A Travellerspoint blog

Chiang Mai

Up North!

sunny

Hey guys,

So Ive jut spent 4 nights in the wonderful city of Chiang Mai, and its been my favorite place so far!

So last time I wrote on this blog I had just arrived in Chiang Mai, expecting to chill out before exploring the city the next day. I ended up meeting loads of people at the hostel and we went out, got very very drunk (I blame the buckets!) and had a jolly good time! We went to a cool mojito bar an the owner got as all to do some chanting! Muchos fun! However, the next day was spent at the hostel, chilling out and trying to get over the hangover! This hostel that Im staying has been the best so far. Not in terms of cleanliness or facilities, but the fact its so social and everyone is so friendly!

That night we decided to go out again (never a good idea) and went to the same places as the night before and ended up at the same club we did, however we were not as drunk as the night before and realised this place was really seedy! It was horrible! Loads of old pervy looking men dancing around to get some Thai girls... not good. I did not stay long!! Its not very nice to see that side of Thailand!

The next morning I was determined to go see some Chiang mai (apart from the bars!) I picked up the girl i met in Bangkok (Flin) from the train station and me her and a couple of others went for a walk around the city. Its quite a small city, with a square moat surrounding the main centre! We found a gorgeous park and chilled there for a couple of hours (Had a quick nap too!) and then headed to the Saturday Market where we ate loads of yummy street food (gyoza and pancake on a stick anyone?!) We all the headed back to the hostel and chilled out all night (no big night out thank god! I dont think any of us could handle it!). Thats what I love about Chiang Mai, it is really chilled out!

The next day was the best by far! We went to the Tiger Kingdom in the morning and got to play with tigers! I was a bit worried that the condition wouldnt be good at all, but I was very wrong! Thank god! They were not drugged, or chained and had massive enclosures with loads of space. The reason we could go in there is because they are reared with human contact so they are used to it. But we still had to be carefull not to go aorund their fronts or else they could bite us or claw us! The little ones were so cute! But the big ones were so impressive! I didnt realise how big they would be! They only have human contact up till 2 years old, then are left alone to live out the rest of there lives! Really an amazing experience!

In the evening I did a Thai cooking class which was so much fun! I made Thai Green Curry, Spring Rolls, Pad Thai and Hot and Sour Prawn Soup. Got a recipe book so hopefully I will cook you all something when I get home! hehe We got to go to a local market first where they told us all about the ingredients then went back to the school and started the cooking! We ate so much! I was pleasently suprised about the results, I can now cook! Although I did put too much chilli in the soup! We then went to the sunday market to get some dessert (not that we hadnt already eaten enough!) Waffle with honey and cocanut milk anyone? Yes please! hehe

So this morning I am off to Pai for 3 nights, then come back to Chiang Mai for another 3 nights! Me and Flin are going together which Im glad about. Its really weird meeting some great people then just a couple of days later you have to say goodbye, so its good that Ive got someone for a longer amount of time! Im glad Im getting to stay in the north for a bit longer too. Moving places every couple of days is exhausting! Plus its much cooler up here than down south, so not sweating so much!!

Until the next update...

Soph xx

Posted by sophie.lee 17:26 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Bangkok Part Two

Last day in the Big City!

sunny

Hey Hey,

So my second day in Bankok I spent with a girl called Flin and we got up really early and walked to the pier to get the boat up the river to see the Grande Palace! A bit expensive and very busy, it was worth it because it was so beautiful!! There was so many people there and it was so hot, expecially because we had to be covered! There was loads of kids on school trips which was funny and a couple of them interviewed Flin for a class assignment and gave her a elephant keyring! They didnt want to interview me... maybe its because im ginger? haha

We then went to Wt Pho which has this HUGE reclining Buddha! It was really big! Pretty cool! The shame was outside loadsa men where telling us that everything was closed and lieing to us! We didnt beleive them because we know better! We then headed to Khaosan Road, the backpacker district for some cheap lunch and a look around the market. I bought a couple of bits, thai style trousers and books! It was then too hot to do anything else so we headed back to the hostel to shower and chill before I caught my overnight train to Chiang Mai!

I had a 2nd class upper berth with aircon and I shared the cabin with a chinese family whos kid WOULD NOT shut up! I had to put in my earplugs straight away! I was pleasantly suprised by the state of the train. It was clean, enough space and i got new sheets and blankets. Lovely! I treated myself to a few supplys, an english newspaper to keep me up to date with what is going on back home and junk food! haha! The train with pretty rickety and kept stopping and starting! It took 15hours in the end! Slept okay but was glad to get off the train and onto solid land! Eaily found my new hostel, which is the most basic I have stayed in (but at £2 a night - who cares?!) and have already met a bunch of people. So we are just chilling out for the day until we go and explore Chiang Mai further tomorrow.

Ive booked my flight to Vietnam, I dont have enough time to go to Laos, so Im off to Vietnam on the 27th February! Until then Im going to chill out here and head to a place called Pai! Will update you when the time comes!

