Not Really Busy, Just a Little Lazy

The biggest culprit of why it took me another long while to post is Pokemon Go. Hahaha. Yes, I downloaded it on the first day it went live in the Philippines and I dragged my siblings to come and walk around wherever we can to get as much Pokemons as possible, hahaha. My brother has been a fan ever since he was little, so he’s like our walking Pokedex, hehehe. My siblings and I have lunch dates during weekends just so we can go to a mall and get more Pokemons.:D But, just like any game, it can get boring too. I guess you really have to go to a LOT of places to get more monsters.

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I’m still stuck at level 21, but, I got to own a gym for a good 10 minutes, lol.

One good thing that’s coming out of the Pokemon hunting is that we keep on going to different malls around the metro and eat (of course).

We went to Megamall one weekend to check out Mac Center’s super sale plus catch Pokemons. It was a bit of a waste because it felt like the entire population of iPhone users went to the sale and there weren’t any new Pokemons there. Good thing the food at Ooma was great!

We also went to Greenbelt during the first weekend Pokemon hit big, where all malls I think has lure parties. Having late lunch while catching Pokemons, and some gelato after:

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Before, we used to always take a car anywhere we go. But now, the deal is to just walk so we can catch more and more Pokemons, hahaha. And so while walking, I finally got to see one of the famous “Why” around town.

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One thing I tried to do was be a little artsy. And so, I did this, and failed miserably:

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I didn’t even try finishing it!! Hahaha. Obviously, this recreational activity is so not for me.

While thinking of what to put in this post, I just finished watching the second season of Narcos. If you don’t know what it is, Google it! And watch it! It really is one of the best right now and it’s just 10 episodes per season so it’s not going to take up too much of your time! 😀

Last Sunday, my siblings and I finally got matching tattoos of our parents’ names. I never really thought that it would hurt as much as it did. I mean, it’s a tolerable kind of pain, but it is still painful. Newfound awesomeness to people with massive tattoos on their bodies!

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Our parents don’t know about this yet and we have no idea how they’re going to react so.. not really excited to go home this weekend. Hahahaha.

And of course, we ate after!

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Travel Tales: Bangalore Food Trip

Travel Tales Bangalore

In 2013, I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to Bangalore in India for work. I mean, all expenses paid from food, lodging, tickets, visa application, daily expenses, everything! India has always been part of my list of places to visit and to have that opportunity was the best way to end my 2013.

I have sooo many beautiful experiences in Bangalore, but for this post, I’ll focus into the different crazy/beautiful food that I got to see and taste and experience in Bangalore.

One of our go-to place to eat was the food court in a mall near our hotel. I never liked spicy food, but when I was in Bangalore, I had no choice but to learn to have more tolerance to it.

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This is what I usually order when we eat at the food court (although minus the rice). The one in the middle is my favorite out of everything. It’s chicken… something. Haha. Sorry, I forgot what it’s called but it’s chicken and it’s not too spicy so it’s perfect for me.

My officemates and I were introduced to momos. That’s what it’s called in Bangalore but personally, I guess that’s their version of dumplings. We’ve been to two momos place in Bangalore and both of them are managed by locals from Tibet.

It’s seriously a legit place to get momos.

We tried all of their momos, beef, chicken, and vegetable and my favorite was the beef. The momos place for me is their version of Chinese fastfood restos, and that’s why for the entire two months we were there, we would mostly go during the weekends.

There were a lot of firsts in Bangalore. Though not Indian, I first got to try peri-peri chicken there.

I guess the best part about the first time experience was that it was at Nando’s, which from what I know is somewhat a famous place for peri-peri chicken! Yay!

I guess my only regret was that I never went back, so up until now, and it’s 2016 already, I have never tried any other place that offers peri-peri chicken. Lucky Nando’s! Lol.

Before I proceed, let me share with you the cakes that I got on my birthday! Yep, I celebrated my birthday in Bangalore. Every year, since 2011, I decided that the best way to celebrate my birthday was to just book a trip somewhere. In 2013, my GBF (gay best friend) and I originally planned on going to Hanoi. We already had a one-way ticket booked (was waiting for another seat sale for the return ticket), but we had to cancel because I was going to India. So, that year, I celebrated my birthday in India 🙂

Another place my office mates and I absolutely loved was Barbecue Nation. It’s another resto at the mall near us that offers unlimited barbecue!!!! Like, literally, you get all the barbecue that you want. Not just beef but they have chicken and fish and shrimp as well. How it works is that you have a flag that you put in your table and they will continuously bring barbecue to grill at your table until the time you decide to put the flag down. Amazing, right!!!

