Magical Land – Disneyland

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As a second destination for our Southern California trip, we went to the famous Disneyland in Anaheim. We bought three days park hopper ticket with the hope that we will fully enjoy the all rides, shows and attractions. We got a hotel which is about 10 minutes walk from Disneyland. We were pretty excited on the first day so we got up early and had our breakfast. Then we were ready for the park that opened at 10am. As soon as we got the map of park, we started plotting our plan for the day. Then during the afternoon the heat of LA started kicking in with 85 degree. It seems pretty good for local but for Washingtonian like us, it was pretty hot. Add to the temperature we started experience the famous wait time of rides in Disney. Plus we cannot get on most rides because height requirement for my daugther. Long story short, we only did about five rides from the entire trip. For second day and third day, we took our step back and just took time to enjoy the park without any rush. So what did we enjoy of Disneyland? Aside from seeing various Disney Character and famous theme, we particularly enjoyed the following four events.

Mickey’s Soundsational Parade: This is pretty much a Disney parade which starts sometime in the evening around 4pm. You will see all the Disney Character in this one parade with spirit lifting music. If you dont have time to walk around the park see different character, I would recommend just to wait for this parade and you will see all the character in this parade. Continue reading

Aquatica – Sea World, San Diego

 

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Since the weather is rainy and chilly in Seattle, we decided to take one week vacation to Southern California where we can warm up ourselves a little bit. As part of this trip we went to two places; San Diego and Los Angeles, in Southern California. Since this is more of family vacation, the two main destinations of this trip were Sea World and Disneyland. As first part of this trip, I will post about our experience in San Diego first.

We got our hotel relatively close to Sea World. It took us about 15 minutes to get Sea World. Since it is not peak season for Sea World, the park hour was from 10am to 5pm only. It was pretty crunch time frame to see all the shows that Sea World offers. So we could only manage to see 5 shows out of 7 shows and we missed almost all the rides since my daughter is too small for most of the ride. With all the problems that Sea World is facing these days, most of the shows are not as much exciting as before. Long story short, Sea World is still semi-fun place to visit for first timer but I would not go back for second time.

Seal Show – It is amazing how these animals can interact with human. The hosts are pretty entertaining. It is definitely fun to see seals playing around with ball and jumping over a pole in the pool. Continue reading

The Beach – Phi Phi Islands

 

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When people talk about Thailand beach, first thing that will come up to your mind is Phuket or Krabi. In fact what makes those two places very popular is not just because of themselves. It is because of group of islands called Phi Phi Islands. All the pictures that portray Phuket are shot somewhere in one of those Phi Phi Islands. During my trip to Krabi, I had a privilege  to visit Phi Phi Ley which is one of the islands from the group and it is where Leonardo Dicaprio’s The Beach was shot.

We bought a speed boat tour to visit Phi Phi Ley. The price of tour ticket costs roughly $20 and of course it is a local price. One thing to keep mind when you shop in Thailand is to bargain. Usually vendors in Thailand have two pricing systems; one for local and one for tourists. So bargaining is the key to get the best price. Our speed boat tour includes a buffet lunch, tour to several beaches in the vicinity and snorkeling with equipment provided. It is all day tour. So I would recommend to take some pills if you are prone to sea sick. Continue reading

Crystal Clear Water with White Sandy Beach – Railey Beach, Krabi, Thailand

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As we continued our Thailand trip, we decided to explore down south to enjoy famous Thailand beaches since we have spent some time in mountain area of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. You can read about my blogs post on them at Land of Lanna, The Highest Point of Thailand, and The Northern Most Province of Thailand. With all the many choices of beaches in Thailand, since we like a more of relaxing family oriented experience, we decided to fly down to Krabi. We flew with Thai Airways and it only took a couple hours to get there from the north part of Thailand since Thailand is relatively small country. We arrived Krabi sometime in the evening and as soon as we stepped out of airplane we can feel the heat and humidity of southern Thailand. It is just different experience from Northern Thailand. Krabi has relatively small airport. So we literally had to step out of airplane and took steps down to run way to take a bus which took us to terminal. Then we took about 40 minutes car ride to our hotel location which is Ao Nang.

Railey Beach – Since we arrived late in the evening, we decided to take things slowly the next day. Instead of hardcore sightseeing, we decided just to relax at nearby beach. After having a wonderful breakfast at the hotel, we took Tuk Tuk to go to pier. It took about 10 minutes ride to get to pier where people sell boats ticket to Rialey Beach. There are several ways you can get to Railey. Continue reading

The Highest Point of Thailand – Doi Inthanon National Park

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As a second part of post for my Chiang Mai Trip, I am going to write about The Highest Point of Thailand – Doi Inthanon National Park. In previous post, I have already written about our trip to Elephant Camp, 3D Museum, and a Royal Flora. If you miss my previous post on them, please feel free to visit at Land of Lanna – Chiang Mai post.

