Thailand

This trip started the same way as a few of our other adventures = with an episode of “Somebody Feed Phil.”

Phil, the host of the show, went to Bangkok. And made a whole beautiful episode about it.

After watching a most magical hour of television, we declared that we would go someday. We started doing a little bit of research – price, locations, etc. and then put it on the back burner.

Also – like every other trip we’ve taken, this trip was fueled by our need to eat. I should disclose that, as of late, I have fallen desperately in love with Thai food. As in – I make Red Thai Curry once a week and just force my family to eat it with me and smile.

Everybody, eat Thai Curry.

Green or Red, I don’t care.

And then, eat Pad Thai.

Don’t question me.

So, anyway….

When I realized that we had a possible kid-free block of time to get away, that just HAPPENED to be during Thailand’s dry season, it was decided. We began our quest to eat in Thailand.

It was going to happen. I was going to make it happen. I didn’t care if I had to eat peanut butter and jelly for 3 months after. We were going. We worked out the logistics with the kids and booked a flight to Bangkok.

Well…. actually we didn’t just willy-nilly ‘book a flight.’ We actually pulled up the flight, found the times and connections, put all of our information in, and got ready to pay.

And then CHICKENED out and went to bed!

I talked to my friends the next day about it – they got me back on course. Rich came home and we booked our first-ever flights to the other side of the world. Honestly – we were terrified. It sounds easy, but it just wasn’t. Even though we were so excited – it’s just SO FAR. Far away from our home. Far away from where our kids would be. Far from our comfort zone. All of it.

Everything looks good on tv and on your computer screen. It’s easy to watch Phil or Anthony Bourdain. They have teams and people that help them. But for you there’s no real way to know what you’re getting into.

Every once in a while you have to do something that scares the bleep out of you.

I mean…. safely, of course.

But you know, “You only get to go around one time” and all that.

 

So, off we went. We flew from London to Bangkok, and I got a heavy dose of scary right off the bat with our ride from the airport to our hotel. I became CERTAIN that our cab driver was partially blind. The rear-view mirror had so many decorations hanging from it, he might as well have hung a disco ball. PLUS the entire back window was stuffed to the top with random things – so he couldn’t see out of the back. I’m not always like a super-stickler for the rules, but I’m not exaggerating – we broke multiple “road” “laws.” There was a lot of shoulder driving.

By the time we pulled into our hotel, I was actually vibrating with terror. Anyhoo – we survived, and resolved that we would take public transit back to the airport even if it took twice as long.

By the way – we booked Thai Airlines for this. And I give them a huge thumbs up. Really great service, food, comfort. Two meals – served quickly. Then they blessedly LEFT US ALONE – so we could attempt to sleep. Which if you haven’t done a big flight, is not always the case. There was a foot rest and a good seat recline. The stewardesses changed clothes midway through…. Everything, awesome.

Our hotel had a rooftop restaurant and we decided we should probably eat dinner there.

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Ga.. it was so swanky. They had a chair for my purse.

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And they served pretty food. And it was all really good.

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The staff at this hotel were so over-the-top. I know they are just doing what they think is best to stay competitive, but I have to admit, I was borderline uncomfortable.

Everywhere we went around and inside of the hotel – we were escorted. And when I stood up from dinner to go to the bathroom – I cringed a little because I knew that some one would materialize next to me and escort me to the bathroom.

And sure enough, someone did.

Halfway through our meal, they asked if we would like to switch tables to one with a ‘closer view.’ The table they suggested moving us to was, like, a table and a half in front of where were already sitting and there were no other people in our way. The weather was beautiful, our food was good, we ALREADY had a great view, we were very relaxed and  comfortable. We declined their offer – twice. But they insisted. Someone picked up the purse chair. A few other someones magically appeared and moved everything else, and I just floated to another seat. Then they asked if we would like them to take a new picture of us. Why not at this point…. so, here we are at our new table.

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Now – I’m not digging on the service people AT ALL. They were amazing. Rich and I have both been servers. We recognize and appreciate good service. And although I felt like they were slightly up-my-butt, they were so kind and genuine and smiley that it was hard to hate it that much.

