Our colleague Lara has been traveling in Thailand for almost 4 weeks and has collected many impressions and especially discovered wonderful places. She shares her highlights with us and reveals her favorite places.
Bangkok, the city of angels
Impressions – Vehicle
Street Food – temples
Shopping – hotels
Travel Tips Koh Chang
Nightlife – food – environment
Koh Kood and Koh Mak
We call the "City of Angels" Bangkok in the western world. I've always been fascinated by this name, but I wanted to know more about what's behind it.
If you would like to know why we still call the Thai capital these days, we have to think back to Hindu mythology and history for a short while – because that's the name that comes from today's world metropolis.
The ceremonial name of the city of Bangkok in Thai is written in the form "Krung Thep Maha Nakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Maha Sathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit" and is the longest place name of any capital in the world.
Translated, this means: "City of the Devas, great city and residence of the holy jewel Indras (emerald Buddha), impregnable city of God, great capital of the world, adorned with nine precious gems, rich in vast royal palaces, the heavenly home of the same as the born-again god, city given by Indra and built by Vishvakarman. "
Devas (in Thai "Thep") are according to mythology, a category of 33 divine beings, which are represented with wings. Together with god Indra they inhabit the sky on the top of Mount Meru. Therefore Krung Thep is often translated as City of Angels.
who live together with the god Indra the sky on the top of Mount Meru. Because the Devas are depicted as winged beings, Krung Thep is often translated in western texts as "City of Angels".
In Bangkok, there is really nothing that does not exist. For me as a Berliner child and yogi, this is a dream of a city. Modernity merges with mythical history. Colorful and dirty. Just as I like it. FAST like Berlin. Only in exotic.
The connections with the Skytrain from A to B are excellent. You can get to almost every "important" corner of the city in no time. What can not be achieved with the Skytrain, you reach with the Subway, Or, if you like something more traditional and adventurous, step into one of the colorfully decorated ones TukTuks, Here you have a small sightseeing tour, but not only pay much more, but are also much longer on the way. The traffic, especially at the rush hour from 06:00 – 09:00 clock, and 16:00 – 19:00 clock, should not be underestimated. So if you have to be on time at the airport, you should always schedule an extra hour at these times! The same applies taxis, The prices are cheaper than a TukTuk and you enjoy the convenience of air conditioning. Before leaving, however, you should always make sure that there is a taximeter in the car and then turned on! If this is not the case, the price must be negotiated BEFORE departure with the driver.
Another and a nice alternative to explore the city are the Express boatsdriving up and down the Chao Phraya.
Bangkok = food. And damn good food! And so cheap that I was able to fully live my passion for feasting, from morning to night. 🙂
Who is nocturnal and 24/7 hungry, which is exactly right in Bangkok. Once the sun goes down and you sip a cool drink in one of the myriad of rooftop bars and shoot countless stunning photos with the glittering skyline, the city turns into a colorful, street-food paradise scented with a thousand delicacies.
Small food stalls are lined up in the streets and you will find everything your heart desires. From – if you like – insects and chicken feet, to vegetarian and vegan. A classic Phat Thai (rice noodles, whisked eggs, tamarind paste, garlic, chilli, spring onions, bean sprouts, peanuts, lime and optionally with meat, tofu or seafood) you get, for example. already for 40 THB. That's about 1 € for a whole meal.
(► Also interesting: Bangkok is also known for its many rooftop bars. A cocktail overlooking the city, you should not miss. More about the best rooftop bars in town
Colorful colors, glittering gemstones, gold and lots of jingles. Not only the unique architecture, but also the stories behind it are impressive and worth seeing. You could spend days in and around Bangkok learning about the tales and seeing the beauty of the temples. I especially liked the Marble Temple (Wat Benchamabophit). He is relatively small, compared to many other temples. But he is beautifully decorated and you can see the Bodhi tree there, which is an offshoot of Bodhi tree from Bodhgaya in India. (Buddha's place of enlightenment)
I LOVE SHOPPING !!! … and another reason to love Bangkok … I spent more money here than in my 3.5-week trip to Thailand in total. And not because Bangkok is so expensive – no, on the contrary! Because it was so cheap that I had to fly home with two new suitcases and a new backpack full of great new, unique things. I started with a 30-liter backpack – that's why Bangkok is best planned at the end of your trip to Thailand. 😉
Whether it's one of the many night markets, the small street shops, Chinatown, the MBK or the weekend market Chatuchak – there are many similar items in the standard tourist shops, but there are also an incredible number of unique pieces that are considered to me to be art, vintage and Gypsy-style lovers are a paradise of unique pieces.
For example, I have found here a large leather travel case with super quality for the equivalent of 30 €. Unique clothes, swimwear, shoes, many home accessories and and and. Men can be fitted with top-quality suits on every corner. Much of what you get here is handmade at unbeatable low prices. So far I have only been cheaper in Vietnam, shopping in Ho Chi Minh.
