“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury
Beginning of July 2017 I started my first trip all by myself. Well you, who know me, know that I have been to an exchange year in the USA before, but that was something totally different, because you are still living with a family and it is not a trip, it is a year of your life there. But anyways:
June 30th my dad took me to the airport to catch my 13 hour flight over Dubai to Bangkok. I also have never been to any Asian country before. And believe me, standing at the airport my heart was beating like crazy. The plan was to visit Bangkok for a week all by myself, then meeting my brother in Bali, Indonesia and then travelling to Singapore with him, since he lives there. So in total a 3 week trip.
I already booked my hostel for the whole week in Bangkok and was travelling with my backpack.
After two long 6 hour flights and a 4 hour layover in Dubai I finally arrived in Bangkok at 9pm. I caught an Uber driving me to the hostel and checked in. I really have been super tired, so I whatsapped my parents and took a quick shower. Since I had been so afraid of not meeting any cool people and being all by myself I decided to go downstairs in the main area again to see if I can talk to anyone. Getting ready for that I already met one Spanish guy who decided to come downstairs with me as well. We randomly started to talk to a few girls, but I guess I just did not really click with them. But then the Bromance kicked in ( 😀 ): those cool American guys started to talk to me! First I talked to Chris who then introduced me to his travel buddy Neel and it was that moment I knew this trip would turn into a once in a lifetime experience. And to make our little group complete we met this cute little English girl from Nottingham – Lottie <3! Same same, but different – that’s all there is to say!
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
So that first night, we decided to go out to Khao San Road. It’s a party road where everyone is going to: mostly backpackers. There is one bar after the other with loud main stream music, food and lots of alcohol. You mostly buy the alcohol in so called “buckets”. It’s literally a bucket filled with alcohol and some straws. And trust me: those are the best mixtures you will ever get. And: it’s so cheaaaaap! They also had signs in every bar saying: “We DON’T check IDs!”. So we went there and just had a blast together. I even ate a scorpion!
So and this was the point when my whole travel plan for Thailand got changed upside-down. A little tipsy the guys told us that they will leave to Chiang Mai the next morning (so in like 4 hours) and Lottie wanted to go there the next evening to. Well… long story short: we booked a flight for me from Chiang Mai back to Bangkok and decided that I will take the nighttrain with Lottie and meet the guys the next evening in Chiang Mai but I made them promise me that we will go see elephants there.
The next day we spent walking around Bangkok visiting the Wat Phra Kaew which is the Temple of Emerald Buddha. After that we went to a Thai Boxing fight. And this is really something you guys should see. First you got to know, I really am into fighting. Well, not that I enjoy to fight 😀 but I started to watch MMA fights a while ago, don’t really know what fascinates me about it. Anyways, we went to that fight (which is for free by they way) and its shocking how young the fighters are. But it was really interesting to see their traditions along the fight.
Taking the nighttrain in Thailand is an easy and cheap way to travel the country. I heard that the night train was just awful to travel with and the people could not sleep at all in it but I did not have a problem with it at all. I mean I slept better before but it was just fine.
Arriving in Chiang Mai Lottie and I stayed in the same hostel as the guys and met them there. Also another friend of them from home joined us there: Chris. For the evening we attended a cooking class. And this is one of the things you really need to do when in Thailand! We had the greatest time there together. I believe there were around6 tables at the same time, with different instructors and in separated rooms, but we definitely had the most fun! People from other tables actually asked if they could join us. Got to admit we were the youngest group for sure and we also got some beer with us, since we planned on going out afterwards. But we had the best instructor you could ever wish for. His name was simply “A”. He kept on telling us that if we put more spice in our food we will be “more sexy”. So after a while we started calling him “Sexy A”. Having a blast there his name changed into just “sexy” and we took pictures with him, changing numbers so he could go party with us (which sadly did not happen).
So after that we went out to a club. Well the first place we went to is more like a lot of open bars with really loud music and – again- buckets! So we stayed there till like midnight and then went to a club. The funny thing about clubs there is that you are partying in a room for like an hour when suddenly they turn on the lights telling you, you need to buy a ticket to get into the next room if you want to keep on partying. So you buy a ticket which you can turn in for a drink in the next room. And so you move from room to room. Coming home at around 4 am that night, we had to get up at 6 am again because our taxi for the elephant camp picked us up at 6:30 am.
First of all: PLEASE don’t go to the elephant riding camps! This is simple animal torture. NO the elephants are not enjoying this! They are not meant to be set on! And they are hurting when the instructors kick their ears or stab them!
There are a lot of other opportunities to go see the elephants. We went to an elephant saving camp called: Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai (you can find them on Facebook!). There you are able to feed them, cuddle them, give them a mud scrub and clean them again. Honestly this was such great fun. Lottie and I forgot our bikinis so we did the whole thing in our underwear. We also had a mud fight with the local people and jumped off a cliff at a waterfall.
Lunch was included in the half day tour as well. You can also book a whole day with one night in the jungle there, but sadly we did not have time for that since we rented a car the afternoon to go to Pai.
Having a road trip with my gang to Pai was just epic as well. We spend the night in different hostels but went out for some drinks that night. During a “real-talk” and some drinks we all opened up our hearts and honestly it felt so good to talk to people, not knowing all the background stories, and having their honest opinion. Not going to lie: but this really opened up my eyes and that perfect moment there made me realize that sometimes you just need to walk away from something you want so badly, to make it work.
sometimes you just need to walk away from something you want so badly, to make it work.
In the morning we just grabbed some breakfast and drove back to Chiang Mai. But on the way back we stopped at a nearby temple which was just gorgeous. The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Really worth going there as well!
On the way down the hill we stopped for a view over Chiang Mai during the sunset. Which was really breathtaking as well.
Knowing this was our last evening together, all flying on the next morning, and Neel having his 25th Birthday at midnight, we decided to go out again. And we had an epic night. We even met Sexy A by accident which was the highlight for sure!
The next morning I took a flight from Chaing Mai back to Bangkok where I stayed one more night, flying to Singapore the next morning to meet my brother there, to go on to Bali.
Check out my Bali post here: My trip to Bali
Check out my Singapore post here: My trip to Singapore