Thailand Through Her Eyes 2016

Thailand is the travel hub of Southeast Asia. Known for its rich culture, tourist-friendly facilities, accessibility and affordability, Thailand is a great destination for first time travelers and seasoned travelers alike.

Its capital Bangkok is one of the major regional flight hubs for Southeast Asia. Filipinos can easily enter Thailand because no Visa is required for ASEAN passport holders and flights are pretty affordable coming from Manila.

Aside from the famed beaches and temples, shopping is a major tourist draw and the food is arguably the best in Asia. For international travelers, this country is often the start of the backpacking trail as you can travel overland to other countries like Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.

bangkok thailand tuktuk travelup

Thailand was actually my first travel abroad for a family trip years ago, and over the years I’ve been to Bangkok several times for work-related conferences and leisure trips including solo trips. I recently got to revisit Thailand as one of the lucky delegates of “Thailand through Her Eyes 2016”, a campaign of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) tapping bloggers, social media influencers and photographers from different parts of the world. From August 2-7, our group of 9 photographers from the Philippines, China, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Romania and Canada got to visit Bangkok-Amphawa-Hua Hin and Kanchanaburi.

thailand through her eyes 2016 passports group photo

I’ll be writing more stories about the different activities (to be linked here), but here’s a quick summary of all the amazing destinations and uniquely Thai experiences we got to try in the span of a week.

DAY 1: Bangkok

To formally kick off the campaign, there was a formal welcome reception presided over by Deputy Prime Minister  H.E General Tanasak Patimapragorn and Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul. There were special appearances by Sheikha Hend Fausal Al Qassemi, Princess of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; Michelle Yim, Hong Kong actress; and the Miss World Australia 2016 and the runners up as well as Ms. Wanda Corazon Teo, Tourism Secretary, Department of Tourism, The Philippines.

day 1 womens journey thailand 2016 reception vips

day 1 womens journey thailand 2016 dinner reception

DAY 2: Bangkok

On the second day, we visited Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The temple is the first on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest of the first class Royal temples.

day 2 wat pho temple of the reclining buddha

After lunch at Saveoy, an organic Farm to table cafe, we rode a long-tailed speed boat, cruising down the Chao Phraya river and canals of Thonburi, passing through wooden houses on stilts, floating restaurants, and riverfront temples.

day 2 bangkok canal tour

We dropped by Yod Piman River Walk, a lifestyle mall by the river with Victorian & Thai architecture. Then, we boarded tuk-tuks for a temple-hopping and food tour of Bangkok at night starting with Rom-Pho, a homey restaurant in the back alley of Klong-San market.

day 2 jam factory bangkok thailand

The Jam factory, an area where old factories were converted into a trendy dining and lifestyle hub near the market, was also pretty interesting.

day 2 tuktuk tour bangkok thailand

After visiting several temples including Wat Pho, we went to a secret riverside bar overlooking the city. We had some ice cold Singha beers. Our hotel the night was Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok.

day 2 bangkok thailand view from secret bar riversdide

DAY 3: Bangkok-Amphawa

On the road from Bangkok to Ampahawa, we went to Rom Hup (which means “umbrella pulldown”) Market in Maeklong, a unique market located on an active railway track. This is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand.

day 3 rom hub market maeklong thailand vendor

Shoppers have to walk on the narrow railway track lined with stalls on both sides. To clear the way for the coming train, vendors quickly fold away their umbrellas and awnings and remove containers and goods off the track. Vendors and tourists alike have to squeeze in the narrow space on either side whenever the train passes, which happens about 8 times a day.

day 3 rom hub market maeklong railway shadow

We went hands-on in a community-based tourism program in Baan Rim Klong Homestay, where we witnessed how organic coco sugar is harvested and helped prepare local delicacies and rice cakes.

sticky rice dessert thailand bangkok

After lunch, we passed by Wat Bang Kung Temple, a small ancient chapel that is completely enclosed within the roots of a banyan tree. Though not as grand as some of the most famous temples in Thailand, I liked the natural Tomb Raider feel of this temple .

