Thailand... I'd always dreamt of going to Thailand .. never fully expected to go. Needless to say I WAS STOKED when I arrived... and EXHAUSTED.
I was originally supposed to go during my first vacation week in November ... but my good friend backed out on me (I'm still salty about it CHIKA) LOL kidding no hard feelings. I ended up spending that vacation week enjoying much needed family time.
My second vacation week came up in January and I mentioned it to my good friend Estephany (who's been ALLL over the world) and she was immediately onboard for Thailand 2018!
It ended up being a group of 4 of us who got the necessary off days (GIRLS TRIP!!)
After Stephs awesome flight planning skills we began our plane hopping journey to Asia!!
It took a total of 3 plane rides to get there so I'll start from there.
ATL > MSP 2hrs 3min:
I know what y'all are thinking, why did I even bother going to ATL if we were leaving out of MSP (which is where I sometimes/usually/often/ live). Well I just wanted to fly out with the girls (as if I'm not on planes 24/7) also, we weren't 100% sure we were going to stick with Thailand so I wanted to stick with the group (rule number 1 when traveling... always stick with the group) ... we almost ended up in Colombia.
MSP > HND 12hrs 30min:
I was NOT prepared for a 12 hour flight ... for some reason I thought this flight was 9hours ... yeah yeah I should know better but I wasn't complaining .. we got lucky and got Delta One seats (lie flat seats) so it was incredibly comfortable. I could have stayed on the plane a few extra hours and not gone crazy, cause' I had the essentials: wine and sleep ;).
HND > BKK 7hrs 5min:
BUT FIRST: 10 HOUR LAYOVER IN JAPAN!
I had never been to Japan but I have always heard incredible things about it. So I was excited to have enough time to leave the airport and get a feel for the city. We got there bright and early and got through customs at a speedy time.
My first impression of Japan was... BATHROOMS = WOAH!! We need to get on with the Japanese bathroom trend, it's the best! As y'all can see I am obsessed... who knew toilets could be quite impressive.
Google Japan toilets and you'll see what I'm talking about.
I eventually left the bathroom and the airport and we headed out for some fresh air.
We opted to go to Asakusa since it was a short train ride away from the Haneda airport and I was pleased with our choice.
The temples were beautiful! What captured my attention there was the incense burning in the middle of a pot looking thing right infront of the main temple Sensoji.' It was surrounded by people waving in the smoke to cover themselves with it and of course I joined in with the crowd. After doing that I felt a sense of peace and relaxation ...
Their was a lot of people in the area and we took a ton of pictures while admiring all the different things going on.
We eventually got hungry and cold so we started walking with a purpose, which was to find a place to eat!
I of course wanted to eat sushi in Japan... because WHY NOT?! So we found a cute place and settled in.
None of us were wearing appropriate clothing for the cold weather in Japan so we didn't do much after dinner but chismiear (gossip) and wait for our final plane ride.
HND > BKK 7hrs 5min:
This flight felt the longest out of all. Possibly because I got a middle seat... in the main cabin ...
I was exhausted so I was able to sleep the entire flight... that is until I heard that breakfast was being served.
I was either starving or those were the best pancakes EVER.
This was my first time flying on another airline and I was incredibly pleased with the service... they were super sweet and efficient (ANA airlines).
Woah, already so much has been written and I'm just now getting to Bangkok... it's like you guys are on the actual adventure with me... let's keep going.
So here we are arriving to Bangkok early in the morning, the sun is shining, it feels perfect outside.. not too hot, not cold.. I have finally escaped the cold cold weather. We are all exhausted but excited.
I suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) so while the smart people slept on the taxi ride to our hotel ... I had my eyes peeled on the windows just gazing out ... thinking... taking it all in... realizing I was a WHOLE DAY AHEAD of everyone back home and that I was in THAILAND!!
The hotel was located in the city area and I knew we were close when I started seeing "TUK TUK taxis" everywhere and crowds of motorcycles.
The hotel we stayed in was a hostel type of place. It was my first time trying one of these things out so I was interested to see how I would like it. It was pretty great.. breakfast buffet included every morning .. beautiful patio seating and the best coy fish pond. The staff was friendly. It was clean and spacious. Best of all... a thai massage place was right next door!!
