Ten years ago myself and 5 friends from Uni decided to head to Thailand for our summer holiday. It was 2007 and a time before the iPhone, we had to go to an Internet cafe to log in to Facebook to let our parents know we were in one piece and making your friends jealous via Instagram hadn’t been dreamt up yet. With nothing but one copy of the Lonely Planet between us we headed to the airport … what’s the worst that can happen!?
Looking back, I am surprised we were allowed to go! But promising to be careful and keep in touch there we were at the airport.
As soon as we landed being the legitimate backpackers we were we headed straight for Khaosan Road, picking a hostel from the trusty guide book we managed to find a room, ditch our bags and go out to get drunk.
From there we somehow managed to negotiate our way by train, boat and bus to (in no particular order) Koh Lanta, Krabi, Surat Thani, Phuket, Kanchanaburi, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Phi Phi and back to Bangkok.
Seeing some beautiful things, meeting amazing people and eating ridiculously good and cheap food. We had the time of our lives and completely fell in love with Thailand.
The Full Moon Party was insane, although we spent so long in our rooms pre drinking and fully painting ourselves neon we got out pretty late and the beach was already packed. We partied all night and into the next morning ready to just spend the day recovering on the beach … which somehow got cleaned up really quickly from the night before!
The bright blue seas, the white sandy beaches, the long tail boats with the bright coloured scarves tied around them, it was a dream come true. However it wasn’t without incident.
During that trip we managed to be in a coach crash, drop phones and cameras in the sea, another camera was stolen, we broke discs we had stored our only photos on to, get ‘bitten’ by a tiger … the story is debatable, realistically it was more of a scratch, I left my passport in the currency exchange TWICE, we drank ridiculous amounts of Thai whiskey from buckets and to top it all off, on our way scuba diving the van lost control and went off the road into the jungle. The only reason it didn’t tip over is because the wheels got caught in some long grass and we all had to strategically jump off one at a time before it tipped.
After six weeks of fun we returned to Khaosan Road for one last night out before flying home. One of the main attractions back then was Mr Thailand, he drove his golden carriage of a Tuk Tuk up and down Khaosan playing music out full blast. My friend who had her camera stolen realised if we didn’t report the theft she couldn’t claim it on her insurance, after a few buckets of Sangsom the logical mode of transportation we chose to get us to the police station was of course, Mr Thailand! We hopped up on the tuk tuk, had about 500 photos taken, and off we went.
Needless to say when we rolled up at the police station in the middle of the night we weren’t taken very seriously and by the time we left the police station she 100% did not have the documentation needed to claim for a new camera … oops!
We couldn’t have been more stereotype travellers, we bought every Buddha statue carved from wood, we wore fisherman pants with ridiculous layers of folds around our waists and we all felt the need to buy those huge triangular shaped cushions, because once you’ve been to Thailand you don’t need a sofa, you now just lie on the floor!
Thailand really is the most beautiful country, I have been back since and it has changed a lot in the past 10 years. Sadly Mr Thailand doesn’t seem to be on the scene anymore, if anyone has seen him since 2007 please let me know!
The first time I went will always be my favourite, despite the dramas, accidents and near death experiences, it was one of the best trips of our lives!