Due to losing my phone and a missed flight to Myanmar as a consequence of that, I spent more time in Thailand than I originally planned. Specifically, I spent 10 days in Bangkok. First, what I learned from that was that most people are absolutely shocked when you tell them you’re in Bangkok for 10 days. Even more, they’re shocked when you’re there that long during the King’s Funeral Ceremony where most of the city was closed down. But due to not wanting to have to spend more money on new flights, I was in Bangkok for 10 days.
What I also learned was that a bit of a break does great wonders for you when you’re traveling so long term. In those 10 days in Bangkok, I probably had 5 days where I just chilled out and hung out at my hostel, caught up on the blog, and other tasks for once I’m home (like finding a job). But I really liked my time in Bangkok (another unpopular opinion).
My favorite thing in Bangkok was a day trip to Sai Yok National Park and the Bridge on the River Kwai. A mix of historical significance and natural beauty was a great way to start off my time in Bangkok. For those that don’t know – I didn’t before going on the tour – the bridge on the River Kwai is a bridge built by POWs during WWII where thousands lost their lives due to the inhospitable climate while building a railway in Southeast Asia for the Japanese. Being on the bridge and riding the “Death Train” was a harrowing experience and it would be helpful to visitors to learn some of the history prior to their visit.
Many people say there’s not much to see in Bangkok but I very much disagree. There’s Wat Arun, a beautiful white temple along the river, the Royal Palace (which was closed when I was there), the giant swing, and a number of other temples and museums. I stayed at Mad Monkey Boracay, which was more expensive than most hostels in Bangkok but they have a pool and nice bar area. Downside is that you shouldn’t expect the wifi to work, like at all except maybe in the reception area sometimes, wifi would’ve been nice considering what I was paying there.
From Bangkok, I went south to Krabi. Krabi was a decent place to launch my adventures in the south but I would actually recommend staying elsewhere. I think there would be more options if you were in Phuket or Phi Phi or some of the “Koh” islands in the Pacific side. Krabi is far from the beach and really only acts as a place to get tours that take you to the water. But I did an island hopping tour in Krabi which I very much enjoyed, where I went to Hong Island and some surrounding islands on a speedboat.
Lastly, I made my way to Chiang Mai, the “Jewel of the North.” Chiang Mai is often regarded as the most charming city in Thailand, and even Southeast Asia. I really liked Chiang Mai and I could’ve spent even more time there, but I wouldn’t hail it as my favorite in the entire region. But there are some cool things there. I went to a few temples and saw the famous Lantern festival which is crowded but certainly worth a visit. Chiang Mai is also a great place to take part in a sustainable elephant tour, which I did not do though since I did mine in Cambodia. I also went to Doi Inthanon National Park which is home to the highest point in Thailand, some of Thailand’s most famous temples, and rice fields.
Overall I really enjoyed my time in Thailand, although it was soon
topped by my favorite destination in Southeast Asia: Laos (coming soon).