Four Points by Sheraton, Bangkok

4 Points Sheraton Sukhumvit

On our first night in Bangkok, we stayed at the newly opened Four Points by Sheraton in Sukhumvit Road, in the middle of the very busy capital city. Amazingly, despite being located near the busy roads, sleep was not a problem.

The hotel opened in December 2010 so the place is smelling really new, the sheets were fresh and the carpets didn’t stink! Everything is in mint condition. And for a two months old hotel (I was there in February), the staff were properly trained and service was good overall.

I like the wide, open lobby with chic and modern colors plus they play nice music inside the elevators.

4 Points Sheraton Sukhumvit

The room is big enough for 1 person and the bathroom is a winner! I am not that picky with hotels but I am particular with the bathrooms. I love how the shower and the bath tub are separate from each other in this hotel. After living in Japan, I prefer the shower and the tub separate as it is more hygienic plus there’s no waiting time to fill the tub.

Also, the wall near the tub is a sliding door so slide it and voila, you can watch TV while soaking in the hot tub. Yes? Yes?

4 Points Sheraton Sukhumvit

Four Points by Sheraton, I see so many happy guests in your future.

My only ‘little’ disappointment with the hotel was the absence of FREE WiFi access inside the rooms. High Speed Internet Access in Guest Rooms by Request THB 450 per day (US$15). WiFi access is available, however, for free at the hotel ground floor lobby. I didn’t want to pay nor spend time in my pajamas in the hotel lobby late at night blogging so I instead hit the showers and watched TV on my stay there.

Still it would have been more awesome if internet if free in all the rooms.

And because of the lack of time, I wasn’t able to use the pool at all. Ah, shame it was so inviting!

4 Points Sheraton Sukhumvit

Overall, it’s still a great hotel so on your next trip to Bangkok, do remember:

Hotel name: Four Points by Sheraton
Location: Only 5 minutes away from the Sky Train Asok Station so no need to sit on Bangkok’s traffic!

Amazing Thailand, Day 1

I have lots to things I want to write about my recent trip to Thailand so I’ve decided to give a little roundup on what we did there each day, beginning with Day 1. Then I’ll just write some more explaining things in detail in future posts.


We arrived in Thailand just shortly before 9 am. I can’t believe I’m stepping into this amazing country for the first time.

Our guide Mr. Boonlert picked us up at the airport. He was with other bloggers from Kuwait and Bahrain. I am so glad to meet all of them, they were all nice people. We got on a van and headed south to Samut Songkhram province enroute to Hua Hin, a seaside resort located south of the capital city of Bangkok.

The guide told us stories about Thailand, its people and amazing history. He spoke with pride and joy about his country, pointed out so many things along the way.It was a real treat to hear him speak – if only I wasn’t too tired or sleepy!!After an hour, I dozed off. Sorry Mr. Boonlert!

Lesson learned: I must not have red wine again on any flight if ever I need to be alert and attentive in the morning!

Before I slept though, I managed to take a photo of the three headed elephant statue along the highway.

three headed elephant

There were so many temples but the van was traveling so fast my poor camera couldn’t cope up! By the way, I can’t believe how there are  so many photos of the king in all parts of the country. It’s just so new to me.

As we enter the town of Samut Songkhram, our guide pointed out a typical market with vendors and consumers buzzing about.

thai railway market

He says, this market is NOT typical at all. It lies above the railway and every 3-4 hours, vendors pack up their things to allow the train to pass! Then after a few minutes, they put their displays again and continue market life!

thai railway market

Photo credit

Our itinerary said we are going to the Floating Market but our guide decided to schedule that on the later days. We went straight to Baan Amphawa Resort and Spa instead to have our lunch. It’s my first meal in Thailand so I really looked forward to it – and whoa, it did not disappoint. I got reacquainted with my love for coconut here too.

coconut meat

Pomelos sold at very cheap prices.


