First Stop : Bangkok
Total Stay: 2 days
My friend Junie and I had been talking about taking a trip to Thailand for quite some time. After a couple of months we finally decided to do it. We started off our trip in Bangkok to explore the city and then went off to the beautiful islands and beaches. After we settled in, we went out to find a lunch spot. There I realized how overwhelming the big city can be. Take it slow allow yourself to embrace the city. Once we obtained a map from one of the hotels nearby, we started planning out our day. We stayed in Airbnbs for the most part of our trip. If you do the same and you ever need a map, taxi or help you can always walk into a hotel they will be glad to help you. People in Thailand are one of the most friendliest people I've ever met. I had so much fun wandering around the city in Tuk Tuk's and eating street food. Below are some highlights from my Bangkok trip...
Dumnoen Saduak Floating Market
This is one of the most popular floating markets right outside of Bangkok. I booked this half day tour through https://www.viator.com/. I usually book a lot of tours through Viator because I like that they are guided by locals and they make pit stops before your tour to small local shops or food places. There are plenty of vendors selling all types of Thai cuisine. Some make noodle soup right in front of you and others sell small grilled snacks. You'll also be able to grab some souvenirs along the way. This floating market is worth visiting you get to see the beautiful countryside, as well as interact with local farmers.
Grilled Shrimp with the best hot sauce ever!
OMG ! This was my new obsession Coconut ice cream. So delicious!
My lovely Tuk Tuk driver Atid.
Wat Pho Temple
This was a charming, detailed temple in the middle of the city with colorful stupas. The temple is pretty large it houses thousands of Buddhist images. Remember to wear long pants and a shirt with sleeves. Out of respect they will not let you in, in short shorts. If you happen to visit and forget to bring extra clothes don't worry, there are vendors outside selling cover ups just for you.
The Reclining Buddha was so large I couldn't get a full picture of the body , it's length is 46 m long.
China town comes to life at night. Definitely come here for dinner there are so many good spots to choose from.
Ping Pong Shows
Although I don't have a photo because they were not allowed inside. I do have a vivid memory of the Ping Pong show. I felt like I couldn't miss out on the show, come on I'm in Thailand, where else am I going to see this stuff! So the show was actually pretty funny yet awkward. I thought there were going to be young girls, but most were older women performing the tricks. I was actually more impressed by some of the other shows they preformed such as smoking a cigarette you know where or the razor show. It's insane, to each their own and up to you if you decide to attend. It's definitely a unique experience.
Next Stop : Koh Pha Ngan
Total Stay: 3 days
From Bangkok we flew out to Surat Thani where we then caught a ferry to Koh Pha Ngan. The cost of our trip one way was 50 U.S dollars flight + ferry. The island is interesting because one side of the island is very relaxing with tons of yoga retreats, beautiful beaches and is very peaceful. The other side of the island is just as beautiful, but is known for its full moon parties. The full moon parties happen once a month and it gets wild. I happen to miss the full moon party by a day :( The island is located in the gulf of Thailand, which can be a bit of a trek if you want to get to the other islands such as Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta. If I had to describe Koh Pha Ngan in 3 words I would say peaceful, organic and yogi. There is so much greenery and limestone rocks on the island, it is truly beautiful.
This beach is called Secret beach but is not really a secret. Driving by you'll see a sign marking the spot. This is a great place to bring a blanket, some lunch and then take a dip in the warm water.
The island is small, so a great way to see the whole island is by scooter. So we ended up renting a scooter from our resort, I was so scared. I realized I had terrible balance and was not a good driver. My poor friend Junie had to drive us around the whole island, what a trooper. You'll see everyone riding scooters, even foreigners and it looks so easy. I would only recommend this to people who know how to ride a scooter because it can be very dangerous. There are waterfalls and temples you can stop by on your way around the island.
Top Rock Bar View
This is a little hippie bar with cute lighting decor where you relax on pillows and enjoy this spectacular view. I came here in the afternoon for a cold beer. I'm sure the sunset is even better.
I had so many different versions of Pad Thai in Thailand all of which were amazing! Pad Thai is a well known Thai dish.
Taking a ferry back to Surat Thani to catch a bus and then another ferry to get to our next stop Koh Phi Phi.
