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#21 jakbkk

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 05:18 PM

Koh Kood island in Trat Province, Easternmost province of Thailand bordering Cambodia

ganda mga islands dito and linaw ang tubig....

i've never seen "split" coconut trees that are joined sa roots pero they curve to form parang heart-shape...ganda

#22 agxo3

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 03:12 AM

More favorite and unusual places -

Willy's Bar and Grill - in Santa Rosa,CA on Old Redwood Highway (just off Hwy 101). Contrary to the name, Willy's does not serve barbeque or grilled cheese sandwiches, Rather, it serves small dished (tapas style) that are very inventive, and very tasty. Along with a great local (Sonoma County) wine list, it's a favorite dinign experience.

sunrise in Sedona, Arizona is best viewed from the parking area just outside the airport. You get a view of the red rock hills and the whole city laid out in front of you. Worth getting up an hour before sunrise togo find your spot (it's alwys crowded there!).

the Roadkill Cafe on old Route 66 in California just before the Arizona border. Lots of bikers with their Harleys.

Bowling Ball Beach off Hwy 1 in northern CA (just south of Fort Bragg) is called that because the beach is covered with almost perfectly round rocks the size of bowling balls. You can only get to the beach at low tide.

Avenue of the Giants aka Old Hwy 101 through the redwoods in northern CA. What a sight! BIIIIIG trees, This is where they filmed parts of one of the Star Wars movies - Return of the Jedi, I think.

In Baguio - the little restaurant right next to the slaughterhouse serves the BEST pork chops. Fresh, tender and perfectly done. Not red and chewy, not hard and dry. Dip in sukang puti with siling labuyo and garlic. Put Vicks in your nose before you go to help cut the smell a bit. :D

Markleeville, CA has a bar where ladies can ge a free drink by giving up their bras to hang from the ceiling. :blink:

La Cabana Taqueria #1 on Old Warm Springs Blvd. in Fremont, CA, for burritos al pastor. (No beans, no rice! just the meat and salsa, please!)

More tomorrow.......

#23 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 01:14 AM

CROWS AND CURRY: THE VISA RUN TO PENANG, MALAYSIA


They are perched on almost every post, ledge, leave and wall in Penang, Malaysia. Black from beak to claw with bead-like eyes that stare back without expression, they sometimes flutter about and emit a toneless squawk that can be construed as a mixture of surprise, suspicion and sensitivity.

The crow is more popularly known as a scavenger and an active forager for a good meal rather than as a harbinger of good fortune. But then there’s hardly anyone who detests their presence on this island that lies on the Strait of Malacca, south of Bangkok and northwest of Kuala Lumpur. Least of all, those who travel to Penang for purposes other than to enjoy its historical and other tourist attractions.

For foreigners who hold jobs in Thailand but do not possess a work permit that would legalize their employment in the kingdom, the quarterly trip to Penang is a fact of life. These constant travelers include a lot of those working on a contractual or part time basis, like musicians, language instructors and get this, even a piano tuner.

This trip is more commonly known as a “visa run” and the objective, to secure from, or renew at, the Thai consulate in Penang a non-immigrant visa. This is just one of many requirements before anyone can even apply for that all-important, thin and passport-sized blue book: the actual work permit.

Many were successful during their first foray, while some experienced the hassle of being turned back several times. There are those who have been doing the visa run for several years, with just a few minor hitches encountered along the way. From someone who did it only twice, there’s that sense of apprehension and the fear of being rejected entry right at the border.

Stories abound on the creativity and resourcefulness of some individuals who react decisively when faced with the possibility of being sent back to the point of origin. My favorite is that on the lead female vocalist of a top band in the Asian hotel circuit who, when border immigration officials expressed doubt on the profession stated on her passport, broke into an almost too-familiar rendition of a song whose title is the same as that of the movie that touches on the life of a charismatic heavyweight boxer, bringing everyone to their feet and pressuring the hapless officials to allow her entry.

Of course, it’s possible to do the visa run somewhere else. Vientiane, Phnom Penh, Hanoi or even Manila are other options but every farang (Thai for foreigner) who does the visa run regularly knows it’s easier, cheaper and faster to do it in this ten-mile wide and twenty-mile long island despite the uncertainties.

Then again, the cross-border journey can actually be fun for those doing it for the first time because there’s also a fair amount of adventure to compensate for the boredom that accompanies traveling to Penang by rail from Thailand.

