Bangkok – The Pearl of Southeast Asia
Flying to Thailand from the United States is not for the faint of heart. Even with a nearly direct flight, it is a seriously long trip — about 23 hours door to door from New York City. Our biggest splurge of the entire honeymoon was booking business class seats on Philippine Airlines. It’s an airline that we had flown recently and we’d loved our travel experience. The cabin on their brand new Airbus A350-900 was the most impressive we’d ever seen. The entertainment module was huge and both of our seats were spacious and folded down completely flat, which makes prepping for a twelve-hour time difference just a little less daunting. Landing in our connecting city of Manila, we were shocked by what a good sleep we got on the eighteen-hour flight.
We began out honeymoon in the capital city of Bangkok. It’s the most visited city in Asia, and a logical place to start our journey. We checked into our hotel, Inn a Day right on the Chao Phraya river.
Our room had a super modern, industrial feel that felt perfectly edgy in a city that’s constantly reinventing its architectural style.
The first thing we did (after showering, of course) was cross the river to visit to the legendary temple, Wat Arun.
Conveniently, there was a ferry right outside of our hotel which was well marked and only cost five baht (or about 15 cents). We’d seen pictures of the temple, but you can’t really fathom how big and ornate the porcelain-coated temple is until you are standing beneath it.
That evening, we took a recommendation from a friend who had recently honeymooned in Thailand, and booked a midnight tuk tuk food tour. Tuk tuks are motorized buggies — imagine a go-kart had a baby with a rickshaw and raised it in a disco — and are both an iconic and romantic way to explore the city. On the tour, our guide took us to three restaurants, from the very famous to the completely off-the-beaten-trail.
We can say with confidence that this was the BEST food we had on the entire trip. We still talk about the kua gai (a wok-fried noodle dish) at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. In between meals, our guide took us to a Chinese flower market and temple to give us time to digest. All in all, we’d highly recommend this, as it forced us to stay awake and made it much easier to adjust to the twelve hour time difference.
We couldn’t visit Bangkok without checking out its famed nightlife, and it’s with good reason that Bangkok is named the unofficial gay capital of Asia. The Silom district houses a swath of gay bars, nightclubs and dance parties so we decided to stay at the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, a perfect spot for travelers hoping to pair a fantastic view of Bangkok with a quick walk to some of the greatest nightlife in the city.
Our room had smart and simple decor and the rooftop restaurant and bar had stunning views of the city’s greatest sights and an affordable happy-hour cocktail list.
The proximity to Silom’s nightlife, as well as the smart, simple decor, made the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G a perfect spot for gay travelers like us hoping to hit Bangkok’s legendary nightlife in style.
With its ornate temples, bustling nightlife and mouth-watering street food, Bangkok was a perfect introduction to Thailand. Even if you seek a total beach vacation, we’d still recommend flying into Bangkok and spending at least day checking it out.