Thailand

Planning a trip to Thailand and wondering how much time you should spend in Bankgkok vs on a tropical white sand beach on some remote island? Well, we can help. Real quick, you only need to spend 2-3 days in Bangkok. It’s big city life, but it’s not super easy to navigate, and most of it is dirty as hell. But you’ll want to visit all the major temples/Buddahs, and the palace. Take a day trip out to the ancient ruins, a dinner cruise down the Chao Phraya river, because you see more of the city from the river and it’s beautiful when it’s all lit up at night. And  eat some good food!

Plan on flying to an island like Ko Samui for some rest and relaxation. Know that most of the islands are pretty touristy, so we recommend booking a room on the side that DOESN’T have a ton of infrastructure. You can always take a cab to the side where all the spring breakers are partying if you want. But you can’t get away from the noise and debauchery if you’re sleeping in the middle of it all. Do a snorkeling trip from your island, there are plenty to choose from.

Spend a good chunk of time in Northern Thailand, specifically Chiang Mai. It’s a good combination of city life and rural countryside. In Chiang Mai you’ll get a considerably more authentic Thai experience, and the food is even more fantastic if you can imagine. Take a cooking class (or two) in Chiang Mai. There are tons to chose from! Just make sure you pick one that starts with a trip to the local market to buy the ingredients you need, and ends at the cooking school. That way you’ll get to learn about all the unique ingredients and familiarize yourself with the purchasing experience so you don’t feel like a dope when you do it on your own later.

When in doubt, walk through a night market for good souvenir  shopping and street food. The street food is perfectly safe to eat so go for it and enjoy the fact that you’ll never eat food that good for so little money anywhere else.

The people of Thailand are relatively poor, and they make their money off tourism. That means everyone is super accommodating, helpful, sweet, kind, and willing to offer you a massage, a ride, a home cooked meal, or even the shirt off their back!

Skim through some of our posts below, and pull out some ideas for your own trip to Thailand. And if you have any questions, send us an email!

Our Thailand posts in no particular order

  • Are we there yet?

    These last few months I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around the world: first to Europe and now Asia. I know it sounds crazy, but I love airplane food, and now that the airlines are cheap as fuck!, you never get food on domestic flights. So I was a pig in a blanket on these past international flights where they served full meals, sometimes more than one. Singapore Airlines Singapore airlines is known for their service, and now I can honestly say their food is pretty damn good too. The first lunch they served us shrimp cocktails and penne pasta […]
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  • Sawadee-crup…not CRAP!

    The only two pieces of Thai you need to learn when traveling through Thailand are how to say “hello” and “thank you.” “Sa-wa-dee-crup” (Sa-wa-dee-kah if you’re female) is like “Shalom” in Hebrew; it means hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and goodbye. “Kup-kun-krup” (Kup-kun-kah if you’re female) is how you say “thank you.” *I know I’m not transliterating Thai properly….but this is how you would phonetically say it. It wasn’t even 7:30am on our first morning in Bangkok and I felt like I was assimilating with the locals. I was hello-ing and thank-you-ing the friendly staff at the Lebua […]
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  • Thailand’s Ayutthaya ruins and the local market

    After piling into our ten-seater van we left the Labua Hotel (which we learned was the same hotel where they filmed the helicopter scene from The Hangover Part II….not worth the overcrowded elevators from tourists wanting to see the top) and wrestled with the traffic and motorcycles and scooters zipping by. About an hour north of Bangkok is the island city of Ayutthaya. This was the second capitol of Siam for centuries and one of the few places left in Thailand where the ancient monasteries, pagodas, and ruins from the 14th century are still standing. We toured the national park […]
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  • Dinner with Thai Locals Jack & Lek

    Whenever I travel internationally I try to seek out the restaurants where the locals eat, because that’s the only way to ensure you’re going to get an authentic experience from cuisine to culture. Restaurants and bars along popular shopping streets or within view of museums and monuments, although appealing and convenient, are generally more expensive, less appreciative of your business, and the food is often mediocre. Sure they might speak English and the restaurant’s full capacity may seem like a good sign, but the point of your trip is to step out of your world and into the world of […]
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  • Bangkok’s Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Kao San Road

    The Grand Palace, Bangkok Thailand On our second full day in Bangkok we did the major touristy stuff: the Grand Palace Bangkok Thailand and Wat Pho. The Grand Palace is this giant compound filled with gilded pagodas, temples and statues. The attention to detail is amazing. Millions of colored glass tiles, and pieces of broken ceramics decorated the walls of every structure and sculpture. The weather outside was hot (in the 90s) and moist….sort of like walking in an armpit, but it felt even worse being crammed inside the palace walls with tons of sweaty tourists, not to mention the […]
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  • Loy Nava Dinner Cruises Bangkok

    One of the drawbacks to Bangkok being built at sea level is that it’s more susceptible to flooding….and I guess mosquitos too, which if I’m being honest, I might consider a national disaster of its own (I’m like a pin cushion to these fucking blood suckers!). Malaria anyone? But when the city isn’t flooded, the advantage to all that pooled and flowing water weaving it’s way throughout is that residents and visitors can chose to put on their sea-legs and travel by boat. Doesn’t matter if it’s a long-tailed boat, speedboat, or ferry, one of the best ways to see […]
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  • Unexpected fabulous dinner in Koh Samui

