Thailand is a place packed full of budget travellers, with its lush jungles, famous beaches, amazing food, best diving courses and many tourist attractions for all walks of life. It is by far my favourite country I have visited. The Thai people are so friendly, you can find super cheap guest houses, the culture is amazing and inspiring, oh and did I mention the food is delicious!! Everything is convenient and easy as the country is a well-worn destination on the backpacking trail. Thailand is so well known around the world that when you hear the name, you already picture beaches, beauty, jungles, elephants and food in your head. And your thoughts are spot on, it’s everything like that and more!
I ventured to London with 3 of my best friends Lauren, Tom and my Go Pro, all pumped and ready for the airport. In January 2016 I had a random message from Lauren asking if I wanted to to Thailand in November 2016…it was SO spontaneous as it took me 0.2 seconds to say YES and booked it there and then. Tom got jealous and booked in the summer to join us! 🙂
Bangkok is known around the world for its famous chaotic, crowded streets, wild nightlife, cheap prices and never ending traffic. You either love or hate it. You’ll find that this seemingly ugly city has a lot of beauty. I only stayed there for 3 days and managed to visit the temples and get blessed by a monk, go up to the tallest building in Bangkok to visit the Sky Bar, took a Thai cooking class and tested out the nightlife on the famous Koh San Road (which was hectic, fun and adventurous. 6 buckets down…). Khao San Road is the infamous backpacker/tourist street in Bangkok. All travel roads lead in and out of here. However, it is more than just a transit hub for travellers. Here, you can find nightlife, great food, great shopping stalls, tons of people watching, and activity all day and all night.
What to do whilst in Bangkok?
Floating Market- To enjoy the atmosphere without haggling over prices, try relaxing on a guided boat tour of Damnoen Saduak market. Floating markets are Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market, Tha Kha, and Damnoen Saduak.
Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw- This is a must-see sight that would complete your trip to Bangkok. The spectacular Grand Palace, undoubtedly is the city’s most famous landmark. Throughout the year it has thousands of visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people.
The Khlongs of Thonburi- This is a tour that you can book online or when you are there and it gives you a real sense of how people in Bangkok used to live, in stilted shacks, old wooden townhouses and dilapidated lean-tos and some still do. For a minute, just forget the tourist hordes, the overpriced souvenirs and the whole money-making charade. You might even get a chance to experience a little bit of the floating market, if you’re lucky!
Also, whilst on this river boat tour, you get to stop and participate feeding fish!
Sky Bar– Everyone loves a good skyscraper right? If you’re afraid of heights, this is still for you and not to be missed! I am a lover for outstanding views, so I was in love. We visited the tallest Sky Bar in Bangkok called “Baiyoke Tower II” which is an 84-storey, 309 skyscraper hotel.
Koh Sok National Park-
We spent 2 days in a national park with no signal, no wifi, just human interaction and I loved it! Didn’t need to worry about checking my phone to see what was going on around the world. We ventured on our own with the canoes (of course we capsized) swimming in the lake, drinking and playing music.
We stayed here for a good few days. This island is most famous for their Full Moon Parties that happens once a month. Waking up every morning with beautiful sunrises and stunning views for sunset, I felt so blessed.
This was the best experience of my life so far. I didn’t realise how smart they are, it is truly amazing! I don’t agree with anyone riding elephants or people who support abusing any sort of animals. But at this location it was amazing because we could just happily take them for a walk, feed them bananas (I accidentally touched their tongues) and have the best water fight you’d ever experience) I honestly felt starstruck when meeting them, nothing but happiness and love!
KOH PHI PHI-
You can walk around this island in just 15 minutes it’s that small. Be well aware that this island is full of tourist all around, just in case you wanted to come here to relax.
Viewpoint in Koh Phi Phi…
*Breathes* I hope you trained at the gym for this. It is a 20-30 minute climb to the Viewpoint and it will bring you to the highest point in Phi Phi, with nothing but astonishing, iconic views. I went during the day, but I have heard the best time to go is just in time for sunrise.
This is a small hidden cove which is full of long-tailed Macaque Monkeys! The monkeys are often quite friendly and will often come over and steal any food you have (which I do on a daily basis with people) But if you retaliate back they will go for you..SO BE CAREFUL!! This is accessible by boat, which people usually visit being part of an island hopper tour around Phi Phi itself.
MAYA BAYA- (The Beach)
This is one of those locations where you have to go and see for yourself because photos don’t do it justice. It’s such an inspirational place that a book was written about it, following an award winning film ‘The Beach’ starring the famous Leonardo Dicaprio! This island is also famous for crystal clear water, huge limestone cliffs and pure white sand.
I met the most incredible people in Thailand who I can happily say will be friends for life! Already visited some of them in their home towns and will be doing more travelling to visit the others. Hopefully we will be meeting up in America for 4th July 2018.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience in Thailand, if you’ve been I would LOVE to hear about your stories. But if you haven’t I hope this has helped you get ideas for the future.
Manda 🙂 x