We so loved the concept that we were there for both Christmas and New Year’s, haha.

One thing that I just can’t like as much as I want to (and I’m really sorry!!!) are the mouth fresheners. It’s like gum, you have it after all the food that you eat, to I guess neutralize the smell of the food? It’s tastes like toothpaste but not quite. It’s very difficult to describe the taste, basta, it’s weird!

And based on what we saw while doing the groceries, there are a lot to choose from. India, I love you but sorry, I just can’t with the mouth fresheners. :C

Our Indian hosts has been nothing but accommodating and hospitable and sincerely nice to us, and they even brought us to one of the bars in Bangalore. It was where I started going to bars whenever I go out of the country, just to experience how different the bars are in each place.

I’ve always thought that I have high tolerance for alcohol, but everything went down the drain when we tried their local beer, the Kingfisher. I swear. It was the worst feeling ever – to be drunk in a foreign place on Christmas day, hahaha. But well, hashtag charge to experience!

Another amazing thing about Bangalore is the tons of sweets that they have. I don’t know if this is true for the entire country, but they have soooo many sweets that I stopped counting and just took pictures of them all, lol!

I tried a few of them but I guess it’s true what they say about ‘acquired taste’, I din’t really liked most of them. I mean, I’m fine with just trying and knowing what it tastes like but not really something that will become my favorite.

Would I try them again, given the chance? The thing is, I am such a picky eater that there are a loot of fruits that I don’t eat, so I guess no, sorry!

But out of everything that we have tried, my favorite would be their coffee.

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Filtered coffees are very much common, I don’t know if just in Bangalore or the whole of India though, but near our office building, there’s a stall that sells coffee served in these cups. We wanted to bring home one as a souvenir but we simply forgot. I don’t know if it’s just the cold weather (we were there December-January), or the clay cups, or just really the coffee, but, we really loved their version of coffee. I would go back just to have these. ❤

I have more Bangalore stories to share, I just need to stop being lazy about posting blogs, hehehe.

Travel Tales: Boracay

The past week’s weather wasn’t really the best. It has been raining almost nonstop for the entire week due to a typhoon. And all I can think of is the beach!!! So for now, let’s talk about probably my default beach place: Boracay. 🙂

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I say default because this is probably the beach place that I have been to the most. I have been here a lot of times with different sets of people but every single time the kind of experience I have is always different – in a fun way. The good news is, there are so many cheap flights available all throughout the year. You just really have to be patient in looking for seat sales and waiting for the actual trip. I usually book my flights with either Air Asia or Cebu Pacific, and both has a lot of flights available, although I book for Kalibo flights as these are cheaper compared to going via Caticlan. Also, since Kalibo airport is bigger, there are lesser chances of your flight getting cancelled. The only downside is that from Kalibo, it will still be about 2 more hours of travel via bus to get to Caticlan port and to the island itself.

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It started becoming a yearly thing for my friends and I in 2013, which was the time all of us were coincidentally single, haha. You can say that my May 2013 Boracay trip was seriously the craziest – not really for blog posting, hehe.

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Posing at Friday’s famous photo op spot

That same year, because we are crazy people, we went back in October. It rained a little during that time but for me, Boracay will always be picture-perfect no matter what. It may not look beautiful for everyone, but I love it just the same.

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Boracay in October

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A friend of us was moving to Vietnam for work in 2013, so we thought that Boracay is the best place to for a despedida.

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So after 2013, we decided to go back again – like a yearly thing, and we did! There has been this craze with Laboracay and we wanted to make sure we don’t go during Boracay’s most crowded period so just like in 2013, we booked our trip on the last week of May, or what we call summer’s last week.

Here’s how our daily nights out in Boracay goes: we go out at around 10 in the evening to have dinner, then we walk around the area before heading out to one of the bars. We mostly go to Epic in Station 2, but there are a lot of bars out there to as well. We just have a liking to the place since we have been frequenting the bar since 2013.

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The girls taking a nap in 2014 before heading out
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Crazy night in Epic

After a night of drinking and partying (because Boracay is obviously a party island), we will usually wake up at around 10 or 11 in the morning and have brunch. After lunch, we go back to the beach to chill and maybe have a few drinks.

You need to know, prices of drinks and food in the island isn’t really cheap. So in 2014, we decided to bring our own alcohol and drink in the beach. We then found out that it isn’t actually allowed to drink by the beach. Oh well.

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Our favorite spot somewhere in Station 1

In 2015, I thought that we won’t have the chance to go back. But lo and behold, APEC Summit happened in our country in October. That means almost an entire week of declared holiday. I actually just followed since I still have to work, but Boracay is always a good idea you know.

