Monday, February 16, 2015

Thailand 2015 - Part II: Bangkok

After spending a few days in Phuket, we came back down to Bangkok to spend the rest of our time there. Because we really just explore when we're in the city, we don't do much but just be with my dad and walk around and take lots of free buses when we can. Sometimes Trenton and I will go wandering on our own and that's always fun. Honestly, I think it's really fun exploring a city. Even if I've been there before, there's always something new I learn about it and more beauty to discover. We were excited to see more things this time around like day/night market locals, Muay Thai fights, and public parks. It was a very relaxing holiday for us.

I have to warn you, there are a lot of pictures in this post. You'll see how different it is in the city as opposed to the south.

Hualamphong Train Station

New Noodle House opened | "Long Live the King"
fresh crab | a lot of siting and talking in Thailand

ferry ridin' to get to the other side of the city across Chao Phraya River

I don't even like coconut but man... yummy!
CentralWorld - high-end mall

I think my dad likes when I come around because I take him to Burger King. haha

street food - always worth the wait

^Trenton hanging off the bus like a true Thai, not even scared.
This famous restaurant has been opened since 1909! Of course we had to get duck mouth here.
Lumphini Park

Som tum (papaya salad) | Pad Thai koong (shrimp Pad Thai) | A literal ice cream sandqich! haha

Best buds in the city
traffic - more people than LA

getting ready to fight | pre-fight rituals | ouch...
my dad on facebook in the background...aye.

Bringing the 90s back | Buddies dining at Sizzler!

Late-night, bus-riding adventures

Like I stated in Part I of these Thailand posts, I really enjoy visiting Thailand. It doesn't matter that we don't spend money and go on tours every day. It's nice to see people in their culture, living the way they do. I'd recommend Thailand to anyone. Go for the food, the poeple, the beaches, the city...just go. Experience it and tell me what you think. You may not be biased like I am but I guarantee you you will find it interesting and beautiful in all of its ways.

*Daddy, if you're able to read this and learned how to use "the google" by now, then I am very surprised but proud of you. haha Can't wait to see you again. Remember, don't talk to strangers on facebook. Until next time! Love you.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thailand 2015 - Part I: Phuket &Phang Nga Bay

I may be biased but I think Thailand is one of my favorite countries to visit. I love the food (my favorite), the sights, the diversity - it just has so much character. Sure, you'll get your beach fix at the tourist-y spots and it will be paradise but you also see so much beauty in the day-to-day hustling and bustling of the city. There is so much beauty in real life - how everyday people live their everyday lives whether they are rich or poor. My favorite part of traveling is seeing the culture, seeing what real life is to the people who live there. I'm not saying I don't like the parts that tourists go and see, sometimes that is fun too. I mean, I visit them myself if it seems interesting to me. But the places most people do not pay to go see, you can get so much more out of that. To me, these parts can be just as beautiful. A lot of the pictures I took this time around show both sides to this beautiful country: the relaxing ocean scenery of Phuket and its surrounding islands and the "not-so-pretty"city life Bangkok. I see beauty in both places and they both have their uniqueness to them.

As many times as I have been to Thailand, I have never visited the infamous beaches that are in the southern part. I haven't even been to Chiang Mai (I still have it on my list) or the northern parts of Thailand. The main reason I visit Thailand is to be with my dad in Bangkok. I don't see him often, sometimes I see him years at a time. I like to spend most of my days just being with him, taking free buses (no longer free after today!), walking everywhere, and eating everything in sight. To me, that is worth all the money I pay for a round trip ticket. I've been extra grateful because Trenton has been able to experience it with me two times now, as he came with me this time around on our first ever flight together. We've met in New York, Bangkok, and Botswana but have never flown together so this was an even more anticipated trip. So grateful.

first flight together! | waiting to board the plane
Before we left to Thailand we planned a trip down to Phuket since we've never been there. We decided to get train/bus combo tickets the day after we landed and it ended up working out well. The train had some cool sights to see and it could have easily been a scene in The Darjeeling Limited. It was really interesting and old and a pretty cool experience. We got out at Surat Thani station and took a bus to Phuket. Thank goodness for air conditioning in both the train and bus!

2nd class sleepers, top and bottom
day and evening in Phuket Town
Rongjit Cafe in Phuket - cool place we stumbled across while exploring
Ray Ban and Emporio Armani Advertisements? haha jk
The morning of our tour we woke up, were picked up in a van, and headed out to the pier to get on a boat that took us on a tour of the different islands. It was so beautiful going out in the waters and seeing the islands become bigger and bigger as we approached them. We visited four different islands in Phang Nga Bay and it was so much fun. We explored ancient caves by foot and by kayak and swam in the Strait of Malacca. The tour covered all drinks and some snacks, as well as a yummy buffet lunch on the boat. It was especially fun when Trenton and I took our own kayak and he paddled out to a private little beach where we had time for ourselves, by ourselves. It was like being in Lost. After we paddled back to the main boat we got ready to get back to our hotel and meet up with new friends we made, from the tour, for dinner. We all had a good time in each other's company and really enjoyed the day. We even decided we couldn't get enough of each other and decided to go look for dessert which happened at Swensen's, an ice cream parlor. As cheesy as I am I even felt it was a little emotional when we said our goodbyes. Just a little though. Such a memorable, fun trip.

James Bond Island - Man With the Golden Gun was filmed here
textures and lines

Trenton jumped off the boat!

Hope to bump into you guys again one day. "Insha'allah." Right Amed?
So...after uploading all these pictures and not sleeping for the night (still jet-lagged) it has become a little much. I've decided I have to cut this blog post into two parts and edit the title. haha I didn't realize how many pictures I have and wanted to share and this has become overwhelming. I will update very soon with the pictures of Bangkok that I took on a second part and will let you guys know when it is up. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these pictures and are ready for more soon!

Thanks for following.