I’m about halfway through my trip to Thailand, and it’s been incredible so far. Here’s are some quick thoughts so I don’t feel like I’m completely neglecting my blog (although I am).
1) I was initially worried a bit about the demonstrations throughout Bangkok, but as a tourist, it’s easy to avoid all of the protests. I’ve been following Richard Barrow on Twitter, and his feed is a great resource for anyone traveling to Bangkok.
2) The Grand Palace seems extremely overrated to me as a tourist destination. But perhaps I wasn’t a fan precisely because it was swarmed with tourists.
3) Chiang Mai feels like it was built for tourists. Walking around the city, it seems like the majority of people are tourists, and you can’t even walk a block without finding a store selling tour services. All of this makes it very easy to navigate, and the weather is much more pleasant than in Bangkok, but it feels a little bit sterile to me. Bangkok was much grittier and sweatier.
4) I can definitely see why people retire to Thailand. Cost of living seems super, super affordable, and I love that you can get a delicious bowl of noodles for about $1 (maybe not quite as delicious as Yang’s Fry Dumpling).
5) I don’t understand why khao soi isn’t more popular in the US.
6) I flew Cathay Pacific first class on their 747 to get to Thailand. I loved the hard product–great seat, comfortable bed, seats 1A and 1K are perfect for traveling with a companion, the pajamas are probably my favorite airline pajamas to date–but the service was honestly not very good for international first class. Yes, I know you’re supposed to ring the call button, but one of the flight attendants looked like she wanted to kill someone, and she did things like forget courses that I ordered and serve my entree to another passenger and not have any left for me. Of course, these are all major first world problems.