All Posts By

Jacklynne

13975514_1181741845210862_1390188765299281540_o
Thailand, Travel

Bangkok, Thailand – Itinerary and Expenses

I know, I deserve some kind of an award for writing about my travel THREE FREAKING MONTHS AFTER! I have been busy the past few months so forgive me but I promise, everything still feels fresh in my memory. I fell in love with Bangkok that I still can remember every bit of details!

I’ve been wanting to go to Thailand eversince I could remember. It is the only Asian country that appeals to me and it is because of their culture. While some want to see Singapore, Thailand is my bae because for me SG looks like BGC loljk. Anyway, when I went back home from Europe, my layover was Zurich, Switzerland and then Bangkok. It was supposed to be a long layover but our flight got delayed, leaving us with only an hour in the airport. I was actually looking forward to even try an authentic pad thai to no avail.

I told myself that I will go back to Thailand and because I’m me, I would do everything to do it.

My friend, Mel is a Thailand addict and she has sworn to go to Bangkok every year. I’ve known her since 2006/7 because we were one of the few pioneer bloggers back then. It was just this year when we started talking on FB. She was actually supposed to go with me to Europe but because she works in the US Air Force, securing a leave can get quite tricky. However, I forced her to go with me this time.

We met at a coffee shop to purchase a tour package. I wouldn’t want to say the travel agency because they suck balls. They don’t care about their customer once they have paid and it’s a pain in the ass to contact them. I only want to recommend the best for my readers and even if that travel agency has millions of likes, I don’t suggest getting their service. Aside from that, it was hella expensive for PHP16,100+ per person for flight, accommodation, and half-day city your. You can get it for a cheaper price when you wait for a promo fare but then again, because I’m me, I can’t wait.

From Pexels.com

DAY 1

Upon arriving at the airport, I picked up my pocket wifi at the post office. I purchased my pocket wifi from Thai Smile Connect and guuuurrrlll, IT WAS SUPER FAST! I easily get lost so I make it a habit to avail pocket wifi wherever I go.

img_6834
We then met with our agency and rode a shuttle to our hotel. We dropped off our bags and didn’t waste anymore time to try Pad Thai! As I’ve said, if you’re here on my blog to expect a fantastic photography, you will be disappointed. Haha! Anyway, the pad thai was fantastic! For only less than a hundred baht, we got that and a papaya salad! <3

Processed with VSCO with 4 preset

Oh, I also drank around 45 glasses of milk tea during my Thailand trip! IT WAS SO GOOD!!!! I WOULD CRY!

img_6840

After eating, we decided to freshen up aka to sleep until almost 6 in the evening. Mel and I met with her Thai friend and we ate again! I had Tom Yum and Green Tea! It’s better than Starbucks’ and it’s only 25 baht!! Mel had a shrimp tom yum which was so spicy it’s not even funny.

img_6903

Our hotel was located just a few steps away from the Pratunam Mall. We went there and bought some clothes and fam, I’m warning you – Bangkok is da bomb when it comes to cheap but cute clothes! For only PHP 500, I already bought 5 dresses!!!!

I also found these cute personalized wallets which I decided to sell to my friends in the PH. I bought almost a hundred of these! I told you, I will always find ways to earn more money if I spend some money. HAHAHA!

13939457_1184035941648119_6076973338846037972_n

After shopping, we decided to meet Carlos Celdran. Yes, THE Carlos Celdran. I don’t care about your views in politics but Carlos is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known!

14064089_1182603598458020_3084402748104031858_n

We bought some beers for 60 baht each then Carlos treated us more beers and cocktails! Yay!

15027488_1263580437027002_4638698061555465683_n

We ended the night by going to another bar called EQ Late Night Club near Nana Plaza. Must visit as they have some cool DJs, overall amazing night club, and most of their staff are Pinoys!

15056216_1263580427027003_736623581518329411_n

We got in for free and had a free drink cause GL card. Don’t know what that meant? Google it. LOL.

Day 1 expenses: 

  • Pad thai: THB 80
  • Milk tea: THB 25
  • Tom yum: THB 50
  • Green tea: THB 30
  • Dress: THB 150
  • Sandals: THB 100
  • Beer: THB 60
  • Fare: THB 100

Total: THB 490 / PHP 676 with shopping THB 345 / PHP 475 without shopping

Wow, right?

DAY 2

We had our breakfast at the hotel. It was just okay but it’s filling enough to last us until noon. We went to a tour included in the price we paid to our crappy travel agency. Here’s where we went according to them:

“Visit Wat Indrawihan (Standing Buddha)located in Banglamphoo, Wat Indrawihan or Intharavihara is well known for its enormous standing Buddha figure, called ‘Phra Sri Ariyamettrai’ or “Luang Pho To”. The exact number about it’s height varies from 32 to 41 Meters. Take a boat to cross the Chao Phraya River. Wat Arun(“Temple of the Dawn”) in Bangkok is a Khmer-style Buddhist temple and major landmark on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. A Buddhist temple had existed at the site of Wat Arun since the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom and also visit some following shops Gem Stone Factory, Leather Factory, and Honeybee Shop in Bangkok, Thailand.”

