Even though I am such in love with the United Kingdom, most people would readily jump at the chance to get a breather from the annoyingly wet and cold autumn weather, right? That was exactly the chance my fiancé and I jumped at when we returned to Thailand for our second visit and just like it was on the first visit, we returned with even more adventurers curiosity and a determination to return for more exploration and discovery. The simple reason being that people say the more you look, the less you see; however, in Thailand, the more you look, the more you see and discover.
We arrived to the warm weather at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, also known as the Thailand International airport and from this moment you already begin to get a glimpse of what Thailand is all about. Consider the many different airports you have been to and how beautiful and modern they feel… In Thailand, the airport is a combination of beautiful, modern, but also cultural and that is the feel every traveller will get from the point of arrival into Thailand to the point of departure. That beautiful merger of two worlds, where you feel in a modern, 21st century setting in one minute and the next, you feel like you have journeyed back in history to ancient times.
The next day, we started our sightseeing of Bangkok in a rather grand way by going on a visit to the Grand Palace. No trip in Thailand would be complete without a visit to this magnificent and breathtaking cluster of majestic structures which housed Thai Kings for about 150years, but now houses government buildings and revered temples. Tourists are expected to dress properly on these grounds but if not, you can get the proper costume for a refundable deposit. The admission fee to the Grand Palace and associated buildings (Including the famously revered Temple of The Emerald Budha) costs between 400-500baht (8-10GBP) per person. It is important to stay hydrated as much as possible as the heat can be very unforgiving.
Up next was a trip on a long tail boat on the Bangkok River which is some kind of water taxi and a great way to get around; away from all the traffic gridlock and chaos which mainland Bangkok is associated with. It is also pretty cheap and costs around 40baht (0.80GBP). Our destination was an amazing one which you would normally not see in many places. However, Thailand itself is not a normal destination; it is an amazing, yet crazy one. We arrived at the floating market which is a normal market except for the fact that transaction of goods and services ranging from souvenirs, to fruits and vegetables actually do take place on water. You could even dine on a floating restaurant, and after the purchase of some Thai souvenirs for friends and family members back home, we filled our stomachs with a delicious plate of Thai Barbecue and deep fried tofu.
Want to explore the beauty of Bangkok and its chaos at the same time? Do it like true locals would by hiring the expert services of a Tuk-Tuk guide expert guide, who was able to show us such attractions like the Phra Sumera Fortress, Amulet Market, Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, Thieves Market and the colorful flower market at Dheves. They were all so intriguing and one thing I really admire Thailand for is the way they have managed to keep their traditions and cultures, some dating back to centuries ago; yet still held in such total and impressive reverence and regard. We had the final stop of the day at the Jim Thompson House. Jim Thompson was an American who lived in Thailand and promoted the silk industry there. The house he lived in has been turned into a museum where tourists from far and near visit in appreciation of his contributions. Exploring Bangkok could be physically draining, but what could be most refreshing is the Thai massage which is totally different from all the types of massages I have had and which banished the ghosts of the day’s stress forever.
On this second trip to Thailand, we had a beautiful experience in Hua Hin as it offered a totally different feel from Bangkok with its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and rich vegetation; although it also has many revered temples such as Wat Huay Mongkol which is definitely worth a visit. In Hua Hin, there is an abundance of activities such as visiting the Pa La-U waterfall, take long walks into the vastness of the dense vegetation, visit the very beautiful and unique train station which I hear is the most beautiful in Thailand, go fishing, diving or snorkeling. Hua Hin is also becoming a popular destination for kite surfing which my fear of heights would not let me try. One fear of the heights which I dared was a trip up the Hin Lek Fai Hill which gives you a magnificent and breathtaking view of the entire city. The street food (with an abundant variety of seafood) and night markets were also a fascinating attraction, especially when relating with stall holders.
The rest of the time we spent in Thailand were rather adventurous ones. We signed up for a short tattoo artist training course at a tattoo school we had earlier stumbled upon during our first visit. This kind of blended with my love for the arts and design as a graphic designer. I also took extra hours of culinary courses of Thai cuisine as a continuation to the previous one on my first trip. Therefore, friends and relatives can be assured of a Thai treat whenever I host a family event or social gathering back home. On our flight home, we reminisced on what a wonderful time we spent in Thailand, but one thing is certain this is just the beginning of our journey through this beautiful country and hopefully we will be back again soon.
About the Author
Monica Leslie is a graphic designer as well as a part-time blogger at www.myoverseasadventure.com. She enjoys travelling, as well as writing, art, cooking, fashion and learning about new cultures. You can find more of her work on her blog.