Visiting Thailand has been on the top of my bucket list for quite some time now. Ever since I first heard about the Floating Market, I’ve wanted to see it for myself. When my dear friend, Nimisha from college, announced that she’s getting married in Thailand , Mike and I decided to turn this into a 9-day vacation, where we spent 5 days and 4 nights in Bangkok and the rest of our stay in Hua Hin, where she was getting married.
Despite the long uncomfortable, 20 hour journey from Los Angeles to Guangzhou, China to Bangkok, we had an incredible experience in Thailand. I loved seeing the beautiful architecture and the different temples plated in gold – it’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before! I also loved walking through street food stands that had all kinds of interesting smells. Mmmm so yummy! Most of all, I liked being part of the hustle and the bustle of what makes Bangkok, Bangkok.
Day 2: Chatuchak Weekend Market
This incredible market is one of the world’s largest, outdoor markets. It sells everything from food to clothes to puppies to furniture – it’s an extraordinary sight itself! This place is HUGE! Mike and I went through stall after stall, not knowing where the entrance or exit was. We got so much random stuff during our 4-hour shopping spree. Mike even found Thai Mountain Dew (his favorite soda) – yes of course I had to get a picture!
So many random t-shirts!
Fakes! Fakes everywhere!
Mike attempts to buy chicken wings… Or what we thought were chicken wings…
30min foot massage for $6?! Yes please!
Yeeeeeah get it girl!
I guess hating Mondays and selling douchy shirts are universal world-wide:
After about 20mins of actively looking for the exit, we finally made it out of the market. Then, we couldn’t figure out how to get back to the train station, so decided to take a scenic walk around the local park and found this bridge:
Hurray – we made it back to the train station.
The streets of Bangkok is no walk in the park. There’s movement everywhere; everything is a photo-opp!
Day 3: Culture Day – Temples and Palaces
In the midst of heat and humidity, we spent our third day admiring the beautiful Thai architecture that I’ve been longing to see. We took the ferry up the Chao Phraya River to Wat Pho (a Buddhist temple) and Reclining Buddha.
Here, we saw the largest reclining Buddha in Asia, measuring at 46m long (150 feet).
Our next stop was Wat Arun, aka. the Temple of Dawn. Unfortunately, the exterior of the temple was under construction and surrounded by scaffolding 🙁 Total bummer – but still managed to get some nice shots.
Day 4: Floating Market, Tiger Temple & Elephant Ride
Everything I’ve been wanting to do, and more! We booked a private tour with Thai Tour Guide, who picked us up at 7am at our hotel and drove us down to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, the largest floating market in the world! TJ, our guide, picked out all these local fruits from the market that we otherwise wouldn’t have known. The Floating Market is about 1.5hours away from Bangkok, but once we got there, we had our own boat waiting for us. The first half of the boat ride was hectic, flowing through water stalls and people selling all different kinds of stuff. Then the second half was rather peaceful; we rowed through the neighborhood of stilt houses where people still live today.
We even met a tiny monkey!
I didn’t know that the Floating Market had such a peaceful area; I really thought it was a large, hectic market! Apparently the people that live in the stilt houses have the same way of life as they did 80 years ago. In fact, our guide told us that they quite like the simple life and prefer a quieter way of living than migrating off to Bangkok.
A man does his morning laundry.
Next, we visited the Tiger Temple in the Kanchanaburi Province. Here, we got to pet and pose with tigers who were raised by monks! Tigers feel a lot rougher than I had imagined – but still pretty cute!
They really are just big, lazy cats.
Our next stop was the elephant ride – this was so exciting, yet scary at the same time! It had rained heavily moments before we got on the elephant, so I was afraid that the elephant was going to slip and we’d crack our heads open. Fortunately, the elephant knew what it was doing 😉 Just in case you’ve never been on an elephant before, they’re A LOT higher than you’d imagine to be! At one point, the elephant went into the water with its head just barely popping out! We just went with the flow and hoped we won’t fall in. I only took iPhone pictures as I didn’t want to get my DSLR wet, so here’s a good one of us:
Last on our journey was a quick visit to the Bridge on River Kwai – that was constructed in WWII to transport military cargo. I’ve seen the movie a long time ago so it was impressive to see the bridge in front of my eyes. We only spent about 20mins here before heading back to Bangkok end of day.
Those were our 4 days in Bangkok. The remainder of our Thailand vacation were spent in Hua Hin, a coast city about 3hours south of Bangkok, where Nimisha was getting married (which will be my next post)!
Despite the humidity and having to shower at least 3x a day, I quite enjoyed Bangkok, mainly because it was so different from anything I had known before. Every corner was a photo opp – really a impressive city!