This has long been overdue, but it's finally here!! More than happy to share with you guys my trip to the welcoming country of THAILAND. Hopefully, you'll catch up some tips and tricks to keep in mind on YOUR own trip there.
I am traveling with my sister and parents. If it was only me and my sister, we'd probably do it the backpacker style - like find some place to stay there spontaneously, ask locals for tourist spots, etc. - but since we have some oldies but goodies companions (haha), we opted to get the services of a Travel Agency. We chose Access Travel, because not only did they promptly replied to our inquiry, they also provided the most detailed proposal amongst all the agencies we asked. Included in the package they provided is the airfare, accommodation and most of our tours during our stay.
It's a 4 days and 3 nights trip and no number of days is ever enough to discover Thailand's beauty - nevertheless, we made sure our short trip was worth it so let's go back and reminisce shall we?
We left Manila at around half past 6 in the morning. Fortunately, nothing unprecedented happened in the immigration and we all just went in as planned.
Always be at least 2 to 3 hours early from your scheduled flight for your trip to be hassle-free!
Travel time from Manila to Bangkok is about 3 hours and 30 minutes so it's perfectly sensible to bring a book with you right?! I started Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han and was almost halfway done by the time we reached Bangkok (it was a really fast and easy read)! Of course I had coffee!
The first thing we did was of course try Thai Food! I've been told that Thai food is known for their spicy dishes, and I LOOOOOVE spicy! So we have to try it out. We checked in in our hotel and leave our luggages there and head straight outside to find a place to eat. This one is near our hotel and got such a cute but rustic ambiance, it's called the Rife Restaurant. We've got some their signature dish Pad Thai, Crab Fried Rice, Stir Fry Tofu, Grilled Beef and Spicy Beef Green Curry for me. Everything was tasty, although it was probably a little pricey in everyday Thai food standards.
My sister and I left our parents (they're tired) at the hotel after to go to this weekend market that everyone is talking about. And OMG it was scorching hot! We rode their local train station - I forgot what it was called but it's very much similar to the one we have here in the Philippines. But the stairs, lord the stairs! It goes on forever, haha.
TIP! Wear very light and thin clothes, comfortable slippers - cause there will be a lot of walking, a hat to protect your head from the sun, sunglasses, and you should probably bring a fan or those portable small battery operated fan to cool yourself down. Also, bring CASH - most of the vendors are not accepting credit cards.
We had a few minutes walk from the train station before we reached Chatuchak and we drowned in a LOT of different things to buy - food, clothes, souvenirs - they got it!
If you are a true born shopaholic then this place is exactly what you are looking for. Not only they've got everything. The merchandises are also really cheap! It's just like Philippines' very own Divisoria. Haha.
Jim Thompson's House
It isn't a part of our tour but we decided to go and visit Jim Thompson's house. It comes with a very minimal entrance fee and is inclusive of a guided full house tour. If you didn't know yet, Thompson was an American businessman who revitalized the silk industry in Thailand. Unfortunately he mysteriously disappeared in Malaysia in 1967 and was never found.
In this traditional Thai house, you'll see most of his collections like different old Buddha statues and vintage furnitures.
If you are not a "museum" type of person and these things totally bore you out then you could definitely skip it - we enjoyed it though as it is very interesting to learn about Jim Thompson and the things he did in Thailand.
After our trip to Jim Thompson's house, we Uber-ed our way to the famous Chinatown in Bangkok - where food is great and at the same time cheap! We really wanted to try street foods in Thailand so Chinatown is the place to be!
I have to say this meal has got to be the best I've had in Thailand. I'm not a big "fish-eater" but their Fried Sea Bass in garlic is heaven! Also must try is the glass noodles with shrimp - so so good! I can't get enough of those. And the experience! we literally ate in the street with cars and all that just behind our tables. It was a lot of fun!
TIP! It's a very busy place and a crowded one so be mindful of your belongings. DO NOT leave cameras, cellphones and those sort of important stuffs in the table unattended 😉
Day 2 is the day for temples. I thought I have researched hard enough but I was wrong. lol
TIP! Wear shirts with sleeves - scarves WON'T work. Tight pants and shorts are also not allowed. Some temples - The Grand Palace in Particular is very strict with dress codes. Backpacks are also prohibited (I don't know why though).
Wat Pho is where the gigantic Reclining Buddha that measures 46 meters long and is covered in gold leaf is. I think it really is a must visit for first timers in Thailand. They are not very strict here as I am wearing a sleeveless top just draped with a scarf over it and that was okay. The place was also really big and not crowded.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha and The Grand Palace
It is just a few minutes away from Wat Pho and can be walked but since we are on tour, we decided to just use our car since it's really quite hot that day. No pictures are allowed inside the Emerald Buddha as it is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. There are a few sneaky tourists though who tried to get their cameras out and let me tell you - that's just SOOOOO DISRESPECTFUL. When you are told not to take photos of their sacred place, then don't.
