It’s the very first time I’m taking new year holiday away from home with my family. Another adventure and memories to capture. By December 27, 2018 we booked a flight with Airasia going to Taiwan. We landed at Taoyuan International Airport around 1:25am, December 28, 2018. We stay there until 3:00 am while waiting for #1627 route U-bus going to Zhongyi Transfer Station. We took #1611 route Ubus at Zhongyi Transfer Station. Then from Zhongyi Service Area to Kaohsiung. One can pay bus fare at the airport ticketing counters by cash or by using stored value cards (Easycard or iPass). It takes about 3 hours to reach our hotel, so we took a nap inside the bus. Upon reaching the hotel we just leave our luggage on the reception area since our check-in time was 4:00 pm and started our travel.
Taiwan International Airport
Our first destination was the Tiger and Dragon Pagoda. There’s a nearest 7eleven on our hotel so we bought something to eat and iPass/ Easycard for easy access to Mrt stations and Ubus. It’s an affordable and convenient transportation for many Taiwan destinations.
So, from Sinsing District Taiwan where our hotel was located we took Formosa Boulevard Mrt going to Liantan Road, Zuoying District where Tiger and Dragon Pagoda was located.
There’s a belief that if you enter the pagodas from the mouth of the dragon and come out from the tiger mouth you can get rid of your bad luck and get more good luck. We went on top of the Pagoda and saw an awesome view of the surrounding lake and cityscape. It’s an experience traveler must never miss.
As you walk along the area you may also see nearby attractions such as the Spring Autumn Pavilions and Confucious Temple.
Tourist also capture photos on Formosa Boulevard Mrt because there’s a picturesque spot inside the station.
We reach our destination and the weather was perfect for sightseeing and touring the area. Sunny with a little bit of cold breeze of air during noontime.
After that we felt hungry and look for a restaurant where we could take our lunch. We found this one restaurant that serves pasta and pizza for a meal. We wanted to eat rice meal but unfortunately, we can’t find one near the area. It’s LA House coffee and foods. The meal was good and perfect for our hungry tummy.
Already recharge after eating lunch so we continue our journey to our next destination which is PIER 2. But before that we came across Takao Railway Museum and enter the building since its free.
Then, we just walk on the other side of the railway and found PIER 2. While walking through this tourist spot you can see giant statues and artistic warehouse clusters.
GIANT ARTISTIC CREATIONS:
After we finished travelling around the area we decided to go back on our hotel to check-in our luggage and rest for a while. Our plan to go out at night was cancelled since all of us felt tired,sleepy and some were not in good shape anymore so we decided to just take our dinner inside the hotel and rest early. It’s been a long journey but we enjoy our first day of countryside tour.
“Me who made a mistake yesterday is still me. Me today is made of yesterday’s mistakes. And even those mistakes are the brightest stars in my life. Who am I? what is my dream? What is it that makes my heart beat? Keep asking that and love yourself.”
It was a beautiful Friday morning, March 23, 2018 at exactly 7:00 am we started our journey. It was a two days tour going to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a Heritage and Convention Center located at Ibaba Bagac, Bataan. Estimated travel time was 3 to 4 hrs depending on the route or traffic encounter coming from Manila. Unfortunately this timeline was not followed due to some situational delayed along the way. We almost arrived past 2:00 pm on the place.
Our check-in time was 2:00 pm so its okey. When we arrived we went first on the reception area of the hotel to check-in and get our hotel keys.
Upon arriving, this was the first view that caught our eyes. An eight tower structure with unique architectural design. The place was surrounded with replication of old historical buildings and architectures showing the Philippines heritage. Even their reception area was adorned and designed with old photos and frames.
There was a transport jeep that tour around the area to transfer people from going to and from their hotel, tourist spot (vice versa).
After getting our hotel keys and room number we unpacked our belongings and started to tour the place. Room image below:
Below was the map going to the place and hotel policies:
Website of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar: https://www.lascasasfilipinas.com/
The place has a total area of approximately 400 hectares but the total developed area is around 26 hectares as of date and still continue to developed as time goes by. Special tours for the heritage site includes Hotel de Oriente tour, Workshop Tour (9:00 am, 11:00 am until 3:00pm) and Balsa River Tour.