    Since I’ve fallen behind in my updates from the trip I’m going to post in the past-tense moving forward….just go with it. So we arrived on Koh Samui (Koh is Thai for island) in the late morning, because we’d gotten up earlier at 5am to catch the plane from Bangkok. The flight was just over an hour and they did indeed serve a meal (take a note or two US Domestic airline carriers)… although, I have to admit, the meal was inedible (a custard quiche-like thing, and mystery ground spicy chicken patty sandwich with butter-why do they do that? But […]
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  • Thai massage & our first real Pad Thai

    “You have to get a massage every day in Thailand!” “They’re like $10 for an hour.” Everyone who has been to Thailand rages about the massages. Some even confirm the “happy endings” are real. Well I’ll be the first massage-skeptic (because I think it’s an affront to my personal space) to admit that “yes” they are indeed cheap, relaxing, and occasionally the masseuse will grab your testicles and squawk “you want me make big tip!” in your ear. The three most common massages you’ll find in Thailand are: the full body Thai, full body oil, and the foot massage. All […]
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  • Coconut Heads and the Night Market in Fisherman’s Village

    After a day of snorkeling with jellyfish, kayaking with leg cramps, hiking to secret lagoons, and almost throwing-up my lunch from a choppy boat ride back to Koh Samui from Ang Thong National Marine Park, the group was ready for an outing. What do seven Jews do on Friday evening after sundown? Shabbat dinner of course…yeah right! We went to the night market in Fisherman’s Village stuffed our pie holes with pork, shellfish, and everything in between. Night Market in Fisherman’s Village From the Sea Koh Samui hotel the night market in Fisherman’s Village should have been a five-minute drive, […]
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  • Potty training & dinner in Chiang Mai

    I’d been in Thailand for nearly five days, and it wasn’t until we arrived in Chiang Mai (big city in northern Thailand) that I got a lesson in how to use the bathrooms. “You mean you’ve been flushing toilet paper the entire time you’ve been in Thailand?!” Jeri my stepmother’s middle-aged best friend from Australian asked me with this look of shock. “Of course, this is the 90s.” I said, giggling at the Clueless reference and the absurdity of the conversation. “What do you think that little trashcan next to the toilet is for?” she asked again. “Isn’t that for […]
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  • Cooking class in Chiang Mai, Part 1 of 2

    We started with a visit to the local market If you’re a foodie and you’re excited about the cuisine of a culture you’re about to visit, consider taking a cooking class while you’re there. I’d taken a cooking class in Paris and had a wonderful experience. The good ones (cooking classes) include a trip to the local farmer’s market to purchase fresh ingredients needed for the dishes you’re gonna cook. You get a great snapshot of the local flavor and style of living from seeing what people eat and how they purchase it, and if you’re with a local it […]
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  • Making coconut milk

    On a trip to the French Polynesian island of Moorea (Tahiti adjacent stranded smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean) I devoted nearly two hours of my time and a layer of skin (thanks sunburn) trying to get a fresh green coconut cracked open for it’s interior bounty…Talk about first-world problems, right! First I had to get it down from the tree….I won’t bore you with the details, but it wasn’t easy and I strained my sciatica. Next I had to make it through the thick fibrous outer layer and then use a phillips head screwdriver to drill […]
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  • Cooking Class in Chiang Mai Part 2 of 2

    To read the first part of this Chiang Mai story, Part 1 of 2 After a few hours of picking over the Chiang Mai market for the ingredients we needed, we piled back into the covered bed of the rickety red pickup truck and Wanee’s driver took us to our next destination– the cooking school. I overlooked my starvation because I was so excited to learn how to cook Thai food, which I’ll admit, I’ve always been scared to tackle, because the cooking style and staple ingredients are so different from what I’m used to cooking with. Fortunately I’m a […]
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  • French Fondue with the Thai Tycoon

    So where exactly did I leave you last? Oh yeah, that’s right… when we last discussed our tour of Thailand I was recounting the endless barrage of 30 baht made-to-order meals and the deluge of chili-infused calories that seemed to culminate in our days of outdoor markets and cooking lessons with Wanee and the staff of the Classic Home Cooking School. We were in Chiang Mai where the hustle and bustle of a thriving congested metropolis is juxtaposed by the surrounding serenity of undeveloped jungles and rural hill-tribe villages without plumbing, electricity, and the distractions of the Internet and cable […]
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  • One-Year-Old Gets A Facelift

    Happy Birthday…to Us! I’m excited to announce that today Eatsporkjew.com (aka Eats Pork Jew) has reached a new milestone. We’re one-year old! Yep, this time last year, the site went from being an idea; one that was discussed, contemplated, and agonized over for more than a nine month gestation period, until we heaved and hollered and gave birth to our baby blog on November 13th  2012. And now it’s this living, breathing, digitally kicking, expression of its creators; one that’s full of energy, irreverence, and spunk! It’s been a whirlwind of a year, and we want to say a big “thank you” […]
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