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Evening people. I am off to Thailand and then Cambodia for a month next Sept. Going to fly into Bankok and chilll there for a day or two and then move on. Really looking forward to it. I am looking at visiting the killing fields, taking a three day jungle trek, loads of beach time, cheap beer and everything else. I Have been to South America and Central america so am not bothered about the fact I am going by myself ( I quite like the idea... can hopefully meet some cool people and do what I want)


The idea of this thread is for people who have maybe been to that part of the world (or heard good things from friends, family etc)... what would you recommend I do? Where should I visit etc. Keeping in line with the spirit of the forum we could have this as maybe a bit of a travelling thread. Where have you been? Where would you like to go.




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Similarly to you, we flew into Bangkok and then went north to Chiang Mai where we spent the first week or two. It's a lovely town but it's also the only place we saw any trouble - one of my friends was mugged by some kids on a moped. In a way, I'm glad that the bad thing happened at the start of the trip and not the end, although it did mean we wasted a day or two getting them replacement passports.


This is my warning though, if you hear a moped slowly approach from behind you; beware


Anyway, we found a pretty good little hostel that organised its own jungle treks and had it's own cooking school, both of which we took advantage of. The jungle trek was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. Our guide was from one of the villages but had moved down from the jungle, taught himself English and ran tours back through the jungle. We even spent one night in his home village, literally just a bunch of huts on stilts and some farming areas. They'd recently killed a monkey that had been stealing their crops and gave us some to eat which was certainly one of the oddest things that's happened to me.




The trek, of course, had the customary elephant trek. I was sat on his head as opposed to on the saddle thing which did mean there were a few times where it felt a little treacherous. I did have concerns that the elephants might be mistreated but they seemed pretty happy for the most part. The elephant trek was followed by a raft trip downriver. Now, I've done some white water rafting and there were a lot of rapids on this river but instead of a nice dingy with helmets and buoyancy aids, we were on a raft our guide had just made out of some bamboo he'd cut down in the forest. Authentic experience but pretty terrifying as we all fell into the river quite a few times when it was choppy.




If you've ever gone to Camden market and seen the awesome Radiobot tshirts, these are made by a girl in Chiang Mai, we stumbled across her shop whilst we were there. Thailand is also the source of Sure shirts which I just fell in love with and bought loads of. There's an enormous night market in Chiang Mai, too and we did actually see some stuff there that was quite unique (you'll notice that they try to sell you the same stuff pretty much everywhere in Thailand) but the traders are crazy pushy. One woman actually chased me through the market after I took an interest in some cargo shorts she was selling just to try to make me buy them.




From there we flew to Koh Samui. We had no intention of staying but we couldn't immediately get a ferry to another island so spent the night. I'm glad we did though because we managed to stay in a pretty swish hotel for the same price we'd been paying for most hostels. It was one of the few times whilst we were out there that we actually had aircon instead of a fan and by god did it make a difference. Koh Samui, I'd been told, was fairly western orientated as the islands go and there's some truth to that, there's a McDonalds and Burger King but it's still clearly Thailand, replete with all the dodgy electrics that spark in the rain, etc.




From Samui, we hopped to Koh Tao where we stayed for a week to do our PADI qualifications. This was by far my favourite place we went whilst we were there, it was absolutely stunning and, as an internet addict, I was delighted to find wifi everywhere. The people were all crazy friendly there and there's a lot of expats working at the diving resorts, plus a load of travellers so always people about to talk to. We spent our evenings on the beach drinking cocktails and watching Thai dudes spin fire poi. They're absolutely incredible, obviously they do it every day so they're going to be but I've been to a fair few raves in my time and they put even the best hippie's I've seen to absolute shame.




One thing you'll definitely notice about Thailand is that there's dogs absolutely everywhere. It's perhaps a bit of a misnomer to describe them as stray because I reckon they get fed by just about everyone and are probably never short of somewhere to hide from the rain. Their all pretty tame and playful as well. We had a favourite one on Koh Tao who used to come and play fetch with us on the beach with a pebble in the early evenings. He was amazing in that he always seemed to bring back the same one, even if you threw it into the sea! He was ace.




PADI's completed, we did he obvious thing to celebrate - went to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon party. To be honest, this was not what I had been expected. I was expecting an enormous rave on a beach. What I actually got was a huge chavvy club on a beach. Still, we got drunk and had fun!




We got stuck on Phangan for an extra day or two than expected due to a massive storm that came in on full moon. This was perhaps the most boring time we spent out there as there's literally nothing to do there other than party. So with no parties, we ended up sat in bars watching movies and feeling restless. There is one saving grace though - all the bars show pirated movies so you can get to see some pretty current stuff.


We finally managed to get a ferry back to Samui and from there we flew to Krabbi. Briefly hopped over to Phi Phi, which is possibly even more gorgeous than Koh Tao and it's where they filmed The Beach.




We spent the last few days in Bangkok and it's more fun than I expected it to be. I imagined that it would be constantly full of the worst kind of tourists and, especially after our experience in Chiang Mai, was constantly expecting theft of some kind but there was none of that! We were staying in a hotel on actually on Khao San Road and it made a great base for the various things we did around the city. Mainly getting drunk, to be honest, we had the last of our baht to spend! We did take in several wat's and the floating market though. And the sleeping Buddha!



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