The great thing about Thailand is that the pound (and the US dollar)- go  VERRRRRRRY far here. We would have never stayed in a place this outlandishly luxe in Paris or Rome. But here, we can afford it! And we can pretend to be fancy, and nobody even knows we’re not! One of the fun things about staying in a swanky hotel is that there are cool little touches  like a “travel buddy” in your room, which is a cell phone that you can just take out with you if you need it, and make free international calls.

We had just a teeny bit of jet-lag going on. Despite our long travel day and dinner, we were up and ready for the day at about 3:30am. Body clocks are a bitch. This gave us time to be productive, however. Rich sorted out the purchase of a vehicle for us in Illinois, and car insurance while I researched what we should do for the morning.

Then, we were able to take full advantage of the breakfast buffet right when it opened at 6am.

AND THE BREAKFAST BUFFET.

You guys.

You don’t even know.

I could gush and gush for DAYS about this breakfast buffet. It was seriously unlike anything I’ve ever seen in person or on tv. Better than anything in Vegas. Just, seriously, probably the best in the entire world. And since I was too shy to take any pictures – because of the staff army – I won’t really go on about it anymore here. But, just imagine the most beautiful, decadent spread of food. From every asian and European culture. And then add sushi, freshly baked naan. Then a while-you-wait crepe, waffle, and pancake stand. Then a order your egg stand. Croissants that rival Paris. Then a PIZZA OVEN.

I still can’t believe it.

I mean, you don’t know what to expect from a “breakfast buffet” in Bangkok, you know?

The setting of the breakfast restaurant too. GAAAA.

Poolside – 20 stories up.

So, moving on – inside the hotel everything is sparkly and amazing and outside at street level it looks like this:

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Obviously quite a difference.

The the extremely luxurious right up next to the run down.

For the morning, Rich wanted to go to the Chattachak Market. It’s a famous weekend market that has everything under the sun. It’s also a good dose of culture. The elevated train provided us with a great view of the city on the way.

We only went the wrong way on the train one time.

The city is absolutely sprawling. And again – there would be a high rise next or a sparkly shopping center butted right up against a shack, slum, or dark alley. It was hard for me to get used to.

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We arrived at the market and stopped at the first stall we saw serving Mango Sticky rice. Mango Sticky rice was on the absolute have-to-eat list. It’s a sweet sticky rice, served with fresh Thai mango and a little bit of ice cream. This really isn’t something we can get -or even make – at home. It’s so special and so Thai. We loved it long time. As we went on with our trip, and continued to eat Mango Sticky rice daily…. sometime twice daily….. we realized that this first one was the best. They were all excellent. But this one, the way they’ve got it layered so you can eat it while you walk – gives it the edge. It all melts down on top of itself and YUM yum YUM YUM!

This delicious dessert for two set us back $2.

 

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We ate and wound our way around the vast market.

Endless stalls. Some touristy things, but mostly not.

Just a lot of everything, crammed in like sardines.

 

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Rich wanted to stop and try the fried octopus. This was his face before he tried it. Doesn’t he look happy? He was not happy after he tried it. Haha – not everything in Thailand is delicious.

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We meandered around. I bought soap and art and trinkets for the kids. Then we found our way to the food area.

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And this, right here, where the ducks are hanging down dripping fat – and you might spot a few fire hazards – is where we ate lunch. In the middle of a loud, crazy, food hall.

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Pad Thai was our first, natural choice.

What it lacks in presentation, it more than makes up for in taste. Holy moly.

We split this, and that was a mistake.

Anyway – plate of delicious freshly-made-by-expert Pad Thai at market = $1.89

 

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We left and took the sky train. Then we walked back to the hotel, where I snuck a couple pictures of how street food looks.

