Have you ever thought of going to Thailand? I must admit that I had never really entertained the idea of flying half way around the world to see places I had no idea were there. I am so very glad I did though!
It is filled with exotic food and beautiful colors and architecture. The prices are very, very affordable and the people are friendly with beautiful smiles.
I would love to take you on a virtual trip to this beautiful country. If you have a few moments, why don’t you snuggle up in a comfortable chair and join me on my trip? Who knows?… maybe you will even be inspired to go to Thailand yourself someday!
Before we begin, I must say that traveling to and from Thailand from the States is a very, very long trip. It took over 20 hours! Bring a good pillow or neck rest and try to sleep because the time zone is exactly opposite from home, day is night and night is day. The flights are cheap though. If you shop around, you can find amazing deals on round trip flights
Let’s start our trip in Phuket Island. Phuket Island is the largest island in Thailand. I recommend staying at the Nai Yang Beach Resort and Spa. It is right on the beach and next to the street vendors. The rooms are beautiful and the pools are lovely.
Take a walk down the quiet streets and enjoy some of the DELICIOUS Thai food. Be sure to get a crepe filled Rodi, a smoothy or two, and of course some Thai noodles.
- Beach – Relaxing on the beach is always a good idea.
- Scooters – This is a quiet town, so renting a scooter here is easy and enjoyable. There are many little roads to drive down and explore.
- Massage – Massages are only $10.00 for 1 hour! We stopped for foot massages quite often as well as indulging in full body massages in the evening.
- Buy a Tailored Suit – Tailor shops are everywhere in Thailand. We had one measured and all sewn up by the time we left. It was only $250.00, but when we went to Bangkok we found tailors all over the place that were offering to make two suits with a shirt for a total of $200.00! I recommend that you order your suit first thing. It will be ready before you leave to go home.
- Wat Suwan Kuha (Cave Temple)— There are many, many wats or temples all over Thailand. This temple is inside of a cave. Be sure to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and legs. But they do have fabric available to wrap around if you need it. There is a beautiful large reclining Buddha there. You may even see a cute monkey or two:)
- James Bond Island —Jump on a long boat and head out to James Bond Island. If you haven’t seen this in the movie or on the internet, you are in for a treat. It is a small pillar island that is so unique and pretty. There is a short hike that leads to a little beach and some interesting hanging rocks. The boat ride out to the island is also quite spectacular. Our tour included a kayak ride and a lunch. Our paddler even made me a ring out of straws!
- Old Town Phuket — You will see some fun and bright colored buildings with lots of shopping. Most of the shops sell the same items, but it is fun to buy a few things as souvenirs. I recommend getting a fan because Thailand is HOT and humid. I also couldn’t resist buying some fabric for a future Thailand quilt. Are you surprised? Of course not!
- Wat Chalong – When you think of Thailand, you probably think of the temples that look like this. There are several buildings here with many buddhas. There are stone dragons in bright green and gold, and even a kiln where they light off firecrackers!
- The Large Buddha – This Buddha sits high over the city giving some beautiful views. There are stairs you can climb to get up to the base of the Buddha where you can buy a gold leaf to write a prayer and hang on the tree. There are also a few gold Buddhas around the square. Very near the large Buddha are several restaurants. Don’t forget to order your mango sticky rice! You might even be lucky enough to get a picture with a small elephant:)
Khao Lok –
- Rent a Scooter and explore the beach – This is an activity that you may or may not want to do because of the traffic. Remember, they drive on the opposite side of the road here. If you have the courage, put on a helmet and hop on!
- Night Market – A taxi ride or “tuk tuk” ride will take you over to the night market. You really can’t imagine all of the shops and food. I can see why they have the market only at night. Even at night you will want a fan because it is so hot. It’s all part of the fun though. Try the “Pad Thai” or the “Fried Yellow Noodles with Shrimp or Chicken”. Yum!
- Pakinnaka Cooking School — I highly recommend joining this cooking class. Chef Wandee takes you to the market and shows you all of the different ingredients you will be cooking with. Back at the school, you make a three course meal with three different plates at each course DELICIOUS! I had such a good time cooking and meeting some new friends from England and Germany. The recipes were included, so now I can cook up some Thai food at home.
- Scuba Dive or Snorkel– I recommend IQ diving. They have all of the equipment and provide lunch. The Similan Islands are about an hour or so boat ride away. This is the best diving we have ever had. That is a lot to say because we have been diving for over 30 years! The amount of fish was more than we have ever seen. The water was so clear with coral formations that were like pillars and cliffs in the ocean. The very, very best part was the WHALE SHARK!! This doesn’t happen very often, but a beautiful whale shark decided to come and visit during the dive. It doesn’t get any better than this!
