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Friday, January 15, 2016

Thailand Adventures


On February 18, 2015, we flew from Singapore to Thailand and our plan was to stay there for 4 days -3 nights. We arrived in Thailand late at night because our flight got delayed and got re-routed to Vietnam instead of a straight flight from Singapore and because of that we really didn't get a chance to go anywhere.

We stayed at Novotel on Siam Square. We always have good experience with Novotel hotels plus Siam Square is a very good place to stay(it's walking distance to shopping areas, lol).


DAY 1.

The next day, our tour guide picked us up at our hotel to go a hundred and so miles away from the city. We want to see and ride the elephants and to experience the floating market.


Floating Market.
The first place our tour guide took us is at the Damnoen Saduak and was said to be the real floating market and dates back to 1866 when King Rama IV ordered that a canal 32 kilometres long be dug at Damnoen Saduak to connect the Mae Klong and Tacheen Rivers (his reason for doing so lies in the fact that the quality of the soil on the banks of the canal is excellent for growing many kinds of fruits and vegetables including Malacca grape, Chinese grapefruit, mangos, bananas, and coconuts). The Floating Market is an ideal place for tourists to see the old style and traditional way of selling and buying fruits, vegetables and other from small boats. Remember to bring your haggling skills!




a short video of the floating market experience



Bridge on the River Kwai.
Next stop is in Kanchanaburi province. Home to the famous Bridge on the River Kwai and the beginning of the Thai-Burma Death Railway. Both poignant reminders of the thousands of prisoner of wars (POWs) and forced laborers who lost their lives during World War II.
bridge on the River Kwai

I'm not much of a history buff  and to be honest, this really didn't piqued my interest. I was more interested on the floating restaurant we went to for buffet lunch.



Floating Resto for Thai Lunch buffet
and we have the view of the Bridge of Kwai


Elephant Ride.
After lunch we went to see the elephants!
Hubby is a big elephant fan (he even donates at an Elephant Sanctuary) so he is the most excited. We booked the one where you can bathe the elephants but we were in for a surprise because it was us who the elephants bathe! LOL.

The first part of the ride was just walking around the sanctuary with both the hubby and I plus the mahout on the elephant.


first part of the elephant ride

Then we had to wait to change elephant that would take us to the river. While waiting
 we were asked if we want to feed the elephants. Ofcourse we said yes.

feeding elephants with bananas

Then it's bath time!
My hubs and I were given one elephant each. I was terrified because I'm infront with nothing to hold on to. I can no longer count the number of times I tried to grab the elephant's hair (you can't, they're  very short and sparse) because I got scared. At one point I was half tempted to hold on to the elephant's ears but I was scared I will annoy the elephant and he would throw me out in the bushes and squish me, lol. So, nope. I just contented myself to closing my eyes and screaming. Lots of screaming.

It was specially scary when we had to come down to the river. I really felt like I will be falling head first but I survived. Oh, remember to wear pants (preferably hiking pants) when you ride an elephant. Their hair will prick you.


on an elephant while going down a hill to the river

I was already a month pregnant when we went to Thailand so I was very careful with the activities I had with my elephant. Normally the mahout will ask you to slide to the elephant's trunk and the elephant will submerge you into the river, let you go, and scoop you right up using his trunk! Then splash you onto the river again. I didn't even bat an eyelash when I said "nope, not happening!". The hubby did the whole 9 yards though, and he was giggling like a school boy the whole time, lol. He enjoyed it a lot. I, on the other hand, was happy just sitting on my elephant with my feet submerged on the river and watching the other elephants' toys (the humans, lol).

chilling with the elephant on the river


The elephant I was riding on did try to submerge my whole body into the river. The mahout just instructed me to hold on and to not jump into the river. The elephant I had was also very playful  (either that, or he's mad at me because i burst his eardrum) and kept splashing me with water from his trunk. It was a fun day.

trying to hold for dear life, lol


DAY 2.


The next day we went to visit several temples.

First stop was The Grand Palace and it was, well, GRAND! I love every piece of it!
By the way, they are very strict with how people are dressed when inside. They won't let you in if you have legs and/or shoulders showing. I came prepared though. I made sure my outfit for that day is a maxi dress and brought along with me a short-sleeves cardigan. Short sleeves because it's hot and humid that day.

at the grand palace

Then we had lunch at a nearby restaurant because we were famished! Like I mentioned, it was hot and humid and we had to walk a lot inside the Grand Palace, so we were very thirsty as well, and boy, at times like that, a very cold Thai iced tea hits the spot!

i'm in heaven!
i love chicken pad thai and one should never forget to have a plate of
pad thai while in thailand....and thai iced tea...



Second stop was Wat Arun,
the Temple of Dawn.
The temple is decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China. You are free to climb those steep and narrow and steep, and steep and very steep,  did I say steep, stairs. I sure didn't attempt! I hate stairs and I'm not going to change my mind anytime soon specially if we're talking about the steps at Wat Arun. I did climb a few steps for this photo.

Wat Arun, the temple of dawn



Third stop was Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Budha.
It was said to be the first of the six temples as the highest grade of the first class Royal temples. It houses the largest Buddha collections in Thailand.
at Wat Pho, temple of the reclining budha...find me, lol


FOOD.

Ofcourse our adventure won't be complete without local food and below are some of the places/food we tried/saw. Oh, and try their local coffee! soooooo good! I had it when we were at the floating market.

locals love this place and
i can see taste why

somboon's famous chili crab

i'm not sure what this is

some street food

more street food


MISC.

For more shopping and some "unique adventure", try going to Patpong and go in for some "unique entertainment" that I think you will only see in Bangkok. Don't bring your young kids here, lol.

those who've been here will know what i
meant by "unique entertainment", lol



On our last night we did the night dinner cruise along the Chao Praya River and we enjoyed it immensely. The buffet and night scenery are just awesome.

waiting to board the white orchid

Over all we enjoyed our stay in Thailand and wouldn't mind coming back. Maybe we'll try one of their beaches next time and maybe go and visit Ayutthaya. I wouldn't mind going back to see the temples again for some sunrise/sunset/night shots too.



note: texts in blue are clickable

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