The Ultimate Thailand Guide: Part 1 – Bangkok

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In 2018 we went to Thailand for our honeymoon. We had been eyeing Thailand since we back came from studying abroad in Italy. The reason we kept holding out on it, was because we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time there. The flights are typically all over twenty hours, so my number one recommendation if you’re going to Thailand, give yourself at least 10 days.

There is SOOO much to see in Thailand, it was very hard to limit it and create the perfect route. We wanted a good balance between adventure and relaxing. I read many blogs and specifically watched Lost Le Blanc’s Thailand video series to create the perfect Thailand trip.

Before you begin to plan your route, be aware of what season Thailand is in, because the weather will impact your itinerary!

 

This is the route we took

Bangkok -> Chiang Mai -> Krabi -> Phuket -> Koh Phi Phi -> Phuket -> Bangkok

originally we had planned to do Koh Lanta after Krabi,  since we went during rainy season, we heard most of the island of Koh Lanta was a ghost town and not very well picked up due to the rain and tide. We decided to go Phuket instead, since it was huge and had a lot to see, and we did not regret our decision!

Currency: Bhat is the currency used in Thailand, it is imperative to carry their cash at all times. There are a lot of places that accept cards,  but save yourself the hassle and pull out cash from Thai ATMS with your regular bank card, just don’t forget to notify the bank of your travel plans.

Affordability: Thailand is extremely affordable!!! To be honest we did not budget our trip since it was our honeymoon. We booked all of our hotels in advanced online using Hotels.com. Food and alcohol is extremely cheap as well, especially all of the delicious street food, which is a must!

Weather: Make sure to check the season you are traveling! We knew going during July, we would be in the middle of rainy season. This meant a lot of rain, hiding for cover from the downpour, but also less of a crowd.

In order to make this guide comprehensive and detailed, I will break it down into 3 regions, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and the Islands.

Bangkok

I read online many times to skip Bangkok when visiting Thailand, but that is not a good idea. We loved Bangkok, from the temples, to the rooftop bars, to the markets, the culture is so rich. Ed and I love the hustle and bustle that big cities bring, so we took advantage of our time in Thailand.

 

Day One:

We landed in Bangkok at about 4 am! From the airport we took a taxi to our hotel and we checked in at about 4:30 am. We were too antsy to sleep, especially since we had spent most of the time hibernating while on the plane. So we freshened up and left the hotel around 6 am to begin our adventure.

Surprisingly, I didn’t have an itinerary planned, but we had mapped out what we wanted to see. As we were walking to our first destination, we ran into a taxi driver, Mr. Saifon. I told him I wanted to go to the Grand Palace, he then showed us a brochure of places he could take us. I saw a market on the list then asked him if he could take us  to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Running into Mr.Saifon was one of the greatest blessings of the trip, we ended up having him as our personal driver for most of the day, and he only charged us $30 and we tipped him well!

Stop 1: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, wow this was one of the most iconic markets I’ve ever visited. It is pretty far from the city of Bangkok, about an hour and a half, taking a personal taxi like we did is the most optimal way. When we got there, our taxi driver arranged us to purchase our ride through the market. Make sure to bring cash with you, or ask your boat driver to stop for you. This market is a bit more pricey than most of Thailand, but you pay for the experience. There are also excursions you can stop and do while at the market, we chose to visit a settlement of women that wear brass neck coils around their necks to elongate them. There are also beautiful temples you can stop at, just make sure your shoulders and knees are covered.

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Here is some of the food we got at the floating markt , the icecream was soooo good, I wanted seconds. Also we HAD to get pad thai for our firs meal in Thailand.

 

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Stop 2: Mr. Saifon took us to grab lunch at a random but very cute outdoor restaurant, I probably will never find this place or Mr.Saifon again unfortunately 😦

 

Stop 3: Maeklong Railway Market

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I had seen this market photographed on Instagram and also asked Mr. Saifon if he could take us there. The market sits on the side of train tracks, the train goes by every so often about 8 times a day. We were lucky to arrive at a good time to walk the whole market, drink some coconuts, and watch the madness unfold. A bell will sound off and you will see all of the shops bring everything in and make way for the train to come. We made sure to get a good spot to see the action happen. This market was best to buy fruit, vegetables, and drinks! I bought my favorite fruit, which I can’t find everywhere in the U.S…lychee!

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Finally, after spending about 6 hours with Mr.Saifon, we returned to our hotel in Bangkok and got ready for the nighttime.

Bangkok is well known for their elegant rooftop bars with the best views of the city, we decided to have dinner at one called Red Sky Bar. We dined like Kings and Queens and it was so inexpensive (thank you to all that gifted us cash for our honeymoon, you made this possible!)

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Day Two

For day two we decided to stay local and explore all the beautiful sights on foot. I wanted to ride a Tuk Tuk really bad, but heard to be cautious because of all the scams. We kind of got suckered into one, he took a picture of us, and then we realized he was a scam so we jumped out and set out on foot, afterall more walking means more room for food later.

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Our first stop was The Grand Palace. We purchased the self directed audio guide tour and walked around. Make sure you dress appropriately if you want to enter the Temples. I had to buy pants outside the Palace, and wore a kimono to cover my shoulders.

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After the Grand Palace, we stopped for some Thai food and then headed over to our next stop; Wat Arun. We took the ferry boat over to Wat Arun and explored its beauty.

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We wanted to check out another rooftop bar but were not dressed appropriately since we had left the hotel at 9am and had been exploring on foot all day. We stopped at a department store, and I used some makeup samples to freshen up….lol ratchet. Ed bought a cheap dress shirt from a street vendor, I managed to roll down my shorts to an appropriate length, ed wore my temple pants, we checked out backpack in, and they surprisingly let us in, talk about a story we will always remember.

This was my favorite rooftop bar for sure! The cocktails were delicious and the views were phenomenal, especially at the time we went.

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We ended the night by walking the notorious Kkao San Road. We had street food for dinner and tried the best deserts Nutella Roti.

 

Time to back our bags because we are headed to beautiful Chiang Mai next! Look out for part two and three on the blog!

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