I’ll be honest with you, Thailand wasn’t on my travel list until late last year. I thought I had seen enough of the country through other people’s travel photos and convinced myself that reading blog posts about it would fill me with the same sense of adventure as experienced by the blogger. Boy, was I undeniably wrong! The occasional raves of my friends who had been to Thailand sparked an interest in me to do further research about it and before I knew it, I couldn’t shake off the nagging urge to go and see it for myself!
I started planning a trip to Bangkok in November last year and figured it would be no fun if I went there alone so I talked Allan, my sister and her friend into traveling there with me 😀 we all agreed to travel for five days starting from the 10th of April, a very timely trip just right after my sister’s graduation. Then came the major task of finding a place to stay and how to go about the city without the help of a tour guide. With such limited time in the country and with optimism at hand, we still managed to squeeze in a 2-night stay in Koh Chang, an island a few hours away from Bangkok — talk about maximizing our time to its full potential 😛 what we weren’t fully prepared for was the lasting heat and humidity.
B A N G K O K
A few weeks before we flew in to Bangkok, I booked an apartment in the Sukhumvit Soi area through airbnb.com. Its proximity to the train station made it ideal for us to explore a good part of the city within two days. Despite having first-time backpackers with me, I decided to bypass any form of tour services so we could experience the thrill (and the occasional tension that accompanies it) of getting lost and discovering places we never knew existed. However, we had to give a lot of awesome sights a miss due to time constraint. BUT… we did go hunting for temples during midday and spent a considerable amount of time shopping and eating at night markets — two things you shouldn’t miss to see and do while in Thailand, no matter what.
K O H C H A N G
Koh Chang is an island east of Bangkok. To get there, we had to take a bus from Ekamai and endure a grueling 6-hour drive. We got off at Trat Bus Station and had to endure another 30-minute trip on a songthaew (a jeepney-looking pick-up truck) to get to Centrepoint Pier where a rusty but fully functional car ferry awaits. The ferry ride lasted about 40 minutes and built up a mixture of excitement and weariness in us. Once disgorged at Koh Chang pier, we found a number of SUV’s and mini shuttle vans lined-up nearby awaiting to transfer passengers to their respective resorts — might I just add, the fare was a bit pricey. Since we were feeling tired, we didn’t bother negotiate the price so we ended up paying 400 baht for a 20-minute transfer. All we wanted was to finally relax at the resort.
I booked a two-night stay in a deluxe room for quadruple occupancy at Aiyapura Resort & Spa — a perfect choice of resort if you want to be away from the main drags frequented in the island. We practically had the whole resort to ourselves during daytime! We originally planned to visit the neighbouring beaches but decided to just make much of what we have at the resort: we went biking around, made fun of each other as we hysterically jumped on the trampoline, basked in the sun by the pool during noon time, ate lots of food and compared each other’s tummy, took photos everywhere et cetera. Oh, good times.
(sorry, I didn’t realize most of the photos I took were of the food we had 😛 )
Here’s a 3-minute video by Allan which I hope would serve as a perfect introduction to the beauty of Thailand