15 January 2015

Travelling Gypsy Life Entry 36

So Thailand. A place I have always avoided going to due to films such as The Hangover, and the stories of full moon parties. I thought Thailand was a place I’d get scammed, a place someone would but drugs in my luggage and a place full of British guys with too many tattoos to match their too red sunburn. Alas, I was wrong! Thailand is a great country and it has heaps to offer, so here is what it offered me.

Bangkok. Liz wasn’t keen on the old ping pong show; so much to my disappointment we didn’t watch women shoot various things out of their nether regions. But we did see a temple or two, went to the night markets and even this exhibition called ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ where basically you take the place of a blind person for an hour and experience what it would be like to lose your sight. After Bangkok we did a quick trip to Erawan National Park which is a selection of beautiful waterfalls but with fish that bite!

After Bangkok we caught a bus and a boat to the south to our first island which was Koh Tao. Known for its scuba diving, Liz did her PADI open water there and I dived (dove?) and saw all manner of fish. Such a beautiful place, even if full of other tourists, but yet amazing beaches and incredible warm ocean.

After Koh Tao we headed to the full moon party island of Koh Phangnon. We went just before Christmas so it was pretty deserted, so we only spent one night there. Having seen the place out of its full moon cycle it looked depressing and dirty, however if the time was to come again I would go to the full moon party but the dates just didn’t work with our trip. More buses/boats/trains/jet skis later we headed to Krabi and Railey beach which, yet again, was really beautiful. Not much to do in Krabi town, but head to Railey beach and there is more incredible white sand and beautiful waters. Plus some live monkeys just chilling. After Krabi, another trip south to the island of Koh Phi Phi. A party place, and a place most ‘travelers’ hate. However, we stayed one night and had a good party on the beach. Pole included, I managed to get a fair few bruises on my legs and arms which looked like I’d been pushing some kind of drugs, but alas no. Not much else to say about Koh Phi Phi, except it rained after we finished partying. Our last of the islands was Koh Lanta which is where we stayed for Christmas. The first night included a stay with a really weird couchsurfer, who spoke about ten words to us. But then, we got ourselves a little cabin on the beach and celebrated Christmas under the sun and swimming in the ocean. Koh Lanta is known for hosting Christmas to the Swedish every year so we met a fair few Swedes. We did some island trips, and generally ate, drank and swam in the ocean.

After Christmas, we flew to the north to Chiang Mai for New Years. Chiang Mai was incredible, and maybe one of my favourite cities in South East Asia. There was a lot to do there including cooking classes, zip-wires, elephant tours and tiger tours. As I think the whole tiger kingdom in Thailand is cruel, we avoided that bit but we did head to the Thailand Elephant Conservation Park. Loads of beautiful elephants roaming around and even an elephant hospital where we saw an elephant getting treated for a bomb it had stepped on in Myanmar.

We also did a cooking class in Chiang Mai with Baan Thai Cooking School. A day to be fat and greedy as we got to make five dishes. So much food, but so good, mainly cause I’m pretty much a chef now. We made Pad Thai, spring rolls, mango sticky rice, curry and Tom yam soup.

The New Years was good but overall non-eventful. Just a bunch of street parties with a ton of lanterns floating into the sky. After Chiang Mai we headed to Pai which is a hippy, laidback town. There really were a ton of hippies there and Liz and I were ready to throw away our shoes with our lonely planet, and get some dreads. But instead, we just got a few hippy bracelets instead. Pai was really hot, maybe too much for my delicate pale skin. We attempted a bike ride one day but I failed after a good 15 minutes due to my lack of quad muscles and excess of heat. Buttttt on the way back I came across a farm I’d heard about where the owner provides you with fresh fruit and veg with fresh drinks, all for a small donation. And then, I found hammock chairs on my cycle/struggle back.

After Pai we headed to Laos but that can go in another post as even my mum will probably be bored of reading this by now. Hope you liked the pictures, and the food porn I provided of the Thai food I made. See you down under in Straya!

Peace out x

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