In Summary…Thailand Tidbits to Recap
We spent just over two weeks in the beautiful country of Thailand and are more open and humble as a result. I’ve blogged many of our experiences in the travel section of this website, but we also thought it would be fun to summarize the whole adventure in one blog post. Thus we put our heads together and came up with our most and least favorites, the best and the worst, the do overs and never agains. Here goes.
Worst overall day: Joel reports that hands down the day he left for home (two days before Alex and I did) was his worst day. It was actually a bummer for Alex and me as well. Not only was he leaving his family behind to travel 22 hours alone, but he spent the first 30 minutes of the taxi ride wondering if he was being taken to the right airport since there are two major ones in Bangkok. Funny enough, Alex and I spent the first 30 minutes of our taxi ride to the airport on our departure day wondering the same thing. Like I’ve said before, transportation and language barriers are always the toughest part of travel.
Best experience: All of us agree that meeting and feeding elephants was uber cool. Alex adds that seeing her parents arrive in Phuket was a pretty great day too. Note: Joel and I were delayed by a full 24 hours so this may have added to Alex’s excitement at finally seeing us.
Worst experience: Being trapped in the tourist zone called The Grand Palace. Period. No further comment.
Favorite guided daytrips: They were all so special and allowed us the opportunity to see hidden things and meet people we never would have met, BUT we all agree that the elephant camp was easily our favorite.
Best meal: Well, you know us. We love to eat and experience new cuisines so it’s really tough to pick a favorite. And for Alex who has been abroad for 18 months, just eating meals with family again was a highlight. The two times when the atmosphere in combo with the food gelled just right would be the first lunch in Chiang Mai when we had noodles, tea and sticky rice for the first time AND our dinner at the flower market in Bangkok. Funny enough, both of those meals were totally unplanned and stumbled upon. Isn’t that how it is?
Favorite Thai dish: I could have predicted what Joel would claim – pad thai!! That guy could eat that every day. We’ve had it three times since we’ve been back home since we learned to make it at our cooking class. Alex and I both loved the sticky rice with mango and tom yang goon (the sour shrimp soup.)
Tried once and that’s enough: For Joel that’s coconut milk. Not the stuff we buy in the cans for cooking, but rather the liquid drunk directly from the coconut with a straw. Just wasn’t his cup of tea. Alex reported squid eggs as her one-time taste. I would second both of those – coconut milk and squid eggs – and add deep fried whole crabs. Yep. Once was enough.
Funniest moments: Alex’s kitty visitor in the middle of the night at the Elephant Nature Park was Joel’s funniest moment. Alex said the hysterical relief laughter following being chased by a herd of elephants and every time her dad farted. She laughed a lot.
Scariest moment: I made them promise not to say whenever I got crabby. It happens. So instead we all agreed that being chased by a herd of elephants was a tad frightening.
Best view: Joel and I agree that the view from the top of Doi Inthanon was spectacular. Alex liked the expansive view of the city at the rooftop bar in Bangkok. Even more, she loved the view down the river from the back porch of our cabin at the elephant park – dog and cat friends stopping in, elephants and their mahouts crossing the river, drinking a couple of beers. Life is good.
Would prefer never to do again: Of course The Grand Palace is high on the list. For Alex so is the stilted Muslim fishing village we stopped at on our Phang Nga Bay tour. For Joel and me, flying American Airlines will not be in our near future.
Would love to do again: Wandering the streets of a new place without an agenda is one of those rare things you don’t take the time to do and Joel would like to do again. He’d also do another elephant camp, but wouldn’t mind if it was closer to home since the travel to and from Thailand was exhausting. I would love a do-over at Ayutthaya. Next time no biking, less sweating and swearing, and more wandering amid the sacred ruins. Alex would do the elephant park and our coconut grove bike ride again AND she’d spend more time in Phuket and the surrounding area so she could explore more of the nooks and crannies like we did in Phang Nga Bay.
If you want to see more pictures from our Thailand adventure, you can start with Phuket, our first stop, and work your way through the rest of the blogs by clicking the links at the bottom of each.