Friday, January 16, 2015

14 Days in Thailand: Here’s What We Got Up To


My husband and I recently spent 2 weeks venturing around Thailand on our honeymoon. What an amazing experience. We spent several days in Bangkok, then ventured down to Phuket for some party time, and lastly, spent some time relaxing on Phi Phi Island.

Here’s a preview of our trip:

Bangkok

We spent our first few days in Bangkok. We chose a hotel in Chinatown (the Shanghai Mansion) as this was one of the top “must-see” attractions in Bangkok. We also chose this hotel because it was along the water, so we were able to utilize the long-tail water taxis to get around town and explore some of the local temples.
 

Travel tip: If you`re looking for an inexpensive way of exploring Bangkok, the water taxi costs around $0.15 to ride, you can take the taxi from the first to the last pier, and enjoy the views of Bangkok from the water.












 












Being right in the heart of Chinatown was an amazing experience. When we walked out of our hotel, we were right in the middle of everything. The streets were very busy, lots of merchants, and food everywhere. At night they shut down some of the lanes of traffic and use those lanes as part of outdoor restaurants and foot traffic for people passing by. It`s an amazing experience sitting on plastic chairs in the middle of the sidewalk eating dinner, while watching the immense amount of traffic pass by.














We read several travel blogs before we arrived in Thailand. From what we read online, and we totally agree with now, do all your shopping in Bangkok. When you travel to the more touristy areas, the price of the merchandise goes up. It`s relatively the same product, just with a higher price. We were in Thailand right before Christmas, so we were able to do all of our Christmas shopping in the markets around Chinatown.

Walking through the markets in Chinatown is an experience all in its own. It was utter chaos, people everywhere, it`s really hard to walk through the markets because of the sheer amount of people in the markets. If you`re able to push your way through the crowds, it`s a great experience. We chose to carry a backpack with us for all the stuff we bought. It was a great way of carrying around the merchandise while keeping our hands free. We also stuffed our backpack full of water and cold drinks so we didn`t have to stop every few minutes to buy something cold to drink.

Travel warning: we were warned that Bangkok is bad for pickpocketing, and with the hordes of people everywhere, it`s no surprise that this happens. People are constantly brushing up against you, and you`ll never know where you lost your wallet.

We sadly didn`t make it to any of the floating markets while in Bangkok. Most are weekend markets, and the ones open on weekdays are quite far from Bangkok itself. The Damnoen Saduak floating market is 1.5 hours from Bangkok. We only had a few days to explore Bangkok, so we sadly skipped it.

renting clothes at a temple in Bangkok

































While in Bangkok, we spent an entire day exploring the various temples around town. Some of the temples we went to were; the Grand Palace, the Golden Buddha, the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho – temple of the Reclining Buddha – my favourite temple of them all, the Black Buddah – watch for the tuk tuk scams here, Wat Arun, and Wat Suthat.

If you’re heading to the temples, make sure you wear the right clothes, as most temples won’t let you in if your shoulders or knees are showing. It’s a 200 baht rental fee to borrow clothes to cover up. We carried a backpack with wraps and pants in so we wouldn’t have to pay the rental fee.

Phuket
 

We flew down to Phuket with Bangkok Airways. It was a great/short flight, and we were happy to arrive in party town, aka “Thailand Las Vegas.” We arrived in Patong on a Friday, so we of course ventured down to Bangla Road for some drinks. What a crazy street.

If you’re in Patong, we recommend checking out the Halfway Inn. It’s a Thai restaurant just down from Bangla Road, it’s rated the #1 restaurant in Patong by TripAdvisor.

On day 2 of being in Patong, we rented a tuk tuk for a day and went up to the Big Buddha in Karon, then spent the day lying on Karon beach. We also spent some time at the Patong beach, what a beautiful beach! You’ll find lots of shops along the beach in Patong. Most of it is the same merchandise that we found in Bangkok, but higher prices.






















Taxi scam: be careful with the “taxi's” in Phuket. If it’s just a regular car with a painted sign in the window that says “taxi,” don’t get in. Lots of people have shared stories with us about them not being real taxis, taking you to far towns and leaving you there, or asking for a large amount of money to get you back to town. One guy even missed his flight because of a fake taxi car.

Phi Phi Island

We spent the rest of our honeymoon on Phi Phi Island. This felt like paradise to us, a great way to end the honeymoon. We took the ferry over from Phuket. It cost around $15 CDN each, and took just over an hour. We chose to stay at the Bay View Resort while on Phi Phi Island. I’m happy we stayed there. Walking through town, we saw lots and lots of people having the cart their luggage to their hotels in the village. Bay View Resort had a boat waiting for us at the ferry terminal, and boated us over to our hotel.

















We spent several days lying on the beach, walking around the village, getting a Thai massage, and even got drunk and painted up at Slinky’s. Great fun. If you’re looking for somewhere delicious to eat on Phi Phi Island, Papaya is an amazing restaurant!

On day 3, we chose to venture over to Maya Bay. You can either join a group for 300 baht, but they ship you over in groups of 30-50 people, or rent your own boat. We chose to rent our own boat for 1500 baht.














Travel tip: if you’re heading to Maya Bay, go first thing in the morning. We watched a video on YouTube before we went, of boats lines up side by side in Maya Bay. It’s a very popular spot with tons of tourists. If you go during the day, you really don’t get the view like they show in the movie The Beach because it’s just an endless sea of boats and people.

We arrived in Maya Bay around 8am, and there was hardly anyone there. It was great; we had the beach almost to ourselves. After an hour at the beach, our guide took us snorkeling. This was our first time snorkeling, beautiful tropical fish in the water. We also made our way over to Monkey beach, but it was high tide, so there were no monkeys to be found. After talking with other travellers, we were told that the monkeys are quite aggressive, and will take pretty much anything from you, so be careful if you go.

Random fact: Phi Phi Island doesn’t have any roads, and there are no cars on Phi Phi Island - besides the scooters that the cops drive.

We sadly didn’t make it up to Chaing Mai, not enough time in our trip. I’ve heard lots of great things about this place from other travellers. If you have extra time in Thailand, Chaing Mai comes highly recommended from other tourists.

Have you been to Thailand before? What was your favourite place in Thailand?

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2 comments:

  1. I want to go to Thailand soooo much. It is an amazing place for tourists. How did you arrange your trip to there? I was thinking that I can book a couple of hotels with Reservation Counter and take some cheap flight online but it does not seem right. Is it worth it to contact a travel agency?

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  2. Hi Johnathan, we booked our entire trip online. You can go to a travel agency to ask questions, but we were able to find answers to all our questions online. Use TripAdvisor to figure out what hotels you want to stay at. My husband picked the Shanghai Mansion, Bangkok because it was walking distance to the water, many people suggested using the water taxi to get around Bangkok, and it was a great idea. Also, Chinatown was suggested as one of the top things to see in Bangkok, so why not stay there. We split our vacation into different towns each few days, it allowed us to see more of the country. We booked cheap flights with Banglok Airways. Let me know if youhave any other questions.

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