But even if you put a lot of emphasis on beauty & wellness, you get your money. Everywhere professional, 90-minute Thai massages for 7-10 € are offered. Permanent make-up (lip contouring / shading + microblading), hairdresser incl. Great human hair extensions, manicure, pedicure … there's nothing that does not exist! And here are the prices for everyone. I can recommend, for example, BIG CUT in the MBK on the 4th floor, where I got my hair cut for the equivalent of 5 €. (Including washing, excellent head massage + blow drying)
There are thousands of hotels in Bangkok, so the location is what matters most! – Of course, depending on your own interests and preferences. There are many hotels that are affordable even in the 4-5 star range. Almost all have now a rooftop bar with pool and beautiful views over the city.
First I have three days in the AVANI Riverside Hotel spent. The rooms are clean and modern. All categories have a unique view through the huge windows overlooking the river and the city. The Junior Suite also has a freestanding large bathtub, also with a view.
The breakfast and the service here was really great! A huge selection including fresh juices and good coffee.
I especially liked the gym. Again, you have a wonderful view while sports on the skyline of Bangkok. As an early bird I was able to enjoy the sunrise during my yoga workout between 6: 00-6: 30. Since the sun salut gets an even more beautiful meaning !!! 🙂
Opposite is that Anantara Riverside Bangkok and from there you can take a boat directly to the other side of the river. Starting at 16:00, the Asiatique Night Market is located directly on the other bank. I especially liked there, that you can eat on the waterfront in one of the many restaurants with a beautiful view of the river and the action.
My last three days I have then in the other district, in Fashion Sathorn Hotel spent. Everywhere in the hotel it smelled wonderful and everything is very stylish. There is cool music in the Rooftop Bar and there is even a DJ regularly. Here I mainly met people between 20 – 35 years. In this "Fashionable Lifestyle Design Hotel" fashion-conscious people lack nothing. Not only the view of the skyline and the opposite Lebua (more about this under "Nightlife"), but even the food is perfect as a motive for any Blogger, Snapchat or Instagram account! 😉
The rooms are an absolute dream with fantastic views. Every morning, I was happy to wake up here and practice my yoga class at sunrise or at sunset.
The bathroom also has a wonderful view, from the shower and the bath directly to the city.
I could not take enough pictures and I have to say that in reality the hotel is much nicer than the pictures I had seen on the internet!
From Bangkok I went by bus to Trat and from there by ferry to Koh Chang. The trip takes about 5 hours and the ferry again about 45-60 minutes depending on which pier you invest. For the bus from Bangkok including ferry I paid 280 THB (about 5 €). However, I had neither an air-conditioned bus, nor a comfortable seat. If you can or want to spend a little more, you can also book a bus with air conditioning and adjustable backrest or a flight from Bangkok to Trat. (about 1h flight)
Arrived at the pier on Koh Chang, I then got a taxi to Lonely Beach taken. You should know that there are no tuk tuks or taxis on Ko Chang, Koh Kood, Koh Mak etc., but only shared taxis that you can wave around as you pass by. The prices are fixed and usually not negotiable. Unfortunately, the islands are not as cheap as Bangkok. It is worth much more to rent a scooter and compare the prices everywhere.
I was drawn to Lonely Beach because I was traveling alone and knew that this is the backpacker area. There are many nice little shops and restaurants and unlike the rest of the island it is relatively cheap.
This time I opted for a simple bungalow. I love it and still dream about it today! The Oasis Koh Chang is located on a hill, about 5 minutes walk to the center. There is a fantastic tree house with a view of the sea and the breathtaking sunset. Sometimes I spent all day with my book here.
Also, the food was here by far the best tasted and was also very cheap. The facility is managed by a super nice couple from the Netherlands. The Oasis family includes two dogs and several cats curiously strolling through the green, well-maintained grounds. The bungalows are clean and really cheap. For a standard bungalow with fan and private bathroom you pay just 350 THB per night.
In general, there are also many other very cheap accommodation u.A. also right on the beach. Fortunately there are mostly small hotel complexes and mostly simple bungalows.
To the beach you have to walk from many accommodations about 10 minutes, but that was not a problem for me. I enjoyed walking through the green streets every day and regularly meeting the monkey gangs who sit comfortably in the trees everywhere and sometimes even on the streets.
The beach is natural and provided with small homemade stands, where you, for example. You can buy homemade wind games, jewelry, beach towels or refreshing drinks. You are surrounded by beautiful, huge palm trees and the green mountains in the background. I really could not have stayed here long enough.
Lonely Beach is not that lonely! I met many great people from around the world here. (USA, Sweden, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germans and and and) Backpackers from all over the world come here and especially in the evening or at night is very busy here. There are some bars and "clubs" where you can dance and party excellently.
My favorites here were the Lemon Bar, the Treehouse and the Ting Tong Bar. On some evenings even Berlin DJs played here. :-)))
Everywhere in town you can eat sooo good! For example, "Sleepy Owl" is a very nice little restaurant, decorated in a vintage style, with delicious food and a wide selection of thaifood and pizza.
