D-5

Jan 24 2019

I arrived in Bangkok at approximately 3pm, tired, sweaty and ready for any bed!

I then took a cab from the airport to NapPark hostel whereby on arrival I was greeted by a stray dog known by the hostel as Long.

I entered the 22 bed dorm and tried to figure out what I was doing, everyone was in bed napping. I went off for a walk around a local temple trying to figure the area out. When I got back I met a couple of people and ended up drinking heavily and on Khao san road getting the chance to top off a long day

D-4

Jan 25 2019

Hungover, jet lagged and tired I went to the communal area to meet the friends I had got to know the day before.

A group of about ten were going to another hostels pool so I decided to go with. A group of us didn’t know the way and wandered aimlessly. We took a tuktuk to the hostel in the end, fitting five people. I was last on and ended up basically hanging out of it.

Guus and I then decided to see the palaces so we left the others there and went to see The Grand Palace and Wat Pho. These were amazing in both detail and size. The grand lying Buddha in Wat Pho a real treat to behold.

Despite insisting I wouldn’t go out, I ended up on Khao san Road till the early hours of the morning with Ben, Meghan and Denisa.

D-3

Jan 26 2019

I decided to join a group of eight to go to Khanchanburri. We got in a minibus from Bangkok to a hostel there.

Liv and I went for a little wander along the river until about 5 then we caught a tuktuk with denisa to see the others at the River Kwai Bridge.

On the way back from the bridge we went to a night market. Here i indulged in a number of tasty treats from fruit smoothies to spicy squid.

We then went out to some of the bars in Khanchanburri for a couple of hours before returning to the idyllic hostel.

D-2

Jan 27 2019

We all emerged to get the bus to Erawan national park at about 11. Squeezed in a small bus with open doors Liv and I laughed our way through the two hour journey.

Arriving at Erawan and seeing some amazing scenery we began hiking as a group upwards. At the second waterfall Liv and I stopped laughing at the fish cleaning my hands in the water.

After this the two of us decided to hike all the way to the last waterfall seeing the others on the way. The climb was tricky but we both made it to see the views from the top waterfall. There were not many people here due to the difficulty it took to reach. We went in the cool water after having sweated buckets and let the fish nibble my toes.

From here we regrouped with the others and chilled by waterfall six. A group of monkeys came down and one sat right next to me. It started hissing and I scarily jumped off the rock I was on in pure fear it would bite.

It was now 5 (time of last bus) and we just made it. Oscar and Ben had to sit on the floor, Oscar half hanging out. We laughed the whole journey.

After arriving back we had a few beers in mine and Ben’s room and headed into town. We revisited our favourite bar and bought a load of red and black cock drinks (10 baht each). I pretended it was Ben’s birthday getting us free shots as a group.

After copious amounts of alcohol we returned to the hostel and all jumped into the lake near it.

A really great day.

D-1

Jan 28 2019

Extremely hungover everyone materialised at about 11. Everyone decided to stay in Khanchanburri another day.

The day was pretty chilled popping to a death railway museum.

Ben and I decided to get an authentic Thai massage at a local place. After an hour of being stood on and punched in a so called ‘massage’ we went to get food and play pool together.

The others later joined us to continue drinking and return to the bar to get red cocks again. There was a tour group in one bar so joined them for the night dancing and chatting to new company.

DAY 1

Jan 29 2019

We left Khanchanburri on a private bus to Ayutthaya, Thailand’s old capital city. The bus took about two hours but was relatively pleasant with AC and plenty of space.

Once at Ayutthaya we settled into accommodation by the old train station.

The group then crossed the river towards old town Ayutthaya on a rickety old boat.

We hired bikes at about 4/5 and cycled into the old town where many temples were. We wandered around the monkey in tree temple and the main monument in Ayutthaya before returning our bikes.

We grabbed food from a street food cart and shared a few beers before going to bed ready to head off to Sukhothai the next day.

DAY 2

Jan 30 2019

We took a bus at about 12 from Ayutthaya. The journey was long but relatively comfortable taking about six hours to get to sukhothai.

Upon arrival we checked into our guesthouse rooms (me sharing a double bed with Ben again) and went for a quick refreshing dip in the pool there.

