Going Back To My Roots in Bangkok


Probably one of the most random fun facts about me is that I spent most of my childhood living abroad in New Zealand and Thailand. It was a uniquely wonderful experience that I wouldn’t change for the world. Living in a place like Bangkok was very instrumental in fostering my love to other cultures and also opened my eyes really early in life to things like extreme poverty, different religions and crazy foods.

I’ve had a dream to go back and visit everywhere that I lived as a child, so I was beyond excited to finally be visiting Bangkok with J. He could finally see where I lived and what life was like for me as a 8-10 year old living somewhere so culturally different.

By the time we got to Bangkok, a city full of noise and energy and sophistication and gold, we were ready for the pace of city life with it’s amazing restaurants and classy rooftops bars. Unfortunately, our time in Bangkok was slowed by an infection in J’s leg that had been festering since Vietnam. Heat and sweat and saltwater had just made the infection worse and worse until he was in so much pain that we had no choice but to get it checked out. Thankfully we found a wonderful travel clinic that fit us in every day and took great care of J’s leg for a fraction of what it would have cost in the states. The bad news was that the treatment made J super achy so we spent more time resting and less time exploring Bangkok. We still found time to explore the city’s Grand Palace with all of it’s glittering gold (amazing!) as well as take the temple and klong tour that came with our hotel reservation. We spent more time than I’m proud to admit eating at and wandering through Bangkok’s huge shopping malls and even got to spend some time with a dear missionary friend my family first met when we lived in Thailand over 20 years ago — so special.

The best part of being in Bangkok for me was just taking it all in and remembering what my life was like when I lived there forever ago. We found my old school and even walked to my old apartment building which had strangely enough been turned into a hotel. The soi (street) that we lived on is now a bit of the “trendy” street full of popular restaurants and boutique hotels. It was strange — being there felt so familiar but at the same time totally different. But isn’t that how everything looks when you see childhood places through adult eyes? Especially when it’s a world away.

Our Bangkok visit wasn’t ideal — but then again, nowhere would have been ideal at that point in the trip with J’s leg being as bad as it was — but we are still thankful for our time there. I wish that we had more of a chance to enjoy it fully, to eat at some of the city’s most talked-about restaurants (it’s a foodie haven), to take in afternoon tea at a hotel lobby like I did as a kid, to feast on street food and wander the markets, but I suppose that will just have wait until next time because after 3 days in Bangkok we packed up and headed home. Another amazing adventure for the books.

{we started our visit with a tour of the klongs or canals of Bangkok followed by Wat Arun}

111714_Asia_1156sm111714_Asia_1150sm SEAsia14__0725SEAsia14__0734SEAsia14__0736111714_Asia_1153111714_Asia_1168smSEAsia14__0747111714_Asia_1185sm  {these stairs were SO steep! I had to hold on tight the whole way down}

 SEAsia14__0738SEAsia14__0746SEAsia14__0754{Magnum ice cream bars always make us happy}

After Wat Arun we headed over to the Grand Palace to explore. It was a bit crazy there since they were beginning celebrations for the King’s birthday.

SEAsia14__0772 SEAsia14__0768 SEAsia14__0760 SEAsia14__0758 111714_Asia_1233sm 111714_Asia_1212sm 111714_Asia_1210sm 111714_Asia_1200sm111714_Asia_1194sm{look at all of this gold! BLING!}

111714_Asia_1240sm 111714_Asia_1244sm{my old school! This used to be ISB but now it’s a United Nations School. Looks similar to how I remember it, though. We wanted to tour it but we needed IDs which were back in the hotel safe}

111714_Asia_1252sm 111714_Asia_1250sm{President Palace Hotel on Soi 11! This used to be called Ambassador Palace and was our apartment building! We lived on the 5th floor above the pool. There’s now even a Starbucks in the lobby! CRAZY!}

We stayed at: iCheck Inn Residences on Soi 18, Sukhimvit. I would call this more of an extended stay apartment more than a hotel mostly because each room has a small kitchenette and the hotel offered absolutely no amenities or customer service. There was no food at all available and half of the time there wasn’t even anyone at the front desk. That said, the location was great (quiet soi with plenty of food stands, hotels and non-sketchy massage shops), the room was bright and modern, the bed was super comfy and it was a short walk to the Skytrain and Terminal 21, a huge mall with a nice food court.

Need medical help? We loved the team at the Global Doctor Clinic in the Interchange Building across from Terminal 21.


 Read more about our Southeast Asia trip!

Hanoi, Halong Bay Day 1, Halong Bay Day 2-3, Hoi An, Cambodia, Railay Beach

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6 thoughts on “Going Back To My Roots in Bangkok

  1. wow!!! I think you had told me that before, but totally forgot you grew up there! How amazing to go back to your roots! These pictures are incredible – the details of the buildings just amaze me!

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