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36 hours in Bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

I think I might be the only traveler in the world who has actually avoided Thailand. For years.

If you know me well, you probably know where this is going. If not, let me drag it out and build it up.

If there is one thing I like to do when I am traveling, it’s eat. I am a firm believer that you can learn a lot about a country and its culture through its food. I eat anything and everything when I’m on the road. Of course this gets tricky when you have a life-threatening food allergy.

Why, fate, why??

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

Peanuts, the bane of my existence. How much easier would my life be if I could eat peanuts without a fear of dying by anaphylactic shock? A helluva lot easier, that’s for sure.

While I devour Asian food all the time, I’ve always avoided Thai food. One accidental run-in with a free to-go container of pad thai taught me a serious lesson when I was 20. Thai food has a lot of peanuts, do not eat Thai food Liz. And don’t go to Thailand.

Just kidding! Challenge accepted!

I never fully wrote off Thailand as a place I couldn’t go to, it was just never high on my list, mostly because of the whole peanuts-can-and-will-kill-you scenario, but also because Thailand is like a backpacker/blogger holy land that totally turned me off.

Every blogger and their mother lived in Chiang Mai at one point or another, and I know so many people who have stomped down the well-defined Southeast Asia tourist trail who’s heart beats to the fire drums of the islands of Koh Tao.

5 years ago I would have been all over it, now, I am more like, meh.

But I am a firm believer in not writing off a country without even seeing it first, so when the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka via Thailand popped up, I couldn’t say no.

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

I had just over 24 hours in Bangkok on my layover to Sri Lanka and I decided to make the most of it. I quickly made the executive decision to leave all of the madness of Khao San Road for another time, and keep this trip casual.

Bangkok can be overwhelming, instead of trying to do it all in a day, I decided to just relax and explore and soak it in.

My goals were simple – stay somewhere comfortable and awesome for a refresh between my longhaul flights, just wander with no itinerary for a day, and eat all the Thai food and not die and check out one of those infamous Bangkok rooftop bars.

Sounds easy right?

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

I started looking at hotels on Yonderbound, which I talked before here, and discovered the most amazing deal. The Hotel Muse Bangkok was an easy choice. I love history, boutique spots, and affordable luxury. A 5 star hotel in a great location, fabulous character and with epic reviews (and free wifi woot woot) with prices down at $113, is this for real?

$113 a night for a 5 star hotel?! Holy shit!

You’re welcome.

boutique hotel bangkok

So after 2 days of travel from New Zealand to Thailand, because that’s how long it takes to get places when you live at the end of the world, I was dead.

Though I had a great amount of fun on my Jetstar flight between Melbourne and Bangkok. Not only did I magically end up with a whole row to myself on a full flight (winning!) my plane was also from the future.

Instead of having window shades you pulled up and down, it had a button that dimmed the windows blue, darker and darker til you could sleep.

Woah! I’ve never seen that before.

boutique hotel bangkok

Thailand greeted me for the first time by Smacking me in the face with humidity almost as soon as I got off the plane. As I made my way through the unfamiliar airport, full of new smells, loud sounds, way too many people and a lot of colors everywhere, I thought, welcome back to the chaos of Asia.

By the time I arrived in Bangkok at night I was ready to hit the sack. Catching a cab to Hotel Muse, I was pretty stoked to see it lived up to its reputation!

It is one thing to come off of 15 hours and 3 plane rides to be greeted with smiles and grace, instead of banging on a door to be let in.

Oh travel.

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

Catering towards independent travelers, the Muse is east-meets-west combining a 18th/19th century European touches with far east King Rama V – era of Thailand, the golden age.

Which of course begs the question, why aren’t more hotels themed this way?

This is the closest I’ll likely get to Downton Abbey style of travel in real life.

Greeted by a lot of smiles and a beautiful arched entry way, I checked in as quickly as I could before bolting to my room. I couldn’t wait to fall asleep. Of course I had to have a quick jump on the bed to make sure it was fit and comfortable.

boutique hotel bangkok

After a good night’s sleep I was wide awake at 4:30, thank you jetlag, and properly got to experience the luxury of my room, and more specifically, the clawfoot tub.

Hello!

