Friday, August 31, 2012

Thailand Trip Day 4 - Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Ayuthayya

Built in 1630 AD by King Prasantthong in the memory of his late mother, Wat Chaiwatthanaram has been the most impressive temple so far. It is said to resemble Angkor Wat of Cambodia which is still on my list of must-visit places in the future. Hehe. Also thought to built to commemorate the king's victory of Cambodia.

Unfortunately for us, the site was closed and we were only able to access the outer grounds. Sigh.

So these were the only pictures that I was able to take during our time there.

So here's the signboard that forbade visitors to climb. Hehe.
There was a small shop nearby and this where we bought temporary food to fill in our tummies to break our fast. Just a bag of chips and cokes.

"Jard, am so famished!" Rayyan was always complaining of being thirsty. =p
A bit disappointed for not being able to enter the site, I took the picture of the replica model instead of the whole site below.

Arghh, why was it closed? Geram sehh~
Before signs of a reclining sun in the sky, we immortalized ourselves with a picture. I believe this is the only picture of us three all together.

Outside the site of Wat Chaiwatthanaram.
So where to now after the third and final temple of the boat ride? Well, to eat of course! =p
From the top: Continuing the boat ride back to the loading bay, we definitely enjoyed the view while we passed several places of interest, and lastly this is how the street looked like once we get off the boat.
Have I told you how awesomely cheap and delicious the food we ate in Ayuthayya?

Coming up next!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thailand Trip Day 4 - Wat Phutthaisawan, Ayuthayya

Continuing from where I left off. Sorry, I've been busy with the Eid-Mubarak week long holidays celebrated in my hometown where internet is deemed a rare luxury. =p

Wat Phutthaisawan is said to be the first temple in which King Ramathibodi I (also known as U-Thong)  lived in before setting up Ayuthayya as the capitol of Siam. (source I, II, III). I believe that on some bulletin post somewhere stated that visitors aren't allowed to climb any of the structures in the temple. I found out later so please forgive my impudence.

So climb I did. To meditate. 
Also within the large crumbling walls of the temple are the golden Buddhas lined up against a wall. It gave me the sense that I was watched with every step i took. LOL.

I have not spotted any electric lights in this area. Maybe it gets pitch dark once night falls and their eyes will  glow? =p
I ventured out to the yard and spotted small pagodas along one end.

On the other side of that white wall is the Chao Phraya River.
And on the other end of the yard is a very big reclining Buddha, just within the building below. Do ignore these boys at the center of this picture. I have no idea why they pose like that. Haha. Influenced from J-dorama perhaps?

A smiling Buddha who escaped the brutalization of the Burmese Army who chopped heads of the other Buddhas around Ayuthayya. 
Having reached the second temple, we now proceed to the third and final one. This is where I'll be breaking my fast during sunset. At a temple. how awesome is that? =p

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thailand Trip day 4 - Ayuthayya's Mae Nam Pa Sak Temple

Ayuthayya, the city of ruins. Bombed and ransacked by the Burmese army. Stone statues of Buddhas beheaded. It was once the grand capital city of Siam, now what's left is just a reminder of what it once was.

Aisehh.. the introduction. =p

Used a boat to cross this river across from the train station. What have we brought ourselves into?
Rayyan and I reached Ayuthayya with nothing but a Lonely Planet book about Thailand. We were dubious on what to find once we reached there as it was the first time for both of us. Somehow we started following a couple from France to a supposedly backpacker's area. And then we ended up riding a boat to cross a small river and later walking aimlessly to what end, only the couple knows. (Later I found out that we could've easily avoided this by taking a tuk-tuk and pay only 60 baht per ride. LOL) The French couple kinda ignored us and we were getting very tired due to dehydration and hunger. So we started stopping by nearby hostels to ask for prices.

None was cheap.

We walked some more. Perspiration fell down our foreheads and back as the sun scorched us from above! Rayyan couldn't take it anymore and hailed a tuk-tuk. Not knowing where to go, he just asked the driver to send us to a cheap hostel. And that he did though we didn't take his hotel suggestion.

We actually scouted the whole streets while on the tuk-tuk to find some suitable places to stay. Once we were stopped at some fancy hotel (assumed cheap), we quickly walked to the place we spotted before. And so the hunt for cheap hostel room begun! The first one we checked was suspected unsafe and scary (as Rayyan recalled) and opted for the second one. A guesthouse right above a restaurant bar for 100 Baht per person a night. How cool is that? (Details of the guesthouse is found here, pictures included.)