We started by taking the Heritage Tour. This tour is from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm so we still manage to take this one since we already arrived late at the place. Its an hour tour of historical experience. Visiting different Casas along Parque de Manila including as follows:
Plaza de Castro
Casa Baliuag I
Casa Binondo II
Casa Binondo I
Casa Candaba (Exhibit 9:00am-5:00 pm)
Plaza Mayor de Tobias
Along Paseo De Escolta:
Casa Jaen I
Casa Baliuag II
Casa Jaen II
Casa San Miguel
Our first start was Casa Lubao:
It was an ancestral home owned by Valentin Arrastia and Francisca Salgado built in Lubao, Pampanga in early 1900’s. During the World War II the Japanese took possession of the house and used it as a garrison. After the war the grandchildren Juanita Arrastia and husband Wenceslao Vitug acquired the Lubao house. It bacame known as Arrastia-Vitug home and remained at Vitug’s family for three generations.
This was owned by Primitivo Novicio uncle of Gen. Antonio Luna (a great General in time of Phil.American war) and Juan Luna (an artist who draw “Spolarium”). This house was originally built in 1850 in Namacpacan, La Union and later renamed “Luna” La Union.
This was a witness to historical events including as headquarters of USAFIL-NL during WW II when the capture of Gen. Yamashita (Japan) was being planned and a venue for Nationalista party convention in 70’s in time of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos.
Casa Majayjay (Laguna)
Built in 1744, this was the oldest home to at least four gobernadorcillos of Majayjay in Laguna. The house belong to Ordoveza family known to be town elite at that time with money lending business.
Built in 1873, this pre-colonial house is an example of indigenous architecture known to be a house of a datu or a sultan (Torogan). It was name after its owner Togoran I Sabino Lakowa.
A found photo became a guide for the construction of this house. It was replicated when discovered and parts of this house was purchased from a junk shop.
It was originally built in San Fernando Pampanga in 1913 and owned by Teodoro Escotto and later was purchased by Rogelio Urrutia in 1950 then was transferred to Meycauayan, Bulacan. The original house was transferred to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in 2005.
Casa New Manila
Built in 1926 and considered as an American architecture situated in balete Drive for almost 90 years. Was constructed by Italian-American, Joseph Francisco and later was bought by Manuel Alcuas y Tuazon and Rosario Araneta y Zaragoza known as two prominent family in Manila. At that time this house was often used for many local television shows and movies.
Built in 1867 and known to be design by the first Filipino to practice architecture in the Philippines during Spanish Era namely Felix Roxas y Arroyo. This house was originally situated at R Hidalgo St. (Calle San Sebastian) and Callejon de Carcer in Quiapo, Manila. This mansion architecture was considered the most elegant in the entire country during the Spanish Era as explained by the American historian A.M. Norton. This was also the first school of Architecture in the Philippines that created great artist like Fernando Amorsolo, Carlos Franscisco, Guillermo Tolentino and Tomas Mapua to name a few.
Casa San Juan (Batangas)
It was first built in San Juan, Batangas by Don Eulogio and Dona Rufina then passed it to their daughter Soledad (pianist) married to a politician named Atty. Lorenzo Hernandez. This ancestral house was considered as one of the most beautiful house in Las Casas.
This was only a few of the Casas we visited on the Tour that day. It was a tiring but historical and educational day for our group. We continue our self tour on the place and we also tried to ride this one.
Some photos during the Tour:
As the day passed by and night time comes we continue to explore the place and it was a great experience strolling the place more during the night because of the serene but quite breezy ambiance.
After having dinner we head back to our hotel room to rest because the next day was our last day and we need to make the best out of it.
To be continued….
Excerpt: I need to post it today coz I’ve been motivated after seeing the G.C.F in USA posted recently by Bts member J.K.
This is the last day of our Thailand exploration and we need to buy goods and souvenirs since we’re leaving the country the next day. As early as 7:00 am we’re ready and prepared to go to Chatuchak market known as the largest market place of Bangkok. The Market sells a wide variety of products/goods that are affordable. It is located near some popular place like Chatuchak Park, JJ Green Market and mall. Also its very accessible to people since its near BTS and MRT station.
The group commuted riding BTS train since it’s the most convenient and fastest way to reach Chatuchak market. The market is open during the day and situated at Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Khwaeng, Khet Chatuchak, Thailand.
Wide variety of products and services available on this market
Miscellaneous and used clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)
Drinking cold coffee since its hot and tiring walking around Chatuchak market.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take much photo inside the market since I’m holding goods we bought. It’s almost noontime when we finished buying all the products and things we needed. So we just take our lunch at JJ Mall and went back to our hotel after shopping.