Between the dark wooden paneling, quirky wallpaper, stylish mirrors, antique furniture and leather suitcases, there were so many lovely touches I couldn’t pick a favorite. Just kidding, the tub was my favorite. That and the super fast free wifi.

After an amazing breakfast upstairs overlooking the city with some of the hotel girls, I made my way to the rooftop for my first glimpse of Bangkok in the daylight. What a city. I couldn’t wait to get started.

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

I made my way into town on the local ferry down the river, hopping off to explore of the of the famous temples.

Wat Pho.

For me this was just going to be an introduction, a teaser to Thai culture. I spent a few hours wandering around the crowded temple, before eventually succumbing and made my way to a cute airconditioned cafe overlooking the river.

You don’t always have to be a tourist and I learned ages ago that spending 12 hours a day on your feet ticking items off a guide book list was not always the best way to experience a place.

boutique hotel bangkok

Slurping my iced coffee as the sweat dried from my clothes I started talking with some of the staff who were from the area, poking and prodding as I usually do. You’ll always learn more from locals than from any guide or blog haha.

They told me just down the main road were many markets, with street food stalls galore and even flowers and candies.

With my stomach rumbling, I decided it was time to start eating.

Tucked in my bag I had two epipens, Benadryl, and a handwritten note from the lovely staff at the Muse in Thai explaining I couldn’t eat peanuts. The time had come to put it to the test.

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

Wandering down the noisy street as tuk-tuks, trucks, and scooters rumbled by, I followed my nose and took in all the sites and scents.

Plucking up my courage I picked a stall that had a couple of ramshackle tables covered in lining with stools next to a big mobile cooking station. As much as I wanted one of those big soup bowls, I couldn’t bring myself to order one in the heat. So I pointed out a rice dish and said “does this have peanuts?”

The guy stared at my like a grew a second head so I whipped out my note, he read it before going “ahhhh ok ok.”

The great thing about eating street food with an allergy is that you can watch them make it. So much better and more effective than expecting a waiter to pass it on to the kitchen staff.

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

After a few minutes I had a steaming plate of rice and chicken and yummy sauces in front of me. Now here’s the part that is inherently tricky with having a food allergy. Do I trust them? Did they understand?

Many might not agree with me, but I am not going to make all my own food when traveling and lose out on the experience of getting to taste a local dish. Sorry. So I have my own little tests.

I give a visual look over and a prod with my fork – don’t see any peanuts. I discreetly lift the plate and give it a sniff, nope doesn’t smell peanut-y.  The old guy sitting across from me stares at me like I’m crazy.

Whatever.

boutique hotel bangkok

Finally I lift a forkful and shove it into my mouth, hopefully appearing as if I am savoring it when the reality is that I’m waiting to swallow to see if my mouth starts to itch or swell or if I taste peanuts.

Swallowing peanuts is the truly dangerous part of my allergy. Sure, having a mouth full of itchy hives isn’t ideal but I’d rather have that than have my throat swell shut and die.

Once I’ve deduced there aren’t any peanuts, I woof it down. Yum yum.

Repeat.

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

Source Arnold Valentino

I did this over the next few hours wandering around the markets until I couldn’t move and had to hail a cab back to the hotel.

While I was only in Bangkok for 24 hours, what I deduced about peanuts was the following.

  1. Most of the time I noticed they added peanuts or crushed peanuts to the end of dishes, which is easily avoidable.
  2. Everyone understood my note even if they didn’t understand me.
  3. Thai food is delicious, what have I been missing out on for 26 years?
  4. Mango sticky rice is THE BEST THING EVER INVENTED.

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

I then headed back to Langsuan Road where the Muse is located and wandered around there for a while. I imagine this to be the more gentrified area of Bangkok which in some ways, made it more weirdly local than the chaotic areas around the famous temples and palace. Read – no tourists.

I did some serious people watching over here, watching teenage girls gossiping over frappuchinos at Starbucks and people running to and from meetings. It was weirdly familiar to America. In a rare fit of acting my age and nationality, I wandered into a mall.

A mall! I couldn’t remember the last time I was in a mall, let alone when I was traveling. Who am I?

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

I ended up getting the best manicure I’ve ever had at a fancy salon on the top floor. It was shellac and lasted for over 2 weeks of not-so-gentle traveling.

