger

wat pho, reclining buddha, bangkok, thailand, travel, tourist, tour, itinerary, blogger

Being the largest and oldest wat in Bangkok, Wat Pho is home to more than one thousand Buddha images. Yes, I have seen enough Buddhas here to last a lifetime.

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After seeing all these marvelous Thai architecture, Kimchi Man and I ended our tour rich in knowledge of the country’s history and beliefs. Having few hours to spare before sunset, we hailed down a cab to go back to Nouvo Hotel and checked out.

Oh no, is this the end of my Thailand trip? Stay tuned to know more!

Have you tried shopping in a floating market? Visited religious sites different from your beliefs?

Of Bows and Arrows | Kodanda Archery Range

If you have read the entire Hunger Games trilogy or have enjoyed the first two instalments of the series in the big screen, then you most probably have also envied Katniss Everdeen’s skill in archery. Before that, I had a secret crush on Legolas from The Lord of the Rings, and fancied being Princess Merida in Brave. Recently, I even imagined myself as Artemisia, Artemisia I of Caria, in 300 Rise of an Empire. It seems like my fascination for bows and arrows go way back and it is only high time for me to quench this thirst.

WHY ARCHERY

People who know me can testify that I am not a sporty person. Far from it. However, I have always wanted to play archery. Aside from the thrill of holding a bow (and the instinct to kill, haha), this can also be a form of exercise, albeit not as strenuous as others. Still, it can strengthen one’s arms, shoulders, chest, and back. With constant practice, it can develop upper body strength and improve posture and balance.

I also like that this exercise can help people focus. With enough mind into the game, players can easily hit the target. More importantly, I observe that this can also be a stress-reliever. If others want to have an outlet for stress and frustration, I think archery is a good way to let off some steam.

KODANDA ARCHERY RANGE

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In the Philippines, archery is yet to be a common sport for everyone. It isn’t easy to find someone who plays and even harder to know a location where one can practice. Last week, I was lucky enough to have found a hidden treasure right in the heart of the metro.

Kodanda Archery Range is a seven-lane, fully air-conditioned range located in Makati Cinema Square, Makati. With Kodanda being a Sanskrit word for “he who has a bow”, a companion of Rama as he overcomes evil in Ramayana epic, the range prides itself as the only indoor (versus open air) and open to the public (versus membership required) venue in Makati for archery enthusiasts.

I LOVE KODANDA

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with my namesake, Monica twin

Why do I love Kodanda Archery Range?

  • Kodanda is a venue for those interested to try archery and who also don’t want to spend a fortune for playing.
  • Kids as young as seven years old can take beginner’s lessons
  • Has the most affordable hourly rate and already includes range rental, international-standard equipment and protective gear usage, and archery basics coaching from expert instructors.
  • The staff are all friendly and attentive
  • The range is accessible from people living in Manila.

DO’S AND DON’TS

Done with my first archery lesson, here are some tips I would like to share with you, so you prepare when you take your classes.

  • Do follow your coach’s instructions – he/she is always right. I like that this sport doesn’t need any athletic level, so with practice, I can easily gain mastery in archery.

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Left arm stretched, right arm a bit higher angled, strings near the jaw, left eye closed.

  • Do stretch first. My upper left arm was sore after practice.
  • Do bring your eyeglasses, especially if you are myopic like me. I couldn’t see the yellow, red, and black circles in my target paper when I wasn’t wearing my specs.
  • Do pick up your arrows only after all the players are done. Otherwise, you might end up with an arrow sticking to your head.
  • Don’t go to the archery range intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Common sense.
  • Don’t walk in front of other archers while they are playing. Or you might be the next target.
  • Don’t point your bow at people. Unless you really want to hit them with your arrow. Kidding.

 

WHAT TO WEAR

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It is a requirement to wear a pair of rubber shoes or sneakers when you go to Kodanda. All other safety gear such as arm guard, finger tab, chest guard, quiver, and recurve bow will all be provided.

PUBLISHED RATES / LESSONS OFFERED

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Rates

Hourly rate is Php 550/person inclusive of the usage of international-standard equipment and safety gear, as well as basic archery coaching by expert teachers.

Php 200 range rental per person for those who already have their own gear.

