if you haven’t heard…b and i recently returned from a 10 day trip to thailand.
it was an amazing trip full of everlasting memories
& b may or may not have the travel bug now (yipee)
we decided to visit three different cities while in thailand. although, i do i feel like we could have spent 2 more weeks exploring this wonderful country; we made the most out of the time we had and really got a great glimpse of thailand. b is already talking about when we can return.
first stop, bangkok!
10am: arrive in the bustling city of bangkok via airport taxi. bangkok is full of high rises and little grocery huts within feet of one another. we immediately noticed the diversity of living quarters in this up and coming city. the drivers here are aggressive and scooters flood the streets (just the way b likes it). so take it all in as you enter the city because i don’t think i have seen anything quite like it.
12pm: everyone i spoke to prior to heading to thailand raved about the street food. i must admit i may have one of the most sensitive stomachs out there so i was a little skeptical. i also can’t take that much spice in my meal which made me that much more apprehensive about trying street food but when in thailand, right?
we stayed at the park plaza sukhumvit hotel and i would highly recommend it. the park plaza sukhumvit is located walking distance to the sky train (so easy access to all parts of the city) as well as lots of shops / restaurants. for our first lunch, we decided to throw caution to the wind and wander the streets for some grub. we definitely were among the locals that afternoon!
don’t miss out on the fresh juices located on almost every block in bangkok. a nice watermelon juice was the perfect treat in the heat!
1pm: travel to the grand palace via sky train + express boat or taxi
we decided to go by way of taxi to the grand palace because i was extremely jet lagged and the heat was not helping. it is about a 30 min ride from our hotel and taxi service is cheap in thailand!
the grand palace is always insanely crowded but a beautiful and iconic site to see. i love the peaceful feeling when entering the temple. it is recommended to arrive in the early morning (temple opens at 8:30am) as to beat the crowds but b and i were not able to fit it in so in the afternoon we went.
tip! entrance fee is 500 Baht, inclusive of access to wat phra kaeo, the royal thai decorations & coins pavilion and queen sirikit museum of textile, which are located within the grand palace compound, and to vimanmek mansion museum on ratchawithi road. additional 100 Baht for a rental personal audio guide in english, french, german, spanish, russian, japanese or mandarin. be sure to dress appropriately so you can enter the temple. pants are recommended and be sure to cover your shoulders.
2pm: chatuchak weekend market
you do not need too much time at the grand palace because the crowds can become exhausting. head on over to the chatuchak weekend market (open 9am-6pm)and peruse the hundreds of stalls for souvenirs and diverse food.
6:30pm: dinner at the local bangkok
this restaurant is on the pricier side in bangkok (approx. $40 usd for two people) but boy is it good. the service is exceptional, the food is flavorful / perfectly cooked and the atmosphere romantic. we especially loved the authentic menu to welcome our taste buds to thailand. do ask for the milder version of their dishes because even the mild version was a little much for b to handle (i could not handle ha). my compliments to the chef!
another bonus is this adorable restaurant is walking distance from our hotel.
7am: breakfast at park plaza sukhumvit
every hotel we stayed at offered an american style buffet but the park plaza was by far my favorite! their selection of fruit, cereals, breads and egg dishes was divine. i could eat the museli they made for every meal.
we booked the breakfast when booking our room but outside guests are also allowed to visit the hotel’s restaurant for any meal.
8am: take a tour with Pandan Tour group
this was our favorite part of bangkok.
before heading to thailand, i greatly wanted to tour the floating markets but the iconic one was located a couple of hours outside of the city (time we did not have) so i looked into other tours. after much research, i came upon pandan tour group. pandan tour group offers many different tours as well as customized tours. at first, we were going to have pandan take us to a closer floating market but after more research (i research everything) it didn’t seem like the local floating markets hold a candle to the one outside the city. so we changed gears and settled upon a customized half day canal tour. for this tour, they gave a long list of sites and you were to pick two from the list. i liked doing a customized tour because then it was just us and the guide and we felt like we had a more local experience.
pandan tour group picked us up at our hotel and took us to the boat express for travel to our first stop, the flower market (my choice obviously). our tour guide, tao, mentioned the flower market is more busy/bustling in the evening but we had an enjoyable time perusing the market at a slower pace. this is the fifth largest flower market in the world (first being in brazil). tao had us try some of the local fruits and explained what the different flowers are used for — give you a hint it is not for a man to give to his significant other!
second stop, wat pho (reclining buddah) and wat phra kaew (emerald buddah) (b’s choice)! so much history here! it was so incredible to see all the details (asthetically) that go into these temples. not to mention the architecture!
(b and i loved the statues placed all around the grounds of the temples.)
i think i snapped a photo every two feet because of how breathtaking these temples are and sadly, pictures don’t even do it justice. the thai know how to make temples!
tao really helped us learn the culture and lifestyle of thailand. i thoroughly enjoyed my time exploring these stunning structures.
we also walked by the temple of doom but sadly it was under construction. we hope we can return and see it once it is restored because it looked like another great temple to explore!
b likes to call me the monk stalker. i don’t know why but i loved seeing the monks roam the temples.
following the tour, we said good-bye to our new friend tao and roamed the streets for lunch. i really enjoyed walking the city and experiencing what life would be like as a bangkok resident.
so technically, the above city guide is not even 36 hours but that is the exact itinerary we did and we loved every moment of it. if we would have had more time, we would have fit in the floating market (damnoen saduak) and dinner at issaya siamese club. b also would have enjoyed renting a scooter and seeing the city that way but many people warned scooter driving is too dangerous for a tourist.
before heading to bangkok, many people and blogs warned not to stay in the city too long. they said it is an over crowded city with much pollution and i do see where they are coming from. but there is beauty in the city of angels (nickname for bangkok). you just have to look a little deeper and enjoy it for what it is. i recommend making a stop in bangkok for any thailand trip!
linked to: treat yo’ self