After grabbing dinner we then popped for a few Leo’s and called it a night.

DAY 3

Jan 31 2019

After catching up with some needed sleep I spent the morning walking with Guus and Ben around new sukhothai. There wasn’t much there but we wanted to get out for a bit.

The girls had gone to have a drink at the pool so we joined them and took a well earned dip after our long sweaty walk.


The hostel sorted us a tuktuk into Old Sukhothai in the afternoon. We rented out bikes in order to cycle around the temple complex in old sukhothai. I did this on my own and found a viewpoint we would later marvel at.

I found the others for a quick bite to eat and then we went to the viewpoint I had seen earlier that day for the sunset. As a group of six we watched the sunset together a truly magical sight to behold.

After sunset we returned our bikes and went back to the hostel in new sukhothai. Here we revisited the same bar we had already been to the night before for cheap Leo’s.

A really good day and great Instagram photo.

DAY 4

Feb 01 2019

Ben, Liv, Meg and I got a bus to Kamphaeng Phet in the morning after Liv and I had been chatting about going there before.

The bus only took an hour. When we arrived there were locals staring and people wanting pictures with us because they were not used to westerners.

Once feeling like a celebrity had elapsed we took a pickup to the Rainbow House hostel where we were greeted with immense enthusiasm by a lovely hostel owner whom showed us to a lovely guesthouse where we were staying and gave us vip rooms because he liked us.

The four of us scouted the area and treated ourselves to a KFC, the only western food I had had for ten days. We grabbed booze for a pre drinks tonight and got ready. Finally we had a place with an actual club in!!

We left at about 8.30 to hit up some quiet but nice bars and have a few Leo’s. After Ben and I embarrassing ourselves trying to speak Thai in one of the bars we headed off for a busy bar and then a club. The Thai locals absolutely loved us getting free entry and wanting pictures and to buy us drinks.

I spotted white faces in the crowd of the club so sprinted over to them in excitement. There was a group of seven or so all teaching English in different parts of Southeast Asia. Having spoken with them and danced with them we parted ways ready to catch up again the next night for our last hurrah in Khamphaeng Phet.

DAY 5

Feb 02 2019

Waking up relatively hungover we enjoyed a spicy breakfast that the hostel owner had put up for us and met Darla and Guus who had arrived the evening before.

It took us some time to organise but Ben and I sorted us transport to the Phrua Rang got springs. We enjoyed the ride to the springs with a private chauffeur for the day.

Once at the hot springs we all had a dip in hot water pools. This was nice giving me lad time with Guus and Ben as the pools were separated by gender.

We regrouped and had some interesting food from a street food stand. After this we all went over to dip our feet in the hottest spring there.

The water was so hot and uncomfortable so I just sunbathed while the others relaxed there.

Once we were finished at the springs we got the chauffeur to drive us back. We got ready for pre drinks giving me time to chat with Dad and brothers and everybody later came in our room to have a laugh and chilled conversation.

We headed out with more clue as to where to go than the night before. Once again we received a lot of attention from locals and met up with some of the people we had met the night before.

DAY 6

Feb 03 2019

We got up and checked out of Khampaeng Phet to get the long bus up to Chiang Mai.

We arrived at the bus station at about 12 and had to wait 4 hours for the only bus that day that wasn’t fully booked.

The bus was long taking another 6 hours. We arrived in Chiang Mai at about 8.30-9. Knackered I spoke with Mum and then crashed without really chilling and drinking through sheer exhaustion .

DAY 7

Feb 04 2019

We checked out the quiet hostel and hoped to the livelier Deejai hostel. Guus, Ben and I walked around Chiang Mai scoping it out and booking trips.

That afternoon we went to a Thai cooking class whereby I cooked four chosen Thai dishes and was taught how to do so.

The experience was interesting with the chef taking us to a market go purchase what we needed and talking us through Thai food.

The cooking was funny. I cooked four dishes quite well tasting nice but different from the restaurant bought equivalents.

When we arrived back we went to the pool bar to catch up with the others and new people to share a couple of drinks and take part in the quiz.

We went to bed relatively early ready to awake early the next day for our jungle trek.

