Thailand over CNY break left an imprint on my heart – an entire week of lounging in hammocks and sipping fresh coconut water right from the fruit…amazing. We spent every day simply finding better foods to eat than the last day. Our days on the island Koh Chang involved fresh seafood, buying miscellaneous fruit juices & shakes, and other om-nomming adventures…also, lots of stray dogs everywhere…and tuk tuks…
So, to get to this island, you have to take this open air tuk-tuk, which is basically a open flat bed truck with some steel railing slapped onto it. Yeah…I know. Otherwise, Thailand impressed me with beautiful lighting, gorgeous geography, and…well, food of course. But first, the elephants.
On Koh Chang, I happened to ride my first elephant. While ours decided it was more interested in eating than hiking us through the jungle, the journey left me wondering if I could get a baby elephant…the elephant’s leathery neck spotted with wiry hair tickled our bare feet as we trekked through miles of untouched island foliage. The crunching footsteps and sporadic commands of our elephant driver interrupted the almost holy silence of the forest. After pineapple and water, we too tuk-tuks back to our cliffside beach huts.
Street food, beach food, food on a stick – can I just say, any food on a stick just makes it infinitely BETTER? Yes, it is so true – chicken on a stick, shrimp on a stick, pineapple on a stick…etc, the list goes on & on.
We stayed in a rather seedy hostel in Bangkok near the popular, touristy street market similar to Mong Kok in HK, Khao San Road. A popular street filled with knock-offs, leather goods, and anything else you could possibly buy, we gorged ourselves on street food (like nutella crepey pancakes…YUM) and sampled the wears everywhere.
Pratunam or “Platinum” warrants the title as the ultimate Thai shopping mecca. We spent an entire day getting lost in shopping malls, streets, and alleyways…the city section screams consumerism. If you’re willing to get gypped by the taxi drivers getting there and the vendors who know you’re foreign, the full-shopper experience is definitely worth it.
When in Thailand, get a massage…for around 5 USD. That’s right, we got full body Thai massages at around 5 dollars each, plus foot and shoulder ones the next day for EVEN LESS. If you’re willing to fight through the mosquitoes and pushy tuk-tuk drivers, Thailand luxury can totally be done on a budget. With 30 baht to 1 USD, you can afford to stay in a nice hotel and get pampered, or stay in a crappy hostel and spend all your money on amazing food and spa.
Thailand – a land of smiles and care, no lie. A place to find the cheapest and tastiest food, gorgeous and deserted beaches, not to mention luxury massages for a steal. Worth a repeat, if not a long summer stay.
I’ll always have a special place reserved for Thailand & the gems of getaways it produces.
Next up? Vietname, here we come… ^__^
That about wraps up Thailand – eating, getting massages, & shopping all day long. Hard lifestyle, I know.