It was hilarious because none of the women there spoke any English but it was a great way to relax and people watch and get a little pampered. Am I getting old? Since when did a manicure appeal more to me than visiting more temples?

Who knows, all I know was in that moment, that’s what I felt like doing so I did it. And I don’t regret it. It was awesome.

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

After some more wandering and getting lost, I made my way back to the Muse to freshen up for drinks at the Speakeasy rooftop bar. 1920’s themed with an amazing cocktail list and in character staff, it was a great spot to unwind as the sun set and the lights of Bangkok came on.

Sometimes I think I was born a gentlemen in a past life, so I channeled my inner Gregory Peck or Earl of Grantham sipping a mint julep and wishing for a cigar – just kidding!

And a few hours later after I finally digested all of the amazing Thai street food I had that day, we made our way downstairs to the Medici Kitchen and Bar. I love that the Muse has so much unique variety in every aspect.

Serenaded by opera singers, we shared some of my favorite Italian dishes, something I totally wasn’t expecting in Asia over red wine before I hit the sack absolutely exhausted.

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

boutique hotel bangkok

Thailand was nothing like what I was expecting and if I learned anything, it was that 36 hours in Bangkok definitely wasn’t enough. Can’t wait to go back!

Have you been to Thailand or Bangkok? Have any tips for my next trip? Have you ever gotten to a new place only to realize you just wanted to wander and take it easy instead of take in all the sites?

boutique hotel bangkok

Many thanks to the Muse for hosting me in Bangkok – thank always, I’m keeping it real, all opinions are my own, like you can expect less from me.

100 Responses to 36 hours in Bangkok

  1. Allan Wilson December 13, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    We stayed at Muse before and loved it (just reminded me to write it up). I was reluctant to before as I was a bit put off by the Medici after paying 500 Baht for Evian water. We asked for just normal water. Otherwise i’ts one of the better hotel experiences in Bangkok. I love the turn-of-the-century grandeur. There’s a higher floor to the Speakeasy as well, more relaxed and with amazing views on each side. This here’s worth the visit alone. Great photos of BKK by the way 🙂

    • Liz December 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      Thanks! It’s such a great hotel, I really loved it!

    • Joytotravel December 15, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      We were in thailand for a month last feb- our trip was amazing , here’s a few tips.
      We stayed a month by renting an apartment in the expat area of town. Great spot ( building was named The Trendy) for very inexpensive safe home base. This allowed us all the time we needed to really get into the culture. One of our favorite spots was a “mall” which was more like hundreds of individually owned boutiques where they would size and make the clothes for you. Lots of interesting conversations has there with the owners! We took two side trips- one to Vietnam ( Hanoi and Ha Long Bay) and one to Siam Reap Cambodia. Easy cheap flights from Bangkok to both countries and perfect to expand your trip and sights. Also- the most memorable moment was our private tour we took with ” Tours with Tong”- we don’t like group tours so this was just myself and my husband – a private guide and driver. We went to a tiger temple where we played with, held and fed tigers both baby and full grown- and then went to an elephant sanctuary where we rode and played water fights with the elephants in the Kwai river. Will never forget this trip as long as I live!!!!

      • Liz December 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

        great tips thanks!

  2. Miles of Happiness December 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Awesome! Wow that’s crazy to avoid it… Thaï food is won-der-ful! Isn’t it? Happy to read about your trip. I’ve only seen Chiang Mai and loved it! Thaï people, atmosphere and well – food are beautiful.

    • Liz December 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      It’s an amazing country

  3. Ashley December 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    Mango sticky rice is quite possibly my favourite thing on this planet! I’ve only been once, so I’m no Thailand expert by any means, but I feel like you might enjoy Khao Sok National Park. It’s a peaceful escape from the crowds and beaches and so naturally beautiful.

    • Liz December 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      Thanks for the tip!

  4. Katie @ The World on my Necklace December 13, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    Aaah I can’t wait to go to Thailand! People seem to either love Bangkok or hate it. I would like to explore the more modern parts rather than Khao San Road, it looks like you had an awesome day!

    • Liz December 13, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      I can definitely see it being a polarizing city. I need to explore next time!

