This was actually my second time in Thailand, I travelled to Bangkok back in 2012 for a business trip and was literally there for 72 hours.
This time I was there for 13 whole days, back in November 2016 and the weather was perfect with an average of 29 degrees. It was honestly the most amazing experience ever, as cliche as it sounds. From Bangkok, to Chiang Mai, to Trat, to Ko Chang, we explored, we travelled, we ate, and do I mean we ATE! and stayed in the most amazing places.
What I loved about this trip is that we made it spontaneous. I'm not really into backpacking, with a big ole' bag the size of another human on your back, (that's not chic, lol) but in essence thats what we ended up doing but with suitcases. We planned as we went along, doing our research on the best islands and places to stay.
K Maison Hotel Lobby
Bangkok being first on the list was a given for sure as the main airport is located in the capital, but Thailand is such a HUGE place, I can understand why some people have been there 7 times or more! Theres so much to do and see, and no place is the same, each possessing its own beauty and uniqueness, making each experience different. Bangkok is BUSY, reminded me so much of London, lots of shops, noise and air pollution lol. Its great to stay for a few days, if you want to shop, visit the zoo and the river markets but thats about it, I recommend moving on, quickly.
We stayed in two hotels in Bangkok, Our first hotel when we landed, Hotel LIT was really cool, my partner is an Architect and LIT was a very modern, "architechy" looking hotel with great design, so staying there was a must for him, which I wasn't bothered about because it was a lovely hotel and in addition to the contemporary beauty, the staff were kind, friendly and helpful. I definitely recommend staying here when in Bangkok.
Our second hotel, K Maison Hotel was my personal favourite, we stayed here on the last few days in Thailand and I was literally ready to move in guys, seriously. The interior was so pretty, I drew so much inspiration for when I move into my family home, loved everything about this place. What excited me most about our stay here was their breakfast restaurant across the road, Kay's Boutique Breakfast. We had the privilege of eating there for free every morning. I couldn't contain my excitement, breakfast being my favourite meal of the day, I practically ordered everything off their menu. Gluttony at its finest. (God have mercy on me). If you ever visit KBB, please try the Pan Kay's Pancakes with brûlée banana and cream, its just WOW!
Food wise, try and stick to the restaurants or street food markets the locals visit, those you can trust for authenticity and flavour or head over to China Town where theres an abundance of outdoor street restaurants, honestly some of the best food I've ever had and I LIVED off their fresh juices, the pomegranate ones especially.
For more pictures on my experience in Bangkok, play the slideshow.
A charming place to visit, quiet but with enough going on to keep things alive. We flew from Bangkok to Chiang Mai which took approximately an hour and stayed at Hyde Park Hotel for three nights. Again another great boutique hotel, quietly located on a side road, away from the busy traffic. My favourite part about this hotel was the design and suite we had.
The breakfast was included which was also 10/10. Please guys wherever you stay, make sure breakfast at the very least is covered at your hotel, its one less thing to worry about! The hotel staff were so pleasant and very informative as to where we could go and what we could do. We were forever asking for the best places to eat. lol!
Hyde Park Hotel suite and breakfast in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
On our first full day, my partner wanted to visit the Buddah temples, as mentioned earlier, he's an architect and beautiful buildings of any kind get him very excited. We then came across La'na21 Architect Studio/Centre whilst roaming the streets of Chiang Mai, it was free and open to the public, great for photos and you get to learn a bit about Thai Architecture, depending on how interested you are.
After spending time at the studios and exploring the temples, we grabbed a spot of lunch at a local restaurant which was ok, nothing to write home about. Around 5pm the street slowly turns into a night market, so trinkets and street food galore. We walked through, fascinated by what the local people were selling, I bought an ankle chain, a lemon squeezer carved from wood and my partner bought the most amazing hand made leather sketch book that he uses till this very day to jot down his church notes.
Twirling some fun at the Chiang Mai night market
Day two, we headed out to the Chiang Mai mountains via Tuk Tuk, Tuk Tuk's are those little scooter things you travel on the back of. Now I will ONLY recommend this type of transportation one, for short journeys and two if you're highly adventurous otherwise take a taxi. Our Tuk Tuk driver played down the journey a bit so it was a bit tedious and bumpy, however we made it to the top of the mountains and hour later in one piece, thank God.
You're probably wondering why we went up there in the first place? I can tell you, it was to ride the elephants. Our driver knew of an elephant camp that was quiet and not overwhelmed with tourist which was music to my ears, so we went for it.