US$1=30 Thai Bahts so a 100 Baht pomelo only costs about 12 UAE dirhams! It’s 1/3 cheaper there and 3 times more delicious. I want to bring these back to Dubai!

After lunch we headed further south, to Hua Hin where a promise of one hour of rest in a freshly made bed awaits and bath!

the rock bed and bath

But who rests and takes a bath when there is free WiFi in the room? I only managed to take a quick shower because I ran out of time after checking out the internet, tweeting and blogging!

Our next stop? Hua Hin Night Market…now recalling any haggling skills left for street shopping! (Night market post will follow shortly)

Thailand Travel: Baan Amphawa Resort & Spa

baan amphawa

After we arrived in Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, we got on the van and headed south. We skipped the capital city of Bangkok on our first day in Thailand and instead headed off to Hua Hin, Thailand’s favorite beach resort for more than 70 years before Phuket and Samui were discovered.

Along the way, we got off at a town called Samut Songkhram and had lunch at Baan Amphawa Resort & Spa. The resort is located by the Mae Klong river and each unit is nestled in a lush tropical garden perfect for those looking to avoid Thailand’s mass tourism.

I wanted to immediately crash to the bed when I saw this.

Baan Amphawa Resort & Spa

The suite room is made of all wood that gives that really relaxing atmosphere. Outside of this room is a small private pool (more of a cold water dip) that’s perfect for the all year round tropical Thai weather.

Baan Amphawa Resort & Spa

The standard room isn’t bad at all too.

Baan Amphawa Resort & Spa

We had lunch at the restaurant just beside the Mae Klong river and had traditional Thai food made from freshly caught fish, crabs, prawns (sadly I’m allergic to prawns) and lots of fresh fruits.

mae klong river

~ Mae Klong River ~

Baan Amphawa Resort & Spa

This is fried fish with capsicum, spring onions and spicy sauce. I didn’t know that the green small clusters were fresh peppercorns and chewed it. It made me want to jump into the river!

fish with pepper corns

There were other food on the table but it was our first day and I didn’t want to look annoying, taking photos of everything (I became annoying later on). Fresh fruit platter followed. I have never tasted pomelos (the one that looks like a grapefruit) this sweet before!

fresh fruit

As for the other fruits on the plate? I guess I wouldn’t be able to eat any watermelon, pineapple and sweet melon in Dubai after I tasted the Thailand varieties! My taste buds were spoilt rotten. Then these new-to-me dessert came: I know they would be jellies but guess what they are made from?

Baan Amphawa Resort & Spa - coconut jelly

These little darlings are made from the goodness of coconut cream with real coconut meat at the center! With very minimal sugar, it was not just naturally sweet but very fulfilling as well.

I wanted to take a nap after the lunch.

Luckily, we only had a quick tour of the resort before we all hopped into the van again for a 2 hour ride to our hotel in Hua Hin. It’s nap time!


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* Photos taken using Canon EOS 550D and Canon PowerShot SD960IS

Back to Dubai

bangkok airport

Sadly, all good things come to an end and my Thailand holiday wasn’t an exception. I can’t wait to tell you all about this amazing place and why you should really put it in your bucket list as a place you must visit at least once in your lifetime.

Our flight back to Dubai was a little bumpy when we reached the Arabian Sea, just after India and before the Middle East (Yemen). I couldn’t sleep with the plane shaking every 5 minutes or so. I kept thinking, oh no, not now God since I need to blog about my trip!

Well, we landed safely last Friday night and everything is back to the normal grind for me again. Please standby for more Thailand related posts!

Nuts about coconuts in Thailand


It’s just my second day in Thailand and my love for the country is already overflowing. There’s just so many things I want to write about all at the same time so I wouldn’t forget about it. It’s like my mind is racing all the time and my fingers are itching to hit the keyboard while on the road.