Additional Php 30 if archers want to take home the target paper for souvenir.

Lessons

Php 6000 for ten one-hour sessions. Students will be issued a Certificate of Completion after the classes. Basic and advanced archery will be taught by Syd Fraginal (Philippine SEA Games record holder), Ronalyn Alvarez (Palarong Pambansa winner), and Ronna May Alvarez (former member of developmental team of the Philippines).

REMEMBER: It only takes a lot of practice! I don’t have any athletic bone in my body, but look what I managed to accomplish on my first class. Not bad, right?

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Are you interested to be an archer? For reservation and further inquiry, you may reach Kodanda Archery Range through:

Contact numbers: 02) 621.9109 and (0932) 843.6614 – look for May
Operating hours: 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM, Mondays to Sundays
Email: kodandaarchery@gmail.com
Facebook page: Kodanda Archery Range

 

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Who wants to shoot some arrows? I hope we can play together! If you want to try out archery, I highly recommend that you go over Kodanda Archery Range and see for yourself. Let them know I sent you!

***

ANNOUNCEMENT

There are few more days left before the end of my giveaways. Please join!

Sammy Dress Fashion Giveaway

Aaron Hair Salon Giveaway

First Quarter of 2014 Review

In just a blink of an eye, it seems that days flew by so swiftly that I almost did not notice that a few days from now, we would be saying goodbye to the first quarter of the year. Could you almost believe that? By next week, it would be three months since we welcomed the start of 2014. How have you been holding up?

I guess it is only right that at this point, let’s try to look back and reflect on how we spent the last 90 days or so. Were we productive? Did we reach our goals? Did we change for the better? Let my own review be your sample.

EMPTY YOUR BUCKET LIST

Before 2013 ended, a lot of us wrote New Year’s resolutions. For me, I simply created my bucket list for the next year. I am sure several of you did that, too. For the first quarter, how are you going with your list?

Checking My 2014 Bucket List, here are the things I have accomplished so far:

  • Fly to my nearest dream destination, Thailand
  • Go through the longest underground river in Palawan, Philippines
  • Book a flight ticket less than a week before the flight schedule
  • Attend more blog events
  • Ride an elephant
  • Get an authentic Thai massage in Thailand (where else?)
  • Have a dinner cruise date

CHANGE FOR THE BETTER

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May it be emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical change, any improvement is always better. For the first quarter, I was able to plan my future goals for my career and education. I am also more emotionally stable in my relationship. Most importantly, I feel more beautiful this year. Haha!

HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

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As I have written in my 2014 opening post, New Year, New You, having a positive mind and attitude is essential in creating a better self. By taking self-inventory, changing anew, accepting mistakes and learning from them, I am continuously improving myself.

2014 YEAR OF THE HORSE – MY YEAR

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I won’t disclose my birth year, but my Chinese animal sign is a horse. I am not a fan of Feng Shui and what have you, but it is nice to know that perhaps the cosmos are with me to achieve my goals for 2014. For this year, I am going to own the entire twelve months and make the most out of them.

ABOUT THIS OUTFIT

Are you curious about today’s outfit? Interestingly, I bought the red sexy top and printed maxi dress in a fashion blogger bazaar earlier this year. As for the highlight in this ensemble, I am featuring this unique bag with horse design.

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I got this fashionable bag from Tmart, a leading e-commerce site. It was my first time to purchase something from a store which offers the largest range of products I have seen in my online shopping experience. Tmart also has one of the cheapest prices of almost everything in free international shipping.

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Tmart Horse Pattern Handbag

I love this elegant, multi-function bag which I can confidently use for my every day wear. Also, it is large enough to give room to my daily essentials. More importantly, I like its eye-catchy and unique horse pattern design!

I ordered this bag a month ago and was surprised to receive the parcel in less than two weeks. For my country’s legendary poor postal service, this was already a feat. I would love to shop here again!

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2014 is my year.

How was your first quarter of 2014?

***

ANNOUNCEMENT

Two of my giveaways are still up!

