Swimming in Bangkok

We arrived in Bangkok last week and we have been swimming twice every day. The weather is lovely, it rained most nights and yesterday afternoon too. I am waiting for the downpour tonight though it might not happen as it does not have that humidity that comes before the rain.

The pool temperature is nice not too cold or hot. It is refreshing and the sun is out of the pool by three for afternoon swim.

This time of year is not busy with tourists yet. State schools in the west are not due to break up until next week and the local schools here have only just started the school year last month. It means we have a ‘private pool’ nearly all the time. It is fun to have a few groups sometimes but they are regulars so it is normal. A 25 metre pool 5 minutes near the BTS Wongwianyai is a good find in the city.

The restaurant of the hotel has been shut though which is a shame because we occasionally eat there or used to dine there after our swim or when I could not think of anything to cook. Days before we leave we normally pack our things and eat out 2 out of 3 meals a day which puts our minds to leaving mode. Our favourite noodle restaurant just outside the hotel had also shut because the man who runs it is ill. We found a new place to have lunch which is a 3 minute bicycle ride away but I cannot imagine going there in the middle of summer.

Well, there are pluses and minuses. Funny phrase. As we are only here for three weeks a few new finds and old things to do would be enough.

Places to go in Bangkok with kids

In two weeks’ time we are flying back to the UK. Here are a few places that we went to in Bangkok this time.

  1. Children’s Discovery Museum in Chatuchak. This is a handy place to go to. It is free of charge, easy to find and get to. Take the BTS to Mo Chit and it is a few minutes walk from there. They have an outdoor playground and fountain area to cool down. Indoors is fully air conditioned which is helpful when it is hot outside. The place is open from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon. We always go to JJ Mall for lunch which is a stone’s throw away and after lunch there is a choice of going back to the museum or shopping in the mall.
  2. Sea Life Ocean World. We have been twice with the help of a discount travel agent. R had fun watching the penguins, sharks, sting ray, sea horses and different colours of fish which she has seen on tv. It was like dream come true. The ticket agent could be contacted on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/traveliciouzbymelody?fref=ts&ref=br_tf  It is at the basement of Siam Paragon which is an interchange station of the Sky train so it makes the visits easy.
  3. Snake Farm. It is a compelling place for adults and children alike. The people who work there are passionate and respectful of the resident reptiles. It is interesting to know that not all snakes are dangerous.
  4. Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Temple of the Reclining Buddha and Temple of Dawn are a must go to place whenever we visit the city. We normally start the trip by getting on an orange flag boat, not the tourist boat, to see the city on a different angle then we get off at Tha Tien and go around Wat Pho first then take a ferry over to Wat Arun. After we climb Wat Arun and taken in the view of the place around it, exit at the back and look for a coffee shop or a local place to eat. Since we stay on the Thonburi side of town a bus or taxi ride back is always fun.
  5. Wat Traimit. It is amazing to see a Golden Buddha of 3 metres high and 5.5 tonnes.  A walk from there to the main railway station, Hua Lamphong which is 5 minutes away to watch trains come and go as well as people watching is one thing to do. There are places to eat around the station and the subway station is there too to carry on the fun.
  6. The Mall Thapra’s play area. An hour of fun with slides, climbing equipment, sand table, fishing table, a few musical instruments and ball pit for the children which means an hour of quiet time for parents while watching them play.
  7. Maha Chai Railway market. Take a commuter train early morning from Wongwianyai which takes around 50 minutes. It is a fun train journey. The fun does not stop there because the train stops at the market or the market is at the train station. Walk around the market, cross over the Tha Chin river and walk around the local area to the Baan Laem train station that will take you to Maeklong Market. We only go to the temple that looks out the other side of the river to watch boats unload their catch. Go back to Maha Chai, have lunch and catch a train back to Wongwianyai.
  8. Local market. Plenty of things to see and buy. From vegetables to fish, cooking materials, clothing, and freshly cooked food. Lots of vocabulary to learn and a feast to the palate.

There are a lot of places in store to visit but for a three year old staying in a place with a 25 metre pool to go to every day bring loads of fun.

New year

We have been in Bangkok for two months now and still have no desire to go back. It is getting hottter now though. The hot season is coming and it will become unbearable to go out of the compound after 10 in the morning. With two weeks in December without much work for M it was quite nice to get up, cook, have breakfast, go for a swim and relax a bit. Every single day from the day we arrived until the day before Christmas were hectic and annoying for me. I could not think of a reason to smile. It was because each day from morning until night time M was in front of his laptop. Admittedly he works from home and it makes a difference in R’s life to see daddy everyday but all the stress at work is always around. R gets to play with daddy in the mornings but most of the time it would be me and her.

Fortunately, my sister and my niece who is six were here for a month which was a  relief at times. To be told that to have my family is stressful is wrong. To spend for my family and insinuate that we are asked to buy them things is a lot of stress for me. I do not want to see any of my relatives anymore if things like this come up again and again I am not comfortable to  even think about invting my family oveer.

R and her cousin had arguments in the first two weeks of playing together. It was their first meeting so two different personalities clashed. There were tears at time but in the second half of their time they played well together. I heard them do role plays a lot. They played in the small pool sometimes but since G was not coomfortable in the water yet she was squeaky at times. R did her own thing, she swam and then played with her toys which she.shared with cousin reluctantly sometimes.

