You know you have some really fun and amazing friends when they travel, literally, half way around the world to see you.  Three of my favorite ladies came to Bangkok for a visit and we took a side trip to Koh Samui.  It was quite a whirl wind having them in town and we really packed a lot into the relatively short trip.

After a jam packed day of sightseeing around Bangkok we jumped on a plane to Koh Samui!  We headed for the Chaweng Beach, which had some great reviews and did not disappoint.  The OZO Chaweng Samui was our home for the two day trip.

The pool was gorgeous, the beach front mandalas were heaven and the rooms, though small, were clean and very much met our needs for the weekend.  I would stay at the OZO again with the just the husband or for a girls weekend, but if we were to travel with Jellybean I think we would need to book a bigger room.

After grabbing a very late dinner we headed to bed!


Day 1: Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui

Chaweng beach is beautiful and we enjoyed the day by hanging by the beach, swimming in the ocean/pool and indulging in a little shopping.




The day was fabulous, but I think the night was truly a highlight of the trip.  We went to Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai) around sunset.  The Buddha was worth the short taxi ride.  After seeing the Buddha, we had a drink at Sunset by Angelina.  The view was picturesque and the drinks were quite delicious!


We headed to Fisherman’s Village after our drink and walked in and out of the shops while we made our way to CoCo Tam’s.  The ambiance was super cute and fits the hangout by the beach vibe of Koh Samui perfectly.

Coco Tam's in Koh Samui, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

An important thing to note about CoCo Tam’s is it is not a restaurant so eat dinner before grabbing a seat for the fire show. We went to Restaurant Krua Bophut for dinner, which is right next to CoCo Tam’s. 

The Fire Dancer show on the beach starts around 10:30pm and is NOT to be missed!

Fire Dancing Koh Samui, Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Day 2: Angthong National Marine Park Speedboat Tour

All of day 2 was spent on a speedboat tour of some of the small islands near Koh Samui.  Snorkeling at Koh Wao, a sightseeing hike at Koh Mae Koh followed by lunch at Koh Paluay and hanging on the beach as well as kayaking at Song Pee Nong beach.  It was a fun filled day!

Angthong National Marine Park Speedboat Tour in Thailand | Life's Tidbits

Song Pee Nong beach in Thailand | Life's Tidbits

It was a fabulous 2 days in Koh Samui.  The girls trip was a huge success!!  I hope the hubby, Jellybean and I make it back to Koh Samui sometime before we move back to the States next year.





Travel Monkey
Best of Worst

Bangkok is a large city and it takes a little while to figure out how to navigate around.  Jellybean and I have gotten really good at riding the BTS within the first few weeks of arriving in Bangkok.  It’s probably our most frequently used method of transportation, second is either a taxi or good old fashion walking!

Whether you are moving to Bangkok or just visiting I hope this transportation guide will help you get around Bangkok a little bit easier.

Bangkok Transportation Guide, Tips for traveling in Southeast Asia | Life's Tidbits


Taxing is fairly affordable with the meter starting at 35 baht and then a couple of baht every hundred meters.  That said there are a few challenges to taking a taxi.  The first and foremost is the traffic.  The second is many drivers don’t know where things are.  If you give them the name of a street and a soi, you will arrive at the cross roads and the driver will look to you for directions to a specific place.  When we first moved here I had to use GoogleMaps to navigate through the city.  At the time this was very frustrating, but now I know how to get to my destinations and the taxi drivers are more than happy to go whatever route I ask.

TIP 1: ALWAYS, ALWAYS drive with the meter on. If the taxi driver tries to negotiate a price you will most likely overpay.  For example, I have taken a taxi to my daughter’s preschool enough times to know it is usually 50 baht, give or take.  Taxi drivers will often tell me it’s 100 baht {I’ve even been quoted 200 when there’s traffic} … I know that’s not a good or fair price and I wave them on their way.

TIP 2: Carry small bills and/or change with you.  Taxi drivers won’t have change for big bills like 500 or 1000 baht.  On more than one occasion I’ve had them tell me they don’t have change for 100 baht, which can be pretty frustrating.  I’ve made a habit of always having a some 20s with me when I plan to take a taxi.


Motorbike taxis are cheap and quick.  The fare should be negotiated prior to your ride.  During rush hour motorbike taxis are a great alternative to taxis.  They easily get through between the cars and tend not to sit in traffic.  Be careful to keep your extremities and belongings close to you … and hold on tight as the drivers go quickly between the cars.


Tuk Tuks are mostly used by tourists or locals to transport their goods from/to a market.  The fare will need to be negotiated with the driver.  Despite not having AC, like the taxis, and aren’t as easily maneuvered through traffic, like the motorbike taxis, tuk tuks tend to be more expensive.  They will likely overcharge you and as a result we rarely use tuks tuks.  Beware of the scams … if they offer you a cheap day tour you will likely be taken to many of their friends’ shops, for which they likely receive a commission for each person they bring!

