I have been lucky enough to visit Thailand many times over the years and whether it’s only been for short stop–overs or for longer stays, it’s a destination that I have always enjoyed. I think Thailand’s biggest selling point is that it has something for everyone – you can choose to laze around amazing beaches, party all night long, trek across jungles or simply shop until you drop.
The only drawback is that lately Thailand seems to have become a victim of its own success and the place is now overcrowded with tourists. When I took Mark to visit temples in Bangkok it was nearly impossible to move within the crowds which slightly ruined the experience and made it feel more like Disneyland than a place of worship (although there is nothing wrong with Disneyland but that’s a whole other conversation). That being said, it was probably our fault for traveling at the busiest time of the year – you can’t blame people for wanting to escape the cold and wanting their own slice of paradise! Never mind – we still had a fantastic time and shared our week-long stay between Bangkok and Koh Chang island.
Not for the faint hearted – Bangkok is a fast-paced, exotic and exciting city. The city counts about 9 million inhabitants which, if you add the 10 million tourists that visit every year, makes it quite a busy city! One of the most amazing things about Bangkok is that it manages to perfectly blend modernity and tradition. The city abounds with massive malls and sky scrapers and yet at the bottom of each building you’ll see little street vendors selling traditional Thai fare and not just around the corner people will be carrying out old Buddhist rituals in temples or shrines.
The city also has an incredible amount of transport options and you can easily get around using motorbikes, Tuk-tuks, taxis, the Skytrain, the Subway, buses or even taxi boats! As I mentioned before the temples were a little crowded so we decided to focus on a few key places and walk around the city the rest of the time. Conveniently, this also meant we had more time for massages and cocktails. I’m a sucker for rooftop bars (I even got married on one) and I was spoiled for choice in Bangkok. If you are ever over there for New Year’s Eve I highly recommend heading to a rooftop bar to watch the midnight’s fireworks, it’s a very special experience. The city’s nightclubs are also great and it’s really easy to forget the time and party until the wee hours. One note of warning though – remember ‘The Hangover 2’ and take it down a notch with the cheap cocktails…
Koh Chang is an island off the South East coast of Thailand and although it’s the second largest island after Phuket it wasn’t really developed until a few years ago. Resorts and tourists are still very much present but you can still find some beautiful secluded spots. The beaches are gorgeous with white sand, palm trees and crystal clear water and the island’s inner rain forest abounds with waterfalls and trekking opportunities.
Mark and I rented a scooter to ride around the island which was a lot of fun. Whenever we saw a spot we liked we’d stop and have a swim or take a walk along the beach… it was the perfect way to get around really.
Although there were plenty of bars around, after Bangkok we were looking to just relax and so our favourite way to end the day was to just sit on the deck of our bungalow and watch the sunset with a drink in our hands. Not too shabby…