At the beginning of 2014, we decided to go far. Farther than the common destinations we used to think of. We have been eager to a new adventure since we have been exhausted full-time donkey workers, trying to handle our annoying bosses and to align properly to our career objectives and such bullshit. We really couldn’t think of a destination better than backpacking in Thailand. Oh yeah, tropical, sunny and totally interesting.
Backpacking in Thailand
The first step was setting our objectives: what do we need to enjoy in Thailand? Our list was something like “Jungle trekking, coconut juice on the beach, Thai food in crowded markets, checking on Budda, jumping on a Tuk Tuk, trying some cheap giant lobsters, hanging bed sleep under the palm trees, a lot of Thai massage, and whatever whenever..” Fairly cool plan!
Thailand is not only for honeymooners
We don’t really travel with travel agencies since we are backpackers not tourists. It was strange to spot a 3 Egyptian guys heading to Thailand. Some of my friends were really surprised that we are going to Thailand for backpacking and not on a honeymoon. Thailand for Arab countries means one thing: “Honeymoon destination”. However, let’s just skip those retired minds and hit the destination.
Day 1: Bangkok – Thurat Thani – Khao Sok
Our style of traveling is like “The jungle comes first”. This definitely means that we will head straight to the jungle, and our destination was “Khao Sok National Park“. We flew from Bangkok to Thurat Thani city in the first morning and from Thurat Thani we went directly to Khao Sok. We spent the night in Khao Sok River Lodge enjoying the sounds of the tropical jungle at night. The lodge design is really nice with a view on the river.
Day 2: Khao Sok National Park
Welcome to the fantastic nature! We joined a group of seven people and we took a full day tour into the jungle. You have to cross the giant lake to reach the bamboo lodge for a meal and some kayaking before you start trekking deep to the caves inside the jungle. The cave is full bats and dark with running water underneath. You need to be fit enough to get to the other side of the cave. I was a bit high during this trekking since the tourists have been smoking ahead of me! I was a bit lousy but it was great adventure.
Day 3: Karabi and Phi Phi Island
On the third day we had a task to accomplish: “Lets find the paradise”. We took a cap to Karabi city and then jumped on a ferry. More closer you sail into the sea, the more amazing it gets. After two hours we finally arrived the paradise aka Phi Phi island. The locals call it Pi Pi and it is for sure one of the best destination you can visit in Asia. We checked in a hotel and had quick meal then we rented a boat for a tour.
We have been swimming at Maya Bay (Yes, that’s where they filmed the movie The Beach), playing with the monkeys on the monkeys’ island, Jumping off the cliff, and sailing between the amazing islands with green caps.
We reached Phi Phi island before the sunset with almost half an hour and we had to chase the sunset on the amazing view point. We spent the night trying traditional Thai food in some fancy restaurant and watching the beach show and finally getting freaked out of the idea that we will sleep in a bed with flowers! Someone had to inform the hotel that we are not couples!
Day 4: Phi Phi Island to Pukhet
In the morning we had to jump on the ferry leaving to Phuket. the previous ferry had an issue and they had to put extra travelers on our ferry. We have been stuck on the ship deck for almost 3 hours and eventually we ended up with sun burn. For such places you always need to have sun block and a hat!
We reached Phuket by the afternoon and we were totally bored in that city. We rented a tuk tuk for a tour and we had elephant ride beside some hanging around but the place had nothing much for us to do. Late at night we had to take the flight back to Bangkok.
Day 5: Bangkok
Welcome back to the crowded city. We have been staying in one of the most interesting hostels ever. We had a tour in the city visiting some of the most famous temples and monuments and at night we ended up in in the hub for backpackers. Khao San road is the most famous place for backpackers from around the world stuffed with tourists, pubs and pimps trying to fix you with a hot girl.
Day 6: Bangkok and floating market
We took a cap to the floating market which is 2 hours to the north of Bangkok. We spent the day buying souvenirs and enjoying the river trip. At night we went to Patpong which was recommended by two Arab dudes we met in the hostel (Bad Idea!!)
Day 7: Bangkok (Final Day)
It was very hard to find a mosque in Bangkok but we were able to catch Juma prayers after several trials. Here is a good tip: Don’t always trust Google Maps!
At that day we managed to see the King of Thailand two times (Each time he passes by everything need to freeze). We had hard times to reach the Grand Place because he was visiting it and eventually we found out that this particular day was the Chinese new year. The weirdest thing was the policemen, for some reason, they attempt to give us the wrong direction to not let us reach the palace. The tourism office also insisted that the palace is closed today but we were able to visit it at the end and spend two hours inside.
At night we went searching for Lemon Grace. A friend asked us to bring some and we had hard to find it and eventually we discovered later on that this thing is available in Egyptian stores! Finally we had the last night in China town enjoying the great celebrations of the new year and trying Shark Fin Soup!
Watch in the video below some of the fun stuff we did during the backpacking in Thailand trip:
This video covers most of the highlights of our Thailand backpacking: