Everything You Need To Know Before Going To The Azores Island

Azores Colourful Shore
Azores Islands, Portugal

If you are considering travelling to the Azores as your next destination, I can tell you without a doubt that it will be one of the most rewarding and memorable trips of your life. It has been three years since I’ve visited these breathtaking Portuguese islands and honestly I feel like going back all the time.

The Azores are without a doubt the perfect destination to completely disconnect yourself from your usual daily life and just enjoy the nature around you. Disconnecting yourself from the world can be really hard to do but at every direction you look there is going to be an astonishing landscape like nothing you’ve ever seen before. 

In total, there are nine volcanic islands: Corvo, Flores, Graciosa, Faial, Pico, San Jorge, Terceira, Santa Maria and the capital, San Miguel. Each with its unique natural beauty, cuisine and activities to do. I suggest visiting as many as possible, since each island has its own unique environment and beauty. 

How to Get There

You can reach all nine islands with SATA airlines, from the east side of the archipelago the flight from Lisbon is just two hours away and from the west side it’s a four hours flight from New York. The international flights arrive at the capital and largest island of Sāo Miguel, at the Ponta Delgada airport. National flights from Lisbon go directly to other islands like Horta, Terceira, Santa Maria as well. During high-season (July and August), SATA offers flights to and from Boston, Oakland, Porto, Lisbon, Faro, Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin, London, Amsterdam and the Canary Islands. 

Weather & Environment

As small islands located literally in the middle of the gigantic Atlantic Ocean, the weather of the Azores is perfect for a warm destination in the winter and a cool destination in the summer. It is always warm but not too intensely hot. Spring is probably the most beautiful season to visit the islands, especially in Flores, which directly translates to flowers. The islands’ volcanic origin has given the Azores several unique landscapes. Like the grey beach shore Steaming hot pools are everywhere …

Where to Stay

In order to preserve the environment hotels are limited but with high quality, making it much easier to choose where to stay. 

The most common housing accommodations are the rural farmhouse hotels, which are cute restored farmhouses and manor houses previously owned by locals. Majority of the houses face towards the sea with beautiful seashore at the front and green nature in the back.

The islands also have several beautiful resort hotels with great value for money.

Since there is so much preserved land, most hotels also include restaurants with local food and leisure areas. Local friendly owners always interested in making sure you have the best visit.

For the couples, there are also isolated cabins with incredible views of the sea.

Getting Around

As preserved islands, the only two ways to get around within the island is by foot and by car. Your hotel will most likely pick you up and drop you off at the airport. From the hotel, you can freely explore the beautiful landscapes, waterfalls and coastlines. Before heading out, I suggest talking to your hotel assistants to recommend which hiking path is best for the day according to the weather and the season.

If you do not want to explore by foot, renting a jeep, quad, tuk-tuk or a motorcycle is quite easy and cheap. Cemented roads and phone connection are quite rare in most islands, so make sure to have a physical map with you. But just in case you get lost, you don’t have anything to worry at all. The islands are completely safe from dangerous animals and crime. 

Hiring a taxi for half- day tour is cheap and the most comfortable way to get around with a local driver and guide. Azoreans are very proud and dedicated to their history and culture and are always happy to share it with visitors.

The best way to get from one island to another is by boat. Since the islands are quite close to each other it is quite easy to go on a day trip. During my trip, I was able to visit five of the nine islands but only stayed at two. From Flores island, I visited Corvo, Graciosa and Faial which is so close to Pico, that I had incredible views of it’s mesmerising volcano without actually going there. Island hopping is super easy with the local scheduled ferry boat services.

What to Eat

As a subtropical destination, many delicious fruits grow in the Azores, with pineapples as the national fruit.
Some delicious meals you should try Stew called cozida, which is prepared by placing a pot in a hole in the ground, as the volcanic warm ground naturally cooks. 

The cuisine of these volcanic farming islands is very simple but incredibly fresh, delicious and natural. If you are always looking for the freshest ingredients to cook with, then you will love Azorean cuisine. Each island has its own local dishes depending on what vegetables and animals are in the area.