October 1, 2017, our last day on Bangkok, Thailand and date of return. A week of unforgettable experience to remember. Visiting a foreign country and knowing their culture/tradition was more fun especially when you’re doing it with your family and loved ones. Hoping to return and visit this country again in the near future.
It’s almost midday and we already finished strolling the Grand Palace. Thou, we can’t fully explore the palace because there’s so many people inside due to ongoing preparation for their late King burial. My group decided to visit Wat Arun after taking our lunch break.
We arrived at Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) known as one of the most magnificent temple of Thailand. This Buddhist temple was situated at the west (Thonburi) part of the Chao Phraya River. Also known to exist since seventeenth century but the tall tower spire was constructed during the reign of King Rama II.
Almost all places we visited at that time have this message commemorating their beloved King who passed away. Black ribbons were tied and can be seen everywhere as a sign of respect and mourning. As we continue to explore the place we have seen these temples, statues and unique architectures.
Inside the Temple of Dawn there’s a boat that will take you to Asiatique, an expansive open-air mall with estimated 1,500 shops and 40 restaurant. We planned to visit the place and wanted to try a river tour so its a great experience to ride the Chao Phraya River Tourist Boat.
As you can see there were other tourist destination that you can visit riding this boat. For example: Wat Arun was near Wat Pho so if you decided to visit Wat Pho you may take a quick tour to Wat Arun. If I remember correctly its 10 Bhat per station. The boat cost us 50 Bhat each going to Asiatique from Wat Arun and the said transportation depart every 30 minutes.
Chao Phraya River
Chao Phraya Single Journey Ticket going to Asiatique from Wat Arun
There were other transportation going to Asiatique Riverfront as follows:
***Bts Skytrain: Saphan Taksin Station, Exit 2 then take Asiatique the Riverfront’s shuttle boat.
***Bus NO. 1,15,17,75,504,547
*** Dock facilities for riverside hotel boats and some travelling boat.
It’s almost night-time when we arrived on Asiatique Riverfront so we decided to take our dinner here. This mall opens from 5:00 pm til midnight so you can enjoy night shopping and tour.
Dinner at Pizza Company
In history, Thailand pier signaled the beginning of International trade between the European nation and the Kingdom of Siam. The same area which is the East Asiatic pier was being restored as the first and largest night shopping venue known to be Asiatique.
It’s almost 8:15 pm, again an enjoyable experience to remember. We just ride an “Uber” for transportation to get back in our hotel. Since the next day is our last day to Bangkok we need to get prepared and make the best out of it.
A day left for us before leaving Bangkok, so we’re making the best out of it. A visit to Thailand will be not be complete without going to this must-see tourist spot, Grand Palace. We thought at that time it’s not open for public viewing due to Thai people ongoing mourning for their late King. They’re preparing for its ceremonial cremation but we still manage to visit the palace morning of Sept 29, when we learn that it’s opened. Many streets at that time surrounding the palace was occupied with people wearing black outfits.
There was a long que of people lining at the entrance of the Grand Palace and the security was very strict. People visiting the place should wear appropriate outfits, non sleeveless, see thru, above the knee dress for women to avoid being prevented from entering the palace. Apparently, I’m one of the few people who was rejected to enter the palace because I’m wearing sleeveless shirt with cloak. The guard did not approve it even if I have the cloak. Luckily my sister did bring her jacket so I’ve worn it and was allowed to enter the place.
The Palace was built-in the year 1782 when King Rama I ascended to the throne. It consists of the Royal residences, government offices and the Temple of Emerald Buddha.
TEMPLES AND STRUCTURE SURROUNDING THE GRAND PALACE
The Temple of The Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Sri RattanaSatsadaram)
Phra Ubosoth or The Chapel of the Emerald Buddha
The Demon Guardians
Built in the reign of King Rama III there were six pairs of structure/character facing and believe to be guardians of the chapel of the Emerald Buddha from evil spirits.
The Statue of Cheewok Komaraphat
On the Elevated Platform
Phra Siratana Chedi
Also called as the Buddhist library and was built-in the monarch of King Rama I in 1789.
Model of Angkor Wat
Phra Asadha Maha Chedi
Constructed during the reign of King Rama I this eight towers are placed at the East of the Temple representing Buddhist concept.
Prasat Phra Dhepbidorn or The Royal Pantheon
This temple was constructed in 1856 by King Rama IV but due to fire that broke out in 1903 it was destroyed and restored back by King Rama VI.
