Thailand has been at the tippy top of my list of places to visit for longer than I can even remember. For a while, Justin and I had chatted about making it our future honeymoon destination as it bridges that gap between turquoise waters (aka serious beach time), ridiculous food and adventure. A winning combination, really! I’m not sure when we changed our mind on that one, but I do know that we just couldn’t wait any longer – and I’m so glad we took the plunge! Over the next three Fridays I’ll be sharing all of my photos, as well as a bit of our experiences, of each city we visited. First up: Bangkok!
To be honest, although our trip was unbelievable in its own right, we originally had lukewarm feelings about Bangkok. There were a number of factors that played a part; jet-lag, incredible heat, and feeling regularly taken advantage of were amongst them. Though we never once felt unsafe, we quickly realized that every OVERLY-friendly local ended up wanting something from us. Whether it was doubling (or tripling) our cab fare, taking us to random tailors against our will, telling us certain temples or restaurants were closed in order to subscribe us to their personal agendas… it happened again and again. In truth, it got old pretty quickly. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an incredible city – big and bustling and filled with SO much to do and see – but I’m not entirely sure we got the most of it in our three short days. And it felt like we had to leave for the islands the moment we had figured out how to properly navigate the city, both directionally, and emotionally. And although we did have a great time (for the most part!), in truth, I kind of feel like we need a Bangkok re-do.
After travelling for just over 24 hours, we landed late on Saturday night, which was perfect as it allowed us to go straight to bed and attempt to wake up at a reasonable hour, despite the 12 hour time difference we were faced with. We stayed at Casa Nithra, which I HIGHLY recommend. It’s in a great location (just a few steps away from some of the best gaeng panang we had on our trip), the service was unreal, and they had a rooftop pool (with a bar!) It was very reasonably priced and they greeted us with cold towels and this beautiful lemongrass water, that I swear I can still taste, upon arrival. Despite eating INCREDIBLE food for the entirety of our trip, I still think about that lemongrass water regularly.
Although our jet-lag was pretty intense, we did our best to power through the first day. We headed straight to a floating market which was insanely cool! Essentially, vendors are stationed in boats selling freshly cooked food (oh the food!), fruits (the fruit!!), veggies and various gifts and goods. There are a few different versions of these markets, but the one we experienced was surrounded by a massive floating dock. You simply conduct your business from the dock. It was beautiful! The Thai’s take their food very seriously, and I felt as if I was amongst my people. We were very well fed for the entire two weeks, I have to say.
On our second day, feeling a little more like ourselves, we made it our mission to visit a few temples. We hired a tuk tuk driver to take us around for the day. He brought us to a few smaller, quieter temples, in which we were surrounded by monks were praying and chanting. We were virtually alone and it was kind of magical. That afternoon, we headed to one of the most famous temples in Thailand: Wat Phra Kaew & the Grand Palace. And though it was incredibly busy (overflowing with tourists), it was for good reason. The sights? Absolutely unreal. Made up of infinite buildings, halls, courtyards and temples, it’s here where the Emerald Buddha rests, and the king still resides to this day. Everything was immaculate. Sparkling. No detail left unthought of. It was overwhelmingly beautiful in an I-tried-so-hard-but-pictures-don’t-do-it-justice kind of way.
On our last day, we perused Khao San Road (I’m not sure I get Khao San Road, to be honest. But when in Rome?) and then made our way over to China Town. Now, we have a China Town in Toronto. I’ve experienced China Town in other cities. But I’ve NEVER experienced this kind of China Town. Composed of a million and a half tiny vendors tucked down tiny alleys it was a maze of ridiculousness. Seemingly tiny shops would open up into full blown mini-malls stuffed with rainbow wigs and Disney dolls. There was a shop dedicated solely to balloons. Others for hair clips – hair clips! The whole thing was meandering and hilarious and really, really, fun.
PART II (KOH LANTA) | PART III (CHIANG MAI)
All images original to Lark & Linen | See other travel posts right here!
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