The Unforgettable Khao San Road Experience

I wrote this 9 months ago during my backpacking trip with my parents. Yes. You read that right..with Parents..Hope you like it.

I really want to write this down before I forget what happened. I am already exhausted because of the 8-hour bus ride from Cambodia to Bangkok, but this is the highlight of the day, so I have all the time to write this.

I am currently in Bangkok inside our very small hotel room in Khao San road. We arrived here at around 6:15pm and the van dropped us off 200 meters to our hotel. Khao San is a long street of hotels, restaurants, street foods and souvenir shops to accommodate and entertain backpackers from all over the world.

After eating all sorts of food for dinner, we went back to the hotel. My parents stayed inside, while I went out to explore the place, alone.

As we all know, Thai and Khmers are fond of eating insects. Filipinos eat them too but not the extreme ones like cockroaches and scorpions. You will find these stalls along Khao San Road, but based on my observation, they travel from place to place unlike the other stalls (Pad Thai, Kebabs, etc…). I don’t know why. Plus, they have this “10 Baht for a Photo” signage. Probably, most of the tourists (including me) would not dare to eat these scary-looking insects unless if you are a daredevil. So one way to earn is to charge a fee to take a picture.

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While taking these pictures, the rain poured really hard making her customers flee. Not only that, but her umbrella malfunctioned spoiling most of her goodies. As for me, the challenge is to get back to the hotel as dry as possible (how selfish). While waiting for the rain to stop, this old lady appeared out of nowhere, selling rain coats and umbrellas.

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Is she expecting this rain? I don’t know. But it was awesome. She was ready—a real girl scout.

The rain is getting heavier every minute. I have to leave the place. I have decided to get wet, have fun and have a unique experience walking along the famous Khao San Road. I placed my camera inside a plastic bag and started walking—not running. I got wet and I am happy about it. No regrets!

When I was in the dark and uncrowded area of the Khao San Road, I saw the girl selling the insects, alone, and looking sad. Like me, she was wet because of the rain. I asked her if she is already calling it a day. With sadness in her eyes, she affirmed my statement. I walked with her and talked to her. My ignorance consumed me again as I asked her if she’s scared of the insects. She laughed at me.

Getting wet in Khao San Road while having an exclusive chat with the lady who sells insects is just perfect — just magical.

Great experiences are indeed free.

Goodnight..

From Bangkok with Love

I Realized…

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I am not sure what happened but I have learned about some things about myself lately. I think my North Luzon Backpacking changed me. I guess that’s the power of travel. You will see that the best things in life are really for free, at least. It’s a paradigm shift.

I realized that I don’t want a higher status in life. I want to give my corporate/government life an ultimatum.

I realized that frustrations can’t kill me. I have learned to accept who I am and to accept my weaknesses. I am starting to believe that I cannot make my weaknesses as strengths but I can accept that I am weak at certain points but not as a whole.

I realized that my accomplishments doesn’t matter to anyone, therefore I don’t need to brag them. At the end of the day, people will forget about it. It’s better to be humble in all circumstances.

I realized that there will be people better than I am. I have learned to deal with it. Also, there will be people who will hate you for no reason at all. Again, deal with it. Accept it. Don’t let them steal the life away from you.

Make your own story. In business, find a niche. Life is awesome.

How far can your Fitflop go?

I am not a person who likes branded merchandise. I am the thrift store guy slash hand me down guy. If I have a brand new stuff, it only means that it was given to me or my mom pressured me to buy it. But when I tried a Fitflop sandal, it felt more like heaven on earth. Since I am a traveler who is tired of carrying one shoe and one sandal, the Fitflop sandal is an intersection of both, making it easier for me to go around places.

So I bought a pair for $90 to satisfy my hungry “sole.”

I tried to do an experiment on how far it can go.. So, my blog will feature the sandal every now and then. I can’t think of a name of my sandal, so if you have any suggestion, please do comment below.

The Initial Adventure:

1) Bought the Sandals last February 17 at Marquee Mall, Angeles City

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2. February 21, 2013 KFC Dau Mabalacat Terminal. We bought our dinner here before our North Luzon Trip.

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3. February 23, 2013. On the way to Kapurpuruwan Rock Formation, Burgos, Ilocos Norte.

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4. February 23, 2013. Inside the Paoay Church (UNESCO Heritage Site), Paoay, Ilocos Norte.

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5. February 23, 2013. Heritage Streets of Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

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6. February 24, 2013. Panagbenga Festival (Flower Festival) of Baguio City. The place was crowded and my Fitflop stood out.

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Watch out for the next adventure of my Fitflop. Again, send me name suggestions. Haha.

Our Foodtrip with “Jesus Christ”

Don’t worry, this post is not a metaphor about a relationship with Christ. My guest, Stuart, looks a lot like the stereotypical Jesus Christ image. Even the bystanders called him JESUUUUSSS! It was all funny but amazing at the same time, especially if you are walking with him. It feels like you are one of his disciples. Walk with Jesus? LOL

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Stu and I shared the same beliefs about God and Christianity; so I am happy that a person like him understands where I’m coming from. We both grew up in a Christian environment but also understood that God is a personal God and not confined inside a structure or a group.

On a lighter note, we had an awesome food-trip last night together with a local couchsurfer, Jogs. What better way to appreciate Angeles City is to try it’s food. First, we tried a Filipino version of a Lebanese Shawarma.

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After munching the Shawarma Sanwich, we tried Tupic, a Filipino delicacy made from coconut.

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Here’s the real challenge: Although Balut is a very popular delicacy in the country, I haven’t tried eating it. Since Jesus-look-a-like wants to end his Philippine trip by eating Balut, we all had the chance to eat it for the first time. Mark the date: February 19, 2013. Check out our funny faces.

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Well, we overreacted. It was actually good. Haha Food, good friends  and meaningful conversations are my new synonyms of the word HAPPY.

2’s a Company, 3’s a Crowd, 4’s a Party!!!

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Me, Juan, Daniela and Stu

I can only host 1 person at a time because my “cave” is very small.

I have received a request last month from a couple in Argentina. I have read their profile and they are interesting, so I experimented and took the risk to host 2 people. It was a blast and I believe I did great. After they left, they promised to be back.

After a week, I received another couch request from a guy in Missouri. I accepted the request. The Argentinian couple’s return is the exact day I’m going to host Mr. Missouri. I cannot resist all of them because they are really interesting, so I have decided to host the 3. This is a huge leap for me and also a new experience from the World’s largest travel community.

Daniela and Juan returned with stories from their North Luzon Hitchhiking experience. Stuart a.k.a. Mr. Missouri with his “Jesus Christ” look brought with him his stories from the South. I like the fact that they have enjoyed their stay in the Philippines and listening to their stories was all pleasurable; although half of me was itching for a similar adventure.

Aside from travel experiences, we were able to talk about our own cultures and other “deep” stuffs. This is what I like about hosting people. You get the chance to break a daily routine to learn from interesting strangers. I like it. It’s tiring but it’s all worth it!

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The company is C-R-A-Z-Y!!! (Special Participation: George the Monkey)