Monday, 25 June 2012

SE Asia Backpacking Series : Tokyo, Bangkok, Chiang Mai

We left a couple days ago for a 10 weeks SE Asia backpacking trip. I thought I would update you all on how things are going so far!

First, we left at 6:30 am on the 21st from the airport. We had two layovers (one in Newark and one in Tokyo) and a total of 19 hours of flight. I was able to sleep just fine thanks to my trusty ear plugs, neck pillow and Benadryl. We had to buy a charger for our cell phone in Newark since I forgot it in the car (doh!) which ended up being really expensive, but we're glad we have it since we bought a Thai sim card and we can now access Thailand's 3G network for really cheap :) It's really quite handy, I definitely recommend it if you're traveling to SE Asia! We had ramen at Narita Airport in Tokyo (10$ per bowl) which was really tasty and exciting since I loooove ramen!

We arrived in Thailand late, but had no issues finding a Guest House to stay. The city is quite lively even at night! We stayed at My House Guest House, in a really hot, tiny room. At least it wasn't expensive :) We went out for some rice noodles with chicken and egg which was absolutely delicious (so far the food has been fantastic).

The next day, we took a long walk to the MBK Center mall (about 1 hours away from where we stayed near Khao San Road). I love how you can walk around quite safely in Bangkok as long as you beware of the traffic. At the mall, we bought an adaptor to charge our laptop safely (it protects from power surges). It was really  cheap (only about 3.50$) and works perfectly :) We also went for a movie in what they call a VIP cinema. We saw Men In Black 3 which I quite enjoyed. The tickets were 8$ per person and included large comfortable reclining seats, a free drink and blankets. It's a bit expensive by Thailand's standards, but compared to what we get for 12$ back home, I'd say it's a bargain :) We stayed another night at the same guest house and left in the morning for Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai is a 13-14 hour ride from Bangkok by train. It's a little faster by bus, which we wish we had chosen instead. Our initial plan was to book a sleeper train, but there isn't any during the day (which is quite obvious now that we think about it :P). The train was quite uncomfortable and the ride seemed to last forever. I would say it wasn't the best experience all things considered. To make things worse, when we got to Chiang Mai, most guesthouses were fully booked which means we had to walk around for about an hour with our packs, during the night to find a place that wasn't full. We had a tasty, but expensive burger at Mike's Burger before we finally found some place to sleep.

We stayed at Julie's guesthouse which we really did not enjoy. It's dank, dirty, hot and dark in the room. We moved guest houses right away the next morning. We then found a much better place to stay, for only 2$ more per night. The place is called TK Guest house and offers really clean, large rooms with free wifi internet, private bathroom with hot shower and even a balcony (it's 10$ per night). I couldn't be happier with this place.

And that's about it for now! We have booked a Thai cooking class for tomorrow and I'm really excited to go! We booked with Baan Thai Cookery School a well reputed cooking school here in Chiang Mai. It was 30$ per person, which sounds like a lot, but it includes a market visit, a cooking book, making 6 dishes (which we get to eat afterwards) and drinks/snacks. I cannot wait! We get to choose between 3 options for each dish category : curry paste, curry, stir-fried, soup, appetizer and desert. We chose : green curry paste, green curry with chicken, Pad Thai, chicken in coconut milk soup, spring roll, and  mango with sticky rice. Anyway, I'm super excited about it!

Hope you all enjoyed this! Will be back in a few days with more updates about my trip :)


  1. seaweed chips? OMG WANT WANT WANT

  2. They are really tasty <3 They have all kinds of weird potato chips here :P



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