Been a busy bee on the travelling front again recently so I’ll start from the beginning… Thailand.
If you’re looking to do a couple of weeks in Asia, be it by yourself or with companions, and aren’t really too sure what to do or where to go etc why not try a tour? That’s what I did – through a company called TruTravels, who are UK owned and fantastic fun! Check out their website to see the many options for tours they have available.
I booked on to the 13 day Full Moon Experience departing in late November.
On the lead up to my departure date I was provided with more than adequate information via email (what to pack, currency, do’s/dont’s etc.). There was also a Facebook group set up with all the members that would be interacting on the tour itself.
As many of you probably know flights way across the water can come up extremely expensive. However there are cheaper options available (depending on how luxuriously you want to fly). I found my flights via skyscanner with an airline called ‘China Southern’ – they came up at around £400 return from Heathrow to Bangkok which, if you’ve done any research you’ll know, is a bargain. There was adequate space, it was clean and they supplied plenty of food and drink (if you’re a seriously fussy eater I would recommend you take snacks – the food is Chinese for obvious reasons).
The tour started in Bangkok with collection from the airport by the tour leader and we stayed at Mango Resort.
Things to do and see:
- Give the street food a go – choose the stalls that cook it fresh in front of you.
- Khao San Road (a strip of clubs, bars & food) – if partying is your thing
- River boat cruise
- Ladyboy show (there is a clean version as well as the ping pong shows)
The temples are truly beautiful and well worth a visit of you get the chance, also try out a tuk tuk ride – they are a bit crazy but produce a mass of giggles.
For the duration we were in Bangkok the sun shone and it was around 32° Celsius so be prepared to smother on the suncream.
Good to know
- Don’t touch the monks, especially if you are female
- You have to keep shoulders and knees covered whilst in the Temples
- If you drop money don’t try and stop it with your foot (considered to be standing on the kings head and extremely offensive)
Next stop.. Khao Sok National Park
To get to this destination we had to get a 12 hour night train, followed by a 2 hour drive and then a 45 minute boat – I know right, woah. It sounds daunting but it was actually a good laugh with all 15 of our group for entertainment. One thing to note; if you aren’t a great sleeper then i would recommend acquiring some assistance as it is SO loud when passing other trains.
If you are anything like me then the pain of the travel was definitely worth it. As we rounded a cliff and set eyes upon the floating bungalows (of which there is only around 16 of) and saw the tranquility and open water the travelling became a thing of the past. It is a manmade, freshwater expanse of 739 km².
Things to do
This is a tranquil, chill zone so excursions aren’t massive but there was
- Diving boards
- A massive lake
- Small Shop (serves alcohol)
When we arrived it was raining – this didn’t have much of an impact as we were straight in the water anyway. It stopped late afternoon and was very warm for the duration of our visit with spells of sunshine.
Good to know
- In the evening the staff put out citronella lamps to ward off any mosquitos
- As it is in the middle of a lake there is no direct electricity, it is run off a generator that only operates between the hours of 6pm-12pm.
Our third and final stop took us to Koh Phangan – this is a beautiful island, albeit not the largest. You may or may not have heard of the full moon party but this is where the famous party takes place. To get to this island we took a bus and then a high speed katamaran.
Things to do
- Muay Thai lesson
- Watersports (we tried paddle boarding)
- An array of bars, restaurants and ‘clubs’
- Boat excursions
- Slip n Fly (gigantic slides)
- The Challenge (obstacle course floating on a lake)
- Cooking classes
- Jungle Party
- Full Moon Party
We stayed in a couple of accommodations whilst visiting the island. The first of which was bottle beach, followed by Little Paradise and thirdly Echo Beach Backpackers. The first two were private rooms so you get that degree of privacy, but i thoroughly enjoyed the interaction you gain from staying in a hostel. They also had gorgeous food, a cheap as chips bar and great entertainment. Oh and did i mention they were all situated on the beach.
I must admit we did not have the best weather at all, in fact it rained for a large period of our stay but this didn’t particularly have an impact other than the boat party being cancelled (this was replaced with other excursions). Unfortunately the weather is one of the unpredictables on any trip.
- Flip flops!! lived in these the whole time
- A rucksack you can actually carry (and a smaller one for excursions)
- Loose fitting clothes (its very humid)
To summarise this was one of the most amazing trips i’ve done so far and i met loads of wonderful people that i intend on staying in touch with. If you aren’t so much into the hostel scene and putting yourself out there, in terms of actually trying out the excursions etc., then a tour may not be the best option for you but if, like myself, you’re up for meeting new people, experiencing the tourist side of Thailand, joining in a few daredevil activities (Slip n Fly) and partying then this is perfect.
All in all i spent around £1400 all in. This included extras such as copious amounts of alcohol, laundry and the jungle party.
Hope this has been helpful in some way and here is a little treat for you.. (ps. yes that is me on the right hand side)