Wednesday, November 23, 2016



Then again with the cheesy blog-post title, I found myself obsessed with my latest trip to Bangkok, Thailand.

This time, I got to travel with my best friend (along with two new Thai friends) for four days. The trip was not only fun-filled with all the shopping, good food and sight-seeing’s, but also enriching with their amazing culture. Although we went there at their mourning period as their King died; Thailand-still, didn’t disappoint at showcasing its beauty.

And as much as I’d like to chatty-talk all the way through this blogpost and share over 200 photos I took, I’d roll it all down into a couple of shots with five reassuringly helpful tips and pointers. I hope it’ll be useful to you in the near future, maybe when you find yourself in BKK too.

In no particular order;

1. Go Palace-hopping, one WAT at a time.

I believe, if Mr. Google Translate translated it correctly, "wat" in Thailand means ‘Buddhist temple’. Consisting mainly of a Buddhist population, you can expect over a hundred different temples in Thailand. Some are extremely big; and small ones are also everywhere.

If it’s your first time (like me) to visit Bangkok, I think one temple would be enough. Especially if you’re not really into temples, one can already suffice.
You can pray, take photos or merely bask in its beauty (imagine how they were all carefully made).

Be mindful of your attire though. Strict Dress Codes are imposed in most temples so if you plan to wear slippers, shorts, skirts (above the knees), sleeveless shirts, ripped jeans/pants--wear them elsewhere or the next day of your trip. You’re not supposed to expose much skin especially your legs, shoulders or ankles. You can, however, borrow shawls, maxi skirts or shirts from their dress section so you can easily cover up and enter.

2. MAD FOR PAD THAI.  If you’re not here for the food, then I don’t know what else you’re here for.

Yes, you might find yourself in Bangkok for shopping; temple-hopping; or cultural knowledge, but if you’re not here also for the food, then you’re totally missing out.
In case you’re not familiar, Thai Cuisine is known internationally for its unique and balanced taste for almost all its dishes. There’s harmony in the distinct blend of its flavours and most of them are healthy eats. They like everything served fresh and that’s already something you should consider craving for.

When in Bangkok, you should try at least 3 of these:
  • PAD THAI. It’s one of the most delicious ways that has happened to noodles. (LOL) But really, need I say more? [Disclaimer: If you hate noodles for some odd reasons or a ‘meatganist’, feel free to skip]
    Pad Thai from Thip Samai. Certainly a must-try! This has got to be my favorite from among all the pad thais we had. 
  • PAPAYA SALAD. Also known as “SomTum”. It’s a mixture of shredded papaya, beans, lime juice, etc. According to my Thai friends, it is best paired with sticky rice and fried chicken.
  •  ROTI. It’s like their version of crepes. You can eat it alone or with different toppings or syrups.
  • MANGO with STICKY RICE. Coming from a country where mangoes are merely homegrown, I don’t find these overtly special. I think this is a refreshing snack though.
  • THAI MILK TEA. Imagine drinking eight cups in less than four days. And bought thirteen packs more to take home. Not sure if I like it though… Just kidding! **You can try it in various ways like bingsu (iced shavings with condensed milk); ice cream; etc.
  • INSECTS. Okay. This is totally OPTIONAL. I only tried the worms and the other tiny insects. The bigger they got, the more I got scared of tasting them so I skipped the grasshopper-ish and roach-ish ones.  If you have phobias, of course, skip this. I, too, cannot and never ever will eat frogs due to my fears. But if you ask how my self-proclaimed bravery food quest went, it tasted like plain, salted crisps. Not bad!
There are a lot more of Thai dishes you could and should try. So prepare your tummies and enjoy feasting on their cuisine.


One box ticked off my bucket-list: Meet Elephants. Part of our day-tour package was to ride the elephants and while I was so excited before we went there; I was so guilty when I saw them up close and personal. I wish I could retrieve my payment (1,150baht) but it was non-refundable. So I convinced myself that people needed to earn money to feed the gentle giants and I was just sharing a little bit. I wish I weighed less than 50kg though.

So maybe when you plan to visit them too, you can at least, give donations for the elephants. They are so huge yet so gentle. If only I can adopt one. 

4. Embracing your inner-Shoppaholic. (And not feeling guilty after)

Whether you like high-end products or cheap thrills, then this place could be your paradise.  Bangkok almost sells everything you can think of from vintage collectibles to bargain deals of trendy pieces.

My favorite places include:

  •      Siam Square- Where you can find high-end/designer pieces that you can’t resist.
  •      Asiatique-You can find a lot of food kiosks, souvenir items and their huge ferris wheel. 
  •       MBK (MahBoonKrong)- is a huge shopping mall consisting of more than a thousand stores where you can haggle like crazy. *Our hands were too full and bags were too heavy that we had to go back to our hotel to leave everything we purchased before heading to JJ Market. LOL!