DAY 8

Feb 05 2019

Guus, Ben and I got picked up for our jungle trek at 9. We picked up a Slovenian couple and a Swiss guy called Alex on the way towards the Jungle.

We arrived and had authentic home cooked Pad Thai at the tour guide’s house. The six of us then began the scorching, steep trek towards the village where we were to stay the night seeing some unbelievable scenery on the way and sweating buckets.

We trek on and off for about 3 hours with breaks on the way like exploring a bat cave. Eventually we arrived at this small remote village in the hills. Alex and the three of us then went up a hill during our spare time to watch a beautiful sunset at 6. It was so peaceful and remote.

The room we were in had no plug sockets or AC and just had six beds lying on the floor. The toilet was even a squatting toilet. Really an authentic experience.

After this we had a less than impressive papaya curry soup and then Ben and I went for a wander into the jungle using just our phone torches.

When we got back everyone was ready to crash at about 9.30 after a tiring day. It was difficult to sleep with the dogs barking continuously and chickens howling. Eventually I feel asleep through pure fatigue ready to be up early in the morning.

DAY 9

Feb 06 2019

We arose as a group at 6.30 to go and see the sunrise from the viewpoint we had found the day before. The sunset was amazing with everyone speechless whilst watching.

Following this, we had food and headed off to a hidden waterfall that was about an hour or so away. The terrain was rough and we all slipped a number of times.

Passing through the smallest village I have ever seen with more piglets than people we eventually reached the waterfall. Here Guus, Ben and I swam, chilled and chatted in the freezing waters before another guide came to give us lunch.

We walked further splintering odd into our group (three of us and Alex). We continued walking downhill and got to our first activity; bamboo rafting. We rafted down the river passing a number of elephant sanctuaries on the way seeing the beautiful creatures.

After 20 mins of rafting we reached the car to take us to the elephant sanctuary.

We arrived at the sanctuary getting to see the beautiful animals up close and personal. We all prepared food for them using machetes and big knives to cut up food for them (banana tree leaf and sugar cane).

We then went to feed three elephants between the four of us marvelling at the majestic creatures both in size and intelligence. The elephants were so leathery and powerful when getting food from you. I also got to feed the elephants directly into its mouth having its massive tongue lick the food from my hand. After this we washed and brushed one of the elephants.

After this we headed back all thrilled at seeing these animals.

When we got back to Deejai hostel I cleaned up and went the pool bar with the other two for a couple of drinks while the girls got ready. We drunk and chatted with different people meeting a group of crazy Canadians and two Bristol ladies.

We went out to Yellow and Spicy and danced the night away with backpackers and locals alike.

A truly wonderful day with amazing experience of seeing the elephants.

DAY 10

Feb 07 2019

After an intense couple of days this was to be the day I unwound. I got up quite late and we regrouped with the girls from our group and the wild Canadians. We went to the pool after grabbing food at about one and started drinking and chilling with everyone there. After a couple of buckets and a lot of chilled socialising we grabbed food at the pool bar at about 5ish.

I completely crashed with fatigue kicking in from alcohol and general lack of sleep. I went up to bed and napped for a couple of hours before coming back down to join the others at the bar. They had started drinking but I wasn’t in the mood so went with Ben and Guus to the night market.

This was disappointing being completely western and more like Tenerife than Thailand with lot of tourists running around and expensive prices.

We grabbed food and went home to bed. I was knackered and also developing a nasty cold so bed was the best place for me. A relatively difficult day in the end.

DAY 11

Feb 08 2019

Guus, Ben and I awoke to leisurely go and book the bus to Pai. When we went to reception to arrange the bus we were told that we would have to wait until 3 for a bus.

Ben and I booked on to go at 3 but Guus wanted to check out scooters to drive to Pai. We went and he couldn’t find one so he went back to book the earliest possible bus (at 4).

We wandered around Chiang Mai for a couple of hours then eventually it was time for our bus. The bus route was windy and hilly making for a difficult three hours.

Eventually we arrived and tried to find a hostel that wasn’t fully booked. We found Paimanee House. Here we met Johanna, Saana and Evan (a trio of girls).

Ben and I went for food on walking street and Guus eventually caught up with us. We had food then went out for a couple of drinks with the girls. We ended up staying out till late and having a nice first night in Pai.

