Have you watched movie “Brokedown Palace”? Movie based on true story about two young girls who were arrested for smuggling while vacationing in Thailand? Well, surely my MUM did, therefore, when I told her that I decided to spend 3 weeks in this beautiful country of Asian continent, she almost collapsed and tried to convince not to go to country where the drugs can get “accidentally” to my backpack as such thing happened in that movie… What can I say? It´s the role of our parents to protect us, take care of us but I don´t belong to close-minded people, afraid of travelling and exploring of unexplored. And my parents know it very well.
Therefore, in January 2015, I and my two friends, my ex-colleagues from river cruise ship, Mirka and Danko, took a flight from Vienna to Doha and from Doha to BANGKOK – capital of Thailand with population of more than 6 million! So what was our first impression on this huge metropolitan city and its people? Just AMAZING! After our check-in in hostel with good location (New Siam hostel), we were about to explore its beauty when we met a local person called Leg who helped us get “VIP” tuc-tuc driver who spent with us the rest of the day and took us to the first Buddhist temples. During the day, Danko lost his phone with his new Thai phone number so we thought what a “beautiful” start of our trip we had. However, not even one hour after he lost his phone, somebody called me from Danko´s cell phone telling us that he found the cell phone and wanted to give it back to Danko. And this happened. Within next one hour, a Thai guy came to our hostel and brought Danko´s cell phone, he even refused to accept any money of any other form of our gratitude. Would you believe that?! Can you imagine any Slovakian or generally European person doing that? No way! So our first impression on Thai people was more than great! The same day we met with Leg and his two more friends who offered us some drinks and food directly on the street (honestly Mirka and I didn´t feel for taking anything, after all, we didn´t know these people at all), however, after spending some hours with these truly kind and generous people, we realized they did it without any bad intention. They took us to our first “ping-pong” show where many Thai ladies put in and out of vagina things you wouldn´t believe – yeah, these things happen, and actually are pretty famous in Thailand. Honestly, it was my first ping-pong show and hopefully the last one, too.
Next day we devoted our time to sightseeing and we visited Buddhist temples such as “Grand Palace”, “Wat Arun” and “Reclining Big Buddha”. One monk in temple of “Wat Arun” gave Mirka and me bracelets with some kind of blessing (till today we aren´t sure what he was speaking exactly, it was in Thai but let´s suppose it was blessing haha) and this made beginning of our day special. The evening was even more special as Danko celebrated birthday and we wanted to make it unforgettable. Therefore, we went out to party hard while meeting new people, nice Thai girls and of course famous Thai “ladyboys alias shemales”. On our way back to hostel, we danced with extremely friendly Thai guy selling leather bracelets on the street and met super nice Spanish guy who was playing guitar for us. Simply, the atmosphere in Bangkok was getting better and better. On our third day in Bangkok we got our first foot massage and did some more sightseeing. In the evening we took a train to the 2nd biggest city of Thailand – Chiang Mai. What was special about the train was our sleeping-car. It consisted of regular seats, however, after we got tired a train attendant came to us and made our regularly looking seats into comfortable bunk beds. Not only for us, but for all of the passengers. Unbelievable, right?! Well, this is Thailand, too. 🙂
We spent 5 days In CHIANG-MAI and its surrounding starting in visit of “Karen Long Neck” tribe where you can find women with so called long necks and with their golden collar. Although I had nice conversation with one lady and her daughter and I found out many interesting facts, I decided not to repeat such visits as I had feeling I was in human ZOO, all tourists just observing and taking pictures without realizing that this is all about money and tourism. But yeah, this was a part of travelling through Thailand, too. The same day we visited beautiful Buddhist temple “Doi Suthep” located high in the mountains with a nice view over the whole city. We experienced charming atmosphere of Sunday Evening market, tried Thai specialities and of course another amazing and cheap Thai massage directly on the street.
The next 3 days we spent in our trip in the “jungle” with our tour guide called Jungle Joe, a tiny and extremely funny Thai guy who made our trip unforgettable. Jungle Joe prepared for us typical Thai food “Pad Ped”, showed us beauty and ambush of his “jungle” (such as tarantula), gave us our 5 million star hotel (consisting of tiny wooden houses, of course, no electricity, water or proper toilet), taught us some Thai words (such as “kath´j” – ladyboy) and went for hunting of bats and frogs. During our jungle trip we went for elephant ride (not proud of that, won´t repeat it again, poor animals being beaten in order to carry our lazy European asses, cruel part of tourism), got a chance to try to eat mouse (only Danko took courage to do it) and bamboo rice prepared on fire, did bamboo rafting, or just simply admiring sky full of stars while lying on the ground listening to the sounds of waterfalls. After our amazing 3-day trip we managed to go for typical Thai box match together with the rest of our trip group and Jungle Joe.
