Sunday, 22 October 2017

My Advice on Travelling and Island Hopping in Thailand

It feels like the world and it's mother has been backpacking through Thailand recently. As much as I though I would never be the person who was dying to go travelling for months on end, when the opportunity came up to visit South East Asia, obviously I didn't say no!

Two of my friends had quit their jobs to go travelling, starting in Bali, then heading to Thailand, then finishing off with a year in New Zealand. They were going to be in Thailand over Christmas and New Year (2015/16), so I booked a flight and joined then- landing on Christmas day!

I'm not going to lie, it was SO weird being in Bangkok in ridiculously humid 40 degree heat,  with not a Yorkshire pudding in sight! But I am all about embracing the culture, so I ate (well, had a bite then nearly projectile vommed) a deep fried scorpion from a street vendor and drank a bottle of Chang and got ready to celebrate the festive season Thailand-style!

TripAdvisor is Your New BFF

Another weird thing was the fact that I only had 2 nights accommodation booked. I have never been backpacking before, or anything similar, so I am used to having my hotel booked for the entire duration of my holiday. No- not in Thailand! We stayed in Bangkok for 2 nights, then went and sat in a cafe, ordered a couple of fresh coconuts (my obsession whilst I was out there!) and booked the next few nights in a hostel/treehouse/whatever on earth was the cheapest/most decent looking place to stay on the next island. IT WAS LITERALLY AS EASY AS THAT. To be fair, Jess and Soph were the pro's so I just rolled with it.

Obviously we arrived at some places and were greeted with actual squalor- no door on the communal shower, infested with ants, 389429383 bunk beds in ONE room, and in this case we just hit the nearest cafe and booked somewhere else. With a lot of the accommodation you don't pay anything until you get there, so it's easy to just sweeeeerve.

Koh Phangan, home of the famous Full Moon parties..and my shiny face

Island Hopping

Again, soooooo much easier than I imaged! The only internal flight we had to get was from Bangkok to Krabi (I think!) and that took about an hour, and cost about £50. 

Koh Lanta, Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, Phuket and Phi Phi are all just a couple of hours by boat away, and arranging travel is super easy! Again, I was clueless, so thank God for the girls! We literally strolled into a travel shop and sought out the cheapest price for a boat to our next island of choice. Each place differed in price by a couple of hundred baht (about £5) and you didn't have walk far to get the best deal. There is literally one on every street, usually alongside a massage place and a 7/11.

We started off on Koh Lanta, then as we made more friends on each island we would all travel to the next place together. I can definitely see how people make friends for life when they're travelling- everyone is just there to have a fun time, and when you are in paradise with not a care in the world- how can anything be in a bad mood?!

Snorkelling in Koh Lanta

Packing Essentials

As I mentioned above, I have never been on any kind of holiday like this before. When I say 'any kind of holiday like this' I mean where I am literally carrying my worldly belongings on my back. I am always the one at the airport who has to fling open their case at the check-in desk and actually put on half the clothes to get under the weight allowance, so to pack enough for two weeks (which actually turned out to be 3) was HARD. Don't bother packing anything long sleeve or leggings/trousers. It is HOT. And HUMID. Loose fitting clothes, mosquito repellent, and ALLLLLLL OF THE BIKINIS!

Just a lil pic of me being spiritual in Thailand
Length of Travel

If you are going for under a month, like me, be realistic with the number of places you want to visit. I had absolutely no chance of exploring both North and South Korea in 2 weeks, because some places you decide to stay a couple of days longer, and some you just can't wait to move on from. It's tricky if you haven't been before. I was only supposed to be there for 2 weeks, but ended up extending my flight home to stay another week because 2 weeks is just nowhere near long enough. If you take into account the 20 hour flight, meaning you miss a day either side, it's barely 12 days! If I was to go back, which I would absolutely love to, I would probably stay for a month. The atmosphere is soooo relaxed over there, I feel like I closed my eyes to tan on the beach and woke up 2 days later!

Planning to go travelling yourself? I would definitely recommend booking somewhere a lil fancy when you land in Bangkok. Check out Destination2 here to get an amazing deal on 4 and 5* hotels in the capital!

*The post is in collaboration with Destination2. All content and images are mine.

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