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22 January 2009

To Thailand with LUV!

By Karen

I love traveling. And a part from Jogja, Bangkok also remains one of my favorite city in SEA. The Thais have a way of making their visitors feel at home with their ever welcoming smile and never ending praises! A gal gotta love all that :p

With 8 daily flights to Bangkok, the 20:35 flight is a personal favorite. Get off work at 6pm, head straight to LCCT just in time for check in and off I go to the land of smiles and wacky t-shirt. Perfect!

My favorite place to stay in Bangkok has always been Rambutri House at Rambutri Road. Which is just about 5 mins walk to the bustling Khaosan Road. Although a bit pricey from the usual RM30 room (Don’t raise your eyebrow, I am a backpacker!) that I am willing to fork out for accommodation. But hey, it’s a great hotel with private bathroom, air con, clean and nice smelling bed sheets, soft pillows and most important of all, it comes with Star Movie channel! :p

Chilling with the girls outside the guest house

The flight to Chiang Mai the next morning was alright, although the slight air turbulence did made my heart skipped a beat!

There is a certain vibe that you get from a foreign place, it’s either love at first sight for hate at first sight. I don’t know what to make out of Chiang Mai

Lonely Planet said it’s less manic like Bangkok and people are generally nicer. Although I can’t say much about my guest house owner (Sarah the English lady) nor the waitress in Ratana’s Kitchen, I did however befriended a lady by the name of Paa who sells sweet corn by the road side near Sarah’s Guest House.

Paa actually reminded me a lot about the man I befriended at Vientiane (who owns a baguettes shop). Both were kind hearted people, whom I ‘stalked’ every night because I needed company away from the 4 walls in my room that was driving me insane. Truth to be told, I think I was the only tourist at Sarah’s Guest House!

If I have to choose on thing that I love about Chiang Mai, that would be the night market! Chiang Mai is like a shoppers paradise! Everything is so cheap. Perhaps 2-3 times cheaper than Bangkok! From hill tribe jewelry, clothing, scarfs, bags, books to home deco etc.

I wished I had more time in Chiang Mai, then maybe it will grow on me. It’s actually quite a likable city and I really don’t mind going back for a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th time.

Wat Pra Mahathat – Ayuthaya
Buddha head embedded in twisted tree roots.

I was quite happy to return to Bangkok. To Khaosan Road, to Chatuchak and Siam Paragon! But I didn’t wanna spend the remaining of my 3 days just doing shopping so Ayuthaya sprang into mind and the next thing I knew, I was on my way to experience the serene and majestic surrounding of the old city.

The journey to Ayuthaya by train from Hualumphong train station took about 1 and half hours and cost only 15 baht. Like the trains in Indonesia, Thailand has pretty FAST trains too!

After an hour and a half sitting near the window my hair became so dirty and sticky! So sticky that it entangled itself! So, being the vain person that I am, I rushed to the street across Ayuthaya’s train station to get my hair wash! haha…and that only cost me 50 baht!

Then I hired a tuk tuk driver and bargained my way for 750 baht for a 3 hour temple tour. (one hour usually cost 300 baht).

The temples were quite fascinating with the likes of Khmer style. Would be ideal if I could spend a day or 2 in Ayuthaya and take my time at the temples instead of having to rush through temples after temples. But what to do? I had to return the day after.

Don’t know if I should laugh or cry at this photo

Anyway, the one day trip to Ayuthaya definitely worth every baht as well as another repeat visit. When I can get some time off from the work of cause :p

Oh by the way, if you have some good comments to share about Thailand, do post it up on http://www.luvthailand.com Who knows, you might just win yourself a pair of return ticket to Bangkok!

Good luck!

  • Lai Yee

    Karen

    Are u the karen who frequent to jogja as well. Do u have any known local guide or travel agent in jogja? I will be travelling to jogja in June , therefore I need it.

    I love to see your travel journal. Are u an frequent traveller? Travel anyway during Chinese New Year.

    Wish you a ” Happy Chinese New Year”

  • Karen

    hi Lai Yee!

    I am glad that you like my travel journal :) And yes I am the karen who frequent Jogja hehe…If you need a travel agent in Jogja, you can contact Gecko travel.

    Happy new year to you too ya!

  • Yvonne

    hey there frequent traveler! looking forward to your next adventure post…

    i just lurveee jim thompson’s house in bangkok, it’s such a clash between brit and siamese deco.

