No idea where this place is? Neither did I till I googled: Places to go near Bangkok. she is famous for her Death Railway, if you've watched The Railway Man starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, you'd know what I am talking about. And yes as the title suggested, I went to this unfamiliar place alone, and trust me I loved every moment of it. (Before you doubt me, the pictures of me are either taken by my driver or I used a selfie stand.)
There are a few ways to get to Kanchanaburi like driving, taking the bus or minivan as well as the train. I chose the last option, 1: I've never sat in an old, air con-less train before; 2: they say the scenery is beautiful. I stayed near Khao San Road the night before as I felt it was near to THONBURI TRAIN STATION, the most direct line to Kanchanaburi, there are only 2 trains going there, one at 0745 and 1335. Due to the terrible traffic, a 12- minute journey turned to a 43-minute ride in a taxi, I thought I was going to miss my train, I ran like my life depended on it. The fee will always be 100 THB, no air conditioning, just natural breeze. I have to warn you though the dust particle might be too much for some. After 2 hours, I finally reached.
I stayed at THE NINE GUESTHOUSE, booked through booking.com. Its only a 5-minute walk from KANCHANABURI STATION, you have to cross the road and walk pass CHUNGKAI CEMETERY and the THAI-BURMA RESEARCH CENTRE (0900 - 1700). Its a standard, normal guesthouse, with a yard in front of the rooms and a cafe beside, just in case you are the every-morning-must-drink-coffee type. What I loved the most was the owner, she is super friendly, and helped me get a driver to go to attractions that are too far for a fair price. The room was enough for 2, with a king size bed , air condition as well as a private bathroom equipped with soaps and towels for only 711 THB. After settling, I began my little adventure.
Hellfire pass (0900 - 1600) is about 1.5 hour from the city, you can always ride the bus from Kanchanaburi bus station (take the bus to Thong Pha Phum) but it was already 12 by then, I wanted to maximise my time so I got a driver instead. Please bring a hat, sun block. most importantly mosquito repellent, I've only walked for 5 minutes and I was already scratching all over. The entrance is FREE, I really encourage you to get the audio guide ( again no money required, just give them your ID), its informative and emotional, hearing what kind of conditions they were in at that time was really painful. They have a shorter route of 500m (one round and you go back to the entrance, trust me its tiring enough), and also a longer route where you'll walk all the way to the other side, if you have a driver, get them to wait for you there.
Let's talk briefly about Hellfire pass' (Konyu Cutting) history; its a difficult section of the line to build, 26 m deep 500 m long. the POWs Australians, British, Dutch and other allies) were forced by the Japanese to work long hours and many died from cholera, dysentery, starvation, exhaustion etc. As you walk between the rocks, you can see flags and kind words from travellers especially from said countries being displayed there.
We left for Sai Yok Noi Waterfalls (0800 - 1800) after, it was on the way to and from Hellfire pass. Noi means small, and yes it was a small waterfall. The water is clean. the location is very well-shaded, very suitable for a little picnic session. Across the road from the waterfall there are a few shops selling local snacks as well as a 7e. We only stayed for 30 minutes and left for my most anticipated attraction.
As you head to the Death Railway, there are shops selling clothes, souvenirs and more. Honestly, I was very nervous about this site, because again of its WWII history. I was mesmerised, the view was amazing as I walked along the railway tracks I couldn't help but feel calm. It was so peaceful, in contrast of the pain and suffering the POWs had encounter whilst constructing the railway. I suggest that you take a walk on the track and just enjoy the serenity that comes with it. You can look up Thai-Burma Railway to have a full understanding of what was going on at the time. Unfortunately for me, I can't stay too long because it started raining, my driver and I ran back to our vehicle as fast as possible. We decided to head to Prasat Mueng Sing Historical Park (0800 - 1700) which was located about 30 minutes away from the Death Railway.
Prasat Mueng Sing Historical Park to me is like a mini Angkor Wat. I've always loved ancient ruins and you can guess how excited I was when I got to see these architectures. Of course having had a chance to visit Angkor Wat itself, the historical park wasn't extremely "breathtaking" but beautiful in its own way. It was about 5 pm, and we decided it was time to go back to the guesthouse.
