Tag Archives: thailand

Travel Diary | Samut Songkhram, Hua Hin, Nang Loeng, Bangkok – Thailand – Aug 29-Sept 2

8 Sep

 

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

Last Aug. 29, I traveled back to Thailand to explore Samut Songkhram, Hua Hin, Lang Loeng, and Bangkok. Not only did I get to enjoy the scenic and fun tourist spots, but I found myself completely immersed in #AmazingThailand’s rich culture once again.

A big thank you to #ThaiAirways and #TourismAuthorityofThailand for letting us see and enjoy your beautiful country once again. I am forever moved by what I have seen and done over there this time around.

I made sure to include the first part which shows our tour guide from #Hivesters sharing about his passion for sustainable tourism. If there is one thing I applaud, it is that Thailand is ever so proud of their country and ever so willing to share its beauty. Even more so, I am thrilled to see them find numerous ways to share their culture as it is, their locals as they are.

I always come back from a trip to Thailand, refreshed and inspired. It is my dream to one day see the same kind of tourism flourish (healthy tourism that is) in my own country.

Here’s my travel diary of our five days in Thailand. I hope you enjoy this vlog. Oh and if you do, don’t forget to hit the subscribe button for more of my videos.

I’m also on:
Instagram – www.instagram.com/jamieintransit/
FB – www.facebook.com/jamieintransit/
Blog – www.jamiefournier.com
Twitter – twitter.com/_jamiefournier_
Thanks for watching guys! Til the next blog 😉

Jamie In Transit: Phuket Thailand

23 Aug

I recently traveled to Phuket again and like the first time in 2014, I had a blast.

Sharing the link to my new blog with all of you: http://jamiefournier.com/jamie-in-transit-phuket-thailand/

On the blog, I’ll share the islands, tourist spots, and hotels I stayed in. Additionally, you’ll find some travel tips on how to make the most out of your Phuket trip.

Hope you enjoy reading this guys! Oh and do subscribe to my new website if you want to continue following my adventures. 😉 x

Wanderlust: Phuket, Thailand!

21 Dec

Where do I even begin?

I have about roughly 1000 pictures from this trip, a few videos, wonderful memories, soulful new friends, and battle scars to document out of this 7-day trip of mine.

My traveler friends always find it slightly shocking when I say that this has been the longest trip I’ve ever taken this year. Out of the four out-of-the-country trips I’ve taken in 2014, this is indeed the longest. Most of the time, I escape only on weekends. And, sometimes, when I’m lucky, I get to add another day and have three days all in all. Status quo for my trips is always fly out on a Saturday, come back on a Monday.

So why did I go for it? I celebrated my birthday last month, and despite knowing how busy my December will be, I decided to give myself the gift of time and disappearing in a place I’ve never been to before.

I’ve gone to Thailand twice, but never to Phuket. The first time was in Pattaya and the second, in Bangkok.

I have to say, out of my three Thailand trips, this side is my favorite. I have, however, yet to see Chiang Mai. This place I surely must visit for the lantern festival in the near future.

Anyway, back to my Phuket trip.

I went barely with a plan in mind. I had two thoughts, get to Patong, then head to Ko Phi Phi.

This is the route I ended up taking:
Phuket town –> Patong (Barely a day) –> Ko Phi Phi (3 days) –> Railay (1 day) –> Kata Beach (2 days)

This is what it visually was like for this route:

Stop 1:
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Stop 2:

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Stop 3:

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Stop 4:

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There are other islands that I hear are good that I could have visited like Ko Lanta and Ko tao that would have been nice stops, but I guess it only means I have to head back.

The only way I can probably talk about this trip of mine is to talk about each place, each stop, and all that I enjoyed (and didn’t enjoy) doing while I was there.

Let’s start with the infamous… PATONG!

Even before I flew to Thailand, one of my friends had already warned me. Don’t go to Patong! “It’s a red light district,” he said.

Considering I got to Phuket at about 10ish, I was in a rush to choose a place to head to and Patong seemed to have a good hostel there so I ended up choosing that as my first stop.

From the Patong airport, you can take a cab which is about 700-900 Baht. I opted for the mini-van, because it’s only for 150 Baht.

Although, the first indecent proposal I got there was at the airport where you are tasked to book the van ride. “You come with me, and ride free…”

Uhmm tempting (…not), but no thanks.