  • Karen

    haha…frequent traveler? How I wished I can be a full time traveler! :p

    Aaah…I’ve been to Bangkok many times but never been to Jim Thompson’s house :( Will try and visit on my next trip.

  • Maria

    do we need reservation for rambutri house …or its okay to just walk in?????

  • Karen

    hi maria, its better you make a reservation, coz it’s always full :) YOu can check it out at
    http://www.khaosanroad.com/rambuttri_house/index.htm

  • Sze Chin

    hi karen,

    i am planning to go to bangkok in may or june. any nice place to intro as i never been to bangkok.

    previously bangkok isnt in my traveling list as i not really interested in it. But recently i get to know a few friends from thailand and they really friendly and making me start interested in this country call Thailand.

    I believe no matter what happen in the past, in bangkok still have lots of friendly and nice warming thai.

    Bangkok here i come~

  • Karen

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Aah! First time to Bangkok? You are in for a treat!

    First thing to do when you touch down at Suvarnabhumi Airport, is get a copy of Tourist map at the Information counter – nicely illustrated map covering all must-see places, Bangkok Skytrain & Metro Route.

    I am not sure how many days will you be staying in Bangkok, but here’s a list of what you can do around Bangkok city :)

    Temples:
    Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun

    Shopping:
    MBK for all the cheap movies, phones, video games, and electronics stuff.
    Siam Paragon for designer cloths.
    Pantip Plaza for computer stuff.

    Bazaar:
    Chactuchak (weekend market), Pratunam Market, Suan Lum Night Bazaar

    PS: And don’t forget Thai massage! :) An hour cost about 180baht.

  • Elroy

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Since it’s your first time to Bangkok, just to let you know, always negotiate the price for a tuk tuk ride before getting on it. And sometimes taxi/tuk tuk drivers will tell you that the place that you want to go is “closed” and offer to take you to another “very good” place. Just tell them no or get any taxi. Not all of them are like that, generally those waiting for customers by the side of the roads will approach you to take you to some place.

    Don’t worry, I believe you will enjoy yourself in the Land Of Smiles.

  • Sze Chin

    thanks karen & elroy,

    i might be planning to go on may or july this year.

    really looking forward to go to this Land Of Smiles.

    Will sharing all my sweet memories in here when i am back on my vacation.

    everyone i telling me how fun & how nice in thailand since i plan to go to thailand. really looking forward for this trip. (:

  • Elroy

    Hi Elizabeth,

    As an extra, research material for you, maybe you can visit this site:

    http://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok

    I find that it contains a lot of information ranging from the moment you arrive till the moment you leave. :) And of cos it contains places for you to shop. :P

  • Haslinda

    Hi Karen :)
    Thanks for all the info. I’m going to Bangkok this June with my family. Hoping for a good trip :D

    Linn x

    P/S: Me don’t like turbulence either :(

  • Karen

    hey Elizabeth and Haslinda, have fun in the land of smiles! Remember to take more pictures and tell us all the fun stuff you did ya! :D

  • Sze Chin

    sure no problem karen. i am sure i will having lots fun there. (:

    started to love thailand now…

  • Jang

    karen,
    i will to chiang mai at this may.4 days
    i still dun know wat to do at chiang mai..
    may to tell some place to visit/
    or any tour agent that can help me at chiang mai.
    thank you

  • Amirah Kausar

    u can contact debbie at dave_cnx@hotmail.com .. she was our tour guide when we visited chiangmai/chiangrai in 2007 .. very nice girl .. u can do lots n lots of things in chiangmai .. u can go to chiangrai too .. long neck karan is a must place .. white temple .. d elephant show .. d speed boat ride in d golden triangle .. d nite market .. hmmm .. i cant remember d rest … do indulge urself in thai cuisine .. they are fantastic .. enjoy urself and post some pics once u come back ..

  • Karen

    hi Jang,
    Ooh..there are so many things to do in Chiang Mai a part from temple visit! :)
    If you like shopping, you would love the night markets! The prices are so much cheaper than Bangkok too!

    Mm…i don’t have a tour agent to recommend because I was on my own..

    But yea, do try ‘Anonymous’s contact, could be good.

    And take more pictures and share with all of us later :D

  • Jang

    thank you,
    thank you karen, thank you “anouymous”

    sure i will post some of my pics after i back.

  • Supreeda

    ya ya ya Banglampp is my lovely place ..

  • Supreeda

    ya ya ya Banglampoo is my lovely place ..