The 25th of January marks one year since Jody and I landed at London Heathrow which means I'm a little bit late for How Time Flies Part Two, oops! (You can read part one here). At the end of Part One we had just spent Christmas in Bali which was just downright weird but in part two I'm gunna talk about our time in Thailand and our homecoming.
Happy reading! (P.S It's a long one!)
After a depressing Christmas in Kuta it was time to move on. We hopped on a plane from Denpasar to Bangkok (four hours) and got a taxi to our hostel. Bangkok wasn't really somewhere that really interested us and after one day there we were ready to move on to our next stop.
We bought our tickets for the 12 hour night train to Chiang Mai and it was a totally new experience for both of us (fun though). We haggled with a taxi driver to take us to our guesthouse and after an hour of driving around she dumped us at the wrong one - Charming right?
We then found a tuk tuk driver who took us to our actual guesthouse at a reduced rate and were greeted by the loveliest hostess ever - She was that lovely that we ended up extending our stay there AND we returned there after a trip North.
We both fell in love with Chiang Mai and I completely understand how people go there and then never leave. The temples, the elephants, nature, the laidback, chilled out way of life..It was absolute bliss.
We even snuck a couple of days in Pai into the Northern Thailand leg of our trip, braving the three hour bus journey and the 762 turns in the road. Most of our time there was spent in our guesthouse with the door wide open, staring at the mountain view and reading books in silence. It as quite possibly the most relaxed I have ever been.
From the North we headed to the South to explore the islands.
We started in Phuket as it was my birthday and enjoyed two days in a beautiful 4 star hotel complete with infinity pool. After months of slumming it in hostels it was wonderful to be treated like royalty and to sleep in a bed that felt like it was made of clouds.
Whilst in Phuket we also went to Koh Phi Phi and Maya Beach (made famous by The Beach) and were shocked by the sheer amount of people who were in the water and on the sand. Rude passengers on the boat made this one of our worst days in Thailand. However our trip to see another very touristy bit of Thailand - James Bond Island - was much more organised with a much smaller group of tourists.
From here we went on to Koh Lanta where I was unfortunately struck down by the worst cold ever. Despite being poorly we still managed to fit a lot into our time on the island - watching a Muay Thai fight night, enjoying the sunset and spending hours at the beach getting cheap massages. We also went on a day trip to Koh Rok where I found Nemo, Dory and all their friends. I've never been a big snorkeller but that day totally converted me.
The final chapter of our trip was 5 days spent on Koh Tao, where Jody would go scuba diving and I would have some me time on the beach. We snorkelled, we sunbathed and we ate until we couldn't eat anymore. It was like living in paradise.
After a 2 hour boat ride and a 9 hour coach journey (where the couple in front of us looked like they were trying to eat each other) we were finally in Bangkok. After a quick pit stop in a hotel to catch up on sleep, it was time to leave one of the most beautiful countries I've ever had the pleasure of visiting.
Our flight from Bangkok to Abu Dhabi was a breeze but the flight from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow? Not so much. The seats we selected online were allocated to someone else and the people sat next to us insisted on taking up as much space as possible. Oh and the engines kept making a noise that suggested sudden death was imminent so that was really fun.
We landed with approximately zero hours sleep and then had a five hour wait for our train back up North. It was a ridiculously long day resulting us been awake for well over 24 hours but by midnight, we were both tucked up in bed at our parent's houses, ready to pick up where we left off.
It was a bit of a shock arriving home I won't lie. It was cold, wet and windy but at least we were home and had some fantastic memories. Our time in the Sydney hostel was really tough on us but Thailand more than made up for that, making all the hard work and saving worth it.
Can you believe it's been a year since I came home?
How Time Flies: Part One