Southeast Asia: Thailand

***To read about the first part of our two-month trip, see South East Asia: The Philippinesand South East Asia: Malaysia.

Thailand

Thailand didn’t disappoint.

My very generous “Grandma Beautiful” put us up in the Phuket Marriot for our first week in Thailand. After sleeping in moldy hostels with no shortage of mice and cockroaches, we felt like ROYALTY in our fluffy white beds and air-conditioned living room. We were there during typhoon season, so it rained the entire week, but that didn’t stop us from having fun.

yoga

We took advantage of the free yoga classes the Marriott offered, which was a grand time except my baby toenail fell off during class so that was unfortunate. #humidityprobs.

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We took some bike rides, visited Railay Beach, hung out in the cute little towns, and got Thai massages, which was more of a stressful experience than a relaxing massage. Andrew got a “lady-man” as a masseuse, which scarred him for life I think…

At one point we met up with our friends Joey and Shelby, and the six of us took a kayaking tour to explore the rock formations sticking straight out of the water. Of course that was the day it rained the most.0

A definite highlight of Phuket was monkey hill. You drive up this steep hill, and all of a sudden, hundreds of monkeys are swarming the car. It’s completely unregulated and not very well known, so it was just us and the monkeys for most of it. We had some fun with those little guys, although it made me slightly nervous watching them rip their teeth into a whole pineapple like it was a juicy plum. Please don’t bite me.

monkeyhill

cutie

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monkey

Looking back, I wouldn’t recommend spending a full week in Phuket. We only stayed the full week because we had a free Marriott to enjoy, but I think we could have seen what we wanted to see in three days or so. Phuket is very touristy and expensive compared to other parts of Thailand, so we didn’t love it.

However, we did love Northern Thailand. We spent about a week there, starting in this cute little backpacker’s town called Pai. It’s up in the mountains, so it’s relatively cool and absolutely beautiful.

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We rented motor scooters and cruised around…Pat made the mistake of trusting me to drive the scooter at one point. I was just starting to get used to that little hog when somehow I took us off the side of the road and we went down. Luckily there was minimal damage besides a few scrapes and bruises.

ouch

We also swam in a waterfall, went fishing for Piranhas (we didn’t catch a thing) and enjoyed the delicious food sold at the night market. I loved Pai.

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The only bummer was that Pat and I had awful colds while we were there. *Note to self: NEVER take Ambien while on malaria pills, especially if you have a fever. Pat was hallucinating the entire night…he thought the Thai government had him strapped in a hospital bed and were using his body to smuggle objects out of Thailand. He kept waking up and asking me where the doctors and bad guys were. Rough night.

After Pai we headed to Chiang Mai, where we met up with Andrew’s buddy Wadda, who lives in Bangkok. He was a great tour guide…he took us to hang out with tigers and snuggle up with snakes. It’s crazy what people let you do outside of the U.S.

Wadda

(This is Wadda)

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My face. I’m not even nervous. 😉

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snakes

One of my favorite parts of Chiang Mai was the Thai cooking class we took. The food in Thailand was INCREDIBLE, so I was super excited to learn how to make some of the traditional Thai dishes. (Coconut soup, Panang curry, Tom Yum soup and mango sticky rice were just a few of my favs).

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Tom-yum

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Pad Thai

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The elephant refuge was another highlight of the trip for me. We got to ride them, bathe them and feed them bananas. Our cute elephant was named Mai Lan but Pat and I called her “The Black Mamba” because she was the biggest elephant there. She almost stepped on Pat’s toe while we were bathing her, which would have left him with only nine little stubbers…luckily his foot moved faster than Mai Lan’s, so we avoided that catastrophe.

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(Me falling off Mai Lan’s back…)

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We ended our Thailand trip with a couple of days in Bangkok. Honestly, I wasn’t the biggest fan. It was just another big, dirty city…but we did see some cool things.

Wadda gave us the ultimate tour of his hometown…We went to the Grand Palace, walked through lots of street markets and temples, watched a Thai Boxing match, met up with Joey and Shelby again and visited China Town. Wadda ordered dinner for us in China Town and didn’t tell us what it was till after we’d eaten it. Big mistake. We unknowingly ate shark fin soup, fish gas bladder, chicken heart, and the worst, bird nest vomit. The bird throws up its food to make a nest, then people (and ignorant tourists) eat it. Not OK.

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palace

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Thailand was amazing. If you’re planning a trip to Southeast Asia, put it on your must-visit list!

The last country we visited was Vietnam. If only we’d known what we were getting ourselves into…

Coming soon!

 

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4 thoughts on “Southeast Asia: Thailand

    1. Hey Kristin!
      I’m so happy you get to go to Thailand! It’s incredible…you’ll love it. So, I rode elephants in both Cambodia and Thailand…the one in Cambodia (which is similar to many in Thailand) was where you sit in the baskets on their backs. Honestly, it’s not that great, and I really wouldn’t recommend it. However, in Thailand, we went to the Ran-Tong Elephant Rescue Center in Chiang Mai, and absolutely LOVED it! It’s definitely more expensive, but sooo worth it. It’s a way more hands-on experience, and you get to ride bare-back, which is better for the elephants and way more fun. If you do end up going to Chiang Mai, be sure to go to the night markets! If you have any other questions, let me know! Have so much fun on your trip.

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