The van ride is about an hour and maybe 30 minutes or less. I remember getting to the place, Bodega hostel, at about midnight.

The only thing I could pretty much do aftet that, according to the nice receptionist, was head to Bangla Road. You see, I never knew what Bangla Road was prior to my field trip there. I had asked the receptionist where I could get street Pad Thai and he quickly said “Bangla Road.”

Excited for my street pad thai, I freshened up, left my bags, and headed to the streets.

I stopped at a pharmacy and asked where Bangla Road is and one guy who was buying medicine as well chuckled and said “You won’t miss it…it’s the noisiest part of this area.”

And he was absolutely right. Bangla Road was just about 5-10 minutes away from where I was staying. One thing that surprised me, though, was how it transported me back to my shocking trip to Pattaya.

“Ahh, so this is what my friend meant,” I thought to myself.

I felt rather uncomfortable walking around, so I quickly found my spot, which is highly disappointing for my first meal during this trip, but I ended up in Mcdonalds, ordering what I normally get, Mcchicken and fries.

I cannot be blamed, though, as a female lonesome traveler, all I wanted to do was eat and be gone!

And that I did.

Below are some pics of my hostel in Patong and Bangla Road:

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Recommendations for those who plan to stay in Patong:
– If you’re the type who likes hostels, I give Bodega 3.5 stars out of 5. I like that it’s artsy and the beds are comfortable (except for the pillows), the lockers in the room, and most of all the really helpful and nice receptionist.
– From the airport, if you take a mini-van, they will take you to a tour company. Please do not avail of the trips there unless you know it’s the cheapest. I got talked into buying a van+boat ride to Phi-Phi deal for 500 Baht. Had I read Bodega’s thank-you-reserving-a-room-email, I would have known I could have gotten it for only 350 Baht. Oh well, lesson learned.;)
– Go eat at No. 6 Restaurant. That’s probably the only place I got to eat at because I had to leave for Phi-Phi. How did I find out about it? I asked one of the guards in one of the streets in Patong, and he said that was one of the best. They were good, yes, but I still heartily missed the street food in Khao San Road in Bangkok.
– Go see the beach! I certainly wasn’t able to go.

Next stop… Ko Phi Phi!

Oh beautiful Ko Phi Phi. It wasn’t much of a hassle to go there. For 550 Baht, I was able to get a van ride and boat trip to the island.

I didn’t know what to expect, all I knew was everybody, and I mean everybody, told me to make sure I won’t leave Phuket without a trip to Phi Phi.

As an obedient girl (hah!), I did exactly that and boy am I glad that I did! The minute we caught a glimpse of the island, everybody was obviously in awe of the place. Picturesque. The beach. The longboats. Everything
was just so lovely!

Here are a few pics of Phi Phi:

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Things to do in Ko Phi Phi:

1. Go on tours! I went for the Ibex Tour which outlined about 4 stops, including Maya Bay. I only got to enjoy about 2 since I got myself into a bit of a predicament after cliff diving. Despite this, I absolutely enjoyed the experience! Well, admittedly, it could’ve been better without my injured eye and back.:p

Below are some pictures to show you how beautiful this tour was for me (and the whole group):

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2. The only other thing to go for aside from going to the other islands or on tours is to check the night life and the restaurants or food stalls there.

The best bar I got to go to there was Banana Bar. Rooftop. Big screens. Music Videos. Good drinks (Loved their Hawaiian Margarita). Great vibe!

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Other party places are lined up mostly by the beach. Stones. Blancos. Ibiza. And the list goes on.

You’ll see electrical rodeo bulls there. Fire dancing. Fire limbo rock. Buckets for drinks.

If that’s what you are after, Ko Phi Phi is the right place for you.

Here are some pics of my first night there:

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3. Food. For those who’ve read my other travel blogs, you’d know I’m not a big eater. I did, however, enjoy some of my favorite Thai dishes while I was there. My favorite spot is but a stall on the way to the beach called Ko Phi Phi Fast Food.

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Other places to try are Grand PP Arcade and Capu Latte.

Aside from those two, I must say it’s quite easy to find an eating spot. There several food stalls and restaurants all over the place.

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4. Enjoy the beautiful beach! I stayed at Stones Hostel so it was quite easy to do this. Stepping outside was all I needed to do to enjoy the sun and beautiful view.

There are lots of options for accomodations and it really depends on what you prefer.

