When arriving to Thailand, you feel an extreme heat wave greet you as the plane’s closed doors disengage. An open portal to the sun is the signature of the Thai weather-cuisine, but a lovely tropical kingdom awaits your curious exploration. Welcome to a taste of Thailand, our 11 day getaway.
Relative Conversation Rate:
At time of trip –> 1 USD to 45 Baht (100 USD : 4500 Baht)
Current time (March, 2017) –> 1 USD to 35 Baht (100 USD : 3500 Baht)
You can see it was a much better time for taking a vacation at the time of the photos taken.
Our 11 day Thailand trip included going to Bangkok, Phuket, and Ko Pha Ngan. We flew into Bangkok, hung around the city for a few days, then flew to Phuket. We stayed in Phuket for 3-4 days and rented a scooter to get around the island. Then, we took a flight from Phuket to Surat Thani Airport and took a snail-paced boat to Ko Pha Ngan. From Ko Pha Ngan, we took a slow boat back to Surat Thani Aiport and flew to Bangkok to catch our flight back to Taiwan.
We landed at Don Meuang International Airport (DMK) because the flights in and out of this airport are a little cheaper. Walking around the organized chaos called Bangkok, we got to observe many street vendors, tons of shopping centers, winding canals, street temples, and many bustling people.
Bangkok was the best place for shopping for just about anything. It has massive shopping centers scattered throughout the city. I was surprised how much they have built up the tourist industry to the point that most places are selling something in some way.
There is a huge weekend market which is literally like a maze. The Chatuchak Weekend Market is about ½ kilometer in diameter, but it feels like much longer!
The Chatuchuk Market sells everything under the sun! REALLY! When someone told me you could get lost in this place, I thought to myself, “No way! I don’t see how. I have a good sense of direction.” But really, I even doubted myself when I began wandering through this enormous market maze.
But, be wary of the cheap street food if your stomach isn’t used to that kind of thing. I got pretty sick from eating some street food around the Chatuchak Market. It dampened the trip, but luckily it was nearing the end when it happened.
We also ventured over to Wat Arun (Temple of the dawn), and it was pretty spectacular. The cost of each ticket for entry is 50 Baht.
The temple is built high into the sky with repeating symmetry designed into every aspect. A truly relaxing place to observe. Many cats seemed inhabit this area as well.
Some of the areas seemed to be under construction for repair, but the whole of Wat Arun was very beautiful to see. You can see many pictures of the the king and queen of Thailand scattered throughout the temple, city, and country.
The temple of Wat Arun was scattered with small furnishings of nature, which was very pleasant to examine.
After we were done exploring the temple of Wat Arun, we made our way to a restaurant/cafe located on the Chao Phraya River that runs through Bangkok.
A good and very cheap way to get around bangkok is taking the ferry that runs along the Chao Phraya River. The fare is usually anywhere from 3 – 15 Baht per way.
That is about $0.08-$0.50 USD. How great!
Rooftop and sky bars are definitely a must too. They are bit pricey, but the view is phenomenal. We visited Zoom Sky Bar and Restaurant when we were staying at Anantara Sathorn hotel in Bangkok. You can find more information about Zoom Sky Bar here.
If bars aren’t quite your thing, you could always go to the other temples that Bangkok has to offer. We visited the Wat Pho temple and saw the huge golden statue, which stood for the reclining Buddha.
Phuket Island is an interesting tourist spot with many activities such as Tiger Kingdom, shooting ranges, adult entertainment shows (yes, it is what you’re thinking), and an impressive amount of bars. Phuket is a very touristy destination, but there are many things to do if you are looking for activities. If you want to know more about Tiger Kingdom, click here.
Patong beach is a very nice place to checkout if you like to be active. We also got to briefly explore Phuket town, which was quite cool with its tradition resonating throughout the area.
If you like cats, there is a cat cafe in Phuket town called B Cat Cafe. You can find more information about it here.
Before we visited the B Cat Cafe in Phuket town, we stopped at a local restaurant called One Chun for a delicious and cheap meal! The passion fruit smoothies and curry dishes were absolutely amazing! I would definitely recommend having a go at this restaurant.
One Chun Address:
48/1 Thepkasattri road เมือง Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83000, Thailand
Many scooters, cars, bicycles, and trucks covered the roads in Phuket.
Having a scooter in Phuket was really convenient because we could visit most parts of the island and even visit some beaches!
Back at our hotel in Phuket, we got a room where you could swim around the entire hotel or just lounge in the water just outside your room.
Of course sometimes, you just have to get out and explore any new area of a place. So, we took the scooter for a ride just to see what we could find.
We had a blast in Phuket, but it was definitely more crowded with tourists, so if you are looking for a more natural look at Thailand, check out an island in the south of Thailand.
Ko Pha Ngan
Ko Pha Ngan is a very scenic island in the gulf of Thailand.
About getting to the island, I read about the speed boats and how they were more dangerous, so we decided to take the sloth express. I would probably like to explore other options next time, but the 3 hour cross wasn’t bad. We got to enjoy some sun and beverages on our 3 hour journey crossing the sea.
This spot is a little secret treat of Ko Pha Ngan because it is only located at one resort that is not totally commericalized. You can find this amazing spot at Haad Son Resort. But shhhhh, keep your lips shut! 😉 We did not really stay at this hotel, but we used their luxurious restaurant / swimming area.
We had a nice meal and drink before being able to jump off the circular deck that connected us to the gulf of Thailand.
Ko Pha Ngan is also known as “Mushroom Island” in Thailand for their exotic mushroom shakes. In another article, I will tell you more about what these mushroom shakes really are and what they can do for you.
I believe that of all the places, Ko Pha Ngan had the best scenery and vibe. Being in the south of Thailand and along the Andaman Sea are some of the best places to just relax and get your mind off the grind of daily life.
I had the best Pad Thai I’ve ever tasted in my entire life in Ko Pha Ngan at a very local restaurant. (Article about this restaurant coming soon)
Vacationing in Ko Pha Ngan actually had me considering looking for a teaching job in Thailand because of the warm and inviting atmosphere.
We definitely enjoyed Thailand and will definitely be back as soon as the time is right. If you don’t mind slightly lower health standards, Thailand is a fantastic deal with many things to do and see.
I was quite proud of my shopping spree in Bangkok. I purchased one t-shirt, 2 pairs of shorts, 4 dress shirts (2 long and 2 short sleeved), 6 tank tops, custom leather sandals, a belt, 3 packs of flower aroma candles, a 100g pack of cinnamon, a phone case, a small travel bag, a large dream catcher, and a large suitcase for just a little over $200 USD! This is unbelievable to me as an American. Obviously, not all of the items are of the highest quality, but the value speaks for itself.
Thanks for reading the article! There are many more cool posts about Asia on our blog if you feel interested!
Taught or traveled in Thailand?
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