Hor Phra Naga
This temple was built by King Rama I to enshrine Phra Naga Buddha image made by copper alloy.
Phra Wiharn Yod
Constructed in the reign of King Rama III and was used as the chapel of different Buddha images. This is where Phra Naga image from Hor Phra Naga was transferred.
Hor Phra Monthian Dharma
It was built by the younger brother of King Rama I as an auxiliary library.
Hor Phra Gandhararat
This chapel of Phra Gandhararat (buddha image) was built on King Rama IV reign.
Constructed in the year of King Rama I made from colorful porcelain mosaics.
Borom Phiman Mansion
Built by King Rama V for his son year 1903 with a European type of architecture. This became a royal residence by King Rama VII and VIII.
Phra Maha Montian Group
Consist of 7 connecting buildings and served as a grand residence.
Hor Phra Suralai Phiman
Also known as Chapel of Buddha and was constructed in the reign of King Rama I.
An open pavilion built in the reign of King Rama VI.
This was a replacement for the temple demolished by King Rama I and reconstructed by King Rama IV.
Dusita Phirom Hall
Used as changing room for the King to change his regalia (clothing worn and ornaments carried on formal occasions like King crown and scepter).
Dusit Maha Prasat Hall
Other Temples/Pavillion and Halls
Snamchand Pavilion, Hor Phra Dhart Monthian, Sihabanchon, Phra Thinang Phudtan Thom, Phra Thaen Ratcha Banlang Pradap Muk, Phra Thaen Ratcha Banchathon Pradap Muk, Rajkaranyasapha Hall and Aphorn Phimok Prasat Pavilion.
The Chinese Statues
Chakri Maha Prasat Hall
After scrolling around Grand Palace we decided continue our tour and go to our next destination which is Wat Arun and Asiatique.
As the saying goes never fail the thrill and fun going to an amusement park whatever your age group might be capture every joyous moments. Perhaps a reason why Dreamworld was part of our Thailand itinerary. Again ,we booked our tour on airport tourism since we already have their contact details and since our next destination was far from our hotel. The tour includes: entrance fee, lunch, two-way transport and a tour guide. The place was located at 62, Moo 1, Rungsit-Ongkarak Road Bang Yitho, Thanyaburi, Thailand and open from 10:00 AM– 5:00PM.
Perhaps many will say that this amusement park was a bit old and not to their liking but the good thing about this place was the feeling of being euphoric and the ambiance was great with a fairy tale vibe. Most kids and young at heart will surely enjoy this place. Once you enter the vicinity you will see this beautiful landscape.
2. LOVE GARDEN
As you walk more you’ll see this more photographic area where you may take pictures.
Highlights of Dreamworld:
3. 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD– where you can see mini structure of world famous landscape and tourist spot.
Taj Mahal, India
Great Wall of China
Eiffel Tower, Paris
Statue of Liberty, U.S.A
Leaning tower of Pisa, Italy
Angkor Wat, Combodia
4. WATER FUN
5. CABLE CAR- riding this was an awesome experience because from aerial view you will see the whole look of the place . But if you are afraid of the heights you may not wish to ride this one since its too high and also shaky once it moves.
At that time, we saw kids lining on the cable car perhaps having their school field trip.
6. SIGHTSEEING TRAIN- riding this train was quite a good choice because its roving around the area so you may see all the highlights of the amusement park.
12. PHOTOPIA- This one do have a fairy tale vibe and its landscape was based on stories which was commonly read on a fairy tale book.
13. GIANT HOUSE- Based also on a fairy tale you can see inside this Giant House, a sleeping Giant and his huge furniture and fixtures that a person may look like a dwarf. An interesting view and sight.
14. 4D ADVENTURE
OTHER SIGHT INSIDE DREAMWORLD- unfortunately I did not took some pictures of this highlight.
15. ALIEN,16. FANTASY HALL,17. HURRICANE, 18. ANIMAL FARM, 19. ANIMAL SHOW, 20.FOOD PAVILION, 22. FOOD STATION,ANTIQUE CAR, 25. PLAY PORT, 27. VIKING, 29. BLACK HOLE COASTER, 31. SUPER SPLASH, 34. MONORAIL, 35. MONZA, 36. INDIAN BOAT, 37. FLYING FISH, 38. CRAZY BUS, 40. FOOD TIME, 42. TORNADO, 43. GO KART