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Walking the short distance from the SkyTrain to the hotel, we passed 5 massage parlors. They had their services and prices posted out on the sidewalk. We started doing the conversions in our head… they were offering 1 hour massages for about £8 ($10). Normally – I wouldn’t have considered such a thing in such a place. But thankfully we had done our research. Thai massage is like a hotdog in New York or beer in Germany. It’s what the people do. It’s a culture thing. They are offered on every corner of every street. Prices are low and quality is high. I mean, if you want, you can pay for an expensive massage – inside your fancy hotel. It will cost four or five times as much. But if you want to be one with the people.. and your wallet, you get an authentic Thai massage for $10 down on the street.

And that is exactly what we did.

Our feet were a little tired from the market and we had just enough time for an hour massage to refresh us before our evening activity.

We walked into the massage parlor and ordered a couples massage. They took us to one of the rooms and then shut the curtains. There were two mats on the floor and a little pile of clothes on each mat. The clothes looked sort of like medical scrubs. They were the color tan. We took a guess that maybe we were supposed to put the tan scrubs on. I still don’t really know if were supposed to, but we did. And then the Thai people entered and began.

I quickly learned that Thai massage is very…..stretchy…. in comparison to other types. My little lady bent me all kinds of ways. She sat on my back and pulled my arms backward. She put her feet on my thighs and pulled my feet up. Since we were on the floor, that gave her all kinds of access and leverage. I mean… it was like a part rub down and part extreme stretch. It was foldy and bendy. 

As soon as I realized what we were doing, I was worried about Rich. He is NOT the most flexible. This is known. I was worried he was going to be in so much pain. I turned my head to look at him, and when I did I saw a small Thai man crouched on top of my husband’s back. Pressing and pressing. Working hard into Rich’s shoulders. Rich had his eyes closed so it was hard for me to read him. But he made a few grunts…. and only one cry of pain. If you had a tight spot – those people found it. Like a blood hound. And then they just “massaged” it until you started to cry. I remember willing myself to relax my trapezoid. “Just relax it. Melt it. Just melt it. Smooth it out. She won’t find it. She won’t. Just relax the entire area. Please don’t let her find. AH! She found it. It hurts so bad. Jesus Christ! How strong is this lady!”

At the end, each masseuse sat on the floor and cradled our head in their lap.

Sounds intimate. Because it is. But you just let them do that. You don’t question it, ok. They hold your head and they massage it. 

When all was done, I felt relaxed and loose with only one real tense spot. And surprisingly, Rich felt good as well. He admitted that it hurt, but that maybe he’d like to go again tomorrow and ‘get better at it.’

This whole experience cost us about $28.

Our afternoon/night activity was a Chef’s Tour of the backstreets of Bangkok. I heard about this from a blog I read. Turns out, it’s INCREDIBLE. Instead of visiting any other “tourist” places in Bangkok, we placed our priorities in eating. We figure that’s a good dose of culture. Knowing where and what to eat on your ONE DAY in Bangkok is completely overwhelming. This tour had great reviews, and we had booked in advance. It was a no-brainer for us. I’m so glad I found it.

We took a TukTuk to get to our tour meeting spot. And, I was much more relaxed in that than in the cab.

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We met our tour group – which literally consisted of 3 other American couples – in the China town of Bangkok.

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We met in a hotel on this major road. Then our guide rounded us up and took us around the corner. When they said the tour was ‘backstreet,’ they meant it.

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This is our tour guide. His name is Nuuht (pronounced Nut) and he’s been a chef for 20 years. He also grew up right in China Town. When he took us to this first stop on the tour, he introduced the woman behind the steaming pot, and told us she’d been making him noodles right here since he was 8 years old. Can you believe that? And, naturally, the noodles she served us – cooked somehow right in her little back alley corner were incredible. It was a wonderful way to start the tour.

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Our guide proceeded to lead us around for FOUR HOURS and we absolutely ATE OUR FACES OFF. Somethings were better than others, I will admit. And some things were so spicy we really couldn’t even eat them. Some of us on the tour did better than others. We had… maybe 17 different things… Tea, Dumplings, Guava fruit, more noodles!, soy sauce ice cream, chicken, wheat grass, pork, more, more, more, and more. And then, finally, Mango Sticky Rice of course.

