32 In Recaps/ Thailand/ Travel

Thailand Roundup

Thailand was a country that we didn’t intend on spending quite so much time in, but due to my broken arm and emergency surgery we found ourselves coming back time and time again. Luckily for us, Thailand is just amazing! Even though I had been to Thailand before I had a great time showing Matt my favorite things and I got to see loads of new things myself.


Days Spent in Thailand: 59

Cities Visited: Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Sop Ruak, Chiang Khong + Koh Chang

Daily Cost Average: Just under $54/day for two people. This is excluding my medical expenses considering that’s not the norm.

Places Stayed In: Fourteen: one resort, two guesthouses, four hostels, seven hotels.

Preferred Method of Travel: Train. We took the train from Bangkok to both Kanchanaburi + Ayutthaya and the night train from Vientiane to Bangkok. I have this romantic notion about trains that always give me all of those wanderlust feels.




Even though I had spent about 2 weeks in Kanchanaburi 2.5 years ago, I didn’t see it. Not like I did this time. This city/region is often seen as a place to explore the WW2 history, but there’s just so much more here. There are amazing mountains, rivers, waterfalls and more! We loved hiking through Erawan Falls, lounging on the river with the mountains in the background and standing under the Giant Rain Tree.


I loved this cooking class. It was an amazing because it was so many things all wrapped into one: a cooking class, a tour of the flower market and amazing conversations with two awesome people. I loved the twist of adding edible flowers into the foods that we had. We dyed noodles, made lotus petal salad bites and tea brewed from flowers. I would 10/10 recommend this experience.



This was brand new to me. New town, new experience, new site. I’m a total lover of all things cultural and anthropological. I loved being able to explore this massive UNESCO archaeological site. I love that it’s like city parks built around them, but locals are still living their everyday lives there as well. We biked through the grounds of Ayutthaya, crawled into tombs filled with murals and explored for two full days.


At Doi Inthanon we had the pleasure of standing on the highest point in all of Thailand. I’ve never been to the tallest point in a country before. I mean, how cool is that? Then we got to trek through the jungle with a local guide from the hill tribe. We passed waterfalls, saw vipers and walked through rice fields ending at a coffee shop in the jungle. This was one of my favorite day trips and highly recommend it as a day trip from Chiang Mai.



Temples are my jam. I cannot get enough of them. I would visit temples every single day. Luckily, Matt is pretty easy going because he would let me drag him to temples all over this stunning country. Some stood out more than others, but each was unique in its own way.

Honorable Mentions are the Tuk Tuk Street Food Tour and just simply walking (or biking) through the streets of the different, vibrant cities throughout Thailand.



D Hostel in Kanchanaburi – Words cannot describe how much I love this hostel. The best way I can describe D Hostel is heaven. Even my friend Salapong who came to visit one night said it was heaven. This hostel has mountain views from literally every room and an epic dock common area. Plus, it’s outside of the town so it’s incredibly peaceful. Want to learn more about D Hostel? Check out my review.

Leeching Boutique Lanna in Chiang Mai- I have a special love for this place because they took such good care of me. After I broke my arm the manager made multiple calls to help ease my travel and my pain after breaking my arm. Plus, the hotel itself was wonderful. The bed was incredibly comfortable, the service welcoming and the breakfast was super tasty! It’s location in the heart of Chiang Mai was great as well!


i Lanna House  in Chiang Mai- This hotel checks all the boxes on any Chiang Mai wish list. It’s comfortable, cozy, quiet, has a stunning pool and sits in old town. It was also probably the most expensive place we stayed, but it still comes highly recommended.

Honorable Mentions are PanPan Hostel + Oldtown Hostel, both in Bangkok.



Treat buddhism + monks with respect – Thai culture is very much tied up in Buddhism. I think in the Western world the Buddha has almost become a piece of pop art. In Thailand the Buddha + monks are regarded very highly, in fact it’s even illegal to have a Buddha tattoo in Thailand. Don’t touch monks, don’t stand taller than monks/Buddha statues and (I can’t believe this needs to be said) don’t pull down your pants in temples or climb on Buddha figures.

7-eleven is the bomb – They’re everywhere and I don’t think a day passed that we didn’t go to 7-eleven. We had breakfast there frequently and even those horrible-for-you-but-oddly-delicious toasties for a meal or two. In addition to that they have wicked cheap water, snacks and even a selection of medicines. Plus, there’s this awesome stamp rebate system (although this may have recently changed, someone in Thailand please let me know!).

When booking accommodation remember location matters – I’m not saying that you have to stay in the heart of all the tourist hotspots. However, know if you’re close to a SkyTrain or know your walking limits. Matt and I love walking, so we don’t mind being as far as an hour from destinations. However, know what’s best for you.

