“I love to travel!” A phrase that is in never ending supply across blogger and Instagram profiles alike. I am no exception. As common, cliche, and/or basic as it may sound, it’s the truth! I have been fortunate enough to travel to many destinations across the globe, for awhile, I was making sure to hit 3-4 trips a year! A privilege I am not blind to. When my now husband and I had a wedding to plan and pay for (and then financially recover from), my passion for seeing new places had to take a backseat to other responsibilities. Until I’m able to have new adventures, I’m excited to share a new series dedicated to where I’ve been, that I hope will inspire you to see new places.
The other day I was clicking through photos of my trip to Thailand, when I realized it was nearly two years since I had gone. What a perfect way to start the travel section of my blog! One of my good friends, Ally, and I had been itching to take a girls trip together, and after months of going back and forth between possible destinations, we decided on Thailand. It was a place we had both always wanted to see, and you really can’t beat the price of things, that is after you’ve booked your flight! Not having too much time to take off for work and school, we were determined to see the sites of Bangkok + spend some much needed time on the magical beaches all in a week’s time.
Our time in Bangkok was short and sweet; just two full days, but plenty for me. Our first day was spent getting some much needed rest after 24 hours of travel, by seeking refuge from the blistering heat in our air conditioned hotel, and binge watching an entire season of Fuller House (don’t judge us). After recharging, we ventured out for the night to the Sky Bar, which was featured in The Hangover 2. Bangkok is known for it’s nightlife, but I cannot speak to that, as this was not something high on our list of priorities for this trip. While it was a beautiful way to take in a stunning view of the city, after one very expensive drink, we were ready to head back to our hotel and get ready for a full day of sightseeing. Also note, the one $18 drink I bought at Sky Bar was probably the single most expensive thing I bought the entire trip. Our lovely little boutique hotel in Bangkok provided a full breakfast with our stay, which was a great way to start our day of sightseeing.The hotel we stayed in is called Aurum The River Place, and it was the perfect spot to stay for a few days in Bangkok. It was clean, conveniently located, safe, and the staff was extremely helpful and friendly.
We got up bright and early the next day, ready to take in the city. Our main goal was to see the Grand Palace, and the beauty and culture it had to offer. Keep in mind, when visiting the Grand Palace, you must be appropriately dressed. Bare legs and shoulders aren’t acceptable, which can be difficult as it is extremely hot in Bangkok. I opted for loose linen pants, a tank top, and a shawl that I could put on when entering the temples. For anyone going to Bangkok, seeing the Grand Palace is a must. It is amazing to view such ornate buildings in real life, and will give you a much greater appreciation than seeing them on someone else’s Instagram. While exploring the Grand Palace, make sure to see the Reclining Buddha, and always remember to be respectful!
While Bangkok was an incredibly unique city that I am happy to have seen and would recommend to anyone visiting Thailand, we were more than ready to escape to the islands. Unlike most who visit the islands, we did not visit Phuket. Instead, we caught a short and inexpensive flight to Ao Nang, a town in Thailand’s Krabi Province. A good friend of mine had lived in Thailand for a year, and suggested this area over Phuket, as it would not be as overrun by tourists, and it did not disappoint. As I mentioned before, everything about Thailand is pretty affordable, and this is definitely true when it comes to accommodations. There were so many affordable 4-5 star options, it was difficult to choose! We finally decided on Ban Sainai Resort, which is located in the actual town of Ao Nang. Many of the other resorts are a small boat ride away on Railay, which was not conducive to our departing flight times, however if I ever make it back to Thailand, I think I’ll plan my traveling to accommodate staying on Railay. Ban Sainai was an absolute dream, featuring beautiful cottages, a fully complimentary buffet breakfast every morning, an infinity pool behind limestone cliffs that made me feel like I was inside Jurassic Park (minus the dinosaurs), and the staff at the resort was probably the kindest and most thoughtful I have ever encountered. The hotel also offered free tuk tuk rides, which became my favorite way to get around anywhere. I’ve heard that others have had negative experiences with tuk tuks and felt that they were ripped off, however ours was a positive one, and this could be due to it being exclusive to our resort.
Most of our time on the island was spent by the pool enjoying mango sticky rice, or out exploring all of the beautiful beaches. On both days that we ventured out, we took a small and inexpensive motor boat ride from Ao Nang beach, which was such a fun way to get a close look at all the natural beauty. Two of my favorite beaches were Railay Beach, where most of the luxury resorts are located, and Koh Poda Beach. Both were places that I had saved on my Pinterest, years before I even planned to go, and it was surreal to see them in person, to say the least! While on Railay, we explored the caves for a little bit of shade, and stumbled upon the Phra Nang Princess Cave, known for its…phallic decor. If you’re traveling with more conservative folks, just tell them they’re matchsticks 😉 Our second day exploring beaches was spent on Ko Poda Island, which had the bluest water I had ever seen in my life, and the softest white sand. The water was also the perfect lukewarm temperature, and once again, featured a Pinterest worthy backdrop. While I’m sure there was much to explore, from walking miles down the beach to find more secluded stretches of sand, to doing a little bit of snorkeling, we were happy to park ourselves in the same spot for a few hours, with the periodic dip in the water.
I could talk so much more about Thailand, but I’ll leave that up to you to ask questions if this more you would like to know! I also know that I barely even got a taste of Thailand, as my time there was relatively short. Have you been to Thailand? If so, what was your favorite part? And if not, have you been inspired to go?
Stay tuned for more in my ‘Where In The World’ series, and thank you so much for reading!