Golden Week, China’s National Day holiday, finally arrived!
Ever since I first heard that we would have a week off in October, I knew that I wanted to spend that week exploring Thailand. Our group spent weeks researching to find what we wanted to do and see in Thailand. We came up with our own itinerary where we would be able to see from the north to the south of Thailand. Our itinerary consisted of visiting Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Phi Phi Islands, and Krabi.
We stayed in Beijing for 2 nights so we could fly out to Thailand from that airport. Beijing is always a good time! On our way over to Bangkok we had a little unfortunate event happen to us. Our first flight was delayed causing us to miss our second flight. The airlines provided lodging for us while we waited 9 hours for the next flight out, but it caused us to miss a whole day that we had planned for Bangkok. This was probably the only low of the trip.
In Bangkok, we saw the beautiful Grand Palace and the Wat Pho, and of course rode in the back of a tuk tuk (their local taxi). Then we took a 14 hour sleeping train to the city of Chiang Mai. It was only 15USD and even though it was long, it wasn’t a bad ride.. it saved us some money on lodging for the night. In Chiang Mai we rented scooters for 8USD to ride around the city. We did a lot of shopping for dirt cheap, and the best part….we hung out with elephants at a sanctuary for a whole day!! This was one of my absolute favorite experiences that I have ever had! Elephants are such majestic and intelligent animals and it was amazing to be able to feed, bathe, and play with them. (Side note…Do NOT do any tourist activity where you ride an elephant, its terrible for them!) Then we moved on down to Phuket where a local Buddhist guide took us to see the Big White Buddha and taught us about the Thai perspectives in Buddhism. We got to pay our respects to a Monk who was at the temple, and he gave us each a bracelet as a token of his appreciation for our interest. It was an experience that I’ll remember. The next stop was the Phi Phi Islands. We arrived through ferry, and I could tell that I already loved this island and its laid back ambiance. Phi Phi offers beautiful beaches, views, and great food and night life.
On the second day here, we did a sleep aboard boat tour to the famous Maya Bay from the movie “The Beach.” My experience here was unreal! During the day the beach is packed with tourists however, the tour we did is the only boat that is allowed to stay docked on the island overnight. We were the only people on the island, where we enjoyed the beach and had dinner, jumped in the ocean at night to swim with bioluminescent plankton, then slept in the open rooftop of the boat watching the stars only to wake up in paradise and have the chance to snorkel and kayak. Then our final stop was Railay, Krabi. Here we relaxed and I got a traditional Thai massage; those ladies do not play. They use their whole body to massage your body, it hurt a little at times but it mostly felt good.
Thailand being amazing is an understatement… 1 week just wasn’t enough, I’ll definitely be back for more!