Generally, seafood is a common dish

With the combination of endless open fields and humid weather all year round, Azorean tea plantation is very big especially in the main island of San Miguel.

Main Activities

Apart from hiking to the landscapes, the Azores Islands’ are famous for their aquatic activities. With so much unspoiled space, you can basically do all kinds of sports in the Azores – hiking, sailing, canyoning, surfing, horseback riding, you name it.

One activity I regret not doing was diving/snorkelling.

Faial island is especially famous for whale and dolphin watching. The boat ride takes a couple of hours heading to the open ocean around midday. The best season to see whales is spring and summer (April to September) are the best times to spot the fascinating blue whale. When in Faial, make sure to also visit the particular Ponta dos Capelinhos. A grey seashore that got its unique colour and shape from a volcanic eruption, visit the underground Capelinhos Museum of Interpretive Volcano and their iconic lighthouse.

At the main island of San Miguel, tourists enjoy playing golf at the wide landscapes and going cliff climbing. But one of my favourite activities of the whole trip was to visit the incredible Sete Cidades. Rent a jeep with a guide and explore the enormous caldera and its twin lakes. There are many beautiful walking trails that explore all the areas, including the popular 12km trail of the hydrangea- fringed.

First Timer’s Guide to Lisbon

Lisbon should be on everyone’s Europe travel list. As the oldest nation in Europe (founded in 1139) and one of the cheapest, Portugal is a great destination for anyone who is travelling to Europe for the first time or is on a budget. There is so much to see, delicious authentic seafood to try, constant blue skies and beautiful beaches just outside the city. What more could you ask for in a trip, right?
So without further ado here is everything you need to know before travelling to Lisbon for the first time.

What to Bring & General Knowledge

  • Walking shoes: Walking through the streets of Lisbon is like walking through a museum. There is so much to see outdoors that you will want to spend most of your trip exploring around.
  • Sunglasses: At the farthest west coast of Europe, Lisbon is usually a ray of sunshine so make sure to keep your eyes protected.
  • Safety: Lisbon is a very safe city with a very low crime and violence rate. But just like every capital, keeping track of your belongings is recommended.
  • Best areas to stay: Chiado, Rossio, Alfama, Avenida Liberdade and Lapa.
  • Currency & tax refund: Just like most European countries, Portugal’s currency is Euros and cash is usually king. So make sure to exchange and keep cash with you. As tourists, you can get tax refunds at rates between 12% and 15% for purchases of €61.5 and above.
  • Language: The native language is Portuguese and about 32% of the people can speak English. If you find yourself lost on the streets you can definitely find someone who can help you. As an European city, many locals also speak Spanish and French.

Weather

Lisbon has one of the best weathers with the most consistent sunny and clear-sky days. During the summer the weather is a mild average of 23.5 C with lots of sunny days. In winter the average temperature is about 11.5 C with some rain and wind coming from the ocean.

The best months to visit are May, September and October. Summer usually arrives a bit earlier in Lisbon, so if you’d like a head start into the season, head over to the coast. September and October are also great months to travel to Lisbon because just like the summer starts earlier, it also ends later.

Must Sees

Lisbon is an outdoor museum city, with lots of beautiful places to see outdoors and indoors. Vibrant old architecture, statues, museums, squares and promenades. Here are the main attractions to see as first timer’s.

  • Castelo do São Jorge (São Jorge Castle): At the highest point of the city is Lisbon’s fortress and castle from the Middle Ages. After the Great Lisbon earthquake in 1755, this archaeological site was one of the few places in the city that wasn’t destroyed. Now a museum, this place is a great activity to do with the family. Tourists can explore the walls and towers of the fortress, observe the magnificent view of the city from the observation terrace and spot the residential peacocks.
  • Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April Bridge): This massive suspension bridge connects the two sides of Lisbon – with Almada municipality on the left side of the Tagus River and the rest of the city on the right side. In front of the bridge there is a garden promenade (Jardim Docas da Ponte) waterfront where you can take a walk in the afternoon.
  • Praça do Comércio: This 18th century historical square is probably the first place you’ll see upon arrival. As the welcoming port of the city, this square was meant to impress and represent the city with its beautiful colonnades, triumphal arches, King José I statue and vibrant yellow colours that compliment the blue sky and ocean. Around the main square there are lots of restaurants and cafes where you can try some croquettes and have a glass of Portuguese wine.
  • Elevator de Santa Justa: Have you ever wondered how an elevator looked in the 1900s? In Lisbon you can take a ride on this Neo-Gothic elevator from Lisbon’s Baixa district all the way up to the Alto district.
    Tip: As a popular attraction, you should buy your ticket before your trip to avoid the long line.

