Travelling through Thailand
Thailand has it all. Sun, sea, beaches, mountains, food and culture - what more could you want?!! We spent our first week in the Krabi area island hopping and going from beach to beach. The first thing I noticed about Thailand was the pure heat that hit my face when walking off the plane, it was just pure humidity and I could feel my hair turn into a thousand curls instantly! Being a British lass, the heat or rather humidity took some getting used to
Our first stop was to the beach to cool down in the sea and it was very important to stay hydrated as I could feel how easy it was to become dehydrated and light headed in the heat. Ice cream and cold water never tasted so good!! One of the sweet points in this area was watching the rock climbers at Ton Sai beach with the sun setting behind us. It was so relaxing and triggered a new curiosity to give it a go again when we get back to England. I used to rock climb when I was younger with my family as my Dad loved it and we would really enjoy it but somehow as I got older it just never stuck, perhaps because where I live is very flat. We'll keep you posted with how we get on.
Eventually we realised we needed a change of scene from the beautiful beaches as beautiful as they were! So we opted for a hike which I was very excited about but a bit apprehensive about the heat. We love being outdoors and going on an adventure and what better way to do that than go for a hike. We'd heard of a place nearby with incredible views overlooking the Krabi coastline and on a really good day you could even see the surrounding islands. We were extremely hyped by this and it was well worth the effort of getting there. The views were just simply breathtaking, the lime karst hills dotted across the horizon were blanketed with green dense jungle. The 360 panorama views were definitely worth all the tonnes of sweat it took to get to the top. We waited for the sun to set and once we realised we would be hiking down in the dark we started running downhill and we were surrounded by loud creepy animal sounds all around us. We reached the bottom and found we were the last ones to sign out of the national park and the ranger was happy to see we made it out alive (or so he could go home and eat). If you want real adrenaline experience and fantastic views then this would be for you - couldn't recommend it enough!
Then we we caught the train up north to Bangkok and stayed there one night, well early hours of the morning till we had to catch our next train even further north to Chiang Mai. The landscape changed drastically from low sloping hills, in contrast to the limestone cliffs in Krabi. The train was a great experience and such a good way to travel. It was my first time on a sleeper train and I'll be honest I didn't sleep too well as my curtain didn't block out the light. It was such a comfortable way to travel, the train literally rocks you to sleep and you see so much and don't feel any pot holes or harsh braking that turns your tummy upside down.
Arriving in Chiang Mai was a breath of fresh air. It was the perfect place to relax, unwind and explore the Thai culture. Buddhist temples could be found down almost every street, you'd turn a corner and there would be another magnificent temple. There was plenty to see and explore but one of our most favourite things we did was walking the Monks trail. This is a walk that is adorned with orange monk sashes tied to trees to show you the way up to Wat Pha Lat temple. This spot is a peaceful sanctuary with its own waterfall and spectacular views. You will find people meditating and surrounded by the sounds of nature, it was a little paradise spot. We then carried on up the hill in the intense heat, slowly putting one foot in front of the other. We passed by some groups of monks on their journey from the temples. The views from Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple at the top gave you an incredible panaormaic view over Chiang Mai and you could see how far we'd come. One little perk was that we didn't have to pay an entrance fee to the temple as we had come in the way the monks would so we weren't even questioned by it - bonus!!
Bangkok station was beautifully adorned with paintings on the walls of scenes from around the country. Walking out of the station and into the city was a stark contrast from the beaches in Krabi. We went to visit the Grand palace and the leaning Buddha statue, which was so much bigger than I expected! Bangkok is also well known for its huge shopping malls, which were floors and floors of shops and you could pretty much find anything there! A couple of days was plenty of time for us to explore the city and we were itching to get back to more nature.
Next stop Nepal.