Rayyan was basking with happiness when he'd be sharing a room with a cute Japanese guy named Masaya. I on the other hand slept alone this time. Sigh.

We quickly settled in and signed up for the sunset tour of Ayuthayya via boat!!! Tour started at 4pm with a tuk-tuk coming to fetch us along with other tourists! Yosh!! Excited!

The mode of transport on the Chaophraya river. Boats range in sizes to cater the group of people they carry.
First stop : Mae Nam Pa Sak
Entrance fee - 20 Bhat
Spotted some crafting in the first building where they hand sculpted Buddhas' statues and carve out decorations.
What piqued my interest the most was spotting a group of young monks sitting near one of the doorways. They were chatting amiably among themselves and so I entered the room without much thought and started taking pictures. A local man looked at me and smiled. We asked him about the kids though and this is what we found out as seen below.
Since the education in Thailand wasn't cheap, young children were sent to the monasteries to get a free education, be trained to be a monk and purify themselves, from inside out.
We were also told that these children upon reaching the mature age of 20, will get to choose whether they'd want to stay as monks or resume their normal lifestyles. ^^

Not far from that room, we also chanced upon the biggest Buddha that I've ever seen in my life!!! It was humongous!
Seen here is the cute Masaya of Japan and Rayyan.
Moving on....

Second stop : ..........will be on my next post as it involves a LOT of pictures!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thailand Trip Day 3 - Bus Scam, Bangkok MRT and Changed Plans

We slept the whole night on the bus from Krabi to Bangkok and reached there around 10 am on the third day. Why the long travel hours? Basically, we were involved with a bus scam which involves the bus leaving us and other passengers in the middle of nowhere and we had to use another bus. At the unknown desolated area there were locals selling food and drinks. Thankfully, we already bought ours and we ate while waiting for another bus to arrive. The waiting was excruciatingly boring.

The reason behind changing buses is left unknown. Rayyan claims that they wanted time to scavenge through our backpacks and steal important valuables. Yikes! *pulls my stuff closer.

Upon reaching Khaosan Rd of Bangkok, I immediately contacted my Thai friend who resides there. I hoped that we could meet tonight as initially planned. But exploring as we might, we couldn't find any available hostel to take us in. Almost every hostel was fully occupied! If there was one, it costs around 300 Baht for a single room and that's a tad too expensive for our budget. Feeling tired and disappointed, we decided to head to Ayuthayya.

I called my friend to reschedule our meetup to a later date. He didn't sound that happy. Haha! He even offered to pay for our accommodations in Bangkok. How nice (and tempting!) When I told him that we'll be heading to Ayuthayya, he said that Bangkok is a bigger city to cover and one day is never enough. Still insisting to stay at Bangkok that night while he foots the bill made me shy. I kindly refused and said we'll meet up on another night (yet to be confirmed). And so to Ayuthayya we go!

But hold on... how do we do that? And from Khaosan Rd with no maps to assist us? LOL!

The magic key is... "asking around". I think Rayyan asked a lot of people on how to get to Hua Lumpong train station from where we were. It led us going on the MRT, change trains twice until finally we were at Hua Lamphong.

The MRT system in Bangkok was surprisingly modern and comfortable!
Our bags were checked by security before boarding the MRT trains. LOL. Wonder what they're phobic about?

And so here we were! Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lumpong).
A very big old building!
Still before mid-day, we hope to arrive Ayuthayya in two hours time via train. Who would've known that Rayyan will find his love interest there? Hik hik hik!

Will be unfold in the next post!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Halal Chinese Food @ KungFu Paradise, Paradigm Mall KJ

One of my favorite Chinese dishes would be Dim-sum of a certain seafood restaurant found only in Petaling Jaya. This time I tried another Halal Chinese restaurant situated at Paradigm mall Kelana Jaya. I was invited by Ivy Kam for a food review and this restaurant is currently having a Ramadhan Special Promotion. Always up for any food adventure, I went there right after work for fear of the massive traffic jams.

The exterior of the restaurant quickly caught my eye as it was in striking orange with colorful pictures of meals plastered on a standing banner outside and also at the entrance. It eases the people to order before entering.