Sammy Dress International Fashion Giveaway

Aaron Hair Salon Giveaway

Graduation Ball Dress Ideas

I feel like it was just yesterday when everyone welcomed the start of 2014, but I realized that time really does fly so fast. Now that we are already on the last week of March, most students are giddy with excitement for their upcoming graduation. By the end of this month or early April, they will be proudly marching along the tune of Pomp and Circumstance and receiving their school diploma.

Before going to the big day and receiving the certificate of completion, there’s still another event students are excited about. More often than not, for graduating students, this is where they would turn mushy and declare their eternal friendship with one another, or confess their secret admiration to a classmate. If you have already figured out what this is, you probably attended one. In my country, this is what we call a graduation ball.

As a close friend of mine will be graduating this month, I was challenged to help her find graduation ball dress inspiration suitable for her age and body type. I was so eager to do the task, and it made me wish I was back in school. I might be taking my master’s degree soon, but will there be a grad ball, too?

Anyway, for my friend, I have selected five dresses for her to choose. Can you help us?

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I have been loving Frozen since I first watched it, and when I saw this gown, all I could think of was Elsa. My favourite color is blue, and I hope my friend will also like this.

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For something dramatic, I have chosen this elegant dark blue evening gown. I think it is high time for her to look mature!

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Red is always a remarkable color, so why not these two?

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Lastly, her favorite color is pink and I think this feminine off-shoulder dress will suit her well.

Which do you think is better for my friend? I got all these evening dresses from victoriadress.co.uk.

Have you attended your school’s graduation ball, too? How was it?

ANNOUNCEMENT

March is my month so join me as I celebrate my second blog anniversary with TWO giveaways!

Sammy Dress Fashion Giveaway

Korean Hair Salon Giveaway

Science Comes Alive: The Mind Museum

Last year, the Philippines had been vastly overwrought by the destruction brought by Typhoon Haiyan. Several provinces had been gravely affected by this super typhoon, one of the strongest recorded in world history. A lot of people were left baffled as to how this natural phenomenon caught everyone unaware and unprepared. Being a lucky blogger, I was invited to attend a scientific talk on what actually happened during Haiyan.

THE CAFÉ SCIENTIFIQUE

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This is a monthly forum held at The Mind Museum where certain relevant topics are discussed to the interested public. Everyone is encouraged to sign up, attend, and participate in a lively discussion. For last November, the talk was about typhoon Haiyan and what actually went wrong and how we could’ve prevented it.

WHY SHOULD PINOY BOTHER WITH SCIENCE?

Why should Filipinos bother with Science? This has been the title of the forum, with a very informative open discussion from Project NOAH, PhiVOLCS, PAGASA, and Manila Observatory. The way I understood it, there were a lot of studies and experiments done to have predicted the result of the typhoon. However, poor communication and information dissemination from the government became one of the main problems, especially when there was a confusion about what a “storm surge” is and what it can do.

cafe scientifique, the mind museum, bgc, canopy plaza

The talk ended with a hopeful note by reiterating that intensifying disaster preparedness would eventually help us avoid such damage from a catastrophic force of nature.

THE MIND MUSEUM

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Shortly after the talk, we used our complimentary pass to roam inside The Mind Museum for the first time. As initiates to this newest museum in the metro, we slowly took everything inside the 12, 000 square meters science building. With over 250 interactive exhibits, the establishment’s tagline “Science comes Alive!” is very appropriate.

THE DA VINCI EXHIBIT

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It was the last day of the Da Vinci Exhibit when we were there so we did not let the opportunity pass to know more about this genius artist, scientist, mathematician, and inventor.

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da vinci, exhibit, the mind museum, bgc

THE FIVE GALLERIES

THE EARTH GALLERY

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With my blogger friends and Stan the T-rex!

I admit that I was not a fan of Earth Science during my freshman year, but it was a bit interesting now to check out how the Earth was formed million years ago, especially when there’ll be no quiz after. I knew most of what’s in the exhibits, which goes to show how a geek I am.

Tip: Don’t bring me in a science museum unless you want me to talk your ear off with did-you-knows.

THE ATOM GALLERY

Automatically, the science nerd in me became so ecstatic upon entering this gallery. From the elements to gravity, I got fascinated in educating (and showing-off?) my friends in what I know from each exhibits available.

the mind museum, science, periodic table, atom gallery

Kimchi Man and I love this innovative Periodic Table. Both Chemistry lovers, we tested each other’s knowledge on the elements. I lost.