Remember! Do not take pictures inside The Emerald Buddha. We gotta show some respect.
This temple is just within the grounds of the Grand Palace where we saw a lot of Thai's dressed in black and is in line to pay a visit to their late King. So aside from the influx of tourist, there are also a lot of Thai people in this grounds. You can probably see in the video that it is quite crowded. Wat Pho is waaaay more peaceful than Grand Palace but we still think that it was worth the visit.
Gem's Gallery and Platinum Mall
Our tour guide also offered us to visit the Gem's Gallery where they manufacture stones to turn into jewelry pieces. I did take some pictures while we were inside but I can't find it right now but will definitely add once I figured where I placed it.
We were pretty much spent during the entire temple and Gem's Gallery tour but we asked our tour guide and driver to drop us off at the Platimum Mall so we can have something to eat before we go to the hotel. We just then ate at one in the stalls there because your girl is craving for noodles and this food stall is the first thing I saw. I ordered a very spicy Tomyun Crispy Pork noodle!
Diamond City Hotel "tour"
It's still just late in the afternoon when we arrived at our hotel so we rested for a bit and kinda toured the hotel where we are staying at. We then left and walked again in the streets to find somewhere to eat dinner.
It's a really beautiful hotel and there are a loooot of antique things and to be honest - is a little creepy because the place is a bit darker for our liking. But it was a still nice place to stay at. We've always had free breakfast and free coffee and tea any time of the day so, it's great! 😀
Day three is our last full day in Bangkok and definitely one of the most memorable. Here are the places and activities we were able visit and do.
Our next destination is in one of the near provinces in Bangkok so the travel time was quite longer than usual. Our first stop is the Orchid Garden - which unfortunately, during the time of our visit - does not have a lot of bloomed orchids. Here you can also buy souvenirs BUT they are quite pricey compared to when you buy them by the stores near Pratunam (near Platinum Mall) and Floating Market. So we didn't really bought a lot of stuffs here.
Damnuen Saduak Elephant Village
DISCLAIMER: Okay, I was truly excited when I learned that our tour includes elephant riding. I love elephants so getting up close with them sounds like a really fun idea. As we were about to end though, I saw this place where the rest of the elephants were "stationed" and I really felt bad about them. I just thought they would be somewhere more nature-y, spacious enough where they can roam around and not here in a den-like place. I really hope that they are having time to walk around the entire area and not accommodate tourist for rides most of the time. I still feel bad about this up to this day. I always keep Chompu in my prayers.
Really loved our experience with the floating market as it is not something that I see everyday. Like you literally have to be on boat to shop - how cool is that? Plus, they've got everything! Food is great, people are friendly, souvenirs are cheaper compared to the one's in the Orchid Garden and just the overall experience is really a must in Thailand!
TIP! Find other group of people if you are traveling alone or a couple as it will be quite pricey to ride on your own. Two Indonesian tourists asked if they could ride with us on our boat and it was definitely okay with us. Still wear light clothes - shorts and flip-flops are okay! CASH is a must - although there is a nearby ATM just outside the street of the floating market (but you don't need that hassle on your trip so just remember to bring in some cash!).
Samphran Elephant and Crocodile Zoo
I loooooove this place. This is where we ate during lunch as part of our tour package and later on during the day, we get to watch a Crocodile show (which I didn't exactly enjoyed, lol), a Magic show and of course - ELEPHANTS! I felt like the elephants here are happier, I can't speak for them of course but they felt more lively and not gloomy as those elephants in the Damnuen Saduak Elephant Village. Plus I really get to interact and touch them which is a memory I'll treasure forever. LOVEEEEE ELEPHANTS!
Our last stop for the day is what they call the Thai Village where we saw a lot of cultural heritage of the Thai people - their national costumes, their way of living back in the days, their old sports, and so much more. I love how peaceful and quiet this place is after all the fun activities we've had moments ago from the tour.
Our flight the next day is quite early so we didn't get to see anything anymore in Bangkok. We were back in Manila by lunchtime.
That is it for my Thailand wandering! Hope you enjoyed seeing a very small portion of this country. I still believe there is much MORE to see.
What was your favorite part of the trip guys?!
Mine's probably my elephant encounter and the floating market! Glad I did both in this trip. Let me know yours.
We're also featured by Access Travel on their blog so if you want to check it out then click here.
Thanks for reminiscing my Thailand trip with me and i'll talk to you guys soon! <3