Now Sophie's spent her first two weeks in Thailand on our awesome Thailand Experience (and taught us how to cook in her last post!)- it's now the time to go back to her arrival day and her first few days in Bangkok!
So the days of travelling solo are over- now its time to kick back, relax and enjoy the travellers paradise, Thailand. After 7 months of going it alone, I was so excited to go on a Real Gap tour, where all the boring bits of travelling are taken away (transport, accomodation, entry fees) leaving you with all the fun stuff (sight seeing, partying and generally all round life experiences). Im also excited to be meeting with 30 like minded travellers, looking to explore the 'real Thailand' while visiting temples, meditating with monks, bareback elephant riding, helping out in an orphanage and partying on some of the worlds most beautiful beaches.
As i had arrived in Bangkok 4 days before, I was the first at in the hotel. We had been booked in a plush hotel on the main street in Bangkok, Khoa San Road, which seemed like heaven after 7 months of bunk beds in hostels. Soon a knock on the door brought the arrival of Steph, a 22 year old, who was quite nervous as this was her first time travelling. After briefly informing her that this would be the best time of her life and how proud i was of her making this big leap, we were joined by another female, Susan, 28, who had been travelling for five months prior to this, round Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. Like me, she was glad to be on a tour so she could leave all her stress behind and ensure she could still see the best that Thailand has to offer. After throwing out an open invitation, 6 of us girls went out to get a beer and a curry, where we had a girly chat, discussing travelling experiences and going over any worries that some people had.
After we'd eaten (I had a creamy peanut curry called Massaman- scrummy!) we browsed the street markets of Bangkok, which sell everything from Pad Thai (sweet noodle based dish) to traditional Thai garments to fake Dr Dre Beats headphones. We met the rest of our tour afterwards, along with our tour guides Jib and Sugar (even at this stage I had a sneaking suspicion these werent their real names!). We headed out for dinner, where most people played it safe with Chicken Noodles washed down with the Thai beer, Chang, before going on an informal tour of Bangkok's night life (including one called 'We dont check no ID').
The next day we met down reception before heading off on a river cruise to explore the sights of the City by water (top tip, this is always the best way to see a city!). We firstly pulled up to a floating market, which had minature turtles for sale (Thai people believe that releasing a turtle into the wild brings a long life, while eating them, unsurprisingly, causes your life to end alot quicker than you intended). We also went to the Kot Pah temple, where we saw the impressive Reclining Buddha. We were meant to visit the Grand Palace aswell but unfortunately the King was there and (quite rudely) he didnt invite Real Gap to the party, which was silly of him, as our tour is about to go next level crazy at our next stop, Kanchanaburi...
Keep popping back to the RG blog to found out how I got on on the rest of my time on the Thailand Experience!