HOW TO GET THERE

A sleeper leaves Hua Lam Pong train station in Bangkok every Wednesday at 3pm for the town of Butterworth, Malaysia. It’s a 22-hour trip that passes through most of southern Thailand, with few stops along the way. Before noon the next day, every passenger will get off the train just before it enters the Malaysian town of Padang Besar and literally walk to Malaysia once going past the immigration offices of both countries that straddle the border. After the customary passport scrutiny, it’s on to Butterworth for the last leg of the journey.

From there, it’s a five-minute ferry to George Town, the capital of Penang. Next up is a walk right up to the queue of black and yellow taxis for the ride to the Thai consulate where the necessary documents are submitted. All applicants are then asked to return the following afternoon for the release of the visa. One then hurries to Butterworth to catch the return train to Bangkok.

There are other tranport options. You can take the plane at Don Muang airport in Bangkok for the short flight to Penang, although the fare will be about three times the cost of a train ticket. There’s the road trip by bus and/or van that’s a bit inconvenient because it may include several transfers. Wouldn’t recommend driving by yourself either, especially if you’re used to driving on the wrong side of the road, as the English say.

At Padang Besar, immigration authorities could demand that every passenger with an existing tourist or non-immigrant visa show enough cash to justify his/her status. If one is unable to do so, that person can be turned back.



Penang was founded in 1786 by Englishman Francis Light. Soon after, it became one of the most important trading posts in the Far East. Dozens of colonial structures remain standing, with some having mellowed nicely with the times despite the onslaught of dust and pollution. Fact is, Penang was recently included in the World Heritage shortlist.

At the very minimum, the visa run takes four days, particularly if one leaves on a Wednesday and plans to be back in Bangkok by Saturday. This means there’s hardly any time left to go around the island to explore the sights. The same is true also for those traveling on a limited budget. Gallivanting time runs from Thursday afternoon to Friday morning.

Upon arrival during my first trip, I chanced upon an old but well-preserved relic; a 1972 gas-powered Mercedes Benz 200. I hired it immediately and told the driver to take me to the consulate, wait a little while, and then drop me off at a hotel before picking me up the next day at noon for the trip back to the consulate and the quay. As for the fare – I won’t say so that you’ll be able to practice your bargaining skills!

So what’s there to do during an overnight stay in Penang? Not much really. What I did after being given the claim stub for visa was head off right away to one of the local food shops where the smell of curry prevailed. I sampled several curry dishes and had a fill of lassi to cool my tongue. Obviously, the influence of Chinese, Indian and Malay culture has made its mark on Malaysian cuisine, which I will simply describe as something to die for.

The liberal use of spices, which I can’t do without now, made me a habitual consumer of sate and anything else that has curry in it during my six-year sojourn in Thailand.

Thanks to the visa run, I was able to expedite the process for facilitating the granting of a work permit. I was also able to discover the joy of eating sate pork with peanut sauce, cucumber, honey and chili salad, and rice. At the same time, I discovered that crows do not squawk at night. You can’t even see them.

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 10:04 AM

Hanggang Bicol pa lang ang nararating kong malayo eh.. :P Mura ang native bags sa palengke ng Tabaco, Albay.. tipong ang benta rito eh P175.00.. mabibili mo dun ng 3 for P100.00 ;)

Yun lang mashe-share ko.. hehehe :P


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Posted 08 July 2004 - 10:13 AM

CROWS AND CURRY: THE VISA RUN TO PENANG, MALAYSIA

our team on rowing are goin back to thailand again this september to compete, hanap ako ng mga adventure buddies and consider crossing to penang!!! can you still recall what places can we look forward to and the expenses we're goin to incur if ever! thanks! :)

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 10:20 AM

Hanggang Bicol pa lang ang nararating kong malayo eh.. :P Mura ang native bags sa palengke ng Tabaco, Albay.. tipong ang benta rito eh P175.00.. mabibili mo dun ng 3 for P100.00 ;)

Yun lang mashe-share ko.. hehehe :P

kawawa ka naman pare! an daming tourist sites sa albay di mo man pinuntahan, along the way to tabako me hot spring kaming pinuntahan noon eh, actually alam ko madaming hot spring resorts before you reach tabako, albay. my dad is from albay po eh!

and ang daming mabibili sa palengke ng tabako noh! yung tablea, and many more!