Funky chairs and cute round or square tables. Dining concept to cater the young!
I arrived earlier as expected and had time to scrutinize the cafe caretel-like menu. It serves a variety of Asian and western cuisine, enough to make me spoiled with choices. Drinks were ordered and I ordered Oreo Shake while my partner ordered the restaurant's signature drink, the Kungfu Stylo Coffee (cold). Right after the azan which they played LIVE in the restaurant did the food arrived!
From left: Larva Custard Bun, The Duo Master (baked rice with two choices of meat), Tango Mango Mousse with  Nippon Power Ais Kacang, and my Oreo Shake. 
One of the signature dishes of that restaurant is the Kungfu Bumger (this is the right spelling) as shown below. As I dined away, I noticed that most of the other diners in the restaurant ordered this particular burger! Spotted one alone at a corner munching happily on this too as I bit into mine. Hehe.
The restaurant's popular Kungfu Bumger. It deserves a reorder! LOL!
We tasted other dishes that night and it was definitely a mouthful! I usually review Ramadhan Buffets but this was my first time reviewing individual dishes before. Trying to remember all the dishes' names was a struggle!
A meal fit for the king!! Damn delicious la!
I particularly liked the Tango Mango Mousse Cake. OMG!! Could have died contently while eating this cake. Super duper liked it!
Am so gonna order this again the next time I come around. LOL!
Other meals we tasted are shown below.
Clockwise from upper left: Dry Ramen with Chicken Sausage, Flaming Crab Noodle, Stir Fried Rice, Kuey Teaw, Chicken Salad. (Sorry I couldn't remember half of their original menu names.)
I especially liked the chicken salad. They didn't use any dressing whatsoever except for some sort of spicy sauce. And it tasted heavenly! Having said that, lemme share you this month's promotion for Ramadhan. It's a worth a try!
Ramadhan Special Promotion 2012 @ Kungfu Paradise, Pardigm Mall
So what are you waiting for? =)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thailand Trip Day 2 - Krabi, the town and Aonang Beach.

Funny thing is, I forgot that my hand-phone's clock now follows the time of Thailand (due to the simcard.) I thought it was still Malaysian time and so I set the Sahur alarm an hour later than usual.

I woke up and went  to wake Rayyan up for Sahur together. The grilled gate outside his room was locked and I started calling his name several times from outside. Before feeling awkwardly stupid, I gave up. Took a seat on the fourth floor and ate alone.

Soon enough rays of sunlight came crossing the view before me. Dawn was approaching the sleepy town of Krabi so I grabbed my camera and became immersed in the morning beauty.

The river in which we ate nearby late last night.
 From the top: View of Krabi town from the left, the street to the food street by the river, and the signage of Pak-up Hostel at the front.
Feeling sleepy again, I climbed back onto my bunk and went back to sleep. I was awaken by Rayyan putting his head in the dorm calling for me. LOL. Peeping tom! Time to wake up and get ready!

We're going to Ao Nang!

The place where you can take a boat-ride to all the other islands nearby; Phi phi Island, Railay, Tonsai, Phra Nang (among the islands I can remember.)
The scenic view on the way from Krabi town to Ao Nang. Around 30 minutes drive. 
Ao Nang is a central point of the coastal province of Krabi, Thailand. The town consists chiefly of a main street, which is dominated by restaurants, pubs, shops and other commerce aimed at tourists. The main beach is used by sunbathers to a certain extent, but there are a large number of longtail boats which offer access to other beaches on the mainland and on nearby islands. [source: wikipedia]
And I'm finally here! Facing the Aonang Beach!
And the so-called longtail boats?
So this is how the longtails boats look like. It will take you to the nearby islands. 
Prices range from 200 Bhat per person one-way to an Island. I believe there's a package price but didn't care to inquiry as island hopping was not on our plans. Hopefully next time? After some time at Ao Nang, we decided to head back to Krabi town....

.... and somehow we ended at a local barber. ^^

Something to do about Rayyan's new acquired shaggy look that needs getting rid off!
The local barber actually speaks a little bit of Malay!
Some of the muslim Thai locals here knew a little bit of Malay. Their slang sounds more like Kelantanese and some words are also Kelantanese. The barber was a chatty person and made us guess his age. We guessed his age as in the middle 20's but we were both wrong. He's actually nearing 40! Wow! The people here do look younger than their age. Wonder what's their secret?