 

And Chinese donuts with green vanilla sauce served from the only donut cart in Bangkok to receive a Michelin Star.

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We ate most meals outside, on the side of the road or in an alley either on a chair or a stool or crowded around a small table with our tour friends.

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In between all the food stops, Nuuht took us through shops that were preparing for Chinese new year, and into a temple, and a history museum.

 

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Being a local that grew up in the area, Nuuht was knowledgable about the culture and the food. He would tell us about the history of the dish we were being served and often tell us about the family who was making it – lots of whom were his friends. He had water bottles for us, which was thoughtful and needed in the heat. Obviously we ate things we’d never eaten, but I was shocked at how many sights and sounds and SMELLS we experienced that neither of us had ever seen/heard/smelled before. We walked through alleys with absolutely disgusting mystery smells. And then we’d turn a corner and smell the most delicious curry kabobs being grilled on an open flame.

Nuuht had a helper person who went ahead of us and waited in line, ordered the food, and procured chairs, stools, or a table for us. We were really really glad to have all that help because most of the menus on the street look like this:

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A few highlights of the tour…

We rounded an alley corner and Rich saw this man pulling up noodles, and goes “Oh, I hope we’re eating those.” And we were. And we did.

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This was the family run stand where “worker noodles” are served. Named worker noodles because they charged all of 40 cents for a giant bowl of noodles and pork. So they attracted all the workers. Pure gold are the work noodles. I’d pay good money for the broth alone.

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A surprisingly delicious treat: soy sauce ice cream!

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Towards the end of our tour we walked through a market street that was closing down for the day. It was quiet. And in one of the cramped little shops, the owners were huddled around a steaming noodle pot, eating dinner with their two girls dressed in pink and grandma on the side.

It made me so happy to see it. I creeped a picture of them so I could remember it forever.

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This is our group of adventurous eaters.  At the end of the tour, at the only proper table we sat at all night.

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When we were done, it was night-time in China town. Which meant a whole new level of crazy.

I have never eaten so much in a four hour time span. I felt like I was on some sort of competitive eating show. Needless to say, when all was said and done there wasn’t much else we could do but take a TukTuk back to the hotel and go to bed.

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Here is the link to the tour we took:

https://achefstour.com/tour/bangkok-food-tour

We were always able to talk to the kids before we went to bed, because our night was their morning. They were living their best life.

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We woke up the next day and spent the morning being leisurely and eating the amazing buffet again. We had a flight to catch, but not until 1:00. And, despite my vow to never get in a Bangkok cab again, we decided to get one back to the airport. Second time – not near as bad.

The hotel booked us a limo driver. That’s a technicality.

We were heading out of the hustle bustle of Bangkok down to the “islands” of Thailand. More specifically, Phuket.

The scene here was quite different. On the way to our resort, it looked basically like this:

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(Yes, your eyes are correct, that’s a scooter with two adults, a child, and a new born actually in mothers arms.)

So anyway – once again the contrast was stark between the resort areas and the surrounding areas. More stark of a contrast than I anticipated to be honest.

Phuket is a big island with lots of different style beaches. We weren’t sure if we wanted a lively party beach or a calm secluded one, so we split our time there in between two hotels.

We checked into the first resort, which was supposed to be the upscale, calm, retreat style beach.

We had a little meal. Curry and mango sticky rice, of course. Even though we were in a “luxe” area, we decided to stay at a lower priced, more basic, resort. We caught a good deal, of course.

The beach was calm and beautiful. And the room was stark, but functional.

 

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After our meal, Rich wanted to try to find another inexpensive massage. So, we went out on the (slightly dangerous) trek down to the street in search of a massage parlor. We found three immediately. We entered the third one we found and booked an hour massage. For the hour for both of us was about $40, including tip.

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I even snuck a few pictures.

And to keep me honest, I took a picture of the prices.

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These massage prices were a little bit more than we paid in Bangkok – assuming because we’re out on the island. But, regardless of the price increase from the city,  we got folded and molded and stretched for second time. This one did not have uniforms for us to wear, but did include ear flicking.