The experience was absolutely unforgettable, riding up in mountains, across the waterfalls, the views were just simply breath taking, I was in complete awe. The elephants were beautiful, humble creatures, we had the opportunity to feed them at the end as reward which I couldn't get enough of. IF I was ever so blessed to do this again, I'd ride the elephants without the chair frame on their backs. During the ride I couldn't help but sympathise with them and having done a little research after I learnt its actually quite damaging to their backs. So guys I would recommend if you are going to do the elephant ride tour, please go with the ones where you sit directly on the elephant itself.
Next we headed down the mountain, our Tuk Tuk driver was lovely enough to wait for us and take us back down, but before leaving we visited the Karen Long Neck Village. Its amazing how we can live in our own bubble, sometimes even ignorant of whats around us, I was so amazed at how the women of Karen still kept their culture and traditional beauty of using brass rings around their necks. Its believed the longer their necks were made from their exotic neck piece, the more beautiful and attractive they were.
After an eventful trip, we headed back to the hotel and crashed! For more pictures on my experience in Chiang Mai, play the slideshow.
KO CHANG, TRAT
From Chiang Mai, we left early in the morning to catch our flight to Trat, Ko Chang, a small island on the North side of Thailand. Most people head for Phuket or Koh Sumui, which are both beautiful islands in their own respect, but like the title of this blog post says, we wanted an adventure!
Ko Chang Ocean - White Sand Beach
Where do I start with this island? The flight from Chiang Mai, stopped over in Bangkok, the total duration of the flight and wait time was about three hours. We landed at Trat airport, but wait for it, it was no ordinary airport, it was actually an experience in itself. The airport was the size of a Tesco Express, no exaggeration. It was filled with exotic trees, there were no doors, or windows, you could call it open plan airport lol. Once the shuttle buggy had dropped us off at baggage claim, there wasn't even a conveyor belt! It was kind gentlemen lifting our suitcases off the airport tarmac buggies and handing them to us. My partner and I just couldn't get over where we were and how beautiful it all was, and this was JUST the airport.
Warning, taxis aren't a common form of transportation in Trat, especially from the airport. You're kind of left with little or no option to take one of the airport transfers to the ferry which then takes you to the island of Ko Chang, and its cash only so have your monies ready!
On our way to the ferry, we felt like we were in Colombia, if you've seen Narcos, you'll know what I'm on about. Tropical, exotic, green trees everywhere with intervals of homes and shops every 200 yards or so. Breathtaking.
Finally arrived at the ferry which would take us from Trat to the island of Ko Chang. In the distance you see this huge mountain of green, we could have sworn we were on our way to Jurassic Park. I remember it being so hot that day, the ferry thankfully had these two lovely ladies making and serving up fresh smoothies, which I happily enjoyed a pineapple and mango one as I stuck my head out the ferry, lapping up the sun, warm breeze and views as we approached the Ko Chang island.
(Apologies for the picture quality, was literally snapchatting so much, I forgot to take actual photo's.)
Our hotel, hotel Parama had arranged a transfer for us upon arrival on the island, as long winded as this particular journey was from Chiang Mai to Ko Chang, we were just too excited and too breath taken by everything to notice or complain. Another 40 minutes later we finally arrived at the beautiful Parama Hotel all the way on the other side of the island, the quiet side. (By now you should tell, I like quiet). Parama had a very authentic atmosphere and traditional aesthetic which we just fell in love with, nothing about it was contemporary and thats what made this stay so much more like a true get away. The grounds were surrounded by waters filled with huge turtles, fish and shark that we enjoyed watching being fed over breakfast every morning. Breakfast was great, seriously top notch stuff and inclusive with our stay and you could have as much as you want.
You could say that this was the relaxing part of our vacation, we just ate, sunbathed and slept, island hopped, and repeated for six days. Parama hotel surprised us when they mentioned they had their own remote private island located about 10 minutes via speed boat from the hotel and wait for it, they take you their for FREE! The island is covered in white sand and surrounded by crystal clear waters. The island is tiny, you could walk the whole thing in about 20 minutes if you walk really slowly, reminded me of that Channel 4 show, Shipwrecked.
Parama Hotel private Island
For more pictures on my experience in Koh Chang, play the slideshow.
Ok so I feel like I've been yapping on forever, theres so much more to write about this trip but I will have to leave it here, and honestly my fingers are tired (I don't know how you writers do it!) I am happy to answer any questions but all in all this was the best holiday I have ever been on, definitely up there with my top 5.
Thanks for reading guys. x