Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi, and Bangkok, Thailand

I may be biased, but who hasn’t ever dreamed of visiting Thailand?  Clear crystal waters, yummy seafood, fabulous shopping, affordable “everything”, and nothing but sun and heat.  Who wouldn’t want a vacation like that?

Thailand has always been one of my top destinations to visit and I was so excited I would be taking on this journey with a childhood friend.  I ended my six day solo trip in Hong Kong and then jetted to Phuket to meet my friend in Thailand.

For those who have traveled to Asia, have you noticed how easy transportation, and airport check-ins are?  In some airports, you can get through security and customs in less than 20 minutes!

Plane tickets around Asia are very affordable.  I flew Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Cathay Dragon.  They were all very excellent experiences.  If you are traveling through Asia you are also fed a full meal on a short flight, which was a plus.

For those airline staff who use ID90 travel, if you book with a completely open flight (green smiley) Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon will most likely award you a seat upon booking, which was nice and less stressful!  I booked my tickets full fare because getting around Asia was affordable.  Like, $45-$75 ticket affordable.  Make sure you check out Skyscanner, Expedia, and other travel booking sites.

Patong, Phuket

My friend and I stayed in Patong Beach and experienced everything this raving beach town had to offer.  From monster cable lines keeping the town alive with bars lining the street of Bangla Road, you won’t be dissapointed by the nightlife or beach party going on 24/7.  Patong is for the partiers, beach lovers, and those who want to be surrounded by other foreigners.  The best way to describe this town is Panama City Beach, Florida during spring break, which I found was not for me, but I was happy for the experience!

I was rather unimpressed by Phuket as I found their beaches to be rather dirty, trashy, and the beach water to be brown.  We went during peak travel season so maybe tourist season had a lot to do with the experience, but it was not the Thailand I was expecting.

Patong/Phuket is not for those who want a relaxing and quiet vacation.  Now,  I am not saying I would not visit Patong again, but I would love to experience a more serene and cleaner part of Thailand next time!

BUT, we got the best of both worlds by staying at a 4.5 star resort a little bit away from the crowdedness of Patong.  I cannot say enough how impressed I was with our hotel.  We stayed at the Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket.  The staff were extra helpful and beyond accommodating to us;  Even upgrading our room at no additional cost.  They also had a free shuttle that ran to Patong Beach every hour, as well as several pools, restaurants, and a spa on site.  Every room had a jacuzzi on the balcony and the rooms were huge!  We had a two bedroom suite + outdoor jacuzzi making it nearly impossible to get up each day and get out of our serene hotel.  Stay at this resort for zen, relaxation, and friendly Thai smiles!

 { In Sad News }

“You come to Thailand hoping to experience riding an elephant in the jungle, until you arrive at the sanctuary witnessing the mistreatment and poor lifestyle of those elephants.”

My friend and I booked a tour to go elephant trekking through the jungle.  It was all excitement until we arrived at the tour and my heart instantly broke.  Elephants are one of my favorite animals in the world and to see these tortured,sad, majestic creatures being chained up to the ground, and with saddles on their backs was not an image I wanted to see.  I had no idea what to expect to be honest.  It was the “thought” of riding elephants in the jungle that enticed my desire to go see them.  I love elephants, so I thought I was going to get closer to them, “I guess” by riding them.

We rode the elephant, and felt guilty the entire time.  Our tour guide was mean and did not care about the elephants.  They did not let us stay around long after the tour as they only cared about money and getting the next tourists on board.  A spear hung from the elephants ear in case it rebelled and chains swished along the dirt.  The elephant trekked up a steep hill with three bodies atop.   I thought about how exhausting this poor baby had to be as I can barely run up a hill with the weight of my own body.  The elephant listened to its commander as it shouted signals to stop and pose for pictures.

After this trek,  I decided I had to do some research on elephant trekking.  I learned baby elephants are taken from their mothers right when birthed, and sent to be trained for tourism.  They train them by breaking their spirits and throwing them in a hole by beating them into submission.  During this research, I also found that tiger kingdoms have been known to drug their tigers just so a tourist can take a photo with them.

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After gathering all this information,  I can honestly say I will never go elephant trekking or to a tiger kingdom because this is a total tourist trap.  Going on this tour evoked awareness, which was probably the only positive thing.  I can spread this message to you in the hopes that we can all agree that animal tourism needs to STOP.  Everyone is entitled to do as they want,  but I encourage you to do your research before you take part in supporting organizations that support animal cruelty where animals are mentally and physically abused.  I hope to one day go to an elephant farm where refugee elephants have been saved from abusive camps like the one we witnessed.  Maybe I have a soft spot for these creatures, but I just thought you should know before you go take a “cool”photo with a sad elephant, or a drugged up tiger in Thailand.

{ And back to some lighter news }

The rest of our time was spent doing tours to different islands.  We wanted to specifically only spend the day on certain islands (no tours), but we found the islands to be so far away that you definitely want to take a tour.  We had a very good experience taking the James Bond tour, and Phi Phi Island tour around all of Thailand.  Our tours picked us up at our hotel and took us to the ports,  which was super convenient.

