Travelling with my two gals through the beautiful country of Thailand altered my life back at home. It made me laugh off trivial matters and it made me realize how big this world truly is. It especially made me cherish my life a million times more than when I was safely at home in bed.
You’ll get more life experience than you ever bargained for when travelling to a foreign country with nothing but a backpack and some cash in a makeshift wallet you should safeguard with your life. There are the moments you get bug-eyed nervous and repeat “why the hell am I here?” over and over because let’s face it, you’re going to do some outrageous things. These were my moments.
Fear Factor Worthy Food:
Think deep-fried scorpions and maggots, questionable street meat sold from a lonely cart along the road, and milk tea scooped into a plastic bag for you to drink from. This is what you’ll chow down on hustling from city to city. Each day was a new meal to tickle a new taste bud and honestly, everything was pretty yummy.
Tuk Tuk Trips:
Forget cabs with seat belts, air-conditioning or even doors. If you thought your city’s taxi drivers were monsters, they’ve got nothing on the folks over here. They aren’t bad people, they just don’t see the problem with shoving 12 backpackers into a minivan for an 18 hour trip.
Meet your ride.
Be prepared to swerve left and right on an uphill road with no road railings to save you from a 30 foot drop into jungle (I’m also pretty sure one of our drivers was drunk because he kept laughing manically with his wife in the passenger seat and ignored our endless screams of fear in the back). Did I mention that we had to hold onto metal bars in order to not get thrown out of the vehicle?
I can’t forget the other amazing methods of transportation: long boat, motorcycle and ferry.
Frolicking in Animal Kingdom:
Animals are a major tourist attraction and must-see when in Thailand. Monkeys, elephants, lizards and tigers (plus crazy mosquitos) are all part of the package. On the streets, you’ll find tons of stray cats and dogs roaming the streets.
Strangely enough, we didn’t feel fear entering the tiger’s metal wired den even though this bundle of happiness greeted us. They were walking around unchained and pouncing on one another. We probably should have been a little concerned…but you know, YOLO.
Sure, elephants are caring and insanely smart creatures but like all other wild animals, they’re actions are driven by food. This is why the lovely female I was riding kept side stepping off the trail to get at banana leaves regardless of my holding on for dear life.
We may have rapped Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty” while on the elephant ride. Pure sweet freedom baby.
Imagine 12 shots of vodka + a concentrated can of Redbull + soda chase + sippy straws in a plastic bucket for $5.00 (150 BHT). Pre-drinking was never this easy or colourful.
You don’t go to Thailand and leave without partying. It’s almost impossible especially when so many beautiful people are out at night ready to dance the night away.
All our travel plans were made to accommodate Thailand’s famous Full Moon party. We shimmied on a mile long beach until the sun came up to strike us with the most beautiful sunrise we’d ever seen. Nothing quite like a magical view to bring you closer to the strangers you chatted with in a of wave of drunkenness.
Imagine walking on a dirt road with palm trees surrounding you, your body is covered in glowing paint, and four DJ’s are hammering out their sets while Muay Thai fighters duel in a ring. This was the Jungle Experience, a party that set us back 400 BHT each but worth every bit of baht.
You cannot skimp out on participating in tours in Thailand. Only the locals will know how to blow your mind the right way. Snorkelling, a fish spa, archery with a Scot, mountain climbing, swimming in a waterfall, cliff jumping, zip-lining, etc. are all the types of activities you must experience for an adrenaline rush you won’t forget anytime soon.
We trekked uphill through the jungle getting attacked by hundreds of moths trying to fly into our mouths. A kind European stranger I picked up on the beach came along with us and probably wished he never met me (he got over it and now we reminisce about the good ol’ days). I can’t count how many locals and tourists laughed at us when we asked them how much higher until we reached Koh Phi Phi’s Viewpoint. BTW, their 20 minutes is actually 45 and we got lost looking for the crazy monkey that we were supposedly going to meet.
If you like water sports, Wipe Out is for you.
The view was still gorgeous at night and we managed to snap some blurry pics but I think the journey is what will stay fresh in our minds. As we took the shortcut down the mountain that was safely paved with cement, we discovered our hotel was only 15 minutes away…yah, face palms all around.
I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to experience this with my friends. I’ve learnt that I’m able to handle high temperatures without heat rash, I’m not scared to go on a boat tour alone, I found I’m not scared of talking to strangers and my obsession with monkeys is unquenchable. I’ll never say no to trying something new and even though my legs are banged up from mosquito bites and my appetite has never been the same….
I’d do it all over again,