BTS (Bangkok Transit System)

Also known as the Skytrain.  This is the mode of transportation we use most often.  The fares are extremely reasonable and fairly easy to navigate as well.  The trains are very clean and after a long walk the AC feels amazing!  They have single journey tickets, daily tickets and monthly subscriptions.  If you plan to be in Bangkok for a while or ride the BTS a lot I would recommend purchasing a Rabbit card, which can be topped up with money as needed.  This way you don’t need to queue up for buying tickets for each ride.

MRT (Mass Rail Transportation System)

Similar to the BTS, one can purchase a single journey tickets, 1 day, 3 day and monthly passes.  The MRT also has stored value cards that can be purchased for those living in or spending more time in Bangkok.  It’s also worth noting that the MRT will take you to places like the Chatuchak Market.


I have yet to take a bus in Bangkok.  As far as I can tell it’s not very straight forward and the bus schedule is often unreliable. As a visitor, and even as a Bangkok resident, it might be safer to stick to the other transportation methods available in Bangkok.


There are several types of boats running up and down the Chao Phraya River.  There are express boats, river taxis, long tail and more.  The long tail boats are definitely the ‘fun’ way to travel the river, but some of the other boats might be a better fit depending on where you are going.

So there you have it.  A wide variety of transportation methods to get you where you want to go in Bangkok.  Despite the variety, I must admit there are days I truly miss my car!


Run Jump Scrap!

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!

Time is flying and we have just about hit the 3 month mark as expats in Bangkok.  Not surprising, but we’ve learned a few more tidbits about Bangkok, being an expat and we are really starting to find our groove living abroad.

The funny thing about living abroad is, just like being where you used to call home, eventually it starts to feel normal.

It’s normal to start sweat almost immediately after leaving the house.
It’s normal that most people around us are speaking in a language I barely understand.
It’s normal (or at least starting to feel normal) not to be going off to work each day.

Not to say I’m taking for-granted this amazing experience, but it’s nice that life is feeling more normal and less like I’m on constant sensory overload.  :)


Some tidbits about Bangkok …

  1. Unlike the Metro, the BTS isn’t a free for all when it comes to boarding the train.  People actually line up and board in an orderly fashion. It took me a while to realize it wasn’t proper social etiquette to just rush the train doors once people finish disembarking.  {See picture above of Jellybean lining up at the appropriate arrow.}
  2. Right now the exchange rate range is about 35 baht to the dollar.  My brain cannot do the math quick enough.  One day soon I know it’s going to click and the calculation won’t be necessary, but until then I often whip out the cell phone to figure out how much something is.
  3. When I switched to a Thai SIM card a lot more changed than just my phone number.  Instead of having a monthly plan I now just ‘top off’ my cell phone phone when my balance is running low.  The craziest part is I can add money at the 7-11!  The other day we were running late to a playdate and my cell died (that’s what I get for ignoring 5 text messages my balance was low) and all I did was pop into 7-11 to add money to my cell phone.  I was nervous it wouldn’t work, but it was seamless!
  4. Speaking of paying things at 7-11 … a lots of bills can be paid at the 7-11 OR by doing a direct deposit into a company’s account.  Few places take check or credit card as far as I can tell.  You pay in cash, direct deposit into their account or just go to 7-11.  Who would have thunk?
  5. There is an abundance of trash cans in DC.  Here, in Bangkok, trash cans are few and far between.  I’ve become strangely adept hoarding trash in my backpack {or back pocket} and discarding it at home or bathroom trash cans.  I don’t really understand why there are no trash cans, but I kind of miss the trash cans on every corner.
  6. Recycling is nonexistent, as far as I can tell, in Bangkok.  I was obsessed with separating out bottle/cans/paper in DC and now it all just goes in one bag.  I feel guilty sometimes when I throw a can into the trash.
  7. Bangkok is a foodie city, similar to DC and NYC, you can find just about any type of cuisine you would like.  While we haven’t been out to eat as much as I might like the places we have tried are really good!
  8. I am now ‘adept’ at telling the taxi driver to turn (leow) left (sai) and right (kwaa).  I can also tell him the number of my street and the number of one other street that we visit frequently.  Some of the taxi drivers correct my pronunciation and others pretend they have no idea what I’m saying.  I’m learning slowly, but in all honesty the Thai language isn’t easy and being tonal one word can mean 5 different things depending on the inflection in your voice. Ahhh!
  9. Buying food labeled in a foreign language can be interesting.  Like the time we bought that strange milk for a couple weeks in a row since it ‘looked’ like whole milk containers from the States.  Turns out it was ‘sweet milk’ or whatever that is…  Or the all-to-common experience of buying street food and convincing yourself it’s probably chicken, or beef, or pork (ish).  But it’s sooo tasty!
  10. Personal space is fairly limited here.  It is socially acceptable to stand super close to someone, touch their child or push past someone without even an excuse me.  While I’m still not comfortable with the person behind me in line practically touching my back as we wait, I have had to adopt the pushing past people in order to get where I’m going … though I do try to say excuse me (or thoot in Thai).

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

What kind of Bangkok tidbits would you like to know more about?






Run Jump Scrap!Let's Talk Mommy

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