As for the museums, Lisbon has many dedicated to history and culture:

  • The City Museum (Museu da Cidade): Located inside the beautiful 17th century Palacio Pimenta, this museum tells the story of Lisbon and the evolution from the prehistoric era to present day. Including archeological finds, paintings and engravings.
  • Museu Nacional do Azulejo (National Tile Museum): It is impossible not to fall in love with the beautiful Portuguese tiles when visiting the city and if you are wondering how they are created, you should visit this museum and even make your own tile as a souvenir. 
  • Casa do Fado e da Guitarra Portuguesa (Fado House and Portuguese Guitar Museum): A museum dedicated to Portuguese music and its main instrument. 
  • Museu Do Chiado – Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporanea (Chiado National Museum of Contemporary Art): Portuguese art starting from 1820 to the present.

Local Dishes & Drinks

Apart from walking a lot, eating will probably be the second main activity you’ll do during your trip. Portugal has a really rich cuisine with a grand variety of dishes that will charm even the pickiest person. At almost every restaurant you can find a varied range of meats, vegetarian and seafood dishes. I haven’t had a single bad meal in all the times I have visited.

As a first timer, there is a long list of iconic dishes you must try in Lisbon, with several of them being bacalhau (cod fish) dishes. There is a saying in Portugal that you can eat a different cooked-type of bacalhau for every day of the year because there are over 365 different ways of cooking this delicious fish! On the oven, grilled, fried, raw, you name it. One of the most popular (and my personal favourite) is bacalhau à brás, a mouth-watering egg scramble with pulled codfish and other complementary ingredients. Other dishes that

Make sure to save some space for sweet pastries! Especially for the iconic pastel de nata, a creamy egg tart, that after the first taste, you will want to stop at every bakery for another one!

To accompany your meals, order the local Portuguese green wine. Of course this wine is not exactly green colour, but it gets its name because instead of using red grapes the Portuguese use green grapes.

On the weekends on a night out for drinks, make sure to try the deliciously sweet Ginjinha, a Portuguese liquor made of cherries. This is my all time favourite drink ever because not only is this drink super yummy but in many places it is served in a chocolate shot glass that you can eat it afterwards! If you are looking for a fun night in Lisbon, this is the Portuguese way to go.

Prices

It is surprisingly amazing how cheap things are in Lisbon and how exceptional the money value is. Food, drinks, transportation, hotels (especially hostels) and tourist attractions are cheaper than most capitals around the world. But it’s not every city that can combine low prices and high standards like the Portuguese can. It’s beautiful how they dedicate their time into making all of their businesses beautiful and to the best that they can. Which is why it is an affordable destination for anyone.

In a day, a student or a backpacker would spend:
€2 for transportation
€16 for food and drink
€7 for activities and entertainment
€25 for accommodation

Transportation

Lisbon has several sources of transportation; metro, busses, trams and taxis. A metro single ticket is €1,50 and a bus ticket is €.

The cute yellow “Remodelado” trams are the most popular transportation amongst tourists, but unfortunately they are not the cheapest, with a single ticket costing €3,00. If you are planning on using public transportation regularly, I suggest getting the 24-hour ticket that costs €6,40 that includes all transports.

Taxis are also quite cheap in Lisbon. A ride from the airport to Baixa district (center of Lisbon) is about €12-15 including the luggage surcharge.