There's actual a vegetarian restaurant beside the guest house, but I chose to walk another 3 minutes to another vegetarian restaurant, On's Thai Issan which offer vegetarian cooking classes as well. The food was delicious, that I had to order 2 dishes, and that's a lot for somebody who can't really finish a whole bowl of something. Do order to Tom Sap, it deserves so many thumbs-ups. After that, I walked to Kanchaburi Train Station to explore Kanchanaburi Night Market. Like every other night market, they sell food and clothes amongst other things, not to mention a foot massage for 60THB, products are relatively cheap. The next day was going to be a long one, so I went back early to rest, apart from a few bars and the night market, there's nothing much to do at night anyway.
(my morning started with a good 1.5 km hike up a mountain and a 30-minute swim at Erawan Falls (0800 - 1630), still trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle even when traveling, LOL. We left the guesthouse at 0800 and reached Erawan National Park at about 0915. You can also take a bus from the bus terminal, the earliest bus is at 0800, but it'll take you about 2 hours to get up here. An entrance fee of 300 THB is required for foreigners. There are 7 tiers to this waterfall and the higher you go the more beautiful the waterfall gets, at least in my opinion. A lot of tourists will hang around the first few tiers, and by a lot I really do mean A LOT. The water was cooling and clear, a beautiful colour of green/ blue, a site to behold indeed. To hike up to the 5th tier onwards, it was really a challenge, but I don't give up easily and I was glad, because the 7th tier was my paradise. My driver liked the 5th tier, the only reason why I didn't like it was because of the fishes, they kept "biting" my dead skin away, WHAT IF I LIKED MY DEAD SKIN, FISHES? WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO EAT ME! It took us about 2 and 1/2 hours to go hike up and down, that was always because we only swam in 2 out of 7 tiers. After a quick change of clothes, we got food and left for Srinagarind Dam (0800 - 1800) (this was my driver's suggestion, he said since we are in the area)
Needless to say, I was overwhelmed, the view is too breathtaking, its like a painting, I'd assume heaven looks like this. There's nothing much to do there, but a few things to look at like the sun dial and a place to pray. I was more focused on the view, I just stood there like a mannequin. The guy right there, my driver, and now my friend.
After a quick shower and a simple checking out procedure, I decided to head to the bridge over the River Kwai. Again, lots of tourist, maybe it also had to the with the fact I went during their holiday. The bridge has platforms on the side so when the train comes, you won't die. As I was walking along the bridge, there was a train so the experience was exhilarating. JEATH museum was 5 minutes away, I usually loved going to museums, but I didn't really enjoy this one, I thought it lacked a system.
And that's the end of my trip to Kanchanaburi. I took a mini van (Win Happy company) from Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal back to Bangkok at 5pm and reached about 8pm. It was not a bad ride. I am definitely coming back again, there's so many more things I felt I have not got the chance to see, like the Elephant camps (proper, non-abusive, for the elephants kind). Till then, I am signing off for now.
2017 was anything but ordinary to me, I learnt and felt so much, the work, the people (some came and gone), the emotions and the realisation.
the start of 2017 wasn't great, I lost my angel, my sweet sweet Doggie. She was sick and old, hence we had to put her to sleep and it was the most heartbreaking sight. I couldn't be there, my brother had to Facetime me, but it was equally heart wrecking, She wasn't just a pet, she was family. And here's to you, Doggie <3
I've gotten more roles this year, some features, some supporting but all of them different, all of them challenging. From forcing me to face my fear of heights, to being all innocent and sweet, from modern dramas to my first try at period dramas, some easy some difficult some got me crying in the middle of the night and some got me laughing all day long. In the end I am grateful, I get to wear a wedding dress for the first time, I get to work with different actors local and international, I get to be a glamorous model, as well as a maid at the bottom of the status quo. I get to be whoever I want.
I picked up Muay Thai, and It was HARD! Although I manage to be consistent for only a few months, unfortunately I have stopped for now. Muay Thai really trains you, not only physically, but also mentally. My Krus were very professional and they demanded the best and that's what I need. I am lazy and I need somebody to push me to work out and yes they did that very well. Whenever I felt like giving up, they would push me, whenever I feel like I am at the edge, they make sure I would go further and that made me realise I am stronger than I thought I was.