  5. Rachel of Hippie in Heels December 13, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    Having a note is a great idea – I’m glad you got to try thai food finally! I went for a month about a year ago and ate lots of different noodles and such, but wasn’t sooo in love with it like most people are. But even in Singapore, I wasn’t obsessed and it’s the “foodie’s place” so maybe I need to head out of Asia and get a taco somewhere!

    • Liz December 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      mmmmmt tacos!

  6. Emiko December 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    I loved eating in Bangkok, but I wondered what people with peanut allergies ate in Thailand. My mom has a severe allergy and I grew up in a peanut-free house. I thought she’d never be able to travel to Thailand because of all the peanuts, so it so cool to hear your note idea!

    • Liz December 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      It’s totally possible if you’re careful!

  7. Jennifer Stevens December 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    Loooove mango sticky rice!! If you go back, head to Chang Mai for some cooking classes. I went to a place called Thai Farm Cooking School. Beautiful property, and they bring you to the markets. Would be easy to chose dishes without peanuts 😉

    • Liz December 13, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

      great tips, thank you!

  8. Matthew Cheyne December 13, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    This is an awesome taste of Thailand that you had in those 36 hours. Did you research Thailand through some blogs before you went in order to know about the awesome hotel room you stayed in and the rooftop bar? If so, what blogs could you recommend?

    What I liked even more than the hotel and the bar was the fact that you were able to find food in Thailand without nuts. I too have a nut allergy except mine is more of a stomach one than an anaphylactic one. If I swallow nuts I just throw up. I don’t have any other side effects other than that.

    I am curious about how got around Bangkok without speaking Thai. Was getting on the ferry a big ordeal or were there signs in English along the way?

    Thank you for sharing another adventure of yours. And even the jumping on the bed too! I liked that alot 🙂

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      I read Alex in Wanderland and Adventurous Kate about Thailand otherwise I mostly just explored. It was pretty easy getting around, Thailand is very touristy.

      • Matthew Cheyne December 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

        Thank you so much Liz 🙂 I will have to check them out and bookmark them.

  9. Melissa December 13, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    Mango sticky rice is one of my favourite food groups. I remember eating it for breakfast when I was in Thailand cause I just couldn’t get enough. P.s. Kiwi living in London here, please go and visit my home town of Napier! It’s the Art Deco capital of the world and it’s beautiful. Plus the wineries are better than Martinborough (although not as condensed – which is probably a good thing).

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      Napier is high on my list!!

  10. Danni @Leftnleavin December 14, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    That hotel looks to die for. After just being kicked out of a hostel dorm at 8 am that smelled like pee I am extremely jealous. Seriously. I was salivating at the thought of that tub. What has backpacking done to me.

    Great pictures and who doesn’t love mango sticky rice. Yum.

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      I know, I think my hostel years are mostly over haha.

  11. Victoria December 14, 2014 at 1:17 am #

    Being the foodie that you are, when you go back to Thailand (as I’m sure you will), make sure you do the full day Asia Scenic cooking course in Chiang Mai. You can do the course in town or at the farm. For us, the farm was absolutely fantastic and a little less hectic. The food is to die for, each person gets to choose their own menu to cook and you even get a really nice cookbook at the end of the course rather than printouts we’ve gotten elsewhere.

    And yes. Mango sticky rice for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afters.

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Awesome tip thanks!!

  12. Rebekah December 14, 2014 at 3:58 am #

    haha- I’ve seriously debated skipping Thailand because it seems like EVERYONE goes there and finds themselves in-between buckets of alcohol. Thought it seems like a easy place to travel and after China I’m sure I’ll be ready for some God blessed Easy Travel.

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      haha it’s pretty easy and I think you can avoid the party backpacker scene if you want to, and you can stay in some pretty nice places for very cheap too

  13. Landon December 14, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    Great photos! The colors there are so amazing! So much gold and funny sculptures, haha. I’ve been missing thai food down here in Central America – it’s so bland and the menu has like 5 things on it. Hopefully we get a chance to try the mango rice sometime soon!

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      it’s the best!

  14. Renuka December 14, 2014 at 6:20 am #

    You have explored Thailand in a grand way! What I like about Thailand is that it’s such a touristic country – it’s on everyone’s radar, but still there is so much offbeat to discover about it.

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      so true!