The beach, the barber and then back to Bangkok on the four o'clock bus. What happens next will be unfold in another post. =)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Thailand Trip Day 1 - Tuk-tuk, Pak Up and Food Street in Krabi

We made a last minute change in plans to make a detour to Krabi before heading to Bangkok. The reason being was the bus fare to Krabi and then to Bangkok is CHEAPER than the bus fare from Hatyai to Bangkok. So why not, right? I've never been to Krabi. =)

Honestly, I wasn't enthusiastic about going to Krabi as it only delayed my meetup with my Bangkok friend but that didn't dim my curiosity about the place though. We were only staying there for a night. Besides, Rayyan has been there and he wants to revisit.

We reached Krabi at 10:30pm and some taxi drivers were waiting at the bus stop offering service that costs 400 baht. Rayyan didn't budge. He went further down the road to hail a tuk-tuk but none was in sight. A strange man came to me and said "Assalamu'aikum, kamu dari Malaysia?" which shocked me to bits. "Susah dapat transport. Sudah lewat" He said to me which meant that it's hard to find transportation as it was already late. He was a Malaysian who lives and works in Krabi. Rayyan later came to us and asked the guy to bargain with the taxi drivers to lower the price. They agreed to 200 baht.

Rayyan was still unsatisfied and waited again at the end of the street to hail an unseen tuk-tuk. I sat down with the bags feeling tired. We only ate bread with peanut butter as our breaking fast meal just now. And some meat on sticks we bought during a stop by the bus.

I was dreadfully hungry.

Soon enough a tuk-tuk appeared. Rayyan bargained the price and got 140 baht per ride! He called me to get into the tuk-tuk which I happily obliged. Then again, another problem arises, the tuk-tuk driver didn't understand our English. LOL. Rayyan wanted to go to some place called Pak Up Hostel and the driver seemed clueless! Several stops later to ask for direction, the driver finally got us to our destination safely. Phew!

And so we're now in Pak Up Hostel. A four-storey corner building amidst ugly ones. (OK, I'm not that good in describing architecture. Sorry. =p) Rayyan confidently went in and spoke to the woman at the counter in his chirpy voice of his, "Hey, you remember me? I was here 6 months ago!" I absolutely believe that the woman had not remembered whatsoever but she flashed a friendly grin anyway.

Haipp.. Rayyan, Rayyan.. can you not embarrass me please? *monolog

Registering for a room with a deposit of 100 (returned after check-out)
My room was an all-female dorm on the second floor and since it was almost full, I had the upper bunk. Which surprisingly to me was very high indeed to climb into!
My dorm was the second room on the left behind that grill. Hehe. Rayyan's room was on the third floor. *Biar dia bersenam sikit.
After refreshing ourselves and get ourselves settled in, we finally headed to the night stalls by the river, praying that it were still open. Rayyan has been feverishly telling me about those stalls and all the delicious food they have to offer. The stories only made me more hungry. Grrr! If the stalls were closed, some-one was going to have a fair beating!
The food stalls were just a downhill walk away from the hostel, very cheap and most importantly HALAL!
How did we know that it was halal? The stalls had Arabic inscriptions on their boards that read Bismillah, Allah and Muhammad. I'm pretty sure the seller is a Muslim. ^^

Suddenly out of the blue, a Thai woman in a blue apron came up to Rayyan, all excited and teary, and gave him one big hug. I was like, oh em gi! wth!
Friends united. They first met six months ago in the same spot. 
She started talking excitedly in her cute broken English and despite my difficulty in understanding her, Rayyan understood her well. Haha! I was told the story of the tsunami that swept Indonesia and had washed on the river banks of Thai the badly bloated and gruesome bodies of the dead. This lady in blue volunteered in clearing the mess and cooking for the homeless during that depressing time. She chatted emotionally about the strong smell that came with the bodies and how she lived with it throughout the ordeal. I was inspired by her kindness.
Banana iced drink for only 20 Baht. Absolutely marvelous! Instantly became my favorite drink in Thailand!
We ate, we chatted and we came back to hostel with a content and bloated tummy. (Eh?)

So tomorrow, what brings? (error in grammar intended)

PS: When I'm in my story mode, I tend to write longer blogposts. Sorry! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thailand Trip Day 1 - Crossing Thai Border

The date was set and bus tickets purchased. It was the day after Rayyan and I attended a blogger colloquium with Tourism Pahang at MS Garden Hotel, Kuantan, Pahang. We delightedly feasted our last berbuka puasa meal in grandeur whilst sharing a table with the Minister of Tourism Pahang, knowing that the day we depart, there'll be no such luxury.