Only weird thing about it was that it was a community shower type setting so we had to leave our room to shower/ etc. but it was just around the corner and always clean and empty so I had no problem with that. And the lighting was SPECTACULAR .. so that was good enough for me.
We all decided a shower and a nap were much much needed so that's the first thing we did. That day we pretty much just went with the flow .. we took a TUK TUK taxi to a nearby side of town and we walked pretty much all day. We ended up in China Town and at a market that was never-ending. They had all sorts of things for sale. It reminded me of Mexico because of all the Puestos.
They even sold fruit in little bags with chili powder! YUM! That night we decided to go out to the night market. We settled in a retro looking bar that had a live band playing. We had a couple beers and that was the moment I became addicted to the LEO beer, so so good!
The next day we signed up for an all day tour. We got picked up from our hotel at 7AM. The place we were headed to was pretty far away so it gave us time to get some extra sleep.
We stopped at a random gas station where we stocked up on chips and they were quite tasty ... and it helped calm my growling stomach (I am ALWAYS hungry).
The tour was filled with stops at so many different temples and Buddha statues. All so unique and beautiful.
Our tour guide, bless his heart, was so knowledgable on the history of these temples.. but his accent was so thick it was sooo hard to understand him.. but he was so adorable I always waited for him to finish his explanations nodding away as if I understood what he was saying. The only thing I understood was the meet up times.... and thats because he held a piece of paper with it written out.
As usual I took a million pictures and made my friends take a million pictures of me and with me... shout out to them for being such great photo takers!!
By the end of the day we were templed out and EXHAUSTED.
We ended up waking up when the van driver bluntly said "this is the final/ONLY stop". Turns out they don't return you to your hotel... they leave you at the market near a temple (THEIRS A MILLION MARKETS AND TEMPLES IN BANGKOK). So we get out the van very confused and still half asleep.
So here we are in the middle of some market ... our phones magically lost signal. and the only phone that was working WAS DYING !!!!!
And to add on to the drama NONE OF US REMEMBERED THE NAME OF THE HOTEL!
4 girls in Thailand. Near the hotel. Lost.
Eventually (an hour or two later) no thanks to me we made it back to the hotel. It was an interesting walk to say the least. But definitely an adventure.
Actually, now that I remember... besides snap chatting with my signal-less phone I sorta helped with the finding of our hotel... the day prior I was being the obsessive photographer that I am and I snapped a picture of Steph and Carolina and in the background was THE NAME OF THE HOTEL!! so being that one friend who is always taking pictures.. pays off.. just saying.
Let's talk about the THAI MASSAGE. wooahh.
AMAZING, only way to describe it. While everyone napped I figured I'd go get one of these things .. and I came back brand new. It was an hour long and the lady literally used every part of her body for this massage. At one point it felt like she was wrestling me ... and I did not mind one bit.
The craziest part about it was the fact that it was ONLY 10$... TEN DOLLARS! for a whole hour of the best massage of my existence.
I went back to the hotel room and bragged about it to my friends.... turns out suffering from FOMO pays off sometimes.
The following days consisted of more markets, temples, pad thai, spring rolls, thai massages, LEO beers, beautiful sunsets, great conversations, tuk tuk rides, trying to learn how to bargain with the vendors (I'm terrible at it). etc.
My favorite place ended up being Khoa San Road
it reminded me of 6th Street in Austin but 1000xs cheaper and crazier. Their was vendors selling laughing gas and fried bugs... can't beat that.
Definitely made some memories on that street....
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do all that I wanted to do in Thailand ... so fortunately that inspires me to go back!
I plan to go to the elephant sanctuary (SAVE THE ELEPHANTS) and to go to the islands... so don't be surprised if you see a Thailand part TWO.
We weren't able to make it to the islands in Thailand but we sure did get some Hawaiian sand on our toes. We had an unexpected layover in Honolulu on the way back and none of us complained.. it was the perfect way to end our first trip of the year.
It set the bar high for future vacations to come...
I feel extremely blessed to be able to go on these adventures. Also, I am truly lucky that you guys enjoy reading my adventures and join me through my writing and constant picture uploads. If I could go on a trip with all of y'all ... I WOULD!
(well only if y'all would even consider vacationing with me... I don't sleep, I eat 24/hrs a day, and take a million pictures ... and ask you to take a million pictures of me..)
I hope y'all enjoyed Thailand as much as I did :)
Love you guys,
THANK YOU for sticking with me.