LIFE GALLERY

My favourite subject is Chemisty, but Biology comes close. I felt like high school again as I re-learn the basic component of life – cells. Of course, the interactive game on DNA brought out the competitive streak in me as my boyfriend and I fought for a higher score in the quiz.

UNIVERSE GALLERY

Once fascinated in Astronomy, I am also knowledgeable about stars, planets, and galaxies. It was amazing to see how far humankind was able to quench its curiosity about the outer space.

TECHNOLOGY GALLERY

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The largest gallery in the Mind Museum, this exhibition is the only one that could be found on the second level. From industrial tools to various gadgets and vehicles, technology was shown on how it is continuously improving the life of everyone.

the mind museum, museum, science, bgc, taguig

with Kimchi Man

The Mind Museum turns 2! Visit this scientific facility and surprise yourself how much you learned from school. They have a lot of events and programs now, so feel free to check out their website.

The Mind Museum
http://www.themindmuseum.org
JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
909 –MIND (6463) | inquiry@themindmuseum.org

Aaron Hair Salon Giveaway

Last November, I had a very satisfying dye job at Aaron Hair Salon. I was very happy with the result of my treatment that I even wrote my experience here in my website. If you have been following me since then, you had surely read my thoughts about my latest hair color. If you have missed it, you may go back and see what made me love my mane today. Please click here.

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Aaron Hair Salon is a Korean-owned salon delivering various hair services with a touch of Korean style. It has been operating for several years and have two branches, both in Pasig City, Metro Manila. I visited them in Ace Water Hotel and I can say that they have a minimalist yet stylish interior. If you are a Korean culture fan like me, you would be happy to know that there are a lot of magazines and other reading materials available in their language.

Since my detailed experience has been written down in my previous post, I will just summarize here what I had when I visited the salon:

A free scalp diagnosis was made to measure hair’s health. I learned that my hair was badly damaged. I was then recommended to have a damage control treatment, which I took. They gave me a Korean product, a very effective ampoule from Imonpro. Then, I got to choose which color I would like to get. My stylist for that day was helpful to point out which compliments my skin. After both treatments, my hair was blow dried and I was satisfied with the result.

Why do I love Aaron Hair Salon?

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I had been to some Korean salons, but I prefer Aaron Hair for my hair color treatment. Why?

  • Aaron Hair Salon has accommodating staffs. When I had my appointment scheduled, Mr. Aaron Yoo himself replied to me. He was even there when I visited.
  • The location was accessible. Ace Water Hotel and Spa was easy to find.
  • A free scalp diagnosis was given so we can know the current status of our hair. This is a very good idea to help others to think better, especially if we still want to push for a new treatment, but our hair’s health would be more damaged.
  • The salon uses organic products, most, if not all, from Korea.
  • The price is reasonable for the quality of treatments they provide. They also offer various promo deals as well.
  • They give more than just service. The entire staff ensures that clients go home happy and satisfied with their treatments.

Two of the best and most popular treatments by Aaron Hair Salon are their Korean digital perm and full hair color.

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Would you like to experience what I had as well?

My blog, Impressions of a Princess, is celebrating its second blog anniversary for the entire month of March. With this, I am having a series of giveaways to share my blessings and send my appreciation to all my blog readers. I already started last week with an international fashion giveaway.

For today, I am happy to announce a beautiful gift to all of you!

THE GIVEAWAY

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Two lucky winners will have the chance to join me and get beautified by no other than Aaron Hair Salon. For this giveaway, the two can choose a Korean Digital Perm or Full Hair Color Treatment worth Php 6500 each. Shampoo, hair trim, and blow dry are also included. For Philippine residents only. Giveaway will end on April 6 and winners will be contacted via email after checking the validity of the winning entries.

IMPORTANT NOTE: PLEASE READ

It is very sad to know that others follow and actively participate on my site and other accounts only during the time for giveaways. This has been an ongoing problem for almost all bloggers and I would like to take an action for this. I would be very strict in checking the validities of each winning entry, especially if all the mandatory tasks had been followed. Furthermore, unfollowers will no longer be eligible to win from the current and future giveaways that I will host. Let’s all be honest and fair in joining blog contests.

