Soo I recently returned from a trip to Thailand and Malaysia. It was my first time in Asia so I was looking forward to experiencing a totally new culture.
In my first post on my trip, I talk about Bangkok.
It was a long journey. This is not a place you visit for a long weekend. The flight from D.C. to Dubai was about 13 hours. Then from Dubai to Thailand was another 6 hours. I’m not much of a sleep on the plane kind of gal so and if you are like me this journey is not for the faint of heart.
I flew with Emirates airline and I’d give them five stars for the coach experience. One day I’d love to do business or first class with their reclining all the way back chairs and sleep space, showers and bar. However, coach was pleasant enough They had a lot of current tv and movies to keep me occupied when my eyes were too weak to read. They also kept us well fed and limitless liquor.
Once I kissed the airport floors upon arrival (ok I didn’t do that, gross). My group took a shuttle to our hotel. Le Fenix Sukhumvit is a 3-4 star hotel located near a lot of resturants and bars as well as walking distance from the metro. Our stay included free breakfast which was pretty good for western standards (although they also had eastern fare).
Overall, when in Thailand, get your eat on. The food is spicy so be warned but it’s great for your digestion and metabolism! It’s worth it though, as the food is flavorful. If the spices aren’t good for you, there are other less spicy dishes and you can ask them to make a dish less spicy. I made the mistake of asking for a dish to be made the regular Thai way, sure I could handle it.
I couldn’t handle it.
Ok, so beyond eating, Thailand is great for shopping. Things are way cheaper there. In part because there’s a strong knock-off game going on there so be sure to check the quality of your goods. Also a lot of brands are made in Thailand so the selling prices is lower too (as long as it’s not a fake). Also, if you are into beauty and skincare, it’s a mecca for that as well as a lot of Korean and Japanese brands are featured there. I had a party with that and will do a post on that later.
Shopping is an event. The malls are huge. I went to MBK for shopping and it has a whole level just for eating. The food courts are on a whole new level compared to food courts in American Malls. Don’t scoff at dining in a mall food court in Bangkok. It is a foodie event with an overwhelmingly high amount of choices. I’d suggest checking out the Weekend Market as well.
I also did the regular tour thing. Mainly checking out the many buddisht temples. I went via Your Thai Guide who were excellent hosts. A note, on visiting temples, women should wear below the knee pants or skirts and keep shoulders covered. It was hot so this wasn’t fun but that is the respectful attire for visiting theses sites. During the tour I checked out the Grand Palace, the megasized Reclining Budda and the Golden Budda
There is plenty of nightlife in Bangkok and you can stay up late partying (just don’t get a face tatoo like in Hangover Three, sadly I didn’t get to visit that hotel rooftop but I heard the drink prices were insane especially compared to the more economical rest of the trip).
However, if anything, check out a rooftop while over there, the views are great. But there is nightlife for all the different vibes: hip hop, live bands, jazz, large mega clubs. Thailand isn’t yet on yelp but check out tripadvisor for ideas of good nightlife.
Getting around was pretty simple there. Taking the metro was easy enough and the people who work there are friendly and will point you to the right way. If you get a cab, it’s best and safest to get one from a hotel and make sure it’s metered. There is also Uber over there. As with anything be smart. I only did Uber when there were a few of us, never alone.
Ok, I have to get this out. Thailand is not a diverse place. So if you are a brown person you are going to stand out. The people I was with and I got many stares and those in the group with braids got a lot of stares and requests to touch their hair. However, there were a lot of Asian tourist who were not used to seeing black people and they took seeing us as a photo opportunity. It almost got to paparazzi level. I didn’t appriciate it but I knew why. I hope one day enough black people, especially black americans, get the opportunity to travel abroad and to less popular choices in our community like Asia.