A month being back home and I’m already on the road again.
My dad and I ran off to Thailand to explore the Land of Smiles. He went with his dad when he was a couple years older than I am, so, in a way, we were recreating that trip. But with more of a focus on the islands and beaches. Because, well, duh. Beaches.
We landed in Bangkok at around 04.00 on our first day. We grabbed a cab, checking into our hotel and passed out. We had a late start to our touristy day but by noon we were out and about!
First, we stopped by the market nearby our hotel in the outskirts of town. I was immediately hit with a straight wall of smells. As much as I wanted to enjoy the market, the second we say dead, skinned chickens lying around waiting to be purchased, I was out. And then we say live ducks trapped in a cage. Now, I’m not a vegetarian, nor have I ever been- even if I’ve toyed with the idea for some years now- but I didn’t eat any meat for the remainder of the day. This experience also made me realize how disassociated I am with what I eat, while traveling or at home. Buying meat like that in a market the day you want to eat it, is the best and healthiest way to consume meat, but I’m so grossed out by associating “meat” with actual animals. And while I’m still not quite at a place where I would like to meet the animals I’m about to eat, I have started taking baby- steps to becoming more connected to what I’m eating (by researching how the animals are treated by the places I’m purchasing meat from, eating more of a plant-based diet).
Next up: we climbed into the back of a tuk- tuk blasting Thai music. I mean, the music was so loud we couldn’t speak to one another and everyone we drove past stared at us with smirks on their faces. It was insane.
We ended up at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, where we met a Thai journalist named Tom. He educated us on the history of the King’s Temple and had us partake in some of the many traditions of the temple before taking us to a nearby food vendor for lunch.
Tom then accompanied us to a long-tail boat hub where he arranged for us to be given a tour of both sides of the Bangkok, the tourist side and the where locals actually live.
We then made our way to the King’s Palace and/or the Sleeping Buddha, before being redirected to two other Buddhas and a famous tailor across town. We made it to the first Buddha before once again being redirected to yet another tourist office. It was here that we ended up booking our accommodations for the remainder of our trip. We made it to our last Buddha and then the world-famous tailor or makes suits for United Nation dignitaries, or so we were told.
Day #2 in Bangkok: We woke up absurdly early and were able to see so much that day. We made our way to the Reclining Buddha, the Emerald Buddha, and the Grand Palace! And we ended up eating in a bit of a very hidden, very authentic Thai restaurant that was so very good. It was probably the best meal of the entire trip. On the second day.
Day #3 and we were headed to Krabi! Even though I had been home for a month and been to the beach on multiple occasions, I was still desperately missing the sun’s heat beating down at me while my feet were in the ocean.
We immediately went to Ao Nang Beach to start making our way to Railey Beach. Once we arrived at this very busy bay, we rented a kayak and headed out to explore the tiny nearby islands. It was my idea to continue paddling to the far out island. I had misjudged the distance. It was a lot further away than I expected. It was a total work out thought!
It was during this workout that I became terribly sunburnt: I was a wonderful shade of absolute pain. I think it was my worst sunburn to date.
The next day we took a tour of the Phi Phi Islands; we stopped at Bamboo Island, Viking Cave, Lohsamah Bay, Phileh Bay, Maya Bay, Monkey Beach (though we didn’t see any), Phi Phi Don, and Hin Klang. It was such a fun day filled with snorkeling and beach- going. Even if it was a real struggle to sit/walk/take off my pants to go swimming because of my sunburn.
Day #5 and we were headed to Koh Tao! We have a family friend who had just traveled to Thailand in the past year or so, and she just raved about Koh Tao. She said it was hands down her favorite place and she wished she could’ve spent more than the 5 days they had allotted for the island.
It was definitely worth the whole day of travel and well- deserving of all the praise it was given.
We ended up renting scooters (sorry mom!) to explore the island. Surprise, surprise, I have never actually ridden a scooter, so it was a very eventful morning of learning how to navigate the death trap that most travelers swear by. We were off to explore the tiny island and all it offered!
I had read about this teeny, tiny beach sandwiched between two resorts and I was dying to go. I had us ditch the bikes and walk around the coast to discover it. Fast forward 3 hours, 2 hills, and about 5 buckets of sweat later, and we made it!
Or so I thought. It looked like the right beach. It was the right distance from where we parked. It was by a resort. I was tired and cranky and it had to be the right beach, right?! It wasn’t. But it was still gorgeous and there was a swing, so I was happy with it.
For dinner we made our way to a nearby restaurant that had rave reviews. There was a 15minute line into the street for a table, but we waited. And it was definitely worth it.
Day #6 was beginning and we were making our way to Koh Samui. We had fairly low expectations for the next place we were staying as my dad had found a number of negative reviews.
Luckily for us, these reviews were wrong and the location was wonderful. We were even directed to another amazing resort with an incredible view.
And then directed us to the Fishermen’s Village for a shopping filled farmer’s- meets- swamp meet market!
We called it an early night as we knew our next morning was going to be especially early! We wanted to catch our last sunrise.
We leisurely watched the sunrise before heading to our very first Thai massages of our trip.
And then we were back on the road!