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
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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
Tour Guide Contact Information
Photjaman Reamsan (aka Air)
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for her tour packages.
Yaowarak Saithongpatigul (aka Angmo)
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")
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