Day Trips

  • Belém (20 minutes): Belém is technically part of the city of Lisbon, but with so many attractions, I suggest taking the day to fully explore the neighbourhood. Take the Remodelado yellow tram from Praça da Figueira (#15 or #127) and get off at Jerónimo’s Monastery. From there visit the other attractions by walking through the riverfront promenade. Make sure to visit the Torre de Belém, Padrão dos Descobrimentos (A Tribute to the Historical Figures of the Age of Discovery), walk around the beautiful Jardim da Praça do Império (Imperium Garden Square) and most importantly, have one (or a couple) of pastéis de nata from the iconic Pastéis de Belém Bakery.
  • Sintra (45 minutes): If you are looking for a fairytale European trip full of ancient castles and beautifully-designed gardens, then the town of Sintra is the magical place for you. Make sure to visit the colourful Pena Palace hidden on top of the hill trees and the gardens of Quinta da Regaleira.
  • Cascais (45 minutes): With its beautiful beaches and cliff coast, Cascais is the perfect day trip destination on a hot day. Just a short train ride from the Cais do Sodré station, this cute laid-back seaside town has a beautiful promenade with cute boutiques and lots of restaurants and cafes to dine at.

Top 5 Things to do in Montevideo, Uruguay

Season: Winter – June to August   Weather: Cold, cloudy & windy

Average temperature: Highest 18-16°C Lowest 10-8 °C

Montevideo is a popular summer destination in South America, but it is just as incredible during the winter as it is during the summer. The food, wine, cultural street art in almost every neighbourhood and the beautiful beach coast will make you forget about the cold.

I was in town for just two days, but it was enough for me to fall in love with the city, and here are my top five things to do.

1. STREET ART

Montevideo is overflowing with beautiful street art spread amongst the city’s neighbourhoods. Each with its own unique style, history and atmosphere. Especially in Barrio Sur, where vibrant graffiti tells the story of the first Africans that migrated to the city and the history of tango dance and music.

As I said before, I wasn’t in town for too long but honestly, I didn’t miss much, because the city is so full of cultural art (including statues and monuments) on almost every street that by just walking around the city’s history is told.

2. EAT, DRINK & REPEAT

To avoid the strong outdoor winds that feel like they are slapping your face, you can spend your trip inside trying authentic cuisine and drinks all day long, because you are on vacation! So why not, right? 

Uruguayan cuisine is so diverse that you will never run out of delicious dishes to taste. Particularly, the asado steak grilled on wooden parillas, the Milanese breaded steaks (similar to schnitzel), meat empanadas and freshly baked corvina fish. If you are looking for something simpler and faster the Chivito and Choripan sandwiches are fantastic choices.

Before my trip, I was told Argentina was going to have the best steaks and grills in South America, but after this trip, I must say that Uruguayan steaks were much more impressive. I don’t know if it was because I was luckier with restaurants in Uruguay than Argentina, but every meal was more delicious than the next!

As for the drinks, make sure to try the national Tannat red wine.

3. HAVE LUNCH AND/OR DINNER AT THE MERCADO DEL PUERTO

Fresh off the boat from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, I headed straight to this cuisine haven market for some late lunch. Unknowingly, we picked the prominent El Palenque restaurant that serves both authentic steaks and seafood, which turned out to have one of the best seafood spaghetti I’ve ever tasted!
The pasta itself was delicious but what blew my mind was the variety, quality and quantity of the seafood. The asado steak was equally delicious, of course, since you can’t go wrong with any juicy meat in Uruguay.

Make sure to save some space for desserts with dulce de leche, which is added to many of the traditional desserts such as pudim, crepe or just taste it straight from the spoon full of creamy caramel.

4. WALK ALONG THE COAST

The most fun activity I did during this trip was to just walk around from coast to coast along the Rambla Promenade. It is also an excellent first-day adventure to do so you can get familiar with the city and know where you would like to explore more in the next couple of days.

If you are not too tired from the walk, head towards Avenida 18 de Julio, for some shopping where you can buy leather and wool goods.

 My walk journey started at Playa de los Pocitos, walking along the Rambla Promenade all the way to the west coast and ending at Ciudad Vieja, where many historical places are such as Plaza Independencia, Theatre Solís, Puerta de la Ciudadela, Palacio Salvo and many others.