We found out about a new hang out place during this trip. In Diniwid Beach, there are a couple of restobars, if you want to be far from the crowds. It’s a bit far if you walk, but I don’t really mind since I’m on the beach and it’s Boracay hello!

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This year, I got to hit the beach a little early – in March. We had a free one way flight from Cebu Pacific due to a cancelled flight in November 2015, and since March is almost summer time, we decided where better to go than Boracay of course!!

Aside from drinking and chilling, here are a  few of the non-negotiables when going to Boracay:

1. Have breakfast and bring home some calamansi muffins from Real Coffee. Note that the food isn’t that cheap, but it’s worth trying as their food is good

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2. Chori burgers. There are stalls all around the island that usually opens in the afternoon. It’s just chori I know. But it just tastes so damn better when your at the beach!

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3. Jonah’s shake. Partner up your chori burger with shakes! Perfect for the beach!

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4. Ariel’s Point. I have only been here once, but Ariel’s Point is still one Boracay’s highlight for me. It’s a cliff-diving place that’s about 30-40 minutes away from the main island. You go there before lunch and you can go jump your shit out while waiting for the buffet lunch. The best part of it all is that drinks are unlimited!! From the boat to the cliff-diving spot and even on the way back to the island, they will serve drinks for you! They say alcohol is needed to give people more courage to jump, and I totally agree!

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5. Eat at I ❤ BBQ. They serve good food and their walls are decorated with cute and quirky posters and photos.

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6. Visit Spider House in Diniwid Beach. They have a spot to watch the beautiful sunset. There’s also a place where you can cliff dive in case you need your fix.

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7. More food: eat at Two Seasons. Their 4-cheese pizza and oyster sisig is to die for. Try also their pasta. Seriously, their food is the bomb.

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8. Last but not the least, visit the church.

Before I end this post, here’s a selfie from Spider House while watching the sunset. ❤

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What Have I Been Up To

So, there are a lot of boring stuff that I have been up to for the last few weeks (does not include any form of exercise).

Snapchat is currently my selfie obsession. I love the filters!

Like, seriously.

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It’s like my daily dose of stupid selfies, but I love it! Hehe.

Of course, majority of the time, it’s all about food.

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It doesn’t really help that my siblings and I love to eat and that we also have friends who give us tons of good food.

It has been a while since I last had Nerds and Pop-tarts so when I had the chance to buy them, I made sure it’s gonna last for at least a week – and congrats to me because it did! 😀

Chocolate cupcake topped with bacon!! 😭😱👅 #instagutom

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Of course, more food! It also always happen that when my brother’s friends give him food, I am usually the first one to discover. Because I love opening the fridge and that’s where the free food usually is. My siblings actually hate that I love eating other people’s food. I believe that food inside the fridge is always considered for sharing. Hehehe.

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On a healthier note (wow ha), my daily goal is to drink as much water as I can. It’s automatic that once I finish the entire tumbler, I have to pee. So the plan is to finish 5 of this everyday. It’s a 750ml water bottle that my friend from the US gave, so thank you!

I’m also trying my best to finish a book, but that’s on top of playing games on my ipad and watching Netflix. So I don’t know about you, but my last few weeks has really been busy! 😀

Travel Tales: Indochina Last Stop

The last leg of our trip is in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. We’ve been to HCMC in 2014 so we somehow know our way around. We arrived HCMC after about 5-6 hours on the bus. The stamping of passports as easy. The bus conductor took all of our passports, had us fall in line inside the immigrations office, and then that was it. We waited for our names to be called, had our passports stamped, and done. There was a quick stop at the Vietnam border for anyone who wanted to have lunch. We arrived HCMC at around 3 in the afternoon. The bus made its final stop right in the middle of the backpackers’ area so we were really lucky – except we found out that the hotel we booked was near the airport. Since it was just around php800, we just looked around and saw a new hostel that will take us in for just php300 a night. Good job!

We had banhmi for late lunch and then we headed off to Ben Tanh Market to check out the bags there. It’s true when they say that bags and shoes in Vietnam are cheap. They really are. Also, they will tell you if what you’re about to buy is legit or just class B. There’s this little street right across Ben Tanh that sells all types of shoes – for a very cheap price. They aren’t original okay, so just maybe be very picky in case you have plans of buying.

We were a little tired with all the traveling and walking and since our trip was about to end, we didn’t really have a lot of things planned in HCMC except to just chill at night. We met up with a friend who is staying in HCMC and he brought us to this resto that has some seriously legit Vietnamese food FTW.