Use the meter in your taxi – In other countries I found that it was better to negotiate a price first with taxis. In Bangkok that’s not the case. If you’re in Bangkok, use that meter!

You can get great healthcare here – Especially in big cities. I had two medical emergencies in Thailand. I broke my arm in Chiang Mai and had emergency surgery in Bangkok. Both went wonderfully because of the amazing doctors and hospitals I encountered. Do your research for the hospitals in your area and remember that these two cities are well-known for some world-class doctors.

WANT MORE TIPS? Check out these 52 quick tips for Southeast Asia!

59 DAYS was a decent amount of time to spend in Thailand and I still feel as though we only scratched the surface. We left so much unexplored and I cannot wait to see what our next adventure in Thailand has in store for us.



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  • Reply
    Footsteps of a Giant
    January 9, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Kanchanaburi is so nice, did you manage to climb to the top waterfall at Erawan

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 10, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      Isn’t is wonderful? It’s my favorite city in Thailand. We didn’t make it to the top. I had food poisoning and heat exhaustion, so I pooped out at level 5. We’ll hit it next time!

  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    I really want to do the cooking class! I love cooking and traveling, so being able to do both is my kind of vacay! It’s awesome that you even got to go through the flower market. I want to learn more about edible flowers 🙂

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 10, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      It was really fascinating to learn about the edible flowers – specially as the daughter of greenhouse owners. I highly recommend it for the next time you’re in Bangkok.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Good post. These things were all so amazing! Definitely ready to travel again 🙂

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 10, 2018 at 10:53 pm

      I’m so ready too! We’ve got a quick trip coming up and only weeks until we take off again!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2018 at 2:41 am

    Thanks for this awesome post. I am planning Thailand for next year and my plan was to stay around 1 month – 1 month and a half. However, as a Romanian citizen, I have to split my stay into 3, because I can get Visa on Arrival only for two weeks. I was thinking to do 2 weeks around Chiang Mai (N Thailand), go to Myanmar one month (I have one month visa on arrival there), come back to Thailand for two weeks – around Bangkok area (middle Thailand), go to Kuala Lumpur (4-5 day, I have free visa there) and then come back again to Thailand for another two weeks – around Phuket (S Thailand). Unfortunately, the requirements we have for getting a multi entry visa for Thailand for two months are pretty tough, so I’d better think of other alternatives like these ones. What do you think?

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 10, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      That’s interesting that they only allow you guys two weeks at a time. As a citizen of the US we got 30 days. So our 59 days was spread over 3 trips. I think that that sounds really feasible to do. We skipped Myanmar because of the civil rights injustices that are going on there. So, we opted to visit Laos instead. If you didn’t want to go to Myanmar for those reasons, I would highly recommend Laos – you could take the slow boat from Northern Thailand. I loved KL and going from there will be amazing because there’s so much to do. I think you’ve done a great job planning that out. Be sure to give Kanchanaburi a shot while you’re in the Bangkok area. I loved it!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    I’m sorry about your broken arm, but it’s good to know they took good care of you in Thailand. I love visiting temples as well, but I don’t get out of the United States much anymore. I have to live vicariously through amazing blogs like yours! Thanks for sharing such great tips (that’s the nicest hostel I’ve ever seen!)

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 10, 2018 at 10:58 pm

      I was really well taken care of. I ended up having ovarian surgery there too! I was a hot mess while I was in SE Asia. haha. We’re definitely trying to get out of the country as much as possible before we start thinking about kids. I’ll soon be living vicariously as well. 😉 Although, you’ve helped me compile an awesome camping/U.S. list!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    It is the same in Taiwan (my home country) where 7-elevens are everywhere. It is part of our daily life 😛 I’ve been to Thailand a few times but have never visited the temples. Next time, I really gotta make an effort to go visit one.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 10, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      I love that! I wish the U.S. had them! I’ll remember that when I finally make it to Taiwan. The temples in Thailand do not disappoint!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    Great post! You gave me some really awesome ideas to check out when I finish teaching here, thanks! 7-11 does still in fact have the stamps, I’m not sure how exactly they work but I know I have a bunch! Also, I had a blog question. I love that you have your travel map embedded, but how did you do it!? I am having such a hard time figuring it out. Thanks 🙂

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 11, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks Emily. I know they still accepted them, but they hadn’t been handing them out to us! So, you get (or at least got) 1 for every 50 baht you spend and then there were rebates were you could get three baht back on certain products. Then you spend them at 7-eleven just like baht!

