I swear I’m not trying to sell Thailand to all of you, although I may sound like I am, but I’m not. I’m like a girl who had fallen in love and can’t stop thinking about a boy, but for this instance, it’s my recent trip.
Thailand literally swept me off my feet by its beauty, smiles, culture, people, shopping, international scene, nightlife and most of all the food.
How Did Thailand Capture My Heart?
THE BEST FOOD
“Thai cuisine is a celebration of the fresh and fragrant. Whatever your reason for visiting, the abundance of delicious flavors will make you want to extend your stay.” – BBC Good Food.
Nowadays, you can find Thai restaurants all over the world, but nothing comes close to the real deal. The freshness and abundance of lemongrass, galanga, mint, basil, cashew nuts, lime leaves, etc. and unique combination of flavors make Thai food one of the best cuisines in the world.
I don’t know how they do it, but I can still remember the taste of that harmonious blend of spices, sweet, sour, sizable chunk of meats/seafood and a variety of textures and temperatures that was so delicious. It was like an explosion of flavor in every bite.
COFFEE and STICKY RICE DELICACIES
COFFEE is an integral part of my life, and I need a cup of dark roast in the morning just to start my day.
I had the best dark roast coffee experience in Thailand. It’s bold and smoky but not burnt nor bitter. I could still taste the sweetness and nuttiness of coffee berries that seem to disappear during the roasting process. I loved that whiff of sweet, warm and chocolaty aroma that made me smile and woke me right up.
STICKY RICE DELICACIES – In Asia, glutinous rice (sticky rice) is widely used for making desserts. In comparison with Western desserts that are usually airy and made from flour, Asian desserts are heavy and filling. They’re usually made with sticky rice, fruits, coconut milk, purple yam, nuts, beans and wrapped in banana leaves. They’re either baked, steamed or stirred or pounded constantly to get the desired consistency and to avoid from burning and clamping.
Indeed! Thailand lives up to its namesake as ‘The Land of Smiles”. They’re beautiful, naturally friendly, warm and helpful people, and not only towards Westerners because I was mistaken all the time as a local.
Funny story, locals would speak English towards tourists and would converse with me in Thai. I had this confused look because I didn’t have a clue what they were saying. They would sincerely apologize, though it wasn’t a big deal, we would just start laughing. I love how they assumed that I was Thai.
My sole purpose when I went to Bangkok was shopping… I mean serious BARGAIN shopping! I don’t care about luxury brands because I get them all here in the States. Shopping in Bangkok is not complete without going to Chatuchak Market, the largest weekend marketplace in the world. It has more than 8,000 stalls, and they sell almost everything you can imagine.Click here for Shopping Tips in Thailand.
You don’t need a car. When I was in Ao Nang, tuktuk and taxis were everywhere. Most of the tour operators will pick you up and drop you back at the hotel.
In Bangkok, I found the Skytrain (BTS) the most efficient and convenient transportation system. The ticket system is a bit confusing at first. It requires you to have 5 and 10 baht coins, but who carries coins? Just make sure you have plenty of change or you can go to the BTS counter, wait in line, then go back to the ticket dispenser and wait in line again.
COLORFUL STATUES and TEMPLES
I didn’t physically go to any temple, but they’re everywhere. You can’t escape it, and you wouldn’t want to. They’re simply fascinating and magnificent. I couldn’t help but admire the flamboyancy and the richness in the architectural details. You have to see it to believe it.
I have high standards when it comes to beaches, because I grew up in the Philippines which hands down has the most beautiful beaches in the world. But I dislike that most resorts require an entrance fee to enjoy the beach.
Thailand offers stunning beaches, sheltered bays, coves and powdery sands, and you’ll find a beach that suits your style.
Bangkok is also popular for its rooftop bars. It gained more popularity due to the movie “Hangover 2”.
I stayed at the Lebua Hotel where the movie was filmed, and went to the Sky Bar where the rooftop scene was shot. It was so crowded that I wasn’t able to take a single decent picture of the club. I went early in the morning to get some shots, but I had do it through the window, because all the doors were closed in the morning.
IT’S VERY AFFORDABLE
If life were only that simple and easy, I would sell all my property and retire in Thailand because my dollar goes a long way there. Everything was affordable, food, shopping and spa. The dollar conversion was $1 = 32 Baht, so a 60 minute Thai massage was about $10. Sweet!
The Philippines will always be my first love. US is my home and Thailand is my soul mate because it reminded me so much of the beauty and exoticness of the Philippines. Yeah, I know it sounds cheesy, but that’s how I categorize my love for these countries. For now, I’m just going to savor all the fun and adventure I had in Thailand. I’m looking forward to exploring more of this beautiful country in the near future.