Mango, sticky rice, tuk tuks and elephants oh my!

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From the sticky rice to the elephants, the humidity to the tuk tuks, Thailand was a peculiar and extraordinary country to say the least. It opened my eyes and gave me a modern appreciation for the Asian culture.

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My adventure to Thailand was my first time out of the Middle Eastern culture since I landed in the UAE 8 months earlier. It was a breath of fresh air, a sense of home away from home. Coming from an extremely conservative Islāmic culture, I thought Thailand was the next best thing since sliced bread, literally! As trivial as it seems, I was actually excited about wearing my arms out without being ridiculed in public. If you come from the States, you will understand my theory.

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My overall trip was 9 days. Out of the 9 days, 5 were filled with history, culture and city life in Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi. The other half of my trip was very touristy, spending 3 days in Phuket between the beaches, souks and night life.  Thailand was amazing! I can’t wait to return for some more of that mango and sticky rice! Seriously, it is definitely a place to explore. What helped me was I have a friend who lives in Bangkok. When you travel, network and use your social media resources to help you find people in the places you visit. This will help to make your trip more genuine and memorable!

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In the heart of the city. This is near the Terminal 21 mall.

The first leg of my trip was in Bangkok! What an unforgettable canvas with such a unique personality. Bangkok is animated, filled with endless bodies, street vendors, honking horns and packed subways. This is just a piece of the overall experience.

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I must admit! This was my first taxi ride with the driver on the opposite side of what I’m used to!

On my first day, I perused Bangkok. Like any other city, subways were overhead, traffic was sprawling, people were moving, living and loving life.

So even though I didn’t grow up in the city, I love the city life. I hopped on those subways like the locals and hopped off with the expectation of new adventures. Of course, the mall was one of the major occurrences on my trip (I love to globetrot and shop…lol). This mall was two stops away on the subway from my hotel…ideal!

By the way, I stayed at the On 8 Sukhumvit hotel. This was the most reasonably priced hotel, in the heart of the city and right next to the subway. It was very clean and the customer service was superb. If you go to Bangkok, I recommend staying here.  I paid around $40 U.S. per night!!!

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(Side note) Being a single mother traveling alone didn’t seem like a big issue compared to some of my other travels. I felt extremely safe and I didn’t get the suspecting stares or the under breathe comments like some of my experiences in the UAE.  People minded their business and went along their merry ways.  Being black in Thailand wasn’t an extraordinary occurrence, in my honest opinion.

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~Let’s carry on~

We spent the second day in Bangkok at the zoo. This wasn’t your typical zoo…it was filled with amazing shows and vast amounts of animals from all over the world! Bangkok still offers plenty family friendly activities if you were considering the trip.

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Cute!

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Yes, I was this close and no I did NOT zoom at all…!

The next day, I decided to really venture out to the ancient city of Ayutthaya. Once again, I used my charm, wit and resources to find out which train would take me there. I am a budget saavy sistah so avoiding the overpriced tours and living like a local is right up my alley or ( train tunnel) whichever you prefer!

We took the train to the infamous ancient city of Ayutthaya. The trip from Bangkok was about 2 hours.  We stopped at every.single.stop. (SIGH), however, it was such a great mirror into true Thailand, the parts you don’t see in the tourist guides.

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When we arrived, we were greeted by a tuk tuk driver who was extremely pushy at first, trying to get us to purchase a ride in his tuk tuk. After he persuaded me, I realized later that it was well worth the ride, especially after I found out that he owns his own restaurant. When we arrived, we met his wife and family along with their two dogs. Everyone was extremely friendly. No one spoke English but you can still discern a genuine spirit across the language barriers. By the way, the food was amazing! I love eating at local eateries.

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So after the delicious food, we went out exploring all that Ayutthaya had to offer.

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What a day!…ok on to the next one!

So the following day was in Kanchanaburi. Now this was a pre-arranged trip by a local tour company, which I did not like at all. You ask why? Well, for starters, I am on someone else’s schedule and quite frankly, I don’t travel well in organized group settings because I am so independent. Plus, I was with people I didn’t know which wasn’t cool. However, because the activities in Kanchanaburi were more meaningful with a tour guide, I dealt with it. Despite my feelings about being in a group, my son and I truly enjoyed our trip! While in Kanchanaburi…

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Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

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Canoe ride on the river

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Outside of war museum

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Elephant trekking! What an adventure

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JEATH War museum

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Elephant camp

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Canoe ride on the River Kwai

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Burma Railway Museum

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There was so much history here. The World War II vets used this area as a gateway point.

The next day, we boarded a flight to Phuket! We met some friends from the UAE here.

 

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Phuket made me feel less of an adventurer and more like a true tourist. Phuket is a beach town filled with nightlife, street vendors and plenty of alcoholic beverages to say the least. Not a place for kids per say, but we made it worth our while. We stayed in Phuket for 3 days. If you ever come to Phuket, I would highly recommend the Avista Hotel and Suites resort. The only issue was the distance away from the main strip but the he amenities and customer service are wonderful. For me, customer service is everything when it comes to traveling, especially as a minority. I need to feel comfortable…if you get my drift.

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My view from the Avista Resort in Phuket

Ok let’s move on…so here are some activities that took place during my time in Phuket, Thailand!!!

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Ok so this is not nearly all we did but you get the picture…literally! There was plenty of water, ridiculous hills and plenty of nightlife. I would hang out there again…probably childless…not a place for kids in my honest opinion.

After our short stint in Phuket, we caught our flight back to Bangkok where we spent the last night with my friend and her family. We had dinner and window shopped a bit before saying our final farewells.

We headed back quite early because of our morning flight. I must say, Thailand is a sight to see. If you are considering a vacation or a move there, I would highly consider it.  If your expecting a high minority population, it is not here. However, most of the Black Americans I met in Thailand like the opportunities there.

Well, there it is, my adventurous life has taken me on yet another quest…! I truly enjoyed the experience in Thailand!

Wait! Don’t leave yet! Your time on my blog is very important to me. Please leave comments or questions below and let me know what you think. Please stay tuned for my next adventure…abroad!

THANK YOU!

***Please note this trip was taken in April 2014***

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Mango, sticky rice, tuk tuks and elephants oh my!

  1. Cherice says:

    I just came back from Chiang Mai last week.. It was hot and humid but I loved it… I would consider living or retiring in Thailand…. Your photos are awesome!

    Like

    • msblackexpat says:

      I didn’t make it to Chiang Mai but would definitely visit once I return. Thailand is DEFINITELY on my repeat visit list. Thank you for your comment and I do apologize for the delay!

      Like

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