I’m always getting asked what my favourite part of Asia was, but of the four Asian countries I visited (China, Thailand, Laos & Vietnam) I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite. Each were amazing for such different reasons. But as I have decided to discuss some actual travelling on this weeks Backpacker Life post I thought I would discuss Thailand.
When I think about Thailand there is only one word that springs to mind – FUN! It was also the place we stayed the longest; we lived there for two months. For anyone going, planning or even considering a trip to Thailand, I have put together this list of Nine Thailand Must Do’s, a list that pretty much resembles my Thailand highlights…
Songkran in Bangkok Buy yourself a big ass water gun, put on a dirty vest top, tie your hair up and head to Kho San road where you will be blasted by both locals and travellers. Possibly the most fun I’ve ever had in one weekend, the Thai New Year, also known as Songkran, brings everyone together onto the streets of Bangkok (the whole of Thailand in fact) for one big wet festival. People dance in the street and sing together, they cover each other in water and paste and of course battle it out with water guns, water bombs and big buckets of ice cold water. Brrrr, prepare to get cold.
The Full Moon Party If your a bit of a raver, I don’t need to tell you to check out the Full Moon party, it’s no doubt at the top of your list. But even if you think it’s not your normal scene, I’d still recommend checking it out. It’s an amazing atmosphere; thousand of backpackers gathered together under a full moon to dance the night away on Koh Phangan. Everyone’s in high spirits, and the locals put on a great display, with lots of performances! There’s plenty of drink, food, DJ’s, and erm, Mushroom Mountain (enter at your own risk)
Visit Tiger Kingdom Despite all the bad press, I have been to Tiger Kingdom and I fully support it. I also took my friend Talia who is crazy about animals and would kill anyone who hurt one, and even she supported it. The animals are not chained, nor drugged, they all seem content and happy. And meeting a bunch of a Tigers was pretty cool.
LadyBoy Caberet Show Whilst you may be inclined to go and see a Ping Pong show, the real talent is at the LadyBoy Cabaret shows. I originally thought it sounded quite dull, just LadyBoys, dancing around and miming. But you have no idea how much fun it is until you go. A big group of us went to one on the Island of Koh Tao, where some of the performers did some seriously amazing impersonations, including Rhianna, Nicki Minaj, and Britney. But my favorite performance was the guy who started in full drag makeup, dress and heels, and stripped down to his boy-self whilst miming Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’.
Snorkelling/scuba diving If you get the chance I recommend taking a boat trip and going snorkelling or diving. Whilst I struggled a little with this (I’m a teeny tiny bit scared of open water) I’m so glad I did it. The trip itself was really fun, and feeding big black & white fish chunks of my sandwich really was something else.
Go on an Elephant trek If your in Thailand you have to go and see some Elephants, and if your brave enough ride one. I didn’t realise just how scary it would feel being on top of such a huge animal that’s bouncing around. But it was so much fun too. We fed them Bananas and watched them get a bath. It was a great day out, and relatively cheap at less than £20 for a full day trip. I advise doing some research into the place your booking though; we visited a lovely Elephant sanctuary, but some aren’t very nice. It’s best to inquire at your hostel or hotel, I don’t advise just booking on the street.
Book a Sleeper Train Okay so it’s just a train ride, but it’s a real experience, a very different one to your average train ride at home. I loved the stations and platforms, I felt as though I was in India. There was peole hanging out of the door ways as the train made its way on the tracks. The bunks are actually really comfortable – as long as you don’t mind the rocking – and if there is a group of you it can be a laugh. Take your own booze on board as drinks can be a little higher than the local bars. But don’t expect to book a train and get to your destination any quicker, the trains are very slow and often have a lot of delays, but that is just part of the experience. We boarded at 7pm and arrived at our destination at 10am, five hours later than expected, but it actually gave us a really good nights sleep which we all needed. If you do book on a sleeper train, look out for the Party room. I missed it, but I’ve been told by other travellers that it does exist.
Head into the Rainforest You must venture into the Rainforest at some point, you will be able to see some beautiful wild life and plants, and even slide down waterfalls like my boyfriend did, click here to watch the video
Get a Thai Massage (or several) As fun and hectic as Thailand is, sometimes it’s nice to take some time to soak it all up and just relax. I can’t even count how many Thai massages I had, particularly in Bangkok where there are street masseurs on every corner. For the equivalent of £3 you can have an incredibly relaxing 30 minute massage. They offer back & neck, head, or foot. Although nearly all includes everything. I always opted for the foot massage, yet for some reason this included ten minutes of focus on my neck, shoulders, back, ears and head. You may be a little frightened or put off at first as it can be a little rough when you get started, but just close your eyes and relax and soon enough you will be in heaven.
Have you been to a Thailand? What’s on your must do list?
Heading over that way and plan to blog about it? Please leave your link in the comments, I love reading about other peoples adventures.