Sunflower Fields Forever

Hello! Finally able to start on this. As I’ve mentioned, I just came from a holiday in Thailand, and since this has been my 3rd time in Bangkok, I’ll just post about the places I haven’t been to before or wasn’t able to blog about the first time I went. Soooo, without further ado, I will share with you our trip to the sunflower fields in Lopburi, Thailand.

Lopburi is a fairly small province in Central Thailand some 150 kilometers North of Bangkok. It’s around 2-3 hours ride from Bangkok, depending of your mode of transportation. You can either hire a private taxi to and from Bangkok, take a van from Victory Monument or a bus from Mo Chit, or take the train from Hua Lamphong Station. As for us, we took the van from Victory Monument. Getting to Lop Buri from Bangkok was easy, getting to the sunflower fields was a different thing altogether (I’ll get to that a bit later).

How we got there

Being DIY people as we are, we insisted on taking the public van to Lopburi from Victory Monument.   If you have read my bangkok post on going to Amphawa Market, it’s same van terminal. We would have taken the train if we were able to reserve tickets but when we did try to reserve tickets two weeks before our trip, it was already sold out.  Every year the State Railway of Thailand will organize trips to visit sunflower fields. You can check the details from its website and you can call 1690 for more information. The organized trips are only during weekends of December and can be full as early as the first week of December.

Earlier on we were already reading up on blogs and other stuff in the internet about how to go there and it seemed pretty easy, or so we thought. One early Monday morning we went to the van terminal in Victory Monument, bought the one way ticket to Lop Buri from one of the counters and told the lady we are going to see the sunflower fields. I guess this is the part I failed because I assumed that the lady would’ve told the driver that that’s where we were heading. It seemed easy enough based on this post to go there, but we didn’t see the signage she talked about. Anyways, we bought the ticket for 110 baht/person and waited for boarding. The van to Lopburi leaves every hour and we were to leave at 9am. I asked the girl from the counter to tell me when our van arrived and she herself accompanied us to the van (hence, I thought she told the driver that we are going to the sunflower fields).  After about 10 minutes, we were off. It was a 2 hour drive, with one stop in Petchaburi. When we were nearing LopBuri, we were looking out for the sunflower signs but we didn’t see any. So when we reached the terminal in Lopburi, we tried to ask the lady in front of me how we can go to the Sunflower Fields. To make the long story short, she took us to a terminal with private vans and was able to tell them of our plans, hence they offered us a private van that would take us to the fields and take us back to Bangkok. After haggling the price we were able to agree on 2000 Baht for the driver/van services to the sunflower fields and back to Bangkok (Mo Chit BTS station).

Sunflower Fields

Sunflower Fields

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Exploring the Chao Phraya River

Day 3 – Temple Run, Thai Massage and Dinner Cruise

Grand Palace

This day started early and ended pretty late so you could say it was a long day of running around temples, riding in boats and eating leisurely.  We made arrangements with my friends, who flew in the night before and stayed in a different hotel, to meet at Saphan Taksin BTS Station before 9 am. From there we walked to the Central Pier Station and boarded the Chao Phraya Express boat, the one with the green flag, to reach our first destination, N9 Tha Chang Pier Station where the Grand Palace is located.  Note that at the Central Station there will be a ticket booth selling the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat (with the blue flag) for 150Baht which gives tourists unlimited ride to 8 piers for one whole day. Sounds reasonable, but it’s actually unnecessary to purchase this since you will only get to ride the boat a maximum of 6 times for one day of touring the spots.  The first time we went here we purchased it and only got to ride it 4 times, which would only cost us about 60 baht (for 15 baht per ride), so it was really a waste. This time, I did my research and noted that for each flag color, there’s a specific route, and as long as you got in the right boat you’ve nothing to worry about.  The Piers to remember are N9 Tha Chang (Grand Palace), N8 Tha Tien (Wat Pho & Wat Arun), and N3 Si Phraya Pier (River City Shopping Complex).

First stop, the Grand Palace!  We alighted at the Tha Chang Pier Station, and from there walked to the Grand Palace complex.  It’s not so hard to find since once you come out of the market area the complex will be in full view.  After paying the entrance fee of 500 baht per pax, we went inside the palace grounds.  It is important to note that there is a proper dress code when entering the palace, so make sure that you’re wearing the proper attire or risk having to use the attire they rent out.  It must be holiday in other countries because there were a lot of tourists that it was difficult to have our photos taken without anyone else in the background.

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Thailand Holiday

May 30 –  June 2, 2013

I finally had a chance to go out of the country for a holiday.  Initially, the plan was to go to Cambodia. But my sister already booked for her trip to BKK more than 6 months ago and she was looking for someone to accompany her. So my friends and I decided on Bangkok instead.  I arrived 2 days earlier than them so I can be with my sister and we just met during one of the days for a city tour.  Since this is our (me and my sister) second time to go here, we decided to ditch the usual tours and go to places we haven’t been to before.

I reached Bangkok around 12MN BKK time and took a taxi to my hotel.  I showed the driver the printout address of Takeanap although he was acting confused and telling me (in Thai language) that he didn’t know the area.  Thankfully, he had a mobile phone that I used to call my hotel and give the instructions to the driver.   It is important to note that Thailand is not really an English speaking country, so it was really hard to communicate with the locals.

TakeaNap

This would be our (me and my sister) second time to stay in this cute hostel located near Patpong.  Yes, it is located near the red light district of Bangkok.  The first time we stayed there was back in 2010 with my other sister and a friend.  We liked their service, plus the rates are cheap and there’s free breakfast and WiFi.  We liked it so much that we recommended it to our friends, including Babe who also stayed there when she went to visit BKK.  🙂  And it was also convenient as it was near the railway stations:  Sala Daeng Station (BTS Skytrain) and SamYan Station (MRTA Subway).

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