I spent last Christmas and New Year's in Thailand and Myanmar. Now that we're approaching Easter, I wanted to share some photos of our adventure and introduce you to my traveling companion, Alex. He's hilarious, kind, smart, dapper (in fact, that's what I call him), and has the most amazing accent - he was born and raised in Lucerne, Switzerland.
While he looks ridiculously handsome in every photo taken of him, I look like a sweaty mess in most photos from Southeast Asia.
Here are some highlights of the first part of our trip:
- Flying from NYC to Tokyo, short layover and then on to Bangkok
- Three nights at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, with the best Christmas morning breakfast buffet overlooking the Chao Phraya River
- Taking the public ferry to the Grand Palace, overrun with selfie sticks and westerners sporting elephant pants. Seeing the Emerald Buddha and stopping for a coconut.
- Visiting Wat Pho & the famous Reclining Buddha - putting coins into buckets for good luck
- Cheap foot massages at Wat Pho (a must-do!) - 280 bahts for 30 minutes, about $8
- Lunch stop at Sala Rattanakosin hotel, a short walk from Wat Pho. The upper level has awesome views of Wat Ahrun across the river
- A 75-minute traffic-clogged tuk tuk ride to afternoon tea at the Anantara hotel
- Thai dinner at the Mandarin Oriental's Terrace Rim Naam
- Taking the Skytrain to the Mo Chit market, a total waste of time, although it was cool to ride the Skytrain. Everyone lined up in the most civilized way.
- Eating dim sum at Tim Ho Wan in Terminal 21 mall (Bangkok is all about the malls). The original location in Hong Kong is the world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant. Now it's a chain throughout Southeast Asia.
- Drinks at rooftop bar Vertigo, then dinner at Nahm, on this list of 50 best restaurants in the world.
I loved staying on the river for historical perspective and retreating from the city's chaos. The hotel is split into two sections, with the spa and a couple restaurants across the river. Every few minutes, these traditional boats zip you across.
After our short time in Bangkok, we flew to Yangon! More to come...