and i remember, mga three towns before reaching tabako, me gawaan ng mountaineering slippers na sooooo cheap, white mountain ang pangalan, tumitigil pa nga mga buses dun eh! :)

and nasa bicol ka na rin try visiting the kagsawa ruins and the resort at the foot of mayon! wala lang! :)

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Posted 08 July 2004 - 11:03 AM

Bat naman kawawa? Kakatamad nga mag-biyahe eh.. kakatamad mag-pack and unpack ng things.. :rolleyes:

Oo naman.. napuntahan ko na Cagsawa tska sa Tiwi (yun may hot spring daw dati.. ngayon wala na kse may Geothermal Plant na).. kala mo ha.. alam ko rin yun.. hehehe. :D

Ewan.. basta sa bags lang ako interesado eh.. sa pili nuts nga, hindi rin eh. :P

Sa Legazpi kami madalas mag-stay kse tagaron bf ko. ;)


#28 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:03 AM

our team on rowing are goin back to thailand again this september to compete, hanap ako ng mga adventure buddies and consider crossing to penang!!! can you still recall what places can we look forward to and the expenses we're goin to incur if ever! thanks! :)

rowing...kilala mo ba si jeffrey galindez? no problem about penang. tell me a couple of weeks before you're here so i can give you directions and quotations. pm me pag padating na kayo dito sa bangkok. where is the competition going to be held?

#29 Lipstick

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:34 AM

i have lived in bangkok for nearly a decade. besides the shopping, most tourists, especially the males, make it a point to visit the girlie bars. the three most popular areas in the city are:

patpong (between silom and suriwongse streets) - dozens of bars, night market...this is where the tourists go. touts tug your arm and say "sex show", before flashing a list of "acts" (pussy slicing banana, pussy smoking, pussy cutting paper with blade, among others). every girl in the bar can be taken out. just pay the bar fine plus the fee for the girl. in all about, 2,500 baht ($65). but beware of entering some of the bars because there are hidden charges. even if the tout says no cover charge, there are other charges. i can make recommendations. minsan, may toro sa iilang bars. there is also one bar known by all as the "no hands bar" where you can get a bj while being fed...

Ola sally! I grew up in Bangkok, lived there for about 12 years (circa 70s pa so that makes me quite ancient! :lol:). I spent many a summer in Patpong (no I was not working there! haha) because my father's office was just right there in the middle of the action. ;) Hehe, whenever we would walk down Patpong all the bargirls knew him and called out his name. :lol:

I haven't been back in ages and the genteel Bangkok I made my home has changed immensely. Aside from interesting bar shows, I think what really marks Bangkok in my heart is the exquisite culinary delights one can find at the simple corner hawker row. I miss authentic Khao Man Kai, Kha Moo, Kway Tyew Aryapap, Moo Sate, Kaeng Kai, Khao Kha Pi, Khanom Cheen, La Chong, Khanom Krok, Roti and the list goes on!! I have never tasted cuisine with such a melange of flavors, amazing how the sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste can be found harmoniously in one viand.

Sigh, I miss Krungthep. :cry:

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 08:27 AM

rowing...kilala mo ba si jeffrey galindez? no problem about penang. tell me a couple of weeks before you're here so i can give you directions and quotations. pm me pag padating na kayo dito sa bangkok. where is the competition going to be held?

i dunno,but last year its at ayuttayah and its on September. so your now in bangkok, i dont know jeffrey galindez, anong team nya? if he's rowing here at manila bay also i can easily look for him :) EB tayo when we get there, it would be nice to have fellow pinoys in the competition, moral boosters para sa amin! :)

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 08:34 AM

I think what really marks Bangkok in my heart is the exquisite culinary delights one can find at the simple corner hawker row.

ha ha ha Lipstick, have you tried those deep fried baby frogs with skin, crickets, bugs, scorpions and a bug that looks like a cockcroach? i remember buying a bowl for our pulutan, nakaka 3 cases of singha na kami di pa ubos yung pulutan!!! :lol:

#32 Magaling

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 11:22 AM

London - stay at the Knightsbridge Green Hotel. Relatively inexpensive, cute and charming, a block from Harrod's. Also walking distance from all the big trousist sites. There's a pub a block down the street that has the best combination of beer/ale selections and pub food I've had in recent times in London.