Much love to Cross Muay Thai, if you ever want to pick up something new, you can try Muay Thai.
feel Girl Star Search 2016, but the prize giving ceremony was January 11th this year. It was another cool platform indeed, I have my fair share of beauty pageant experiences, and Ifeel gave their girls a whole lot of different exposures, from videos to radios to prints. It was really something different and I am glad I was a part of it, although I only won best actor. The funny story was I was in my seat, eating popcorn and just chilling and the PIC beside me was like: "Stop eating you are up next!" and I was like:"No, I really don't think I'd win anything." and up I go on stage.
I did a few commercials, short videos as well as music videos this year as well. One of the commercials was for China and I get to meet 2 new chinese friends, and that was great. I got to work with Baki Zainal, someone whom I admire, I love his attitude towards his work and how great he is at it, being trilingual is a plus point. I got to work with James' on a short, I've always wanted to and this year was the first time working with him, hopefully there's more to come, because It was a great experience, I loved working with him and his team. I had the privilege to work with Innisfree, never have I thought I could do a skin care product video, because you know I have a darker skin tone. To be able to work with Tom for Taiwan. is also the highlight of my year, so good looking it was really hard for me to focus. Click on the pictures for some of my work, there's a link in it somewhere.
I got laser treatment for my face, like finally. I am always doubtful about beauty products or treatments but this really works, and I always go around telling people to try laser, mine was Carbon Peeling treatment, my pores are tighter, my skin brighter and apart from the usual pimples due to hormones, my face is usually clear and bright.
Much love to Klinik KYONG for making me beautiful, and honestly if you don't have the time to sit through a facial of 2 hours, I would suggest laser , its only 15 minutes.
I got to be a part of an award winning movie and that's a blessing enough
I've always wanted to try to go into the malay entertainment industry I am not there yet, but I've done a few malay dramas this year and its also a blessing. I got to be a mother, a secretary and a rocker. I got to learn how to ride a horse, to carry an infant and to play the bass. I met a lot of nice people, experienced actors and kind hearted seniors who pushed me to go further and gave me encouragement when I needed them, thank you. My next goal is to perfect my Bahasa Malaysia.
My first award ceremony, the Golden Award. I felt so honoured not just to be invited, also to walk the red carpet, its definitely a first, and I will always remember these moments. When I knew I was to walk the red carpet, it was less than 2 week till D day, and I was going crazy looking for a dress, and I got it, again much love to the amazing Kate Mosella for this gorgeous gown and comfortable shoes, not to forget Backstage Academy for beautifying this lazy girl up. You guys are awesome, you guys made me shine as bright as I could that night.
I got to travel to places I've always wanted to, a much needed break from nonsenses in life, if you get my drift. Initially I was suppose to go to Bangkok alone but my friend decided to join, which was unexpected and made the trip even more fun. I went to Korea with my family and you know OPPAS! I took the train and travelled around KL, it was a new experience and not one I will repeat anytime soon.
One of my best friends got married and it was a truly joyous occasion, the first amongst my friends to step into that new chapter of our lives, so its pretty exciting, at the same time, it got me scared because I am so not ready yet, definitely. We went to Bilut Hills, Raub for her bachelorette party, and it was the first time any of us tried ATVs. I felt like I was part of the Charlie's angels, of course I am going to do this again. Another friend of mine is currently studying abroad, Japan, the land of the rising sun, and its cool but we'd be apart for a few years and that's actually scary, we all have to get out of our comfort zones one way or another right?
Emotionally, 2017 was a roller coaster ride, it has its perks, acting wise I got better because I have feelings now. *insert awkward laugh* I wanted to write about my heartbreaks in this blog, but somehow I couldn't , at least not yet. Also some friends may come and go, and some you will take years to realise, that person may not have your best interest at heart, but its okay, in the end you still have some that do, and that's all it matters. Some are still here now, and maybe when I recap 2018, they won't be in my life anymore but here here , and cheers to those who are still in our lives right now. I am thankful, for the 3am talks with beers and cup noodles, I am grateful for the random beach picnics and house parties, I appreciate our crying sessions in the car when he broke my heart, I am blessed with your presences and your patiences with me. Thank you for being in my 2k17, and hopefully you'll stay throughout 2018.
tI wanted to go to the beach, but all of a sudden I had this bright idea, you know what maybe I should explore Kuala Lumpur. as if that wasn't enough, I decided to travel by train! brilliant, very touristy of me indeed. On normal days, It wouldn't be an issue I guess, but it was raining, so I get to involuntarily play in the rain. Yay!