      The map is from Matador Network and there’s an option you click on for the embedded link. Then I used the WordPress Widget for links and it popped up. I hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    January 11, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Thailand is a country which offers varied experiences. I can see that you have gone through the gamut of experiences that is Thailand, from the serenity of the Buddhist temples to the natural beauty of its islands and beaches. For me the best part seems to be Ayyuthaya and it is ironical that this is the place we did not visit when we were there.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 11, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      Ayutthaya was definitely a highlight for me. It was an experience I missed the first time I was in Thailand.

  • Reply
    Medha Verma
    January 11, 2018 at 8:09 am

    59 days in Thailand? How do I not envy you? I would love to spend that amount of time in Thailand and I would spend my time exploring the numerous temples and the gorgeous islands too! I know there are so many unspoken, hidden gems in Thailand plus it is not a very expensive country to be in so it makes for the perfect place to spend such a long amount of time in. Lucky you 🙂

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      It definitely is the perfect place to spend a lot of days! We left so much untouched even in that amount of time. There’s always something to go back for!

  • Reply
    Megan Indoe
    January 11, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Besides your medical troubles it looked like you had such a successful and great trip to Thailand! Scott and I had a similar budget when we were traveling through Thailand too! We love how much you can get with that budget! Koh Chang is one of our favorite islands ever too! I am sad we never did Ayatthuya together, Scott has been before but we will be back! I do not feel done with Thailand quite yet!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 11, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      We really did! I love destinations that allow you to do so much on a teeny tiny budget, since that’s normally what we have. Haha. I think you’ll like Ayutthaya and I’d love to see what kind of photos/videos y’all come up with for it! I’m constantly inspired by you guys. I’m glad we chose well with Koh Chang. I’ve only been to two Thai Islands, but it was my preference over Koh Tao.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Such a great and quick roundup. I have only been to Bangkok, would love to explore more. It is so good that you
    include the tips at the end such as getting healthcare there and use the taxi-meter. Must have been traumatic to break your arm abroad. Thank you for this.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 12, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks, Vibeke! Breaking my arm abroad was a pain, but the emergency surgery was definitely the traumatic part! Haha Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie
    January 13, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Yikes! So sorry to hear about all the medical care you needed, but glad you were well taken care of. I loved Thailand and Chiang Mai, in particular. I’d love to go back and explore more of the countryside. Great tip about knowing where your hotel is. I think being relatively near a skytrain or underground train in Bangkok is key. It’s a fun city but not very pedestrian-friendly.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 14, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      That’s definitely something to be thankful for isn’t it? Bangkok is definitely spread out and the traffic is insane. We walked most places (even if it meant taking an hour and a half walk) but being near a skytrain or underground was really nifty!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2018 at 3:47 am

    It seems you loved Thailand. Hope that breaking your arm there didn’t cast a shade on your experience. My husband and I had plans to go there (and even had an airfare reservation) but at the last minute we had to give it up for a family event. We are still planning to go though. How many days do you think would be enough for Bangkok and Chiang Mai?

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 14, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      I definitely loved Thailand. Luckily for Thailand, I broke my arm right before leaving. However, my trip to Laos was a bit less fun. I think if you went at a really good pace you could do three days in Bangkok and four or five in Chiang Mai depending on how many day trips you want to do from there.

  • Reply
    kimberly erin
    January 14, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I have never been to thailand but i think of experience I would enjoy the most would be exploring the ruins and temples. They look so cool, and with so much history I am sure you leave inspired every time

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      January 15, 2018 at 11:14 pm

      I definitely left the ruins and temples beyond inspired. I loved exploring each of these places.

  • Reply
    Tracie Howe
    January 14, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    It’s interesting to read your perspective of Thailand, because it was a totally different experience for me. I somehow missed most of the things that you mentioned… or at least only got a glance at some. I know I need to head back again to explore some places more thoroughly, like Doi Inthanon National Park, which is right up my alley! I also stayed almost entirely in guesthouses, but I would like to check out some of the hostels you mentioned. Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I did 6 days tour of Thailand but missed out on Kanchanaburi and the National Park. Both seems like must visit destinations. Also it didn’t strike me to do a cooking class there, Thai is my fav cuisine. Need to remedy all these… Hopefully this year.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    This bought back so many memories of my time In Thailand, I’ve been to many of the same destinations but as I was reading through and nodding my head – I laughed when you wrote 7/11 is the bomb! – You are so right, and it was much more sometimes a lifesaver – Finding a 7/11 in the middle of nowhere in Thailand and having a ham and cheese toastie 😀 I’d actually love to go back sometime

  • Reply
    January 16, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Thailand always looks so amazing. Love the cooking class recommendation, dying noodles and adding edible flowers sounds perfect!

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