Tum Yum soup (lemon grass soup with shrimp); Paneng chicken in coconut milk; fried rice chicken with basil and chillies at Jok Restaurent in Chiang Mai, I am in constant search for the best dish of Pad Thai fried noodles, any curry, noodle soup or fried rice for breakfast.
Favorite Events and Places
Meeting Ton's parents, Heng and Noy, and his extended family and friends; surprise visit to Khao Yai National Park; Personal tours of the ancient capital cities of Thailand (Ayutthaya, Lopburi and Sukothai), Meeting Julian and his wife and kids, Benny and Johnny, who owns Mut-Mee Guest house in Nong Khai, Meeting Phontep in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, the elephant conservation center and the elephant ride through the adjacent jungle, Bangkok, the sculpture garden and walking down the boardwalk in Nong Khai.
Thai Baht (40 Baht to 1 $USD)
Cost of goods and services
Average cost of double hotel room: $10
Average daily cost to feed family of four: $16
Price of coffee with milk: .70
Price of large bottle of Singha Beer in a restaurant: $1.50
The generosity and graciousness of Ton's family, relatives and girlfriend were beyond words. We were educated about Thai history and culture, provided incredible transportation and guides and well taken care of from Lopburi to Chiang Mai; Thai food; the chaos of Bangkok traffic and watching motorcycles and tuk-tuks battle for pole position at ever intersection; the farangs of Thanon Khao San Rd. in Bangkok; having Faang (Ton's girlfriend) being our guide around Bangkok, Lopburi and Ayutaya; Peter's tuk-tuk conspiracy story; tuk-tuks, as we drove for hours in the traffic of Bangkok and helped the drivers receive their commission; Thai food; the wats of Bangkok (name); the figures around that golden temple; walking around Bangkok; the generous and gracious spirit of the Thai people; greeting each person with Sawadii Khwap and a wai; learning the Thai language and all the little embrassements; metered taxis and the BTS of Bangkok; Thai food; the UNESCO world heritage site at Ayutthaya, especially in the evening when the lights go on; the sacred monkey's of Lopburi, Being stuck in Lampang for 4 days because of floods in Chiang Mai and further north and finding out we really enjoyed the place. Watching Peter drive around on a motorcycle between two Thai girls showing him the town. We only spent two days each in Chiang Rai and Nong Khai and realized there was so much more to do in each of these towns.
The East Banglamphu area of Bangkok area is about a 15 min. walk from Khao San Rd. The area is much quieter, has great restaurents and cheap guest houses. It is fun to take a night and walk around Khao San Rd. I feel one street over has better food. When traveling by taxi in Bangkok, make sure the driver PUTS ON the meter. This could save you 100s of Baht and makes taxi fares very reasonalbe. Also, utilize the BTS when outside the Banglamphu area and, of course, at least a day riding around in a Tuk-Tuk is mandatory. To get to Wat Arun, bypass all the tour operates stating 200 baht and go straight for the public water taxi for 3 baht each way across the river and the 20 baht entrance fee to the Wat. . In each place we found great guesthouses, Ben’s in Chiang Rai, and Mut Mees in Nong Khai. Julian and his family at Mut Mees make staying in Nong Khai a few extra days waiting for the night train to Bangkok well worth the time and effort.
In Chiang Rai, we decided to take a day trip to Myanmar. A day visa is only available at this border town and is not enough to take an extended trip to see the rural Myanmar area. The border town was nothing special and in the end we felt the trip was not worth the price of the visa and spending a long day pursuing this trip. If you are in north Thailand and need to add another 30 days to your stay in Thailand, then this trip is worth the time and energy.