And afterward, Rich said “I want to come back here again tomorrow. Get another massage. And I’m going to win next time.”

I strolled through a Seven Eleven…. even in a small island in Thailand, a few American comforts can be found.

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Ok, then we returned to our room for the evening.

And this is where our plans started to changed a little.

There were ants in our room.

Not a big deal. It’s a tropical island. It’s part of the deal. The staff came and sprayed.

The end.

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And then we got up and went down for breakfast.

And it was stale pastries, questionable food sanitation, and basic drinks.

There wasn’t much I felt like I wanted to eat.

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We forged on.

The Thai laws are very strict on beach chairs, so I had bought these blowy-air-up chairs at SevenEleven. The trek down to the beach involved climbing down rocks.

But this beach.

I mean, forget it.

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All beaches are public in Thailand, and this one definitely felt like it.

As we sat on the beach at our secluded, discount luxury resort, we found ourselves disappointed.

And I asked Rich “Do you want to consider switching hotels?”

Without hesitation, he replied “Yes.”

Here’s the thing….

The food did me in. Our first meal in the restaurant was only ok. It was really expensive and service was terrible. The one and only terrible service in Thailand.

Then, breakfast was terrible.

I don’t mind being in a “basic” hotel. And I wanted to be in a secluded location. But, if I’m secluded, the food has to be great. If my only options are expensive, slow, restaurant and stale bad breakfast – I’m not happy. The only other way for us to get food was to trek back down to the street. On foot, on a narrow non-lit, non-sidewalk, on the side of the road.

The beach was beautiful. But the climb down to it was rocky and hard. (by the way – the reviews said this. But I figured since we are young and kidless, we could handle it)

The room was fine. Despite the no-fuss decor, and the ants, I would’ve probably stayed.

But it was the food. When we woke up to that (sorry people) terrible breakfast, I felt despair and disappointment. I know what you’re thinking “Of course you hated it, you just went to breakfast wonderland in Bangkok. Duh.” And that is not it at all. This breakfast was bad all on it’s own.

The whole thing. It’s just not we were looking for. In order to be this secluded – we just needed more.

So, we finished up our time on the sand and went back to the room and booked a different resort for the next two nights.

Done.

We went back down the dangerous road for some GOOD food because we were starving. We asked the people at the massage parlor where to eat and they pointed down the street to this place:

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This was the view while we ate.

 

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I know it doesn’t look like much. But, as is often the case, looks can be deceiving.

It was a family run little place. With the son working the tables and the mom working the kitchen. Behind me, Grandma was doing laundry.

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Mom working in the kitchen knows how to crush some Pad Thai.

This time we ordered our own plates. Smart.

And fried shrimp.

Whole meal, drinks and tip = $14

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After the meal we got another massage.

Winning.

Rich declared himself the winner of his massage this time.

Then is was time to pack up our things and make the switch to our new (hopefully completely amazing) resort.

There was definitely an awkward moment or two telling the staff we were cutting our stay short and that we didn’t need a ride to the airport, but just to another resort up the road… ah… ya…

Now…. we may have over-compensated for our disappointment at the first place.

Within 10 minutes drive of the first “resort” was another beachfront all-bungalow style resort. We pulled in.. You know that scene in Home Alone 2, where Kevin first enters the Plaza Hotel? It was like that. It was the most luxurious place I’ve ever been. Bangkok hotel included. The whole lobby area was just open. Like, no walls or windows, just open to the outside all the time because that is the level of paradise that we are dealing with….where your building doesn’t even need walls.

The staff was incredibly accommodating – but never too much. The resort had a pool and beach front access – with chairs. They cleverly got around the “no stuff on the public beach” law – by creating their own little beach inward of the actual beach line. There were little poles marking the beach line, and they set their chairs there, and then every morning pulled out low-slung sand-colored bean bags onto the actual beach.

And just in case you needed, they had a few kayaks and a catamaran for guest use. For free. And there’s a library so you can go pick out a book to read on the beach.

