Let’s talk about the honey lime drink pictured below for a second.  It is freaking delicious!  I typically buy myself one as a treat when I go to the Thursday market held at Srinakharinwirot University.  The popup market is home to various vendors selling everything from clothing and toys to street food and produce.  One of my favorite parts about the drink is the handy-dandy plastic handle.  It allows me to easily carry my beverage and purchases at the same time.

It’s been quite a few months since I shared Bits of Bangkok part 4, but I have compiled some new tidbits to share about how expat life in Bangkok is a wee-bit different than life in America.

Tidbits about living in Bangkok as an Expat from America. | Life's Tidbits

Bits of Bangkok – Part 5

  1. Children are provided with plastic plates, cutlery and cups in almost all restaurants.  This is super handy and makes sharing meals with my toddler that much easier.
  2. Changing tables are nearly impossible to find, even in very kid friendly places.  While this is no longer an issue for us since Jellybean is potty trained (wahoo!) it was really annoying when we first moved here.  The lack of changing tables surprises me given what a baby/kid friendly country Thailand is.
  3. Pushcarts at the airports are free.  There is no rummaging through your purse for change, jamming the coins into a slot and then trying to extract a pushcart like one has to do in the States.
  4. Pregnant women wear a safety pin on the belly part of their shirts to signify they are pregnant.  I guess the idea behind it is patrons on the train will give up their seats for you.  Not entirely sure why someone would need a safety pin though as it’s usually fairly clear who’s pregnant. :)
  5. Sometimes it’s okay to round down when paying.  For example, if your taxi ride comes to 41 baht a taxi driver will accept 40 baht.  I never have felt comfortable with this and always round up, but rounding down is sometimes common practice.
  6. Some public restrooms you have to pay to use.  This includes places like parks, markets and other tourist attractions.  It’s usually only 2 baht, but if you don’t carry change on you it can be problematic as the toilet attendants don’t typically have the ability to break bills.
  7. Toilet paper is sparse in public restrooms.  Usually you can deposit 5 baht into a dispenser for toilet paper, but ever once in a while there are no dispensers to be found, which can be hugely frustrating.
  8. Sorry for the potty theme, but as someone who’s constantly peeing (thanks pregnancy!) I’ve started to take note of where bathrooms are and their conditions … so yeah, last potty thing.  Toilet paper is thrown into a small trash can next to the toilet instead of down the toilet.
  9. At most indoor playgrounds and play areas children take their shoes off to play.  We keep socks in our bag just incase we unexpectedly stop someplace to play and Jellybean needs socks.  She’s totally programmed to take off her shoes when we arrive places … it’s going to be a problem when we move back to the States.
  10. Need to pay you kid’s school tuition?  How about your cable bill?  Cash or bank transfer is the preferred way to pay any and all bills.  We recently rented a jumpy house for Jellybean’s 3rd birthday party and the email confirmation included their bank’s name and account number.  It was then left up to us if we transferred the money into their account or deposited the cash directly to their account.  Thailand is definitely a cash based society, which is so different from the USA.

Incase you missed it, please check out the firstsecondthird and fourth installment of Bits of Bangkok.  More of our Bangkok adventures, to date, can be found here or please follow along on Instagram.




Bangkok now feels familiar and very much like home.  There are so many things I love about this city!  Though I would be remise if I didn’t say there are also characteristics that drive me absolutely batty, like the traffic and, more often than not, the humidity.  But, like most things in life you take the good with the bad.

We’ve been in Thailand for nearly a year!  Coming up with bits about Bangkok has become, well, a bit more difficult recently.  I think could be due to already sharing a number of tidbits as well as how everything now feels commonplace.

