The Land of Smiles
Thailand Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Sadly, I cant remember exactly when the last time I went to Thailand was. This can only mean it's been far too long.
Where to begin? Thailand, the land of smiles. It's true what they say. I've yet to meet a rude or hostile person in Thailand. Let me tell you what I do know. Bangkok, Thailand's capital, is a vibrant, buzzing city that is one huge elaborate contradiction. During the day you can shop on the street stalls and markets and buy everything from handmade wooden ornaments to electrical goods and 'designer' clothing. Bangkok is the place to shop and the place to party. At night, Bangkok really comes to life. Amongst the bright lights and neon signs you would expect to find in any big city are the bars, clubs and most importantly, some of the most interesting people you will ever meet. This is the place to come to lift your spirits and make life long friends...or more if the mood takes you. The locals are friendly, the prostitutes charming, and the lady boys are beautiful. I have had some of the best nights of my life drinking with a mix of the locals, lady boys and working girls, people who are genuinely interested in who you are and where you come from. The Hillary Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 4 is a stone's throw from the fantastic Nana Hotel, and across the road from the Nana Plaza with its table dancing bars and nightlife. The Hillary is a great place to chill during the day, grab some food and play some pool, and a fabulous place to drink at night. Hungover? Head across the street from the hillary bar and get pampered. You can get your hair, nails and toenails made fabulous here for the cost of a pint in England.
Take a taxi down to the coast, about an hour and a half away, for a completely different change of pace. I recommend staying in Pattaya which is only a ten minute bus ride to the beach and will cost ten baht. Thats about 20 pence. The beach is the place to come if you are adventurous. Parasend on the back of a speed boat, tear up the surf on a jet ski, try your luck on a banana boat or learn to wind surf. In JomTien you can zip wire down a sixty story building...
At night time the coast is far more laid back than Bangkok. Head down to the Carousel Bar, a bar literally built on a Carousel. Gives a whole new meaning to the term 'head spinning'! Go to a local night market and definately sample the local cuisine. Thailand's seafood is fantastic; I reccommend the Mud Crab. If you are slightly braver and like your food with a kick, try the tom yung, a spicy soup that will make you sweat. Try to locate a BBQ Plaza restuarant whilst in thailand, here is where you have a wok on the table in front of you and you cook the food yourself. It's a great experience and you can make the food to suit your taste.
If you don't care much for thai cuisine, there are plenty more options. If you are taking children its definately worth noting that you are never far from a Mcdonalds, Pizza Hut or KFC. There are plenty of street stalls selling fresh pineapple, corn on the cob and coconut juice.
If you are travelling to Thailand, remember, have fun, be open minded and be ready to have the time of your life!