  15. Anna December 14, 2014 at 6:25 am #

    oh my gosh I LOVE THIS POST! Your witty and candid writing always has me cracking up. I’ve always felt the same way about Thailand–the whole country seems to be crawling with super obnoxious hard-partying “spiritually enlightened” Westerners. If I hear one more white person talk about how teaching English in Chiang Mai changed their life I’m going to throw myself off of a building.

    BUT after reading about your experience, I really want to go!! Bangkok sounds really fun and that hotel looks incredible. I’ll have to try a similar trip to yours (long layover style). Thanks Liz!!

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      I was wary of the same thing but yeah it’s definitely avoidable 😀

  16. Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster December 14, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    Sounds like an awesome, jam-packed 36 hours! That’s very smart to have the hotel staff write in Thai that you’re allergic to peanuts. I’m lucky that I don’t have a major food allergy, but I have many friends that do. That Speakeasy bar looks amazing! I love anything 1920s! Can’t wait to read more about your recent adventures! 🙂

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      oh man if you love that kind of stuff you have to go to the Muse, it’s amazing!

  17. Mimi December 14, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    It sounds like you had a great time in Bangkok! I think you did it right with choosing a nice place to stay and especially one outside Khao San Road. I decided to stay just off Khao San Road, and besides a lack of sleep, I was a bit disenchanted by the tourist culture found there…most notably the lascivious men from all nationalities that would aggressively cat call you like it was no biggie.

    On a side note, that Speakeasy bar looks so cool!

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      yikes, next time I might check it out maybe if I’m with other people, otherwise I had a great time taking it easy

  18. Noah December 14, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Happy that you overcame your fear of peanuts to finally experience the awesomeness that is Thailand … and $113 for a 5 star is crazy cheap!

    • Liz December 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      I know! It’s such a steal!

  19. De'Jav December 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Glad you were able to make it work with the food. Your hotel looks pretty plush needless to say.

    • Liz December 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      Yeah it worked out pretty well!

  20. melissa December 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    I spent a lot of time in malls when I was in SEA. That’s where the A/C is.
    If you like sushi, go to Isao if you’re ever in Bangkok again. I first went there on Nomadic Matt’s tour and then went back two more times. The last time, I purposefully scheduled a day in Bangkok when I was traveling from Chiang Mai to Phuket so I could go back.

    • Liz December 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      great tips, thanks!

  21. Charlie December 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    Bangkok is an amazing city. It’s not so much off the beaten track anymore but it’s vibrant and lively and colourful. I just love it, and Thai food too. Glad you got to indulge in some. I love your attitude to traveling with a food allergy and the note is a great idea too.

    • Liz December 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      It really helped out!

  22. Olga December 15, 2014 at 3:11 am #

    I also have been avoiding Thailand for long and actually still am))) still you had a great experience there and the pictures are awesome! I will reread it one day i decide to visit it)))

    Olga

    • Liz December 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      It’s a great place, don’t write it off!

  23. Joella in Beijing December 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    I much prefer to wander instead of rushing around taking in all the ‘must see’ sights! Of course, if they really are must sees I usually end up seeing them eventually. I’m glad you were able to enjoy some great food without eating peanuts. I’m fortunate not to have any major allergies but, when I was a teacher in the UK, I worked with quite a few kids with peanut or other severe allergies. This has got me thinking- does no one in Thailand have a peanut allergy?

  24. Lara // the passage December 15, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    First of all- amazing photographs! Second: now I am totally craving Thai food…(sigh…)Really enjoyed reading this post- my husband and I are planning a trip to Thailand sometime before winter ends, and I originally wanted to kind of skip Bangkok altogether and seek out some less touristy areas (do they even really exist anymore?)..but I have to say that your photos were so beautiful, that I might just have to stick it back on my itinerary, Muse Hotel and all (the 1920’s rooftop bar makes it a doubly tough spot to resist- who wouldn’t want to feel like they were at a Great Gatsby party?)

    • Liz December 16, 2014 at 12:15 am #

      You should definitely check out the Muse, it’s awesome!

  25. Rafiqua December 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Sticky rice mango pudding is the BOMB!

    • Liz December 16, 2014 at 12:15 am #

      the bomb.com!