In the "Magic Garden" you can not only eat well, but in the evening you can also go for a drink in the cozy sitting areas. The prices are ok and there is always a lot going on. If you plan to come with your friends, you should even reserve a seat.
My favorite bar was the Margaritaville diagonally across from the Magic Garden. A suuuuuper beautiful no bar with restaurant and bungalows. It was a mix of Mediterranean, oriental and hip flair. (That's how I would describe it) The food and drinks were great!
You can also book excursions or boats to Koh Kood, Koh Mak, Koh Wai etc. at every corner. I recommend you to compare the prices everywhere, because here you can save considerably! For my boat trip to Koh Mak I have e.g. 450 THB paid. On the other hand, I asked for another 950 THB from another provider that I asked first.
Since I wanted to approach my trip this time as relaxed as possible, I did hardly any guided excursions, I just rented a scooter and went on my own a bit through the area. There are beautiful, small and secluded "hippie" beaches heading south. Most of the time, you can only follow one road anyway, which makes it easy to find your way around. The roads are often overgrown with green and in general everything is very natural.
Kai Bae In the evening is a nice place with many bars and shops. He did not really like me during the day. Somehow I found it here "bald and extinct". But as soon as it's dark and the many lights are glittering and blinking and the followers are leaving, things look quite different. Nevertheless, I would come here at the most because of the beach again. The Kai Bae Beach consists of two sections, which are separated by a river mouth. The northern area is predominantly rocky, there are only a few small strips of sand on the shore. In the south you can expect a long sandy beach and many hotels.
Also the White Sand Beach is very touristy. Nevertheless, I liked the whole, sometimes lovingly prepared restaurants along the beautiful, white, gently sloping beach and the night market with the street food stalls.
Just before sunset, the owners of the restaurant start to set up their tables and barbecues on the beach. You can enjoy the sunset with a cool Chang beer and a delicious meal.
You will not find an empty beach here either, but there are plenty of nightlife and shopping opportunities. A small shop called "Peace Moon" was particularly appealing to me. Here you will find handmade jewelery and leather goods such as handbags, purses, backpacks, shoes, etc. You will not get any bargains here, but if you love unique items, precious stones and crystals, then your collector's heart will beat faster!
There are some interesting waterfalls on the island as well, but you should inquire in advance if they are dehydrated or not, because that can happen from time to time. Most of the time, however, this information will be withheld from you, unless you explicitly ask for it.
It is even a little more exotic Koh Mak and Koh Kood,
After my almost two week stay on Koh Chang, I wanted to make a short detour to Koh Mak for three days and two days to Koh Kood. The transfer took about one hour each.
Koh Mak is an incredibly quiet island. The three days I spent there, I barely left the plant (Koh Mak Cococape). I had a nice bungalow, right on the water and on the small porch I did my yoga class in the morning, watched the colorful fish in the water and read a lot.
The only excursion I took was a kayak ride from my bungalow to the nearest beach. Opposite is a tiny island (Koh Pee), which you can also visit. It is wonderfully green and lined by large palm trees and has a beautiful white, fine sandy beach. The hotel offers boat transfers there. With the kayak you should not underestimate the distance – especially when you are alone! The current and the waves are always pushing you back a little bit, as soon as you stop rowing and that is quite exhausting.
The water is crystal clear, you can see everything under you. You get to see many colorful fish, sometimes even glaring coral, sea urchins and now and then a small jellyfish.
The beaches are sometimes even deserted. Right next to Koh Mak Cococape I discovered a completely natural beach with countless rocks. Followed by a beautiful natural beach where I found only a few cute stray dogs and a few small crabs. The sunset here was like a picture book and I loved to come here to meditate, do my daily yoga workout or just to look at the beauty of nature.
The main attractions of the island are in my opinion actually the natural beaches and the great snorkeling spots. Although there is also a small temple, but you actually visit Koh Mak, if you need a few days rest and relaxation. And I found exactly that on this island!
On Koh Kood But then you'll also find some temples, an impressive, large Buddha statue, beautiful waterfalls, surrounded by a vibrant jungle, paradise beaches and lush green mangroves. PURE NATURE! Green, green, green – wherever you look!
The countless coconut palms not only line the deserted white sand beaches, but also shape the whole island. I spent two days here lazily at Ao Prao Beach. There is virtually nothing around it. Personally, it did not bother me because on my last two days in Thailand, I wanted to enjoy the wonderful sunrises and sunsets, the turquoise waters and the fresh coconuts, mangoes and pineapple to the full. But this place was perfect!
What you should probably know is that the standard on these islands is unfortunately not comparable to that of the touristically developed areas. Four stars are not what you would expect and get in Asia. Of course there are exceptions, but then you have to dig deeper into your pocket. I also had a simple bungalow here and was completely satisfied.
This trip to Thailand was one of my most beautiful trips so far, although I have traveled to many countries in Asia. There are also in Thailand still almost undiscovered, quiet, paradisiacal places a la Robinson Crusoe!
►Who has not had enough: Here is more information and reports on holidays in Thailand
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