Bits Of Bangkok Part 4 | Tidbits about living in Bangkok, Thaliand as an expat from USA | Life's Tidbits

I’ve been keeping notes in my phone and I’ve compiled a list of some new tidbits about Bangkok …

  1. Shops on wheels {see picture above}.  From brooms and dusters to food and spices, each navigates their way through the busy streets of Bangkok.  All the while blaring a horn to ensure all potential patrons know they are a-comin’!  I often wonder how much they actually sell considering I’ve rarely seen anyone purchase something.
  2. To keep with the shopping theme, there are an abundance of pop-up shops in malls.  The goods available for sale are always changing.  I’ve seen everything from clothing, shoes, food and books to motorcycles.
  3. Water is incredibly affordable.  This is probably because the tap water isn’t potable, but either way I will take it!  Buying a bottle of water from 7-11 will run you about 10 baht (about 30 cents).
  4. Many places like restaurants, department stores and the malls don’t open until 10am.  I often forget that places aren’t open at 9am and have found myself sitting outside the mall (not so) patiently waiting for 10am to roll around.
  5. The Thai national anthem plays everyday at 8am and 6pm.  It plays on the radio, television as well in the BTS/MRT.  I’ve only been on the BTS once when it played – Thais and foreigners alike stopped walking and silently stood to show respect until the anthem concluded.
  6. Napkins are more like tissues … okay they are tissues.  Thailand needs to change this STAT!
  7. Let’s talk butter for a moment.  Do you prefer salted or unsalted butter?  I’m not talking about when you’re baking or cooking.  In Thailand, butter for your toast is always unsalted.  It tastes kind of strange to me without the salt.  Are we heavy handed in America with salt?
  8. Booze can only be purchased during the hours of 11am-2pm and 5pm-12am.  Between the hours of 2pm and 5pm – no buying booze from stores for you.  :)
  9. Check-in kiosks are virtually non existent.  In the states they always want you to check-in for a flight at the kiosk and only if you have an issue or need a baggage tag do you speak to an airline representative.  In Thailand, more often than not, check-in will be a personal affair, not online or at a kiosk.
  10. Scrambled eggs must be ordered dry, else they come out runny, very wet or undercooked … at least by American standards.

What’s your favorite tidbit about Bangkok so far?

Incase you missed it, please check out the firstsecond and third installment of Bits of Bangkok.  More of our Bangkok adventures, to date, can be found here or please follow along on Instagram.




I figured our first trip as expats in Bangkok would be to someplace else in Thailand.  Maybe Krabi, Phuket or Chiang Mai, however we ended up going to Tokyo instead.  The cool weather in Japan was a welcome change from the humidity and heat we were experiencing in Bangkok.  Not to mention the fact there are plenty of sidewalks in Tokyo, which makes for easy stroller rides.  Oh yes, I’ve become one of those people who partially judges their trips based on how toddler friendly they are!

The flight from BKK to HND was about six and a half hours.  And while this may seem like a daunting flight with a toddler it was a total breeze.  I’m fairly certain we used up all of our ‘good travel karma’ on this trip … or maybe it was a gift for being good troupers on the trip from DC to Bangkok.

Either way I’m super thankful for Jellybean’s impeccable behavior both on the way there and on the way home.  She spent most of the time on the flight playing with her apps on the iPad or watching Mickey Mouse Club House.  Our family rule is there is no limit to screen-time or snacks on a flight.  Happy toddler = happy parents AND other passengers on the plane.


After arriving in Japan we bought a sim card for our phone and headed to the train.  We’ve been told Tokyo has a very easy train system and navigating to the hotel should be fairly easy.  Ummm, THIS doesn’t look so easy to me …

Tokyo, Japan Subway/Train Map

Luckily, with a little help, we were able to navigate to our hotel.  If we go to Tokyo again I am taking a taxi from the airport to the hotel.  Trucking a toddler and multiple bags up and down stairs to transfer lines (there are limited escalators/elevators) was a bit much.

Tip:  Invest in a SIM card and data plan.  We didn’t get a voice or texting plan.  Just the data plan, which came in handy for navigating the city and looking up places to eat.  

Here’s what we did while we were in Tokyo, which for the most part was very toddler friendly!