15055616_1263580620360317_2178874553720147055_n

14980804_1263580650360314_6899053953845623347_n

15073294_1263580953693617_2456136627024916199_n

Upon arriving back at our hotel, Mel bought her fried rice and bbqs while I bought this blood noodle soup for THB 50.

15037202_1263580920360287_4245208192335324356_n
15032191_1263580960360283_2332228900089663566_n

and this bbq stick for THB 10 and crab meat stick for THB 10. It was hella good especially the bbq. It’s different than what we have in the Philippines. It’s so tender and flavorful.

I loved the blood noodle soup. Reminds me of dinuguan but unfortunately, I had a stomach flu when I ate it. I felt like I was punched in my stomach; it was the worst! So we decided to buy some hot tea from 7/11. Since Thais can’t understand that much English, I Google translated it and showed it to them. The staff on the counter pointed me on the corner asking me to look there, I went there but I can’t find anything so I asked the staff near the fridge where it was. I didn’t know Mel already asked her so she went berserk speaking in Thai maybe telling us “YOU GUYS ARE SO STUPID! WE TOLD YOU WE HAVE NO GREEN TEA!” LOL, they both yelled at us and started talking with each other hinting us we’re fools. We can’t understand them and they can’t understand us so Mel and I talked about them, too in our own language.

Oh, the joy of having different language! HAHAHA!

15037243_1263581003693612_6894008475548769696_n

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-5-25-48-pm

After that, we went to PatPong. Had a beer and watched some strip show but the night seems so boring that we decided to try the famous Thai Massage.

14963264_1263581010360278_3847170951849250407_n

I was shookt! It was the best massage ever! For THB 250, I had my bones popped like never before! 10/10, would recommend!

Day 2 expenses: 

  • Blood noodle soup: THB 50
  • Bbq and crab meat stick: THB 20
  • Hot green tea: THB 30
  • Fare: THB 100
  • Beer: THB 60
  • Thai massage: THB 250

Total: THB 510 or PHP 703.61

blog-image
Opinion, Personal, Travel, Visa

How to Make Visa Application and Traveling Cheaper

Traveling has been a very hot topic on social media. Everyone wants to go somewhere and travel. I can’t blame you – it’s addictive! Sometimes, I feel a lot of guilt with the money I’ve been spending on travel. My expense for my Eurotrip could be a downpayment for a car or a house and lot. However, those can wait. I’m not getting any younger and in the blink of an eye, I might already have my own family which will make traveling hard. So yup, travel, travel, and travel until I’m able.

Anyone can travel just as long as they have money. I don’t consider myself a special snowflake because I know that with enough budget, anyone can do it. It’s just that I’m blessed with a good job, an entrepreneurial mind, and guts which allowed me to earn money and to see the world.

I used to feel so uncomfortable disclosing how much I spent on my travel and visa application because I didn’t want to be judged. I know not everyone has the same traveling style so some might think that I spent an excessive amount or some might think that that’s too cheap and something sounds fishy. When people ask me how much I spent on my Eurotrip, I do not answer them with “I spent blah blah blah,” I would say “Prepare 350,000 to be on the safer side.” I didn’t want to share how much I spent because I didn’t want you to base how much you’ll bring based on my experience because unless you’re me, our expenses will be different.

However, please respect because my money is my money. I have worked hard for this and I can choose whatever way I’d want to spend it.

Anyway, to answer your question, here it is!

This year’s travel and visa application expenses

capture

Please note that all of these are just estimates. Especially with my Eurotrip, I estimated PHP 350,000 because that was the difference on my bank account before and after the trip. I’m just estimating how much I spent for this and that.

I don’t know about you but that’s cheap! I’ve been asked by a lot of people how I can afford to travel. Some even asked if I loaned in a bank or if I have a credit card. Fortunately, I only spend money that I have. I have PHP 0.00 debt in my life and that’s something that I am proud of.

I know a lot of people who spent a million on Europe for a month and PHP 60,000 on Thailand just for a few days!

So, how did I keep my traveling expenses and visa application at a minimum?

Click next!

U.S. EMBASSY MANILA TOURIST VISA INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE
Personal, Travel, Visa

US Tourist Visa Interview Experience Manila

My US Tourist Visa Interview Experience Manila

Once upon a time, it was my ultimate dream to go to New York City. All those high buildings, fancy streets, and that overall vibe. However, life happened; I matured and realized that there was more to life than NYC and what it is portrayed on the movies. I prioritized my European dream and worked hard to achieve it. Needless to say, my Eurotrip was the highlight of my whole existence. My USA fantasy went into the backburner but of course, I still want to have the option to visit it.

