Exciting times ahead
Backpacking through Thailand alone can be very daunting. There I was, 22 years old in June 2012 off to explore a new country on my own. My previous travel plans to travel the world had fallen through due to Bangkok floods and many other factors. So later that year I decided to just go for it. The plan was to go for 4 weeks…
Once I got off the plane it was night time and dark, I was met by my ThaIntro leader Carly and a few others who were also on our trip. It was so warm outside and I loved it! We were taken to our accommodation in Bangkok which was nice, prices to stay the night are so cheap!
We then spent the night getting to know our group that we were to spend the next week with. Over the next few days we toured the city of Bangkok:
- Visiting temples
- Boat trip
- Cooking (making sticky mango rice – dream food!)
- Heading up the Baiyoke Sky Hotel
- Tuk tuk rides which wouldn’t take us to our accommodation due to the road being blocked from a protest they had set up (stage and all sorts in the road)
If you ever go to Bangkok I highly recommend visiting ‘Khao San Road’ as it is just crazy! Full of hustle and bustle but great deals on EVERYTHING!
Time to head to the islands 😍
I was so excited to experience a 13 hour train ride (I was so naive)! It was nothing like I had been on before, the train had chairs that later turned into beds! There were 14 people in our group and you get to know everyone! I made Mike shake as we were all sticking our heads out the window when unbeknown to me there was a pole VERY close to the track, Mike had shouted to get my head in and luckily it was just in time! So if you go on the train from Bangkok to the island DO NOT stick your head out the window!
We arrived at a place called Surat Thani, the sun was shining and it was so hot! From there we took a narrow boat to ‘Khao Sok National Park’ which was beautiful! It was full of floating bungalows, tubes, canoes, trees and mountains. Just gorgeous. This place was pure relaxation and was spent doing just that!
Koh Phagnan took my heart
It was paradise, arriving by boat and of course with the sun! There were palm trees everywhere and it just looked gorgeous. The accommodation was lovely, right on the beachfront with a swimming pool overlooking the sea.
Whilst on the island we took part in:
- Elephant trekking (where I was bit by a monkey)
- Half moon party (in a jungle)
- The journey home as insane, the tuk tuk trailer was packed full with people hanging on a bar, sitting on seats, lying on the floor! The roads are so steep so people were literally hanging on! Luckily we made it back safely.
- Exploring waterfalls
- Insane Tuk Tuk taxis
- Walking back from the beach at night time passed telegraph polls that had sparks flying out the top
- Skipping a fire rope
- Drinking from buckets
Our week together had come to an end
It was amazing seeing Thailand and traveling with a group! However, from there on I was on my own!
Backpacking through Thailand alone
I then jumped on an open bus which was more like sitting on the back of a trailer. This took us to a cafe where we were dropped off around 3am and none of us had a clue what was happening. An hour later we were then escorted onto a bus and taking to Krabi but first we had a stop off to pick up more people, from here we got a boat to Phi Phi. If the journey via the ferry wasn’t bad enough, the boat across to Phi Phi was terrifying as well. It’s known for challenging crossing conditions, I’ve never seen waves so big!
We arrived at the pier around midday, I met two people on the boat called Kyle and Chistoph so we headed off to find a hostel. Once we settled for one which cost £5 a night we went to the beach to relax! It was a long journey after all.
Over the next few days I met up with a few people from the original group which was great. We went on an island hopping tour and it did not fail to impress. Maya Bay was incredibly beautiful with cliff sides, clear water and white sandy beaches!
We arrived around the back of the island which involved swimming from the boat to then climbing up a rope. If you have watched the movie ‘The Beach’ you will want to visit as this is where it was filmed. Walking to the beach itself was incredible, narrow pah and white sand then suddenly the huge beach is in front of your eyes and no longer hidden by shrubbery. Monkey island was also incredible and we were able to feed them too!
Exploring Phi Phi alone
I decided to head off to Phi Phi view point before catching my boat later on in the day. It was amazing as I somehow managed to venture off into the villages themselves with residents living there, along with their chickens and other farm animals. It was so tiring because there was a huge hill to walk up with a black cloud looming in the distance! I knew there was a time limit before the heavens opened! A guy on a moped went passed me and he offered me a lift to the view point, again being naive I jumped on. After 2 minutes he dropped me off, I thought great I must be there!
I couldn’t have been more wrong
My adventure continued and I was now greeted by a family of monkeys, it was incredible! My walk carried on and I was joined by farmers who guided me more into the right direction ‘I hoped’. Eventually I did get to the view point at which point the heavens did open, so my hope for a beautiful sunny photo by the sign had failed! It was only when I went back down that I realised there was a much easier way up! However, I did have a brilliant time exploring!
I had started to feel unsettled so decided my time was up in Thailand after just two weeks, being on my own I just didn’t feel safe anymore. Back onto another boat to the Phuket where we stayed for one night before catching a flight to Bangkok. In the process of panicking about being alone I had contacted my dad to so that he could help me carry out a surprise return home. It all went to plan and it was just so nice to see family again after feeling so alone in paradise!
So I will ask myself again, is it safe to backpack Thailand on your own?
Yes, as long as you are confident, map out a route, stay in hostels. That way you will meet new people who you can go on to travel with. I would advise going travelling with a friend if that is an option as there will be the comfort feeling all the time.