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legit Vietnamese food FTW

After dinner, we headed on to the crazy street where everyone just drinks. Like seriously, everyone is literally here. Lol.

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This is the only usable photo I have of the area because a lot of folks have told me that you really have to take care of your stuff because some people riding in motorcycles are on the prowl to steal your phone or bag or some other stuff. Anyway, the setup in the backpackers’ area is that bars are right next to each other and you have to sit in very tiny stools and even tinier tables if you have plans of drinking. But I guess people don’t mind. It’s really more of the experience that the people are after.

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coffee and banhmi

For breakfast, all you have to do is look for the nearest side street vendor and check if they have coffee and banhmi. These two are staples on the streets. It’s everywhere. And it’s available all the time. Since we have explored HCMC when we first visited, we decided to head on to Vung Tau, just about 2 hours away. We searched and saw that they have their own version of Christ the Redeemer so why not see it? So, we took a bus to Vung Tau, brought our bags to our hotel and headed out. It’s not really difficult to go from one place to another since taxis are always available. Our problem was that we didn’t foresee that the way to top will take about a hundred steps and that it was still, super hot and humid!! Well, we are crazy people dying to try everything so we just hoped for the best, haha.

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It was beautiful. 🙂 I mean, the way to the top was the worst part of this entire trip but I would say that it was worth the climb. 🙂

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stupid happy faces upon reaching the top

Next, while walking, we saw a cable car going to the top of a mountain. We got curious so we checked it out and tried it out. The entrance costs php400 (I think) and you already have a free cable car ride. When we reached the top, we found out that there was actually an amusement park – on top of a mountain!! Hahaha. Well, it was a bit old and there really weren’t a lot of things to do, but, we tried almost all of the rides because there really weren’t a lot of people. And why not! We were already there so might as well!

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There was even a small temple and there were monks inside. Just not sure if they actually live there. Also, there was a hotel but I don’t know if people actually stay there. The place can look creepy at night.

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This is me still smiling even though I literally smell like shit because of all the dust and sweat and dirt. And look at how dark I look here, hahaha.

Every now and then we would walk around and get lost and then just hail a cab on to our next destination. We had dinner at one of the restos we saw earlier on our way to the Christ the Redeemer and just decided to explore the area around our hotel. Initially, we thought that we will be able to hit the beach. Because, my research showed that Vung Tau is actually the nearest beach from HCMC. I guess being a Filipino, I have a lot of pictures in my mind on what a good beach looks like and I will always have high expectations, hehe. We didn’t really like how the beach was (it was a little too public for us), so we just skipped it and hence giving us more time to explore the place. The truth is, there’s not much to do in Vung Tau, I guess you can consider it as a sleepy little town. But I didn’t really mind, being that it was our last night before heading back to Manila. We just bought a few beers to drink while packing our stuff inside or hotel room as we had planned some last minute shopping in HCMC.

The next day, we were back at around lunch, before meeting up again with Charles, our host and tour guide in HCMC. He showed us the best places to buy clothes and shoes – to bring home to my family (yes, Pinoy pasalubong is high and mighty).

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He brought us to this Korean resto and even though it was our last dinner before heading to the airport, I didn’t mind because the food was the bomb! We just chilled and talked and ate until it was time to head to the airport and end our epic Indochina trip. 🙂

Happy Pizza in Phnom Penh

On our last night in Cambodia, we decided to try out the famous happy pizza. I’ve read about it online, and friends were also telling me about it. I have not tried this so I didn’t really have any idea how it works, or what happens. My knowledge is based on the stuff I have read online. So, after dinner, we walked around the Sisowath Quay area, just to check everything out. While walking, we saw the 3 restos side by side each other all offering Cambodia’s happy pizza. From what I know, they also sell the same thing in Siem Reap, but since we had a full day in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh was our only chance. Only chance talaga, hahaha. The restaurants we saw were also the pizza places that we saw online. I guess just choose your spot?

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Like what the internet tells you, there is absolutely no challenge at all when it comes to ordering. You literally just ask for the menu, and give the pizza flavor of your choice, and tell them how much of the stuff you want put in. Of course, as newbies, we just said to put the littlest amount possible. We didn’t want to miss our bus to Vietnam the next day okay.

So, it doesn’t immediately kick in. But after maybe 30-40 minutes, it just suddenly hits you. I can’ really explain, you know when you turn the knob of your player’s volume on and off? That’s how it felt. And it felt like I was floating and my eyes were heavy and I wanted to sleep, haha. I mean, I don’t hate it, and I don’t have anything against people who do it, but I guess it’s not just for me.