If you do nothing else in Thailand, don’t miss the adventures here in Khao Sok. The cottages and the lake were my favorite things in Thailand. This is a very rural area where the children were walking the street with their elephants!
- Riverside Cottages – These little bungalows are picture perfect. Each cottage is up above the jungle and has a canopy bed. If you are looking for a romantic get away, it doesn’t get any more romantic than this. Every bungalow has a balcony looking out on the jungle. There are paths to explore with swings and beautiful flowers. There is also a very nice outside dining restaurant.
- River Kayaking – Sit back and enjoy the jungle as a local kayaker takes you on a ride down the river. There are monkeys in the trees and running up the cliffs all around. You will stop for a swim in the river and swing on a rope as well.
- Feed and Bathe the Elephants — The elephant is the symbol for Thailand. Be sure to schedule a trip to feed and bathe them. They do tend to use the water as a restroom as well, but the animal care takers are good at cleaning the water before you go in to bathe them. The elephants really seem to like getting a scratch behind the ears and a rinse with the water. I was also very amazed at how nimble their trunks were. They can peel a banana, throw the peel down, and eat it in a matter of seconds! This is a must do in Thailand.
- Khao Sok National Park— This is National Park for a reason. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Really, every turn of the long boat brings a new and more outstanding view than the one before. The sheer white cliffs, covered with jungle foliage, are like something you only dream about. There is a restaurant where they serve the daily catch of the day and where they let you take a kayak out to explore on your own. We went on a hike to one of the largest trees I have ever seen. It rivals the size of the majestic Redwoods in California. There are also several caves to explore. We opted for the free cave. What an adventure!
Bangkok is a huge city much like New York with a jungle. The architecture is unique and beautiful. The streets, the canals, and the food made this one of our favorite stops.
- Hotels and Cars – I suggest getting a hotel closer in to the downtown area. The prices are beyond reasonable. We spent about $50.00 a night at the Asoke Residence hotel and were not disappointed. We were within walking distance to the Terminal 21 mall, the sky train, and the water taxi. DO NOT rent a car or scooter here. The traffic is crazy! Taxis and Tuk tuks are very affordable.
- Water Taxi— Taking a water taxi is a fun way to get to where you want to go. I didn’t realize that Bangkok is similar to Venice in that the city is built around canals. You will need to ask your hotel which stop you need to get off on, but we found it a really fun way to get to the night market.
- Terminal 21 and MBK center – Shopping, shopping, and more shopping! 6 or more levels with food as well. We were impressed with all of the stores and levels dedicated to just one type of shopping, such as electronics, or jewelry. From Terminal 21 we took the sky train to MBK Mall. We were very happy we did. Talk about knock off heaven!
- Dinner Cruise — We took the White Orchid dinner cruise to see the lights along the river at night. This one was a bit disappointing to me. The food was our least favorite of the trip, and the entertainment was loud and amateurish. While I highly recommend hiring a long boat to take you down the river at night to see Wat Arun and the Grand Palace, I don’t really recommend the dinner cruise. If you cant rent a long boat, then DEFINITELY go on the cruise because the lights along the river are spectacular.
- The Jim Thompson House— Jim Thompson was an American business man who loved Thailand and brought the silk fabric trade to America. He built a beautiful home with Asian architecture and art. Back in 1967 he went to visit a friend, took a walk in the jungle and never returned. No one has ever found out what happened to him. His house is now a type of a museum. There are tours and areas to walk around and enjoy the gardens. I didn’t have time to buy a silk tie, but I recommend that you do.
- Long Boat River and Canal Tour – We rented a long boat driver to take us on a 2 hour tour of the canals and the river. We were able to go through the lock which was very interesting. I really liked seeing how the people live here in Bangkok. The homes ranged from poverty to mansions. A floating market lady came by and wanted to sell us a few trinkets. We even saw a monitor lizard walking along the edge of the canal. Our driver took us back to see Wat Arun during the day. This is a very relaxing, and less hot way to see the sights of Bangkok.
- The Ancient City of Ayutthaya – We took a 1.5 hour taxi ride out to these ancient ruins. There are over 100 ruins that you can walk around and take pictures of. The highlight is the buddha head that the tree has grown around and lifted up off of the ground. The architecture is simply lovely. Once again, be sure to dress appropriately with covered shoulders and longer shorts.
This takes us to the end of our two week trip to Thailand. I am sure that we did not come close to seeing and doing everything there is to do here. We really wanted to go to Phi Phi Island and take a train ride up to the Northern part of the country. Oh well, I guess that means we will just have to go back again. I am missing the Mango sticky rice already!!
Thank you for stopping by today. If you liked this virtual tour of Thailand, please leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you:)
I hope you have wonderfully SWEET day!