Thailand was amazing from landing to departure. Did you notice that I did not say from beginning to end? I have to be honest that the flight from Newark, NJ to Bangkok with a connection in Hong Kong was very long.

Ten of us traveled together on a flight that took approximately 21 hours with the layover to get from the states to Thailand but the journey was so well worth it.

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During our layover in Hong Kong which is a huge airport, we found a restaurant that serves the best ramen noodles I have ever eaten in my life. So much so that on the return flight home, a few of us made our way back to the same restaurant to purchase some more noodles for the flight back home. So yummy!

We started off in Bangkok. An overcrowded city filled with people, tuk-tuks, mopads, motorcycles, and massage “parlors”. The food was amazing. Our stay at Dream Bangkok was awesome thanks to the concierge YoYo and Ms. Jane in the Flavors Restaurant.

The buffet breakfast was not like any other we were accustomed to. Not only did they have the standard breakfast items but they also included a full salad bar, freshly made soup, fried rice, fish, and so much more. Everything was delicious.

We saw the beautiful temples that are most popular with tourist like ourselves. We went dancing at Sugar Nightclub where we were entertained. We had dinner at an interesting restaurant called Cabbages and Condoms and did some shopping at MBK Center; by the way they have a number of food vendors on the side with some delicious food to charge you up before you spending time spending money in the mall.

We wrapped up our trip with time spent by the beach in Phuket. Phuket is beautiful during the day and filled with lively entertainment at night on Bangla Road. This area is a bit “seedy” but if you are into trying and seeing new things, this is the place for you. There are tons of food vendors, a shopping mall, lots of places to grab a drink, and if you are into some rated R shows, they have that for you as well.

We spent a full day touring the Phi Phi Islands. We snorkeled, took pictures, saw lots of monkeys at Monkey Beach, and had lunch on a beautiful island.

Some of us spent a day getting massages and spending time at the beach while others spent time at a nearby elephant sanctuary feeding and bathing these amazing mammals.

Overall the natives of Thailand were amazingly helpful, friendly, and gracious. We encountered a number of foreigners who were just outright rude; pushing and shoving in crowds, cutting in front of you in lines, etc.

Thailand is a beautiful country that I would definitely visit again despite the 21 hour flight it took from Newark, NJ to get there.

TIP: You can not purchase alcohol in the duty-free shop in the Phuket airport if you have a connecting flight in Hong Kong. We were disappointed to learn this fact as wish we made the decision to make our purchases before heading to the airport.