Things To Do In Tokyo, Japan with a toddler | Life's Tidbits

Imperial Palace

This is the is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan.  The interesting part about it is you can’t actually go in the palace nor can you get close to it.  The palace looks beautiful from a far and the surrounding park make it worth a visit.

Tokyo, Japan:  Imperial Palace  |  Life's Tidbits

Ryogoku Kokugikan – Sumo

Sumo was a tad bit slower than I thought it would be.  There was a lot of walking around each other and squatting.  My favorite part was when Jellybean kept screaming “go baseball! go baseball!”.  My kid cracks me up … apparently in her mind all sports are baseball.  Since she’s wasn’t even two we will give her a pass, but as her mother I plan to tell this tidbit for FOREVER!  And, that includes at her wedding.

Ryogoku Kokugikan - Sumo Wrestling in Tokyo Japan

Sumo Wrestling in Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office

This was pretty cool though I didn’t have the chance to enjoy it at much as I would have liked.  Jellybean was running around like a mad woman.  Despite trying to get her to look at all the buildings and the skyline her attention only lasted a few seconds.  After catapulting herself out of my arms and onto the floor she was off to the races.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office

Akihabara – ‘Times Square’ of Tokyo

It was cool to watch the crowds cross the street in different directions.  Many other tourists were also waiting for their turn for a photo opt, so I’m pretty happy with how this picture of the hubby and I turned out!

Akihabara - 'Time Square' of Tokyo, Japan | Things to do and see in Tokyo

Ueno Zoo

The write up in the travel book described this zoo a kind of ‘sad’.  I would have to say I agree.  The cages were somewhat small and the animals didn’t seem happy, so to speak.  That said Jellybean and I did have a good time.  She was ecstatic to see the elephants and the rhino was probably her favorite.  The rhino love was probably a result of one of her favorite bedtime stories, I Know a Rhino.  If you don’t have kids, I would suggest skipping the zoo.

Ueno Zoo Rhino in Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Absolutely beautiful place.  We had a great time walking around and taking in the scenery.  It was the perfect place to take a toddler who loves to run free and you are still able to take in the sights.


Asakusa / Senso-ji Temple

The day we went to see Asakusa and the Senso-ji temple it was gloomy and started to down pour as we were heading back to the train.  Despite the dreary weather the place was packed with tourists and luckily didn’t take too long to tour.



Have you been to Japan?  Where else in Japan would you recommend visiting?






Phuket for Thanksgiving was just what the doctor ordered.  Beautiful beach, sea breeze, swimming, family time and a little break from the hustle and bustle of city life in Bangkok.

We stayed at the Le Meridien.  Everything we needed was right there.  A private beach, baby elephant and some different restaurants to choose from.  Although we could have taken a taxi into town to try a restaurant or explore Phuket, we chose to keep it super low key and never left the resort.  There’s always next time to do some exploring!

Le Meridien coordinated a ride from the airport to the hotel.  When we arrived we were greeted with a seriously delicious fruit juice and the flowers (pictured below).

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort pool in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort pool in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort private beach in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Our first dinner was at Portofino.  The food was delicious and dessert did NOT disappoint.  Yum, chocolate!

Portofino Food at the Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Portofino Food at the Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien has a private beach, which is a great perk to this resort.  GAHHH just looking at this picture makes me want to go walk in the sand and dip my toes in the warm ocean.

Beach at the Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Raise your hand if you aren having a good time!

‘Meeting’ the baby elephant was fun … or really just viewing it from afar since Jellybean was petrified to get close too the elephant despite her initial enthusiasm and saying {or really screaming, because that’s the only volume a toddler knows — wink wink} ‘ellie’ over and over again.

Baby elephant at Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

We went to La Fiamma every day for lunch … if it ain’t broke don’t fit it, right?!!!  The pizza from the wood oven was so yummy and the view wasn’t too shabby either.  Oh, and they have mango-mojitos.  Go ahead and order one.  You can thank me later.  ;)

Wood Oven Pizza on the Beach at the Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

The food was all amazing, but our favorite was the seafood restaurant next to Portofinos.  Our Thanksgiving dinner, while not traditional, was absolutely the best meal of our whole vacation.