But until this tour is over, I only have very limited internet time, that’s when the group goes back to the hotel for the night – after a sumptous dinner that makes me want to head straight to bed so I couldn’t spend too much time in front of the computer and risk waking up the next morning! But no, I have to write something then shower (the sea air makes me feel so sticky and let’s not start discussing about what it does to the hair) and sleep.

One of the things I love about Thailand is simply the food. Everything is just so fresh. The vegetables are crispy, fresh, mostly organic grown by local farmers and the fruits are of different varieties and are very delicious.

fruit platter

Above photo: Fruit platter at lunch, it’s only here I found out that there are really sweet Pomelos!

longan plate

Above photo: Fruit inside my hotel room. Those round brown ones are called longans – interesting fruit, a cross of a rambutan and a lychee. Delicious. Addicting. I finished the bunch in one sitting.

While every fruit I’ve tasted was marvelous and dangerously addicting, my favorite though, is the coconut.

It is so healthy (it’s not called “tree of life” for nothing), it quenches thirst, it’s filling when eaten with its meat but I think most of all, because it reminds me of home. Thailand, like the Philippines is in South East Asia so they share (almost) the same weather and seasons and agricultural produce. I’ve had these coconuts while growing up until I left my home in the Philippines at 19 to study in Japan, spent 10+ years there then moved to Dubai, spending 4+ years there.

Both countries don’t have coconuts.

sipping coconut juice

~ I believe I look happy here ha ha ~

I didn’t realize how much I missed coconuts until I had them again, here in Thailand. I’ve got three days left of my trip and I plan on having as many coconuts as I possibly can!

Have you tried coconuts? Do you like it? If not, I suggest you give it a go!

Arrived in Thailand!

with guide

~ with our local guide at the airport in Bangkok ~

After almost seven hours inside the plane, I’ve landed in Bangkok. Everything was smooth and fine with the trip except for my being overly emotional about parting with Pristine (my seven year old daughter for those who don’t know who Pristine is) and the terrible queue at the immigration counter at Dubai Airport.

Anyway, Thailand means “the land of the free” according to our local guide. Yes, true but I also call it, Thailand – the land where everyone speaks to me in Thai language! From onboard Thai Airways, to landing at the airport, to the hotels and at lunch, everyone thinks I am a local.With my brown skin, black hair, full South East Asian package, I can’t really blame them and I don’t mind at all. Our local guidein that photo up there looks like my father so I’m not really surprised to be mistaken as one of them!

I only have a couple of hours before the busy tour itinerary starts again so this is just a quick way to say I have arrived safely and will blog about the trip as I go!(I’ve sacrificed bathing and napping time for this but I can’t really stop myself from updating the blog and Twitter)

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I’m going to Thailand!

Floating market, Thailand

Photo credit

In 2006, I had a short stopover in Bangkok but never had a chance to get out of the plane and explore the airport at least. As the plane continued on its journey towards my final destination, I looked down and thought, “Bangkok, next time I’ll stay a while.”

Before 2010 closed in, I’ve been contacted by a PR representative of TAT – Tourism Authority of Thailand, asking if I would be interested in participating a ‘familiarization’ trip for 5 days to Thailand on February 2011!

Of course I immediately slapped myself to check if I was dreaming.

What is a ‘familiarization’  trip (also called fam trip)?

It’s a method for the city, resort, state or country to get positive publicity. It’s entirely a business arrangement. The entity invests time and money to bring journalists and/or photographers to visit. Once back home, the participants are expected to write their stories and/or images about the destination.

Travel + blogging, ah, two things I absolutely love…

Naturally, I said, YES!

So, me and the blog are leaving on a jet plane on the night of February 20 and will come back to Dubai on the night of the February 25. In between those dates, I will be out and about in Bangkok and Hua Hin, Thailand – two destinations chosen for me (and other 3 participants) to explore.

Sounds exciting? It will surely be! So anyone up for arm chair traveling, sit back and watch this space. Also? If you have been to Thailand before, I’d appreciate travel tips, do’s and don’ts!

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