After years of drooling over friends’ Facebook albums after their trips to Thailand, I finally decided it was my turn to discover what this magical destination had to offer – and I was not disappointed.
From the moment I landed in the bustling capital of Bangkok to my first steps onto Patong Beach and the final day when I reluctantly got in a cab back to the airport, I was mesmerised by the beauty, friendliness and relaxed atmosphere of Thailand and its people.
First stop: Bangkok
I had the option to fly straight to Phuket but I thought I may as well see as much of the country as I can so that I could get a good perspective. I had heard both good and bad things about Bangkok so I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Yes, it’s a very large, busy city – unlike anywhere else I had been – but it’s also charming, exciting and full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
I spent time walking around many beautiful temples – my favourite was definitely the incredible Temple of Emerald Buddha within the Grand Palace. It really does have to be seen to be believed.
But one of my favourite activities was the shopping. The markets are absolutely amazing – there’s everything you could possible want, and if you’re willing to haggle you’ll grab yourself some amazing bargains. Next time I need to take a bigger suitcase!
The only thing I regret about Bangkok is that I didn’t have longer there.
Final destination: Phuket Holiday
There’s only one word to describe Phuket - paradise. I’m not sure whether it was the action-packed streets of Patong or the relaxed vibe at Karon Beach that I loved the most, or perhaps the fact that you have every type of holiday crammed into one.
It’s amazing that on one island and in just two weeks, I got to ride an elephant through the beautiful green forests, take a boat ride to the famous Ko Phi Phi island, enjoy some delicious cocktails along Bangla Road and even watch a Muay Thai boxing match.
Despite managing to squeeze in so many fantastic activities, some of the best fun I had was simply roaming the street markets (particularly at night time) and tasting some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life. Best thing of all? You shouldn’t need to spend more than $5 to get a high quality Thai meal – so I really did pig out.
The nightlife in Phuket is amazing. While some of the clubs and bars are quite intense, there are plenty of relaxed beach bars and places to listen to live music. The party just never seemed to stop in Patong.
I must admit, I was pretty devastated to have to leave Thailand and I would love to have explored even more of it. I often sit at home and daydream about the wonderful time that I had. But all is not lost - I have already booked my next trip to Thailand for New Years.