The Grand Palace 

Today’s post is going to be a short one because there is no way I can put into words how wonderful yesterday was.
We took our time getting ready in the morning and accidentally missed breakfast. We ended up walking down the street to grab some street food and more water. I don’t think I mentioned before but you have to drink bottled water here. We sat in the cafe area of our hostel and enjoyed pork dumplings, grilled bananas, sticky rice & meatballs. 

Yesterday was our day dedicated to visiting the Grand Palace! For those of you who don’t know what the Palace is here is a little history. It is the grounds where multiple religious buildings sit. This includes temples, halls & old living quarters. Up until 1925, The Grand Palace was where the King, his court & the royal government lived. The Grand Palace has been around since 1782 and is filled with the most beautiful handcrafted buildings I have ever seen. The pictures here don’t even begin to show you how beautiful the detailing is. The grounds are still used for religious ceremonies and other special events. 

Recently the Thailand King (Bhumibol Adulyadej) Rama IX passed away. He was loved and worshiped by all and you can truly feel the sadness the locals are feeling. Everywhere you go there are shrines for him where people can pay their respects. At his time of death he held the longest reign as a King in history right at 70 years. A new King (his son I believe) was just sworn in last month so things here are undergoing some changes. When we were at the temples, locals were praying for the new King. 

Unfortunately we weren’t able to go inside the physical temples because they had a special ceremony going on. We were able to see a glimpse of the Emerald Buddha but weren’t allowed in because there was a prayer being held. 
The grounds are an extremely spiritual place and visitors must be modestly dressed. Shoulders, legs, ankles, & feet must all be covered. Should you forget this rule, they have clothes for rent outside of the grounds. 
The mosaic design was so beautiful it pretty much takes your breath away. I know that sounds silly but I honestly have never seen anything like it! My favorite building was filled with purple and gold accents. I also found that the statues with red and gold were some of my favorites as well. When you take a closer look at the buildings and run your hands across them you really get a feel for how important this place is and how much work went into creating it. I couldn’t help but to get teary eyed. All I can really say is you must see this place for yourself one day! 

During our time there we met two American girls who happened to be from Alabama! We took pictures for each other and learned that Maggie & Marilyn were finishing up their final day of their 5 weeks of traveling. It was nice chatting with some fellow southern girls. Hope you ladies made it back safe! 

Last night we decided to walk across the alley to a hair braiding salon and did something Christina and I have both been wanting to do for a long time. WE GOT DREADS!! No I’m not kidding lol. Just 2 each but we both love them! It was a little hole in the wall shop but they did great work. They used our own hair as well as some extensions to make them longer. There was a street cat trying to play with the string while they were wrapping my hair lol. 

We checked out of Laksameenari Guesthouse today and will miss it! Please stay here if you ever find yourself in Bangkok. I highly recommend it. The host is so wonderful and even gave us a parting gift.
Currently we are sitting at the Bangkok central train station awaiting our overnight train to Chiang Mai! Just to give you an example of just how important their king was to them.. there is a huge tv playing clips from when he died and also playing music dedicated to him.  Our train won’t be here for another 5 hours so we have time to kill. We’re excited to see Chiang Mai. 
We miss you guys! 
Xoxo Jayme 


Chatuchak Weekend Market & Khao San Road 

Have you ever been invited to a “p*ssy ping pong show”? Well we have. Read below to find out more. 
This city should be the city that never sleeps.

A few highlights and quick update.
It’s 10:30am here and I’m just waking up from a good nights sleep. Christina is still sleeping but I should be waking her up soon because we have a day of visiting landmarks planned. We accidentally slept itln so we’ve missed the free breakfast lol.
Yesterday we managed to successfuly take the public bus to our destination for the day. Christina sat next to a super sweet Thai woman who loves Tiger Woods & Hillary Clinton lol. It’s funny the things the locals say to try and relate to us. The woman was extremely nice! She even told the woman working on the bus which stop we wanted to go to so that we wouldn’t miss it. She offered up her seat so I could sit next to Christina and rubbed my shoulder and hald my hand before leaving. When she was chatting with Christina she told her she had a sweet face and wished her good luck on her travels in Thailand. On the way back we got on the wrong bus and no one spoke English, unlike the first bus. A very nice local woman behind us managed to try to explain that we were wrong so we got off and opted for a taxi instead. As our taxi driver was taking us back to our side of town we searched through his collection of CDs and put in one with American music. We thought it was funny and thoughtful for him to want to make us feel comfortable. We sang along to Whitney Houston with him lol! 

