February was a busy travel month for Hubs and me. Thailand and then later Australia. Thailand first.
Our first time to Thailand I was about six months pregnant. That time we went north to Chiang Mai from Bangkok, this time we went south to Hua Hin before heading to Bangkok. So I guess, technically, we went north again.
After finding cheap flights and enjoying an incredible hotel deal at Aloft by W, we splurged a bit on the Hua Hin abode and stayed at the Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas. Right on the beach and a quick walk to town – it was a great location. The people of Hau Hin are incredibly nice, and the city has all the laid-back vibes of any beach town.
Our villa was charming. White from ceiling to floorboard. Winked of colonial style, and raised about four feet above the ground in traditional Thai style architecture. We had our own private deck with a small pool, an outdoor bed, detached living room and outdoor (enclosed) bathroom. And it was right on the beach.
Yeah. I’m pretty sure we’ll be coming back.
Bangkok seems to have grown incredibly in the nine years since our first visit. Like so many fast growing Asian cities, there is a head spinning mix of heritage and progress. Unfortunately, the heritage part seems to be getting smaller and smaller.
We start off at the big market, Chatuchak Weekend Market, in Bangkok. It’s a combination of pushcart food vendors, cheap items, tourist souvenirs, expensive boutique shops, and small food stalls.
We taxi’d our way to a local area in the city – which loosely translates to “we didn’t know where we were going.” Typically this also ensures a lot of walking. We wandered around a fairly ordinary part of the city looking for a community that still hand-hammers and polishes copper bowls for the monks to use when asking for food. We found it. Moving right along.
From the taxi I had noticed a huge golden dome skimming the tree tops. Hey, let’s go in that direction. Next we found ourselves strolling up 300 steps, lined with buddha statues, bells of all sizes, that led us to the top of Wat Saket (The Golden Mount).
I wished my stomach was large enough to sample everything from all the street vendors. It all looked and smelled so good! Wandering through the courtyards/alleys of a random temple, we saw this guy setting up shop. I’m sure he sold a lot of items afterwards. Probably to the monks.
As I mentioned before, we found a great deal at our hotel, which is located in tourist/expat central. During the day, you’d see many unsuspecting VW Vans parked along the street. Then the sun sets.
BAM! Instant club.
Unhinge the top – and I do mean top – and you’re welcomed by thumpin’ beats, strobe lights, tables and chairs, and top-shelf beverages.