The long awaited Thailand trip… Other than perhaps Australia, visiting Thailand was the other must stop on our Asia trip. I quickly proclaimed during the planning phase that Thailand was a definite two week stay at least because anything less wouldn’t satisfy my soul enough. I was looking forward mainly to all the delicious food and the beautiful scenery. Having seen many bloggers and even friends’ travel photos, I knew that Thailand was a popular travel destination amongst the young and adventurous. This is fueled by the cheap prices, ample tourist infrastructure, and variety of cultural and social attractions to please just about anyone.
The boyfriend specifically flew out to take part in this trip and it was destined to be packed full of activities. Most exciting was the fact that it perfectly timed with his birthday so we had plenty of celebrations in his honor. Thailand was our most ‘planned’ trip due to my boyfriend’s extensive research. No doubt that he was the most excited of the three of us and had a long list of attractions he definitely wanted to visit. Make no mistake though, he was the one third wheeling on my trip with my sister. But as a bonus, she was our photographer for most of the trip and I was eternally grateful.
Our trip was broken into two locations: Bangkok & Chang Mai. Out of concern for travel connections and limiting the amount of flying for one day, we broke it into multiple segments – a few days in Bangkok, a few days in Chang Mai and return to Bangkok to finish exploring before returning to the Philippines. In total we stayed in 4 different places in two weeks so lots of transition but it allowed for a wider variety of experiences.
Our flight out of the Philippines to Bangkok was in the wee hours of the morning. We grabbed a taxi from the condo and sat in the airport for a while as we were ‘excessively’ early as I’m sure my boyfriend would claim. This was our first flight together and it was comforting to have him by my side. No longer did I have to relay my travel stories; he was living it with me! The flight over was smooth and when we arrived we arranged for sim cards and found our transit plan to get into the city.
We had specifically chosen an Airbnb close to the train system at the suggestion of our aunt (who frequented Thailand). Our host was really welcoming and informative. She was genuinely concerned with our ability to find the right building (which was a short walk from the station). She brought us up to the apartment and showed us around. The condo was big, had two bedrooms and two separate bathrooms, a comfy living area and ample amenities. This was our first Airbnb booking ever and was pleased with the level of service. The whole space was true to the pictures and was bigger than originally anticipated. Note the vibrancy of colors all around. Next door was a construction site which was a bit of a pain when trying to take day naps but eventually died down during in the evening.
After settling in, we all decided to take a nap since we had been up for most of the day. I was first to wake up and was hungry to find some local food. With both my companions prioritizing sleep over food, I looked on the map and realized that I was only a short, direct walk to the nearby mall, Siam Paragon so figured I would go venture on my own.
Immediately I was impressed. I don’t venture to malls often, both in Canada and thus far in my Asia trip so I was overwhelmed with how clean and beautiful everything was. It was unlike the malls I had visited in the past. Beautiful boutiques lined the sides. The entrance itself felt like the lobby of a condo or hotel. As I journeyed deeper, my amazement only grew. By the time I reached the food hall, I was beyond overwhelmed. We’re so accustomed in North America to the same brands in our cookie cutter food courts. But here, it was action packed and filled with choices. There were mini restaurants, fast food chains, a grand supermarket, a cashless food court and even a street food showcase. I didn’t end up eating at the mall. Instead I bought a small variety of items back to the condo to share with everyone else.
Over the course of the next few days, we all visited the mall together a few times to eat since it didn’t make sent to buy any groceries as we were headed to Chang Mai soon. We ate at the same restaurant twice as the boyfriend enjoyed the food and liked being able to properly sit down together. It was all delicious. Soft shell crab, pad thai, curries and of course coconut sticky rice and mango galore on the dining menu. As you can see, the boyfriend was making his best impression of Mark Weins (youtube travel & food personality). The rest of the time was spent relaxing, setting up tours and events for the rest of the trip. Similar to Bali, since there were so many stops we wanted to see, booking private tours seemed like the best fit for us all.
Read on to the next blogs to see our Thai adventure.