Trip Pulse: Bangkok – Spicy complexity on our round the world trip.

Thailand is a colourful, tastefully proud and complex society. And, we love it!

Our adventure round the world brought us to Thailand, a colourful and vibrant monarchy that still embraces democracy while being fiercely patriotic to their King. It is a land that offers the perfect blend of tradition and modernism. The Thai people are closely linked to Buddhist teachings and are non-confrontational and very hospitable in nature.

Bangkok – Thai capital home to over 10 million people and the longest official name according to Guinness Book of World Records

Busy Bangkok welcomed us with open arms. A truly vibrant city, the new Bangkok isn’t very different from downtown Toronto. However, although the new Bangkok has its share of western modernism with shopping malls and concrete skyscrapers, we enjoyed the old Bangkok which has retained its traditional core reflecting the spiritualism of this bustling city.  We just loved the street markets.

Famous Bangkok street food - if you have the guts

You’ll find everything from Thai fast food to ‘genuine’ brand items from around the world, all at an amazingly discounted price. Trust me, 100 Baht can go a long way when you’re shopping on the road.

Birthday celebration fit for a king

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and I share the same birthday on December 5th so our timing was perfect! For a little pampering, I opted for a wonderfully royal one hour Thai massage – amazing!

Amazing meal on Khao San Road in Bangkok

The perfect evening ended with a delicious dinner on Khao San Road in the company of my favourite two people –  Natasza and Niko. Thankfully, we didn’t get a cab back to the hotel so we ended up walking along the street, gazing up at the thousands of balloon lanterns that lit up the night sky.

Some of our most memorable Bangkok adventures

When you travel with kids, every experience seems memorable! However, here are some noteworthy ones that I will look back on with a smile.

Khao San Road

We saw a palm reader on Khao San Road in old Bangkok and were quite happy to find that Natasza had some good fortune coming her way. How exciting!

Boat ride on the River

As the Chao Phraya River runs through Bangkok, the boat ride is just amazing. For a few Baht, you’ll get an awesome view of the city from a completely different angle. Skip those expensive private tours and take a public transport boat like we did. Live like a local!

Tuk Tuk Ride

When in Bangkok, you just have to ride the Tuk Tuk. It’s cheap and so much fun especially when you travel with children. You might even get a free ride as market vendors often offer to pay your fare if you buy something from their store.

Fun and famous Tuk Tuk rides

Temple Hopping

We enjoyed temple hopping and visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw Arun by the riverside. Did you know that there are over 400 temples in Bangkok?

One aspect that really stood out was the fact that Thais absolutely love their King and the royal birthday celebrations were truly unforgettable.

Amazing Thai street food

How can we forget Thai food! Both on the street and in up-scale restaurants, the cuisine is delicious but be careful where you decide to eat. Niko loved the chicken satee! Although we skipped the Floating market, we enjoyed a visit to the Royal National Art Museum.

Bangkok with kids can be lots of fun!

When you travel with kids it’s important to keep them occupied and happy! Although a lot of the local attractions were closed due to the floods, Niko still enjoyed the boat trip and the splunge in the hotel pool. Too bad Bangkok lacks kids playgrounds except for a large one in Lumphini Park. If you’re heading to Bangkok, you’ll want to check out the Siam Ocean World and the Butterfly Garden.

Our family travel tips for Bangkok:

A couple of tips to keep in mind especially when you travel with kids would be

  • to avoid tap water
  • be careful while crossing the busy roads
  • carry mosquito repellent
  • remember to dress appropriately when visiting the royal grounds
  • it would be wise not to discuss politics or make any negative statements related to the King unless of course you want to spend some quality time in jail!

Many shrines with the Thai King in Bangkok during his birthday celebrations


  • One area of frustration was that Bangkok was not very stroller-friendly, so flex those muscles.

Bangkok was everything we expected and a little more. From a culture steeped in both tradition and modernism, we enjoyed every aspect of this South East Asian city.

What have your experiences been like in Bangkok with your family? Please share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Here are some of our photos from our Bangkok (Thailand) visit:

Trip Pulse: KoTao – Paradise and a must have on your round the world itinerary!

Ko Tao is a gem definitely worth visiting on your round the world trip or family getaway!

It is named Turtle Island in Thai even when most turtles have escaped elsewhere to make way to thousands of scuba diver wannabes.

The development of the island started just ten years ago and it manages to keep a ‘virgin feel’ to its larger cousins, Ko Samui and Phuket with just over 100,000 visitors a year. Getting there is not as much of a challenge as it is sickening, literary, to the stomach:)

We had to endure a high-speed, bumpy catamaran ride for over 2 hours from Ko Samui. Truthfully, we have never experienced such sea sickness in our life and judging by our neighbouring passengers, neither did they! Let’s just say, we should have listened to our friend, Justyna and bought ourselves some motion-sickness pills (for kids preferably, as they are non-drowsy). Needless to say, Niko was fine and slept like a baby throughout the entire trip while we suffered.

But once you get off the catamaran you realize it is worth the sacrifice!Beautiful beaches of Koh Tao

Ko Tao is a very beautiful, small and so far one of our favourite island beach destinations. It has amazing beaches, breathtaking views, phenomenal diving/snorkelling and fantastic food. It is still laid back with relatively few tourists but with all the necessary needs and wants fulfilled. We wish we could have stayed longer!


Koh Tao with kids

Nang Yuan Islands just of the main coast are just amazing for kids. Niko loved the 15 minute  long-tail boat ride, the shallow crystal clear waters and all the colourful tropical fish that just swam up without having to dive.

Niko loved the boat ride on longtail boat in Koh Tao

Off season is a great time to go if the weather cooperates…

Mostly cool kids, some young families and long-term travellers visit during off-season.

When looking for accommodations during the low season (Sep-Nov), we recommend to book a place just for a day or two in advance. When on site, spend half a day checking out most proper places along the beach and ask for a discount at the perfect place.

This is how we found ours, at Sairee Beach, which even though is further away from the serene Freedom Beach, offered kid friendly Ko Tao Freedom Beach Views from the top
accommodations all within walking distance. We opted out for a hotel with a kiddie pool, easy access to the beach, shops, restaurants and medical services, just in case. It was also the best value for our budget.

Mae Haad beach may be a good alternative as everything you may need as a family is also within a walkable distance.

Getting around on Koh Tao ain’t easy, if you are a family that is …

The Island is predominantly designed for mopeds and ATV’s, so a safe solution for families is not always available. We like walking, so we chose that as our form of transportation.

Diving or snorkelling in Ko Tao is just amazing

I completed my Open Water Diver Certification here. It was just 4 of us and the instructor. I dove on some of the most amazing sights and recommend Tropical Fish Ko Tao while snorkelling with kidsdiving here to anyone whether you’re a beginner or advanced. The conditions boast great visibility, vibrant tropical fish and a colourful coral.

You can’t go wrong while on this island as a family…So, what do you think of Koh Tao? Please share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Here are some of our photos from our Ko Tao (Thailand) visit: