After taking an overnight bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok we arrived early in the morning nearby Khaosan Road where we hired a tuk-tuk (auto rickshaw) to give us a ride to our hotel; we reveal it’s soon Audrey’s 26th birthday and our new mystery travel destination – Finland!
I’ve been traveling overseas and/or working as an expat for eight consecutive years; however, I’ve yet to set foot anywhere in Europe. Thus, it’s extra special that we’ve been invited by Visit Finland (Finland Tourism Board) as distinguished guests to explore the vast wilderness of the Archipelago and dine on some of the finest Finnish cuisine. We’re both ecstatic to be taking this short trip (we did not have plans to visit Europe this year) as it came as a complete and total surprise. As far a Finnish cuisine is concerned, I’m quite keen on trying reindeer meat for the first time. We plan to make a plethora of travel videos related to Finnish culture, cuisine and rugged outdoor scenery; it’s going to be a definite 180 degree shift from the videos we’ve been making in Asia for the past year.
More importantly, Audrey is turning 26 on July 23rd! This will be the second birthday we’ve celebrated together. Last year, we feasted on an Indian set course menu in Pyeongtaek, South Korea; this year, we plan on having another special meal (although we haven’t decided where or what yet). I guess the ‘real’ birthday present is the trip to Finland and Estonia along with a short stay in Bangkok.
It’s been a few years since I last roamed the infamous Thai street known as Khaosan Road. I literally can’t believe how much it has changed over the years. When I arrived in 2008, it was the seedy, chaotic, electrifying backpacker ghetto that lived up to its ‘infamous’ reputation. Although, it has stilled retained some of the those characteristics, Khao San Road is clearly undergoing a transformation to a more posh & upscale neighborhood with newly built malls and boutique hotels replacing run down tailor shops, street food stalls and massage parlors.
One of the easiest, and most enjoyable, way to get around Bangkok is by tuk-tuk. An auto rickshaw ride in Bangkok is an experience many westerners have never had before in their lifetime. The vehicle itself is three wheeled cabin cycle that looks something between a cross between a golf cart and a motorbike with an all encompassing trailer hitched to the back. It’s a cheaper alternative to taking an air-conditioned taxi with a chance to feel an adrenaline rush as you weave in an out of traffic absorbing all of the sights, sounds and smells that Bangkok offers up in copious portions.
Another reason, we wanted to take a tuk-tuk (over a taxi) was the opportunity to arrive at our luxury hotel in Bangkok in style. I doubt many guests pull up in a tuk-tuk and to be perfectly honest, I think it’s a little bad ass 😉 We’ll be reviewing this hotel (the name which we’ll reveal later) over the next coming days as you can expect a new video coming soon.