Phuket Island

After my AHH-MAY-ZEEN time in Bangkok, I took a 30 minute flight to Phuket. Phuket is like the Miami of Thailand. It’s an island located on the western part of Thailand that most tourists make it a MUST to visit when in Thailand.

When we landed in Phuket, we were greeted by some very pretty native women. It was definitely a warm welcome!

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The hotel I stayed at was the Novotel Hotel in Kamala/Phuket Beach. The hotel was located directly ON Kamala Beach which made the place exceptional! My room was very spacious and had it’s own balcony which was great for perfect views. I just really appreciated the free wi-fi. You will never understand the struggle of getting free wi-fi until you travel internationally. Any hotel that has FREE wi-fi always gets an A plus from me.

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After getting settled, I was able to walk around and explore the beach some. There were many vendors on the actual beach. It was very easy to get anything from pancakes to massages…right on the beach!

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The following day I went on a tour to the Phang Nga Bay which is also known as the James Bond Island. The island was almost 2 hours away from the hotel and on the way there, we visited the Buddha Cave Temple (Suwannakuha) which is also known as the Monkey Temple. This temple was literally filled with hundreds of monkeys. When they see tourists with food, they come out of the caves and expect to be fed. It was quite the experience.

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After the Money Temple, it was time to take a long tail boat to the actual island. The ride was  VERY scenic. I can’t express how beautiful the ride was. The scenic area covered over 30 limestone islands, rock formations, caves and evergreen mangroves. Once I arrived at the James Bond Island, I was ready to explore…

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The following day was set to be my last day in Thailand. I spent the day at leisure in Phuket. I started the day by visiting the Tiger Temple in Patoong Beach. The experience was everything. I honestly wasn’t scared at all. I was just very alert and the trainer that was in the cage with me made me feel very comfortable.

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I spent the rest of the day picking up final souvenir gifts and just lounging on the beach.

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Thailand was my favorite country to explore thus far!! There’s so many more to see.

Floating Markets & Elephant Rides

My favorite day in Thailand was when I was able to visit the Floating Market. It was something I was definitely looking forward to. A Floating Market is a market where goods are sold on boats. It was originated in times and places where water transport played an important role in daily life. We visited the Damnern Saduak Floating Market where we got to ride a long-tailed speed boat.   I was able to observe native Thai people sell fruits, spices and souvenirs. You can literally buy anything here!

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Later on that day, we went to an Elephant Camp that was about 30 minutes from Burma. Burma is Thailand’s neighboring country. Most of the people that worked at the Elephant Camp were from Burma. I made the best of my experience at the camp. When we first got there, I saw that most of the elephants were chained down and I noticed that the elephants were also pretty thin. That didn’t sit well with me. I’m all for a great experience but I do expect animals to be treated well. I have heard of other Elephant Camps that cater to protecting and taking care of the elephant race. If…I mean, WHEN I go back to Thailand, I plan on visiting one and experiencing that versus the one I went to this time around.  I still ended up taking the 30 minute forest trek. It wasn’t easy! Elephant’s are massive animals and the ride was pretty shaky. There were times where I thought I would fall. I made it through though! Overall, I’m glad I got to experience the Elephant Camp.

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Thailand’s GRAND Palace

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The following day I was able to experience Thailand’s own Grand Palace. This walled city known as the Grand Palace was built in 1792 by King Rama I. It is the city’s most famous landmark and was home to the Royal Family for 150 years.

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The palace, known for its decadent and unique style, became an important architectural symbol of the Thai royal family and country as a whole.

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Although it is open to visitors, the buildings are sometimes used for state occasions and royal ceremonies. This place was absolutely beautiful! If you are ever in Thailand, it is a MUST see.

Welcome to Thailand

After fifty million days and twenty eleven hours, I finally made it to Bangkok Thailand!!!! I was so happy when I got off the plane. It wasn’t the most comfortable experience but I made it safe and I was grateful. I got to Bangkok in the evening so I went straight to the Hotel and unpacked and rested till the next day. I stayed at the Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok. The hotel was really nice. I wish I would have taken pictures.

My first full day in Bangkok included visiting numerous locations. I first visited the Temple of Golden Buddha. This was the home of the world’s largest solid gold Buddha statue. The Buddha was 10 feet high and weighted over 5 tons. It was worth about 14 million dollars. I then got to see the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). Thailand is about 90 percent Buddhist so there were a lot of temples to visit. Each temple had a story of its own.

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My First Solo Trip

I’ve been traveling pretty much all my life and Thailand (thus far) has been my absolute favorite. I can honestly say I fell in LOVE with this country. This was my first solo trip and it was seriously amazing. To be able to do  you WHAT want… WHEN you want, HOW you want and even IF you want is just very liberating.  It really makes you feel powerful and allows you to learn so much about yourself along the way.

My trip to Thailand started November 2014 and it  was the longest trip   E V E R  …seriously…like I said, I’ve traveled to many places but this was my longest to date. I had a total of 3 connecting flights but I was ready! I first departed Chicago and then headed to LA. It was an awesome connect location since my best friend lives there. It had a four hour layover but I was ready to make  the best of it. After I landed in Los Angeles, my best friend picked me up from LAX and we then headed to a Mexican restaurant about 15 minutes away from the airport. It was good seeing her and catching up over dinner.

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After that she dropped me back at the airport and shortly after I was headed on to Asia! My next stop was to Hong Kong, China where I had an 8 hour layover.

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That layover was tough! I actually thought I was going to take advantage of the layover and go see The Great Wall of China but as soon as I got there, I was informed that this Great Wall was in Beijin and NOT Hong Kong….talk about embarrassed….I was SO salty. This is why you should do all your research when traveling. I figured I would still take advantage of Hong Kong. I left the airport and took a transit train to a mall called IFC that was about 25 minutes away from the airport.I made sure I was aware on how to get back to the airport before I left.

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It was seriously a basic mall with the Apple store in it. I could tell I was in a touristy area due to the niceness of the place…I wasn’t a fan. I walked around, snapped some pictures, ate a snack,  tried to hustle an iPhone 6 from this man on the street and then hopped back on the transit back to my safe haven: the airport.

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I would soon begin my journey to Bangkok, Thailand