Are you ready to get pampered with me? Join now and I will wait to meet two of my avid readers – a chance to meet yours truly in person!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why would you like to win? Which would you choose, a digital perm or a full hair color?

Aaron Hair Salon

2F Ace Hotel United St., cor Brixton St., Kapitolyo inside ACE Hotel & Suite
Tel. (02) 565-9139, 0915-4524530

G/F Amber Place Jose Escriva Drive, Ortigas, Pasig City
Tel. (02) 584-7866, 0915-7779261

Catching Fire Inspired: Colored Wedding Dresses from DressV

Last weekend, I re-watched Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and like the first time, I was awed how it was faithful to the novel. Even while in the middle of the movie, I nodded every time I remembered a particular scene from the book. As a bookworm, I can only count how many film adaptations were successful in following the plot and even the minute details from books. Being a reader gives me unlimited ways to imagine how a person or scene would look like, and it amazes me how the visual presentation of everything I read sometimes I agreed with my imagination.

When Catching Fire was starting to film, there were already a lot of speculations about the exciting scenes from this second installment. Among one of them is Katniss Everdeen’s set of wedding gowns designed by her stylist, Cinna.

hunger games, catching fire, katniss, wedding, gown, dress

Imagining the wedding gown to be white and grand, nothing prepared me for the visual image Suzanne Collin’s descriptions would make. I admit that when I first saw it, I squealed with my colleagues and got excited for the upcoming movie.

It became so popular that a lot of women wanted to have as much ruffles in their dress as possible, but nothing could cause an uproar than the result of Katniss’ twirl in her wedding gown.

mockingjay

The Mockingjay gown looks lovely and fierce as ever

Though the color goes beyond the conventional white, I was again surprised by the number of people copying the girl on fire’s trendy dress. It seems that we are already starting to accept that it doesn’t have to be white – colored wedding dresses are also cool.

Inspired by Katniss Everdeen’s wedding dress? I have collected some designs from this online shop, DressV, and look what I got!

wedding dress, white, black, gown,

This white wedding gown with black accent reminds me of the point when Katniss slowly started turning to a mockingjay. Looks elegant, right?

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Remember Katniss’ hot red number in her interview? It may not be as hot as that, but this wedding gown from DressV looks lovely as well.

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From my heart, this is something I would love – a gown fit for a princess! It looks so royal and elegant!

Check these DressV gowns at http://www.dressv.com/color-wedding-dresses-c103389/

Almost every girl dreams to get married in her white wedding gown. I guess history and society affected us to think this way. With books and media, however, we are slowly opening our minds to various possibilities.

What kind of wedding gown would you like to wear in your wedding? 

Thailand Travel Diary: Day 4

By seven o’clock in the morning on my fourth day in Thailand, Kimchi Man and I were already waiting for our tour to Ayutthaya, known as the second largest city in Siam next to Sukothai. Also called the Ancient City, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Bangkok due to its rich history brought by its almost destruction by the Burmese army in 1767. Now, this historic complex of temples and monasteries has become a UNESCO world heritage site.

WAT PHU KHAO THONG

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Almost an hour away from Khao San Road, we reached out first destination- Wat Phu Khao Thong. Also known as the “Monastery of the Golden Mount”, this 262 ft temple was originally built by King Ramesuan. However, King Bhruneng Noung of Burma seized Ayutthaya and built additional layers in Burmese style and named it Phu Khao Thong.

Visitors can climb the temple from the base to the foot of the chedi, and from there, the surrounding rice fields and moats can be seen. On one side, the monastery is also visible.

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The temple is still in use. Aside from few monks I have seen, there were a lot of dogs, too. Kimchi Man explained why, but I cannot remember it now.

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Your Royal Highness

WAT PHRA SI SANPHET

 

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wat phu kha thong, ayutthaya, bangkok, thailand, travel, itinerary, blogger, travelblogger, asia

Hopping in and off from the tour van, our next location was Wat Phra Si Sanphet or the ancient palace. As part of the royal complex, only Ayutthayan Kings exclusively used this and no clergy was permitted to reside on the grounds.

