Thursday, 10 May 2018

One Week Itinerary and Guide For Thailand: City & Jungle.

When I went to Thailand a couple of years ago I managed to pack a fair amount in to a short space of time. I often get friends and followers asking how I did so much in just one week, so I thought I'd write a post to tell you all how to do it! I personally didn't visit the beaches as I didn't have time, but if you'd rather skip Bangkok or Chiang Mai, you could easily do a beach trip instead of one of those. 

One Week Itinerary For Thailand Elephant Nature Park

Days 1-4: City - Bangkok


I found three full days was more than enough time to see a good chunk of Bangkok. It can be quite an exhausting city due to the sensory overload that's thrust upon you as soon as you land, so make sure to schedule in some down-time and relaxing by the pool. The city is full of stunning temples, and it really does have something for everyone whether you're into history, shopping, or food and bars.

Where to Stay in Bangkok: Lebua Hotel Tower Club

I ADORED staying at the Lebua Hotel Tower Club. The location was great as it was really close to a ferry terminal, and the hotel itself was beautiful, with a huge focus on food & beverage. They have some of the best restaurants in Bangkok, with my favourite being Breeze, despite Sirocco being the more famous of the two. Lebua is also home to the Sky Bar, which is the famous bar featured in the Hangover Movie! 


Things to do in Bangkok:

The Grand Palace 
The Grand Palace was one of my favourite things to see in Bangkok, it's huge and so impressive! The Grand Palace is right next to Wat Phra Kaew so you can tick off both in one go!

Wat Phra Kaew
It's such the temple of the emerald Buddha, and is a stunning place. Despite the huge amount of people there, it still felt quite peaceful and tranquil, and it was a highlight of my trip.

Eat at Favour, Maharaj Pier
I had the most amazing berry waffles at Favour, and they only cost about 75p! Such a bargain. The cafe itself had very hipster-vibes and is right by the Maharaj Pier meaning it's the perfect little rest stop if you're on your way, or on your way back from, the Grand Palace.

Wat Arun Temple
Wat Arun - The Temple of Dawn - is much quieter than the other temples, and is across from the main hub of the city. The temple was built during 1600s on the bank of the Chao Phraya river, and is 

A river cruise around the canals
We did a river cruise around the canals that lead off the main river, and it was fascinating to see how the local people live on houses on stilts in that area of the city. 

Wat Pho
This is the Temple of The Reclining Buddha, and is one of the oldest and biggest Buddhist temples in Bangkok. The Buddha is covered in gold leaf and its feet are encrusted with mother-of-pearl decorations. 

Visit Jim Thompson's house
Jim Thompson was an American businessman who lived in Thailand and helped to revitalise and completely transform the Thai silk industry in the 1950s, and then mysteriously disappeared in 1967. The house is really interesting, but check the times before you go as you're only allowed to walk around it on a designated tour!

Shop at Siam Paragon
I didn't have time to do any shopping (I chose to have an extra-long massage instead), but I've been told that Siam Paragon is THE BEST place for shopping when you're in Bangkok! If you're a fan of shopping, don't miss it.

Get a Massage
You can't go to Thailand and not get a massage! I was really lucky that the Lebua Hotel offered incredible in-room massages, but I saw plenty of places around the city offering really cheap massages.

Wat Traimit
Wat Traimit is the famous temple that houses a huge solid gold Buddha. For hundreds of years the Buddha was covered in plaster, and the solid gold was accidentally discovered in 1955! Wat Traimit is right at the entrance of Chinatown, so make sure to explore Chinatown after visiting the temple.

Drink at the World's highest champagne bar
The Lebua Hotel is home to a plethora of bars, including the World's highest champagne bar! It was pretty special to sip on Perrier-Jouet whilst staring out at the Bangkok city skyline. Definitely one for the bucket list!


Days 4-7: Jungle - Chiang Mai


I fell in love with Chiang Mai and it was my favourite part of my Thailand holiday, it was very much more 'me' than Bangkok, and I enjoyed it far more. It's a tiny low-rise city in the middle of Thailand's Northern Jungle, and is famous for the Elephant Nature Park sanctuary. Two full days is enough time to see all of the main sights, but there are backpackers who spend months there and still manage to find new things to see and do!

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: Shangri-La 


You'll all know by now that Shangri-La is one of my favourite hotel brands (apart from the one in Muscat, but let's not discuss that again - it's still a sore subject), and the Chiang Mai Shangri-La is actually one of my favourite Shangri-La properties. The location makes it perfect for exploring the town, and the staff were just wonderful. The pool is also an oasis of calm and serenity and you get a beautiful view of the jungle from the rooms!


Things to do in Chiang Mai:

Elephant Nature Park
My main reason for visiting Chiang Mai was to visit the Elephant Nature Park. It's one of the few sanctuaries in Thailand that actually treats the elephants with respect and kindness, and you're not allowed to ride the elephants because of how cruel it is. You can visit Elephant Nature Park for a day trip, or you can book in for a VERY special experience with them. I chose the Pamper a Pachyderm experience, which essentially allowed me to spend an entire day walking the elephants through the jungle, having lunch with them, and bathing them in the river. It was MAGICAL. And a dream come true!

Ride in a Tuk-Tuk
Tuk-Tuk's aren't a great idea in Bangkok because the roads are so busy constantly (the MRT and ferries are the quickest way to get around), so make the most of the empty roads in Chiang Mai and take a Tuk-Tuk every chance you get! They're so much fun and super cheap.

Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chedi Luang is a ruined temple that's height was reduced by half during an Earthquake in 1545. It was also once the home of the Emerald Buddha!

Wat Phan Tao
The garden at Wat Phan Tao is SO pretty, and the temple is made entirely of wood! This temple is much quieter than the others as it's less well-known, so make sure you pay it a visit. 

Wat Chiang Man
Despite looking newer than Wat Chedi Luang, this one is actually older, being built around 1296! Wat Chiang Man was the very first temple of Chiang Mai, and it contains the oldest-known Buddha image created in 1465 by the Lanna kingdom.

Get Lost
What I loved the most about Chiang Mai is how you can just get lost and stumble across these random tiny temples. It's such an interesting little city and feels so relaxed after the hectic-ness of Bangkok.

Go to the Night Market
The night market in Chiang Mai is honestly full of tat, but the food is SO GOOD. You need to try the Chiang Mai sausage, and also the Roti stands. 

Try Sticky Mango Rice
You can try Sticky Mango Rice at the night market, or anywhere in Chiang Mai. It's a delicious combination of sweet and savoury, and you can't really visit Thailand without having it.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Read
I'm tagging this one onto the end as I didn't actually have time to do this, but if you do have the time, don't miss it! One of my biggest regrets is not seeing Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Read, but I was just so exhausted from such late nights and early mornings that I chose to nap by the swimming pool instead (plz don't judge me).


PIN FOR LATER:

PIN FOR LATER: A one-week itinerary for Thailand! Visit Bangkok and Chiang Mai in one week, and see everything from the elephants to the beautiful Buddhist temples.



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*Thank you to Flight Centre UK for partnering with me on this post! 

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