Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bangkok 2014: Day 1

I've always wondered how it feels to travel with your friends with no parental guidance. Not that I am planning to do anything illegal but such a trip promises freedom and independence. Who wouldn't want to experience that? And yes folks! I was able to finally travel with my friends for four days! I still remember the day when we booked our flights and it was a spur of the moment thing! All three of us were unsure and panicking but ended up saying, "What the hell! We're booking this flight NOW!" We nearly gave up because we tried booking a flight twice and it failed. But third time's the charm and we finally got a confirmation!
Together with my friends, Nike of The ElectroMagneticChick and Helen of Wanderlen, we embarked on a journey to one of my favorite places on Earth: Bangkok! This was my sixth time to visit the place and I fall in love with it deeper every single time. It also means that I served as my friends' guide during the trip. To be honest, I was actually nervous since I'm not really great at memorizing street names, especially if I'm not frequent there, but more of remembering it visually. I usually just follow my dad whenever we do our shopping walkathons as I call it. That's why I made Google Maps my best friend for a day and conducted a visual tour. I tried to feel and recall what's it like to walk on the streets of Bangkok's Pratunam area... Wow... I am not kidding when I say I had this giddy sensation that I was already there. I can already hear the loud hustle and bustle on the streets, the click and clack of carts being pushed by the vendors, and their loud voices calling in the customers, especially the tourists, to buy their products. I miss hearing the Thai language and I can literally hear them ringing in my ears.

Our tour was composed of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace, and the Gems Gallery. I let my friends choose the places they wanted to see and the activities they wanted to do. Surprisingly, I haven't been to the first two places mentioned!

Here we are with our tour guide, Kitti. He was like a father figure to us during the trip. He taught me some Thai words and phrases, and I felt like a happy kid memorizing them. I loved listening to his stories and I had learned so much from him. He took care of us and made sure we got back to our hotel safely. He sent us messages asking how we were and wished us to enjoy our trip, which of course, we did. The communication lasted even after our trip. So if you're reading this, Kitti, I'm telling you now that you're the best and we wish to see you again soon! :)

A part of the very intricate hand-painted mural located at the Grand Palace.

So after the tour, we asked Kitti to drop us off the Platinum Mall. We just had Yakisoba for breakfast and we were already starving, and craving by the end of the tour. We headed to the sixth floor of the mall and changed our bahts to coupons so we could eat.

I had the pork satay (first) while Nike and Helen got the chicken ones (second). Both came with a salad soaked in vinegar, five pieces of bread, and the peanut sauce.

I paired my pork satay with this spicy mango salad garnished with peanuts, fried fish, and chicharon.

Both Nike and Helen got their favorite pad thai.

Last minute before our tour ended, we asked Kitti if we can get tickets for Siam Niramit. It is a show featuring the culture of Thailand. We booked it for only ฿1,500 which includes the ticket, the transportation fee, and the buffet.

You might wonder why we posed crazily in these photos and used the #BahtsinBangkok hashtag we humorously add every time we posted a photo or even tweeted. Funny, it was actually because of the photo I found in Tumblr as I was browsing the site religiously before our trip. It was three bats that showed three different personalities that somehow reminded me of us three. So I teased the two of them by pointing out which among the bats represent us. The inside joke eventually became a description as it circulated our department in the office.

As the tour guide, I was of course, the bat in front; Nike, as the pacifier and the most silent one among us (not that she's really quiet. LOL.), was the bat in the middle; and, the crazily weird one was Helen. Hence, our expressions on the previous photos.

It was a wonderful experience. I recommend for everyone who plans to visit Bangkok to watch Siam Niramit. It was very insightful and I am at a lost for words to describe their production. Too bad, lack of sleep and fatigue caught up with me that I blacked out at some parts. Not because it's boring but because my mind can't fight the drowsiness I felt anymore. But I promise to go back and to watch this show again, and next time with my eyes open all through out the show.

Hope you enjoyed this photo diary of mine. Good night everyone! :)

(Photo without watermarks were from Nike & Helen)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Toblerone Epic Snow Party

Last Friday night, I was invited to the Toblerone Epic Snow Party at Imperial Ice Bar in the Fort. Our favorite triangular Swiss chocolate with honey and almond nougat is launching their limited edition and first ever 100g dual-flavored Toblerone SnowTop bar.
The Toblerone Snowtop is a combination of the original flavor capped with white chocolate. It strongly reminds me of the mountains in Switzerland; how they are beautifully covered with snow. Well, the Snowtop will surely bring you the chill of being close to the Swiss Alps or the Jura Mountains with just a bite.
The place was flocked by white and silver (or gray) as the Tobies, or the Toblerone lovers, gathered for the launch in this frosty theme. Earlier on the event, fashion blogger and ambassador, Laureen Uy was there to choose and award the Best Dressed among the guests. 
The crowd was asked to join the countdown and as soon as we reached 'one,' the place was blasted by foam, and then the party started. Because my friends and I were a giddy bunch, we strategically placed ourselves near the ice bar so we can be the ones to get the first dibs! Hahaha. We schemed and we conquered!
The place was freezing below zero and my whole body eventually felt numb because I have no scarf, no gloves, and I was wearing my new pair of black flats. But I loved it! It made me miss Japan even more.
This is what my outfit looks like that night. So imagine the chill I got from the ice bar. Good thing, the place will lend you a coat to endure the temperature.
Different ice sculptures including the name of Toblerone was displayed inside the ice bar. Of course, we did not pass up the chance to make use of them!

With burger king and the man behind Between the Buns, Jaba Orellana.
Feeling like a princess on what I called the "TobleThrone."

The Toblerone shots were poured in glasses literally made from ice. I tell you, these shots were deliciously addicting that we went back to get another one. Too bad, it was limited because I can drink it the whole day. Not to sound alcoholic (because I'm far from one), my friends and I are on the lookout for its mix or we might try to make our own concoction with our huge bars of Toblerone (see below).
Got our hood on!
With Nike aka DJ Amistocino, Helen of Wanderlen, and Ms. Hannah Mendoza of Toblerone.

Everyone who attended the event went home with a Toblerone gift pack and they were more than generous to give four 400g original flavor and one 100g Snowtop! Yay! Can't wait to share these with my family!

For all the Tobies out there, get a chance to win a trip to Switzerland by joining Toblerone Pilipinas' #MakeSomeonesDay Contest! Just share either a Toblerone SnowTop bar, a Toblerone Crunchy Almonds bar or the six customized Toblerone sleeves with sweet messages to your family and friends, take a photo of it, and post it with the hashtag #MakeSomeonesDay! Easy peasy right? Don't forget to tag Toblerone Pilipinas' Facebook and Instagram pages. :)
Get the limited edition Toblerone Snowtop on your favorite 7 Eleven store near you!

(Photos without watermarks by Helen & Nike)
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