December 30, 2017

Bangkok (Thailand Part 1)

Flying to Bangkok from Seattle is a LONG haul. We drove from Yakima to Seattle Thursday evening, boarded our plane at Seatac around midnight and arrived in Taipea, Taiwan after a thirteen hour flight for a layover. We were excited to start eating real Asian food and check out the Hello Kitty themed airport. Then we flew another four hours and arrived in Bangkok on Saturday around lunch time. After we made it thru customs, we tackled Bangkok mass transit. It was surprisingly easy to navigate taking the airport rail into the city and then switching on to the sky train to our hotel neighborhood.

We stayed at the Adelphi Forty-Nine in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok. This area of Bangkok seems to cater to expats with some Western restaurants and international schools. It was great staying at a hotel so close to the sky train station. It was about a 5 minute walk so we used mass transit for all of our time in Bangkok and mostly got by without needing taxis or tuk tuks. The traffic always looked so horrible that it seemed much faster to take the sky train rather than sit at a standstill in traffic.

Day 1: After such a long couple days of travel, we unwisely had booked a night food tour of Bangkok for that first evening. We traveled with a group in tuk tuks to various food stops and temples around the city. Our tour guide from Expique was very friendly and full of interesting information. We highly recommend the tour, but we were actually falling asleep towards the end because we were so tired from traveling. At one point M was falling asleep while we standing outside a temple and another time falling asleep in a tuk tuk while we were zooming thru the busy city streets with me pulling him back so he didn't fall into the street! Our stops included a sausage stand at a night market, the best Pad Thai in the city (Thip Samai, where we got to skip the huge line), a flower market with mango sticky rice and several temples.



Thip Samai Pad Thai




Fresh squeezed OJ at Thip Samai (the best ever!)




The next day we checked out the famous Chatuchak Market which did not disappoint. Were were there for several hours and still did not even come close to seeing it all!





After the market we spent the evening in China Town doing our own little self-guided street food tour from our Lonely Planet book. This was a great guide because most of the food stands didn't have any signs and no one spoke English so the walking tour said things like, "Walk down the end of the alley until you see the old man and woman making buckwheat noodles..." This was one of our favorite nights in Thailand. 
Oysters fried with egg and sticky batter 


Curry stand where everyone just found a chair on the sidewalk and dove in

This one was too spicy for me - described as intensely peppery soup


December 28, 2017

Thailand


We took an adults-only trip to Thailand in November to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. It was everything we hoped for and more. While its still fresh in my mind, I'm going to blog all the details of our itinerary and hits/misses in the next few weeks.

We had limited time without the kids so we had to plan our itinerary carefully. The weather also came into play as the islands on the Eastern side of Thailand were still in the rainy/monsoon season. We opted not to do a tour and planned our own trip instead, but it was a lot of work. If I planned a trip this involved again (with 3 different destinations and all the travel logistics) I might look into a travel agency to do some of the leg work. Once we debated and researched all the options, this is what we came up with:

Day 1:SEA > BKK
Day 2:Bangkok
Day 3:Bangkok
Day 4: BKK > CNX
Day 5: Chiang Mai
Day 6:Chiang Mai
Day 7:CNX > HKT
Day 8:Ko Yao Yai
Day 9: Ko Yao Yai
Day 10:Ko Yao Yai
Day 11: HKT>BKK>SEA

For the most part, everything worked out and we enjoyed all of the destinations on our trip. However, if we did it again we would probably spend one less night in  both Bangkok and Ko Yao Yai and add a second island for those two nights.