I just spent the most amazing two weeks in THAILAND! It was my mid-semester break and most international students headed to the now cold south island of New Zealand to explore the lakes and mountains, but I had already done that and since I had heard so many stories about Thailand from fellow travelers, I knew that I had to see it for myself and this was the perfect time to do it.
So I headed off to Bangkok solo and was SO nervous about being in a huge city in Asia, not speaking a word of their language, and completely on my own. Everything went smoothly though... After spending the night at the Auckland airport, a 3 hour flight to Sydney, 9 hour flight to Bangkok, and a very confused hour long taxi ride, I finally made it to my hostel, which was surprisingly nice for about $15 a night.
It was super easy to make friends with all the other backpackers around and I could have easily lazed around in the cool airconditioning with them all day, but instead I woke up early and went out in the 95 degree, sunny, humid weather to explore Thailand.
In Bangkok, I went to the floating markets, did lots of shopping (everything was so cheap!), ate a scorpion and a grasshopper and lots of awesome street food, went on a night bike tour of the city, took a thai cooking class and visited tons of buddhist temples. There's so much to do there but the heat really tires you out.
I was so happy to get away from all the traffic and head to the beautiful islands. It only took about 8 hours on a bus and 4 hours on a ferry until I got to Koh Phangan, where I stayed 4 days at a resort on the beach with a pool! Then I spent another 4 days in a nearby island called Koh Tao, which was smaller and even more beautiful.
On the islands I went scuba diving, snorkeling, rode an elephant, went hiking, swam in a waterfall, rode in a taxi boat and relaxed by the beach. Not a bad way to spend the vacation. One of my favorite things was snorkeling, we just jumped off the taxi boat with our masks on and the driver started throwing food in the water and all of a sudden there were thousands of bright colorful fish right in front of us!
Thailand was such an amazing place to experience, I am so happy that I went and cannot wait to go back one day and explore the rest of Asia. Now I've been back in Auckland for almost a week and its been raining everyday and I am still pretty jet lagged from my trip, so I am looking forward to my next trip to Australia in about 5 weeks!
There were stray dogs and cats everywhere, this is in Koh Phangan