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The placement of this resort was also clever. It’s technically public, but since it was built into a cove, access to it is virtually impossible from the side. This helped us to feel more secure leaving our belongings on the chairs if we wanted to go for a swim together. Which we did.

The water is JUST FINE.

When you are ready to head back to your room, which is a bungalow on the side of the mountain, you just climb the stairs until you arrive there. Or, if you prefer, you could ask the front desk to drive you in a golf cart back to your room.

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The details in this place were off the chain.

Little fruits and fresh flower bracelets. A beach bag, fans, sun hats, and umbrellas. Bug spray and aloe if you need it. The whole room and the towels smells like eucalyptus. The little flowers in water make the bathroom smell like honeysuckle. Events and amenities. Free Yoga.

Cookies for turn down.

I mean. It was ridiculous.

If you are somewhere for just three nights, you think “Oh it’s just three nights, we can skimp it.” But I tend to think the other way “We’re probably never coming back here. We already came all the way to Phuket. We don’t have the kids with us, so we can be selfish. It’s only three (or in this case now two nights) we should go all out.” Plus, in Thailand the food and activities are way cheaper than normal. So, splurging for a nice resort is much more doable. As I mentioned before – super luxurious is within reach of normal people like us, in Thailand.

After the switch, you couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces.

The front desk told us that there was a beach barbecue happening tonight. And we said “Yes, sign us up for that please.”

We relaxed in our beach chairs while they were setting up.

 

Oh by the way, here is where you can rinse your feet if they have sand on them. We wouldn’t want anyone spraying any sort of water hose. So you stand here, and you ladle yourself out some water to rinse your feet as if that is something you do all the time.

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Also – side note: I’m writing this nearly three months after traveling. It’s exhilarating going back through my pictures and notes to put this blog post together. But that’s nothing compared to the fact that I have stubbornly, knowingly, NOT removed my nail polish. Clinging on to every bit of it any way I can.

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Ok, back to the beach.

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Then, of course, we came back to attend the party. There was a little light on my menu. So I could order a drink in the dark. It’s the little things, man.

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They had everything out here on the beach. Impossible things.

And the staff…. They had to drag all this stuff out there. And keep it fresh. And keep the pests away. And take my plates away, and drag them all back inside. It’s not lost on me what it must take to put something like this on. And they were so happy and genuine.

And again, I was blown away by Thailand.

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Checking in again with the kids. They couldn’t be having a better time.

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Back to Thailand – early in the morning I walked myself down the beach, where yoga was held.

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It was blissful, as you can imagine.

Then, I met Rich for breakfast. With high expectations.

I was not disappointed this time. We are on an island people.

How does this happen?

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After that we went out for the day. The resort helped us hire a driver for the day. He picked us up at the hotel, took us first to the temple, then to the Big Buddha, then to a regular indoor shopping center, and then back to the hotel. He would park and just wait for us to be done at each location.

We had him for 5 hours and he charged 2,000baht. Which is about $60.

No brainer for us.

First up, the oldest Temple in Phuket.

Outside and around the temple, it’s crowded with stalls.

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Coconut water, like that…. gross. We saw all these other people walking around with them. Rich wanted to try one. Big Nope on that. Tastes like feet, if you ask me.

Avoid gross coconut water, enter temple. Appropriate attire must be worn. Shoes must not.

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Then it was Big Buddha time.

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From a buddha temple to a shopping temple.

Lastly, our driver took us to the shiniest shopping center on the island.

I added to my trinkets for the kids collection, grabbed some coffee and headed back.

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Instead of having the driver take us back to the hotel, we had him take us to our little street restaurant. Since our new resort wasn’t far from our old resort, we could be dropped off here, and walk back.

This time I ordered Green Curry with a banana smoothie, and Rich went with Pad Thai again. And this time, Grandma was coming out what I assume was the shower… or maybe the sauna, walking across the restaurant in just a towel. We were sad that we weren’t returning here.

Whole meal = $12

Grandma show = Free

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Rich went back from one more massage, while I walked back to the resort for some beach time.

