The following blog was sent in to us from our two lovely travellers Hannah and Samantha. Having completed our four week Thailand Experience we were thrilled to find out how they got on…
Upon arriving in Bangkok it was busy, interesting and compelling. There was just so much to see that we had completely dismissed the fact that we were jet lagged, set to the wrong time and amongst a whole new group of people who were about to become true friends. From the moment we arrived our tour guides were inviting, friendly and informative.
During our time in Bangkok we were able to experience vibrant culture, the most lively being Khao San Road, which included the most incredible fireworks I have ever seen as well as what I would describe as the ‘real’ Bangkok, where people were truly delighted to meet us as we discovered their world on tuk tuks, bikes and in gondolas.
All of the activities planned were great for allowing our group of 21 to get to know each other; after all for some of us it had been at least 12 years since we’d even sat on a bike!
Our next destination, Sangkhlaburi would most certainly be described by most of our group as our favourite of the month and the place we would most like to return to. It is a completely unspoilt, welcoming and very beautiful area. It’s full of local Thai people (other than our group and a few long term volunteers). During our time we were able to discover the history of the area as we visited the Mon Bridge, the natural surroundings during a trek and we were also able to volunteer in a Childcare Facility, which proved itself to be immensely rewarding.
The way in which we could watch a clear sky full of stars at night, spend a day by a lake canoeing, zip line through jungle and explore a very calming area filled with interesting people made us feel truly relaxed, peaceful and free.
Koh Phangan was the first Island that we visited on the trip; which we were all really looking forward to after a few weeks of action packed adventure. The accommodation on the beach was luxury, with plush rooms that opened out right onto the white sandy beach. The majority of our time here was free, which gave us the freedom to have the experiences that we wanted and everyone was individually able to get what they wanted out of the trip.
We had plenty of tanning time around the pool and beach, but we also crammed in as many activities as we could. We particularly enjoyed a snorkelling trip, where a speed boat took us to Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan where the water was crystal clear, the beaches had pure white sand, and there was plenty of fish to be seen. We even got a rare turtle sighting! This was a personal highlight for us as for some it was the first time we had ever snorkelled.
We were able to experience a Thai Boxing ‘Muay Thai’ event that was being held in the town. The atmosphere was electric with the crowd cheering; it’s safe to say that everyone who went had a great night. The fighters start as young as 7 years old and take their training very seriously. We were shown all aspects of Muay Thai, down to how they show respect to their clubs with a pre-show dance and how a fight is scored (off balancing your opponent & getting them on the floor gains the most points).
On one of the days we took a ferry boat to Koh Samui. This island was slightly busier than Koh Phangan and much more touristy, but it was nice to have a change of scenery for the day. We had a great time shopping and the beach was wonderful. Certainly worth the one hour boat trip if you have a spare day. The possibilities and exploration opportunities were endless and we had something to do all of the time.
For us it didn’t any better than being in Thailand for Christmas & New Year. Christmas Day was spent on the beach, with new friends; we’d done secret Santa in our group which was a really nice touch, because being surrounded by sand, sea and eating fried rice doesn’t exactly make it feel like the typical Christmas Day we’re used to!
That night was our first Full Moon Party. Everyone was in the festive spirit with UV face paint & Santa hats; it was one of the most amazing nights of the entire trip with such a friendly, fun and party atmosphere! We were able to do it all over again for New Year’s Eve, which again was incredible, but very different to the Christmas Full Moon Party. There seemed to be more of everything; more people, more music, more face paint and more excitement too! We couldn’t see a better way to start the New Year than being on a beach with incredible fireworks, surrounded by our new best friends, after having the best month of our lives. It’s fair to say we certainly experienced a ‘we love our lives’ moment. We that was a pretty good start to the year, experiencing the trip of a lifetime!
A huge thanks to Hannah and Samantha for letting us know all about their trip! It’s great to see what a good time they had!
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Peace & Love,
Team Real Gap Experience