Unlocking My Travel Memories: My first visit From London to Thailand

Sawa-di-kha! That was how our driver greeted us upon meeting him around 7:30 A.M. outside the Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. We instantly felt the warmth of the traditional Thai greeting. I for one could not contain my excitement, so with the cheesiest smile I nodded my head too. Without a doubt, we had stepped into a land with extraordinary culture, one that uniquely blends the East and the West, and we were ready for a new and exciting adventure! My husband and I decided for an eight day break in Southeast Asia, far away from the hustle-bustle of London. Both of us unanimously decided on Bangkok, Thailand. However,  my sister Kim greatly influenced our decision. She often travels for her job, and Southeast Asia is one of her favourite destinations. I’d  eagerly await her Facebook posts with all the images from her Thailand holiday, which of course heightened our expectations. We saw her selfies in front of amazing temples, eating mouth-watering food and buying something from a market on a boat (which looked like it was floating). On her return she told us all about Bangkok, and that she then went on to Hua Hin, the legendary leisure beach destination of Thailand’s royal family. My sister knows me, so she was quick to regale me about a themed shopping village in Hua Hin.  She enthusiastically assured me that I was going to forget about my upcoming trip to Rome, once I reached Hua Hin. So you probably can guess what happened next… I pretty much fell in love with Thailand! Keep reading as I unlock my memories about our first visit to Bangkok.

We wasted no time booking a direct Thai Airways flight from Heathrow to Bangkok. We boarded the afternoon flight departing around 12:30 P.M and reached Bangkok around 6 A.M. the next day. It was a long flight indeed, and our extreme excitement made it seem even longer! I have to say, the cabin crew for Thai airways were the most cheerful and welcoming I had ever come across. We knew we were going to have a great time from the moment we boarded the flight. Our goals in Bangkok were simple … taste amazing food, experience exciting nights out, enjoy pleasant boat rides, and visit night markets. We only had eight days in total, so we wanted to make the most of it while still keeping things at a relaxing, leisurely pace. For our itinerary, we planned for three-nights at the Shangri La Hotel, Bangkok, and the rest of our time would be spent enjoying the Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort, on Thailand’s coast.

Three nights at Bangkok

After greeting us, our driver brought us to the Shangri La. It was a pleasant 45 minute trip through the bustling streets of Bangkok. I took the opportunity to ask the driver about rumours that Bangkok was the best place in the world to find exact replicas of designer bags. He told me it was true, but the most identical ones were not easy to find.  Around 8:30 A.M we reached our hotel and were extremely thrilled. The the decor and atmosphere was just overwhelming, making us feel so grateful to be there. We had a full day ahead of us to explore and enjoy the beautiful Thai capital. There was so much to do and see. Filled with utter curiosity, we started our day exploring Bangkok. To feel the culture of the country, we decided to visit the astonishing Temples, bustling markets and obviously … we ate lots of Thai food. Later we decided to explore the city at night because as Kim said, Bangkok never sleeps. Over the next three days, we visited Grand Palace, Wat Prakeaw, Wat Ratchanatdaram, the temple of Dawn, Floating Market, Chinatown (for shopping and amazing street food) and Wat Pho temple. We tasted Spicy Shrimp Soup, Red curry, Thai fried noodles, Green Chicken Curry and Chicken with Cashew Nuts. My mouth is now watering as I remember the great melt-in-your-mouth taste of Thai street cuisine. I had a great shopping experience at the Rod Fai Market. It remains a bustling night market where traders sell fashionable clothes and apparel.Everything was going well, but something funny happened on our last night in Bangkok well at the time it was not that funny but makes me laugh out loud now whenever I think of it.

The funny incident

It was late, and the next day we needed to be up early to make the two hour drive to Hua Hin. Suddenly, I remembered I needed a bag. I couldn’t travel all the way to Bangkok without at least trying to find one of the shops, even if it was just to look and see if the rumours were true. So I asked a random cab driver if he could help me out. He seemed friendly enough and agreed to take us to the place where I can get good quality designer bags. I told my husband we wouldn’t be long. I would just take a quick peek, then we can head back to the hotel and start the packing. As my partner in crime, he agreed, but of course with a hint scepticism. I trusted the cab driver, hoping he knew what he was talking about. As my husband and I sat in the back seat of the cab, to my sudden surprise the driver began to drive us down through some dark and secluded tight roads. After seeing people everywhere when we were in the town centre we were now in a completely secluded part of the city. The driver had stopped his friendly small-talk and I must admit, we were both beginning to  feel quite nervous. My husband whispered, if we get mugged, or worse still, killed whilst trying to find a replica designer bag for you, it would be a tragic and embarrassing end for us both. I busted out laughing and in that moment the cab driver parked in front of a hidden warehouse. There were groups of people standing outside it, so we walked in, and lo and behold … it was a replica bag heaven! I got my classic flap bag, and back to the hotel we went.

A little about Hua Hin

Hua Hin, our next destination, was a priceless experience that gave us the tranquillity we needed after the excitement of the city. There are countless beautiful sea-side houses and villas. It just takes a little more than two hour’s drive from Bangkok to reach this amazing place, which truly has one of the most romantic atmospheres I’ve ever experienced. It has a deep and long tradition with the Thai royal family. Over 100 years ago they would visit Hua Hin from Bangkok to spend their summer holidays. This is the reason Thai people view Hua Hin as an elegant and legendary holiday destination, away from some of the other more touristy areas of the country. The beaches are mesmerizing and the alleys are lined with impeccable street food, but there is so much more to see and do.  Some of the top Hua Hin attractions we visited included Maruekhathaiyawan Palace, Cicada Market, Hua Hin Night Market, Khao Takiab, Phraya Nakhon Cave and the Venezia Hua Hin. However, our Hua Hin itinerary was more focused on relaxing and really taking in everything. Nevertheless, we did get out to explore the night markets and the Venezia Hua Hin.

Experience at Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort.

We had an unforgettable experience at the Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort. The resort offered beachfront accommodation on the Hua Hin Beach for a relaxing experience. We loved being there so much we didn’t have as much interest in exploring the town as we thought we would. We decided to make the most of relaxing at the resort. There was a private rooftop terrace where we sat every day for our morning tea and coffee. We enjoyed the authentic Thai Food served by the restaurant during our stay. We decided to take up the resort’s spa services.  The resort was equipped with a rooftop spa where we had the most extraordinary Thai message at 2.500 baht (£60.00) each we couldn’t believe how luxurious it was. It was one of the highlights of our trips to be so utterly and completely relaxed from head to toe.

It’s the beginning

After returning from Bangkok, I started learning more about Thailand. The county its culture, the warmth of the people, food, nightlight and even the streets impressed me so much.  Thailand encompasses many beautiful islands like Phuket, Phi Phi, etc. On our next trip we have decided to explore these islands, at least the Phi Phi Island where ‘The Beach’ movie with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed. I heard people call Phi Phi the Paradise Island. All I can remember when I reminisce about my trip to Thailand is how happy we both were experiencing being there and experiencing the new culture. Unlocking my travel memories on my first visit to Bangkok from London always gives me such fond memories I always say first because I can’t to return.

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