10 Days Bangkok and Northern Thailand Solo Travel Photodump

For my birthday this year, I decided to go to Thailand for a 10 days tour of Bangkok and Northern Thailand specifically Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. 

Chiang Mai has always been in my bucketlist because of the elephant encounter so out of all the things I did and place I visited, that was the non-negotiable item in my list. 

On my first day, I just walked around Bangkok after settling in. I met up with two of my elementary teachers and they brought me to Baiyoke Sky Hotel in Pratunam to eat dinner on the 81st floor.

Bangkok traffic can get really congested. I experienced standing in the bus aisle for more than 50 minutes when I came from Chiang Rai since there isn't an MRT connection yet from Don Mueang Airport. 

This part is a revolving viewing deck area with a LED billboard in the middle which explains the color reflection on the picture above. 

Baiyoke experience is much like Macau Tower link: here. Only, there are no bungee jumps here in Bangkok.

I bought sim card so I'd have an internet access on the 10 days that I'll be staying there because it will be difficult, extremely difficult without. I rode a bus to the grand palace vicinity but I went down the bus on a wrong stop and it was still far from the palace so I just followed Google map and walked around.

This was the first temple I visited in Thailand. AT MY GHAD!!!! Sobrang nalula ako. I don't know if it's obvious in this picture but this temple was humongous.

Above is the wall of the Grand Palace.

I decided not to enter. Probably save it for my return to Thailand tho. 

I chose to visit Wat Pho instead of Grand Palace which is just across the street. Actually, if you're into these kind of things, you may actually spend like an entire day walking around all the palaces, temples, and buildings in this area. 

This Reclining Buddha is the main reason why I chose to visit Wat Pho instead of the Grand Palace. 

Free bottle of water in Wat Pho.

I decided not to ride a bus and instead just walk around and I reached this Giant Swing. This was constructed in 1784 under the reign of King Rama I and was used in an old Brahmin ceremony. It kinda has a similar appearance to the Torii Gates of Japan. 

I stopped by at this cafe to eat snacks. A bread toast with chocolate spread and a matcha drink.

We rode the boat but we opted for the boat that literally just crosses the river. Mahal pa mag river cruise eh, ganun din naman. :))

Travelling solo deadma na lang sa mga mag jowa sa paligid nyahaha

I spent three hours waiting for the bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai since I didn't reserve online... turned out that I just spent the entire day travelling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai... nag plane pa ko e kasing tagal din naman pala ng overnight bus 'yung travel time. Hahaha!

Choose to purchase your bus tickets online because the bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai (v.v) gets sold out fast.

My hostel in Chiang Rai also operates a travel agency so I just booked the tours from the hostel's owner mainly because the packages still fit my budget and I didn't want to tour and travel alone since it was raining everyday when I was there.

Monks in Bhubing Palace

Women are not supposed to go near the monks especially touch them and I was very wary especially if I come across some lol only to find out that they have a sit down/chat session in one of the temples in Old City, Chiang Mai. 

For Bhubing Palace in Chiang Mai, I joined a group of Chinese Tourists and one of them really want to walk around so he invited me to go with him. Almost all the people in our group went back to the van after seeing the palace but we walked farther up and reached this water reservoir and a place overlooking the low lying clouds. <3

After Bhubing Palace, we drove to Doi Suthep Temple. I've had this places to visit in mind since I see this posted whenever I look up Chiang Mai in Instagram and in Google. There's a lift but you may also get to the temple using the staircase. 

If you can, go here on your own and make sure to go early since this place gets packed so bad that's the next best thing you can do is beat the crowd, especially the tourist buses. 

This is a place overlooking Chiang Mai city but because of the rain, the view was blocked by clouds. Loved it as well but overlooking view would've been much better. lol.

Bhubing Palace and Doi Suthep tour is only a half-day tour in the morning so I had the whole afternoon to explore. My hotel was in Chiang Mai's Old City, very similar to our Intramuros, only theirs is square. I had to walk around and follow the Google map directions since I looked for a money exchange counter with best rates. I found one Superrich outside the old city and it has the best exchange rate I saw in all the places in Bangkok, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai that I've been too.

The entire afternoon, I spent visiting temples and drinking milk tea. In Chiang Mai alone, there are more than 300 temples which are unique but you know, after visiting 10 per day, you'd probably have your Thai Temple overdose already. Haha! I think if I had more days there, I would've opted for what they call, "happiness workshop" facilitated by the monks.

Being the only non-negotiable item on my list, I had my trip to the elephant sanctuary reserved even before I left the Philippines. It was 2,500 THB for a whole day tour and it was the most expensive activity that I did when I was in Thailand. I was actually having second thoughts regarding this 'cause a part of me wanted to save money and opt for the cheaper ones and yet a part of me didn't want to patronize "sanctuaries" that mistreat animals. I'm very glad I visited this sanctuary though. I reserved the Saddle Off Program from Elephant Nature Park's website. 

When I went back to the hostel from the elephant sanctuary, the owner told me that there's a nearby Saturday Night Market so even if I was so tired already, I decided to walk outside.

I wanted to look for this temple since the silver looks so good but I gave up only to reach it still while randomly walking that night. <3 There was an activity so I participated for a while.

When travelling alone, you'd know what it is that you're most inclined to do. I used to answer both whenever people ask me which I like more...but because of this trip, it's MOUNTAINS. SURE NA :))) I don't care if I didn't see Phuket's beach on this trip but mountains?! There's no way I am not going to hike the tallest mountain in Thailand. lol. :)) 

Mossy forest trail.  <3 

I exited Mai Sai, Thailand and entered Tachilek, Myanmar... so technically, I was able to visit two countries on this trip since I had Myanmar entry and exit stamps as well. Because of that, this place is infamous for the visa runs of people wanting to get more legal days of stay in Thailand since walking through the border gives you another 30 days (Philippine Passport Holders)

You can't, however, pass beyond Tachileik, Myanmar if you're in this area. So land crossing from this part to other parts of Myanmar is not possible.

After staying in Thailand for seven days and suddenly change country in just 5 minutes, I immediately noticed the different atmosphere and "aura" of people who were walking there with me. It kind of felt stuffy in Myanmar. I felt very uneasy walking around there compared to Thailand where it felt like home. But the whole border ordeal could've been worse. Really. I'm just glad I'm fine. 

As soon as I went back to the hostel that night, I was chatting with my friend and she told me the possible reasons why it might have felt like that. Haaaay, at least may Myanmar visa stamp na. Hehehe. :))

Mai Sai

The Northernmost  Town/City of Thailand.

This place was busy and felt much like the border of Macau and Zhuhai China. It has a lot of money changer, stores, etc.

Three countries in one afternoon. <3

I figured that the places near borders aren't usually the cleanest and well-maintained part of the country but I'm still glad that I was able to go here. I mean, when else will I be able to be in "three countries at once"?? HAHAHA

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