April 5, 2015

Thailand 2015: Day One

So far our trip back to Thailand has been incredible! Granted, we arrived yesterday but still! Mom and I first enjoyed the wonders of Thailand 5 years ago...before we even moved to Manila. Then we wandered through Bangkok and lounged in Phuket. This time around we're eating our way through Bangkok, while scoping out the local scene, and (more actively) lounging in Krabi. 

The view from our room
Our hotel for our first night in Bangkok was the Golden Tulip Mandison Suites and it was gorgeous. I didn't have time to take photos of the beautiful pool and bar area because we arrived in the afternoon on Saturday, ate, napped, then headed out for our evening and didn't arrive back until eleven! We were off again the next morning to Krabi so there was literally no time for photos. 
My traveling outfit....j'adore the hat
The staff of the Golden Tulip was perfectly lovely and treated us so well. They helped coordinate everything with a natural efficiency that smoothed the quick transitions of the day.
It wouldn't be a vacation without my Kate Spade! I am seriously in love with this bag

Mom and I decided to take a "street food" personal tour for our one night in Bangkok at the beginning of our trip. Our guide met us at our hotel and we set off for a night of food colored with lots of local flavor. 
Our ride for the evening
Our evening started at the Long Table Sky Bar during Happy Hour. 25 flights up, the gorgeous views make it worth sitting only a glass wall away from plummeting to the earth. Our tour guide was so afraid of heights she had to sit inside, the poor dear. Mom and I watched the sun sink behind the city as we sipped on flutes of sparkling white wine. Heavenly sounding isn't it?
It sure was breezy up there on the 25th floor!

As the city lit up while the sun dipped further below the horizon, the bar inside lit up as well! And before long we were off to the actual point of this tour: the food! We took the local metro train to get to our destination....boy that thing is efficient! Even buying tickets was an efficient process! The trains were packed as we traveled during rush hour
Dried, salted fish being roasted over hot coals 
The desert station! #colorful 

This street was full of vendors and equally stuffed with patrons eager to taste the food. People from all over the world strolled up and down the street looking for their dinner. Native Thai, expats that live in Bangkok, tourists...we all came together to enjoy the native Thai food.
We stopped in the only //real// restaurant on the block that wasn't just lawn chairs arranged by a food cart. And boy were we packed in their like sardines! Mom, our guide Anne, and I split a table with a solo Korean boy eating something really yummy smelling for the first half of our meal. The tables around us were always full, and any close flat surface that could be used as a chair, was. 
The first part of Mom's meal, pork sticks delivered from a vendor down the street! "As long as you buy something from here, he doesn't mind if you order in from other places." Anne told us. (The 'he' refers to the owner of the place who walks around and takes everyone's order in astonishingly good humor--the restaurant is owned and run by his family.
Our wonderful guide, Anne
My shrimp pad thai that was ├╝ber yummy
A seafood curry to die for....honestly the best I've ever had
I couldn't bring myself to eat squid/octopus if it still looked like it was intact

After we finished our incredible meal, we walked to a fresh fruit stand and spent about five minutes concocting a smoothie recipe in our minds. The final product? Kiwi mango, of course. 
Of course, we had to try some local desert which ended up being some fruit that I can't remember the name of in a bowl of coconut milk with ice. The fruit tasted like strawberry and was soft on the outside but really crunchy on the inside. 
My food fears are definitely gone, unlike our last time here where I ate fried rice the entire trip
If you have the chance, you should definitely take one night and try the food you'll find here--it'll definitely surprise you and will make you a Thai street-food fan for life!

The final stop of our tour, after we'd eaten our fill, was a market by the waterfront. Normally we'd take a water taxi to get there, but the line was absolutely astronomical so Anne decided it was better for us to take a taxi.
I wanted to take a tuk tuk but was outvoted
The huge Ferris Wheel loomed over the entire market
At the market, I bought gorgeous wrap elephant pants that I wore for the trip to Krabi, elephant shorts, and a floral skirt. I could have literally picked something out at every turn of the market! I nearly bought a ukulele but something told me now was not the time to pick up the habit....
For this trip I pulled out my Wet Seal romper emblazoned guessed it! Elephants! (Have you figured out my favorite animal?)

It was a long day, a perfect start to our trip in Thailand, and a wonderful re-introduction to the Thailand that I love and have missed so much! Off to Krabi, the beach, next! We've got some exciting things planned and I can't wait to share with you!

I think a golden elephant has to be really good luck....

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