With summer quickly approaching, we decided it was time to expand our horizons and explore a new continent together.
Like most of our trips, there was very little time between concocting the idea in our heads and putting the plan into action, so we booked a 12 day tour with Affordable Asia to save time and money. It was our first tour group rodeo, and we were pleasantly surprised by our experience. Affordable Asia gave us the option to partake in the group activities that were set up in advance, or go off and explore the country on our own. And shout out to Sharky, the illest tour guide in all of Thailand. He went above and beyond to make sure our Thailand experience was everything we hoped for and more.
Where We Stayed
Our tour package included a room at the Centara Grand At Central Plaza Ladprao in Bangkok. It’s steps away from shopping and dining options, and a a short taxi ride from the heart of the country’s capitol. Clean rooms, friendly staff, and an incredible breakfast buffet. This hotel gets a five star rating from us.
What We Did
Temple of Golden Buddha
We visited quite a few temples on our trip, but this one stood out to us because it’s the home of the largest solid gold Buddha statue. The Golden Buddha weighs in at 5 tons and has an estimated value of $14 million. It’s a sight to see amidst the beautiful Thai architecture.
Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)
Not only is this one of the oldest and largest Thai temples, but it’s also our personal favorite. Home to the 150 foot Reclining Buddha, and the grounds surrounding the temple are absolutely breath taking. A must see on your trip to Bangkok. Make sure you allow yourself at least an hour to explore.
We took a ride on a long-tailed speed boat through the canals of the Damnern
Saduak Floating Market. A great way to observe the local culture while getting some souvenir shopping done. It was a cool experience, but you won’t need to spend more than an hour here.
The best part about Thailand hands down was all of the hands on interaction with the exotic wild life. We got a meet and greet with little Tee Tee for only 300 Baht. I mean how could anyone pass up this face?!
Elephant Camp Tour
No trip to Thailand is complete without an elephant encounter. We booked a day trip to the famous Elephant Camp on the outskirts of Bangkok. We got to spend hours bathing, feeding, and grooming these majestic creatures. Our tour was complete with an elephant ride around the grounds of the camp.
Although this was our favorite day of our trip, we now realize the harsh treatment elephants at these types of camps often receive. A more humane option is to visit the Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai. This is the route we would take if we were ever to return to Thailand. It just goes to show the importance of doing your research prior to visiting a country.
Our Elephant Camp day tour concluded with a bamboo raft ride down the River Kwai. Perfect timing since the high humidity was causing us to sweat enough to end the drought back home in California. Nothing more peaceful than hanging off the raft floating down the river to lunch in a remote area of Thailand. This was our favorite day spent in Bangkok by far and the views on the river definitely didn’t hurt either.
Sky Bar (The Hangover Bar)
For the best views in Bangkok head to the Sky Bar. It was featured in The Hangover 2, which makes it a cool tourist spot to hit during your stay. The rooftop bar overlooks the city offering breathtaking views of the country’s capital, and we highly recommend making a trip during sunset.
The biggest luxuries in life don’t always come cheap, and these views are no exception. The drinks are unbelievably expensive and “hanging around” is not an option. Naturally our cheap selves ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, so cheers to the incredible views and out $19 watered down Sangria.
The tented markets host some of the best shopping for local goods. Although there are many great options, we found the most success at the Weekend Market. Yup, you guessed it, it’s only open Friday-Sunday.
Barter. Barter. Barter. Rule of thumb is to offer 1/3 the price that they’re trying to sell it for.We came back to the states with enough knock of Nike apparel to clothe a small country.
We also scored this sweet #twinning get up at the market. We like to think it’s socially acceptable to match from head to toe when abroad.
OH AND THE MARKET MASSAGES. An hour massage costs $6 USD in Thailand. As if there wasn’t enough reason to visit this incredible country. Get three a day every day that you’re there. Seriously.