Our last day in the north of Thailand was spent incredibly! Danko went for a cooking class and Mirka and I had a “girl´s day” which included manicure, pedicure and massage (twice). We also got a chance to talk to one monk in the Buddhist temple “Wat Chedi Luang” who explained and talked a lot about the philosophy of Buddhism and about the life of monks. Did you know that monks have to end all the relations and contacts with their family? Or that the monks aren´t funded by state or government but they receive food and clothes only by believers and people with good hearts? After conversation with this monk, we were invited to go for meditation in the temple together with more than 50 other monks praying. It cannot be described by words how relaxed, happy and satisfied we felt. Simply unbelievable. The whole day we ended by attending a famous “ladyboy show” which was incredible. We saw and met so many sexy and pretty men looking like women that it was actually pretty hard to recognize whether it was a man or a woman. That day we learned so much about Thai culture and its religion, that I personally, consider this day to be the TOP of the whole trip.
The plan for the rest of our trip was “SBS” – sun, beach, sea! And of course beautiful Thai Islands, crazy and spontaneous parties, alcohol buckets, fun and relax. Therefore, we headed to the biggest island of Thailand – Phuket. Honestly, I have never seen such “sextourism” as I have seen on Patong beach street of Phuket. Ladyboys, half-naked gogo dancers, strip clubs, vagina ping-pong shows, drugs and alcohol on each corner, literally each! If you are up to visit Phuket with intention of having “fun”, go for it, just make sure you are making out with a GIRL, not a LADYBOY! We have seen some poor guys, completely drunk, walking with ladyboys hand in hand without realizing it was a guy. Probably there should be a motto – What happened in Phuket, stayed in Phuket. Besides this crazy night life, we managed to get to James Bond Island which was too over-touristic but still beautiful.
Only two hours from Phuket you can find small but incredibly fabulous island Phi-Phi – island from the typical pictures of Thailand – surrounded by green mountains, crystal blue water and famous wooden boats. This is the island with no roads, cars or any other means of transportation, everything is close, no need for wearing shoes. Island with crazy and spontaneous beach parties, alcohol buckets, fire shows and opportunity to meet people all over the world. I fell in love with this island within a day! We also took a half-day trip to “Maya Beach” where the famous movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed. We enjoyed snorkelling around cliffs with large turtles and vegetarian (it means not dangerous) sharks and watching beautiful sunset while sailing back to Koh Phi-Phi.
Our last 5 days of our trip we spent on the islands of “Koh Samui” and “Koh Phangan”. Koh Samui was pretty relaxing for us, no crazy parties, no night life, just relaxing on the beach with coco water or non-alcoholic mojito in our hands. Probably this was what we needed after Phuket and Phi Phi islands. On the other hand, I will always associate the island Koh Phangan with large group of friendly Spanish guys who were accommodated in our bungalow resort, with “SABABA” cruise trip with Danko, with my first “beer ping-pong” game with Mirka and guys from Netherlands (played with mojito instead beer), with spontaneous Electro Jungle Experience party, with sleeping on the beach instead of comfortable bed or with reggae bar where waiters were preparing marihuana joints.
There was a last part of our trip – to survive the long journey from Koh Phangan back to Bangkok – taking ferry and then night bus. It wouldn´t have been that bad if we hadn´t arrived too early, at 3am! Our bus driver woke us up at 3 am and left us in the middle of Bangkok (Khao San Road – the nightlife part of the city) in the middle of night. Doesn´t sound very good, right? No worries, Danko took a taxi and went directly on the airport as he had earlier flight and Mirka and I bumped into the first hostel we found, left our heavy backpacks there (of course not for free) and tried to hang around as long as possible. However, we aren´t machines and we were so exhausted that we had to find some hostel (the cheapest one) and get some rest. After couple of hours of sleep, we were “tuc-tuc”ing through Bangkok all day long till we reached the time to leave.
Although it wasn´t easy to leave this beautiful country and its friendly people, we were kind of excited of getting home to our comfortable and luxurious beds with no cockroaches, mosquito or any other bugs. At the same time, I was happy to come back and tell my mum how “dangerous” Thailand was and how “bad” people there were. 😉
Thailand, I will come back one day! Especially to PHI-PHI !!!