Originally we decided that we weren’t going to go anywhere over break but after a really stressful semester we knew we needed a short break from the Emirates. We did not know where to go though – we really wanted to go home but, because of tax rules, if we are in the states for more than 30 days we lose our residency status and have to pay taxes on our income here. So we started researching places and came across a video about Bangkok by a guy named Mark who has traveled all around the world and is currently based in Thailand. If you’re interested click here for his website and you’ll find all kinds of travel tips and be able to see all the incredible places he’s gone to. So, a week before break started we booked our trip to Bangkok and Krabi in Thailand – and we were anything but disappointed! The trip was breathtaking and inspiring . . .

We arrived in Old Bangkok at the Feung Nakorn Balcony Hotel. We decided on Old Bangkok because it was within walking distance to all the temples, palaces, and canals. Plus its not at all in a touristy area and we really got a feel for the culture of Bangkok. The hotel we stayed at was perfect, it was like a little oasis in the middle of bustling Bangkok . . .

Our room

Our room

Lotus Flower Pond

Lotus Flower Pond

Breakfast by the Koi fish pond

In the last picture, Scott is eating breakfast by the Koi fish pond! What a great way to start off each morning! The staff at the hotel was seriously the most friendly in any hotel I have ever stayed in. When we first arrived it was late a night and we asked about a place to eat. The receptionist told us that if we didn’t mind street food the stand outside had what they considered the best food in Bangkok. We said we were up for it so he wrote a list of things for us to order on a sheet of paper in both Thai (for the vendor to read) and in English (so we knew what we were ordering). And he was right, for our whole stay in Thailand we did not find better food than at the stand:

Best food in Bangkok!!

Best food in Bangkok!!

We crashed that night and the next morning set out to visit all the nearby palaces and temples. Once again the hotel was more than helpful. They provided us with a local map of the area along with how long it would take to walk to each place. Also they gave us a card with directions to the hotel in Thai for us to give to a taxi driver in case we got tired or were too hot (we foolishly did not realize that the first week in April is always notoriously the hottest in Thailand). So, we set our for the Grand Palace with also holds the famous statue of the Emerald Buddha. The Palace was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen . . .

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The details were so beautiful

The details were so beautiful

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DSCN4853The palace was almost magical. Everywhere you looked there was gold, statues, tress, flowers, and the most intricate of details. The palace grounds were filled with different buildings, temples, and monuments.

Love the statues holding this up!!

Love the statues holding this up!!

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DSCN4876We then came to the temple of the Emerald Buddha, also called Wat Phra Kaew. The story goes that a temple was struck by lightening and underneath the rubble the emerald Buddha was found.

The outer part of the temple

The outer part of the temple

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The Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha

Before entering the temple we of course had to remove our shoes. The inside was just as intricate as the outside and the shrine the Buddha sat on was very impressive. You could not take pictures inside the temple you could just take pictures through the main window in the front. After this we continued to walk around the palace grounds while searching for the exit.

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Scott joked that my shirt acted as camouflage because it was just as detailed as the palace! While walking around we discovered that the palace walls were all full of murals that told many different stories:

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Now for some more pictures of our wanderings around the palace:DSCN4904DSCN4905

Bonsai!

Bonsai!

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Scott being silly : )

Scott being silly : )

This was only the morning of our first day in Bangkok. I think I will take a bit of a break but be sure there will be many more posts coming about our trip!! For now I will leave you with my favorite picture from the day:

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