May 6, 2020

Thailand Honeymoon | Bangkok + Chiang Mai

Iā€™m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Destin, Florida and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether Iā€™m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

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Thailand Honeymoon | Bangkok + Chiang Mai

This is a two-part blog post, and I had to split it up because I have so many favorite memories to share with you all!!! Back in October, Alex and I went on our honeymoon to Railay Beach (coming soon!) + Bangkok + Chiang Mai, Thailand!!!! Believe me, the pasta, wine, and cheese were also calling my name in Europe, but we figured Thailand was a once in a lifetime adventure. šŸ˜‰ During our 1.5-week trip, we planned to visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Railay Beach. One fun thing I learned leading up to our vacation was that my September couple (HEY, Benny and Megan!) was going to be there at the same exact time!!! Talk about incredible timing! šŸ™‚ I’ll be sharing some photos I took of them later on the blog as well! Enjoy checking out our honeymoon adventures in Bangkok + Chiang Mai, Thailand for now!!!


I have some of my favorite photos available for print and even downloads online!!! Support us HERE! šŸ™‚ PLUS! You get a little spoiler with some sneak peeks coming on the next Thailand blog post when you check out the Thailand print gallery!!! šŸ˜‰

** If you love a particular photo below and want me to include it in the Thailand print gallery, feel free to reach out to me at info@stephaniemessick.com and I will add it! šŸ™‚ **

Our honeymoon adventures in Bangkok + Chiang Mai, Thailand!!!

Bangkok, Thailand Adventures

GETTING THERE

We were SO excited to fly to the other side of the world to Railay Beach + Bangkok + Chiang Mai, Thailand!!!! Neither of us had ventured to Asia before, so it was going to be a true adventure together! Although, our pup was so sad watching us leave… But he had the best time with his girlfriend!!! šŸ™‚ So here are a few things I gathered from our trip across the world…

  1. Sushi in Tokyo is THE BEST. Even in the airport!!!!! Take me back to that yummy sushiiiiii!
  2. Check out the map below ā€” I had NO idea our flight would take us through Alaska to get to Asia!
  3. Thai hospitality is incredibly sweet! They brought our bags upstairs to our room and welcomed us with cake, flowers for my wrist, and rose petals on our bed! Hahaha!
  4. Toilet paper is NOT really a thing in Thailand. I packed some wipes with me in preparation. Otherwise, their hose method isn’t that bad. šŸ˜‰ HAHAHAHA!

GRAND PALACE + EMERALD BUDDHA

The Grand Palace was our first big destination of Bangkok ā€” And boy, was it GRAND. It was a pretty crazy way to start our adventures in the city because it was incredibly crowded with Asian tourists. Watch out for some of them with umbrellas… They don’t care that you’re in their way and a taller than them. Haha! We got hit a lot… But overall, the palace was impeccable. We couldn’t believe the amount of detail that went into everything from the landscaping to the window trim, roof, and siding of the temples. My photos don’t do it justice!

**It is VERY important that you (men and women) follow their clothing guidelines. They will not let you in! And this goes for all temples.

A LONG DETOUR TO THE RECLINING BUDDAH AT WAT PHO

This adventure was interesting and not what we anticipated… We ran into a little bit of a rainstorm one afternoon. So we took that as our cue to grab a SUPER cheap pad thai lunch (seriously, less than $10 for the two of us!) and wander around. On our way to check out the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, we stumbled across an English teacher in Bangkok! He was telling us all of the things we must check out before leaving, including a ride in a Tuk Tuk. All of a sudden, a “buddy” of his drove up and we were “pushed” into the open cab. Alex and I didn’t think anything of it and thought it was kind of cool to ride in one. But we soon found out we were a part of a scam to buy products after they kept dropping us off at men suit shops. HAHA! Then he looked at my wedding ring and said I needed TWO wedding rings and tried dropping us off at a ring shop…

To say the least, I wasn’t very happy, but Alex was so calm and went with the flow of it. Definitely a story of the books. šŸ˜‰ Eventually, our frustrated Tuk Tuk driver dropped us off a mile away from our destination. HAHAHA!

On the plus side, we really enjoyed checking out the temples at the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho because it was so pretty at sunset and not overwhelming (venue or people-wise) at all. šŸ™‚

“THE HANGOVER HOTEL”| SKY BAR AT LEBUA

This was our first meet up spot with our friends, Benny and Megan!! They were staying at the Lebua Bangkok, where the Hangover movie was filmed!! So awesome! šŸ™‚ The views were incredible. And the hotel is known for their sky bar because it’s one of the highest open bars in Asia! We were impressed. šŸ™‚ Although, our drink bill seemed higher. HAHA! Just for a warning, a simple coffee with a little Baileys can cost $30-$40. But most importantly, we had a great evening celebrating both of our honeymoons together!

One drink you have to try looks like the photo below! Megan ordered a drink that had a little seed on top that made her mouth go numb! We asked the waitress about it and she brought out more of them for all of us to try… Seriously guys, the taste and sensation reminded me SO much of Novocain. Only in Thailand… šŸ˜‰ Haha!

