My Mum has really been my pillar of strength and is the reason why I am where I am today. She has been there for me, supporting me, giving her all to see me through life and having my back always. I always celebrate her and show her my appreciation.
I always wanted to gift my Mum with a vacation. That vacation that she has deserved for many years of toiling hard to feed, clothe and educate me and my siblings and has never had. That vacation she has deserved for her full time unpaid job of nurturing and raising us and giving us the best of her prime years.
So when I went home for the holidays, we planned a surprise birthday party for her and I had one more surprise for her present. A trip to Thailand.
She was so excited, counting down to the day until it finally came and we left for Bangkok, Thailand.
We arrived in Bangkok and took a taxi to our airbnb.
We freshened up and as it got dark , looking out from our airbnb we saw a fireworks display . I guess that is how they welcome you to Thailand. 🙂
We took a stroll outside, walked around for a bit then grabbed a tuk tuk and headed out for dinner at Cafe Ice Silom where we had some delicious Thai cuisine and then walked back to the airbnb and called it a night.
The next morning we had late breakfast at a cafe in the building and then took a tuk tuk to the BTS Skytrain station where we took the skytrain to Silom MRT station. We got off and headed to Silom Complex for some shopping. Afterwards we had lunch at the food court and then passed by the jewellery trade center to try on some bling. We then headed to MBK mall for a little more shopping (and a whole lot of window shopping).
We then took a taxi to Si Phraya pier to catch the Chao Phraya River express boat and explore Bangkok via Chao Phraya river. We were not really keen on visiting the temples, wat pho or the grand palace, which are very popular tourist attractions. However, if visiting these attractions, there is a common scam where a taxi or tuktuk driver will tell you that they are closed for some ceremony / function and instead offer a private tour. This is a scam so do not listen to them. Actually when I was reading about Thailand, there were a lot of mentions of different scams especially by tuktuk or taxi drivers.
Some taxi drivers do not like using the meter and will overcharge you so insist on them using the meter. Some will drive you to a different address than where you were going especially when you are looking to shop, and will instead take you to shops where they have an agreement with the shop owners and get paid some sort of a commission for taking customers there. (This actually happened to us. Lol! When we realized this we demanded that the taxi driver let us out and figured our way from there) For tuk tuks, always agree on the price before getting on board.
The Chao Phraya River Express boat has five lines. The orange, yellow and green flag boat, the no flag (local) boat and the Chao Phraya tourist boat (blue) They have different stops and some common stops and many of the Bangkok attractions are actually located along theriver so you can get to them via these boats. Just be sure to check which stop you are going to and that the boat you pick is going to stop there. We picked Orange flag boat. In addition to getting a view of the city, we also experienced Bangkok like the locals do as many of them take the boat as a means to get to and from work and other places.
By the time we were heading back on the boat , the sun was setting so this was a plus for us. We got to go on an unplanned sunset boat cruise. And then the night set in, the temples, bridge and buildings lit up and the view was magnificent.
Once we got off the boat we headed to China town for a feel of China in Bangkok. There are plenty of market stalls street restaurants lining the streets. After a walk around we settled down for some dinner.
From here we took a taxi to Asiatique mall. Yet another mall with a lot of souvenirs, clothes, shoes and restaurants. We had some beautiful passport covers made here. We also took a ride on the Mekong ferris wheel and the view from the top was truly breathtaking. Pictures do not even do it justice.
We called it a night and headed to our airbnb. The next day we had a very early morning since our flight to Krabi was at 6.39 a.m. meaning we needed to be at the airport by latest 5.39 a.m. Early in the morning, we checked out and went to the airport. We had breakfast at a restaurant at the airport and then waited for our flight, with our eyes all puffy.
We arrived at Krabi airport and took the Krabi airport bus to Ao nang beach which is where our hotel was. We checked into Aonang Viva Resort where we stayed in a room that had direct pool access, so any time we wanted to we would be able to jump into the pool for a swim.
We explored the area and later on that evening took a stroll to the beach where we watched this picturesque sunset. We then went and had some dinner, took a stroll around Aonang and then we went for a Thai massage.
The next day we decided to to stay at our hotel, so we had breakfast and then jumped into the pool where we stayed for most of the day, breaking for lunch then jumping back in.
Later that evening we took a shared van from Ao Nang and went to the Krabi night market which is a great night market full of life, food, music, souvenirs and more food.
We enjoyed some street food and bought some souvenirs. My Mum really loves her tshirt with ‘Krabi’ written across the front, which we bought here.
We wound up the night with a thai massage
The next morning we headed of on an island hopping excursion on a speed boat. There are a few island hopping tours available. We picked the Phi Phi Islands tour.
First stop was Bamboo island where we enjoyed swimming in the pristine clear waters and sunbathing
Then we passed by Viking cave. It is not possible to go into the caves but it was still beautiful to look at.
Next we headed to Lohsamah Bay on Phi Phi Ley which is famous for scuba diving and snorkelling.
And we saw the very famous Piley lagoon on Pi Leh Bay. It was like straight from a movie scene.
Next stop was Maya Bay which is actually from a movie scene. It was made quite popular with tourists when the 2000 movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo di Caprio was shot there. I read that it is now closed indefinitely because the thousands of tourists who were visiting it daily caused extensive environmental damage. This is really quite sad.
One of my goals this year is to actually research on environmentally sustainable travel and try to implement some measures to ensure that I am reducing my carbon footprint. And not just travel but just overall in my daily life I am trying to be more conscious about the environment. Because climate change is happening. It is so real, it is scary. We all should play a role in mitigating its effects. For instance I now use refillable water bottles as much as possible and try to avoid buying water in plastic bottles and coffee or drinks that come in plastic cups and straws.
It really guts me when I see plastic and other garbage floating in our rivers, lakes and seas, poisoning our flora and fauna. We should all practice responsible tourism.
And then we made another stop at Phi Phi Don where we enjoyed lunch at a restaurant on the beach, had some ice cream and relaxed for a bit.
Back on the boat we headed to Monkey beach to have a glimpse of the monkeys living their best lives out on the beach. I wonder if the monkeys call the beaches where humans live ‘Humans beach’
And then Nui Bay for some snorkelling, though by this time we were pretty exhausted and settled for watching the fish from the boat. They were pretty close to the surface.
We then headed back to Ao Nang beach where we had dinner and , of course, a Thai massage. We were here for the massages! They were so so cheap!! Later on I enjoyed some cocktails at the pool bar as Mum rested after a long day of activity.
The next day, it was time to leave. And as usual, it always feels like it was too short!! One last pose at the hotel and we were off to the airport
And so we parted ways as Mum headed back to Kenya and I back to Korea.
It was a wonderful trip and I feel so blessed to have been able to give my Mum such an experience. I saw how happy she was and that in turn made me so happy! I cannot wait for more adventures with my Mum. I am a big believer in buying experiences and not things. Being able to share these experiences with special people in my life is that cherry on top.