I just got back from Thailand well its been two weeks, but in my head, I just got back lol. Summer is right around the corner, and I know many of you are taking trips and planning your next vacation. Thailand took two months to plan with my bestie visiting the cities of Bangkok and Phuket. Despite missing my connecting flight in Beijing and having to spend the night in a hostel my experience was great!
I visited the popular cities of Bangkok and Phuket which were both very different. Bangkok was more of a historical city with temples, markets and city views. Phuket offered the exact opposite with more beaches, views relaxation, and spa experiences. I spent a total of 7 days in Thailand with 2 days in Bangkok and 5 days in Phuket. Here are my top 6 tips for traveling in Thailand!
1. Travel Light
As with most trips I go on I completely overpacked. I bought so many cute outfits to dress up and go out to dinner, and I wore none of them. When you do decide to pack think humidity! Everything should be light and easy to put on. Shorts, tees, bathing suit cover-ups and soft pants are pretty much all you need. Maybe one cute dinner outfit!
2. Book your flight with enough connection time
I traveled to Thailand leaving from New York with a connection flight in Beijing that would take me to my final destination in Bangkok. When I landed in Beijing, I had 40 minutes to get to my gate for my flight in Bangkok. I traveled with 3 other friends, and there was no way that 40 minutes was enough time to catch my connecting flight. With having to go through security again and China customs and then go to a gate across the entire airport. We missed our connecting flight and had to spend the night in China. With all that being said when you book a trip to Thailand or anywhere international give yourself at least 2 hours when connecting. Trust me you will be happy that you did.
3. Visit the Markets
Chatuchak Market is the biggest market in Phuket and has everything from food, artists work to original Thai fashion. The market usually closes at 6 PM, so its best to get there very early as the market gets very hot. I loved this market because it was very authentic to Thai culture and there were a lot of great souvenirs and original Thai fashion. A really cool plus was that a lot of shops in the market allowed you to use your credit/debit card. The market was reminiscent of the Brooklyn Flea in New York City.
Patpong Market is a smaller market but very different from Chatucak. They feature a lot of handbags, accessories and handmade goods. They secretly call this market the (red light district). You might be asked to watch risqué shows or performances while on the street don’t be alarmed. If you decide to go to this market prepare yourself to make a deal if you were eyeing something to purchase. All of the sellers that work in this market are very aggressive, and it can work in your favor. Be prepared to have cash (Baht).
4. Go to a Spa (Patong)
Patong Rd is almost like another small city that has a mall, beach and a lot of small shops and spas. The spas are really inexpensive, and you get a full treatment. I went to the Orientala Spa in Patong, and it was magical. A two-hour full body massage was under $70, and it was of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The spa was super clean, and massage therapists were everything.
5. Elephant Sanctuary No Tigers!
I thought it would be cool to go to a tiger sanctuary and take some dope pics. I looked up a location, and it recommended me one that gave the disclaimer “that you should be able to run, jump, kneel very quickly and be in shape” with that being said I was like I don’t think this is for me. If that doesn’t scare you then go for it girl!
I decided to go to Elephant Sanctuary the one I specifically chose was the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. This sanctuary is one of the only humane sanctuary’s that don’t let you touch or bathe with the elephants as they don’t like such behavior. My friends and I got to see the elephants in their natural habitat and hear the background stories of each of the elephants. In the end, we were fed lunch and able to feed them. This was one of the best experiences I ever had traveling. The elephants are such sweet animals, and it was nice to see them truly happy.
6. Phi Phi Island Tour & The Beaches!
Depending on where you are staying you can book a tour to visit Phi Phi Island. This can be booked online or at your Hotel. The tour usually picks you up from your location, and you visit select islands, snorkel, have lunch. This is the perfect tour for sightseeing and really being in the element of your surroundings.
Phuket is all about the beaches and more beaches. Go to as many as you can and try spending a day at a beach club where you can relax and drink and eat. The sun really wipes you out so make sure to stay hydrated and really enjoy your time.
Of course, I could go on and on about Thailand for days. I didn’t mention it but visiting the temples in Bangkok is a must! This was one of the best vacation experiences that I ever had. You honestly come back rejuvenated and at peace. I always find that the best vacations are ones where you get an authentic cultural experience, and you get to relax. The jet lag is something serious, but don’t let that stop you from living your best life and visiting Thailand!