My friends and I met up in KL sentral at 1230, and embarked on our journey in our own city. From KL sentral we sat the KTM to Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. The station is beautiful, it gave me a Harry Potter feel, I would love to shoot something there one day. However, there's a construction site which ruined the view, but I believe it was a sight to behold before this. Our first destination was supposedly the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, we walked for about 20 minutes across the station and everything,it started raining heavily, so we had no choice but to turn back and head to Pasar Seni LRT, just beside the KTM station. It was disappointing. We sat the train from Pasar Seni - KLCC, in hopes to visit Petrosains (I had great memories there when I was a child, and I was so looking forward to it). After lunch about 3 we went and the queue was horrendously long, and the next time slot was at 1630, and we might even have to wait another hour after just to get in. I felt extremely dejected. After these setbacks, we decided to go back to the Bird Park since it stopped raining.
We went back to Pasar Seni LRT, walked across, and started walking uphill. Funny how the internet said it was an easy walk or you can sit the bus but somehow, it was a terrible walk and there was no RapidKLs up there. We walked bout 25 - 30 minutes, mind you uphill. We were on the verge of giving up, then this kind taxi picked us up for free and sent us there. THE ONLY WAY UP WAS BY TAXI, after asking the receptionist there, oh how the internet has lied to me, unless really you don't mind an intense work out. Finally we are at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. The entrance fee for myKad holders is RM 27, and much more expensive for non-myKad holder, much much more expensive. Its nice because the birds run or fly freely, you get to see peacocks, hornbills and parrots uncaged, and roaming about. It was really pleasing to the eyes. I would say the amount was well spent.
We learnt our lesson, and wanted to sit the taxi to Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square), but the taxi was a premium taxi so it costed more, so we decided to Grab (about RM8) instead, it was more worth it. it was about 8 minutes, and we reached Dataran Merdeka and the Sultan Abdul Samad building. It started to drizzle when we arrived, but we didn't care that much about it. There was a Expo Negaraku 2017 going on that day, a lot of food stall, and none of them sold what I wanted from their menus, so naturally I got pissed, not to mention the rain came back again, and it was so heavy we decided to just end our trip there by Uber-ing back.
It took forever for our Uber to come, but as we were waiting the rain stopped again, so we decided to walk to a place where the traffic won't be as congested. We walked passed the River of Life, as we were walking we came into Chinatown, and the further we walked we came to Petaling Street. Its about an 8-minute walk I would say. Of course being Petaling Street, there was looks of food vendors and stalls selling fake branded items. We ate ApomBalik and drank Air Mata Kucing. It was the best part of the day I guess. I too had an awkward conversation with a friend whom I have not met for awhile.
Friend: Hi Joyce.
Friend: How are you?
Me: Good, you?
Me: okay, I gotta go. Bye.
In my defence, I was having a bad day, I look horrible because of the rain and I was eating hungrily.
We got hungry, so we decided to head to a cafe that if you browse the net for a good cafe, it'd be here: Merchant's Lane. The decor is beautifully done, no doubt, but the food, ahem, maybe it was an offday for them? I couldn't even finish my Cow's food, no literally the name of the dish was Cow's food, it was vegetarian pesto spaghetti, a very dry one, not to mention expensive.
After that we took a Grab to KL central, even when it was only a 5-minute walk to Pasar Seni MRT. We were just too tired. Back in KL sentral, I ate my comfort food, Llao Llao and we headed home to our own comfort zones. All in all, it wasn't a good day for us, because of the weather, and the extra walking, but nonetheless Kuala Lumpur has a lot to offer maybe the timing was a little off for us.
What I had issues with was that public transportation wasn't really direct in a way, there was a lot of walking and the directions wasn't clear, signage wasn't really accurate. Public transport customer services wasn't the friendliest people i've met in Malaysia, so that's that, they were quite rude, and its a bit sad because we pride ourselves with our tourism and friendliness and to be mistreated by a fellow Malaysian is just disappointing.
An Aquarius actress seeking for the meaning of life: good food, good friends, good places, good music, basically everything that is good.