I got asked by a lot of people why Andrew and I decided to go to Thailand. Multiple reasons, it's been a goal to travel outside the country since 2020, and well, you can guess why that's been hard in the last few years. I wanted to experience a different culture, I wanted to also go somewhere warm, and minus the flight, Thailand is an EXTREMELY cheap country to travel around. I'm talking $2.00 for the best latte you've ever had and $5.00 for two people to enjoy a pretty good Thai dinner.
Alright, now onto what we all did with some pics! We flew into Bangkok at night so we pretty much went to a hotel to pass out and then hopped on a plane the next morning to go to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. Our first day we explored the Old City. It's the center neighborhood that is a square surrounded by a stone wall. They have markets all over Chiang Mai but the Sunday Night Market is the biggest and we happened to get in on Sunday so we checked that out!
These were the areas you ate in.
The next day we saw some of the famous temples right outside Chiang Mai. This is Wat Phra Lat.
The most famous one around Chiang Mai is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. You have to climb up 300 stairs to see it but it's totally worth it.
Both those temples are up a mountain outside Chiang Mai and if you keep going further up you will come across the Hmong Doi Pui Village towards the top of the mountain.
Andrew found a coffee shop at the top of the village/mountain so we visited the village and made our way to the top to the Hmong Doi Pui Family Coffee shop.
I'm not a huge foodie but I heard that Khao Soi is a famous dish in Northern Thailand so I had to give it a try. This was from a hole in the wall restaurant call Pakorn's and was so delicious BUT it did leave me feeling not so great in the middle of the night.
I was up half the night, not feeling great so when Andrew woke up at 6am we decided to start our day otherwise I'd probably just lay around feeling like garbage. We stumbled upon the Chiang Mai market. It was fun seeing all the people up and moving that early, conducting business, and going on their days. I do feel like people in Thailand get their days started much earlier than Americans. Andrew got a coffee from one of the stands that cost 60 Baht, $1.70, and said it was the best he had the whole trip.
We travelled around the city in Songthaews, also known as Red Trucks. They're trucks with the beds turned into seating and are shared taxis.
We headed up to Chiang Rai on a 3 hour bus ride that day and it turned out to be a huge disappointment. I'll talk about that more on the show. Not every part of a trip can be perfect and this was our part. So let's fast forward to the next day where we headed down to the islands! There are so many to choose from but after some research we decided that Koh Lanta sounded the best for what we were interested in doing. We stayed at the Lanta Riviera Resort which was right on the beach. There were tons of bars along the beach but Koh Lanta is more of a sleepy island so they weren't too busy. We also were there during monsoon season so I think they pick up some during tourist season (December - April)
We rented motor bikes for our time in the islands. I didn't feel comfortable driving on the left side so I waited until the next day to get one but here's Andrew on his in "Old Town"!
The next day I went and got my own and we explored all around the island.
Stumbled upon a crew of monkeys.
Went to an elephant sanctuary called Following Giants! You are only allowed to follow them around and if they get too close, you have to back up. If you go to Thailand, do your research on the elephant sanctuaries. A lot of them seem legit but if you look at their FAQ's section, you'll find if they are actually ethical. They'll admit whether they chain the elephants up at night. I saw TikTok's of hotels that elephants come up to your room and you can feed them but after some digging, these places did not treat elephants as well as the legit sanctuaries.
We also swung by Mu Ko Lanta National Park. It had the most beautiful views of beaches and other surrounding islands.
One of Andrew's favorite things was visiting a place he found online that was famous for their baked goods called Siam Home Koh Lanta. We rolled up and it was literally the living room of an older couple that ran it. The guy lit up a joint in one of the back rooms while we enjoyed our coffee, haha.
Our biggest day of activities was when we took a long-tail boat to Koh Phi Phi.
We did some snorkeling. It was my first time snorkeling and I LOVED it!
Checked out Maya Beach, the famous beach that's featured in the movie "The Beach". It was stunning, but an absolute tourist trap, see second picture.
Swam in Pileh Lagoon. The water was so blue and warm!
Our last night in the islands we took one last motorbike ride all around.
We were flying out of Bangkok so we headed back there our last full day. We planned on hitting up a Sky Bar and checking out the city but by that point, we were both so tired, that we checked into our hotel and stayed there the rest of the day/night until we had to leave the next morning. Andrew said it best when he looked at me on the beach and said, "we're so lucky". I feel extremely lucky to have travelled halfway across the world to explore an entire country and experience a different culture. Thailand is known as "The Land of Smiles" and there's a reason for that. Thai people are the nicest people I've ever come across even when you cannot communicate because you speak different languages. I learned the most common form of communication is laughing and we laughed a lot with everyone we came across. If you ever plan a trip to Thailand and have any questions for me feel free to reach out! I have even more pictures and videos, including a "Highlight" of everything we did on my Instagram. Check it out here.