  26. Sarah December 15, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    Really enjoyed this post. I’ve deliberately avoided Thailand, too, because the gap-year student party scene stuff sounds like hell on earth to me, but it’s good to know that that aspect of Thailand is avoidable! Ironically, I’m allergic to mango, so now I know to avoid mango sticky rice! 🙂

    • Liz December 16, 2014 at 12:15 am #

      yikes!

  27. Kirsten December 16, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    I was in Thailand about 9 years ago and loved it. It made me happy to see all your beautiful photos. And I, too, went to a mall in Bangkok. There were about 4 people per square foot in it. I bought an unusual wristwatch there, and strangers often ask me where I got it.

    • Liz December 16, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      cool! I had a great time, that mall I went to was really nice and not crowded, it gave me a glimpse into a certain area of bangkok I’m grateful for

  28. Jess December 16, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    I just got back from Bangkok, I love how you have captured the vibrant street life….oh, and mango sticky rice is AMAZING!!!

    • Liz December 16, 2014 at 11:08 am #

      thanks! so good isn’t it?

  29. Victoria@ The British Berliner December 17, 2014 at 5:09 am #

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos. But isn’t Bangkok amazing? I just got back from a summer of loveliness in Thailand and Bali. It was my 3rd time, but the first time for my hubby and pre-teenage son.

    They were slightly nervous but I booked all our living spaces in a boutique hotel near the river in Bangkok, a chalet with a Thai family in Chiang Mai, and to end it, I booked us all into a 5-star fantasy, before flying off to Bali!

    Tips? Sure! I have a peanut allegy too, but even worse. I can’t eat nuts in any shape or form so going to Asia is always an adventure, but that has never stopped me LOL! You did well with having things written down in Thai, and even smelling the food. Why not? Who cares?

    I found that street food really worked for me as I could see what they were making. I couldn’t even have sticky rice as it’s made in coconut milk and how did I know that? I went to a cookery class. They were so useful and showed me all the ingredients that make up most Thai food. Cue the fact, that I couldn’t have Thai soup either. 🙁

    Tip: Go on a walking tour. I happened to do some research and found a Thai/German guy who set up a sustainable company called “Bangkok Vanguards.” I wrote all about them (hope it’s OK. If not, do delete) here: http://thebritishberliner.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/3-days-in-bangkok-a-walking-tour-isnt-what-you-think/

    Tip: I’d also say go to Chiang Mai regardless. It’s a lovely place and when we went, there were hardly any Western tourists, mainly Chinese, Singaporean, and Indian. Great conversations!
    P.S. On our first day in Bangkok, we just spent the day swimming in the pool and didn’t do a thing until 24 hours later LOL!

    • Liz December 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      awesome tips, I love it!

  30. Marly December 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    Hey Liz,

    So you’d say the note REALLY works?? Lady, you may have just saved my life!!
    (If so, do you mind if I copy your photo for personal use? :-))

    You’ve hit the nail on the head when you said you’d been avoiding Thailand for the fear of peanuts.

    In my case it’s been even more extreme. While I have traveled well over 40 countries and lived on 3 continents so far, the only visit I ever paid to Asia was a 5-day layover in Hong Kong. It having been an English colony, I assumed I could find at least something to eat to keep me going. In reality, I couldn’t communicate with anyone and often ended up eating some plain noodles at the 7/11…. haha

    I am very very very allergic, as in the tiniest crumb immediately puts me in hospital, so you can imagine I am VERY GRATEFUL to you for this post!!!!

    Because….tadatadatadaaaa… I’ll be going to Thailand in May 2015.

    YAY I am so looking forward to it!

    Scenario 1: (secretly my personal favorite) I’ll lose at least 10 pounds, cuz I just won’t eat.

    Scenario 2: I will use your note and be able to receive the full cultural experience by actually trying the local food.

    THANKS for sharing!!

    • Liz December 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

      Yay! I hope that works! Good luck, and if not there is a lot of really good fruit in Thailand!

  31. Marly December 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Oh, one more thing…

    Have you ever thought about and/or bought jewelry with allergy information?

    I was thinking about buying something like that for my Asia travels next year….