With all the horror stories I’ve heard from friends, families, and even on the Internet, I kept on delaying my plan to schedule an interview. They said that you need show money, land titles, cars, properties, businesses, and whatnots. The fact that I have just graduated a year ago, with less than 2 years in my current employer, single, no kids, and no properties, it was a risk to apply. Imagine PHP 7680 going down the drain in case I got denied? 

Because I’m me, I didn’t care; I just did it!

quote

You wouldn’t believe how many people told me that it’s super hard to get a US Visa and they also said that I should wait for a few years just to be sure. I don’t know but I’m that kind of person that I jump when it’s the scariest to jump. What’s to lose? I mean, yeah, the PHP 7680 but I can still earn that. I can reapply if ever I get denied so I have to do it.

The plot twist is: I have no ties there. I have my distant relatives but they’re first and second cousins of my mother and I doubt the consul will acknowledge that. All I have with me is my closest college friend and she’s the one I want to visit first. I asked for her permission to use her information in filling out the DS-160 form and she happily agreed. I LOVE YOU, ANNE!

US Visa Application Requirements

When I saw that they have an available interview on my preferred date, I immediately paid the visa fee via BPI Fund Transfer and waited 4 hours to activate the payment and confirm the interview date. I have less than a week from scheduling it to the actual interview and I didn’t do anything but secured the ff.:

  • Passport
  • DS-160 form
  • Appointment confirmation
  • Payment confirmation
  • Certificate of employment
  • Income tax return

That’s it! Remember what I told in my previous post that I have 150 pages of documents that I presented to the German Embassy? In US Embassy, it’s just that! The last two are not required but I brought it anyway just to be sure.

However, from the U.S. Embassy website, here are the things you should consider bringing:

capture

You can do the whole application yourself that’s why I am still wondering why there are people who pay for visa assistance. They do not guarantee approval, they’ll just do what you can do which is assisting you on what you should answer in the form – all of which you know yourself. It’s useless and a waste of money. If you can read and you’re not dumb, there’s no use of getting their service.

Now, on to my experience! Click next!

How to Travel Without Quitting Your Job
Advice, Career, Opinion, Personal, Travel

How to Travel Without Quitting Your Job

“I quit my job to travel the world,” “I’m the girl who quits her corporate job to travel the world,” “Why quitting your job is the best move if you want to travel the world,” bullshit this, and bullshit that. So, what do you want now? A cookie or a star stamped on the back of your hand?

If you’re one of these people and you’re genuinely happy with your move, then yey! I’m happy for you but don’t come dictating other people what they should do with their lives and treat yourself as superior because you quit your job and traveled instead.

Breaking news: NOT EVERYONE CAN DO IT EVEN IF THEY WANTED TO AND ALSO NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO QUIT THEIR JOB JUST TO TRAVEL. 

So stop implying that they should work harder to be just like you.

You can blog and say how you did it but not blog and say that they should do it, too because it’s like the ~best thing evuuurrr~

People like these should be banned from using the Internet especially when their blogs are popular! Readers, eventhough they can make their own decisions, tend to be encouraged to quit their job just to travel.

If you’re planning to quit your job so you can travel, hear me out first. YOU. DO. NOT. NEED. TO. DO. THAT.

For starters, read this article first:

This Couple Quit Their Jobs To Travel And Now Scrub Toilets To Get By

Quit job and travel? What for? So that I’ll fall into the “Millenials who made it” category? Quit job and travel? So that I can have something all my Millenial homies be envious about? Or so that I can have an Instagram-worthy post?

Surprise, surprise! There are people who want to travel but are still happy to pursue their careers.

Different strokes for different folks, y’all. We all have our own definition of success and we all have our own ways to do it but don’t you fucking get me the advice to “QUIT YOUR JOB AND TRAVEL” to make yourself feel better that you did it.

hqdefault

I traveled without quitting my job

I went abroad, had the best time of my life, and went back to my amazing job. No, I never ever thought of quitting my job just to travel when I can do both. I think that this is why the German Embassy granted me a visa to go on multiple entries plus added more days on my stay (I asked for 50 days and they gave me 75 days) – it’s because they know that I am happy with my work here and I would never be an illegal immigrant in EU.

Switzerland with my new friends while still having a job

Switzerland with my new friends while still having a job

I believe that if you want a long-ass vacation or break from your job, that means you are in the wrong industry and it means that you are not happy with your job. I am happy to travel for 2 months but those 2 months, I can’t keep thinking about my job back home and I can’t wait to resume my work. It’s because I am passionate about it and I enjoy working.

Ask yourself: “Why would I want to quit my job just to travel?”

I’ll answer it for you! Maybe it’s because:

  • you think that having a full-time work might get in the way of your traveling
  • you think your employer won’t let you travel for more than a month
  • you want to go full-on traveling without working and checking your emails

and I’m here to say that none of these matters just as long as you know the art of negotiation.