We visited Thailand in April 2017, and I’m ashamedly just now sharing our photos! Our personal photos always get pushed to the back burner, but I’m resolving to do better this year. It’s just as important to me that we have beautiful printed photos as our clients.
We chose April for a visit to Thailand for a few reasons…first, it was when we could fit the trip into our busy schedule. Second, it was shoulder season which is always helpful to the pocketbook. And, lastly, we wanted to see how the Thai people celebrated Songkran, their New Year’s Festival! For the majority of our trip, we stayed at the Chatrium Hotel Riverside in Bangkok. We also hired a private tour guide and private transportation from Your Thai Guide. We had a great time with Nina as our guide! It was wonderful having a knowledgeable guide to explain what we were seeing…and even better to have an air conditioned van waiting on us! (In case you didn’t know, it gets HOT in Thailand!) We arrived early on our first day. Having experienced jet lag numerous times, we knew it wouldn’t benefit us to lounge around the hotel. If we did, we’d be asleep and our schedules would be off. Instead, we opted to start our trip with an afternoon tour to keep us up.
For our first tour, we visited Wat Trimitr (home of the world’s largest gold Buddha image), walked through Chinatown, and experienced Songkran…where we got soaking wet!
While at the temple, Sam and I received a blessing from a monk…
Stinky fruit…this stuff was everywhere!
As I said earlier, the Thai people celebrate Songkran, their New Year Festival, in April. Their celebration includes LOTS and LOTS of water! We walked down a particular area where everyone had water guns. Some of those water guns contained iced water…brrr!
We were really tired by the time we finished watching the Songkran celebration, so we headed back to our hotel for rest. On the next day, we boarded our van and headed to Ayutthaya,
During our visit to Ayutthaya, we saw the Buddha in the tree…
This is the national flower of Thailand, ratchaphruek or golden shower tree.
We also visited Wat Chaiwatthanaram…
After arriving back in Bangkok after visiting Ayutthaya, we visited the Chatuchak Market which is their big weekend market.
That evening, we boarded the Chayo Princess for an evening river cruise…
For our next day in Bangkok, we had a busy itinerary. Our first stop was the Grand Palace where the Temple of the Emerald Buddha can be visited. These first two photos show wall art near our parking space. We giggled…
After the Grand Palace tour, we headed to Wat Pho
Wat Pho is known for its massage school. During our tour, there were drawings and references to the human body…
One of the coolest Buddhas we saw was at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Did you know there are Buddhas for each day of the week? The reclining Buddha is for those born on a Tuesday…like Kevin. (The Buddha above is for those born on Saturday!)
This is the Buddha for those born on a Wednesday evening…like me!
Following Wat Pho, we headed to the Golden Mount.
This is where you can see the Buddhas of the week…
We ended this travel day at the Jim Thompson House. Jim Thompson was an American who started the silk industry in Thailand. He mysteriously disappeared while in Malaysia in 1967. His house in Bangkok is now a museum housing his art collection.
I think our next travel day was Kevin’s favorite. We visited the Kanchanaburi region of Thailand. We started at the Bridge over River Kwai…
They actually let you stand on the bridge as the train passes. Thankfully, there were small step out areas to get out of the way.
Following the bridge, we headed to an elephant sanctuary. We were running short on time, so we didn’t have time to walk with them down to the water for a bath. Instead, we fed them watermelon which they were happy to receive!
After our visit with the elephants, we headed to Krasae Cave where we saw another part of the railroad tracks that run over the River Kwai.
The next morning, we woke up and headed to the airport for our visit to Phuket!
Photos such as this one below of the recently deceased king of Thailand were everywhere. King Bhumibol Adulyadej seemed to have been an amazing man. All of the Thai we encountered had wonderful things to say about him. Thailand was in a year of mourning for his passing during our visit.
Kevin and I left the rest of our group the next day to take a tour with John Gray’s Sea Canoes where we visited caves and hongs. We went out on a large boat, but we boarded sea canoes to explore the caves and hongs. We had to fit in some pretty tight places on this tour. There’s a video of just how tight it was on our personal instagram (@nicolehberg and @kevkberg).
This is an example of the tight spaces…we had lay flat on our backs in our sea canoe to fit through.
The next day, we explored a bit more of Phuket before heading back to Bangkok to finish our trip.
On our final day in Thailand, we started at the Train Market (also known as the Folding Umbrella Market). This place was insane! There were vendors under umbrellas VERY close to the train tracks. When the train blew its horn to indicate it was coming, the vendors folded back their umbrellas and pulled a few baskets out of the way to allow the train to pass. Immediately after the train passed, they unfolded their umbrellas and got back to business.
Following the train market, we headed to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market where we boarded a boat to go shopping! We ended up buying a few souvenirs, including some artwork!
We finished the day at a Tiger Sanctuary where we fed young tigers! We also got photos with a medium size tiger (medium being relative because they were still quite large!).
And that was our trip to Thailand! Since our Thailand visit, we’ve also traveled to New Mexico and Canada, so expect blogs on those locations soon! And we’re already planning our next international destination…