Food at the Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

On our last day in Phuket the hubs took Jellybean to the beach and gifted me some alone time.  I sat by the pool, had a drink, read The Boston Girl on my kindle and generally just soaked up the beauty {and quiet} around me.

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

The sunset on the last night was particularly beautiful.

Beach sunset | Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

beach sunset | Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

I want to go back!  We had a fabulous time at the Le Meridien in Phuket and would highly recommend it!!


Run Jump Scrap!

We are about halfway through our first year in Bangkok!  I no longer have to sit in taxis with my GoogleMaps open.  I can successfully navigate the driver to all of the places we frequent.  We have favorite restaurants, street food vendors, manicure places and so much more.  Bangkok feels more like home with each passing week and it helps that we’ve had family in town visiting.  We’ve done a lot in the past couple of months and yet we still have so much of Bangkok and Thailand to experience.

JJ Market in Chatuchak | Tidbits about living in or traveling to Bangkok, Thailand. Expat in Southeast Asia | Life's TidbitsThis picture was taken at JJ Market in Chatuchak. A must see when in Bangkok!

Some tidbits about Bangkok …

  1. Plastic bags are EVERYWHERE.  If you purchase fruit from a street vendor they will cut up the fruit, put in a plastic bag without handles, and then throw it into another bag that has handles.  We get food delivered sometimes and certain dishes will come in a plastic bag and tupperware.  I find it so strange, why is so much plastic necessary?
  2. One of my favorite things about seeing a movie in Bangkok is that you can reserve a seat when you purchase your ticket.  The need to show up to movies half hour early to ensure you aren’t sitting in the front row of a newly released movie is gone! Woot woo!
  3. As far as I know, in the States if you purchase something like dish soap and it runs out you just chuck the bottle and purchase a new one.  In Thailand, you can purchase a refill bag.  It’s pretty much a ‘plastic bag’ filled with dish soap, Head-to-Toe Johnson & Johnson, etc. and so you can pour into the plastic bottle to refill it.  It’s kind of genius and I don’t know why we don’t do this in the US … and if we do, I am totally behind the times.
  4. When eating at restaurants food comes our whenever it is ready.  It rarely comes out all at the same time and often feels like you are eating in shifts.  Whenever your food comes out you eat it, else it will be cold!
  5. Another interesting thing about restaurants is the waitress/waiter will rarely, if ever, bring you the bill before you as for it.  This is such a huge contrast from dining out in the States where the check is more often than not delivered to the table before being requested.
  6. Walking down the street you can often hear the buzz of ‘live’ wires.  The wires are all tangled together, some hanging down low enough you could grab it and how one would identify a certain wire is beyond my comprehension.
  7. Living in such a heavily populated city one would probably expect to hear sirens, however the noise pollution is more often than not something other than sirens.  In DC I became strangely accustomed to the sound of sirens and eventually hit a point where they didn’t wake me up at night.  I’ve heard possibly only three sirens since arriving in Bangkok, and each time I feel my heart start racing with worry.  Such a stark change from my reaction to the sirens in DC!
  8. You can order pizza by the meter … just go ahead and wrap you head around that!
  9. Despite many services being a lot more affordable in Thailand, manicures are actually more expensive than in DC.  The manicures here are more spa-ish and include an arm scrub/exfoliator so I guess you are getting more, but I still found the price a bit surprising.
  10. Motorbikes will often jump up onto the curb {with no warning} and speed down the sidewalk during rush hour in an effort to avoid sitting in traffic.  Motorbikes would never get away with driving on the sidewalks in the States!

And if you missed it, please check out the first and second installment of Bits of Bangkok.  More of our Bangkok adventures, to date, can be found here or please follow along on Instagram.




My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
Run Jump Scrap!
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