Vacation mood - Thailand

 

As I already mentioned in my last blog post of 2016 - Moods & Memories, I was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks in Thailand in January. What a nice way to start the year, isn’t it.  Below I’ll share my experiences and travel tips as well as our detailed program.
This is the first post in P L A C E S category this year; I do hope you’ll put this destination on you bucket list after reading this travelogue.  

Days 1 & 2 – Bangkok

Fly into Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi (like its name!), Thailand’s largest airport with Emirates through Dubai. I really enjoy flying with Emirates. They provide a comfortable flying experience: convenient seating, delicious food, variety of movies etc.. And the Softest take-off and landing with A380.
We only had one and a half day in Bangkok where our trip started. I can’t say it’s enough but we had to make the most of this short time, since we had scheduled program for the following days.

The main cultural attractions we visited in Bangkok were:

  • The Grand Palace
  • Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
  • Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
  • Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Bangkok is a chaotic city but it’s exciting and colourful at the same time. I was amazed how cheap this place is. We tourists are emperors in this country for sure. 
Thai people are incredibly nice and helpful – they don’t really speak English, only a few words, but try to explain and help as much as they can.  
Of course there are exceptions... Tuk-tuk drivers try to earn some extra by misleading tourists about attractions’ opening hours and taking them to a tuk-tuk trip in the city. They say that these places are closed in the mornings and could be visited only in the afternoon. Don’t believe them! Main attractions in Bangkok are open usually from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm – it depends on seasons so make sure if you’re planning to visit them.

Days 3-5 - Ayutthaya, Pak Chong

Renting a car is brave idea in Thailand for European people but we happened to be brave enough.  We started our 1000 km road trip to the Chiang Mai right after our short visit in Bangkok.
First stop was Thailand’s ancient capital Ayutthaya. Beautiful large temple complex, which is a must see in the country in my opinion. It is huuuge; you can spend an entire day there. Actually we had just a few hours, because we had a half day tour to a bat cave in the afternoon/evening Whooaa it was insane! You can check the detailed program here. Highly recommended. 
Next day we took part on a full day “Jungle” tour. The detailed program could be checked here. I’m not gonna lie, it was exhausting but it was the best day on this holiday. Amazing experience!  

Amazing Ayutthaya

Amazing Ayutthaya


Bats 

Bats 


Days 6-7 – Sukhothai, Chiang Mai

Next stop Sukhothai. It’s about 6 hours’ drive from Pak Chong, but it was so good to arrive there. This place is very cool! We spent a lovely day exploring the many ruins by rented bicycles. If you are in Sukhothai Junshine Restaurant is the place to dine. We ate here twice during our stay in Sukhothai Old City. It was recommended in our hotel which was 1 km away from the restaurant. Among the 1000 km of our road trip I only drove 1 aka ONE km between this restaurant and our hotel ☺ I’m not a huge fan of Thai traffic and anyway I'm not very good at left-hand traffic… But I’m a luck girl because my fiancé is really good at driving and he made the rest 999 km. 

Last stop Chiang Mai. It’s a large, busy city in the North. We had 2 super adorable programmes in the area of this city: 1, Big Cat caress in the Tiger Kingdom and 2, A full day volunteering in the Elephant Nature Park. Such an amazing closure of our one week road trip. 

Days 8-14 – Phuket

Of course we had to have a rest after this eventful week. 
We took Thai Smile Airways to get to Phuket. We had much better experiences with this airline than with Bangkok Airways which we have chosen to fly from Phuket to Bangkok in the end of our holiday (on our way home). 

View from James Bond Island

View from James Bond Island

To put it in a nutshell the rest of our holiday was about enjoying the sun, the beach and the cocktails in the pool bar. Not bad! During this week we joined to the James Bond Island tour and cruise the Phang Nga Bay. Canoeing through limestone caves was the best part of this tour, we really enjoyed it. 

Sightseeing in Phang Nga Bay National Park by longtail boat.

Sightseeing in Phang Nga Bay National Park by longtail boat.


Exploring the nature and sea caves by canoe at Talu Island

Exploring the nature and sea caves by canoe at Talu Island

Additional useful tips

  • Drink just bottled water and avoid drinks served with ice! (Ice is made of tap water which might cause stomach problems.)
  • Use tuk-tuk if you want to go from A to B. Cheap, fast and fun!

How about you? Have you ever been to Thailand? If yes, please share your experiences. 
If not, well, I do hope you’ve got into travel mood while reading this and you’ll write in on your bucket list. 


Hugs, Sophie 

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