Doi Inthanon National Park – This is highest peak of Thailand which takes about an hour a half ride to reach to the top. No matter what time of the year you visit, it is a little bit of cooler at the top. So I would recommend visitors to bring extra layers of clothes. This place would not be that magnificent if it is just known for the highest peak of Thailand. There are also other attractions in the vicinity. As part of the national park, you can visit the two pagodas which arise at 2350 meter high sea level.  The view from pagodas is magnificent that you can just stare at the range of Shan Hill which shares with Burma (Myanmar). Also if you are flower enthusiastic, you can enjoy wonderful collection of flowers in the garden located around the pagodas. Also I would recommend not to forget to stop by at Wachirathan Waterfalls on the way back. It is roughly accumulated height of 80 meter segmented waterfalls with a loop that you can walk around to enjoy the waterfalls. Also there are some local restaurant in the area for a nice break to enjoy authentic Thai food before you explore other Chiang Mai attraction.

Always Exploring

ANC – Column

 

Land of Lanna – Chiang Mai

IMG_8784As part of my Thailand vacation series, I am going to post about our three days stop in Chiang Mai which I call Land of Lanna. Chiang Mai is known to be a must visit place for tourists visiting Thailand. Chiang Mai might not have the same city life or night life that Bangkok can offer but if you want to experience a more charming and peaceful experience while enjoying breathtaking scenes and escaping heat of Thailand, I would strongly recommend to visit Chiang Mai. So how can we get to Chiang Mai? There are multiple transportation options that you can take to travel to Chiang Mai. The most economical way will be taking bus. Within bus option, there are different classes that you can take. I would strongly recommend to take VIP class since it offers better leg room as well as air condition which is a must in Thailand. In terms of price, it is roughly $30 for one way. If you are travelling from Bangkok, I would recommend to have overnight bus since you can just sleep a long the way and enjoy the place once the dawn arises. Other transportation options varies from flight, train to private taxi. Of the many attractions that you can enjoy in Chiang Mai, I am going to post about the places I visited. Since I was traveling with two years old toddler, all the places I went are family friendly attractions in Chiang Mai.

Maesa Elephant Camp – As our first stop, we went to visit an elephant camp which is about 30 minutes drive from the town. You might be wondering whats so strange with these elephants that you would fly all the way to Thailand just to see them. Well, these are not just ordinary elephant that you would see and Asian section of city zoo. These are talented elephants which are trained to play soccer and paint wonderful art. You can buy ticket to enjoy elephant playing soccer and usually the show concludes with elephants drawing wonderful paints which are available for purchase for different prices, usually ranging from 1,000 Thai Baht to 2,000 Thai Baht. For those who want to experience elephant riding, there is specific schedule that you can book a tour to ride elephant for either 30 minutes or an hour.

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The Northern Most Province of Thailand – Chiang Rai

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This post is part of my trip to Thailand which I began with Home Sweet Home and I have already written about my first destination as The Golden Triangle – Tachileik. In this post, I will be writing about my family trip to the Northern Most Province of Thailand – Chiang Rai.

There are multiple ways that visitors can get to Chiang Rai. I have traveled to Chiang Rai by both land and air from Bangkok. For land transportation option, visitors can either take bus from Bangkok bus terminal or get private rental car. In either case, it takes about 11 to 12 hours ride. I would say the most economical way of land transportation is bus which costs about only $30. For air options, there are various airlines that fly that to Chiang Rai from Bangkok. As I mentioned in Home Sweet Home post, all the flights from Bangkok to Chiang Rai take off from Don Mueng Airport except Thai Smile Airline which is owned by Thai Airway. As for this trip, since I was in Tachileik, my family arranged a private van to visit Chiang Rai. From Tachileik (the Thailand counterpart side is called Maesai), it only takes about 30 minutes to get to Chiang Rai.

The Mae Fah Luang Botanical Garden – This is one of the absolute stunning garden that I have visited. The garden was built over 10 acres of land with uncountable flowers of red, yellow, white and any color that you named it. This place is a must visit for any flower enthusiastic. In the middle of the garden, there is a sculpture named “Continuity”. The name was given  to draw attention to the fact that continuity ensures the success of any endeavor.

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