Reading Time: 7 minutesHave you ever been to the small Koh Chang in Thailand? It’s a tiny island located in western Thailand, close to Ranong and one of my best friends runs a bar there. It was her birthday soon, so my friend and my me plotted a surprise visit, she had not expected. I had told her…
We have all seen the movie “The Beach”, with backpacking Leo who dives into a hidden paradise, – a secret island somewhere in the Andaman Sea.
In the movie he got a map in Bangkok, found someone to charter a small boat with, and swam the remaining distance towards the island.
Well guess what! You can do exactly the same!
Off to Koh Phi Phi, an island where you can walk from one side to the other side in less than 5 minutes. It’s bigger than it sounds, but is also kind of narrow. In the middle you find yourself in tourist trap wonderland: t-shirts, bars, sand and whiskey buckets. It’s backpackers’ paradise and the only reason you go there is to get drunk, enjoy some electronic music and watch people dance with fire. Only a cut off few palm trees and some warning signs remind you of the tsunami, that hit that part some years earlier.
I will never learn how to pronounce this one, but the Chatuchawhat?! Market is one of the biggest animal markets in Thailand. Right in the middle of Bangkok it is as dodgy as it sounds. You can see almost every little creature caged up ready to be sold to stupid people who don’t give a fuck.
From the cutest sugar gliders to squirrels, birds and turtles. You can buy anything you want. The smell is exactly as you would imagine it to be with thousands of caged up animals in a humid climate.
Travel advice is always good to get when you’re on the road. Not denying that one, but watch out when it comes to hostels…
And here is why:
Trat is boring, there is nothing to do, there are barely any hostels and it doesn’t have a nice beach. Still everyone miraculously gets stuck there!
Traveling away from the rain had us end up on Koh Samed, one of the smaller islands in the east of Thailand. Escaping the rain is the only way to travel around Thailand during rainy season. Do not plan anything, just make sure that damn rain cannot catch up with you! We had flown from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, had gotten caught in the tourist souvenir and alcohol trap and had spent 4,5 hours in a bus to reach the boat to Koh Samed. Arrrgh have I mentioned how much I hated boats? Yeah, probably.
But, as always, the destination was worth it. And I have to say, this island was some weird place. Just look at the pigs!
The sun is shining and I am walking along the streets with one of my best friends. My work in Chiang Mai had come to an end. One last dinner before we were to head south to explore some islands. How could that not be a beautiful day.
Well, just ask the panicking crab that was running out of the kitchen …
“A weekend trip to PAI! On Scooters? Yeah let’s do this!”
This sounded awesome!! We had a whole weekend … Friday until Sunday, which sounded really short when we started to talk about it. Could we skip school on Monday as teachers? Hahahaha sometimes being in school never ends (or not being in school). We postponed that topic and decided to figure that out later. It did not seem to be that far of a distance on the map.
Volunteering is working for free without getting paid! Sounds terrible, right? But there is so much more to that concept. Once you start, you will most likely not want to stop. Up until now I prefer to work/ volunteer when I’m traveling and I am not the most hard-working person on earth. I actually took a nap after writing those 3 sentences.
But the life experience you gain whilst working in another country has such an impact on your personality – no hotel pool can ever do that for you!