Southeast Asia: Thailand
Continuing with the Southeast Asia recap, the next stop on our list was Thailand! I will do my best to recall everything that happened on the trip but it is has been 2 months as this trip occurred in late December. Anyway, Oumou and I flew from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Krabi, Thailand using AirAsia and while I am not a fan of it, it got us from Point A to Point B. While traveling within Southeast Asia, it is almost impossible to not use budget airlines as they have frequent flight times to cities all over Asia.
For Thailand, we stayed in three main cities: Krabi, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. In Krabi, we stayed at the BlueSotel SMART Krabi Aonang, an adults only hotel. I did not even realize this was an adults only hotel until I looked around and could not hear any children around. I was extremely grateful for this because after hearing kids cry at the Malaysia airport for hours, I was happy to be in an environment with zero children. While this hotel was close to the beach and to the main town, the hotel was in a developing part of town so the road was not completed and the lights on the road were nonexistent in the evening. Although I am personally used to it, there were a lot of stray dogs wondering around and it reminded me of some parts of Ghana. I believe once the area is completely developed and the roads are tarred, it will be a “happening” spot as the beach was literally steps away from our hotel. On our first day, we walked to the beach just for a few minutes and you could see hundreds of people all gathered on the beach just to enjoy the sunset. It was truly magical. Our hotel also had an infinity pool with stunning views and we took full advantage of that on another day as well.
In Krabi, we decided to do a Phi Phi Sunrise tour as it was closer than doing it from Phuket later on in our trip. We used Get Your Guide and I would highly recommend this tour. I am not sure if the management will change but our tour guides were incredible. In total I believe we saw about 10 islands on this tour alone! It was incredible – the only issue is at some places I wish we had more time but for the price, hospitality, and amenities, you really cannot beat this price. The beaches were absolutely perfect in my opinion; there was not a single beach that I felt, Ehhh – it could be better. Sure, some of them were crowded but that is to be expected due to the time we went. Plus, starting the day just a few hours early really gives you an advantage as other tour companies typically start theirs around 9am.
While in Krabi, we did not have the best food. The restaurants were not that great but the Night Market had incredible food! If you get a chance to attend the Krabi Ao Nang Night Market or any night market at all in Thailand tbh, I would definitely recommend you take full advantage of it instead of eating at restaurants. During the Sunrise Tour, we asked some folks where they have been eating and most of them recommended KoDam Kitchen. Oumou and I decided to check it out and we were extremely surprised by the wait times when we got there. Thankfully, we had seats in the waiting area so we were able to grab a number and wait our turn. What I liked most about this restaurant was the fact that they actually served free appetizers while we were waiting. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that in any restaurant in the U.S. or Ghana; sure, some restaurants will offer water or for you to get drinks at the bar, but none have offered free appetizers. For this, KoDam Kitchen is a must-visit – just for the experience. For the main course, it was actually a lot better than the other restaurant we visited but the food in the Night Market was definitely much better.
It is fair to say that Thailand is synonymous with Thai massages.W e also decided to get a massage while in Krabi because how can you go to Thailand and not get a Thai massage?! Oumou and I looked up reviews of a nearby local shop but once we got there, they didn’t really have what we wanted (Aloe Vera massage) and they actually recommended we check out Royal Palm Spa; so that is exactly what we did. Royal Palm Spa was a bit more expensive than the typical massage spots on the street but the experience was totally worth it.
After spending a few days in Krabi, we decided to take a speedboat to Phuket for the second part of our Thailand trip. The speedboat was an experience I will highly recommend – you get to stop at various towns and enjoy being on the vast ocean. Even me that I am lowkey scared of being on water, I enjoyed sitting in front of the speedboat and enjoyed the views; truly magical and it is something I will never forget. Ever.
Anyway, our hotel in Phuket was The Galleri by Katathani and of course, it had an infinity pool as well overlooking the ocean. If you are new here, I am really into infinity pools because I love the sunrise and sunsets over water. Getting around in Phuket was a bit tough as our hotel was on a long hill but we were able to use our hotel shuttle to get to an exclusive beach club, Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, which is run by the parent company of our hotel. I honestly do not recall much of our time in Phuket – in hindsight we really should have skipped Phuket and stayed longer in Krabi or maybe another city instead. The main tourist attraction we were able to see in Phuket was the Big Buddha, which I recommend you make time to see, and the Phuket Walking Street, a night market that takes over the beautiful Thalang Road in Phuket Old Town every Sunday evening.
After Phuket, we flew to Chiang Mai to spend New Year’s Eve to participate in the lantern event near the Tha Pae Gate. We stayed at Viang Luang Resort and it was also in the inner city. The food in Chiang Mai was a lot better than the first two cities we visited. My personal favorite was a new restaurant by a French and Thai couple called Rambutan Restaurant & Café. It was cash only but trust me, even if you do not have cash on hand, try your best to visit a bank just to try the restaurant and to experience the vibes.
In Chiang Mai, we also did a lot of walking around the city square to see more temples and night markets. I knew Thailand was famous for night markets and temples but I guess I underestimated the amount that one could explore in such a short period of time. The Lantern event to bring in the new year, as you can imagine, was extremely packed! Oumou and I started the walk from our hotel around 11:45pm and we got there just in time to bring in the New Year. If you want to experience an actual festival, I recommend you check out their event called Yee Peng Festival (also written as Yi Peng) as that is more extensive and the celebration is grandeur. While in Chiang Mai, I also spent a few hours doing a self-photoshoot for my birthday. Yes, I did everything myself from makeup to photography to coordination. It was difficult at some point because I wanted specific angles but I was still able to get really good shots.
Once we concluded the celebration, we flew to Bangkok early the next day. Oumou was spending a day and half but I had to catch a flight to Singapore from Bangkok as they did not have a nonstop Bangkok to Male, Maldives route. Bangkok was extremely overwhelming and I guess because I was there for just a few hours, it felt even moreso suffocating as I could not really enjoy it. I do see myself returning to Bangkok in the future to fully enjoy the city. Until next time, please see below for a few pictures from my Thailand trip!
Total cost of Thailand trip can be found here.
Airfare from Kuala Lumpur to Krabi: $53.03
Flight to Chiang Mai: $110.75
Flight to Bangkok: $129.14
BlueSotel SMART Krabi Aonang: $531.90
The Galleri: $434.34
Viangluang Resort – Chiang Mai: $380.14
SB: The total cost in the attached spreadsheet does not reflect dollars changed to various currencies, some personal food costs, and souvenirs purchased.
Stay adventurous, dear friends, and always remember to stay golden. All ways, always.
Samuella/Rich Auntie Sammie