  •      Floating Market (Damnoen Saduak Floating Market)- Definitely a unique way of shopping. While riding a boat! Go easy with budget though and haggle as low as you can. Some sellers tend to overprice items especially if they know you're a tourist.
  •     Khaosan Road- The liveliest place in Bangkok. Maybe a hub of tourists. However, when we got there, loud music and parties were not allowed in honor of their King who recently died. Nonetheless, the place was still packed with people, food and unique finds.

  •     JJ Market- Chatuchak Market is its real name. Over time, it got a sort of a nickname because of how it’s pronounced. This is my most favorite. Aside from the cheaper deals you can score, it gets cheaper at midnight! Also, if you’re a business-minded person, you’ll be extra motivated since you’ll be seeing a lot of yuppies finding their way to the retail industry. This place excites me the most and next time I’ll visit, I will definitely allot a day for it. ;)

5. WALK LIKE A LOCAL. Know your mode of transfers.

Aside from dressing the part and looking like a local, it’s also best to know how they move from place to place to avoid getting lost.

It's much easier to get going if you’re getting a sim card which enables you to access the internet all throughout your stay.

*TAXIS-I recommend pink taxis for cabs because they’d usually go about the normal metered-rate. Others (and most) taxis we hailed were either overpricing or giving a fixed-price before we can even hop on their vehicles. Again, if they won’t go with the normal metered-rate, find another one.

*TUKTUK- My best friend and I, together with our Thai friends rode the tuktuk from Asiatique to ChinaTown. I recommend using a tuktuk if you have a local companion. Otherwise, it would be difficult to make a deal or maybe a little unsure of your destination.
China Town
* FERRY BOATS- usually, there’s a fixed-price for the ticket at the terminal you’re in. I recommend this mode of transportation when you’re coming from The Grand Palace and you’re headed to Asiatique.

*TRAIN TRANSFERS-it’s pretty much self-explanatory. If you see your destination in the directory board, just pay for its corresponding code and you’ll have your token/ticket ready. Just be mindful when you need to ride airport links as they vary accordingly. Also, always prepare coins for tickets so you can avoid long lines for money exchange counters.

There you go. Hoping you’ll find these pointers helpful on your next visit. Let me know if you have anything to share. Got questions or food suggestions in mind? Comment down below or shoot me an email.

Will definitely book a trip back to Bangkok, and absolutely with more pre-paid baggage allowance! 

‘Til our next sojourn!


Monday, July 25, 2016

Missin' Saigon

Ho Chi Minh

Banh Mis after Banh Mis; Countless coffee shops; and a Gazillion motorbikes over, it's been a pleasure getting lost and been gone to Saigon.

In a meek city, you'll find yourself immensely rich not just in Vietnam Dong, but also in culture experience.

Touring around, you'll get to see various French architectural designs in their buildings due to the French colonialism that occurred years back. It's a unique trait for an Asian country to be incorporated with a European mix.

 Sure, there are a lot of things to do in Saigon alone, but I've tried to compress them down to 8 major pointers.

1. VIETNAMESE COFFEE. Life begins after coffee anyway, right?

I've tried a couple of 'Authentic Viet Coffees' before I got to Ho Chi Minh and I was already in love with its unique taste. Unlike any other coffees, basically the ones we always have, what sets Vietnamese Coffee apart is their distinct tangy twist which until now is a mystery to my tastebuds. I guess this is one of the times I wish you could taste what I'm talking about in my blog. (lol)

As I mentioned, street after street, you'll really see one or two coffee shops in Saigon. If you're a coffee lover, this might be your paradise. But on the other way around, if you're the very laxative person (let's pretend laxative is an adjective used to describe a person), then you might want to rethink about this coffee city-or maybe you can try their 'teas' instead. 

2. NOTRE DAME BASILICA. Inject some historical spot in your itinerary.

Dated back early 1880's, this French-designed Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception stood and paved its way to a historical sight of the present.

I never got inside but even the view outside would already suffice and feed your eyes. It looks really classy, timeless even, and it'll remind you of ancient times even though you haven't been there. Such a picturesque sight you don't want to miss.

3. SAIGON CENTRAL POST OFFICE. Not all offices are for work.

Inside the Post Office, you will see two unique painted maps: On the left is a map of Saigon and Cambodia; and on the right is a map of Saigon and its surroundings. 

Although, it's not operating as it's supposed to be, it stands as a major tourist spot as its fine architectural design doesn't disappoint.  You won't have a shortage of fancy floor designs too! 
In this spot, you can ask for maps(physical ones if you're not into apps) for free. 

There are also shops in and out of the building in which you can score traditional cone-shaped hats and souvenirs aplenty.

4. BANH MI (and other Viet Dishes). Go ahead, indulge. Your tastebuds will thank you.
If someone tells you that you've been eating too much banh mis, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life. 

In Saigon, you can't count the number of kiosks/stalls that sells banhmis and other quick viet snacks. They'd come in glass boxes, stacked neatly.