Lots of love,

Soph xx

Posted by sophie.lee 00:41 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Bangkok Part One

Swapping the beach, for the Big City!

overcast 29 °C

Hello my dears,

So no more beach for me :( Ive travelled up to the great city of Bangkok! I got a flight from Koh Samui to Bangkok (a bit flash packer I know!). Koh Samui airport is sooooo nice it looks like a posh hotel resort! You are not indoors either you are outside walking through a tropical resort on your way to the gate! haha brilliant.

The flight was only an hour but I got breakfast aswell, some nasty looking sandwich that I didnt touch but I also got profiteroles!! Yum! Landed in Bangkok safely (to some idiot clapping the pilot when he landed - why do people do that?) Got my backpack and resisted the temptation to get a taxi to my hostel. I would brave the public transport! I had to take 3 trains and then walk for a bit but I found it! I am so proud of myself! It wasnt too hard either. Bangkoks rail system is amazing! Simple, cheap, fast and clean! Arrived at my hostel which isnt as nice as Koh Samui, but it is still decent! I then used the train system again to go to MBK (a massive shopping centre in Bangkok - more on that later) to get me a phone! So I am now reachable wherever I may go! HORAH! If you want my number, just email or msg me on facebook. Met a couple of people on the first night, and we ventured to Patpong night market which is just around the corner. It reminded me alot of Patong Beach in Phuket, loads of people shoving "menus" of pinpong shows in our faces! It used to be the old red light district but it has been toned down alot now, but sex is still about! We then went to some Japenese restaurant which was okay, wagamamas is better though! The went for a quick cocktail in a bar near the hostel. Then bed, bit tired from the day of travelling!!

So this morning I was up bright and early to see the sights of Bangkok. Met a lovely girl called Flin who has just arrived and we went out and about together. Had to go to the train station to get my night train to Chiang Mai - Im going tomorrow night. Then we went to a temple near the train station called Wat Traimit, it where there is this huge golden Buddha. It was beauitful! Its weird how you go from the dirty streets of Bangkok into the temple area which is spotless!! Saw some monks blessing people, and the temple was goregous! The Buddha was very shiny!!!! There were people praying to him and giving him gifts, it was really nice to see that and its made me more interested in the culture and religion of Buddism.

After that we got the subway (oh yes, Im loving the train systems in Bangkok!) to Siam Square. The subway is soooo clean! The London Underground looks like its from a third world country compared to Bangkoks!! Anyway, we went to Jim Thompsons house, which is this American dude who substaionally contributed to reviving the craft of Thai Silk, and increasing the industrys growth and worldwide recognition of Thai Silk. His house is made up of many old style Thai houses that are put together. He opened up his house to the public because he had loads of old art and statues, and gave all proceedings to Thai charities that protected Thais rich heritage. Very nice! He disappeared when travelling in America in the 1960's, and his family donated his house to the Thai charities so they can still benefit from it! It was really nice seeing how a foreigners love of the country is depicted in his house and that the Thai people celebrate his life after he died and appreciate what he did for their country. During the tour, some in our group fainted!! DRAMA!! I donated my water to him, because Im nice like that:) He was okay in the end.

After all that drama we went back to MBK the MASSIVE shopping centre. Honestly, Ive never seen anything so big!! theres like 7 floors and theres all these different zones are market places where you can barter for everything and everything! Its where I got my phone from and it was manic trying to get it! There were hundreds of places I could of got it from! We had some food in the food court bit which was yummy! (a bit overpriced however) but it was an experience! We pondered around for a bit then decided to come back to the hostel and have a shower because its so humid here we are sweaty bettys! On the way back there was this street festival going on called Love and Rhythm or something like that! To which I remebered it's Valentines Day!! How to Bangkok celebrate this? By having a safe sex festival! Hilarious! All these stalls giving out free condoms and leaflets on Aids! There was a stage with these Thai people singing and dancing. Very funny, but I suppose a good thing to promote awareness!!

So tomorrow I plan on going to The Grand Palace up the river, and the Khao San Road and maybe a bit of Chinatown! The next time I update this I will be in Chiang Mai because I hopehully will survive the night train in a sleeper bunk thing! Wish me luck!!

Muchos Love!

Soph xx

P.S Happy Birthday to my wonderful uncle Matthew! Hope your having a great day! xx

Posted by sophie.lee 02:52 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Koh Samui

The beginning of hostel life...

sunny

Hey there folks.

So today is my last day on the island before I fly up to Bangkok tomorrow and start the real travelling! No more pictures of beaches! hehe.