We spent the day at Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s a massive outdoor market with over 2,000 vendors selling all kinds of goods. We did a good job shopping and are getting pretty good and understanding the money here. It’s HOT and humid here just like how it feels in August back home so after 5 hours of shopping I was ready to leave. 

We relaxed when we got back and organized our goodies. We decided to have a chill dinner here at our guest house down in the lobby. We shared spring rolls and pad thai. Christina had an iced coffee and I had a Thai beer called Chang. 
After dinner we took a nap before our big night out. We took some time to experience the popular Khao San Road night life. It’s a 5 minute walk from our hostel and so full of life! It’s hard to even explain it. It’s full of bars, restaurants & vendors. Every bar has music blasting from all corners. All of it is American music or Djs mixing house & edm. Everywhere you walk someone is trying to get you to buy something or trying to get you to come to their bar. 

There are people holding signs for laughing gas which we later found out is literally laughing gas in an inflated balloon that you inhale. We didn’t find this out from experience, we researched it and also found out it’s very illegal. Ever been invited to a p*ssy ping pong show? Well we have. We didn’t partake in viewing the show but I’m sure it’s a sight to see. I won’t explain exactly what it is but it involves Thai woman on stage bouncing ping pong balls. I’ll just let your imagination do the exploring here. We found ourselves at a nice bar called Super Flow. It has a club/beach vibe to it (fake sand included). The employees were nice and the band sounded great. They kept giving us shout outs because we seemed to be the only one clapping/cheering for them. Christina and I shared a bucket of Thai rum mixed with limes and sprite. It was more than enough for the two of us for the night. 

On our walk home we stopped for some food and were approached by 2 men who scared me at first but we’re both very nice. The first one tapped me on the shoulder and said hello to me like he knew me. The 4 of us chatted for a bit and we learned that they were from Holland. Michael, the first guy has been to Thailand 8 times and he brought his friend along this time because he has never been. They basically offered for us to go back to their hotel with them but we kindly turned it down and they went on their way to the next group of girls lol. I don’t think they meant any harm in it but it’s just crazy to see how different cultures are. 

Koh San Road is nothing but a big party, girls passed out on the side of the road and everything. Christina and I described it as being at a music festival but with bars and more alcohol . A woman working at one of the shoe vendors told me I looked like Elsa because of my hair ( it was in a braid) and while we were at the market buying hand stitched coverups the owner asked us where we were from and when we told her she got all excited and asked if we have ever been to Coachella and how she hopes she can go one day lol. 

Xoxo Jayme 

Bangkok Day 1 

There was a worry that I wouldn’t like it here or that I’d feel so out of place I’d want to go home but that’s far from the truth. We both feel strangely content with this city and feel right at home. During our first breakfast in the cafe below our room we had a moment of realization and I think it finally set in that we were here. Months ago Christina kept telling me that she didn’t think this trip would happen because she thought one of us would back out. Fast forward to now as she sat with happy tears in her eyes we couldn’t help but laugh and high five! This does not feel like real life.

You’d think walking the streets of Bangkok for the first time would be overwhelming or scary but it’s enjoyable and pretty easy to navigate. Aside from the tuk tuk drivers constantly trying to convince you to take a trip with them, we haven’t encountered anything that made us uncomfortable. NOTE: don’t believe them when they tell you the grand palace is closed for prayer. They are just trying to get you to use their service until it “opens at 3.” I’ll probably explain more about that later. Christina and I have a pretty good system going. I’m good with navigation so I’ve been guiding where we walk to and how to get back to our hostel. Christina is extremely organized so she’s been on top of tracking money and is pretty good at figuring out the conversions in her head. For those of you who don’t know, Thailand is a country on the poor side so our American money converted into around 52,000 Bhat (around $1,600 USD) the exchange rate is always changing but it usually stays between 0.30-0.35. This means that $1 for us is equal to around 30-35 Bhat. It feels a little awkward pulling out a bill that has 1,000 written on it but really it’s around $28 USD. To give you a better example here’s some things we purchased today.

