2016 was a summer that allowed me to make so many dreams come true. One of those dreams was going to Thailand, somewhere I have wanted to experience for as long as I wanted to travel.
I booked my flights to Bangkok from Dublin with Emirates via STA. To get the best value on flights I booked about 10 months in advance. I wasn’t in a position where I could risk waiting in the hopes that prices would go down. I paid 480 GBP in total for a flight from Dublin-Dubai-Bangkok and Bangkok-Hong Kong-Dubai-Dublin. I flew economy but a dream of mine is to, some day, fly business class!
I cannot say enough good things about Emirates, for an economy flight we had great facilities and the food served was delicious. I will be creating a long-haul flight guide chatting about my flight routine and a list of what I usually bring in my carry-on.
What to say about Bangkok? It is a crazy city, a place where anything goes and everything is for sale. It’s a place I loved experiencing but also was ready to leave when the time came. My biggest recommendation for Bangkok is to stay away from Khaosan Road, it is a great experience but I was happy to get in a tuk tuk and go back to a nice quite hostel slightly away from the madness!
Bangkok is home to backpackers, tourist traps and counterfeit goods. If you dig below the surface you will also find that Bangkok is home to beautiful temples, palaces, amazing markets and some of the most impressive hotels and upmarket shopping I have ever experienced.
Chiang Mai is a beautiful city in the north of Thailand, it was one of the highlights of my travels and there is an endless amount of things to do there.
The best way to get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok is the overnight train and I highly recommend it. Definitely book in advance, we used 12goAisa. I will do a more detailed post on what to expect on the overnight trains and how I made the most of them.
Once in Chiang Mai I stayed within the “old town” and it was one of the stay I splashed out a little and stayed in a nicer hotel.
When in Chiang Mai one of the must see things is the elephants. We did a lot of research and decided to go with Elephant Nature Park and went with the option to stay over night in the park and I cannot recommend this enough. To learn more about elephant nature park check out their website and for more about my experience click here.
The weekend markets in Chiang Mai were the best markets I saw, on Saturday night there was a market within the walls of the old town and it is HUGE! I was there for hours and only saw a portion of what was available. Markets are such a brilliantly Thai experience and there is so much to see and so much talent, art, food and beauty at the night markets.
The music and atmosphere is so unique it is definitely a must. The markets are also a brilliant place to try new foods and is definitely a good way to save money while getting to experience more of the culture.