Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bangkok: Elephants, Temples, and Not a Single Bad Meal

Hi everyone!

In early August, my mom, sister, and I took a trip to Bangkok, Thailand for a couple of days. Both my mom and sister had previously gone to Thailand, but I hadn't so I was exponentially more excited! It was an amazing trip and we hit all aspects of Bangkok. We celebrated the commercial side of it by going shopping and eating at nice restaurants, but we also marvelled the cultural side as we took a boat trip and walked through some of the main temples. Thailand definitely gave me a good impression, so let me take you through our journey.

Day 1

When we arrived we went immediately to the hotel to check-in and drop off our bags. We stayed in the Grand Hyatt Erawan and it was extremely impressive. The staff was very kind, the facilities were perfect, and, although we never ate there, the food looked incredible!

My sister and I enjoying the hot tub at the Grand Hyatt.

After admiring the hotel, we walked over to the nearby mall, ate a Thai lunch, and pinpointed places to eat and shop later. We went back to the hotel and treated ourselves to the pool and got pedicures. My sister and I aren't used to the grandeur of spas and hotels so as the women giving us pedicures told us to inhale a scent and clear our minds we couldn't help but giggle a bit. The finishing products turned out great and when the nail polish completely dried we all walked back to the mall in search of food.

Our Italian dinner
Day 2

The next morning, my sister and I ate some cinnamon sticks and milk that we bought at the grocery store and then we all set out to go sightseeing. Our first stop was at a little animal farm in the jungle. We were lucky enough to see Thai elephants! We didn't ride them or feed them, but we did get some great shots! 

A real Thai elephant!
Our next stop was the world-famous floating market. This is one of Bangkok's biggest attractions because vendors sell their products from boats! We hopped in a boat and toured around the numerous alleyways of the market watching as people bought souvenirs from different boats. I was starving so I bought mangoes from a lady who was slicing them. 
Freshly cut mangoes.
A boat vendor selling fruit.

A view of the canal from inside a boat.
After getting a nice Thai lunch and wandering around the market, we travelled back into the city to see the Grand Palace. I was immersed in the beautiful architecture of the buildings and the amount of detail put into even the smallest statue. We had gone during the Queen's birthday, which is also Mother's Day, so there were many people in prayer and worship.
The gold buildings of the Grand Palace.
A little soldier holding up the building.
Artwork on the walls.
We all met up with each other at the palace gate and then took a tuk tuk to the temple of the Reclining Buddha. Inside the temple was a gigantic statue of Buddha laying down! It was so long that it was hard to get a complete picture of him, but I was able to capture his giant feet. At this point we were exhausted so we went back to the hotel to freshen up and finished off the day with a Japanese dinner in the nearby mall.

Mom and I posing in the tuk tuk.
See how big he is?
Day 3

We spent our last day shopping in the mall and enjoying some ice cream sundaes from Swensen's! Mom also got a nice gift from the Thai restaurant we ate at for Mother's Day. We then went to the hotel, packed up our belongings, and waved goodbye to the hotel staff as we made our way to the airport.
Mom holding her cookies for Mother's Day!

The trip had a great combination of activities such as sightseeing, shopping, and eating the local cuisines. I had such a great impression of Thailand and fell in love with it in just a few days! The locals were so kind and the culture unique. I would love to go back again to see more temples and eat more local food. I'll make it a priority.

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