  • A large water bottle 15 bhat = $0.43
  • Small package of razors 26 bhat = $0.75
  • Small bottle of tiger beer 60 bhat = $1.72
  • Green curry pork noodle soup 70 bhat = $2.00 

Khao soi green curry egg noodle dish with pork
Complimentary Breakfast – Yogurt with fruit, granola & oats

I’m so happy with our decision to stay in this guesthouse. The owner, Pom, is more than willing to give advice and help guide us. Her and I believe her mom run the place. Her sons name is Pom Pai and is the cutest little boy I’ve seen! He greets us with a huge smile and waves every time he sees us. During breakfast he kept coming around our table and would just smile at us. His grandmother set up a little play area for him with some toys and an umbrella for shade. It kind of puts things into perspective. Here is this young boy who can’t be more than 3 years old growing up in this guesthouse (they live in the room next to us) constantly surrounded by travelers. You can tell he’s a happy kid. The Thai people are all happy and helpful! They do what they can to work to put food on the table. It makes you realize that our problems back home really aren’t problems at all. We were a little worried telling people we are Americans because of all the negative feelings towards our country right now but I don’t think they care here too much. One of the locals asked us where we were from and when we told him he smiled really big and said “go Obama” lol. 

Street food vendors are fire

Anyways, it’s 10:30pm here on Friday night and we just woke up from a 5 hour nap. It’s going to take a few days for us to get on Thai time. Tomorrow is the start of the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s one of the biggest outside markets with over 5,000 vendors and sees 200,000 people over a 2 day period. Our plan is to spend half of the day there shopping! Put in item requests now! Also, if anyone would like a post card sent to them, send me your address in a Facebook message. I already have a list of people but I’ll be happy to add to it.
Xoxo Jayme 

Arrived in Bangkok

Just a quick update

We arrived in Bangkok 8 hours ago and things still haven’t sunk in yet. There was a moment when we first got settled into our hostel when Christina and I just kind of looked at each other a laughed because we can’t believe we are on the other side of the world right now. 

Our passports finally have a stamp! After we deboarded our plane we had to head to customs and pass through immigration. The lines were long but the process was easy. We jumped in a taxi and were on our way. We didn’t talk much during our taxi ride because we were just admiring the craziness of Bangkok driving. We both got car sick. Taxis, cars, motor bikes & tuk tuks (a 3 wheeled motor bike taxi) all weaving in and out of traffic. They also drive on the opposite side of the road so that in its self made me a little sick. 

We are staying in a super cute hostel/guesthouse called Laksameenarai Guesthouse. It’s hidden in a little alley behind Trok Mayom Road and right around the corner from a main road (Khao San Road) It’s a traditional Thai wooden house but has a gingerbread house feel to it and is over 130 years old. The location is not on a road you can drive on so we had to walk down an alley area to find it. We were both a little scared because it was dark (9pm) and it’s also our first adventure here. We found it with no problem thanks to a little guideance from our taxi driver and detailed directions from hostel world.

*the room we are staying in is upstairs with a balcony view outside our front door

Cafe/check in lobby
Upon arrival we were greeted by a very nice woman and her adorable little boy. They guided us to our room, gave us a little tour and showed us how to use the basics of our room. We have a small private room with a shared bathroom. The walls are thin so as we were going to bed we could still hear the noise from Trok Mayom. At one point they were blasting Lady Gaga, I know Magen will appreciate that! It’s  3am here now, exactly 12 hours ahead of you guys back home. So, we are basically in the future. 

Our private room
I’m having a hard time sleeping so I figured I’d have time to give you guys an update. 

Christina and I both have an international plan on our phones so we are able to have unlimited texting during our time here with no international fees. There is also wi fi EVERYWHERE so we are able to keep in contact with everyone back home.

In the morning our guesthouse serves complimentary breakfast in the cafe area and then we plan to walk around the main roads to get a feel for the area we are. We are in walking distance from some popular temples and museums so we may explore that as well

Good night! 

Xoxo Jayme