Then, in the evening it was time to dine out on the beach again. This time, at the beach restaurant. It’s not your usual surf-side fare.

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We woke up to another beautiful day and another beautiful breakfast spread. And then soaked up a few more hours at the beach.

But, then it was time for us to move to another part of the island. The supposedly more “happening” beach side. As we drove north, the area was definitely more developed. Just, a lot more access to regular things nearby. As we pulled into our resort, I immediately loved it, but it definitely had a more ‘happening’ vibe thing going on.

The lobby continued with the no-walls theme.

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We took a walk around. The grounds, the beach, coffee bar, everything, beautiful AGAIN.

 

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At the front desk, they told us they had bikes we could take out.

We like to do that. So we took them out and rode through a little nature preserve. Came out on the other side at a shopping center.  There, we ate a chain restaurant. We should’ve known it would be terrible. Yuck. It was.

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Back to the hotel for a good night’s rest… because we had booked the sunrise island tour. Now, yes, we’re on an island. But this tour is out to the itty bitty little islands that surround the big island. It’s called “island hopping.” It can get pretty overrun during the daytime regular hours. So, this early tour was recommended to us to fight the crowds.

Also – our thoughtful hotel arranged for a breakfast box to be waiting for us in the lobby at 4:30am. Since, we weren’t able to partake in the breakfast buffet. Sad.

Our tour picked us up at our hotel and drove us to the Marina – all in the dark. And as we finally were heading out to the first stop, the sun began to rise.

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Tour provided snacks and water for the first stop.

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Then they took us to two snorkeling spots on two different small islands.

We like all that.

We were able to snorkel around coral reefs, and at one point the guide (underwater) brought a puffer fish over for us to hold. We’ve got it on video.

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Then is was time to head to the swimming cove.

Our tour guide was so great.

Taking pictures for us and pointing out wildlife.

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Then it was time for our last stop, on a little beach with a restaurant.

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By the way – food here. Not good.

 

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I had been super worried and precautious about mosquitos the entire trip. They like me more than most. I did spray and wore bracelets and I didn’t have any bites the whole time. But here. On this little island. I had too much fun and I let my guard down. I came back with three mosquito bites. But, thankfully, nothing else.

And back to the boat with our left over fruit.

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We were back at our hotel by 3:00, which was another perk of doing the sunrise tour. We had time for a little siesta on the beach with coffee, and shower before dinner.

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Then, as if they were trying to compete with each other, THIS resort had a beach side barbecue. With a show!

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Then back to the room for a chat with the kids who just woke up. We’ll be home soon!

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Last morning. One last extravagant breakfast spread.

Happy happy joy joy.

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And back to the Phuket airport.

Where we fly to Bangkok.

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Then from Bangkok, back to London.

We stayed the night in London, grabbed the rest of our belongings from storage at Rich’s office and flew to Chicago.

Upon landing we drove a rental car to the car dealership we’d been already working with.

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In our newly purchased van, we drove downstate in the snow and ice.

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And little bear was the first to greet us in the morning.

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Needless to say, we loved the whole thing.

I HIGHLY and a-millions-times-over recommend traveling to Thailand. Even though it might scare the bleep out of you.

 

Here’s where we stayed:

Bangkok Hotel:

https://www.lebua.com/tower-club

 

First Phuket Hotel (budget):

http://www.surinbeachresortphuket.com/

 

Second Phuket Hotel (bungalows):

https://www.thesurinphuket.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjwkcblBRB_EiwAFmfyy5Q8LR32XOcaJp2UMO3fvcOFXo1g29hWHBdLfkRo_07uTZ4fLQ1YaBoCTCEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

Third Phuket Hotel:

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/hktbr-renaissance-phuket-resort-and-spa/

 

2 thoughts on “Thailand

  1. What an amazing recap! I would LOVE to go to Thailand one day! I will totally be writing down the names of the hotels that you recommended. Did you mind mentioning what time of the year that you visited during? I was looking at prices for the summer and they looked pretty expensive! 😦

    Like

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