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Tale As Old As Thailand {Bangkok}

During my very first Hong Kong contract, Bangkok was in a political crisis, deeming the city unsafe for traveling to, and I assumed I would never be able to visit this beautiful Thai city. Fast forward to 2018, Michael's brother, Justin, and his girlfriend Jen have now been living in Bangkok for the last year teaching high school and living out some major adventures of their own. Going back to Hong Kong this year meant we would be able to travel out to Bangkok and get a taste of their life there.

Our flight with Air Asia was already pretty late, however, with some delay, we did not arrive in Thailand til closer to 1am, where we met Justin at the airport, took a cab to his place, and went right to sleep.

We started our first Thai morning off right, with some Thai massages, and I was immediately hooked, and wanted one every single day.

A majority of the day we spent at the Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy, which I could not recommend more. They were knowledgeable, fun, and entertaining, allowing us to each make our own choices of what we wanted to cook for our various 5 course meals. 

They first took our small group to the local market, to pick out the fresh ingredients we would be using, and educating us on some less familiar Thai ingredients. 

From here, it was back to the kitchen to put on our aprons, and get prepping the different ingredients. 

Once all our dishes ingredients were prepped, we took to the stove to start (very quickly) cooking all our different dishes.

And after we finished cooking, we feasted!

Not really loving spicy things was challenging when it comes to Thai food, but getting to make your own allowed you to choose what level of spice you were ok with. I really enjoyed all the dishes we made, including Thai Green Curry, Laab Gai, Pineapple Fried Rice, Black Pepper Beef, and Mango Sticky Rice. 

We had a really great time at this cooking class, and if you are going to be in Bangkok, I would absolutely recommend it.

The (incredibly hot) sun had already begun to set after our cooking class, so our 'tour guides' (Justin and Jen) took us to one of their favorite spots to watch the sun go down. Octave, located on the top of the Marriott Hotel was one of the best places to view the city of Bangkok in it's entirety, since majority of the city is flat, it appears to extend forever in all directions. 

our wonderful 'tour guides'
Ready for some dinner, we ventured off to W Market, in W District a very trendy spot.

This market is semi difficult to compare to anywhere else I have ever been, the most similar being (maybe) a food truck rally. First you locate a seat, then venture around the various food stalls, ranging from Greek to Indian to Japanese. Place your order with as many places as you wish, let them know where you are sitting, and take your place holder back to your seat.

different place holders from different stalls 

When your food is ready, someone will bring it to your table for you, where you pay, and enjoy your meal. 

We tried a few different dishes, like a Greek Gyro and some extremely cheesy Japanese Ramen, all tasty. 

We finished the evening out by visiting the ever popular 7/11 to check out some of the different snacks in Thailand, including my favorites; ham and cheese sandwich, lasagna, and roast chicken and honey flavored Lays.

Our next day was incredibly hot, with the feels like temperature steadily around 112 degrees. We took the BTS metro to the Saphan Taksin stop to Sathon Pier to take the Orange Ferry boat for about .30 USD to view the ever famous, Bangkok temples. While on the BTS, we saw a very familiar looking advertisement....

One of my favorite parts of the day was riding the ferry over to Grand Palace. The nice breeze blowing in our faces, sitting down, and enjoying the view made it so relaxing.

All the temples in Bangkok require a strict dress code, and most skin needs to be covered; full guidelines can be found here. Remember when I told you it felt like 112 degrees outside? Running around most of the day in pants and a sweater in this heat did not make for a very enjoyable experience, however, the temples themselves were beautiful and intricately designed.
sweltering in the heat

The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha area was the official residence of the Kings of Siam (living my King & I dreams) until the 1920's. 

A quick 50 baht Tuk Tuk ride away was our next stop, Wat Pho and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. 

 Because it suddenly began to thunderstorm outside, inside the temple, it quickly became a refuge for all visitors seeking shelter, however, it also cooled down outside quite a bit, making the pants and sweater I was wearing somewhat more bearable. 

On our way to catch the Orange Ferry back, we made a small pit stop to the final and third temple, Wat Arun.

Grabbing a small treat along the way to meet Justin and Jen, we stopped for an Auntie Ann's pretzel and Pepper Lunch (our favorite HK meal).

One of the most magical parts about our trip to Bangkok was the speciality desserts at Mocking Tales, a cafe themed all around familiar fairytales. 

{Pro tip: Check out the app EatiGo for discounted prices, otherwise these tasty desserts can be a bit on the pricey side}.

We had some amazingly delicious treats, like the chocolate volcano that melted to reveal 4 different flavors of homemade ice cream, the Little Mermaid themed lava cake, and Snow White's poison apple tart. Not only were these desserts so magical to look at, they were all incredibly delicious.

The cafe even had costumes to play dress up in while you munched (it sort of looked like a high school production of Beauty and the Beast might have donated their costumes, but we still enjoyed it).

new and a bit alarming.... 

Sadly, the end to my trip in Bangkok was nearing a close, with only a few hours left, we of course started the day off with another Thai massage. 

My favorite way to experience a city is through their markets, and boy does Bangkok have a market. Chatuchak Market, or JJ Market, is one of the coolest (not literally because, again, it was around 112 degrees outside) places I have been. The market is huge, composed with around 15,000 stalls, it is impossible to see it all. 

The first purchase of the day was my mini fan, to get me through the next few hours before I roasted to actual death, and I have zero regrets.

Next on the list, of course, was food. The one I recommend the most (for entertainment purposes mostly) is the Spanish Paella, or a seafood rice dish, where we met the local celebrity, Chef Fernando himself. 

There are many different options at the market though, it's hard to go hungry...

Chicken Gyro was actually the best!

freshly squeezed juice, and whatever you purchase, no matter how big or small or what size or shape, & it must be packaged in a plastic bag or wrapper to make it carry-able by just a single finger.

blueberry texas toast 

world famous, Bangkok Red Soda (soo sugary but delicious)

 Mike was really craving some Mango ice cream, which he located at the market as well.

One final attempt at cooling down were these incredibly cheap, homemade popsicles in many flavors.
And just like that, it was time for me to hop on the A1 bus and head off to the airport to go back to Hong Kong. 

 Mike was lucky enough to get to spend some extra time in Thailand, wakeboarding, eating more yummy food, checking out the floating markets, and seeing the giant water Asian Moniter lizards. 

Floating Markets

Giant Moniter Lizards (kinda glad I wasn't around for this one...)

another Tuk Tuk ride
rainbow grilled cheese
boat ride to Bang Kachao to ride bikes (Bangkok's Green Lung)

I have a feeling this won't be our last trip to Bangkok, but it was a great introduction until next time.

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