Here are my notes on London:

From Heathrow, the only sensible way to get to your airport is to take the Heathrow Express train going to Paddington Station. Just follow the signs. From Paddington, either take a taxi to your hotel OR if you know which station is closest to where your hotel is, take the subway (or underground as the Brits call it). Note that taking a cab from Heathrow to downtown London is at least £40 (that's $70, stop converting or London will drive you nuts!)

Places to see: There are so many historical sites it all depends on your budget or how much time you have on your hands. What I did the first time I in London was 1) get a good map from the hotel concierge. 2) Figure out how to get to Trafalgar Square. From Trafalgar, pass thru Pall Mall (that’s what the long road is called) which leads to Buckingham Palace. From there, pass thru St. James Park on the way to Westminster Abbey. Then the Parliament and Big Ben. On the way back, look for the road that intersects with Downing Street then Picadilly Circus. What you need is a good map and a pair of good legs for walking. OR you can take the double decker tourist bus. In this case, I can’t help you because I’ve never taken it. I always do my sightseeing the old fashioned way: on foot.

Places to eat: One thing good about London is that they don’t bastardize Asian food the way the Americans do. There are a lot of good Indian, Malay, and Chinese restaurants around. My favorites, there’s one place in Chinatown that I always go to although most of the places I’ve tried were all okay. If you’re craving for Filipino food, go to Earl’s Court. Down the road from the subway station, there’s a good Filipino restaurant there. On budget? Go to a supermarket or grocer (there’s plenty of them around) and buy a sandwich or packed lunches.

I don’t recommend the steak houses that you’ll see around almost every street corner. They are bland. They are expensive. They offer poor service. Definitely not worth it. Your money will be better spent someplace else!

Places to stay: There are a lot of budget hotels in the city. However, please take note that most of them don’t have air-conditioning so if you happen to be traveling in summer, brace yourself for a bit of inconvenience. Otherwise, stick to the business hotels like Marriott or Hilton.

Shopping: Your best bet would be Marks & Spencer. They have branches all over. You can also go to world-famous Harrods. Been there to browse a couple of times but never bought a thing. That place is expensive!

Other things to do: Watch theatre. Go to a pub and have a pint of ale.

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 05:12 PM

CAMIGUIN ISLAND - one of my favorite place. its a 1.5 hour drive from cagayan de oro city to balingoan pier. from the pier it would be another 30 to 45 minute ride, depending on the vessel you have gotten into, the bigger the slower! :)

from camiguin pier, if you dont have anybody to fetch you, you can ride a jeep bound for mambajao - the center of camiguin. or if you dont want to ride a jeep theres a lot of resort provided transportation, its free but you have to check into their resort. :)

there are lots of things to do in camiguin, diving's the number one - you can see the sunken ships and the sunken cross, are just one of the most popular diving sites. swimming - camiguin has a number of sea shores whose sand is comparable to boracay. dont leave the island without visiting the white sand island, its a piece of white sand island that is not visible during high tide.

tapos, they have the katibawasan falls, i think its more than 50ft high and according to locals, its a favorite shooting site for porn movies!!! :lol:

they also have ardent hot spring resort, as in hot talaga!!! :lol: it could literally hurt you balls!!! :lol: anyway there are three pools, and its temperature differs from the other, the hottest is the smallest pool. if you have gone to hidden valley parang ganun ambience. then they also have the sto niño cold spring, extreme naman ang lamig!!! locals said that it was formerly a small natural pool and the barangay had an idea of developing it. the resort is nice and in a scale of ten, i would give an 8 for its exoticness!!! its nice pag honeymooners!!! malamig eh!!! :lol:

you could also explore the more than eight volcanos of camiguin, and on one of the volcano me staion of the cross which is visited especially during the holy week. :)

FOOD TRIP - merong fishpond located more or less five kilometers away from the pier of camiguin na laman ay saltwater fishes, as in lahat buhay!!! the food is cheap!!! you can actually eat them raw!!! sarap!!! there you could appreciate drinking a case of beer!!! he he he :lol:

if you're the extreme type, how about trying to mountain bike the island??? it will only take you a day!!! you're goin to enjoy it, dami foreigners na braless na naglalakad lang or naka bike lang!!! har har har!!! :lol:

thanks for those has been posting here!!! :) :cool:

#34 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 01:27 AM

Ola sally! I grew up in Bangkok, lived there for about 12 years (circa 70s pa so that makes me quite ancient! :lol:). I spent many a summer in Patpong (no I was not working there! haha)
I haven't been back in ages and the genteel Bangkok I made my home has changed immensel...I miss authentic Khao Man Kai, Kha Moo, Kway Tyew Aryapap, Moo Sate, Kaeng Kai, Khao Kha Pi, Khanom Cheen, La Chong, Khanom Krok, Roti and the list goes on!! I have never tasted cuisine with such a melange of flavors, amazing how the sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste can be found harmoniously in one viand.