CHATUCHAK MARKET

The Chatuchak Market is one of the biggest outdoor markets in the world! So naturally, Alex and I had to see what it was all about. Honestly, after this experience, I was peopled out!!! Haha! But we enjoyed the people watching and the yummy little side treats like mango sticky rice and chicken skewers! Also, a little side note… Thai sellers love a little bargaining. I’m not so great at the game, but I got one of my favorite beach shirts from this market. So it was a fun little morning adventure before hopping on our plane to Chiang Mai! šŸ™‚

Chiang Mai, Thailand Adventures

AROUND THE OLD CITY

We loved our low-key hotel in the Old City! I HIGHLY recommend staying inside of the “Old City” because there’s so much rich, authentic history within walking distance from the hotel. We got lost just walking around and it was some of my favorite memories from our time there. šŸ™‚ And during the quick rainstorms, we enjoyed a cup of coffee on our balcony which was so peaceful and relaxing. šŸ™‚

Across the street from our hotel was vegan pizza from a restaurant called the Peppermint Cafe… Mind you, we had no idea that it was vegan and we LOVED it! Also, did you know that Thai people love vegan food? I had no idea! I also loved the fruit smoothies everywhere we walked… Give me mango anything and everything! šŸ™‚ Speaking of FRUIT! We got to taste some new ones in Thailand. One fruit I discovered was NOT my favorite was pitaya (or also known as dragon fruit) … But I absolutely LOVED Rambutan!

Another yummy restaurant we enjoyed was called, Cooking Love! We heard that you HAVE to try Khao Soi ā€” It’s a famous Chiang Mai dish. It lived up to its expectation because it was right TASTY!!!! The best part of the evening was coming back to our hotel after walking back from the restaurant only then discovering that the other Cooking Love restaurant was in our hotel!!! HA! We appreciated the walk/adventure anyways. šŸ˜‰

WAT CHEDI LUANG VARAVIHARA TEMPLE + OTHER TEMPLES

Our first adventure day around the “Old City” involved a lot of temple sight-seeing! Because it was so hot outside, I wore shorts and carried “elephant pants” in my backpack to toss overtop before entering the temples. We found this the easiest way of getting around. One of our favorite temples we checked out was the Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara Temple! The history of the temple was beautiful, but we also REALLY loved the treats too! HAHA! While we were there, they had a free food festival happening and gave us coconut ice cream. šŸ™‚ Talk about refreshing!!! Although, Alex got his in a cone, and mine came wrapped up in a slice of bread. HA! I regret not taking a photo of the masterpiece. šŸ˜‰ Nevertheless, we had the best time checking out Chiang Mai’s beautiful creations!

SCOOTERING AROUND

To say I was skeptical about renting a scooter in an understatement… By this point, I had seen/heard of many accidents around Bangkok, and I knew I didn’t want to be a part of it. Butttttt… YOLO. It was a bit of an adjustment to let go of control, but Alex did a GREAT job driving us around the city … and even the CRAZY windy mountain roads (that part was a little scary)! One funny memory from driving a scooter around was that time we got a Thai ticket! Basically, we didn’t have a Thai license to drive the scooter around. So we had to pay money and we were good with a day pass they gave us! If you end up in that situation, don’t fret! Just pay and go on your way. šŸ™‚

HAPPY ELEPHANT HOME

We have Benny and Megan to thank for this experience!!!! Initially, we were planning to visit a different elephant sanctuary, but we absolutely LOVED the Happy Elephant Home!!! We adored their mission to give their elephants the best life, and we learned SO much while spending the day with them!!

This was an adventure of a LIFETIME. Really. They dressed us up in traditional Thai clothing, taught us how to cut up sugar cane and watermelon and hand-feed the elephants, make our own noodle lunch, play in the mud (later found out it was a poop pit… HA!) and the river with them, and frolic in the fields with these giant beasts! Gosh, this was by far one of my favorite adventures in Thailand!!!!

MONTHATHAN WATERFALL

We met up with our friends for a cup of coffee at Ristr8to Blend before hopping on our scooters up the mountain. On our way up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple, we wanted to check out a waterfall or two. šŸ™‚ Alex had a little too much fun in the Monthathan Waterfall. HAHA!

WAT PHRA THAT DOI SUTHEP TEMPLE + EATING OUR FIRST FRIED INSECT

This title says it all! Megan, Benny, Alex, and I rode our scooters to the top of the mountain to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple! By this point, we had seen a lot of temples, but they were all so uniquely set up and decorated. The views here were beautiful too! We loved seeing little girls playing in cute outfits looking for money in exchange to have their photos taken… Little entrepreneurs? Haha! After we had our fun around the temple, we slowed down for some coffee and a little nibble of … insects. Yes. We tried fried crickets. It mostly tasted like seasoning, but the texture wasn’t my favorite… But we did it!!! šŸ™‚

NIGHT BAZAAR

Before going out for the night, we paid to have a Thai massage done ā€” Talk about an experience! Haha! It’s a bit rough, but definitely something to do. šŸ˜‰

Thailand has plenty of fun markets to explore every night of the week! We enjoyed the street music, souvenir shopping, and food!!!! Although, find out in the next section of the blog post what happened after this night adventure… Let me say it wasn’t the banana-nutella rotee (a must-try Bangkok + Chiang Mai, Thailand!!!)! YUMMM!

THAI BOXING MATCH

Benny, Megan, Alex, and I all got together for a Thai boxing match!! It was a fun way to cap off our time in Chiang Mai before heading out to Railay Beach the next morning. šŸ™‚ We really enjoyed getting together with friends and sharing these experiences with them before we had to go our separate ways. šŸ™‚

Also, this was about the time I started to feel sick but tried to not think about it. We had just finished eating around an outdoor market, so I’m pretty sure I got some sort of food poisoning from there. But somehow, I still managed to drink some from our bucket cocktail! After all, it’s one of the “must-do” things to do in Bangkok + Chiang Mai, Thailand!!!! That as well as eat an insect (check!!!) and get a tattoo (a big no for us! HA!)!

I hope you enjoyed our honeymoon adventures in Bangkok + Chiang Mai, Thailand!!! Next time, I’ll be sharing some more of our FAVORITE memories from Thailand in Railay Beach, Krabi!!!

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