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Next stop: RAILAY!

Oh beautiful Railay! I moved to another island because three days in Ko Phi Phi was enough for me. I had seen and done all there was to do.

I’m so glad I chose Railay because I saw the best beach there. I spent only a day there, but, boy, was it enough!💗

Beautiful scenery. Lesser people. Quiet hideaway. Peaceful. It was a welcome change, after spending three days in Ko Phi Phi.

Here are some beautiful pictures of Railay:

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The highlight of this stop was the trip to Phra Nang Beach.

The walk to the beach itself was already amazing. The beach, even more mindblowing.

Despite carrying my backpack (with my fractured spine–an unknown fact then), I still loved every minute of it!

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Oh and when I saw the beach, I completely fell in love. I’ll let the pictures show you why:

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We stayed at Diamond Cove Resort, by the way. Beautiful and serene place:

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By the way, I paid about 350 Baht for a boat ride from Phi Phi to Railay.

After my Railay stop, I had to decide on where to go to be near Phuket for my flight back to Manila.

I didn’t want to go back to Patong and it seemed like the most logical thing to do was head to Kata.

Kata is a lil more quiet than all the other spots I went to. I would say it’s more of a family or couple destination.

I had fun though, thanks to the wonderful folks I met. I stayed at FIN Hostel. I loved how it looked; it was so vibrant and beautiful. I loved their rooftop pool and common area.

One of the highlights was seeing another lonesome lit lantern up in the sky! My newfound besties and I tried to look for one while I wasn’t there, but to no avail. The sweethearts found one on the night I left though and lit and let it fly for me!

Oh such sweet friends they are!

Anyway, here are some pics from Kata:

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Here are some pics of FIN Hostel and my newfound besties there:

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Countless beautiful islands. Wonderful beaches. Soulful new friends from all over the world. Sunsets. Swimming with planktons. Lanterns. Amazing, precious memories.

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Thank you, Phuket!

Will I ever head back? Definitely! Sans cliff diving and injuries, of course.;)

Year 30, Day 1

29 Oct

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Four more hours to go before I bid my 29th year goodbye. Here I am again writing my annual blog-slash-informal-summary of what the year has been like as I always do. This year is a bit more special as I am kissing such an essential decade of my life farewell. It is true, what they say, your 20s will truly make you understand who you are and what you want in life, if you use your years well.

The last few hours of my 29th self are invaded by nostalgic and happy thoughts of where I was 10 years ago, and all that has happened in between then and now. Being the only girl of six children and to add to that, being raised by my grandparents, I have always been the girl with the curfew, the girl who was NOT allowed to hang out with boys, the girl who was not allowed to go out of the house, the girl whose granddad (bless him) would wait for me to get home at 6 pm even when I already was in college.

I could have chosen to be that girl forever, but I didn’t. I gave my family an ultimatum. Okay, I’ll stay in my hometown for college but I must, and I mean MUST, leave for work the minute I graduate. And that is what I exactly did. Was I scared? Hell yes! Scared to walk alone, scared to commute, scared of almost everything. But not for too long.

More than two jobs and a sum of 10 years after, here I am, doing what I always thought I should be doing… living far away from home, sans curfews, sans protective brothers hovering around (well occasionally they’re around which I love lol), but mostly sans the fear instilled in me since I was young.

I was once told I should pursue a certain profession to live a happy life. I knew what my heart wanted and I never forgot the passions I have always vividly understood since I could remember thinking for myself. And that is precisely why this year, my 29th year, proved to be such an important phase of my life. It is truly this year that I have fallen madly and COMPLETELY in love with my passions in life and that I am slowly but surely pursuing what I think I was meant to do in this universe.

I, The little girl who once painted on her bedroom door (against her grandmother’s wishes), finally got to join an exhibit! I would never have known that this would be possible as I have never pursued it in the last 9 years. But I believe if something is meant for you, it will find its way knocking on your door if you keep your love for it alive. Aside from that, I am doing a job I love, hosting. Talking to people, performing, and it keeps my heart alive and full.

I think what I am most grateful for this year is how my life took an unexpected turn which forced me to reorganize my priorities and plans in life, for the better. Looking back and remembering how that particular experience affected me at first, I know it had to happen. It gave me a new perspective of the next steps I should focus on.