5. TAKE A YERBA MATÉ TEA BREAK

Drinking maté tea is probably one of the most beloved Uruguayan traditions and a very unique experience to try in Montevideo.

The local herb drink is made from the yerba mate bush and it is served with hot water on a beautiful leathery and metal cup called Gourd. Many cups come with its own metal straw called bombilla.

The reason why the gours and bombilla are made of metal is to make it easier for locals to carry them around and have anywhere you go! It’s the perfect souvenir for tea lovers.

6. BONUS: ARRIVE/DEPART IN A BOAT

This one is not exactly an activity to do in the city, but rather a fun way to get to or leave Montevideo. From Buenos Aires, I took a boat by Colonia Express that takes 3 hours and 30 minutes. It’s not every trip that you get to arrive on a boat!

Where to eat in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city with a large variety of cuisines and restaurants for every kind of mood. Here is a list of delicious and unique restaurants you must try when you are in the Dutch capital.

1. FOR THE MEAT LOVERSCANNIBALE ROYALE

I tried this place for the first time last week and I instantly fell in love with it. The burgers are big, rich in ingredients and accompanied by equally delicious fries. This rustic restaurant is located in one of the small streets of the city centre- in an area not commonly visited by tourists but very popular amongst the locals.
Their pint cocktails to share are also excellent, especially the long island ice tea.

Address: Handboogstraat 17 A 1012

Opening: Sunday – Thursday 12.00 – 3.00
Friday – Saturday 12.00 – 4.00

2. SUSHISumo
Sumo is one of my favourite places to have sushi outside of Japan.
Imagine a beautiful restaurant by a canal where you can have all the sushi and warm dishes you can possibly want. It’s truly heaven. As you wait for the food in between rounds, its impossible not to admire the decoration of red and sakura trees.
Above all, this is one of the few Japanese restaurants that I’ve been to with real Japanese green tea and just because of that, I absolutely love it.

Address: Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 17
Opening times: Monday – Saturday 12.00 – 22.30 Sunday 12.00 – 22.00 Reservations & prices

Mackerel, sea bass, salmon flambé and eel.

3. PICTURE PERFECTMaMa Kelly
MaMa Kelly is every girly girl’s dream. The restaurant is entirely decorated in pink and gold which matches perfectly with their specialities of chicken and lobster.
This fabulous restaurant is a bit far from the city centre, but it is also close to the museum quarter, making it the perfect lunch or dinner spot after a day of museum hopping.

Address: Olympic Stadium 35, 1076

Opening times: Every day from 11.30 to 00.00

CLASSIC DUTCH – In De Waag

If you are looking for the full Dutch experience on a romantic trip, this 1488 restaurant is a great place for a date night.
Located at one of the main squares of the city in Nieuwmarkt, this beautiful and eye-catching castle is solely lit by 300 candles creating an intimate atmosphere amongst the guests. While they experience Dutch cuisine accompanied by a great selection of wines and Heineken beer.

Location: Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012
Opening times: Every day 9.00 – 22.30

5. ARGENTINIAN STEAKHOUSECAFÉ DE KLOS

For some interesting reason, Amsterdam is full of Argentinian restaurants but these steakhouses are not your usual ones. Many of them are specialised in ribs, so much so that you can get unlimited amounts of it! These juicy dishes are served with steamed vegetables, potatoes and the classic Dutch sauce, mayonnaise. The first set of ribs come naturally to your table and as you digest it, waiters walk around with mountains of even more ribs.

Address: Kerkstraat 41-43, 1017

Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 16.00 to 23.30

BONUS: FEBO FOOD STAND
A trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without a snack stop by a FEBO stand. Where you can grab your own burger or frikandel at any time of the day or night by simply adding a couple of coins to a slot on the wall, and grabbing your food. These stands are all over the city, so if you find yourself needing a late-night snack after a long night of clubbing, this is your place.