Anyway, here’s my only evidence that we tried it:

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Maybe those green thingies are the culprit? The funny thing was, on our way back to our hotel, tuktuk drivers would approach us offering us more of those stuff. It’s a little scary for me because I literally have no plans whatsoever to buy, right after trying to eat it you know. I’m also surprised that it was being offered blatantly – to tourists. Anyway, I’m just going to end this post with my one and only photo (again) of the Vietnamese border we crossed by bus on our way to our last country for this trip.

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Be back soon! ❤

Travel Tales: IndoChina, Bangkok Leg

Okay. I don’t know how possible it is to accomplish this but my mind is really telling me that it’s time to tell my story about my IndoChina backpacking adventure last August 2015. I know, a true blogger would probably be posting his stories real-time, but you know me, I’m the worst at this.

So first off, in October 2014, Cebu Pacific had one of their hit or miss seat sales. As someone who lives and will die for travel, I of course started shopping for flights and prices online. Long story short, I got to buy a one-way ticket from Manila to Bangkok and return from Ho Chi Minh for about php3000. I guess the waiting game will always be the most challenging part when it comes to booking a flight almost a year in advance, but there are also a lot of advantages. First, I get to research on the countries I will visit, what the place is like, get tips and tricks from other travelers and bloggers, and as a nerd, I read Wikipedia to learn a bit about that city or country’s history (yes, I really do). Next, I get to check on the hostel and hotel reviews and prices for the city/cities I will stay in, wait until I feel like the price cannot go any lower and book it. Lastly, I get to tweak my itinerary (depending on my research) and give myself a sample computation on how much my expenses will be for the trip. Sobrang haba ng introduction ko kaloka. Dahil dyan, photo break!

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We were at the airport at 2 in the morning for our 6AM flight

So, the trip will be for 6 whole days, entering Bangkok and leaving Ho Chi Minh. The plan was to stay just overnight in Bangkok since my friends and I had all been to BKK before. It was really more of like an entry point for us and we really didn’t have any itinerary for Bangkok, except to maybe go around their malls and look for cheap things to buy and eat.

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Khaosan Road

I’ve been to Bangkok a couple of times but it was the first time I have heard about Khaosan Road. It was more of a lucky break because that was were our hostel was located. We found out when we arrived that Khaosan is actually Bangkok’s backpakers’ area, yehey! It was like two to three whole streets of hostels, food stalls, people selling bags and clothes, and more food.

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Where we bought lunch

One tip: just because it’s August and it’s the rainy season in the Philippines, does not mean it’s going to be the same in Bangkok. It was scorching hot!!! We had to go back to our hostel and rest before heading out again to walk around Khaosan.

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An altar in the middle of Khaosan

After walking around Khaosan, we went to Pratunam Market to check out more of Bangkok’s street markets. Easiest way to go from Khaosan to Pratunam is by taking a cab.

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I was contemplating about buying these fried insects and trying them out just for the sake of it, but I decided against it because I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to do it, haha. So I just took a stolen photo – because an actual, legit photo will take about 15 to 20 baht.

So this photo sucks. I’ve been trying to upload this multiple times but it just keeps on getting uploaded like this!!! All I want to do is to show you what I had when we dropped by MBK Mall!

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Anywaaaaaay. One thing I have always loved about Bangkok is the many cute finds inside convenience stores, like so:

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Remember also that Bangkok traffic is famous, and you get reminded of it during rush hour. We headed back to Khaosan – and saw that the place is very, very different at night. In a good way!

Before anything else, my friend and I decided to have a legit foot Thai massage:

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Then, we walked around to look for food to eat.

There were sooo many food choices and I seriously wanted to try all!

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More 7-11 finds

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The best thing for me was being able to walk around the area with beer in hand. 😀

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Khaosan Road at night is like one huge street party! Like, literally everyone was dancing on the streets and music was everywhere. I guess it was also summer break in most European counties (?) so there were also a lot of tourists during the entire time we did our backpacking.

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Sorry, can’t help it. Too many cute photos of these from the tons of 7-11 stores we went to, hehee.

I think we ended up going back to our hostel at around 1 or 2 in the morning, that was still a little early because our van going to Bangkok-Cambodia border will leave at 7am.

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All in all, even though we only had 1 day and 1 night in Bangkok, I would say I had a blast doing nothing and not worrying if I will be able to do all of my planned itinerary for the day. I also loved the fact that we never planned on going to Khaosan but I’m really happy we ended up staying in that area for my latest Bangkok stay. 🙂