So after my fairly smooth flights from Singapore then to Bangkok, I arrived to the airport at night to find my baggage had still been left at Singapore, my transfer from the airport to the hotel was nowhere in sight and the following day having my iPhone dropped in the pool and caused me to have a breakdown due to lack of technology. However, guess what? Everything works out fine in the end despite my bouts of concern. I caught a dodgy taxi to the motel by myself, my luggage to much relief made its way directly to my motel room and my phone miraculously recovered to relatively full health. Let’s just say that everything that could go wrong so far, probably hasn’t even occurred, considering how lucky I’ve been. I’m guessing that my lucky 1111 angels are looking out for me.
Ok, so that was the low lights, but you know I’m so incredibly proud of how brave I have been! Just getting here has been a feat on its own. Concurring so many fears to the point my Anxiety is non-existent.
So some highlights of the first day alone include, meandering the chaotic Thailand streets with Amber, eating a delicious cafe breakfast with the most delicious Iced tea. Exploring the Grand Palace and Pho Wat (giant reclining Buddha) in all is sweltering glory. Taking a wild tuk-tuk to a unicorn cafe where we met Erin and dressed up in unicorn onesies and ate burgers and fries and slushies. I made my first solo tuk-tuk ride back to my motel. then afterwards met Amy, Kaylee and Elise for some authentic chicken pad Thai in the bustling street in the origins of the amazing dish itself, washed down with a refreshing Thai beer (Sangi). We ventured to the roof top pool, met Olivia and swam beneath the Bangkok night sky and soaked up the moment that was pure luxurious bliss and contemplating on the day just been and the many adventures to come.
This morning I prematurely woke up feeling a bit stressed and out of sorts due to jet lag, phone problems and simply feeling disoriented in the new surroundings. I woke up at 5am thinking it was 9am, had a shower and began to make my way to breakfast only to discover out the stormy, black window of the elevator that it was in fact still nighttime. I called dad to transfer much-needed money into my account and slowly began my day. Just as slowly as my water damaged iPhone began to come alive again.
I met a group of the lovely Contiki lasses down stairs in the lobby where we proceeded by tuk-tuk to the day markets ( Chatuchak weekend markets) and unsuccessfully bartered amongst the local maze of knick-knack stalls. We ate yummy street food and then returned to lounge and mingle by the rooftop pool. Dinner was next followed by a chill out before we met the Contiki group! We disembarked to the party street of Thailand Khao San Road where edible insects and spiders and scorpions were on the menu, beer, street coconut ice cream and ping-pong shows.
The next morning we went on a boat ride through Bangkok to A temple where we got lost from the tour group but thankfully regrouped after taking many a beautiful photos. We then continued on a bus to visit the saddening cemetery of the death railway, museum and graveyard at Kambunchuri.
Spirits rose as we made our way to the much-anticipated night stay at the floating hotel raft along the stunning jungle riverside. No electricity meant we swam in the river, ate the most amazing food, fed an elephant, visited schools and temples. We took photos at lookouts and the sun huts and fed fish.
We regretfully farewelled the hotel and pushed on to the waterfalls at erawan national park. We swam in the murky blue, fish filled water body. Took selfies under the stalactite under age of the mossy waterfall and just soaked up the beauty and surreal surroundings.
We boarded the bus to make our way to our next hotel in Ayutthaya where we cycled around ruins and the city that used to hold a royal palace before the Burmese took over and destroyed the temples. An energetic bike ride to the Buddha head moulded into tree roots was the ideal place to take selfies with monks. After the ride we went on a tuk-tuk with a boom box and danced our way to the floating market place where we ate spicy crab meat cooked in banana leaves, deep-fried dough balls and topped the experience off with a ticklish fish pedicure. Downtime with a Thai massage, 7/11 pineapple slurpie and poolside sunset were afternoon highlights before leaving this friendly city and onward on an overnight train to Chang Mai.
We arrived in Chang Mai the next morning and spent a good hour driving in a tuk-tuk into the jungle to an elephant sanctuary. We were greeted by the Karen tribe villagers with their colourful shop fronts and neck rings. Feeding elephants bananas and bathing in the river was the best experience ever! We ate fried rice from banana leaves and soon made our ride back with a Local whisky shot-stop along the way. The perfect way to unwind from the incredible, surreal day trip was with a Thai massage, pool swim and a night out at the local markets and flamboyant, fierce af and fabulous Lady boy Caberett show.
Winding up the road to Pai in a minivan, squat toilets were in order. lunch was Khal Soi and a pineapple frappe then we discovered our new bungalow home for the night, did Muay Thai boxing and watched the orange sun set over Pai Canyon. As dusk turned to night we celebrated Paula’s birthday into the night where we explored Pai’s famed markets, ate street food, drank mojitos. We ended it all with a spontaneous midnight skinny dip under Pai’s ambient moonlight.
Goodbye beautiful, eclectic Pai. We braved the winding roads to the Flight of the Gibbons zip line course with cables stretched as far as 800m across a jungle valley. It was a push out of my comfort zone and left me feeling like I could fly above the canopy below. The adrenaline was so thrilling for everyone and an appetite developed in time for an authentic Thai cooking class. It was amazing to say the very least!
After a final accomplished day in Chang Mai we set off to an 3D art museum before
Our delayed flight to Luang Prabang to meet the much-anticipated, next tour group to be initiated amongst us originals. Bowling was on the agenda that night and the best way to mingle amongst our new amigos.
Thailand was such an unbelievable experiance! I adore the diverity and accepting nature of this interesting Budhist Country. What a complete thrill to begin my Asia Travels!
I am still in the process of editing Laos travel video so keep an eye on @SerendipityandWanderlust Social Media and Blog for future posts to come.