Thailand Trip Report 2017 (Part 1)
My girlfriend and I have been wanting to travel to Thailand together for a very long time and we finally had the opportunity to go in May 2017. Our itinerary was this: Bangkok > Chiang Mai > Phuket > Krabi (Railay beach) > Phi Phi > Bangkok > Home
I previously went to Thailand in 2008 or 2009 (I can’t recall) and had a great time. We wanted to do a mix of island and beach + some regular activities such as dining and touring. We are both very active and enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and many other outdoor activities.
We flew to Seattle and stayed a night with my sister and then flew to Bangkok in the morning. The flight there was very long- the first leg was 12 hours to Taipei and the second was 4 hours to Bangkok (with a beautiful 9 hour layover in Taipei). Once we arrived in Bangkok, we had a few days there and enjoyed a lot of great food (we got recommendations from a friend of mine, Jason, and this first one was from the EmQuartier, a huge food mall): http://danielfooddiary.com/2015/12/22/emquartier/
The next place we ate at was called Paste, an upscale restaurant that did modern Thai. Very good and one of the best Massaman curries that I’ve had. We ate the lunch tasting menu.
After You, a popular dessert chain in Bangkok:
One of the things that I really enjoy about Thailand is that you can get both upscale/pricier options in Bangkok and you can also get cheaper street food/regular food. We ate all of this for under $8 total:
Unfortunately, with the cheaper food also comes the risk of food sickness, which is what happened to me early on. I had explosive diarrhea and was stuck on the toilet for a 17 hour period. After that, I felt much better and recovered quickly.
Finally, we ate at another popular seafood chain called Somboon and ate some Crab curry and fried prawns. All in all the food in Bangkok was very good and one of the highlights of the trip.
We went to a few temples as well, just to get a bit more of the cultural experience.
This Buddha was literally like 70 feet long.
After touring around Bangkok and getting $8 an hour massages, we took a flight up north to Chiang Mai. This was my first time going to Chiang Mai and there was supposed to be excellent rock climbing in the area. We also planned on doing a cooking class, which was another highlight of our trip.
The climbing was very good – we climbed in an area called Crazy Horse and it was very accessible (only 30 minutes drive outside of the city) and very approachable (not much of a hike to get there). We climbed in a huge cave as well as the main area. Overall, we had a great time and climbed all day long.
If you look closely, you can see me climbing in the bottom right:
We also did a cooking class in Chiang Mai, which was a great experience. We learned how to cook curry, cashew chicken, spring rolls, and Thom Kha soup.
Overall, Chiang Mai was a nice quiet town and I enjoyed myself. The city itself grew on me and everything was slower, cheaper, and calmer than other cities I have been to in Thailand. After Chiang Mai, we decided to head south, to Phuket. I’ll provide this in the next trip report.