I recently got back from an incredible trip to Thailand. I flew out to Bangkok and joined a Thaintro + Phi Phi tour, from 23rd January to 4th February. I then stayed a couple of extra days and flew home to the UK very early Saturday morning.
I had the most amazing time and completely fell in love with Thailand. I’d happily go back to Thailand to go to the many parts I didn’t get to see on this trip, or anywhere else in Asia… and the rest of the world!
Here’s what we did, and of course what I read too 🙂
Day 1: I arrived quite late in the day so today was just arriving at the guest house in Bangkok and meeting the group for a meal. We also went out to see a bit of the Bangkok nightlife, but only for a drink or two.
Day 2: Today included visiting two Bangkok temples (Wat Pho [Temple of the Reclining Buddha] and Wat Mahatat). They were both beautiful, and there are SO MANY more temples to see in Bangkok! I wish we’d had more time to see more of them. We also went on a long boat down the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok and saw some amazing sights including a huge lizard on the banks of the river!
That evening we went out to Khao San Road, a truly crazy stretch of shops and nightclubs that is pretty normal by day but really comes alive at night! We tried some ‘interesting’ cuisine including fried insects and went on to a club called ‘The Club’ to really experience some Bangkok nightlife!
Day 3: I absolutely loved the cookery course we did today, during which we learnt to make a Thai soup, Pad Thai and Massaman curry- so delicious! We then got our stuff from the guesthouse and headed to the train station where we boarded the 6.30pm overnight train which would take us down south!
The train was a really unique experience. It’s definitely not luxury- you’re in a bunk bed along the legnth of the train, and they come around about 8pm to pull down the top bunk beds so they’re ready for when you head to bed- not that you’re likely to get much sleep! I was on the top bunk but found it al;most impossible to sleep with people walking up and down the carriage and the long trek to the toilets- which are really hard to balance on when the train is swaying and moving! Still, it’s an experience I won’t forget!
Day 4: Today we arrived early off the train at Surat Thani train station and travelled by taxi to Khao Sok National Park, where we boarded a little boat that took us over to our floating bungalows, where we’d be staying for the night. It was truly amazing there, and the views were incredible! They don’t have electricity here apart from between 6.30 – 11pm, as it’s all run off a generator, and it was pretty nice not to be able to charge phones or anything. We had an amazing time chilling in floating rubber rings and enjoying a truky delicious lunch and dinner!
Day 5: We got the ferry over to Koh Phangan. It was absolutely tipping it down as we travelled and the ferry was an interesting experience! My stomach was really cramping up for some reason so I can’t say I enjoyed the traveling too much! It was all worth it when we got to our incredible beach bungalows though at Sarana resort!
In the evening we then headed out to a beach party, complete with fire skipping, fire jugglers and… buckets!
Day 6: I was so excited for our Thai massage; it was amazing to have a really great massage on a hut on the beach, with the sound of the waves in earshot! It was a really nice, chilled day and a good opportunity to work on my tan (I ended up with really bad tan lines, which I hate, but oh well!)
Day 7: Today we took a boat trip around the islands and got to visit some amazing beaches! We also went snorkelling, but the visibility around here wasn’t amazing so i didn’t really see much (we got to snorkel again a few times after this, later in the trip, so all was not lost!).
Afterwards we had a BBQ on the beach with a bonfire which was really nice!
Day 8: Today was the day many of us had been waiting for- seeing the elephants! It was so lovely to feed them bananas and go for a trek with them through the jungle! I chose not to ride them but those in our group who did, all rode without a basket or anything like that, which are supposed to be uncomfortable.
That night was our last evening as a large group (only 8 of us were going on to Phi Phi to do the add on tour) so we had a farewell dinner at a delicious Thai restaurant (I’ll try and remember the name!) and out after for some drinks and to another beach party.
Day 9: Today we traveled to the Phi phi islands by car and ferry today, it took 8 hours of traveling but we made it! The island is very busy and touristy and seemed quite a party island.
Day 10: We had a sunset, half day boat trip around the islands and visited Mosquito island and Monkey island where I finally got the meet a monkey, something I’ve wanted to do forever! The monkeys in Thailand are supposed to be quite diseased though so I made sure I didn’t touch them- didn’t fancy catching rabies!
There wasn’t anything planned for the evening so me and another girl on the tour went out to a bar to watch some Muay Thai boxing, which was really good fun!
Day 11: We got to visit Maya Bay today on a boat trip. The boat we were on had an exclusive arrangement with the island and meant that we got to stay there later in the evening whilst all the other boat tours had to leave the beach at 6pm! We had food and played some drinking games, and then a BBQ later on the beach. Then came one of my favourite parts of the holiday- it was pitch black when we headed back onto the boat but we went snorkeling and saw thousands of glow-in-the-dark plankton, a truly amazing experience!
We then stayed on the boat overnight which was a really cool experience, but again I didn’t get a huge amount (if any) sleep, what with the wind and the boat rocking!
Day 12: We got back to Phi Phi and then got a ferry to Phuket where me and another girl got somewhere to stay and spent our last evening exploring. We went to a few street markets and then chilled at the hotel.
Day 13: I had a wander around Phuket one last time, then got a flight from Phuket to Bangkok and then from Bangkok on to Heathrow. Home again! 😦
Here are the books I read:(I try to read a book set in the country I’m visiting but I failed to adequately prepare for this trip, so just ended up reading books I had on my ‘to review’ list. I didn’t have a huge amount of time for reading really as we were so busy, but there was plenty of travelling time so I could get a fair amount of reading done in the 2 weeks)
The links to each book’s review are below:
- Viral by Helen Fitzgerald
- The Turning Tide by Brooke Magnanti
- The Defence by Steve Cavanagh
- 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
Do let me know if you’ve been to Thailand recently- or anywhere you’ve enjoyed visiting, I’d love to hear about it and find new places to add to my travel list!
I’m also interesting in what you’ve been reading lately- I’m always looking for new book recommendations!