A trip that ends with hopping off a plane (literally) and greeting your Nan (who kindly volunteered to pick you up from the airport) with ‘I think we need to go to A & E‘ is definitely not the desired way to end your holiday…
It’s about time I caught you up on my trip to Thailand back in June (only two months late).
If you’ve known me for a while, or have been following my social media then you’ll be aware that I decided this year would be the year I push myself out of my comfort zone. So what better way was there to do that than to jump on a plane solo to meet a group of people that I’d never met before? Yeah I know it’s mad, I couldn’t believe I did it either.
Now you know how the trip ended, it’s only natural that I start from the beginning and tell you how I ended up needing to take a trip to A & E right?
The journey to Thailand was the longest flight I’ve ever been on. With a short flight from Norwich and a stop in Amsterdam (so short I had to be escorted to the plane by security as my initial flight was really delayed). Followed by an 11 hour flight to Bangkok, I can happily say that long haul flights are not high on my list of things I enjoy.
I should probably add at this point that my trip was with INTRO Travel (which I paid for myself). I’ve linked the trip here so you can check it out for yourself if you’re interested.
Day 1: Arriving in Thailand, Bangkok
After stepping off the plane into a somewhat warmer and more humid climate than back home (England, UK) it would be safe to say that my in flight uniform of gym leggings and a hoodie was maybe a little much… I was met by our tour guide Liam at the airport. We were joined by other solo travellers who were yet to experience what the next 18 days would bring.
Taxis were arranged to take us from the airport to our hotel in Bangkok, where we met the rest of the group who arrived throughout the day. We stayed at the Wild Orchid Villa.
This was a chilled day where we went for a swim in a nearby pool, met our roommate(s), had our first group dinner (including a cocktail or two, naturally). Oh and we took a trip to the Baiyoke Sky Hotel Bar which had the most incredible view. Entrance cost around 400 Thai baht and included a free drink, which was totally worth it in my opinion (my photo doesn’t do the view justice).
Day 2: Temples, Monk blessing & River trip, Bangkok
After arriving in Bangkok no more than 24 hours before we were whisked off to view some temples. The first temple we visited was the Chana Songkhram where we were blessed by a local Monk. We also visited the Wat Pho temple which had a 200 Thai baht entrance fee.
I had my first Tuk Tuk ride which was well what can you say, an experience? I’m pretty sure that the Tuk Tuk drivers were trying to race each other…
We then enjoyed a trip on the River Canal where we had to play a (not so fun) game of let’s introduce ourselves.
The evening got a little interesting, and by interesting I mean messy, very messy. It started off really civilized with a lovely Indian meal in a beautiful restaurant called Bombay Blues. This was until giant cocktails appeared, Sambuca shots (I’m not a fan of Sambuca but Thai Sambuca is actually ok). Followed by very awful but very entertaining karaoke.
Khao San Road was where everyone really got to know each other. If karaoke, eating scorpions and purchasing poorly phrased bracelets for another person wasn’t enough already (if you took the bracelet off you had to do a forfeit) and then visiting a packed Thai club, then I’m not sure Khao San Road is the place for you. Of course you don’t have to do any of the above, but it sure was memorable.
Day 3: Thai Cooking class & chilled afternoon, Bangkok
To tell you the truth I can’t say much about the cooking class because I was rather ill. The combination of heat and the night before was just too much for me. I don’t plan to elaborate on what happened, but I’m sure you can guess without too much trouble…
What I can say is that those who took part in the cooking class said the food was delicious, I can only add that it looked and smelled great.
The weather wasn’t on our side in the afternoon, the rain was torrential, I’ve never ever seen anything like it. Fortunately a small group of us were taking residence in a massage place, you’re not on holiday if you’re not relaxing are you?
With our next stop being Khao Sok national park we went on a long (16 hour) overnight train departing from Bangkok. We had an entire cabin to ourselves which was like a giant sleepover, literally. We shared snacks, played card games, braided hair (I became the resident hairdresser) and had a very cosy nights sleep in a very unconventional bed.
Day 4: Arriving at Khao Sok National Park & Floating Bungalows
Khao Sok National Park is a man made lake, which is absolutely beautiful. To get to the floating bungalows located on the lake it took about an hour by boat. Due to the location there was no WIFI or service on the lake (BLISS I tell you). Plus there was only power between the hours of 6PM and 6AM, not that you needed it because there was so much to do without technology.
We enjoyed hours of Kayaking, Tubing and just relaxing in the lake and if that wasn’t your thing then there was a bar too where you were more than welcome to hang out.
Our evening was filled with games one of which I won (there are benefits to being flexible after all) and many games which I’ll admit I was terrible at. We only stayed there for one day and night, which was plenty as it was pretty secluded.
Day 5: Travel day, Sarana Bungalows & Half Moon Party, Koh Pha-ngan
Travel days weren’t the most exciting, with trips to Seven Eleven being one of the highlights (FYI Seven Eleven is like Tesco in England).
By the afternoon we reached Ko Pha-ngan where we stayed in the most incredible beach facing bungalows. The view was breathtaking and I could have stayed there forever.
Most of the group went for dinner at Same Same Bar, Haad Rin which served the most amazing food (at a really good price). All the food we ate in Thailand was super affordable and really tasty too. We also bought our tickets for the Half Moon festival here.
The Half Moon Festival was great fun. We danced until our feet hurt and ended the night with chips (naturally) before heading back to the bungalows for a well deserved sleep.
Day 6: Beach massages, chill day & Food markets, Koh Pha-ngan
Liam ever so kindly booked our room into the ‘early‘ massage slot, by early I mean 10 AM but after a late night even that was considered early. I should probably be thankful for this as a massage was more than welcome and was thoroughly enjoyed. The day by the pool and the delicious smoothie bowl I enjoyed for breakfast was pretty amazing too.
In the evening we visited the Phantip night food market which even catered for the odd ones (inlcuding the Vegan(s), Gluten and Dairy free people). There was such a great choice of food, including the most incredible homemade Coconut ice cream. It was a dream, and I don’t even like Coconut.
So there you have it, days 1-6 of my Thailand travel diary. I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip, days 7-12 and 13-18 will be on the blog soon (watch this space).
Thanks for reading,
Love Saff x