Written by Elle
From the bustling city of Bangkok to the quiet island of Koh Phangan, Brian and I had the best little taste of Thailand over spring break!
Why Thailand, you ask? Well, it wasn’t the proximity (25+ hours of travel from Spain…yowza), or the well-trodden backpacker path (are we past our hostel days?), nope, it was my dear old friend, Lindsay who lured us into our first Asian adventure!
Thanks to the good ole’ internet, I was able to reconnect with Lindsay right after I moved to Spain. We were super close in high school, but have fell in and out of touch over the past ten years. When we first messaged this past fall I think it had been over three years since we’d seen each other. Luckily, Lindsay has always been that friend that I can pick right back up with after whatever amount of time and start chatting and laughing just like the old days!
When we realized that we both had made a move overseas, we squealed with delight knowing we now had very cool destinations (and cooler people!) to add to our travel lists! By the time winter rolled in, B and I made the decision that we would try our best to make Thailand happen for spring break, as long as Lindsay and her hubs Zack would be down for some visitors.
Thankfully, they were! My spring break didn’t quite overlap with theirs (they both teach at an amazing international school in Bangkok), but thankfully they were totally game for showing us around after teaching all day (rock stars!). We made a plan to spend four days in Bangkok with them, and five days on a sleepy island they recommended. We wish we could have stayed much longer, but tried to make the most out of the one week of vacation I had!
Thanks to a very sketchy listing on a hotel website, B and I were able to actually stay in an apartment in the same chic high-rise building as Lindsay and Zack! Turns out the owners who rented to us are quite strictly forbidden to rent out their space (as seen in the giant sign in the lobby), but thanks to some shady moves we were able to obtain the keys and get into our beautiful studio apartment.
With both B and I fighting off bad colds (the worst when traveling!), we spent the first afternoon in Bangkok reconnecting with Lindsay and Zack drinking Thai beer in their apartment and making a plan for the next few days. We ate the first of many delish meals at one of their favorite local spots.
The next few days were spent exploring on our own in the mornings, and spending the afternoons and evenings with our Bangkok experts!
Morning highlights: Shopping at the most outrageous 2000+ store mall, successfully riding the metro all around town, getting coffee at every adorable cafe, and visiting L&Z’s school:
Evening highlights: Boat ride down the river, rooftop drinks with temple views, and finding all the best food:
We could have stayed for weeks in Bangkok as there is so much to see! But it was off to the islands for us. A short flight and boat ride took us from the energetic city to the peaceful island of Koh Phangnan.
I’ll admit it: we splurged a bit when it came to our island accommodation. We are no strangers to tiny Airbnbs and youth hostels, but for these four nights we were dreaming of a little luxury. Thankfully B talked me out of the private pool villa (I went down a dangerous rabbit hole on booking.com!), and we settled on a boutique waterfront hotel featuring just 10 small cabana-style rooms, a pool, and a restaurant with rave reviews. The place is owned by and Italian family and the restaurant has the most incredible mix of Italian and Thai dishes that we hardly ate anywhere else!
We spent our island days sleeping in, laying by the pool reading, walking the beach, and playing cards (our favorite afternoon pastime on vacay). We rented a scooter for three days (which cost us a grand total of $18) which gave us freedom to ride all around the island, and helped mildly alleviate B’s longing for his motorcycle back in the US.
I was also lucky enough to take an amazing yoga class on the island. It’s a hippie-vegan-yoga-vibe type of place (which I love!), and our hotel was right next to a yoga retreat center. I walked over one day and took the first class available which happened to coincide with a tropical rainstorm that afternoon! I’ll never forget stretching it out under an open-air canopy room while the thunder boomed and rain spilled all around me. Truly magical!
We were so sad to leave Thailand after nine incredible days, but one thing that made the long trip home bearable was our newly-acquired lounge access in the airports! Thanks to B becoming a pro at the mega-credit-card-miles-game, we are now the lucky owners of lounge access cards, which have thoroughly spoiled me for all future travels!
Our first trip to Asia was a total success! Can’t wait to explore more in the future!
Very nice post