Buckle your seat belts kids, this is gonna be a long one…30 days in the glorious country of Thailand. Had to break it up into 2 posts for you guys… Enjoy!
To start off our Thai adventure, we decided to treat ourselves with a Marriott stay as soon as we got to Bangkok. It was 8am and we hadn’t slept for a day and a half. Friendly Marriott staff and a comfy bed was just what the doctor ordered! After we slept for a few hours, we were ready to take on the city. We adventured to the streets where the government protests were still taking place. I was hesitant in the beginning with going near the protest areas, but they were nothing like we pictured. It was mostly the city of Bangkok camping out in tents, and a massive stage with singers and speakers vocalizing their political opinions. The scene calmed down completely within the time we were there. We made our way to MBK (a well known shopping complex), with a stop along the way at the weekend market. Vendors with fresh fruit and juices, clothes and accessories, and even tailors offering custom made suits surrounded us. We finished our first day in the city with a traditional Thai massage (ouch!), followed by some dinner.
What was left of the protesting
The next day landed us smack in the middle of famous Khao San Road, as you all saw in Hangover 2. We stayed at the D&D Inn, thanks to Nick’s recommendation. During our 3 nights there we conquered our fear of snacking on a nice, crunchy scorpion…never again for this lady. We dove into our first bucket…leaving us defeated the next morning, as we did not know the Thai’s like to make them super strong. John and I did our fair share of shopping, eating, and bartering with the locals. Mission accomplished.
Scorpion… tastes like chicken
One of the many grubs stations
Infamous Khao San Road
One of our absolute favorite experiences during our 30 days here was the Tiger Temple, and our Kanchanaburi Day Tour. We were able to experience the War Cemetery, in which many people lost their lives to the Japanese during the construction of the railway . Our guide then took us to a nearby elephant camp, where we had a free ride waiting for us. Unfortunately, John and I noticed right away that the elephants seemed to be mistreated. After doing some research, we read that this is a frequent occurrence within Thailand. John especially saw a huge difference between these elephants and the experience he had in Ubud, Bali. Next was our buffet lunch, before whisking us off to the tigers!! This temple is still a sacred place in which Monks live, but it also houses many wild animals. All of the tigers are chained to a tree, but you’re permitted to go right up to this magnificent creature, pet it, and take pictures. AMAZING. Another incredible thing they allow guests to do is walk the tigers to the canyon in the middle of the afternoon. Please enjoy the shots 🙂
Before we left Bangkok, I made sure to bring John to The Grand Palace. I had seen this gorgeous place two years earlier during one of my layovers with Emirates and immediately fell in love. From the architectural details to the cleanliness of the grounds, it is stunning to all who flock its way. Once we finished there, we caught our taxi to the train station to check a sleeper train off our to-do list! And what an experience it was…we thought it was quite comfortable considering the conditions and the both of us caught around 6 hours of Zzz’s. Not too shabby!
As we made our way south, we were itching to see the islands. First stop: the tiny island of Koh Tao. As we exited the ferry, we spotted a place to rent a motorbike. We hopped on our bike and made our way to Sairee Beach to find some accommodation. Our stay on the island consisted of relaxation and dehydration and travelers diarrhea smacking me in the face. Luckily, this happens to a large percentage of Southeast Asia backpackers so it didn’t take too long before I was feeling better. John’s friend Tuck was soon coming to visit us, so it was time to make our way across the mainland to Phuket. Here’s where the story gets interesting…
We soon found out that traveling across the mainland of Thailand via bus is a serious shit show. Promises are broken, countless hours are added, and people are misguided. No thanks to any travel agency who seems legitimate! That is one thing we will caution others about. John nearly fainted on one of the public buses, which was promised to be a private air-conditioned bus. In response, I was ready to chuck the Thai guy operating this hoax against the bus and take his lunch money. Patience Kelcie. Good news: we got to all of our destinations eventually, just 2 hours later than planned.
John and I wandered aimlessly around Phuket Old Town…knowing nothing about where we were, or where to go. We stumbled upon the hostel featured in “The Beach” and almost stayed there, but found a better fit a few streets away. The best part of our time here was discovering a cafe that made an excellent margarita pizza and offered white wine. Yum! The worst part: booking tickets onward to Koh Phi Phi for Tuck, John and I…only to find out that Tuck’s was not only delayed, but cancelled and rescheduled for the next day. We were able to fix some details and once John’s stress subsided we managed to figure everything out.
See you in Koh Phi Phi for our next post!