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Maya Bay – Where the 2000 film The Beach was filmed with Leonardo DiCaprio

Maya Bay and Phi Phi Islands are what we had been waiting for.  THIS is where you will see crystal blue waters you have seen in photos.  Unforgettable views, warm sun rays, and good food (they even feed you on some tours) did not dissapoint.  I would suggest booking your tours on the main strip of Patong, Phuket where you can barter down the price and look at all tour options.  I would suggest not booking tours at your hotel as I noticed they were more expensive.

The food in Thailand was so good!  I am not one for street food as I saw a fish flopping on a grill and my heart broke a lil bit.  BUT, if you are big on Thai curry, then definitely order the yellow curry, but expect a big kick of spices.  We found that all supposedly “non-spicy food” was still spicy.  Other food suggestions are mango sticky rice, chicken pad Thai (of course) and their signature PANCAKES!!  They are called pancakes, but are actually crepes.  I am not sure why, but they were the best crepes like, ever.  Also, you must try rolled ice cream.  They make the rolled ice cream right in front of you and you have the option of different types of ice cream and toppings.  Try the oreo with nutella.  I may or may not have a big sweet tooth, as you can tell.

Getting around Thailand is very easy.  They are known for “Tuk Tuks’s”.  They are cute little mini-looking toy cars.  So cute that you may not ever want to ride in an actual taxi again.

Tuk Tuk’s in Bangkok

Don’t forget to barter the prices down when you go shopping.  You can even barter the price of a TUK TUK.   Do not let them go over 400 baht and try to barter down to 300 baht.  Although the price may already be cheap to you, most of the time they will lower the price even more.

Note:  ATM machines are okay in Thailand.  I suggest going to an ATM in a bank.  I came back to the USA with no fraudulent activity and I guiltily swiped the heck out of that card. 

The sweetest Thai people want to make a Baht (their money) just as much as you want what your little heart desires. But, do not take advantage of their prices because they are trying to make a living just as you are.  I felt very thankful that the Thai people were so helpful and willing to negotiate their products.  But,  bartering too low on a product might insult them and they may or may not shoo you away – from, experience.

180 degree turn in Bangkok, Thailand

Well,  we only spent a day in Bangkok, but one day was enough.  It was a total 180 degree turn from Phuket and Phi Phi.  Upon arriving, the staff at our hotel was semi-nice, but not as accommodating nor friendly as our experience in Phuket.  Bangkok was a little more fast paced in resemblance to New York City.  But, the overall experience was kind of sketchy.  We had a hard time finding English speaking people, or ones that seems as if they would not take advantage of us.  We did not get a good vibe from Bangkok,  so we just made the most out of our one day.

🛍We shopped.  And shopped.  Rode a tuk tuk.  And then shopped more. 👛👠

As you may of heard, the shopping is great in Thailand.  You can barter prices down and buy fine quality leather products.  I also love funky shoes and they had tons of them.  I also bought a lot of room decor.  Why not buy gold accents and buddhas to decorate your room in authentic Thai souvenirs that you reeeeally don’t need, but you just could not resist.  I usually do not buy souvenirs, as I personally feel as if they are cluttered junk, but Thailand was a major exception.

You are better off walking around Bangkok than haling a taxi or tuk tuk.  Traffic is extremely busy around this city, which makes it hard to get from place to place.  Another reason why we did really like Bangkok was because of the traffic, and how everything was so spread out.  All of the major tourist attractions were scattered around the city, which made it difficult for our timeline.

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The outfit I did NOT pick out

A top tourist spot in Bangkok is to visit the Grand Palace.   The dress code is very strict prohibiting  tank tops,  shorts, and any skin shown above the knees.  Prepare your cute outfit before, or you have to put down a deposit by borrowing their clothes for the day.  I was guilty of not being appropriately dressed and had to make due with the clothes they gave me.  Every time I took a picture, i was sweating they were going to catch me with my shoulders bare.  See, not all my outfits are always on point.  Fashion fail.

Thailand was an amazing place to visit.  We had the time of our lives and I am so sad that our time is over.  Although 16 days in Asia was not enough to see everything it had to offer,  I am happy to be back home on a normal schedule.  It was a recovery that lasted five days of sleeping and trying to get my life back together.  That jet lag was an UGLY feeling.  But man,  was this trip ever so worth it.  I would do it all over again for the beaches, food, friendly people,  and shopping .

One major tip when traveling to Asia : Bring a large suitcase.  I was told I would shop and bring back little things, but I did not listen and I traveled with two carry-ons to Asia.  Long story short, I came back to the states with two large checked luggages and a carry on.  So yeah,  bring a big suitcase because that stuff is so afforadable since you’re not paying the “Made in China” hidden shipment fees to your country.  THAT’S ALL. 😀

 

2 thoughts on “Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi, and Bangkok, Thailand

  1. Good read!Very informative! Pissed you rode the elephant tho, but guess you had already paid huh? Bummer! I look forward to going to Thailand in March! And I hope all my pictures come out this good lol!

    Like

    1. I know I’m mad we rode the elephant too, but I never would have known about the animal cruelty unless I went to this camp, unfortunately. 😥 Have fun on your trip!

      Like

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