With all that has happened, I only have one piece of advice to give those living their splendid 20s, remember to love yourself first. KNOW yourself. Pursue your dreams. Make mistakes. And don’t be in a hurry to give your life to someone, unless you have given YOURSELF your best shot.

I am close to that, close to saying wow, I made it happen. And I can’t help but be joyful for having faith in my dreams and in what I could do with them.

Yes, I am turning 30 soon, and I am welcoming this whole new adventure with arms wide open.

I’m Jamie…I’m 30 years old and happy. 🙂

Memories for keeps, highlights of year 29.

*New sunsets, new places, new friends, priceless. Bali, Siem Reap, Bangkok.

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*Love revisited. Friends’ special moments. Brothers. CDO. Camiguin. Family.

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*Unforgettable Events…I’m one lucky host! 😉

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*Travel Finds Jcaf Art Bags and Throw Pillows – 2nd Collection. My babies. My heart skips a beat every time I see a random person using the bag/pillow or when I see posts online. Indescribable!

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*My artspired year!<3 I go through days when I can’t stop thinking about an idea and I feel like I just have pick my paint brushes up and paint away. That’s bliss for me… This year I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in an exhibit called Babae to remember a great Philippine artist Petrona Nakpil and showcasing female artists.

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Thank you year 29… You have been the most interesting year of my life. Year 30, I’m ready for you!:)

Jcaf Art Bag: Mae in Thailand

4 Aug

Mae and her Chaos Jcaf Art bag on a boat ride from Koh Samui, Thailand.

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If you want your own Jcaf Art bag, please visit http://www.travelfindsshop.com/store.:)

Wanderlust: Bangkok, Thailand!

19 Jul

Do you like any of the following:

* Shopping?
* Clean and delicious Street Food?
* Partying/Drinking?
* Tuktuk Rides?
* Paaaaad Thai? (Yes, I want a
separate bullet for this as this is
what has left me daydreaming
about heading back to Bangkok
soon!)

If your answers consist of more than one yes for the items above, I would recommend Bangkok, Thailand. I had a quick weekend getaway only, as always, so I stayed put in the city. If you have the time (like most of my traveler friends), you can also go to other areas like Phuket, Krabi, and Ko Phi Phi).

So what did I do for two days? Oh I just enjoyed being in a new place, seeing different people, hearing new languages, and meeting new friends.

You see, I’m quite addicted to this feeling. It’s been more than a week since this trip and I am already itching to travel again. Oh dear Lord, the curse of wanderlust can never leave my system!

So, anyway, back to Bangkok… The minute I arrived there, I loved that it was so convenient to get a ride to Khaosan (or Khao San) Road from the airport. I didn’t even have to stand in line! And you know what was so amazing about it? The music that the driver was playing Thai music all the way! And I was even treated to a singing driver… You won’t get to hear him sing in the video I shared below as I was just being sneaky as I was taking the video. He quickly stopped when he noticed I was taking a video of him! Haha 😉

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Beautiful Music!;)

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Oh wait, I forgot about the art pieces at the airport! Oh my, my eyes were treated to such a feast! There were art pieces on every wall and I loved it! If I had more time, I would have stayed longer there but I simply had no time and I just wanted to get to the city as soon as possible.

So how much did I spend on the cab ride? Below is the breakdown:

450 baht – cab ride
75 baht – Skyway fee
Total – 525 baht

On my trip back to the airport two days after though, the cab driver I got only asked for 450 baht (inclusive of the 75 baht Skyway fee).

Anyway, when I got to Khaosan Road, I immediately looked for a people-infested restaurant. If I’ve learned any lesson from my last Bali trip, it is that I shouldn’t feel too invincible when traveling alone. Caution is of utmost importance! I ended up at The Lucky Beer where there were two Filipino servers (both utterly nice by the way). The first thing I tried was the Iced Coffee. You see one of the few favorite things I had in Bali was the iced coffee I had at their airport. This, unfortunately, wasn’t as good as the ones I had in Bali and Siem Reap. All good though.;)

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PS forgive me for my eyes-closed-unflattering photo, my mind and heart were extremely excited but my body was obviously not! This was another oh-I’m-gonna-do-a-9-hr-shift-then-head-to-the-airport kind of trip. One I refuse to have in the near future!:p).

So now that I have mentioned Khaosan Road, I can tell you about my favorite part of Bangkok.