Bangkok Guide: Things To Do

Oh Bangkok, the perfect destination for a treat-yourself trip. A country where you can get VIP treatment for the same amount of money you spend at home. With an incredibly rich culture, cuisine, religion, shopping and nightlife. There is so much to explore. As a tropical country, Bangkok is always hot making it the perfect destination all year round.

Language: Thai Location: Central East Asia Climate: Tropical – very hot and humid Currency: Baht

Temples (Wats)

Bangkok is home to 400 mind-blowing temples and shrines. As a Buddhist country, there are many local shrines around the city where people go visit daily. Shrines are much smaller and quicker to see compared to temples that usually require a half/full day since its very easy to get distracted by all the mesmerising details.

The Wat Pho Reclining Buddha and the Wat Phra Kaew Templeof the Emerald Buddha are a few of the easiest temples to get to since they are located right by the Chao Phraya river and the Grand Palace.

If you are on the Thonburi side of the city (opposite to the Grand Palace), make sure to see the Wat Arun – The Temple of Dawn. This temple has a unique architecture with the main Prang tower located in the center surrounded by smaller towers. The towers are designed with Khmer style and you can climb to the top of the main tower to see an incredible view of the city.

The best way to get here is by taking it to the skies with the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin station, or the orange flag Chao Phraya Express boat to Tha Tien (N8) pier.

Tip: Make sure to cover your shoulders, ankles and knees (for both sexes) when visiting temples in Thailand as a sign of respect. Long shorts and skirts, capris, t-shirts and polos are preferred options and definitely avoid tank tops.


Markets

Thai outdoor markets are one of the most fun things to do in the city. You can find incredible house decor, clothes and souvenirs for your friends and family. Everything is incredibly cheap and if you like to negotiate, you’ll have even more fun.

Chatuchak Weekend Market: This early morning market is a great place to start your day at the city’s most famous market. Here you can find literally everything from clothes, accessories, handicrafts, ceramics, furniture, art, food, beverages, books, antiques, collectibles and much more.

market divided into two sides with various tents selling clothes and goods. And right in the middle of the market, there’s a canal with people selling local fruits and foods. There is also an unexpected exhibition of large snakes and a slow loris that you can take photos with if you are brave enough.

When you arrive at the site, you have to take a short boat trip to actually get to the market, which is super thrilling.

Note: These markets are pretty far out from the city with no train station anywhere near it, so the best way to get here is by booking a day trip from your hotel or from an agency. These trips usually include other activities like the banana farm or the tiger sanctuary.


Shopping

Continuing the awesomeness of shopping in Bangkok, make sure to stop by at least one of the many malls of the city. At MBK Center, a large local mall you can get clothes and authentic goods. Isetan is a Japanese department mall located in the equally huge Central World, which incredibly enough has another department mall called Zen. All these malls have VAT refunds, authentic Asian food courts, restaurants, cafes and above all incredible decor. Amongst these malls, my favourites are the Asiatique and Siam Paragon because they are super-malls with numerous things to do.

Asiatique: This night outdoor/indoor bazaar is divided into four districts. At the Chareonkrung District there over a 1,000 small boutiques split into four warehouses. If you are looking for unique fashion and gadgets, the Factory District is your spot.

The Waterfront District is a great place to have lunch and dinner at one of their 40 restaurants by the waterfront. Then head to the Two Square District’s where you can get delicious strong and affordable drinks at one of their many bars.

If you are a Muay Thai and theatre fan, don’t miss a show at the Live Theatre where you can watch a play about the history of the sport as well as a live match. The ticket costs 870 THB ($28) dollars for a 90-minute play, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday from 8.00PM.

There’s also the Thai puppet show and the famous ladyboy Calypso Cabaret show. If you don’t want to pay for performances or eat at a restaurant, there are lots of free street performances and food stands amongst the streets of the bazaar as well.

There’s always so much to do! Luckily the place closes at midnight.

The best way to get here is with the BTS train to the Saphan Taksin station.

This mall is so large that it will require several trips

for you to see everything.

The main part of the mall is dedicated to shopping with 250 stores of high-end fashion and department stores. It has Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium on the bottom floor with a fun boat ride to see the rays and sharks.

