I always start my trip in Bangkok, it’s wild, colorful and is home to my favorite massage place in the world. 24 hours a day there is something happening somewhere. During the day you can split your time between temples, Khao San Road and snacking on chicken on a stick dipped in sweet chili sauce. You can spend a day deciding which Pad Thai is the best or searching for colorful home décor to remind you of your stay. To maintain a little balance in your life head to Phi Phi Islands, it’s got beach vibes and party vibes (the best of both worlds). The water is clear and boating around the islands, rather by speedboat or long-tail, is inexpensive and the makings of a trip of a lifetime.
1 GET AROUND
in taxi’s, they are cheaper than tuk tuks, always make sure they turn on the meter, especially from the airport and tourist destinations. On my first trip I thought because it was a ride on a motorbike that it must be inexpensive, but no, it’s a tourist trap. I would recommend taking it once just to have the experience! At night the drivers have lights and music and try to recommend the best food and disco joints.
at concept hostel Once Again. This was one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in. It’s clean, minimal and trendy all at once. The bunks are private and it’s location in Bangkok is close to the most famous Pad Thai place and walking distance to temples and Khao San Road make it ideal. It’s in the quieter old city area but the roof top always has people partying on it. We had beer for breakfast. Nuff said.
at the famous place around the corner with best pad Thai in Bangkok, Pad Thai Thip Samai . It opens at 5pm – the place next door has same quality but is open for lunch!
to Wat Pho and see big Buddha, you’ll also get a chance to get a cool photo op. Make sure to dress modestly because it’s a temple. There are many temples to see and if you try and get all of them you start to burn out. My recommendation is to visit one or two per day!
visit tigers. Initially I wanted to tell you about the cool experience I had, but the practices have been up for question for long time by animal rights activists. Lots of disturbing new evidence has come out since the closure of one tiger temples around the country over the last couple of years.
a cooking class! You can learn to make all the curries – red, yellow, massaman, green – EVERYTHING! I made 12 different dishes, including dessert at my class by Lemongrass Cooking near Khoa San Road. The day I booked, no one else did, so I got to go the market and have a private cooking lesson! You will be so proud of yourself after making curry paste by hand beating the brick and mortar and after tasting your own Pad Thai! it’s a nice touch and you can make it again at home and evoke the rich flavors of Thailand all over again!
to the marble temple in the morning because the sun moves in the afternoon and early evening and you can’t get a good pic.
everything on Khaosan road – tours, transportation etc. for the budget traveler prices! Make sure to shop around and be a tough bargainer!
during a full moon, not only the official full moon party is amazing, every island celebrates its own and are sure to be just as much fun!
10 PHI PHI
Islands are touristy but worth visiting. I felt the same way about Cancun until I saw the water and fell in love with it. It takes a little bit more effort to experience authentic culture but I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge.
at Blanco Beach Bar if you want to party. It’s the heart of all the beach parties and have special drinks all day. Not to mention the view of the bay is incredible. Most times music stops at 2 am. If you aren’t the hostel type, Ibiza House has villas just next door and are totally gorgeous and clean and serve breakfast on your private patio each morning. If you want something tucked away, The Cobble Beach has upscale bungalows and is perched on a hill with a killer Infinity pool that is awesome to watch sunset over the bay. All of the options are very affordable!
colorful bags, spices to cook with when you get home and every bit of street food you can find!
Brittany is the CEO + Founder of Everyday Globetrotter. She is a reformed travelholic and nomad, who now loves HGTV, and hosting dinner parties at home. You can follow her on IG @BrittanyGlobal