A travel friend, Lilyriani helped sent us to the Puduraya station in Kuala Lumpur. She was willing to check-out from the hotel at 6am to drive in the state of drowsiness to Kuala Lumpur from Pahang. The drive lasted almost 3 hours. I have yet to show my gratitude. Thanks dear!

Our bus of Sri Maju operator departed at 9:30am. Price of the bus tickets can be read here.

It was very fast and it unexpectedly reach Hatyai, Thailand not more than 7 hours!
The bus stopped at the border crossing located at the northern end of the North-South Expressway also known as Bukit Kayu Hitam. This is where all the passengers were to get down to have our passports and travel documents checked by the immigration and customs of both countries.
Thank god for the machine readable passport. hehe.
Above demonstrates the Malaysian immigration checkpoint while below is the Thailand immigration checkpoint.
Let's have our passports stamped!
After that, we boarded the bus and began continuing our journey to Hatyai, Thailand. This is where Rayyan and I made a last minute detour to Krabi instead of heading straight to Bangkok. LOL.

We managed to shop for some essentials at a local Thai shop here in Hatyai and this is where I purchased my first international simcard for only 59 Baht ~ RM5.90!
It is recommended that you buy DTAC simcards when in Thailand. The coverage is good. Minimum reload is only RM6.00 ~ 60 Baht
I don't usually buy a simcard when travelling but because I was going to Bangkok to meet a dear friend of mine, it couldn't be avoided. After I activated the sim, I immediately sent an SMS to my friend in BKK. Several seconds later, he gave me a call! That call completely caught me by surprise. LOL. 

Guess I'm not the only one happy to be in Thailand, aye? ;)
I'm carrying all the baggage on my body. Hopefully sufficient for 7 days of travelling!
Shown in the picture above is the bus station in Hatyai where we'll be taking a bus into Krabi. (Again all transportation costs are shared here) This is when I'll be experiencing my first time breaking fast in a foreign land. Coming up next on my next blogpost! Till then, thank-you for reading and bye!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thailand Trip - Costs, Transport and Accomodations

Before you guys soak in the following information, I'd like to remind you that this trip was done overland. "Overland" means that all transportation within the countries were on land. None via airlines. This is what travelers call as backpacking overland. ^^

The route of the trip actually ended like this:

Kuala Lumpur - Hatyai - Krabi  (1 night) - Bangkok - Ayuthayya (2 nights) - Bangkok (1 night) - Hatyai - Kuala Lumpur

You could imagine how many buses and trains Rayyan (my backpacker travel partner) and I had to use to get to all of these places. So lemme share you the total expenditure of the trip, transport and accommodations included.

*I'll be assuming RM1.00 = 10 Baht


Clockwise from upper left : boat ride in Bangkok, a tuk-tuk in Krabi, bicycles and elephant rides in Ayuthayya, trains of Hua Lamphong Station at Bangkok

  • KL to Hatyai, Thailand : Via bus (takes 6 - 8 hours) from Puduraya, RM45.00
  • Hatyai to Krabi, Thailand : Via bus, 186 Baht = RM18.60
  • Took a tuk-tuk (local transport) from bus stop to hostel, 70 baht = RM7.00
  • Krabi to Bangkok, Thailand : Via bus ( 12 hours ) transit at Surat Thani, 455 Baht = RM45.50
  • Bangkok to Ayuthayya : Via train at Hua Lamphong Station ( approx. 2 hours), 15 Baht = RM1.50
  • Boat ride in Ayuthayya for temple touring - 150 Baht - RM15.00
  • Tuk-tuk from hostel to market - 60 Baht = RM6.00. Used it about 6 times = RM36.00
  • Ayuthayya to Bangkok : Via train to Hua Lamphong Station, 15 Baht = RM1.50
  • Bangkok to Hatyai : Via train from Hua Lamphong Station, 455 Baht = RM45.50 (source)
  • Hatyai to Kuala Lumpur : Via bus to Puduraya, 400 Baht = RM40.00
Total Transportation Costs = +/- RM255.60

