Back to Southeast Asia!

Our family began exploring the idea of medical tourism abroad several years ago, and Bridgette and I had a fantastic experience in Bangkok, Thailand. Since then, we decided we’d do our annual health check- ups there but sadly, COVID stopped us from those plans for the last 3 years. So, once Thailand reopened for foreign visitors in 2022, we made plans to head back to Bangkok for our much delayed body checks. It would be our first visit back to SE Asia since COVID and we were super excited, not just for the hospital visit, but for the lively night markets, delicious Asian food, and cheap massages.

We stayed at the Oriental Residence in Bangkok and absolutely loved the one bedroom suite that we got. It had huge floor to ceiling windows all around, a nice kitchen, and a very spacious bathroom. Because Thailand was just opening up then, the rates were ridiculously low. It was such a great time to travel!

Bridgette and I had discovered a few favorite places the last time we were in Bangkok, so we were eager to take Alan there on this trip. First stop was our favorite Yunomori Onsen & Spa! Thailand is known for their abundance of cheap massage parlors, but hygiene is such a top priority for us so we would rarely just walk into a random massage place. We found Yunomori last time based on very high reviews online, and we loved it so much we kept going back. Besides the excellent massages, they also have an authentic Japanese style onsen, and an on-site restaurant serving delicious Japanese food. While the prices are considered on the higher end in Bangkok, it was still a fantastic deal for us coming from the States.

Street markets and night markets were also our favorite places to stroll, though if you need a reprieve from sudden monsoon downpours or the high humidity, there is no shortage of gigantic air-conditioned malls to help kill time. One of our favorite mall in Bangkok is the ICONSIAM, mainly for its indoor floating market that boasts of all the great eats you’d find in a night market, but in an air-conditioned environment! We also discovered Central World on this trip, which is another huge mall that has an adjacent outdoor food market.

We made 2 new discoveries on this trip that I feel compelled to share. The first is the King Power MahaNakhon building, a cool looking building that immediately drew Bridgette’s attention because it reminded her of one of her favorite video games–Minecraft. There is an incredible glass bottom observation deck on its 78th floor, with a 360 degree panoramic view of Bangkok! My legs were a little shaky when I stepped onto the deck, but I eventually got comfortable enough to lay on my back for a photo, lol. There is also a really nice lounge area if you are looking to have a drink with a spectacular view.

The second discovery is a Michelin star restaurant name Canvas. They have a 22 course tasting menu where each dish is presented a piece of art. I stumbled across this place in my preplanning research, and decided to book it as a special treat for our family because I knew Bridgette would really appreciate the crossover of good food and beautiful art.

The 3 hour fine dining experience blew us away! Every single dish was an exploration of all the senses. The colors, flavors, and texture were very intentional, and just when we thought a dish couldn’t possibly be topped, they’d bring out another dish that amazed us even more.

If you’re thinking how any person can possibly finish 22 courses, let me reassure you that it is indeed possible, because most courses are just a single bite or two, and the entire meal is paced out over 3 hours!

Though we only spent a week in Bangkok, we were thrilled to be back in Southeast Asia after 3 years, and savored everything that we saw, heard, and tasted there. Even the occasional monsoon that soaked us without warning was a welcomed sign that we were back in one of our favorite parts of the world!

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