If you are looking for an marvelous, safe, interresting, cultural rich and simple country, go and travel in Thailand. I was surprised by the way you can travel there. Backpacking is very easy and thai people very friendly, as long as you are treating them politely and respectful.
I started my travels in Bangkok, that crazy, big and vibrant city. After two days, I took the night train up to Chiang Mai, a city in the north of Thailand, 17hours away from Bangkok. If
you want to discover a less-touristy area, I can only recommand the north as the south plus the Islands are quite touristy and more expensive. Chiang Mai offers nature (Cliffdiving 40min.away of
the city by scooter), trecking trips and many more things. Sunday night market is amazing, you see all kinds of handmade jewlery,cloths,soaps,paintings,etc. The foomarket offers you tipicle thai
food and specialitys that you should definitely try. There are the wonderful temples around the area that you need to go and see. Don't forget to dress yourself the way you're supposed to(wimen
especially). The ultimate packpackers place to stay is the following:
Deejay Backpackers, 193/1-2 Ratchamanka Rd, T.Phrasing, A.Muang, Chiangmai, Thailand 50200, Mail: email@example.com, www.deejai.net
After spending a week up in the north, it was time to discover the beaches. A flight down south saves a lot of time, especially if you only have a vew weeks time. Koh Samui was the first destination where I stayed only two nights. Unfortulately some of the beaches have become very touristy within the last twenty years. Not many photos have I taken there because of this. If you are looking for beachpartys, lots of good restaurants, tourism and resorts, Chaweng Beach is definitely the place for you to go. Tatoos are fine art work at the following adress:
Ink. Headz, Bob Bamboo Man, Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
After two nights at a hostel, it was about time to hit the next island. Koh Phangan is definitely a nice island to go to. It is less touristy than Ko Samui, you do see wild monkeys and it
has a good size as the locations are not too close and locations and towns are spread out. It's only a 30 minutes boatride away from Samui. You can really discover an island. Once a month there
is the Fullmoon party at the main beach close to the pier. Then the town Ban Haad Rin gets completely filled up with young party people from all around the world! Fun for
young travellers and indeed well known. You can avoid it by not going to the island at the time around the happening of the Fullmoon party. But you definitely have to go to that island if you are
looking for something less touristy of an island around Ko Samui. If you are looking for a good tatoo studio for a real bamboo tatoo, I can definitely recommend is called Infinity
Nice bungalows can be found right next to the ocean at the following adress:
Blue Marine Resort and Restaurant, 110/6 Haad Rin (Sunset Beach), Koh Phangan Suratthani, 84280 Thailand,Tel: 66 77 375079-80
Towards the end of my travels I wanted to become acquainted to the Island I heard so much about by friends, the news, newspapers : Koh Tao. It's located a 3 hour boatride north
of Koh Phangan. I strandet there and already got some great impressions from it on the boat. The pier is quite confusing as I found out by going to pick up a friend. There are three different
piers so always ask around if there is only one boat arriving from the onshore at that time or not. Apart of this confusing situation, the island welcomes you in it's own special way, has a
certain flair to it and if you are looking for a great spot to become a PADI or advanced licenced diver, you must go to:
Sairee Cottage Diving Go Pro Courses, email@example.com, www.saireecottagediving.com
This diving school is located right next to Sairee Cottage Resort; a very nice place to stay including pool area, bar and right across the nice beachbar and the wonderful
Sairee Beach. The school plus instructors are excellent. You feel like you got your own little diving-family there and the staff is really friendly. The
instructors are very good and they take diving serious so as the courses and students.
The beach offers lots of beach locations, restaurants, nightlife, and stores. If you are looking for a beach more quiet or private, you should go to the freedom beach in the south of the island. Renting a scooter is almost necessary.For snorkeling, I can recommend Nangyuan Terrace. It is only about a 10 minutes ride away by scooter. They serve good food, nice drinks and a wonderful view out to Nangyuna Island, a great spot to spend a beach day at.
You also find lots of bungalows for rent along the little path at sairee beach and scooter rental stores. Don't forget to visit Haad Tien beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Ko Nang Yuan is a great spot and beach for snorkeling and diving ( red rock, white rock ) and the sand is brightly ivory. The underwater world there is simply amazing!
After all, this vacation in Thailand was a lovely and mindchanging expierience to me. It completely made me change my focus in live showing me that we don't always need what society tells us to be or have. Sometimes we just need these simple things, rare magic moments with somebody good and eventually we see how life is so much more fulfilling and relieving than we expected it to be. My special thanks go out to my very random and unique people I met along the way - might have to keep them for a lifetime ; Leeanne, James, Sean, Hakim, my NYC-boys ;Blake, James, Nico, les français Flo and Roman, Sairee Cottage diving school and instructors, Infinity tatoos. Thank you all for this wonderful and amazing time!
Photo's taken by Olivia Fey; Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Koh Thao, Koh Phangan, Bangkok