Sigh, I miss Krungthep. :cry:

they say the pinoys brought back to life a few dead, english words...like viand. yes, the food is still great, delicious and ridiculously cheap...in what capital city can you have three meals for less than 100 baht (about $2.50)? sarap talagang kumain dito...hope you can visit soon.

#35 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 01:31 AM

i dunno,but last year its at ayuttayah and its on September. so your now in bangkok, i dont know jeffrey galindez, anong team nya? if he's rowing here at manila bay also i can easily look for him :) EB tayo when we get there, it would be nice to have fellow pinoys in the competition, moral boosters para sa amin! :)

i was just in ayutthaya this weekend. sure, let's meet up when your team is here. don't know jeffrey's team and haven't seen him in years. last time he was here, he gave a t-shirt with "power in every stroke" written at the back.

#36 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 01:43 AM

more on camiguin...

visited the island in 99...it actually has more volcanoes than municipalities (7:5). when going around, hire a motorela or the mini-cabs. try to visit during the lanzones festival (october ata). white island is actually a sandbar (yung nasa pal postcard and poster of camguin). also worth checking out is mt. hibok-hibok. a day-long climb that's a bit tiring for the inexperienced. for divers, make sure to visit mantigue islet. incredible variety of fish and crystal clear waters. i am not a diver and was just sitting on a boat a few kilometers from mantigue, pero kitang-kita ko yung marine life even though it's about 7 feet under. medyo ot, but if you're really planning a dive, stay at mantangale alibuag dive resort, about an hour's drive from cagayan de oro city. the owner has a boat and is a regular diver. plus, ang sarap ng coconut crab served at the resort. have fun!!!

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:00 AM

sally: ty bro! :)

ILIGAN CITY - its also a 1.5 hour drive from cagayan de oro city. majority of population are christians and a little portion being near to Marawi City are moslems. there are not much to do in iligan city. but when you're there, visit ma. cristina falls, an awesome 70foot falls. awesome, because from the observation ramp you can actually feel the ramp rumbling from its force! and imagine providing electricity almost the whole of misamis oriental and lanao del sur and norte!

the best is the tinago falls! its hard to reach, but you're goin enjoy the sight of it! its also a thing that you're goin to remember for the rest of you're life! there's a resort near the falls where you can check in.

there is nothing much in iligan city, ordinarily you would only buy the famous chedeng's roasted peanut. fruits on season are cheap. night life? havent find a place that is worth mentioning. anywayz, cagayan de oro is only 1.5 hour drive goin back! dun ka na lang!!! he he he :cool:

happy travelling!!! :lol:

#38 Magaling

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:34 AM

I'm kinda hoping somebody will post something on Vigan. I've always been fascinated by the pictures I see and it's one of the places in the country I've always wanted to go to if given the chance.

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:42 AM

I'm kinda hoping somebody will post something on Vigan. I've always been fascinated by the pictures I see and it's one of the places in the country I've always wanted to go to if given the chance.

been there bro, to post tommorow :cool:

#40 sally bogna mathay

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 03:44 PM

sally: ty bro! :)

ILIGAN CITY - the best is the tinago falls! its hard to reach, but you're goin enjoy the sight of it! its also a thing that you're goin to remember for the rest of you're life! there's a resort near the falls where you can check in.

there is nothing much in iligan city, ordinarily you would only buy the famous chedeng's roasted peanut. fruits on season are cheap. night life? havent find a place that is worth mentioning. anywayz, cagayan de oro is only 1.5 hour drive goin back! dun ka na lang!!! he he he :cool:

happy travelling!!! :lol:

teka muna pareng yum yum, mukhang we all go to the same places!

do you remember how many steps led to tinago falls? can't recall either but it was really tiring going back up. stayed there for a day. the family of gma has a house in iligan where her picture with bill clinton is displayed. lalim ng basin ng tinago falls, someone said more than 20 feet daw. i also remember the chedeng peanuts kasi maganda yung tindera na medyo tisay at dyed ang buhok. you're right, walang nightlife sa iligan, but why bother when cagayan de oro is very near.




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