Thailand Part 1 (Family/Friends)

The Marble Temple, Bangkok

We had a great time in Thailand! Thailand is the land of tiny napkins, temples, egg bananas, Mario Kart style of driving, lots of great deals, and adventure around every corner. After a quick 17 hours of flight time from LA, we arrived in Bangkok. It was my first time visiting Southeast Asia. 3 weeks flew by. We still did some sightseeing and activities, but the focus of this trip was to be with family and friends. The people that you interact with have a tremendous impact on the overall experience of a trip. Everyone was friendly, kind, and generous, especially with food. We were never hungry. In general, we were very much the opposite of hungry. We were usually in a state of “about to burst” and more delicious food was still being brought to the table. This was our daily struggle. Since we were staying outside of the city center and with family, I felt more like a local than a tourist. We went to nearby malls and markets regularly. Most of the time, I did not recognize anyone as a tourist. I was the only one in a goofy hat with a huge backpack and a camera. The weather was hot and very humid. Imagine South Florida on steroids. We had a constant layer of sweat covering our skin. As you walk around, you also need to be acutely aware of anything with a motor and driver. People drive like they are in a video game and the traffic is worse than Los Angeles. It’s a real problem, but at least the metro (BTS) is fast, clean, inexpensive, and can get you to most of the city safely. Since most things are so inexpensive, after a few days of shopping locally, I began to balk at a $5 Starbucks coffee. “150 Baht for a coffee?! That’s robbery! Who would pay that?” Besides enjoying the time with Jyn’s family, some of the highlights of this trip for me were eating at Jay Fai’s Restaurant (best crab omelette), $1 bubble teas, Khlong Chao waterfall on the sparsely populated island of Koh Kut, Ayutthaya, all of the fruits (mangosteen in particular), and an intense 45 minute Jenga game. In addition to the fantastic people in Thailand, a friend from LA flew out and spent 1/3 of the trip with us. She is an “adventure cat” and we encourage all of our friends to come join us somewhere in the world. We will return to Bangkok and explore much more of Southeast Asia late 2019 and early 2020. It will be more of the adventure style of travel. For now, sawasdee khap Thailand!

Climbing through Khlong Chao Waterfall, Koh Kut. Ex-streamly fun 😉
I recreated an image from one of my favorite childhood movies (Kickboxer) at Ayutthaya.
Buddha in tree, Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya.
Moon Bar, Rooftop Bar, Above Vertigo Bar, Bangkok. Truly a high-light.
Blended watermelon in a watermelon!
Raan Jay Fai, Bangkok (1 Michelin Star!) Great experience! You need to reserve 2 months ahead of time.
Dock on Koh Kut Island. We were board.
Seriously Thailand? Why are all of the napkins this size?
Fun tree to jump off at the waterfall!
Sitting uncomfortably for a nice picture.
Feelin-knit. Jyn Knitting a shawl on the beach
Good looking yarn on display at a local mall.
Inexpensive vaccinations from the Tropical Disease hospital for the year ahead. Bunch of pricks.
Wat Arun from across the wat-erway.
At Ayutthaya. Our day got ruin-ed.
Coastline near Trat, Thailand.
Mangosteen!
Salsa Dancing at Flamenco in Bangkok.
Probably the best haircut I have seen.
Tropical Islands… Sometimes they bug me.

Useful Tips…

-Do not drink from the faucet. Bottled water is for drinking. Water in houses can be used for showers and brushing teeth without issues (from my experience).

-Take the BTS when possible to avoid traffic, but keep in mind taxis are cheap.

-Only take taxis with running meters.

-Shoes come off before entering a home or temple.

-Many temples require knees and shoulders to be covered. You may need to buy clothing nearby to cover up.

-Toilet paper does not always go into the toilet.

-Toilet paper and wet wipes are your friends. Keep friends with you.

-They drive on the left. Crazy and on the left.

-Most US goods are expensive comparatively (more expensive than in the US due to luxury tax. Fruits and cars, especially)

-Going to the mall is cool (not only because they have AC) The MBK mall is my overall favorite. Siam Paragon is also super nice. They both have delicious food.

-You can get by with just English, but expect some difficulty.

-Minimum wage is around $10 per day (not a typo… $10 per day).

-Vaccinations are less expensive here (I received 4 sets of shots here for less than the cost of 1 of them in the US. Same shots)

-US style plugs work in most outlets without adapters.

-Credit cards are widely accepted, but cash is needed for the local vendor stalls and transportation.

-The latin dance scene and yarn stores here are minimal at best.

-Conversion rate is about 30 THB (Thai Baht) to 1 US Dollar, at this time.

-The most common religion is Buddhism (more than 80%)

-We felt safe the entire time. Just use common sense.

-Try all of the food!

-It is generally hot and very humid.

-There are many mosquitos… and other critters. They will bug you 😉

-The small houses in front of buildings are spirit houses. Sprits live there so they don’t live in your home or business.

Things we did…

-Jay Fai dinner (from Netflix “Street Food” MUST DO. CRAB OMELETTE)

-Spent time with family/friends

-45 minute intense Jenga game (roll dice for color block to remove)

-Knitted

-Walk, swim, exercise bands, and a random workout in a park with the “bodybuilding club”

-Wat Pho (reclining buddha)

-Erawan Museum

-Visit Giant Swing

-Siam Paragon, MBK, and Paradise Malls (Eat in the mall!)

-BACC

-Train night market

-The Marble Temple

-Drank gallons of tea (Brix, cha tra mue, and koi the were our favorite)

-2 hour massage for $15.

-Ayutthaya (MUST DO).

-View of Wat Arun from 4th floor deck of Ambrosia.

-Octave and Vertigo rooftop bars (Vertigo with Moon Bar is great)

-Eat, and eat, and eat.

-JTC (jewelry trade center) to look at gemstones (most of the world’s stones pass thru Bangkok)

-Salsa danced at Flamenco (beautiful place to hang out, but don’t expect much dancing or space)

-Stayed on Koh Kut for 3 days.

-Kayaked to Khlong Chao on Ko Kut island (MUST DO)

Favorite Things to Eat

-Fruits: Mangosteen (MUST TRY), Rambutan, Mangos, Guava, Dragon Fruit, Durian (odd smelly taste)

-Papaya Salad

-Pad Thai

-Crab Fried Rice

-Minced Pork Basil

-Yellow, Green, or Red curry

-Butterfly Pea Tea (changes color from blue to purple with lemon)

-Assam Red Tea, Rose Tea, Honey Green Tea

-Thai Omelette

-Thai Iced Tea/Coffee (Very sweet)

-Mango sticky rice (MUST TRY)

-All of the fruit smoothies (Best I have ever had)

-3 Flavor Fish

2 thoughts on “Thailand Part 1 (Family/Friends)

  1. Awesome update man!!! Looking good out there!

    Great info too, lots of details.

    So far so good in general?

    On Sun, Sep 1, 2019 at 1:11 PM Travel Knit Dance wrote:

    > Mike posted: ” The Marble Temple, Bangkok We had a great time in Thailand! > Thailand is the land of tiny napkins, temples, egg bananas, Mario Kart > style of driving, lots of great deals, and adventure around every corner. > After a quick 17 hours of flight time from LA,” >

    Like

  2. So excited to follow along and read about your travels! Shari, mom, and I are wrapping our final day in Croatia today. We have mentioned you often. You will LOVE Croatia!

    Like

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