Thailand – A Story Of Straw Hats, Handmade Jewelry and A Really Bad Sun Burn

Traveling Thailand has been something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time, I do have to admit that even though it was an incredible experience it wasn’t quite exactly what I had thought it would be.

Over the years Thailand has become a much popular destination for tourists and this has become very obvious. I had been told stories of when my older brother had visited over 8 years ago and when I stood in exact area’s where he had taken photos there were very noticeable changes.

Although I was expecting different there were lots of things I loved about Thailand! Starting with each City I visited I’ll share with you what I loved and what I learned.

Chiang Mai 

This was hands down my favorite part of the whole entire trip, from the historic buildings to the mountain temples Chiang Mai was full of flavor and history.

Hotel : Kate and Hasu Boutique

This beautiful boutique hotel is situated in the heart of Chiang Mai, located on a back road off of a busy street you felt like you were escaping the city for a relaxing spa. Each morning you were welcomed downstairs to sit in their beautiful lobby and enjoy breakfast. A menu was given with numerous different options to fulfill any taste buds and the staff was continually serving delicious coffee before your cup was even finished.

The staff was friendly and made an effort to get to know you and help you enjoy your experience in Chiang Mai. We were recommended to a day driver who took us out for the whole day to visit numerous tourist area’s and some hidden treasures. At the Kate and Hasu Boutique we felt at home and even though we were visiting a very busy city the hotel was always peaceful and relaxing.

Food

With no competition the best food I had in all of Thailand was in Chiang Mai. From the restaurants to the street markets every dish we tried was full of flavor and spice. Although I do warn you, I requested my food to be spicy for my first meal there and it was so spicy I cried the whole time (Still delicious though). Highly recommend eating from the street markets, the food is significantly cheaper there and absolutely delicious. You can jump from stall to stall and purchase numerous types of dishes and then find a table close by to enjoy.

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Phuket  

We visited two parts of Phuket while we were traveling, Old Phuket town and Patong Beach. Both very beautiful places but very different depending on what you are looking to do. Old Phuket town was filled with old colored buildings which almost reminded me of Havana. Patong was a busy beach town filled with beach resorts, trendy restaurants and a very lively night scene.

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By the time we had traveled to Patong we had already been in Thailand for about 7 days, I had been wearing SPF 30 every day and found I wasn’t tanning or burning at all. First day at the beach I put on SPF 30 on the area’s I would normally burn such as my nose, shoulders, chest and back. Unfortunately after being on the beach for only two hours I could feel my skin was just too hot and I immediately went inside.  Hours later I turned into a complete lobster, even the tops of my feet burnt! Due to this I had to stay inside the following day, applying lots of Aloe Vera and trying to avoid sun as much as possible. If your as porcelain white as I was, I highly suggest wearing SPF 60! I wore it moving forward for the rest of the trip and was still able to tan.

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Bangla Road

A must see if you are in Patong! This street was like nothing I had ever seen before, during the day it’s nothing special but visit past dawn and you’ll be mesmerized by the bright lights, loud music and a jam packed road. There are so many bars (and they all looked like a good time) that it’s almost over whelming to choose where to start! The alcohol was cheap and there’s a large variety of music from bars playing top 40’s to live rock cover bands.

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Bangkok 

As much as this is a city you need to see while traveling to Thailand you definitely do not need more then a couple days there. Partying on Khao San Road was definitely the highlight of the visit but during the day we felt the city was boring compared to where we had visited prior.

Of course you can spend an afternoon visiting the palace which is beautiful but be prepared to spend an upwards of $25.00 to get in and additionally you need to ensure you are fully covered up. Unlike other temples in Thailand where you can cover your shoulders with a pashmina, to enter the palace they require you to wear a shirt which fully covers your chest and your shoulders, additionally of course your knee’s must also be covered. If you are not prepared they do have a store in the front where you are able to rent pieces of clothing with a deposit of 250 Baht (About $8.50).

Our biggest disappointment in Bangkok was the floating market. We had been looking forward to this as we had read it was an amazing experience. Plot twist.. only a portion of the market is on the water and the majority of it is on land.  And we learned quickly – If you’ve been to one market you’ve been to them all. They pretty much all sell the same items, the best part of the markets are the food stalls.

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Throughout the course of 19 days we visited Chiang Mai, Old Phuket Town, Patong Beach, Koh Phi Phi Island and Bangkok. Each place was very different from the taste of the food to the atmosphere. Now I know I didn’t go into detail about Koh Phi Phi, this was such an experience on it’s own I feel it deserves it’s own blog post!

All options are my own.

xo S

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