First stop Bangkok

Our first stop along this vacation was Bangkok, Thailand.  We flew from Phoenix to SFO, SFO to Hong Kong, then Hong Kong to Bangkok, total travel time is 29 hours including airport transfers to hotel and delays in airport.  We stayed at the ALoft hotel in Bangkok, if you are traveling into Bangkok the best time to arrive is late in the evening, I am saying this because the traffic is terrible in Bangkok, we actually arrived at 2am and it there was still a good amount of traffic.  We stayed in Bangkok for 1 night, our destination was Khanom, Thailand and of course at 2am there are not alot of flights going out because it is such a small airport.


Khanom, Thailand Aava Resort & Spa

Our flight arrived into Khanom, Thailand and we took a 90 minute taxi ride to the hotel.  This is a very quiet hotel right on the beach with breakfast included.  They have a spa right on site although we did not use the spa, there are several massage places nearby that were about 1/2 the cost.  For a massage at the hotel it averaged $30 USD for an hour oil massage, whereas one of our favorite locations down the street was $15 for an hour massage, I will include the link to that below on this page.  There is also a fun restaurant that is a 2 minute walk on the beach called CiCi’s that has a wide range of food to choose from as well as a full service bar.  The hotel also made arrangements for us to have a scooter for our stay which worked out to $6 USD per day, this is a great option because there is so much to explore in Thailand on south eastern side of the island.  This is more of a local area of Thailand, so if you are looking for relaxation and away from the hustle and bustle than this might be for you.

Thailand is a great place to explore on a scooter, endless beaches and waterfalls are just a short drive away along this coastline.

We rode our scooter to this “live cave”, had a tour guide take us through this cave that was filled with stalagmites.  We had flashlights to maneuver through the cave to check out this incredible cave, tour lasts about 30 minutes.  Be prepared to sweat and bring a camera with good flash photography.

So many beaches to walk along and enjoy the sunrise, the beaches are not overcrowded.  We were able to find numerous beaches to walk along and enjoy to ourselves.  Just a few feet away from our hotel you can enjoy this soft sand, great for kids and adults.

This became our favorite massage place in Khanom, situated perfectly near the water so you can hear the waves rushing in as you are getting a wonderful oil massage.  Here is the link: 

Exploring the Local Market




When you visit Thailand, your trip cannot be complete unless you get a “fishy pedicure”. This is quite the experience, there is a small amount to pay, and I’m sorry to say I cannot remember the cost.  I think it was under $1 USD.  Natural Fish Spa Pedicure

It was an incredible experience to stick your feet in the cool water and have the fish eat your dead skin off the bottom of your feet.  I know that sounds really gross, but it was really an awesome thing to do.

Fishy Pedicure

Websites used for this vacation

Elephant Sanctuary

On this excursion we booked was at The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket.  I will include their website below so that you can check out their website, cost for the afternoon was $79 per person with free hotel pickup.  I would suggest you have them pick you up from your hotel because there isn’t a price difference from driving on your own or a pickup.  This excursion includes a Thai buffet, learning about their elephants, feeding them, massaging them in a mud bath and taking showers with them.  I highly recommend this excursion it is a “bucket list” item that should be on everyone’s list.

LadyBoy Show

So the “LadyBoy Show” is quite interesting to say the least.  These are men dressed up like women, many of them have had plastic surgery like breast implants and tons of liposuction.  Makeup is quite incredible in fact they look better than most women, here are a few pictures of our entertaining show. Simon Cabaret Lady Boy Show

 Last Stop – Hong Kong

We decided to stop off in Hong Kong on the way home, this is actually a great idea just due to the fact the flight time is quite long.  From Phoenix to Bangkok took me 29 hours to finally check into the hotel, from Hong Kong to Phoenix it was a bit shorter at 21 hours, sometimes its good to break up your flight.

So we stopped off in Hong Kong and got a late night massage which actually did not turn out so good.  The following morning we rode the ding ding around downtown Hong Kong- the ding ding is their local trolley, they seem to have them everywhere.  For dinner one evening we met up with a friend who lives there in Hong Kong and asked him to take us to a very local place for dinner.  Very fun, can’t tell you the name of the restaurant because it was all in Chinese.  Check out our picture gallery.

One little tip for getting into Hong Kong……take the bus from Hong Kong airport to downtown. Cost is $5.75 USD getting into Hong Kong and the return ticket is $5.10 back to the airport, otherwise you can take GRAB- which is basically Uber but will cost you much more. By using the bus service it dropped us off right in front of our hotel- which was the Courtyard by Marriott.  We particularly like this hotel because they have free breakfast and upgraded us to a higher level room with views of the Harbour.  Please check out the hotel on the link below.

What to bring to thailand


The tap water in Thailand isn’t purified enough to drink without getting sick, but staying hydrated in a tropical climate is very important. Bottled water is available, but in the event that it’s not when you’re going off the beaten track, the LifeStraw is a literal lifesaver. It works by filtering the water as you drink through it. And it’s small, lightweight, and inexpensive.




Electrolytes are good to have in case you get sick in Thailand, as diarrhea can leave you seriously dehydrated, which is dangerous in a hot, humid climate. If you get sick, drop one of these tablets in a bottle of water to replenish the electrolytes you’re losing.


Quick-dry Towel

Not all hostels and budget guesthouses in Thailand provide towels, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. I recommend skipping the regular bulky bath towel and bring quick-dry towel, as they tend to be lightweight and perfect for travel.


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