Lost in Bangkok Part 1

3:33:00 AM

We, MD-PhD Batch 5 of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, went to Bangkok, Thailand to present their research at the 20th Biological Sciences Graduate Congress in Chulalongkorn University. The congress was from December 9 - 11, 2015 8AM to 5PM. Every night we always go out to tour around the city. Every night has its own epic story to tell. 

We are looking for Khaosan Road at the map

After our first day at the congress, we ate at a restaurant inside MBK mall near Chulalongkorn University. The food was great although they were very spicy. We also learned that meals with shrimps only have three pieces of shrimps. As in all of the shrimp meals we ordered only have three pieces of shrimps. Hahahaha. One weird experience during this night was when an old Thai lady approached us when we were about to pay for our food and she said that we just give her the money and she will use her credit card to pay for the bills. We found her so rude because she just appeared in the middle of nowhere and gave her card to the cashier. Maam Les did not agree and we told the old lady that we will pay in cash because we need the receipts.

One memorable experience during this dinner was when I found out that I did not bring my wallet. I didn't know during that time if I lost my wallet or  just left it in our room. Because I unloaded the things inside my bag when we went home after the congress. I was so worried the whole time we were eating because all of my money was in that wallet. We went home right after eating and praise God I found my wallet on my bed. 

Dinner together at MBK Mall

The second day of the congress ended with the cultural and banquet night. There were several presentations from the participants from different countries. There were plenty of Thai food during the banquet. We are a lot of food during that night. During the awarding ceremony, Sir Paul Medina won first place in the Applied Science and Biotechnology category for poster presentation. He also won in the raffle together with Maam Laarni. 

MD-PhD Batch 5 during the Banquet Night

After the banquet night, we decided to visit Ratchada Night Market. We asked Sophie, volunteer at Siam Journey Guesthouse, for the directions to Ratchada. We divided ourselves into two groups ad we rode taxi to Ratchada. I was with Joanne and Eric. The other group was composed of Nadine, Inah, Eloi and Joker. When our group arrived at Ratchada night market, we did not find the other group. We were expecting them to arrive first but we did not find them. We tried looking for them for around 20 minutes. After that we decided to just go around the market and just meet them at the house. 

Different kinds of Takoyaki at Ratchada Night Market

After visiting the gift items and food stalls, we decided to go back home because it was past midnight during that time and most stores were already closed. When we arrived at Soi Nom Chit, we were surprised because Eloi, Nadine, Joker and Inah just arrived. We left Soi Nom Chit at the same time but we went to different "Ratchada Night Market". The taxi drivers brought us to two different Ratchada market that is why we did not meet each other. But still we arrived to our home at the same time. We had a joke that we all have chemoattractants that pull us together. It's like an invisible form of communication!

Groupie after arriving at Soi Nom Chit from two different Ratchada Night Market

December 11. We had an excursion organized the the staff of the 20th BSGC. The travel agency that handled the excursion was North Thai Tours Co. Ltd. The meeting place for the excursion was at the CU iHouse located near Chulalongkorn University. The photo below shows us trying to figure out the location of CU iHOuse. We were a bit nervous during this time because the call time was at 8AM. It was already 8AM when this photo was taken. After asking for directions from the guard at Chula, we were able to find the location of CU iHouse. It was located at the back of the university. It is a 26-storey on campus dormitory for international students and lecturers in Chula. The organizers of 20th BSGC offered me free accommodation at CU iHouse because I was a poster presenter but I did not avail of the free stay. I chose to stay with my batchmates at Siam Journey Guesthouse. We only Bangkok once and I want to spend the night with my awesome batchmates!

We are trying to figure out the location of CU iHouse

After the excursion, we were dropped at Terminal 21 and asked to ride the skytrain to go back to our house at Soi Nom Chit. There was a big celebration during that day in Bangkok promoting the use of bicycle as a form of transportation. The major roads were closed so the best way to travel was through the skytrain. Before we went home, we visited Terminal 21 and ate in their famous foodcourt. Their foods were so cheap ranging from 30 to 50 baht for a full meal. They use a special card for all transactions at the food court. You can buy card for as low as 100 baht. They vendors just swipe the card for every transactions. The good thing about this system is that the vendors did not have to calculate for changes, they did not have to touch the money which we all know are dirty and it is very efficient. If you did not used up all the money in the card, you can refund the money from them. Amazing.

Eating this duck, chicken, pork meal at 30 baht

After pigging out at Terminal 21, we went to Siam Square to find the souvenir shop of Chulalongkorn University. We bought several CU items from the shop. After visiting the stalls in Siam Square, we decided to visit Khaosan Road because this are is very famous place for backpackers. We decided to ride a 'tuktuk' to Khaosan Road because there are only few taxis during that time since a lot of major roads are closed. You might not believe me but we ride altogether in one tuktuk. I dont why we did that but it was fun although we are all very nervous during the travel from Siam Square to Khaosan. Every time the tuktuk maneuvers, it feels like we are going to fall down. Praise God we arrived safely at Khaosan Road. We stayed there for almost an hour. We bought pasalubong from the stalls there. I bought shirts, shorts and pajamas for my relatives and friends. Khaosan is a very busy street, it has a lot of beer houses with very loud music and a lot of foreigners drinking. I was a bit traumatized after our trip to Khaosan because the I dont like places with very loud music and too many people. We went back to our guest house right after buying pasalubong from Khaosan.

Taking a photo right after arriving at Khaosan Road
Will post the Part 2 of our Bangkok trip soon. Thanks for reading!

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