WAT LOKAYA SUTHA

wat phu kha thong, ayutthaya, bangkok, thailand, travel, itinerary, blogger, travelblogger, asia

Wat Lokaya Sutha is a 42-meter long and 8-meter high reclining Buddha in Ayutthaya.

WAT YAI CHAI MONGKHON

 

The sun was almost above our heads as our tour guide made an interesting retelling of its history. It was an educational and major-related stories, but after listening to him for almost ten minutes non-stopped, I decided to walk five steps from our group and took this photo.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, ayutthaya, bangkok, thailand, travel, itinerary, diary, blogger, travelblogger, temples, asia

A historical site with cute AIS icons.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, ayutthaya, bangkok, thailand, travel, itinerary, diary, blogger, travelblogger, temples, asia

Also known as the “Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory”

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, ayutthaya, bangkok, thailand, travel, itinerary, diary, blogger, travelblogger, temples, asia

Buddha Gallery

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, ayutthaya, bangkok, thailand, travel, itinerary, diary, blogger, travelblogger, temples, asia

Couple shot with the Buddhas

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, bangkok, ayutthaya, thailand, travel

I am not sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me, but this…

WAT PHRA MAHA THAT

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Wat Maha That, Monastery of the Great Relic, is one of the most important monasteries during the Ayutthaya kingdom because of its proximity to the Grand Palace. It was also the religious center and has been a royal monastery and seat of the Supreme Patriarch of the City Dwelling sect.

wat phra mahathat_04wat mahathat, ayutthaya, thailand, travel, itinerary, blogger

The architecture was found to be of a Khmer origin. Our tour guide even noted that it has some similarities with the earlier built structures of the Angkor Wat.

wat mahathat, ayutthaya, thailand, travel, itinerary, blogger

Here, you can find the famous Buddha head in tree roots!

 TIPS:

  • Going to Ayutthaya, we joined a group to have the convenient hop-on, hop-off tour around the city. There are other ways to go there from Bangkok and you could even go there by yourselves using train.
  • Most temples have entrance fees only to foreigners. I forgot to take down the prices as these were included in our tour package.
  • Do not sit or lie down along the base of Buddha monuments. Never put your feet on top of Buddha’s head, too.

GETTING LOST IN BANGKOK

As soon as the van dropped us at Khao San Road, Kimchi Man had other plans aside from resting back to the hotel. He wanted to book some tour packages from a Korean Travel Agency near Khao San Road, but he didn’t know where it was located. I didn’t know which surprised more – the existence of his fellow nationals working in the country or the frequent tourist not knowing a place in Bangkok. After I got over my reaction (which was less than two minutes), we decided to follow the location map of the agency.

We went many times to the same road Kimchi Man surely pointed out to be right direction, but was actually a dead-end. In all fairness though, Kimchi Man was correct. He really knew the streets around Khao San, but we didn’t easily locate the agency as its entrance was through a Muay Thai boxing gym. Figures. :)

TIPS: Creativity on possible location of your destination helps. Also, you don’t have to look stupid when you got lost, even if you would pass the same person thrice.

CHAO PHRAYA PRINCESS CRUISE

Kimchi Man had us booked for a two-hour dinner cruise along Chao Phraya River. He recommended this activity as it would be refreshing to have a panoramic view of Bangkok temples shining during the night. We would also go under the long and famous King Rama VIII suspension bridge as we dine.

Chao Phraya, river, dinner cruise, luxury, night, tour, sightseeing, river city, bangkok

Upon arriving to the River City proper, I was excited to see that we would aboard the Chao Phraya Princess III. The Chao Phraya Princess Cruise is the most luxurious cruise serving dinner and entertainment along the river tour. A very fitting vessel for a princess, wouldn’t you say?

When we have given our tickets to the staff, we were surprised to know that 1. We were part of the upper deck, and 2. Our seats were right in the front of the bow. We could see the Thailand flag swaying along the wind and I remembered glancing at Kimchi Man. When I smiled at him, I noticed that the captain winked at me. Funny because our table was set just beside the cruise’s bridge, so we could easily see the captain steering the boat.

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The smurfs!