  • Krabi - Pak Up Hostel (a trip advisor recommended, award winning hostel)
    • 220 Bhat = RM22.00 for all women dormitory with air condition
    • 200 Bhat = RM20.00 for normal dormitory
    • has a bar on the top floor with live music
Clockwise from upper left : Pak Up Hostel's exterior, shared washing area but toilets are genderalized, inside the dormitary, each bed with own private drawer under the bunks. 
  • Ayuthayya - Street Lamp Guesthouse
    • 100 Baht per person on a sharing basis
    • 200 Baht per room with two beds if you want some privacy alone.
    • has own bar and restaurant below it
    • laundry services are 40 Baht per kilogram
    • you can book boat rides to visit 3 temples - 150 Baht
Clockwise from left : my bed, guesthouse exterior, from outside the door of my room, the shower and sinks just outside my door.
  • Bangkok - New Siam Guesthouse
Clockwise from left : the exterior, the entrance, and the room.
For accommodations alone (one night at Krabi, two nights at Ayuthayya and one night at Bangkok), I spent about RM60.00 for FOUR nights in Thailand! (Cheaper since I shared during my stay in Bangkok)

I started traveling on a Sunday and arrived KL the next Saturday. Total traveling days were SEVEN days and SIX nights. Two nights were spent on a train/bus while the remaining four nights in hostels.

Cheap right? ^^

Overall expenditure for transport and accommodations alone is RM315.60. =)

OK, so now I'll blog about my whole experience and the amazing people I met during this trip. Till then, tata! ^^

Monday, August 6, 2012

Things I learnt as a Muslim backpacker

My trip to Thailand was my first backpacking experience and I learnt a lot from it! I newly found out that backpackers don't have a lot of money and they tend to stay at budget hostels (not hotels) that costs not more than 20 USD per night. Cheaper is better as you tend to spend more on transportation and food.

While backpacking, it's so easy to forget about your obligations as a Muslim, especially when you're out of your country into regions unknown to you. If you don't perform your daily prayers, who's there to advise you otherwise? If you don't fast, who's there to remind you? If you don't wear hijab, who cares? Most of the times, you might actually think it's safer NOT to wear hijab due to Muslim phobics out there. You might even be tempted to share a room with a non-related male. But GOD cares and HE is watching over you. #notetoself

Exploring the historic ruins of Ayuthayya. Once the center of Siam's ruling.
Here are the things I learnt as a Muslim backpacker during my trip to Thailand last week.

  1. Study beforehand the place you're gonna visit. The train/bus routes and the fares. Also nice to know where the backpackers area are at each province. Saves you a lot of trouble (and money).
  2. Some people might offend you for wearing a hijab and starts asking you awkward (and sometimes annoying) questions such as, "Why wear it?" "Why are you a muslim?" "I don't have a religion, why choose Islam?" This is when you start polishing your Islamic preachings if you know how, that is. LOL.
  3. Try to get used to other people dangling or offering beer and alcohol at your face. Don't get offended and please don't drink. 
  4. There are a lot of stray dogs in Thailand. Adorable! Don't be too obvious on your fear of them. The dogs are harmless!
  5. Avert your eyes when you see half-naked people around. It's a norm when you choose to stay in dormitories. 
  6. Always bring your valuables with you in small backpacks or sling-bags. ALWAYS! Even when you go to the ladies' room.
  7. Be friendly, yes, but don't overdo yourself. You might be misunderstood.
  8. Accept who the other travelers are as you want yourself to be accepted. =)
  9. True enough, it's important to bring a kiblat kompas and know beforehand the praying times in the countries you visit. But again, prayers are performed only three times a day. Jamak all the way!  =p
  10. You may not bath for 24 hours straight when you choose to travel via trains and buses due to cheap tickets. Hygiene can be an issue to some. Try to refresh yourself with wet tissues during these travels. 
  11. Halal food can be bought from Muslim traders. (Hint: especially those who wear hijabs whilst selling food!)
  12. Occasionally, a stranger or a local would come up to you and say "Assalamu'alaikum" which is a totally AWESOME experience! 
And last but not least, don't forget your roots. Be yourself and other travelers tend to be more curious about you when you are and unexpected friendships will bloom!

Dream to meet in Thailand finally came true!

I promised my Thai friend that I'll come to Bangkok but didn't know when. He invited me since last year, have been tagging me with pictures of Bangkok, Thailand on Facebook, beckoning me to come. When I learn that Rayyan Haries could bring me there by backpacking, I jumped at the opportunity!

 And it was the best travel experience I ever had in my life!

My Thai friend Pipi ((left) and Rayyan's new bbf (right) from Japan. Pictured at Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok, Thailand. Which one is cuter? Hehe.
I can't wait to blog about my first backpacking experience. But for now, lemme show this picture first as a sneak peak. =p