Next Stop: Koh Phi Phi
Total Stay: A day & a half
A bus, 2 ferry's and 8 hrs later we finally arrived in Koh Phi Phi. Luckily we stayed at a resort walking distance from the pier where we arrived. The island is so small, depending on where you are staying, you'll need to take a long tail boat to get there. There are no cars or scooters on the island, everyone walks. I wish we would have stayed longer, because I really enjoyed this island. It's a great combination of relaxing, but also being able to enjoy a nightlife.
This photo was taken right outside of our resort which we booked through Airbnb. We learned that it's cheaper if you book accommodations the same day you arrive.
The start of our Phi Phi island tour, we booked this tour from our hotel guy the same day we arrived. We rode on long tail boats to small islands near by, snorkeled and swam in the sheltered coves, it was amazing!
We had to climb up a rope to get to the other side which was Maya Bay, where "The beach" was filmed. Tip: If you want to bring your phone with you or your camera. Buy a waterproof bag from the vendors downtown it will come in handy, you'll be able to take them anywhere you go.
As soon as we arrived there were monkey's waiting for us to feed them. It's a small beach, you really only come here to see the monkey's. Come prepared with food, snacks or bananas and get some good photos.
Ice Cream time, Thai style! Oh yes yes.
On Saturday night we decide to explore the nightlife around the island. We walked by this little shack that sold alcohol buckets. We decided to grab a bucket full of alcohol and head to the bars. We pre-gamed at the bars and then walked to the beach parties. Some of the best beach bars are Slinky Beach Bar, Apache, and Hippie Bar. You'll also get a chance to see a fire show.
Last Stop : Krabi
Total Stay: 3 days
After a short ferry ride from Koh Phi Phi we arrived mid day in Krabi. Once settling in our Airbnb, first thing we decided to do is get a Thai massage because they are so CHEAP! They are less than 10 U.S dollars for 1 hour, how can you not? Some of the most beautiful beaches in Krabi are Railay beach and Ao Nang beach. There is also a large Muslim community so you'll see Mosques all around town. Below are some highlights from Krabi...
Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Suea)
We arrived here later in the afternoon, so we took a short cut to the temple. The main way consists of a stairway with 1,237 steps that leads you to the summit. If you're up for the challenge getting there early morning is key. It's amazing to see the Monks who create their homes within the temple and in the surrounding jungle.
Walking through the jungle to pay respect to Buddha in the cave.
The name says it all, the Emerald Pool is a crystal clear pool in the middle of the jungle. After walking around in the humidity you'll want to take a dip.
Wat Suwan Kuha (Cave Temple)
Upon arriving there were monkey's outside of the temple, eager to steal our snacks. I saw a monkey snatch a bag of bananas from a lady. LOL.
When entering the temple the reclining Buddha is the most dominant figure with smaller shrines behind it. You'll find a young monk peacefully sitting next to the Buddha saying prayers for anyone who wants. I must mention there are bats in the cave so be careful.
James Bond Island
I really wanted to come here since I've seen so many beautiful photos of this place. It has also been featured in movies. Once we arrived, we stayed for about 15 min. There isn't much to do, it's very small and once you snap a photo of the limestone rock that stands alone, that's pretty much it.
At first I was so skeptical about riding an elephant because I didn't know what to expect. I didn't want to walk into a place and see the elephants chained up or being mistreated. If you are wanting to ride an elephant please research beforehand to make sure you're going to the right place. As soon as I walked into the elephant sanctuary, I was amazed to see their habitat was a huge jungle. There were only 8 elephants all beautiful and extremely gentle. They had plenty of food to eat and a cold river to take baths. They were not chained up, all of them were wandering around. You could tell the Mahout aka trainer spent a lot of bonding time with the elephants because he was able to control the elephants with voice commands. This experience for me was not so much of riding an elephant, but being able to connect with a gentle giant, being the animal lover that I am. You can see me with Naphung her name means honey in Thai and she is 49 years old. She was the most adorable creature I've ever come across.
Naphung eating along the way through the jungle.
I hope you guys enjoyed my Thailand travels. Thailand is such a beautiful country so rich in culture and true to its roots. They have the friendliest people and the best food. May I say the humid weather was also great for my skin. Girls be prepared to always have up do's. If you have any questions, let me know. Until next time Thailand kòp kun mâak...