A Travellerspoint blog

Day 2: Sightseeing in Bangkok

Today we started our day with breakfast at the hostel. We then took a taxi to one of Bangkok’s most popular attractions, The Grand Palace. The Grand Palace (Phra Borom Maharatchawang)is a former royal residence which today is used by the king only for certain ceremonial occasions. We also visited The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) which is in the same complex as the palace. It is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. We entered the complex through the third gate from the river pier and purchased our tickets inside. Our first stop was just past the gate in the courtyard where the central bòt (chapel) housed the Emerald Buddha. We were surprised to see that the Buddha was only 66 centimeters tall and was easily outshone by the beautiful temple that surrounded it. Adjoining the temple was the crowded palace. We explored the many buildings and wings and then decided to head to Khao San Road for lunch. Khao San Road is a crowded, smelly road with many shops, restaurants, food carts and bars. After going around looking at the food carts deciding on what we wanted to eat we learnt that there are a few basic street foods that are popular in Thailand:
- Pad Thai
- Rad Naa, flat noodles with beef, pork, or chicken and vegetables, topped with a light gravy
- Pad See Iw, flat noodles dry-fried (no gravy) with a dark soy sauce, vegetables, meat, and chili
- Tom Yum Kung (soup)
- Khao Pad (fried rice)
- Satay
- Curries
After lunch we looked in some of the shops. We stopped at a tailors to see how they made clothes, a popular souvenir for many tourists in the area. All of the clothes are made for the person so they were the perfect fit. Other tourists in the area that we talked to advised us to purchase VIP bus tickets for our journey to Chiang Mai. We found a travel agency and purchased tickets for 400 THB. We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon on Khao San Road and purchased different street food to eat for dinner. After dinner we hailed a taxi to go to the Patpong Night Market. The market, open every day from 6pm to 1am was bustling with tourists trying to get a bargain on brand name fakes, t shirts and other souvenirs. After an evening of bartering we were looking forward to a good sleep.

Posted by SydneyLiz 11:37 Comments (0)

Day 1: Our first day in Thailand!

Today we got our first taste of Thailand in Bangkok, a bustling city full of shopping centers and roaring taxis. Scattered around this modern city are ancient village homes, gold spired temples and carts serving traditional Thai cuisine. We arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok’s main international airport, about 30 kilometers east of the city center. To gain entry into Thailand we only needed a passport. Our accommodation for the next two nights are at the Bangkok International Youth Hostel only 45 kilometers from the airport . We took the airport bus (route AE2) into the city and transferred to a bus (no. 43) that took us right to the hostel. The hostel is located in a suburb called Thewet. The simple room came with bedding and towels, air conditioning, a bathroom and WiFi access. For only 1200THB (Thai Baht) or about $40 CAD a night it was an affordable option for our student sized budget. After getting settled we headed down the street to the Thewet Market where we got noodles from a vendor for dinner and then explored the other stalls, mainly filled with bright flowers. Tired we headed back to the hostel for an early night.

Posted by SydneyLiz 11:35 Comments (0)

Day 8: Relax at Khao Phra Taeo National Park

Day 8 started with a hangover! But not severe enough to stop us from seeing more of Phuket. We woke up pretty early and caught a bus to the Khao Phra Taeo National Park. Getting in cost $14.00CAD each. We spent the morning taking a leisurely walk up to Tonsai Waterfall which was truly beautiful. The smell of the trees and the sounds from the falls was the perfect choice after our night of partying. It was very relaxing and lush. After getting to the falls, we decided we'd do the 8km trek all through the tropical forest park from Bang Pei waterfall to Ton Sai. Very enjoyable afternoon! We had a guide with us, who pointed out different plant life and the houses of the wildlife. Though we didn't see any, we still had a great time. By the end of our walk, we were complaining how nice it was and how sad it was that it was over and we got talking to our guide and he let us know about a beautiful look-out right in Phuket City on Rang Hill, with beautiful hilltop restaurants that overlook the island! We were sold! We cabbed the 22km trip back to Phuket City and found our way to Rang Hill and had byfar the best restaurant experience in Thailand! We ate delicious food, drank strong iced coffees and had a wonderfully relaxing evening. No wild nights tonight!

Posted by SydneyLiz 10:27 Comments (0)

Day 7: Patong Beach!

We woke up this morning so early, just dying for the beaches! We decided to start with Patong Beach, as we've heard repeatedly that it's the best beach on the island! We took a taxi to Patong, not knowing what to expect, and boy were we surprised! It was a zoo of people sunbathing, jet-skiing, parasailing, and playing in the sand! And the sand was gorgeous! 2 kilometres of pure sandy beach! We thought we'd begin by paying for a couple of lounge chairs, which cost us 200 Baht ($7.00CAD). We also had to pay for the toilet facilities, which makes me laugh because it costs us 17 cents Canadian... So cheap! Then again, at home we don't have to pay to use public bathrooms... Anyway! We layed on the beach for a couple hours before deciding to find some lunch. Though the vendors approached us many times with their snack and trinket offerings, we decided to get some real grub from a small restaurant across the street. It's very handy and nice, as the road all along the beach is covered in shops and restaurants! So we stuffed our faces in preparation for our night on Bangla Road, known as the wildest nightlife street in Phuket where they shut down traffic and party all night! It was wild! Most of their bars are situated outdoors, so it is the noisiest thing you could ever experience! The beer was flowing, the girls were dancing, it was jam packed and so much fun! We ended our evening with ringing ears.

Posted by SydneyLiz 09:53 Comments (0)

Day 6: Chiang Mai to Phuket!

Woke up early this morning to board our flight to Phuket! Only one flight per day travels from Chiang Mai to Phuket, so we had to make sure we were on it! Two hours later we arrived on the "island paradise" of Thailand! We chose a small apartment hotel called Lamai Apartment to stay for the night, as it is only $21.00CAD per night! The rooms are very basic but the view from our window was beautiful. Lots of hilly terrain and beautiful flowers. After we dumped our suitcases off at our room, we decided to explore the town! We spent the entire day walking the streets of Old Phuket Town, which is an area lined with old shops, restaurants, galleries, and much more! We stopped for dinner at a restaurant called Lemongrass and sampled some of their infamous mii pat (yellow noodles), and khao mun kai (chicken and cooked rice). It was delicious. We capped off our evening at Kor Tor Mor, a trendy club with great music, tons of great people and extremely loud music! We found it after asking a local where the cool places to dance were! He led the way! It was a blast! Tomorrow: Beaches!

Posted by SydneyLiz 09:21 Comments (0)

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