The busy streets. Street food. Fruits. Pad Thai. Clothes, oh lots of clothes! Oh and no, I didn’t shop at all (:()The stalls are open till late at night though so for those whose main goal is to shop when in Bangkok, then do visit Khaosan Road. The clothes are cheap and of good quality! The other shopping areas I visited were MBK and Bobae Tower (which I didn’t really like-except for the fresh cantaloupe I got outside of the place, which is everywhere anyway).

Below are some of the interesting sights I enjoyed in Bangkok:

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I guess it’s obvious that I enjoyed the food here more than in the other places I’ve visited this year (Siem Reap and Bali). This is mainly because I decided to try out more of the Thai and street food they had which were really good. I didn’t really do this while I was in the other countries. Oh the Phad Thai! The fresh fruits and the fresh drinks. Soooo sarap! Phad Thai was only being sold for 50 baht at Khaosan Road and I’m telling you, it was soooo good! Fresh fruits (only my family knows how crazy I am about fruits-well and you now, that is) were being sold for 20 baht. A bottle of fresh orange juice was also only for 20 baht. I made a promise to myself and that is that I am definitely going to go back for more shopping and for the food as well!

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50 baht Phad Thai from Khaosan Road

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Yummy Chicken curry from Oasis at MBK on the GF. Only for 65 baht (If I remember correctly).;)

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Okay now that I’ve shown you the delicious food and places I enjoyed in Bangkok, I’m gonna share one more thing I did twice during my two-day vacation—watch a movie. Oh not done yet, the same movie! Haha. In my defence, Adam Levine is in it! Haha, just kidding. Loved the plot so much and the movie house at MBK is nice! You know what I loved most about it? The poooopcorn! So good, best I’ve ever had! Haha 😉

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Food. “Window” shopping (lol). Tuktuk rides. Mall hopping. Drinking by the streets. That summarizes my 2-day Bangkok trip. Fun and definitely something I would do again (except longer next time)!

Below are some suggestions and tips if you’re ever heading that way soon:

1. Beware of tuktuk drivers who want to take you to buy coupons or get suits done (unless it’s something you really want to do). They can get relentless and their usual strategy is saying it’s just on the way. By the way, tuktuk rides normally ask for 200 baht first but then you can haggle and get it down to a hundred baht (or even less than that if you’re good at it). From Bobae Tower, our driver only asked for 65 baht to get to the port for the Floating Market. He later said he was okay with 100 baht for the whole day which is a really good deal. The only catch was he was one of those drivers who kept insisting on taking us to a place for coupons which was on the way.

2. Just get metered cabs to get around if you’re planning to go to a place that’s kind of far like Silom or the other areas in Bangkok. From one mall in Sukhumvit to MBK, I only paid about 50/60 baht which is normally gonna cost at least 100 baht if you were to go for a tuktuk ride.

3. Khaosan Road – shop there, eat there, and party there. So much fun! I ended up staying at Khaosan Palace which made it extremely convenient and safer for me as it was just on the street itself. If I remember correctly a room there costs about 600-750 baht and you leave a 500 baht deposit when you check in. The room, like the place I stayed in in Siem Reap, isn’t anything fantastic at all but it was good enough for me.

4. Go mall hopping! Totally worth it. You get to see other equally amazing clothing stores selling clothes for reasonable prices! And watch a movie while you’re at it. This is something I don’t normally do while traveling but I enjoyed doing so mainly because of the movie I watched and the yummy popcorn! Oh and again, Adam Levine. :p

5. Don’t be like me and plan for a longer trip to see the other areas, especially the beaches. I know that’s what I’m going to do the next time I go.

Yep, the next time I go which won’t be too long from now. This is my second trip to Thailand and despite it being a quick one, it has left me happy and (as always) wanting more!

Thailand is definitely the kind of place that never gets boring; always worth another visit!

I’m gonna end this post with two videos my best friend and I shot during our first trip to Thailand about two years ago to prove to you, my dear reader, that this place is the right kind of place to go to when you need an upper.;)

The we’ve been stuck for 10 hours at the airport nonsensical video

Silly us in Pattaya – Call Me Maybe!!

Ps My best friend is gonna kill me for posting the videos (sorry sis! Lol)

Anyway what are you waiting for? Time to plan your very own Thailand trip! Have funnnnn! 😉

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OOTD/OOTN: Flowers Tonight

8 Mar

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Outfit: Cotton On
Bangle: A friend’s gift from Thailand