Jeremy thoroughly enjoyed his time in Bangkok. Every time he sent me pictures, I was incredibly jealous that I was home, sending the boys to school. It was incredible. The food, the exotic sites, getting to feed a hippo, mountain biking, and more! It’s definitely on my list of places to return to as a family!
For a 9 day trip, he decided to spend 4 days in Bangkok (closer to 3 in practice), 3 days in Chiang Mai, and sacrificed the other two days to transit. Too bad the weather was too hot for us to visit in May. Flying in from Singapore and departing to Taiwan would have worked from a flight perspective. But alas, now that the kids are back in regular school, we are constrained to either Christmas break or the super hot times of the year.
- Day 0: Evening Flight to Bangkok
- Day 1: Full day on Plane!
- Day 2: Late afternoon arrival in Bangkok. Walk around neighborhood by the hotel, dinner, and an early bedtime.
- Day 3: Bangkok. Grand Palace, Historical Temples (Wat Pho and Wat Arun), Chatuchak Weekend Market (Weekend only), Queen Sirikit Park, and Siam Area Malls.
- Day 4: Bangkok. Lumpini Park, Silom, Ferry, Chinatown, Saranrom Park, Ancient City, Museum of Siam, and Phra Sumen Fort
- Day 5: Bangkok. Jim Thompson House, Golden Mountain Temple, Ancient City, and Siam Area Malls
- Day 6: Morning flight to Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh Temple, Historical Temples (Wat Phan Tao and Wat Chedi Luang), Museums near Historical Temples, Wat Chiang Man, Night Bazaar
- Day 7: Chiang Mai. Zoo, Nimmanhaemin District, Warorot Market, Cooking Class
- Day 8: Chiang Mai. Mountain Biking Excursion through Doi Suthep National Park
- Day 9: Morning Flight Home.
Takeaways from this itinerary:
- Jeremy thought about adding a third city to his trip, but he had constraints for when he needed to be back, and in the end decided to focus on Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
- Jeremy likes to walk. A lot. One day was 18 miles of walking. If you use this itinerary, consider making more use of the very inexpensive taxis than he did. He typically used the Grab App to call them.
- Food should be a highlight of your trip. Be adventurous and enjoy the wide variety of tasty morsels that come your way.
- Sights that involve temples do not allow entry if you are wearing shorts or open-toed sandals. Either suffer in long pants, bring the zip-off variety, wear a long skirt (women), or carry a sarong (men or women) in your oversized travel purse or backpack and slip it on before you enter.
Day 0-1: Transit
Traveling to Thailand from the United State is a journey. A long journey. Jeremy left late on a Wednesday evening, had one layover in Hong Kong, then arrived in Bangkok on a Friday afternoon. Crazy! On the other hand, on his return flight, the time change worked in his favor, and he only lost a few hours in transit time.
Day 2: Bangkok
With an afternoon arrival in Bangkok, the time it takes to get through customs and check into a hotel adds up. Plus the jet lag is horrendous. By the time he arrived at the hotel, all Jeremy had energy for was a walk around the neighborhood and dinner.
Day 3: Bangkok
In the morning, Jeremy decided to start by taking a river ferry to Bangkok’s most famous ancient site, the Grand Palace! After being wowed, he stopped by a few of the nearby historical temples that included Wat Pho and Wat Arun.
Escaping from the street shutdown that was occurring due to a rare visit from the king, he took a Grab Taxi to the Chatuchak Weekend Market, where he thoroughly enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere and delicious street food. After spending some time at the Queen Sirikit Park, he took the Sky Train to the Siam Area Malls as the sun was setting.
Day 4: Bangkok
This was Jeremy’s long day of walking. 18+ miles recorded by his phone app. Don’t follow his example, and take more taxis instead! His day began with a stroll from his Sukhumvit hotel through Lumpini Park which had some nice ponds, and he continued into the business/finance district of Silom. From here, he hopped on a ferry to Chinatown. It was huge and he enjoyed the guidebook’s suggestion of getting lost. Next up, he continued back to the Ancient City near the Grand Palace via the Saranrom Park, and visited a few sights he had missed due to the arrival of the king.
Jeremy then visited the Museum of Siam, which had some very interesting history of the Thai people and culture. If he would have had more time, or if the museum were open on a Monday, he also would have visited the Thai National Gallery. He continued on to Khao San Road – famous for its expat backpacker scene, stopped at the Phra Sumen Fort, and enjoyed a rest by the water before taking the taxi back to the hotel.
Day 5: Bangkok
For the last day in Bangkok, Jeremy started his morning a the Jim Thompson House which was the home of an American who helped popularize the Thai silk industry internationally and collected ancient Thai art. From here, he continued to the Golden Mountain Temple for a nice view of the city.
Day 6: Chiang Mai
In the morning, Jeremy hopped on an early flight to Chiang Mai, checked into his hotel, and headed out for the architecturally impressive Wat Phra Singh Temple, then continued on to the historical temples of Wat Phan Tao and Wat Chedi Luang, followed by a few nearby museums.
Day 7: Chiang Mai
When wanting to see some elephants on short notice, and not booking one of the elephant preserves, Jeremy decided to go to the Zoo. As it turns out, it was much more fun than he was expecting. Beautiful animals, plus he was able to make the boys jealous by sending them a video of himself feeding the hippos. He spent the afternoon wandering through the Nimmanhaemin District and the Warorot Market. The evening was dedicated to a super fun Thai cooking class, which made me super jealous.
Day 8: Chiang Mai
For his last day, he was able to make John super jealous by taking a mountain biking excursion through the Doi Suthep National Park. So fun, although when I got his text that he was mountain biking through the jungle, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I had visions of snakes hanging from branches, but as it turns out, the reality was quite different. On his return, he decided to sample some delicious Thai street food.
Day 9: Return Home
Alas, all vacations come to an end. He took a late morning flight out, and was home by mid-afternoon. It’s funny how time changes can make travel time appear either ridiculously long, or incredibly short.