Thailand Vacation

Sawadi-ka!

I just came back from a vacation in Thailand with my family and I must say that along with bonding with my family, Thailand (more precisely, Bangkok) is a wonderful place!  I really enjoyed:

  • Meeting warm and friendly people
  • The feeling of ethnic and religious diversity
  • The busy humming of the city of Bangkok
  • The magnificent history and culture tied to the country
  • The fact that there are royalty!!!
  • The architecture of so many important buildings
  • FOOD!!!!

Here are a few snapshots of the highlights of the trip.

Of all the international airports I've been in (LAX, DFW, TPE, Kansai, & Denver), this is by far the awesomest airport to date!

Flowers have huge cultural and religious significance.  Therefore, the Flower Market remains open all day, every day.

We went to a Floating Market waaaaay out in a coconut plantation, so it's not the one where all the tourists go.  It was so nice to see a more authentic representation of a local floating market!

A gelatinous, gooey, warm, sweet treat made of coconut milk, a little flour, sugar, and green onions.  I'm personally not too fond of the texture, but the taste was great!  Sweet with a savory tease.

Rice noodles with red fish paste and basil.  This is the best description we could get out of the tour guide.  As unappetizing at pulverized red fish sounded, the taste was interesting in a good way.  I think I'd be okay to try it again.

How coconut sugar is made.  It's back breaking work and really dangerous for the sap gatherers.  I've never really liked coconut before, but after seeing this, I walked away with a new appreciation for coconuts and coconut products.

Young coconut is so tender!  After drinking the coconut milk the farmer sliced off a piece of the shell to use as a spoon to scrape off the coconut flesh.  The difference, I found, is that the coconuts you buy at the supermarket are older because the flesh is hard to scrape off.

The famous Railroad Market.  I was 12 inches from the train as it barreled past.

Thai sausage, made with rice, glass noodles, pork, and garlic.  Very very fragrant!

Tom Yum Fish Noodles.  It was so good but the portion was a lot smaller than I thought.

So, this is called the Forever Love flower, according to our tour guide.  Funny, in Taiwanese, this is called an "Yi-ah Hue."  Please excuse my TW-Eng Pinyin.  There's a sweet dessert in Taiwan made with rice to look and taste like a chewy mochi ball, which is called "yi-ah."

This was really really good.  It's too bad I only had 2 pcs before Thai ants got all over it.  By the way, Thai ants move really fast!

That sugar concoction on the pineapple is absolutely amazing!  I wish I had asked about the makeup of sugar, salt, and spice so I can make it myself.

One of the stupas (I dunno how to spell that) of the Grand Palace.  Each kings' palace has 3 stupas in the center.

Haha!  I really enjoyed seeing Ronald McDonald greet customers the Thai way.

The Temple of the Dawn.  No one knows when it was built.  Everyone thinks it was built in the same period as Angkor Wat.  We weren't able to go in because the King's Aunt's Funeral was that day and the river was closing in 1 hour from the time I took this picture.

One of the ruins at Ayutthaya.  According to our tour guide, about mid 17th Century, the Thai people were in a great war with the Burmese.  The Thai people lost that battle and the city, which was razed and burned to the ground.  Some time later, looters and thieves and maybe the Burmese, stole treasures from the city, which included gold and precious metals, as well as religious artifacts, like all the Buddha heads.

Papaya Salad.  So good!  Why did I not have this before?

Name???  It's a spicy fish cake dish with cabbage and basil at the bottom of the pot.

This is a million-dollar idea.  Plastic sleeve (not bag) for your boba tea cup.
 Clearly, these few pictures do no justice to portray even a small percentage of the country or its rich cultural heritage.  Go visit Thailand yourself!  You won't be sorry, I promise!!

Tour Guide Contact Information

Photjaman Reamsan (aka Air)
email: photjaman1978@gmail.com or info@bkktours.com
Notes:  Air offers very high quality tours and therefore a little pricey.  She makes your comfort and enjoyment of Bangkok her top priority and offers tours of local areas that haven't been inundated with tourists.  Check out her website for her tour packages.

Yaowarak Saithongpatigul (aka Angmo)
email: yaowarak@thaisabailife.com
Notes:  Angmo provides customized tours, i.e. you choose what you want to tour and she will take you there.  She also does cultural tours where she takes you all around the country (for 2-3 week vacations).  She is incredibly knowledgeable on Thailand's cultural and religious history and has a great sense of humor.  Check out her website for her tour packages. 

Michai Bunchaiyo (aka "M")
email: finnigell@gmail.com
Notes:  M's tours are geared more toward the budget conscious.  He has several tour packages but is flexible with what you want.  He is especially knowledgeable in events regarding ancient Thai history.  He provides tours to Thai ruins near Bangkok.  Check out his website for his tour packages.

Or, you can check out ToursByLocals.com to see more tour packages and offerings.

I can't end this without a family photo! :-)

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

~ September 2011

4 comments:

Joe Smith said...

Thailand holidays are wonderful place to enjoy holidays with family. Thailand is wonderful as well as affordable place for holidays. One can enjoy Seafood, Adventures and beach life there. Plan your Holidays to Thailand without thinking a minute.

Ranjeet Kumar said...

Thailand Holiday Packages, The land of fun and frolic, Thailand has emerged as a popular tourist destination over the years. Popular with its picturesque beauty, great beaches, exciting night life and excellent hotels and accommodations, it is an ideal for all kind of visitors.

pasig city said...

Considering this place as a stop in my asia country hopping :D

Kusanagi said...

@pasig city
It's definitely a must see! If you plan a tour, may I recommend Angmo! She is a great tour guide!

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