I also have stayed in my first hostel... a "boutique hostel" none the les and it is very nice, not a 5 * hotel but it will do for me! I arrived yesterday and no one was about so I took a quick walk on the beach. Koh Samui's alright, but a real holiday destination, loads of families and resorts.
After my walk on the beach I headed back to the hostel where I met all the other residents. We sat and chatted for ages, and one thing led to another, a trip to the shop to buy a big bottle on samsong whiskey (it was like 3 quid!). A couple of hours later I found myself in Chaweng beach at a cool bar called ArkBar drunkenly chtting the night away. Then we headed for a club called Green Mango and danced for hours! I think that closed at 4am... because then we all got back to our beach (Im staying on Lamai beach) and we all thought it would be a good idea to go swimming in the sea. But dont you orry, we eventually realised it wasnt a very good idea in our state and just chilled for a couple of hours until one by one we all headed to bed!

So a good start to hostel life! Everyones in the same boat and really friendly. We all got over our hangovers on the beach and everyone got sunburned, including me and I was in the shade!! I dont think there will be any partying tonight because the majority of us have to get up in the morning to move on to new destinations. Unfortunatly I am the only one going to Bangkok, but Ive sorted my hostel and Im sure Il meet more people there!!

Until the next time,

Soph xx

P.s its proving difficult to upload pictures on this blog, so you can all see them on my facebook page.

Posted by sophie.lee 02:20 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Koh Phangan

Not all about the full moon party... well not all of it!

sunny

Hey hey,

Well where do I start? After my last blog entry, I thought there would be nothing better than a nice massage to end a hard day of laying on the beach. There were loads of places along the beach, so when the sun started to set, I went over to one and there was a massive list of different massages you could have. I chose the cheapest (I am a budget conscious backpacker after all!) A Thai Massage! Little did I know that this type of massage is not of the relaxing kind, I was being kneed with the womans elbows ll over my body... the pain! She pulled every toe and every finger until they clicked, twisted my back that each part of my back clicked and then somehow managed to lift my whole body off the ground while she was behing me and I was in some sort of headlock! THE PAIN! I screamed at that point because my god it hurt. But after the whole ordeal, my body somehow managed to feel alot more relaxed! So I got a Thai massage in Thailand, thats ticked off! Never again though! haha!

We then travelled from Koh Lanta to Koh Phangan on Tuesday because the Full Moon Party was supposed to be on the Wednesday, but they moved it forward a day! We left Koh Lanta at 7am and arrived in Koh Phagnan at about 5pm! Long day of bus and boats! We arrived at our resort which is well nice! Little bungalows by the beach (our own private bit of beach too!) and really nice owners who laid out a free BBQ before the full moon party and sorted us out with a taxi service there and back! Sorted!

After a couple of cocktails at the resort and come bbq lovliness, off we went to Haad Rin, about 10 mins away for the rawkus of the Full Moon Party! I got ripped off by paying a tenner for some lady to paint the smallest bit of UV body paint on me, to find out that just round the corner they were selling tubs of the stuff for like 50p! Oh No! Well we bought some more anyway and painted more patterns on ourselves then grabbed a bucket (Samsong whiskey, redbull and coke for me!) and headed to the beach! banging basslines, Fire skipping ropes and drunk ppl everywhere! We soon joined in the fun, however it took me about 3 hours to finish my bucket and there is no way I could of drank anymore, they are lethal! I Dont know how people manage to do multiple... I bet they were the ones conked out on the beach or throwing up in the sea! It was really good night, the only thing that would of spoiled it was there were quite a few unconscious people probably dead on the pavements and the beach, and when you looked at the sea, all you saw was a row of men pissing in the sea. We then saw some man have a poo in the sea. Oh my God I thought I was going to throw up!! FOUL!!! We stayed far away from the sea after that! We visited the same beach a couple of days later and it seemed nice anough, people where sunbathing there but I wouldnt of! After seeing what happened to it at the full moon party!

We felt very rough the next day, so we sat in the cafe bit of our resort all day to get rid of our hangovers. We had to scrub so hard to get the UV paint off, and even a couple of days later it was magically appearing!! I was half expecting Koh Phagnan to be really grimy because of the party, but its my second favorite place (1st is PhiPhi) I suppose because of the resort we are in.

The girls left today to go to Koh Tao whereas Im leaving tomorow to spend a couple of nights in Koh Samui and the head up to Bangkok, hopefully Monday. Im ready to get into the real travelling! So Ive spent the day getting burnt on the beach, trying out scuba diving the the pool and watching the sunset. Scuba diving is well good! I thought it would be horrible, but I got used to it really quickly probably because when I was younger I used to alway go underwater! I think its easier that snorkelling! So Im thinking when I come back this way to go to Malaysia, Il pop to Koh Tao to do the PADI course! I bet its amazing in the sea! And sunset is now my favorite type of day, there was nothing better than listening to my Ipod and watching the sun go down while illuminating the sky all sorts of beautiful colours! Ah The Simple things!

So wish me luck, because as of tomorrow I am a true backpacker... dorm rooms and no one but myself to take care of myself! Looking forward to the next part of the adventure.

Muchos Love,

Sophie

P.S HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful Mum, its her birthday tomorrow :) love you!

Posted by sophie.lee 04:30 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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