I told myself that I'd have my 60th piece of Banh Mi in Vietnam-and I did. (and yes, I've been counting! lol) 

I saw the vendor prepare it and it was too tempting to grab it while it was still unfinished. It was topped with fresh cilantro pieces and their meat that was kind of different from what I've always tasted in Vietnamese cafes elsewhere. It was also very spicy that we had to stop the cab and look for coffee, water or something. (my bad!)

You can't also miss out on quaint cafes and restaus serving really good food. Most cafes though, especially in the main city square are a bit confusing. You'll think some for just a boutique when in fact the cafe lies on the second floor. Really unique, right?

5. WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM. That one museum you'll still fight a battle when you enter.

Visiting the War Remnants Museum, you might want to prepare your heart for battle as well. 
You'll learn loads of happenings during the war-complete with the tools, weapons, uniforms and everything they've used during the war. A lot of photos will bring you to the times Vietnam struggled for their freedom. 

And as I mentioned, you'll have to prepare your heart for battle since you will also get to see photos of the mishaps that they've been through including children who suffered the explosions, literally and metaphorically. 

6. TRANSPORTATION: The hustle and bustle of the city

You can walk, ride a bike, take the bus, pay a cab, rent a motorbike, try the train, or fly by the plane.
Whatever mode you're comfortable, as long it'll take you to where you want to go, then go for it. Just make sure you're armed with the necessary tips to be streetwise. 

Wherever you are in Saigon, there WILL ALWAYS be a motorbike somewhere. And when I say 'somewhere', it could mean beside you, while walking- even in the sidewalks. As long as there's a path, there could be one driving around. It's normal there like it's a unique form of walking. lol

But kidding aside, be very careful though. Some motorists won't really mind hitting you(very slightly but very traumatic for first timers). Also with the street lights, make sure you're always crossing when the green light for pedestrians is on. Otherwise, you might get hit by a gazillion motorbikes when the green light for humans turn red. 

And for the cabs, always do your research (I believe reading this blog-post you've already started yours). I recommend VinaSun taxis because they are known to be very honest and reliable when it comes to service. We've had our bad experience of a dishonest taxi, a rip-off even- Vina Taxi, who charged us way too high and took the routes never meant to be passed. 

7. NIGHT MARKET. Where else can you haggle like crazy?

From unique coffee beans to bags, to shoes, carpets, and figurines. Whatever you can think of, they'd already thought of selling. Ben Thanh Market will be your go-to place if you have Vietnam Dongs to spare. Tip if you're a shopping maniac: Reserve this for last so you won't spend all your money here. Also, haggle well. ;)

8. WEATHER. Your ootds should never tell you're weather-confused.

Use all your apps to check on the weather and make sure they're at least 90% correct. The weather in Vietnam has always been hot (in our case, month of March) even in the evening. So I suggest you pack light, complete with light clothing. Otherwise, take it from my experience, you will either look sick or again, weather-confused. (lol)

Pack your sandals, hats, sunscreens, shades and water bottles. Leave your boots (unless you're born to wear 'em), knits(trust me on this. haha), heavy jeans and jackets- your luggage will save more space. Remember: more luggage space means more shopping! JK

VIETNAMESE DONG CONVERSION: It's time to be a millionaire. :)
1 Vietnamese Dong = 0.0021 Peso
1 Vietnamese Dong = 0.000045 US Dollar
1 USD= 22,305 Vietnamese Dong
1PHP=1,200.86 Vietnamese Dong

There you go. Few basic pointers you should at least know by heart and you've save yourself some troubles. ;)

And despite all the unnecessary 'h's in the Vietnamese language that I'm still figuring out until now, I had a really great time in Saigon. I'll go back maybe for Hanoi, and I'll let you know!

I really hope you'll find this post useful if you happen to be in HCMC too.
'til then, always trust and enjoy your journey.


Friday, July 22, 2016


After almost half a year of having a self-proclaimed blogging-hiatus(if there's ever such a term), I've finally realized, I still have the drive for it. 

If you're wondering what went through: I tried to focus on my career, an employment which I thought I'm better off with. Turns out, it was never for me or the other way around.

But excuses aside (lol),  I'm back, rolling and never been more motivated to commit back into blogging.

And as a way of thanking you guys for the constant support that you still believed in my prose and is still anticipating when I'd ever go back, I'd start back off with a travel post and a little beauty giveaway. (See sub-post below)

[GIVEAWAY: Etude House Easy Eyebrow Pencil #1]
  • Instagram Account: @fayemos20 
  • See photo above for reference on the eyebrow pencil at work :)
  • How to win: Share a selfie on instagram and tag me @fayemos20. (Pretty easy, right? First one to do so, gets to have the giveaway) 
  • **Open to PH residents only

Saigon trip up next on the blog. And for the giveaway, I'll look forward to the first lucky selfie and let's take it from there. 

I've missed you!