A Taste of Thailand – 11 Day Vacation

 

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Little Rice on the bus from the DMT airport into the urban metropolis of Bangkok.
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.

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The hustling and bustling city of Bangkok.

Trip Overview

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.

 

Bangkok

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Plenty of bees enjoying some sacrificial fruit in the streets of Bangkok.
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.

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A temple in the streets of Bangkok.
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People are always praying at local street temples in Bangkok.
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A comic mural of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
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.

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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!

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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.

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Wat Arun Garden
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.

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Wat Arun Temple
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.

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A picture of the king and queen of Thailand standing strong.
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Time to meditate.
The temple of Wat Arun was scattered with small furnishings of nature, which was very pleasant to examine.

 

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A stone figure sitting in a garden of Wat Arun.
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More statues pondering life.
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Wat Arun was quite tall and symmetrical.
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.

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Our view from the restaurant on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok. 
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Time to get a little energy for the evening ahead. 
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!

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A local worker collecting our ferry fare.
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Getting on to the ferry.
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The crew helping passengers safely transfer.
 

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A typical station along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.
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I love how sassy that sign is. #tellitlikeitis
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The night view from a ferry in Bangkok.
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The boardwalk along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.
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An old van turned into a fully stocked bar and party wagon in Bangkok.
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A bus turned into a restaurant/bar, why not? 🙂
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Thirsty for a coconut? Only 40 Baht! 
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.

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Making our way to the 15th floor
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A breathtaking view of the city from Zoom sky bar in Bangkok.
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The sky bar decoration in all its glory.
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.

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The face of the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho.
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The reclining Buddha is actually quite big!

Phuket

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Flying into Phuket from Bangkok.
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Welcome to Phuket, Thailand! 
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We got to pet a big kitty at Tiger Kingdom in Phuket! 
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.

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Beach time! Little Rice putting on a smile for the camera 🙂
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.

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Our scooter we rented to travel the island of Phuket.
If you like cats, there is a cat cafe in Phuket town called B Cat Cafe. You can find more information about it here.

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B Cat Cafe in Phuket Town.
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.

 

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Tasty meal at One Chun in Phuket Town.
One Chun Address:

48/1 Thepkasattri road เมือง Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83000, Thailand

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Little Rice done eating a little bit of rice! :0
Many scooters, cars, bicycles, and trucks covered the roads in Phuket.

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Typical road in Phuket.
Having a scooter in Phuket was really convenient because we could visit most parts of the island and even visit some beaches!

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There are many things to do at the beach in Phuket.
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Be active or relax, it’s your choice here on the beach in Phuket.
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.

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The lazy river built along the perimeter of our hotel in Phuket. 
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.

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Riding around Phuket island, we discovered this beautiful overlook.
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A different view of the beautiful overlook in Phuket.
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A more natural view of a small stream in Phuket. 
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.

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Taking a slow boat from Surat Thani to Ko Pha Ngan. (The upper deck view)
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.

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The path to get out to the deck with the sea-view.
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Enjoying a beer on a deck in the gulf of Thailand on Ko Pha Ngan. Fantastic!
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.

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Our meal and drinks at Haad Son Resort.
We had a nice meal and drink before being able to jump off the circular deck that connected us to the gulf of Thailand.

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Relaxing in the shade in Ko Pha Ngan.
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The inner bar/restaurant area in Haad Son Resort.
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.

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A beach view in Ko Pha Ngan.
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)

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Vacationing in Ko Pha Ngan actually had me considering looking for a teaching job in Thailand because of the warm and inviting atmosphere.

 

Closing Remarks

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.

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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?

If anyone has experience teaching or traveling in Thailand, we would love to hear from you! Send us an e-mail or leave a comment below! Cheers!

 

 

 

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