day 3 wat bang kung temple thailand

We took a leisurely sunset river cruise on Hatthatara boats while getting on-boat foot massages and capped our day with dinner and drinks at one of the riverside bars. Our hotel for the night was the homey Thanicha Resort, a riverside homestay / inn in Samut Songkhram.

day 3 thai foot massage on boat thailand

DAY 4: Amphawa – Hua Hin

Each morning, monks accept offerings of food from locals, chanting a blessing in exchange for alms. We had the honor of offering alms prepared by the resort where we were staying.

day 4 monks alms thanicha resort amphawa thailand

We were given the rest of the morning to go around or sleep in, so I borrowed one of the bicycles at the hotel to explore a bit on my own. I ended up biking in Amphawa to the floating market, the scenic riverside and visited a few temples in the vicinity.

day 4 amphawa riverside thailand bicycle door travelup

day 4 amphawa bicycle stupas thailand

On the way to Hua Hin, we stopped by an accessible, family-friendly beach area right along the highway. We also stopped by a Thai Silk Village Factory to learn how delicate Thai silk is traditionally made and visited the 7 Kings of Siam Statues, a historical landmark commemorating seven of the greatest kings in Thai history.

day 4 hua hin beach

Our hotel for the night was the Intercontinental Hua Hin, a luxurious beachfront resort. After dinner out, we did some souvenir shopping at the night market and bazaar in Hua Hin.

day 4 intercontinental hua hin thailand

DAY 5: Hua Hin – Kanchanburi

It was a beautiful morning at the beach in Hua Hin. But as much as we wanted to stay longer, we had a train to catch.

day 5 hua hin monks on beach thailand

The Bridge over the River Kwai is the start of the infamous World War II Death Railway to Burma (now Myanmar). The bridge was made famous by the British-American World War II epic war film released in 1957, which was loosely based on the construction of the said railway bridge.

day 5 bridge over river kwai thailand day 5 river kwai train thailand travelup

After lunch at a local restaurant and some encounters with wildlife, we proceeded to our hotel for the night – River Kwai Village Hotel, a jungle resort located in the upper part of the River Kwai Valley. What a view!

day 5 river kwai village hotel key thailand

DAY 6: Kanchanaburi

In the morning, we went canoeing down the the Kwai Noi River to visit a traditional Mon Village before proceeding to lunch at Kwai River Resotel. In the Mon Village, we saw kids studying at a local school and visited a temple hidden in the jungle.

day 6 river kwai jungle rafts kanchanaburi thailandday 6 mon village kanchanauri thailand monkday 6 mon village kanchanaburi thailand jungle temple

The afternoon was spent at Rock Valley Spa and Fish Spa, a natural spa resort just a short boat ride from the Hotel. We enjoyed the Dr. Fish spa, soaked in 5 herbal pools scented with everything from coffee to eucalyptus tea and got pampering treatments including full body mud spas and mud spa facials.

day 6 rocky valley hot spring spa thailand

DAY 7: Kanchanaburi-Bangkok

Our last day was spent mostly on the road, heading back to Bangkok from Kanchanaburi. We stopped by the floating restaurant on the River Kwai for buffet lunch and few more photo ops without the crowds.

day 7 river kwai railroad tracks thailand travelup

The last activity for the whole trip was dinner and shopping at Asiatique, a riverfront night bazaar and mall with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants housed under a huge replica warehouse complex. The area is open until 11 pm, so we were able to get all our last-minute souvenir shopping done in time.

day 7 bangkok thailand asiatique

All in all, it was an amzing 7-day trip around Thailand with ladies from all over the world. Many thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for the invitation and all our guides from Absolutely Fantastic Holidays for letting us experience the best that Thailand has to offer! Stay tuned for more updates and travel tips on the different destinations. For more information on the campaign as well as special deals for female travelers this month of August, visit:

day 7 thailand through her eyes 2016 group shot bridge river kwai

2 thoughts on “Thailand Through Her Eyes 2016

  1. Pingback: Biking in Amphawa, Thailand | Travel Up

  2. Pingback: THAILAND: River Kwai Village Jungle Resort | Travel Up

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