How are you, folks? How’s your finances? Mine has been pretty boring. And boring is good.
In this article, I will be talking about our Bangkok vacation.
We departed Hanoi at 9 ish in the morning, and arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) at around 12 ish in the afternoon. As expected, it was just as muggy as Vietnam.
I noticed right away that there were lots of people in line at the Customs. I’ve never seen such long queue of travelers since Los Angeles (LAX) last year. It took us nearly an hour to get out of the airport.
Our adventure began at the taxi stand. We needed a ride from the airport to Intercontinental Bangkok. We picked our number, and we went to the taxi that was assigned to us. We asked the driver for the price, but his price was steep. You see, I research about the logistics (costs) beforehand, so I kind of know what the price ranges are for stuff. Normally, it would cost us 400-500 Baht ($20-$25) from the airport to the hotel. He was charging 700 Baht, which was nearly double the average cost. We tried to haggle, but he didn’t budge. Well, we walked away, and just picked another taxi – which cost us 500 Baht in the end. Lesson? Haggle and negotiate prices when possible.
And without any further ado, these are the highlights of our trip.
Intercontinental Bangkok – Sometimes, your accommodation gives that extra zing to your vacation. This IHG hotel certainly gave us that. The property is superb. It was definitely one of the most luxurious hotels we’ve stayed at. And on top of that, our 4-night stay was FREE. This is because of IHG’s credit card promotion. Since BF and I are platinum members, our room got upgraded and got free breakfast buffet for four days. Sweet. Another perk of this hotel is that the BTS Skytrain is just in front – so our transportation was pretty much set for the four days we were in Bangkok.
Temples and Ruins – One word: ornate. The details and intricacies of the designs of every temple we’ve been to in Thailand were just amazing. They definitely took their time in putting the pieces together. Another thing that I noticed is that they like the color gold and / or yellow. It’s the royal color. Speaking of royalty, King Rama X, the current king of Thailand, has shrines everywhere. That was cool.
We took the boat and cruised around the Chao Phraya River. After that, we went to Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), and the Grand Palace. We also allocated one day to visit the Ruins of Ayutthaya. It used to be the capital of Thailand until the Burmese destroyed the city. I wonder how Ayutthaya looked like in her golden age.
Food – If you haven’t had Thai food in your life, you are missing out. I was having Pad Thai (Thai noodles) almost everyday, and I never got tired of it. I also tried Tom Yum soup. That was a soul food. They said that when in Thailand, we should eat street food. Well, we did. But it was at a food court. We weren’t that adventurous. 🙂 They had stalls that mimicked the street food. The food was delicious, nonetheless.
- If you are a US citizen, and visiting Thailand only for less than a month, you don’t need a visa. However, you need a passport.
- Plan your trip on cooler months, preferably beginning of the year. We were there in May and it was hot.
- Speaking of hot, although it is already a given, hydrate yourself. Drink lots of water. I also bought a hand-woven fan to cool myself.
- Most market vendors will give you tourist prices right off the bat. Compare prices and haggle when shopping. You might buy what you want for 50% less than the original price.
- While in Thailand, try Thai massage. It was relaxing and refreshing. And it was cheap! $10 including tip? Can’t go wrong with that.
- As always, there will be people who will try to approach you and sell stuff or offer services – BE CAREFUL. BF and I just politely say no. When we want something, we make the first move.
- Say Kap Khun Krap (thank you for males) and Kap Khun Ka (thank you for females) when thanking someone. Learning some of the basic Thai words never hurt.
- Wear a proper attire (no sleeveless and shorts) and always remove your shoes or slippers when entering a temple.
With the exception of the humidity, we had a blast in Thailand. I cannot emphasize enough – beautiful temples, savory food, and cheap prices.
I’ve attached some of our pictures below. Enjoy!