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Monday, March 6, 2017

Now For the Country I've Been Most Excited to See: Thailand!

It is difficult to find the appropriate words to describe my time in Thailand thus far. I can say, without a doubt, that this is the ultimate destination vacation. If Thailand has been on your bucket list, I suggest you start planning as soon as possible. 

I wouldn't change a single thing about our time in each place (Bangkok, Krabi, and Koh Phi Phi). Our accommodation was flawless and affordable! I also felt very safe in each location. 

Truly one of the best things about Thailand, it really isn't expensive. Of course, the flight would likely cost you a pretty penny from the States and we decided to splurge a bit on our accommodation--why not upgrade when it's not a large difference? The exchange rate is very strong for those US travelers. 

To put this into perspective, I bought a tank top and a postcard (my prize possession that I've been collecting from each city that I've visited) for 105 Thai Bahts. What is this in USD? $3.0017. THREE DOLLARS FOR A TANK TOP AND POST CARD. In every other country, this would've been closer to $15 or $20. It doesn't just stop here, most beers & cocktail beverages are between 120 and 220 Baht. Meals are very cheap, especially for those who love Thai food. I even splurged and had a strawberry body scrub and hour deep tissue massage for 1,000 Baht. $28.58, now you probably just think I'm joking but I'm not. 

If you've been dreaming of visiting Thailand, I'm here to tell you that you don't have to dream about it any longer. You can make it a reality. There are even more ways you can penny pinch and still have a dream vacation. This place is worth the flight splurge and jet lag, trust me. 

This is truly one of the most beautiful countries I've ever visited. We've had nothing but amazing weather the last few days and I hope to come home quite tan. 

We arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday afternoon and we were immediately greeted with the very hot weather--coming from HK, this was quite the transition. I couldn't believe our hotel when we pulled up. It was absolutely beautiful and in a great location. We were right near the infamous Neon Night Markets, but I'll get to that later. 

Once we were all checked in, we headed out for dinner. I was able to find Chili Top, a rooftop bar with an extensive menu on top of a nice hotel only right down the street from us. Hannah and I indulged in cocktails, spring rolls as a starter, and then I had the sea scallops and prawn (forever risking my life for my love of seafood.) With our drinks, bottled water (it's best to treat Thailand as you would any Caribbean country, bottled water is best), our starter, and two main courses, our bill was $1,700. That is about $49 USD for me. INSANE! The view from this place was worth more than that alone. 

On Thursday, our only full day in Bangkok, we decided to pack in as much as humanly possible. We wanted to visit as many temples as we could. We visited the Grand Palace and all surrounding buildings. Though this was packed with hundreds of tourists and the heat was making it unbearable, it's definitely a must see for first time visitors. 

(Peep the $5 traditional Thai hand-woven pants from a street vendor. Very important to take into consideration the dress code when visiting the Thai temples. Shoulders must be covered and knees and ankles must be covered. You will be denied entry if you do not abide these rules. Luckily, we were prepared.)

We visited a few more temples and did a bit of walking around to street vendors and other shops. We even saw our second Buddha of the trip. This was the lying Buddha and it was insane how large the statue was. 

We ended the night by doing a little shopping at the Night Markets I mentioned earlier. The really cool thing is at the back of the markets, there are little bars and restaurants you can enjoy some food and a drink at. These are made out of large metal containers, some with rooftop bars on them. This is an easy way for them to stash seating away during the day, only to pull it all out and open shop that night. I was in love with how cute these places were. 

Friday morning, we began the trek to Krabi, our destination before the Thai Islands. This ended up being one of my favorite little destinations. A cute beach town with TONS of restaurants and bars, I was very pleased with our time there. 

Not to mention, the view from our hotel was breathtaking. 

We spent Friday and Saturday by the pool. Both nights, we ventured to local restaurants and bars to get a feel for the nightlife. Of course, we ended up at the one bar with a live band playing classics (my southern roots are showing.)

All in all, I would definitely recommend Krabi as a destination point on your trip. The Aonang Cliff Beach Resort is a must stay!! Beautiful views and great prices. 

Yesterday, we hopped on a boat to begin our 5 days on Koh Phi Phi. I'm very happy that we planned the most relaxing part of our trip at the end. It will be very nice to have some extended time on the beach, soaking up the sun. 

This island is a place that can only be described as indescribable. Have you seen the movie The Beach? Well, I haven't either. But you should. This is where the movie was shot. My favorite place I've visited thus far (and actually, in my entire life) and we still have a few days left. 

Looking to plan an excursion to a few different beaches including the exact location where The Beach was shot and maybe even Monkey Beach where, you guessed it, dozens of monkeys reside. 

Here's to Phi Phi Paradise drinks and a nice tan.

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