    • Liz December 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

      yeah no I haven’t, no point if people don’t understand English, allergy translation cards and pictures are what’s worked best for me

  32. Jenia from HTL December 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    I was expecting to dislike Bangkok. Instead I fell in love. Like, serious, head over heels. My favorites in no specific order: water taxi, thai street breakfast, the hindu temple in silom & and the amazing music man on the opposite side of the road from the temple, the flower market, muay thai boxing ring off pier 15, daniel’s burgers, dalat roi fai market way out in the boonies (to me), $5 salon blow outs, bike adventures at Bang Kracho.

    • Liz December 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

      sounds like I have to go back!

  33. NZ Muse December 17, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    YAYYY! This makes me really happy, I love Thailand. Mostly for the food. Glad you got through okay, makes me really grateful to not have any food allergies I have to say.

    • Liz December 17, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      It’s a pain in the ass that’s for sure

  34. United-21 Tadoba December 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    Your journey must awesome as per the pictures you have shared. This will helps travelers to know more about places to visit there. Thanks for sharing.

    • Liz December 18, 2014 at 1:27 am #

      thanks!

  35. Charlotte December 18, 2014 at 2:08 am #

    Ahh what lovely photos! I haven’t been to Bangkok for nearly six years, you make me want to go back so much 🙂

    Also it must be really hard for you travelling with an allergy, like it’s enough hard for me as a vegetarian (especially when people don’t understand that yes, meat sauce/stock etc is STILL MEAT FOR ME) but of course it won’t kill me to just sigh and think fuck it it’s only once whereas you don’t have that luxury…so I can only imagine how hard it must be for you!

    Also! I was very confused with your first street food photo, I thought at first that it was a massive basket of peanut halves and I was like..what?! you’re allergic! But it’s bananas…right?

  36. Caroline December 18, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Mango sticky rice.

    Where do I begin?

    Let me just eloquently say, “omgomgomgomgomgomg. yum.”

    Glad you liked it too.

    • Liz December 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      THE VERY BEST

  37. Alana - Paper Planes December 21, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    I don’t have any food allergies so have never had to be super careful, but after living in the country for three years I really can’t think of that many dishes that actually use peanuts. Phad thai, massaman curry, papaya salad and satay are the main ones and “Thai peanut sauce” isn’t nearly as popular in the country as it is in Westernized restaurants. There are so many other dishes and foods to discover that it should;t be very limiting.

    The thing I would be concerned about, however, is cross contamination of dishes or utensils that were used for peanuts. You see street stall cooks dealing with dirty money then immediately using the same hand to grab a handful of vegetables for your dish, so if they’re not worried about germs there they’re probably not thing of mixing ingredients!

    • Liz December 22, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      that’s awesome to hear! thanks!

  38. Ledgardo Lacson December 24, 2014 at 4:38 am #

    I love all the pictures you post about Bangkok ,what kind of camera are you using it’s look like all professional . I have been to Thailand several times but last year I was really shock that their night show are out of this world. ( the coca cola bottle opener ) the guy from there told me that if I don’t see this show I can’t tell anybody that I have been Bangkok . Have you seen that show?

    • Liz December 26, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

      um nope, that’s not my kind of travel haha. I use a Canon 60D

  39. Victoria December 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    I just came here to agree with you – seriously how good is Mango sticky rice!! especially from a street stall! 🙂

    • Liz December 30, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      THE BEST!

  40. Nat December 30, 2014 at 3:08 am #

    I’m from Thailand and I’m glad you like my country.After finish reading your blog I wonder why I haven’t seen anyone around me has a peanut allergy,maybe because we grew up with eating peanut since we were very young age.However,there are many Thai foods without peanut to discover !! If you like spicy food,you should try isan food (isan means north eastern part of Thailand) yum!!

    If you have a chance to go to Thailand next time,I recommend you to go to national parks.There are many national parks around the country.My favorites are Khao Sok national park, Moo Koh surin (Surin Islands) 🙂

    • Liz December 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      thanks for the tips!

  41. Thomas January 2, 2015 at 9:56 am #

    Hey, I just commented on your IG post (I’m thomasmichael13) and I’m going throughost your blog and I’ve loved it so far. I love what you do. I’d love to do it myself somehow but I’m not sure how to start really. But, I comment because I used to live in Thailand for 5 years. My family in fact still lives there. Well, most of them at least. As a whole, Thailand was pretty great. I lived there as a teenager and didn’t appreciate it as much as I should’ve. I would appreciate it so much more now as an adult (20-something adult). Thai food is amazing. The most flavorful food ever. I think everyone should have some. Next time you go, head north and into the countryside. That’s my favorite part of Thailand, where I got the full effect of traditional Thai living. I hope you go back and perhaps I will see you there!