DAY 12

Feb 09 2019

During the day time I was written off. My cold was affecting me and I spent a lot of the day in the dorm chatting to the Johanna, Evan, Saana and Ben or nodding off.

Eventually I felt well enough to get up and out to go see the sunset at Pai Canyon. After some tricky climbs and descents we found a nice place to watch the beautiful sunset over the stunning scenery of the canyon.

After this we regrouped with Megan and got ready to go out to Electric Valley festival.

What a time I had at the festival listening to a number of different genre of artists and dancing the night away until 4.

DAY 13

Feb 10 2019

We all awoke relatively fresh. It was however a slow morning just grabbing lunch from in Pai and checking into our new hostel as a group of 4 (Guus, Ben, Meg and I).

We grabbed scooters at about 1 and took them out for a spin to the local bamboo bridge and waterfalls. The waterfall was nothing spectacular but we all had fun getting used to our scooters and chatting there.

After this we headed back and scooted to Circus where the Canadians from Chiang Mai and the Finnish girls were staying.

We chilled with everyone while they drunk and then Meg, Ben and I drove back to chill out.

DAY 14

Feb 11 2019

We woke up fresh and ready to get to Circus hostel to stay with the others.

We extended our scooters for another day and headed to Circus to meet the others. A big group of us (Dan, the Canadians, the girls and us) then headed off to take a long drive to Lod Cave. The roads were windy and tested my newfound ability on the scooter but everyone made it to the caves safely.

We all went in and got a tour of the caves and the various rock formations within. After this we were lucky enough to get a bamboo raft through the cave and take in the scenery.

After this we all headed back on the drive to Circus to get ready for the night. Everyone sat and drunk and chilled until about 12/1.

A dangerous part of the pool claimed its scalps on Megan, Ben, Felix and I. I went to bed worried but had still had a nice day. The next day was to be one where I sorted stuff out.

DAY 15

Feb 12 2019

Today was a write off. I woke up to assess the damage of the dangerous pool to ind my phone broken and my leg in far worse shape than expected.

After saying a quick goodbye to the Finnish girls I needed to sort my phone out so we all got on the scooters to the nearest phone shop.

The guy told me it could be fixed but naturally at a price. I paid the 1500 baht and went for breakfast hoping that the phone would get fixed.

We returned there and thank god it was okay. I had a lucky escape.

From there we got on the scooters ready to take them back. To make the day worse we were stopped by police and fined for not showing an international driving license.

When giving the scooters back I managed to run off with the helmet which I had rented from a different store after my helmet had been previously stolen.

Eventually we got back to Circus. I chilled out and cleaned up my leg letting the family know all was not as bad as first seemed.

At about 5 my leg was feeling better so I jumped on the back of Meg’s newly rented scooter to go down to Paradise bar and scope it out.

We chilled there for a bit but it was too hippie for us so then headed back.

We met out friends for the free hostel food and stayed up drinking and chatting till about 12.

A tough and very expensive day.

DAY 16

Feb 13 2019

After another difficult sleep in the poor accommodation Ben and I were in we decided to leave Circus for a nicer but quieter hostel called Pai in the Sky. The four of us packed up our stuff and headed out.

Meg, Ben and I checked in and then the four of us went for lunch and a stroll along walking street.

At about 1 it was time to say goodbye to Guus, he had to get back down to Chiang Mai for his flight down to Phuket and the islands in Southern Thailand. It was sad to see him go but I know I’ll catch up with him in Vietnam at some point.

Everyone was a tad low after Guus left so chilled out in the room until it was time for tea. We went out and grabbed nice food followed by popping in to Boom bar and chilling with a Leo each.

We briefly bumped into Liv with friends and organised to go out that night then headed back to chill and get ready. The three of us popped to Paizy bar for a few before meeting all our Circus friends in Boom Bar.

Dan and the Canadians left but we went to Don’t Cry Bar with the others.

After chatting to a pleasant couple from Canada Chris and Meg grabbed me to say I had to help out with Liv who was too drunk.

I ordered her a cab and Meg and I took her back to Pai in the Sky.

After putting her to bed I went for a quick chat with Hens and Mum then went to bed.