We had to go for a visa run in Vientiane the mroning that my sister was going home. It was sad to come back to the place without being able to see them again which I am sure will be for ages. I did not see my sister for five years. Last time I saw her was back in Beijing. I was not able to go back and see them again either in China or the Philippines because of financial reasons. I had two jobs after I left China but it was enough to pay for my rent at the training area for my course, food and projects to finish what I enrolled in.

It was lovely to see her and my niece even though there were tough times when differences in socialisation between the children were apparent. I hope that there will be a next time to see them and in a better place too.

We did touristy things like temple visits, went on boat rides, tuktuk and bus rides, a bit of shopping in Chinatown and a couple of malls, a short train journey and early lunch overlooking an estuary. We went to the snake farm, the aquariom, children’s museum and few trips to tthe park. We spent a lot of time indoors and let the children play. When we got fed up cooking because meal times was a chore we ate out. Bangkok is an easy place to find food at and we can afford to relax a little.

Back to the three of us for two days and M will work with someeone from New Zealand for two weeks and the countdown to go back will be on.

Siam Ocean World trip

We all went to Ocean World on Monday. It was fun to see all the animals with R. She skipped, hopped and ran to see the sea horses, penguins, sharks or every sea creature that were there. Throughout the day and before bed we talked about the animals that we saw there and sharks and the little blue fish were the ones she remembered the most. I was able to buy the ticket for nearly half the price if we bought the ticket at the aquarium. That was another plus to the trip.

We are flying back to the UK tomorrow morning. It is the end of our holiday but we might come back soon who knows. If not it will be looked forward to.

24 months and 10 days in Bangkok

We are in Bangkok until the middle of the month. R turned two on the 23rd. We went to Wat Pho and she was very happy about that. We took the BTS and the boat to the temple which was already a treat to her. She asked for her picture to be taken with the reclining Buddha. Flashed a smile and voila a photo to keep. We found the school grounds at the temple and there was a little play area which made her morning. We went on the boat again to grab lunch before we headed back to our room. It was a lovely day for all of us.

At 2 years and 10 days she is very chatty and expressive. She says what she wants to say like after she has put her father’s goggles on top of his nose she said that it is ridiculous and then laughed.

I should keep a record of what she comes up with.

She is practicing to jump in the pool, kick more, put her face in the water, blow bubbles as well. She goes for 45 minutes to an hour most days depending on the weather and how she is when she wakes up in the afternoon. It has been hot in the past couple of weeks and we are suffering. I wish that I could do something to ease that sticky feeling for her and her dad. Otherwise we might not come back to Asia in the summer again.

Threading, uses clips, rolls and throws balls, helps me prepare rice, cuts vegetables, eats rice from the pot, puts on and takes off her clothes, says bilis when she needs the potty (well, this one needs more encouragement and practice), sings all the songs that I have been singing to her since day one.

For a week now she really is running not just walking fast but running. She puts on her shoes and goes out the door most of the time.

Since she can say what is in her mind she is strong minded. I always need to take a deep breath and remind myself that she is her own person and she is young. She is still learning I know but she makes me go mental too. She seem to not listen 80 percent of the time when I ask her to tidy or get dressed or stay with me when daddy is going out or he is busy. She might grow out of it soon or not but I hope that she does because I do not feel needed when she does that.

In 14 days time we will go back to where we will be in the next 4 years. I need to do some shopping. I need to set up a classroom or an area for R to concentrate in and practice her motor skills, independence, coordination and to be able to start some Montessori lessons.

23 months old

My baby R is 23 months old today. She is mixing Filipino and English. She adds ing to Filipino words like tulog+ing=sleeping. Any verbs she uses she adds ing whenever she is doing something or pretending to be doing something. She uses the words correctly but because she does not have enough vocabulary yet she mixes things up. She also likes to make up words like lie downing which is hilarious.

R likes to skip, hop and jump. She jumps up and down, runs up and down the banks, go on the seesaw and swings. She is very mobile and active. She has not poured her drink on the rug for 3 days which is very good for me as it drives me crazy when she does it.

Eating most of the time takes ages but she willingly tries food now. In the past 2 weeks she asked for Cheerios and Shreddies but she is slowly going off them. She likes pancakes and crumpets (crum or crumpit) lately. Drinking water is fun and she manages to sip milk too which is lovely.

Dad stuck glow in the dark stars and moon on the ceiling above R’s bed. Last night when she woke up in the middle of the night she said to me Mummy, stars. It was lovely to hear her appreciate what Dad has done and it is comforting for her I hope.

We are all excited to go to Bangkok in 2 weeks time. It means BTS, swimming, window shopping for me and for R, 6 weeks to relax and be away and free from house and anxiety to live in this new place.

Swimming, Reading, Montessori materials

R who is now 20 months old. She started to want to be read upon waking up and before bed 3 months ago. She requests 10 books each time sometimes although tiring at times it is enjoyable most of the time. We try to take her swimming every day when we can. In Bangkok, where she was born, she swam everyday but here in the UK we do not live with a pool that is literally few steps away. She swims with arm bands on tirelessly. For now she is happy to do dog paddles and turn around, jumps up and down and plays with dad or mom in the water.

I was reading about diy Montessori materials today and I am having second thoughts about making the pink tower and brown stair. It is because of the precision that it entails and it might be time consuming. It might be that I will buy used sensorial materials or buy from budget sites.

It is the day after Boxing day and we are still staying at the in laws due to issues about the house. I am hoping that by the first week of 2015 we would be in front of the fire place in the house. The good thing about staying here is that R is able to play with a cousin. A little person which she has rarely experience lately. Anyway, life comes with lots of pluses and minuses.