Dinner was a sumptuous affair consisting of both Western and Thai buffet. While guests were eating, a live band played beautiful music in the promenade. After filling their stomachs, some guests proceeded to the bow and took their photos. We then appreciated our strategic location – convenient and with a good view.

CHAO PHRAYA RIVER NIGHT TOUR

We saw a lot of beautifully-lit temples like the Wat Arun and Grand Palace. Kimchi Man and I marvelled at the stunning view of the historical architectures made live by lights. It was a splendid way to go sightseeing at night! I don’t want to share photos taken here though since most are grainy due to the night and yellow lights.

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[credits: Asia Web Direct]

When the cruise reached the Pinklao bridge and started to head back, people started singing and dancing in the promenade deck, which was a few steps away from us. They partied all the way back to the River City!

TIPS: I highly recommend a dinner cruise when you visit Bangkok. Book tickets though as I haven’t seen any walk-ins. I didn’t know if you could select your seats, but if you could, I suggest the upper deck with a better view. Also, some hotels offer dinner cruises as well, but I really prefer the Chao Phraya Princess.

***

For this day, I had fun revisiting the rich history of Thailand. I wish I paid more attention to my world history classes before. Also, I enjoyed appreciating the traditional and mixed architectural designs of the temples, Doraemon aside. Going to Wat Phra Mahathat is one of the items in my 2014 bucket list so I was very glad to have seen it. A romantic dinner cruise was a perfect way to end my night.

bangkok, thailand, travel, diary, filipino, asian, blogger, travelblogger

Waiting for my next adventure

How did you like my 4th day in Thailand? Follow me for the my fifth day in Bangkok!

P.S. All photos were taken using my Samsung smartphone only.

Second Blog Anniversary Celebration

Who would have thought that almost two years ago, I didn’t have any inkling about blogging? Two years ago, I didn’t have that much passion in writing than reading. Two years ago, I was busy nursing a broken heart. Two years ago, I didn’t imagine blogging could be my salvation back to my social life. Time went so swiftly indeed, for here I am happy to celebrate Impressions of a Princess second blog anniversary. Can you believe that?

IMPRESSIONS OF A PRINCESS SECOND BLOG ANNIVERSARY

My blog has been on the blogosphere for two years and what a delight it is to be able to see the growth of my site. From a simple outlet of my feelings back then, this blog now caters most of my varied interests and hobbies. Starting from several followers, it continuously grows to thousands willing to read whatever I write. Before, it only started with comments from colleagues, but now, my posts go across the Atlantic and receive delightful opinions from both supportive friends and wonderful strangers. Appreciation on my writing and thoughts came initially in the form of various blog awards and now, I even receive requests for brand collaboration and invites for events and other media launch.

A BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU

As most of you know, I prefer reading than writing. Aside from not being my number one hobby, I do have some consistent worries whenever I write. I am not sure I could get my thoughts and messages across through my articles. Moreover, I am not confident that I can hold the interest of my readers – people with different ages, hobbies, personalities, nationalities, cultures. Despite all my concerns, I continue to write – that is all because of you.

If you have been following my site for a long time or simply stumbled upon it just now, I would like to say thank you for giving me a fraction of your time. I am not known for giving the shortest article, so it might be a challenge reading through an entire post; I commend you if you do. For those who have been with me since the conception of Impressions of a Princess, a big shout out to all of you! Thank you for consistently being there even when I had my trashy banner and wrong HTML codes. :) To my new friends and followers, I hope I will be able to see you again when I celebrate my future blog anniversaries. Please stay with me!

THE GIVEAWAY

 

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Since it is my blog’s birthday, I am holding a series of giveaways to celebrate the support and attention my dear readers give to me. For this post, one lucky winner will receive a $30 store credits from Sammy Dress, one of my partner stores since the beginning. This contest is open internationally and will end on April 5.

IMPORTANT NOTE: PLEASE READ

I have been hosting a lot of giveaways in my blog and it saddens me to see several people following and actively participating on my site and social media accounts only during the course of the contests. I know this is an ongoing problem of other bloggers as well who hold giveaways, and like them, I would like to take an action to keep this from recurring. Starting from now, I would seriously take note of those unfollowers of my blog and social media sites i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I could easily track. These people will no longer be eligible to win in any of the giveaways and promos Impressions of a Princess will be having in the future. In case you have accidentally unfollow me, please send me a message.