The basement is dedicated to food. Where you can find incredible restaurants and food courts from all over the world especially Asia and a great supermarket.

At the top floor, you can have the movie experience of a lifetime at the Cineplex Theatre. Where you can get VIP treatment for basically the same price you pay back home. If you purchase a two-person ticket for 1,500 baht ($48) you get to have a drink and a snack in the beautiful lounge, get a super comfortable deep-seated leather sofa with electric footrests where you can put your complimentary snacks and blankets.

Tip: Make sure to get there at least an hour before the movie to hang in the lounge AND get a 15-minute massage. Which is heaven after a day of shopping and exploring.

Above all, this mall also has three other malls, Discovery, Square and Center that are right next door. Each mall has its own unique style with corresponding stores that you can just hop to after being starstruck by Paragon.

How to get here: BTS train stop to their own stop, Siam Station.


Museums

National Museum: This museum is like no other, it is home to the largest collection of Thai artefacts in the entire country, including King Rama V’s exhibition of his luxurious gifts from his father. Chinese artefacts including Khon masks.

Tip: Make sure to check out this museum on a Thursday when they offer tours with English-speaking guides.

Jim Thompson House: Jim Thompson was an American Entrepreneur who went to Bangkok and fell in love with the country, the silk and the people. The museum is located at his former house, which is designed by Jim himself. As you walk around you get to learn about Thompson’s extraordinary bold life, the silk industry and his store. The house is decorated as a Thai complex with six traditional teaks, a beautiful surrounding garden and a cafe.

The Jim Thompson’s silk store is a great place to buy authentic souvenirs and Thai goods. You can find pillows, bags, clothes, travel essentials and everything you ever wanted with beautiful Thai silks with elephants and beautiful colours.


Boat Ride along Chao Phraya River

Bangkok has a large river with connecting canals. Where you can go on boat trips and cruises, a great day-activity since it can get reeeally hot. From the river, you can properly see the difference between the two sides of the city. On one side you can see the skyline of temples, markets and the Grand Palace while on the other side you can see where the locals live in wooden houses with children playing and freshening up in the water.

At night, there are dinner cruises where you can have a great dinner with performances while surrounded by a lit-up skyline.


Muay Thai

At the home of the legendary martial sport, you can join a class at the many dojos in the city or watch live thrilling matches at stadiums like:

Rajadamnern Stadium: This historical and exciting stadium host matches four days a week (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) at 6.30 PM for 1,000 to 2,000 THB.
Lumpinee Stadium: Just like Rajadamnern, Lumpinee is also a Muay Thai historical stadium but with a more modern structure. One of the reasons to why this stadium is more popular is because you can gamble and bet during the matches. The negotiations are done with hand signals just as they do it in the stock exchange rooms. Prices go from as cheap as 200 to 2,000 THB on Tuesdays to Fridays at 6.30 PM and on Saturdays at 4.00 PM and again at 8:15 PM.
Channel 7 Stadium: This free of charge stadium has an electric energy and it is always frequented by legendary veterans and rising superstars. Since it is free and only offer matches once a week on Sundays at 12:45 PM, I recommend going there at least 40 minutes before the match so you can get good seats.
MBK Stadium: Just when you though the huge MBK mall was just for shopping and eating, on Wednesdays at 6.00 PM you can watch matches in a ring outside of the mall.

Thai Massage

Last but definitely not least, Thai massages- the most relaxing activity you can do in the city.

The art of massage has been part of Thai culture with different types and techniques that have been specialised for generations. Which means there are numerous types of massages for you to try such as aromatic with oils, reflexology, and warm herbs facial, foot and back massages. Some bigger spas even have massages for pregnant women and muscle massages for athletes.

If you are a fan of Thai decor and massages, I highly recommend going to a spa during your trip. Thailand goes beyond when it comes to luxury and hospitality.

I know it might sound like an expensive activity, but since its Bangkok, you can also find cheap but great parlours around the city. Especially in and around malls for as cheap as 300 THB ($7) for an hour. Arunda Oriental and At Ease are great locations for a massage break.

Have you been to any of these places? Let us know what you thought of them. 🙂