Literally can’t get over it. Thailand has been at the top of my travel list for absolutely years – destination numero uno. I think my longing to go there stems as far back as watching The Beach for the first time (hellooooo early 00s Leonardo!)
It’s always been one of my major goals – earn enough money to pack a back pack and piss off somewhere and not even worry about it for a bit. I’ve been through a lot of changes over the last year and had planned that I would definitely go to Thailand in 2017. Enough fannying around, time to go. On my own if necessary.
I’d mentioned it to Will about a billion times. I was probably (definitely?) on the verge of boring. Skip to a few weeks later and I’m in the pub showing him flights on the Skyscanner app, showing him Instagram pictures of beautiful island beaches, that prices of Tuk Tuks aren’t that bad and CLEARLY eating a scorpion on Khao San Road is beneficial to my health – he just turns to me and says: “Okay, book it.”
Cue Ella’s jaw hitting the table and almost knocking over my ridiculously overpriced Pino. 2017 achievement goal unlocked.
Taking no chances, those flights were booked in five minutes flat, and my 65L backpack was on Express delivery so fast Amazon didn’t know what had hit it.
We’ve planned roughly where we want to be and when, but obvs don’t want to plan too much – but I thought I’d share it to open up our itinerary to suggestions of experiences, places to stay …and bars obviously. Also I’m so damn excited I just have to get it out there boiii.
Flying into Bangkok
We fly into Bangkok early as hell in the morning and are staying at some guest house. We haven’t planned to do anything, except go to Khao San Road in the evening. The research I’ve done suggests this is the vanilla tourist approach, but I don’t think I can NOT go! I’m also hella intrigued to see what the gogo bars are like out there. I went to the Red Light District in Amsterdam and for some reason places like that, rightly or wrongly (discuss?) hold a strong fascination for me. I don’t know whether it’s the fact that it’s a life being lived that’s so far flung from my own, or what.
I’m also going eat a few insects. Because you’ve got to, haven’t you?
Flying to Chiang Mai
I was a liiiiittle disappointed as I really wanted to try out the sleeper train to Chiang Mai – but looking at the prices vs time spent travelling, flying won out every time. We’re again, staying in a little guest house. I thought it was pretty cute that they had a MASSIVE SERIOUS disclaimer on the website that WARNING, breakfast WILL BE CHARGED AS EXTRA. Putting the price into the currency converter told me we can receive that luxury for the grand total of £3.50 each. Banging.
We haven’t planned anything except visiting the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, which we’ve booked ahead. I’ve heard all about the bad things that happen in elephant ‘sanctuaries’, plus the drugged tiger thing. I don’t want to contribute to that. I spoke to a lot of people, did a bit of sleuthing and I either read reviews mentioning the poor treatment of the animals or saw that riding the elephants would be part of the program (no no). EJS came out on top.
This was the one massive thing on my bucket list and I wanted to make sure we did it right. See the below from the website:
- There is no riding of the elephants – despite their large and strong build, elephants do not have the spines to support a rider. Long days of being ridden, either bareback or with a saddle, can cause painful damage to their spines not to mention the additional pain caused by the saddle itself and the wear on their feet from walking all day with improperly supported weight.
- Chains, bull hooks and the like are not used to subdue, coerce or manage the elephants.In Thailand, there is a long-standing tradition of training elephants for the tourism industry. The training method, called the Phajaan or crush, is exactly as it’s English translation would suggest – a method to crush the spirit of the animal. Bullhooks and chains are part of this method and are usually continued to be used while tourists are enjoying their ride through the jungle.
We’ve got a few days here. What else shall we do? I heard about a day-trip to Chiang Rai, is it worth it?
Flying to Phuket
Again, we’re flying to save time. We haven’t booked anywhere to stay yet and are toying with the idea of staying in a hostel dorm. I have never done it – not even in Amsterdam – and it’s not a very ‘me’ thing to do, but…YOLO right (sorry).
Where should we head?
Island hopping, yah?
Obviously this was going to feature. We just want to lie on the beach with beers and pretend we’ve not got real life to go back to. Koh Phi Phi is top of the list. I never realised there was so many though – it’s difficult to choose what to do in the time that we have. Incidentally, we haven’t booked anywhere to stay as we don’t know where we’re going to be. Is it worth chancing it and just turning up to find somewhere to stay on the day?
I’m super excited to get some more stamps on my passport, and I’ve already got a mental list of the other places I want to visit over the next few years (sorry Will).
So, what do you think of our plans so far? Have we missed anywhere that we really should visit? Let me know, I’ll add it to our itinerary. Otherwise, I’ll update you when we get back…!