Our trip started out in Bangkok, a city where the majority of tourists use as a stop off point. Fly into Bangkok, have a night out on the Khao San Road, squeeze in a temple and on you go to your island. I had been warned by past travellers that Bangkok was seedy, full of lady boys, sex tourism and not worth staying much longer than a night.
Trying to keep an open mind, we decided on two nights on arrival, thinking that this would be plenty of time. So, we squeezed in a temple, had a night out on the Khao San Road and even fitted in some shopping at MBK a huge shopping mall dedicated to counterfeit well-made designer handbags.
Despite the areas visited being clichéd, there was a vibe in the city that I found enticing and I couldn’t help but feel that there was a lot more to this city than it’s reputation would have you believe. With our impending trip to the Islands, we waved goodbye to Bangkok and were on our way.
Sit back and relax
Island life, conjures images of kicking back on the beach, a book in one hand an ice cold drink in the other. Spending your day’s island hoping, diving and sampling the local delicacies. Idyllic? Relaxing? The answer is yes, absolutely.
Our Island of choice was Ko Phi Phi a stunning destination where we were lucky enough to rent out a hut on Long Beach a calm and beautiful strip of beach.
Hooray for the day
The snorkelling opportunities around the island were amazing. With boat trips aplenty, offering all sorts of excursions, including Monkey Bay; a really fun beach environment with cheeky monkeys running wild, a definite must see. At long beach you were spoilt for choice with great restaurants.
Take a seat under one of the covered hut-style seating areas and sip a tropical shake in the shade, fancy a cat nap? Plenty of room on the covered benches to curl up…. Ah, bliss!
Nightlife on long beach was lacking and with just a strip of sand to walk across there was only so many ways you could take a late night stroll without feeling a sense of groundhog day. The “Shark Bite” was the only bar and was run by a charming group of enthusiastic locals, they would put on nightly flame throwing shows, an impressive feat.
The D.J played a great mix of music that appealed to all, however, after four consecutive nights of the same show and dancing to the same ordered songs we opted for a change of scenery. Hopping on a taxi boat to the closest nightlife spot; Ko Phi Phi’s pier. Buckets of whiskey, chart music and young teens/adults from all over the globe deterred us from hanging around for too long.
After a few days of intense relaxation I began to feel, I hate to admit it… Slightly bored.
Bangkok take two
After making the most of Island life we decided that a return to city life was in order and off we went to give it another go. Armed with the lonely planet we decided to explore as much of the city as we had time for.
Day or night, in Bangkok you are spoilt for choice with an array of tourist and local markets. Vendors selling food, clothes and items that you could or couldn’t imagine! Walking around local markets, we found ourselves to be almost the only westerners the environment was calm and overflowing with a range of surprising produce that gave hints of the culture you were immersed in.
How about used dentures? We encountered friendly faces and respectful greetings at every corner. Chatuchak the weekend market is an amazing bustling treat. Selling a range of products, including, gorgeous up and coming clothes, ceramics, art, pets, books, you name it you will find it!
High end restaurants in phenomenal surroundings or delicious, simple street food. Bangkok has it all. Thanks to our guide we were able to find fantastic delectable treats. The lonely planet would direct us to an area; we would eat and then take a walk getting to know a new part of the city. Each and every time, turned out to be a further insight to Thai life and we became more and more intrigued and excited!
The Khao San Road is the tourist destination, full of drunken travellers passing through and local touts trying to sell and make their livings. An interesting area, worth a visit but to get a real sense of Thai life you only need to walk around the corner and you will come across cute little bars filled with locals and young professionals. These bars are littered all over the city and are well worth visiting. Friendly, open staff provide a calm and happy atmosphere.
The best of both worlds
For a chilled out holiday with a taste of city life, a trip to Thailand offers both of these in excellent proportions. Travel as a tourist on taxi boats making the most of island life. However, if you want to get to get a feel of Thailand, and develop a better understanding of its inhabitants and culture spend some time in its capital. Don’t be afraid to explore and get involved, a fully inspiring experience!
Miss A is the Social Media Consultant for Kranichs. Looking for gifts for a special lady? How about one of our Blue Diamond Rings? If mom holds your heart check out the stunning Mothers Rings.