DAY 17

Feb 14 2019

Similarity with the day before everyone was feeling tired and ill. Liv left for her own hostel and the three of us took our time to get ready and chilled.

We popped to a place that did English breakfast and tasting baked beans for the first time in a month was nice.

After this we strolled about Pai for a bit then decided just to chill at the hostel for a bit.

Meg crashed sleeping most the afternoon and Ben and I decided to watch a film and chill out.

After this Meg eventually woke up and we popped out for food. Grabbing it from one of our favourite places.

We then organised with the Canadians to go out to Boom Bar and Don’t Cry Bar later on. We got ready and hopped to Paizy bar for a couple. We got talking to Anna and Sophia (two Italian sisters) and invited them to join us (mainly because I fancied Anna).

We went to Boom Bar and the Italians unfortunately left possibly scared of the bigger group. In the bar we met an English couple who met at Exeter uni, the girl (Olivia) being from Bromley.

We left Boom to go to Don’t Cry but wanted to get a tattoo on the way. We went in the parlour and the guy got angry at me for saying it was too expensive so we got asked to leave.

As a smaller group of five (us three and the couple) we then went to Don’t Cry.

Ben and Meg left quite early but I was enjoying making new friends with the couple and a girl from Leeds so I stayed.

Eventually I left at about 2:30 on my own and strolled back to the hostel.

DAY 18

Feb 15 2019

We woke up relatively hungover ready to get the bus back to Chiang Mai so Ben could pick up his card.

We had booked the bus for 2 so just got lunch and chilled before getting the bus.

The bus had all our large luggage strapped to the top of the bus which was a new experience.

The bus took about 4 hours then we had to take a tuktuk back to Deejai. Ben and I had ours bags literally hanging out the tuktuk just connected by the straps.

We got to Deejai, checked in and then went for food. We met with Dan, Chris and Luke who had scooted down and sat and had a beer at the poolside bar in the evening.

The area was dead so we popped out just wandering till everyone was fed up. We returned back to the room and went to bed.

DAY 19

Feb 16 2019

We were supposed to get a bus to Chiang Rai but none were available. I started on the monotonous routine of food and re checking in to the hostel.


After food I took an hour to myself sitting in the hostel common room doing some puzzles.

After this I went to the pool to join Dan, Chris, Luke and two new girls. I chatted and chilled with them with a few drinks until I got hungry so text the other two and went for food.

After food we started drinking in our room inviting a lass from Bedford and lad from Slovenia and the group I had been at the pool with.

We moved the drinking down the the common room and played drinking games together while Liv and a friend joined us.

After getting pretty drunk we headed off to Zoe in Yellow and other surrounding bars and then spicy.

DAY 20

Feb 17 2019

Ben and I said our goodbyes to Megan who was not continuing with us up north towards Laos and Ben and I got a cab to the bus station to head to Chiang Rai.

We got on a very nice bus with a tv on and the journey to Chiang Rai took about four hours.

We got off the bus and walked to Mercy hostel. I was proud as Ben an I walked in as the hostel and room was lovely and it was the first room I had booked for myself. The hostel even had a gym.

We checked in and started a long walk to a McDonalds (something we had both been craving for the last half hour on the bus) and a western mall in Chaing Rai.

After this we headed back to Mercy and got ready to go see Duncan, Michelle, Lily, Karina and Sam in the main square.

Sam, Ben and I got a quick beer in the square then went back to the Canadians hostel to have a few more drinks and catch up.

I left about 12 and went back to Mercy ready to head to Chaingkhong the next day and finally near the Laos border.

DAY 21

Feb 18 2019

Ben and I awoke to checkout and saw an older guy we have seen along the way coincidentally known as JJ. He said he wanted to come to Chiang Khong with us so he joined us to go get the bus.

The bus was not awful and I sat next to a German guy called Thorsten who was going to Huay Xai in Laos that day. The journey took about 3 hours.

We arrived in Chaing Khong and found the hotel I had booked for me and Ben (costing only 85 baht each). It was lovely, a nice pool and good location.

We went for a swim then grabbed food out before finding a nice little man made small beach on the river Mekong.

After returning home we had a beer each and spoke travel stories with JJ before calling it an early night. We had to be up early tomorrow for the slow boat, visas and my first day in Laos.

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