It’s May 28th, 2015, a day before my third anniversary with my boyfriend, Neil. To celebrate this special occasion, we caught a 19-hour flight from San Francisco International Airport to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, for three weeks of food, fun, and adventure.
The flight itself was a tiring journey in which we were left sleepless. It also involved a 4-hour layover in Narita, Japan, where we hate our heart’s content of green tea Kitkats and ramen.
Once we landed in Bangkok, we were through immigration quickly and painlessly. We avoided the mass onslaught of taxis by pre-booking a shuttle and finally made it to our hotel, The Phoenix, at two am on May 30th. It was late, and we were running on travel bug fumes.
Neil and I were wide awake at 6 am got our first breakfast and sweet coffee in Thailand, and caught an Uber to our next hotel, Ibis, located near town.
After settling in, we were off on our excursion by nine am. We wandered the streets until deciding on taking a riverboat to see the temples of Bangkok. It was a much-needed refresher after walking under the hot rays of the Thailand sun. The system to travel along the river was relatively easy, needing little words and few baht.
Once we made it to town, our senses were overwhelmed. There were people everywhere we turned. We slowly waded our way through the crowds until we were too exhausted to continue. Our jetlag was getting to us at the worst time.
To regain our strength, we indulged in ice cream. I don’t remember ice cream ever tasting so good.
Once filled with new energy, we made it out of the market and began hopping from temple to temple. It was an exciting, unique experience, and we loved every minute of it.
After walking enough to wear through our shoes, we hopped into our first tuk-tuk ride. We drove around Bangkok and visited various other spots such as Big Buddha, and even stumbled into a suit shop and jewelry shop. Our wallets weren’t deep enough to be persuaded into buying anything, but we enjoyed the experience nonetheless.
As the sun was setting, we reflected upon our day on a riverboat ride back to our hotel and began to plan our next day, which was already filled with cooking classes.
The following morning we caught an Uber to our cooking class venue where we got to explore a quieter market to pick up supplies.
After learning how to choose our ingredients, we learned about Thai culture and food. Neil and I were in our element when we began to prep our meals for the day. We even took part in a mortar and pestle competition in preparation for our Thai curry.
The class itself was filled with other travelers also enjoying themselves, which led to a fun atmosphere.
Once finished, Neil and I headed back to our hotel to enjoy some refreshing beers by the pool. It was our first chance to relax since leaving for our vacation, and it was much needed.
The following day was our final day in Bangkok, so we decided to head back to town for another look around. We explored new alleys and visited the Grand Palace temple for some photography.
Once we could no longer withstand the sun, we took a riverboat to Asiatique, a sizeable open-air riverfront mall where we tried lots of new and tasty food. We also did a bit of shopping and bargaining, which was more enjoyable than I thought it’d be!
The next day, we said our goodbyes to Bangkok on our way to the train station to board for our 2-hour trip to Ayuthaya.
All in all, Neil and I enjoyed our time in Bangkok, and if we had to pick a favorite memory, it would be the time spent in the cooking class we took. We learned about Thai culture, ate to our heart’s content, and made new friends.