thailand

Trip Report: South Korea and Thailand – Day 2: Bangkok

Upon arrival into Bangkok, your senses go into overdrive. The smells, sights, and sounds are so different from what you experience in your day-to-day life that there is nothing that can prepare you the first time you step out.

We didn’t arrive at our hotel (Millennium Hilton – Bangkok) until late afternoon due to some flight delays (air traffic control at BKK lost power for about an hour and our flight from Seoul had to divert to Da Nong, Vietnam for about one hour) and given the long-flight we were ready to go exploring.

Our first stop was the famous night flower market in Bangkok. For a first experience in Bangkok this was pretty overwhelming. This is a must-visit for travelers to Bangkok.

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Night Flower Market

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Bangkok Flower Market

Within the flower market on a street corner is the street food cart below which had quite possibly the best noodle soup I have ever had, the spice and flavor were beyond belief. (If you see the guy in the dark t-shirt below working the cart, stop in, you won’t regret it!)

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Flower Market Street Food

The next morning we woke up to a hazy view from our room at the Hilton Millennium hotel overlooking the west bank of the Chao Phraya.

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Bangkok view from Hilton Millennium

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Chao Phraya view from Hilton Millennium

Given my Gold status with HHonors at the time we had access to the executive lounge on the top floor, must say the breakfast spread with quite good and the views were tough to beat:

Breakfast for Two

View from Millennium Hilton Lounge

For our first full day in Bangkok we had arranged for a half-day guided tour with a private car to view Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and take a canal tour. We booked through TourwithTong and I cannot recommend them enough. Very professional and informative tour guide. The images below are highlights from our half-day tour:

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Reclining Buddha – Bangkok

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Wat Pho – Bangkok

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Wat Pho – Bangkok

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Wat Pho – Bangkok

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Wat Pho – Bangkok

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Grand Palace – Bangkok

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Canal tour – Bangkok

After being dropped back off at our hotel we were ready to explore Bangkok on our own. Using the free hotel shuttle boat, we crossed over the Chao Phraya river to the Saphan Taksin BTS station. Very convenient access to public transportation. If you are trying to cross directly over to the Sheraton, there is a public ferry that runs frequently and costs approx. $.05 USD (public ferry dock is in the distance in the below picture).

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Millennium Hilton Ferry Dock

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Street Food – Bangkok

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Street scene – Bangkok

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BTS Skytrain – Bangkok

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Bangkok, Thailand

Nothing too exciting the rest of the day, just wandered around the city and ate some pretty delicious street food. After an exhausting day, we were ready to get some rest to make the trek the next day to Ayutthaya, the former capital of Siam.

Trip Report: South Korea and Thailand – Day 1

Our trip began with a direct flight from Atlanta (ATL) to Seoul, South Korea (ICN) on Korean Air.  A few months prior to our trip we found an incredible roundtrip airfare from ATL-ICN-BKK on Korean Air and got another couple to book the trip with us. Overall, our flight was really pleasant with good (comparatively) food in economy. It was operated by a 777-300.

Korean Air 777

Our flight was slightly delayed getting into Seoul (approximately 6 PM local time).  We had an overnight layover in Seoul and had arranged to meet with an old coworker.  We stayed at the Grand Hyatt – Incheon which was perfectly suitable for a 1-night airport hotel.  If I were going back to Seoul, I would certainly stay in the city.

From the hotel, we took a taxi to meet my former coworker in downtown Seoul.  Total cost was around 90 USD and the trip took approximately 45 minutes. See below for a few scenes from our time in Seoul:

Myself on the left, my former coworker in the middle and one of our friends traveling with us.

Seoul, South Korea

My wife and I having drinks in Seoul.

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A scene in downtown Seoul.

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Our room at the Grand Hyatt.

Grand Hyatt Incheon

Our flight left around 9 AM local time the following morning for Bangkok so we didn’t stay out too late but it was great to catch up with an old friend in Seoul.  We will have to go back to Seoul in future, certainly much more to see!

Trip Report: South Korea and Thailand

One of our bucket list locations had always been Thailand and when we came across a great fare on Korean Air from Atlanta to Bangkok, we couldn’t pass it up. We first came across the airfare during the summer of 2014 and booked the trip for November, 2014. The trip report will have the following sections:

ATL-ICN on Korean Air

1 Night at the Grand Hyatt Incheon

ICN-BKK on Korean Air

3 Nights at the Millenium Hilton Bangkok

BKK-CNX on Bangkok Airways

2 Nights at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai

CNX-KBV on Thai AirAsia

2 Nights at the Sheraton Krabi

KBV-USM on Bangkok Airways

1 Night at the Le Meridien Koh Samui

1 Night at the Conrad Koh Samui

USM-BKK on Bangkok Airways

BKK-ICN-ATL on Korean Airways

Stay tuned for the next installments…..