I’m finally wrapping up writing about our trip to Thailand with a post about our final destination, Bangkok.
Bangkok was a really interesting place to end the trip. A busy and energetic city, huge and sprawling, with tourists and business people from all over the world. We enjoyed a couple of days of walking around, visiting famous temples, Pad Thai, and riding down the river.
We enjoyed staying at the Navali River Resort, a convenient spot right on the river and close to a river taxi stop. Bangkok allowed for plenty of walking around, even a little getting lost finding out way between temples. We found it odd that they sold international treats on the temple grounds, but it was hot and humid in the city, so we wandered the grounds with some Magnum bars in hand.
We made sure to visit Wat Pho, the temple of the Reclining Buddha. The Buddha sculpture so large it was almost impossible to photograph. I really enjoyed seeing the details, such as the intricately carved gold toes. Wat Pho is also home to the Thai Traditional Massage School, which unfortunately we did not get to experience.
We crossed the river to the lovely Wat Arun, a huge temple with large grounds, and beautifully detailed tile work covering the main temple. I found the tiles so unique compared to many of the other temples we saw, and the temple was especially scenic set on the river.
Just across from Wat Arun is a small market attached to the water taxi dock, we ate Pad Thai from a street vendor just around the corner, a much needed meal after a long afternoon of walking. My only regret from our time in Thailand is that I didn’t eat enough Pad Thai!
My sister had been to Bangkok before and made it clear that we couldn’t skip a trip down Khoa San Road, the street made famous by tourists. We took one slow walk down the street, taking in the backpackers, street vendors with scorpions on sticks and bottles of beer, and music blasting from busy bars and restaurants. It was definitely worth the experience to see one of the most famous party districts in the world.
Instead of lingering on Khoa San Road, we headed to a quieter, though still busy, street near by for a beer and a foot massage. Ahh, life in Thailand was good.
Our final day in Bangkok we visited the Jim Thompson House in the former silk district. Jim Thompson was instrumental in bringing Thai silk to US fashion and is famous for his work as well as his suspicious disappearance. His house, built from multiple traditional Thai houses put together, was as beautiful as it as interesting. My sister and I agreed that we learned more about Thai history on our house tour than at any other point on our trip.
Our final meal of the trip was far and away the most extravagant, a 5-course vegetarian feast at The Blue Elephant, a fine dining restaurant in a historic house. The food was incredible, including modern interpretation of Thai classics. It was such a special lunch, in a fancy and cool restaurant that stood in contrast to the humid banking district outside. The Blue Elephant also offers a cooking school that I would expect to be quite wonderful.
We couldn’t leave Thailand without one more trip to the spa, and enjoyed the best Thai massage of our trip. Sadly, I can’t remember the name of the spa and I didn’t write it down. I think it’s worth trying several massage parlors and spas to find your favorite when in Thailand. Our spa treatment also included green tea body wraps, which were hilariously confusing as we were covered in green tea paste and wrapped in plastic. Despite the confusion and hilarity of the wrap experience, I did leave with smooth and well hydrated skin, perfect for a long plane trip back home.
Thailand was such an incredible experience, filled with day of culture, nature, learning, food, and really special time with my sister. It was a trip to remember and I hope that everyone can take the chance to just go when you get invited to experience. When planning to go, it is important to familiarise yourself with vaccinations for thailand so that you can experience this amazing place uninterrupted by any nasty surprises.