Just writing this post makes me miss Thailand. Thailand may now be my favorite country. Ever. I love the food, the people, the diving, the culture and they have, hands down, some of the prettiest beaches in the world! We spent around a month in Thailand and it wasn’t nearly enough time. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of this fabulous country!
We celebrated a few milestones in Thailand – our three month anniversary and our 100 day anniversary since our Round the World trip began. Exciting stuff!
(Wat Po; Sunset in Koh Phi Phi; Pooltime at the Bangkok Hilton)
A few Thailand facts I thought were fascinating that I found on Everything Everywhere’s blog.
The flag of Thailand was designed so it cannot be hung upside down.
Bangkok is the hottest city in the world according to the World Meteorological Organization. It has a median temp of 28 and is warm all year long, including nights.
Bangkok is also one of the most visited cities in the world – third behind Paris and London.
Thailand has had over 20 successful military coups in the last 100 years.
Hello – Sawadee krup (male) kaa (female)
Thank you – Kop khun krup (male) kaa (female)
A few Thailand Stats:
- Days spent in Thailand: 25
- Tank tops purchased: 9
- Bracelets acquired: 6
- Anklets purchased: 1
- Buckets consumed: 12 (complete estimate…)
- Changs consumed: countless
- Scuba Dives: 7
- Guys kissed: 1
- Islands visited: 7
- Thai pancakes eaten: LOTS
- Tattoos: 0
- Night Trains: 2
- Insects eaten: 2
- Fire Shows: 7
- Pingpong Shows: 1 (scarred for life…)
- Bag left in cab: 1 (Danielle)
- Bag recovered when the taxi driver returned to meet us back at the dock: 1 (Sooo lucky!)
1. Full Moon Party – I loved all of our time in Thailand, but the week spent in Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party were some of my favorite days. Something I wrote in the original post, yet I feel it bears repeating…it’s hard to put into words a week that was filled with neon, body paint, vodka/whiskey buckets, debauchery and a 40-person dorm room. To sum it up: beyond AMAAAAZING!! It was made even more amazing by all of the fantastic new (lifelong) friends we met!
2. Koh Phi Phi – My favorite island in Thailand and I think one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are no cars or motorbikes on the island and you can walk the majority of the island in about twenty minutes. I love small islands that you can walk everywhere and constantly run into fellow travelers you know. Phi Phi also has excellent nightlife and some pretty fun fire shows. The diving in Phi Phi is awesome and will always hold a special place as where I saw my first shark.
3. Maya Bay Camping – It’s no wonder Tilda Swinton wanted to keep The Beach a secret in the 2000 hit movie with Leo, The Beach. It’s paradise. Picture-perfect in everyway imaginable and the overnight camping trip gives you a tiny glimpse of that perfection. Waves of crystal clear, turquoise blue waters gently crashing on a strip of sandy white beach, all surrounded by limestone cliffs. Heaven. On. Earth!
Our camping trip allowed us to be the only people on the island for about twelve hours. Does paradise really exist? Perhaps not, but Maya Bay, without all the tourists, is pretty damn close.
4. Tiger Kingdom – The only thing we did in Chiang Mai (since we had to get down to Koh Phangan for the FMP) and totally worth it. We chose smallest, small and large and getting to play and photograph these magnificent tigers was awesome! (I didn’t realize I looked like a zebra until everyone started commenting on the pics. I only had a limited selection of tops.)
5. Koh Tao – I got my Advanced Adventure certification in Koh Tao at Big Blue Diving Resort. While the dorms (BB1) where nothing to write home (perhaps the exact opposite), the diving course and instructors were excellent! First night dive…check! First shipwreck dive…check! First time at 30m deep…check! Freedom Beach on Koh Tao is also worth mentioning, as it’s quite pretty.
6. Khaosan Road (Bangkok) – the infamous backpacker mecca, Khaosan Road, is not to be skipped while visiting Bangkok. You can walk down the street shopping at the night market (hello tank tops!!), try an insect (or two!), receive non-stop invitations to Pingpong shows and continue to enjoy buckets & Changs walking up and down the street!
(reunion with Castaway Island friends Lisa & Grace on Khaosan Road)
7. Chang, Singha and Buckets – We consumed more Changs than I care to admit. Singha was my favorite Thai beer, but typically a large Singha cost more than the Changs, and I am a sucker for a deal. Large Changs ranged from around 50 baht with some as high as 120 baht ($1.63-$3.91, just to make it easy for those of you about to pull out your converters). Buckets were where the real value lay, which is why I consumed a whole lot more buckets than I intended. Plus, they’re hard to escape, the bucket bartenders woo you with fancy plastic rose rings, buckets are a variety of fun colors and who doesn’t enjoy drinking out of a straw! Oh, and they’re dirt cheap. My typical bucket was either vodka and Orange Fanta or vodka, Red Bull and Sprite. Tasty AND thirst quenching. As I type this, I could really go for a Chang!
8. Dancing Elephant Hostel – Does a 40-person dorm room sound completely nuts? It did to me, yet it was my second favorite hostel we’ve stayed at since beginning our trip! The room was extremely well organized and the whole hostel (there was also a 20-person room) was like a little family for the week of the Full Moon. We gathered every night in the street by the HQ bar and had beers, buckets and painted on each other. The owners David and Nanda couldn’t have been friendlier and more helpful throughout the whole stay. Plus, we met so many amazing people!
9. Thai Pancakes – Peanut butter. Bananas. (occasionally) Nutella. Combined with a fried dough, crepe-like pancake. Cut into squares and served on a stick. I think I could live on these delicious treats!
10. Night train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok – Our night train experiences seem to be polar opposites to one another (Vietnam- ride to Sapa was awful; ride back to Hanoi significantly better) and the same was true with Thailand. Our second night train sucked. But our first was so lovely that I felt it was worthy of the last spot on the top 10. We both had bottom bunks, which are quite spacious and even allowed for double occupancy for a movie and made for an excellent night sleep. Our train was running late arriving to Bangkok, which would mean we would miss our next train to Chumphon, but the Thai staff was so friendly that they called our next train and it was held 45 minutes for us (along with two other passengers) to hop on.
(night train #1; bus to night train #2)