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How did I end up here

How Did I end up here - Extended

THAILAND | Wednesday, 14 May 2014 | Views [283]

I suppose when reflecting on my trip to Thailand I must start from the very beginning. It wasn’t the first step on the Koh Saan road that marked the beginning of my adventure, but the first sight of that 777 airplane that made me realise this was something huge I was embarking on and something I wouldn’t forget easily.

So as I stepped on the plane and see the seats that couldn’t even be described as seats, more like personal cocoons, with enough lounging space that one could enjoy an uninterrupted nap. With enough cushions that you would actually be comfortable while doing so. I was in awe, I excitedly exchanged a glance with my friend, how nice will this flight be, unfortunately the same glance was not reciprocated. As I searched for my seat number through the rows I was met by an unsettling and disappointing image. I was of course under the impression that for this long journey the business class seats were everyone’s seats. No. I lolloped myself to my regular upright uncomfortable boring seat, longing for what could have been. However after a quick game of Tetris and a movie it was all forgotten about.

So after a quick stop over in Dubai, which I now like to claim; Oh I’ve been to Dubai, ‘really hot, lovely though’ I could tell from the brief steps I took off the plane and into the airport, we we’re finally reaching our destination. THAILAND.

Our first stop was Bangkok. There aren’t enough exciting adjectives in the dictionary or at least in my vocabulary, to describe Bangkok. We threw our bags into the hotel room and began exploring. First step on the Koh Saan road and I didn’t even know where to look, It was blistering heat and rows of these incredible stalls that you can buy quite literally anything you want. As my friends pulled me away from buying what I believed to be a quite authentic Prada bag we ventured further to a little beauty salon. I was amazed the girls were getting manicures and pedicures for the equivalent of less than ten euro. We decided after our day of pampering we would head back to the hotel and get ready for our first big night in Bangkok. Of course this walk back was met by monsoon rainfall, but once we were safe and sound in our hotel room we began to get excited. The one thing that struck me about Bangkok is that we had no plan, seven bubbly girls, there was bound to be one of us that takes captain for the night and tells us what club we are going to and what we’re going to see, and in every other destination there was, but not Bangkok we just went out and let things take course.

 

So it began with an outdoor bar bringing us some Vodka and red bulls, we started chatting and after a few of these we decided, let’s go explore Bangkok!!! We strolled down the Kho Sana road hoping the adventure would come to us, we were in luck. A Thai women set up her stand of … snacks let’s just call it, and we all immediately took out our phones to take pictures. However, it didn’t stop there, as we examined the various cooked creatures on the hot stone; grasshoppers, maggots etc. my friend took out 50 baht and handed it to the woman, “Can I try the scorpion please?” presuming this was all a joke no one really gave it much attention, until Ails was crunching on what she claimed to be a “salty but tasty” scorpion. I was aware there was going to be culture shocks, we we’re over 6,000 miles from home but as we sped through the amazing Bangkok atmosphere on a tuk tuk, en route to a ping pong show (that is as much detail I can give), with Ailis digesting a scorpion … I couldn’t help but think,  How did I end up here?.

 

As our two nights in Bangkok drew to a close we flew to our next location – Koh Phi Phi. For those who haven’t heard about Koh Phi Phi, it is an amazing tiny Island which is surrounded by even tinier islands. There are no cars and when you arrive at the port everything is only a couple of minutes walking distance. So we made it to our hotel and were startled by the continuous ‘Tsunami evacuation route’ signs. This was one of the Islands that had been hit badly by the Tsunami of 2004 and it shows. It was almost 10 years since the Tsunami had hit and there were still piles of ruins. On the back of our hotel room door was a list of instructions in case of a Tsunami. This prompted everyone to reflect over the next few days and although it was an amazing stay on Koh Phi Phi it was really heart breaking to think of all the people who had been affected by this Tsunami.

 

Koh Phi Phi has a lot to offer for being such a tiny island. There are rows of amazing and insanely cheap restaurants and the night life is up there with Koh Phangnan, and then there is the amazing beach. We would relax during the day on the stunning beach then prepare for an exciting night ahead. You would be greeted by polite men and women selling buckets of alcohol, which were all safe- don’t worry! Then we would head down to the beach again where there are hundreds of people dancing on tables. The fire jump rope which I can honestly say should not be attempted by anyone but the professionals, and the bull. The bull is something myself and my friends attempted after one or two buckets and we did not regret it, It’s completely safe and utterly hilarious competing with each other to see who can stay on the longest, that is until your friend plays you back the video and you realise just how embarrassing you looked to everyone.

Staying on Phi Phi for five nights was perfect because we managed to get a day long boat trip in too. You wake up early that morning and meet at the port. The tour guides bring you to all the various islands and it is breath taking. First stop was Monkey Island… very little description needed. However, the great thing about Monkey Island is that they don’t pull the boat right up to the shore so the monkeys don’t get scared. So you hop off the boat and whilst swimming to the island you’re given snorkels. It was one my favourite experiences of the holiday. I felt like I was in Finding Nemo with all these exotic fish right at my feet. Once the swim was over you were greeted by the most amazingly cute monkeys hopping about the place and posing for pictures.

On this boat trip you also are brought to Maya Bay. It’s a remote island off Phi Phi where the Leonardo Di Caprio box office hit The Beach was filmed. Think of everyone’s perfect description of a beach and you’re there. Golden sand with crystal blue water that is warm and sunny and you can float there for hours. It was truly incredible and ignoring the fact that you have to jump out of the boat and pull yourself on to the island by ropes, it was smooth sailing.

The boat trip also brought us to places such as Shark Point and other islands where we could go kayaking and chill for the day. It was a memorable experience, for anyone visiting Thailand it’s a must.

 

Although we visited various islands, the one that is really worth mentioning is Koh Phangnan, also known as the Full Moon Island. This is once a month where about 60,000 people crowd on to the one beach and watch the full moon in the sky. Well that’s what everyone claims you do there but being honest it could have been full moon, half -moon or eclipse and I don’t know if I would have noticed. It’s hard to explain the atmosphere on the beach but looking around you seeing everyone in multi-coloured luminous clothes having the time of their life is just exciting enough to never forget. Of course there was a few moments where you could lose people but luckily there were so many Irish across the beach it was all good.

I could spend another few thousand words discussing the amazing memories I made in Thailand but I’ve decided I’d do my best to sum it up (in 1,500 words instead). The main thing you need to know about Thailand is that you will never regret going. On my last few days of the trip I managed to find myself in hospital on a drip, no one’s fault but my own, and even still I look back with the fondest memories. All I can say is explore as much as you can over there and you will not regret a minute of it, even if you do find yourself thinking ‘How did I end up here?’.

 

 

 

 

Tags: bangkok, full moon party, koh phi phi, maya beach, snorkelling, thailand

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