    • Liz January 3, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

      Definitely plan to head north next time!

  42. Heather Kersten January 16, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    Awesome post. I love all the colorful photos. Makes me want to go to Thailand.

  43. Peter Hayden January 20, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

    My wife and I were lucky enough to live in Thailand and Laos for six years a while ago. We have been back many times and Thailand especially, still gets us going.

    While there are a ton of tourist/backpacker distractions – just like anywhere – living in a place lets you see things differently. BKK is a big dirty, smelly, noisy city until you scratch the surface and there’s just so much to see and do other than Khaosan Rd, Patpong, Soi Cowboy etc.

    For instance, the top floors of River City Mall contain some of the most interesting shops for Antiques and Buddhist Art anywhere. Also, Ban Chiang, outside Udon Thani in NE Thailand is an archeological site dating back to the Iron Age and is well worth the trek.

    Thailand is just something else and well worth more than 24 hours especially in mango season for Khao Niaow Ma Muang.

    • Liz January 21, 2015 at 9:34 am #

      great tips thanks!

  44. Jason January 31, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

    Hi Liz, So glad to hear you were pleasantly surprised by Bangkok.

    Assuming you will be more adventurous in your next trip, do not let your guard down too much with peanut. Depending on how sensitive your allergy is – there are subtle sources of peanut “contamination.” My niece has peanut allergy too.

    Well-intended locals may sometimes forget that certain prepared ingredients contain peanut indirectly. Examples: mortar recently used to crush somtam, peanut oil for frying, satay and other sauces with peanut butter, etc.

    Take care and have more trips there. Thailand and the Thai people deserve their great reputation!

    (Thanks for the NZ pictures too.)

  45. Hailey Domeck February 19, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    I’m heading to Thailand in April! My husband and I are visiting a friend who lives in Phuket, but we will end up in Bangkok for a couple of days. For me, Bangkok will be the end of a 6-week journey in Asia, and I think it may be just the place to get pampered after a long season of travel. I’ll keep your suggestions in mind!

  46. suree February 26, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

    I am so glad you had a great time in Bangkok. Definitely one of the top destination in Asia.

  47. Neicy April 9, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    Thailand one of the worlds most beautiful places to go ….Thai people just aim to please in everything they do….Chiang Mai has the most wonderful people hense our visits every year! 🙂
    Cant wait for July for another trip…

  48. Nhan July 27, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

    I am impressive by street food here and the gold buddha

  49. Charlie August 14, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    Bangkok is one of my all time favorites. I squeezed in everything I possibly could and walked everywhere. Every night I would go get a Thai foot massage. Super cheap and the best hour of my life. I still have dreams about how wonderful they are. I was well rested and ready for the next day of walking! Disappointingly touristy, but I could eat Thai food till I am blue in the face.

  50. Elus November 6, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    Wow! Nice hotel! I’d definitely try it next year!

  51. Carlo April 3, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    That is one great hotel…. I got a chance to taste local thai foods and it was really spicy.. it feels like my tongue is burning.. Thailand has really nice heritage places to offer looking forward to visit again… Thanks for sharing and Great article btw.. 🙂

  52. lachy April 15, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

    Thai, a country of smiles, and yummy street food as well, very attractive. Thanks for your sharing Liz.

  53. Zed April 17, 2016 at 4:18 am #

    Love the article. I’m intending to travel to Bangkok soon and Hotel Muse looks spectacular.

  54. Shawna May 23, 2016 at 7:20 am #

    Love your website! I loooooove traveling but was just diagnosed with a peanut allergy (at 32!!!!), and was nervous about heading out again since it’s hard enough to stay safe in the US. You’re giving me hope :)!

  55. Saigon Tour July 22, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

    Love this article as it reminds me of the wonderful time I had in Bangkok. They have ancient, royal architectures, busy and affordable open markets selling all kinds of goods, the most tasty foods and friendly people.

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