Sorry if I sound stern in the above paragraph, but if you are also a blogger, I know you could understand where I am coming from. Moving forward, to get you more excited on what you could win for today’s giveaway, check out the items I collected which could be yours!

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These are only samples of what you could have when you win the $30 store credits from Sammy Dress. If you won, you can have the liberty to choose whichever article of clothing you would like to get.

Try your luck now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Once again, thank you for continuously supporting Impressions of a Princess. Stay tuned for more giveaways coming your way.

International Women’s Day | Inspiring Change

Yesterday, March 8, the world celebrated  International Women’s Day (IWD). Across the globe, people recognized the achievements of women economically, politically, and socially throughout time. It is also on the same day to consider the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women. On this day, I am more proud to be a woman!

As I was writing this post, I realized that IWD has been born more than a century ago. How amazing that women at that time were brave enough to fight for their rights to work, vote and hold public office. It is also very inspiring to look back on how far we have gone since then and how much effort we are putting to push stability, equality, and empowerment to all women.

INSPIRING WOMEN THROUGHOUT HISTORY

Even before I was born, the fight for women’s rights has been ongoing worldwide and there were a lot of volunteers and participants to this cause. Now, I would like to feature some of those inspiring women throughout history which made an impact to me.

malala-yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

margaret thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

aung san suu kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

corazon aquino

Corazon Aquino

EQUALITY TO ALL

The movement for gender equality has been active many years ago and we have seen drastic changes already. True, women can now go to school, work in the corporate world, vote in elections, hold a government post, and enter a business venture, but some are still struggling to have stability and peace especially those living in societies entrenched in patriarchal norms. We have achieved a lot in making all rights equal to both men and women, and I hope efforts to abolish gender inequality will continue on.

LEADERSHIP AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT

More and more women have proven their leadership skills both in public and private sectors. By leading others, women are grasping another fruit of decades-worth of fighting against social inequality. How many women have successfully climbed and topped the career ladder?

From CEOs, COOs, CFOs, partners, associates, and other senior managerial roles, women around the globe have conquered the corporate world once only dominated by men. Of course, a lot of political and inspiring leaders are women as well. Some of them are Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi, Indira Gandhi, Angela Merkel, Benazir Bhutto, Golda Meir, Michelle Bachelet, and Julia Gillard, to name a few.

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Girl power at its finest! I commend all those women who have worked and fought hard to attain the positions they are in now. They will always be the inspiration for others to stand up and claim their rights. In this time, there is no more limit to what women can do and achieve.

INSPIRING CHANGE

Inspiring Change, being the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day celebration, is just apt to encourage active participation of everyone for gender equality.

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Now is our time to be part of the change! Don’t shy away from responsibilities to create a better society for women.

Let our voices and actions be heard and seen. Uplift the role of women in our society and fight injustices affecting half of the world’s population. Sign The Girl Declaration and help girls around the world have access to education, employment, health care, safety, and citizenship. Support the fight of rape and sexual assault survivors. Use your talents, skills, and expertise to help out as much as you can. Volunteer – it is time to give back!

ABOUT THIS OUTFIT

Since it is a post for International Women’s Day, I thought of featuring a fierce look to show my fight for women’s rights. A fiercer me for all the advocacies and causes I am supporting. It is just appropriate, don’t you think so?

black dress, outfit, fashion, little black dress, outfit, style, fierce, black boots

For this look, I donned my Soiree sexy back black dress together with my SOTD_PH boots. I am always known as a minimalist, so there were no accessories present, save for the Tomato Time watch I was wearing on that day.

black dress, outfit, fashion, little black dress, outfit, style, fierce, black boots

black dress, outfit, fashion, little black dress, outfit, style, fierce, black boots

For my hair, I didn’t do anything special about it aside from shampooing it that morning. Haha! Professional makeup artist and friend, Anne Olila, did wonders to my face by creating a sexy appearance, crowning it off with her signature smoky eyes. Of course, the ever talented Edryl Castro, photographer, made me look inches thinner in photos. LOL.

Are you feeling empowered as a woman?

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