KOH PHANGAN: Half Moon Party, A Hospital Trip, Haad Salad Beach

In Koh Phangan we stayed in the best hostel of our trip so far – called Baan Tai Backpackers which was close to the Half Moon Party that we were going to on the Saturday night (Valentines Day). The owners Karen and Tristan were so friendly and welcoming; they would drink with us all in the evenings and have great tips about the island. It was a big step up from our hostel experiences in Koh Tao. The beds were really comfy and we stayed in a 6 bed female room with an ensuite. On the first night it was just Elle and I in the room so we had a much needed relaxing sleep after our previous night of hell in Koh Tao Backpackers. 

The funny thing is though when the other room mates arrived one of the girls lent on the toilet on the first day and it fell over and broke! Unfortunately Koh Phangan was a slight fail for us… not because of the island itself, it was lovely but because of ourselves (mainly me haha).

Day One: Beach afternoon & The Fisherman’s Restaurant 

The first day we arrived we went to the local Baan Tai beach, chilling on hammocks reading our kindles in the sunshine which was really nice. Luckily we were also staying directly opposite the number one restaurant on tripadvisor for Koh Phangan called ‘The Fisherman’s Restaurant’. It’s so popular that it was fully booked up but we managed to get a table around 6pm before a later booking came in – and i’m glad we did as the food was delicious! I had barracuda fillet with rice & salad, it tasted amazing – a little pricier than we’d been paying but it was worth it & a great treat.

Day Two: Half Moon Party

The second day we went to the markets in Thongsala. But first of all we stopped for a late breakfast at The Sweet Cafe and had a full English! Strangely when walking down the road we bumped into a German girl and her mum that had been staying in our first hostel: Lub. D in Bangkok! Considering we were so far away it was crazy to bump into someone again. Then we shopped in the markets for some neon tops for the Half Moon Party that night – mine was fluorescent green with a dream catcher print on it. I got it for 100 baht which is around £2… Not bad considering I will probably never wear it again.

Preparing for the Half Moon Party was really fun with the hostel hosting pre drinks and providing neon paint so we could decorate ourselves. However unfortunately I started to feel quite ill even though I’d had barely any to drink… My stomach hurt and I felt sick – I think all the different types of food was catching up on me which was really annoying as the day before Elle and I were saying how we’d been fine so far; completely jinxed it! Still we went to the Half Moon I just didn’t drink and was in quite a lot of pain the whole time. I was pretty gutted for myself and especially Elle because we didn’t get to experience it in the way we’d had liked to.

The Half Moon is in the middle of the jungle, and even though I felt ill I could still appreciate how cool it was! We ended up staying until about 3am which is longer than I thought I’d be able to last at least. The weirdest thing happened as we left the Half Moon Party; a guy asked me to take a picture of a massive group of people but as I was about to the whole group started chanting ‘Bournemouth’!! Elle and I were both like whattttttt we’re from Bournemouth too! Here we were in Koh Phangan and had bumped into a group of guys from our hometown! Elle really recognised one of them but I didn’t and a couple of days later she realised he worked at the same place as her – small world!

Day Three: Hospital Trip & Haad Salad Beach

Now… After our first night at Jizo’s hostel in Koh Tao I noticed my hand was itchy and I had started to get red bumps over it… Throughout the days in Koh Tao it spread over both my hands and began down my arms. I was worrying that maybe I’d caught something from the bed sheets seeing as it wasn’t the most clean hostel like at all… So I thought I’ll see how it goes and if it didn’t go away then I’d go to a pharmacy. 

But by day 3 in Koh Phangan (by this point i’d had it for about 5 days) I woke up and when changing into my bikini saw that the rash was now on my stomach. It was a Sunday so we were unsure where to go but headed to First Western Hospital where we spent most of the day. I had to have a nurse do my blood pressure, weight etc then wait a bit longer before seeing a doctor. It was concluded I’d had an allergic reaction … I still have no idea what caused it but it’s probably just because I’m not used to this climate or being bitten by Mosquitos frequently. 

The Doctor told me they would give me an antihistamine injection followed by anti histamine tables to take back with me. No biggy I thought after having several injections in my arm for travel vaccinations. UM no… I went into the emergency room where all the beds were with Elle sat in the waiting area. Turns out I needed three massive injections… They were thick long tubes with liquid in, two antihistamine and one anti-inflammatory; the staff saw my face and attempted to lighten the mood. Instead of injecting into my muscle it had to go in the inner arm where you get a blood test done. So they put a needle into my skin and from that attached each tube. Luckily it wasn’t as bad as the needles looked as they just had to do it very slowly so I barely felt a thing and the male nurse was talking to me at the same time. Then I just had to lie there for a good 20 minutes to relax! I felt like I was in an episode of Holby City! The female staff also loved both Elle and I as we are really pale (Some Thai women consider this attractive and want to lighten their skin) – they kept calling us beautiful and when I was lying on the bed they all came up to me putting their arms against mine. It was quite funny but surreal… As that certainly wouldn’t happen in a hospital in the UK. One Nurse even has pictures on her smartphone with Elle and I!!

After this palava we headed to North of the Island to a quieter beach called 
Haad Salad (I found the name very entertaining!) It was more like a cove type beach with lots of resorts around it; overall it seemed like a quieter part of the island but it was nice. Our taxi journey to and from there was quite long and therefore fast and rickety! The driving here in Thailand is pretty crazy but I’m getting used to it.

As we came quite far to Haad Salad beach we decided to stay there for dinner also; we sat overlooking the beach as the sun set. This was our last evening in Koh Phangan and luckily I was feeling better by this point; the antihistamine injection had begun working instantly with my rash reducing by that evening. As we were leaving the next day we had a fairly quiet night before catching the ferry to Koh Samui. 


BANGKOK: The Beginning of Becoming True Backpackers

Dramatic Flight

Leaving Dubai with our luggage and heading to Thailand felt great; the journey between the two was just around 6 hours. However within that 6 hours we experienced an hour and a half of pretty intense turbulence; I’ve never experienced such a long amount before. Even the cabin crew had to sit for the majority of it; but all in all we arrived to Bangkok in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Arriving at our hostel at 3am led to a very awkward entering of our room with the other 6 girls in there already asleep! However once we’d sorted our stuff out and found our way to free lockers we settled down for our first night in a hostel… Now the backpacking experience was definitely becoming real! The hostel was called Lub. D which in Thai means sleep well, and we sure did. It was such a nice hostel to start our trip; with a downstairs bar, a great shower room and really helpful staff!

Day 1: General laziness and eating lots of food

Day 1 was a tad of a struggle due to going to sleep at 3am and waking again between 8-9am… We wondered around the streets of Silom where our hostel was based. This was my first ever experience of Thailand and I have to say it felt far from my lifestyle back home. The hanging wires from the wooden poles, the variety of smells from the stalls upon stalls of street food, and interesting smells most probably coming from the drains. However all of these thing are what make you realise how big a world we live in and how our lifestyles across cultures vary drastically, there is much more to life than that of in the western world.

After strolling around the local area we settled down for lunch at The Mango Tree; we actually stayed there for a good few hours whilst experiencing our first day of the intense heat…

During the evening we went for dinner with another girl from our dorm who was from Paris… It was nice to sit down with someone we’ve never met before and just chat! In some sense Elle and I have said this reminded us of uni – where you are constantly meeting new people and hearing their stories. Jen had flew in that day also so we all headed back to the hostel for a pretty early night.

Day 2: The Grand Palace and Wat Pho

Elle had been to see The Grand Palace and Wat Pho previously but she was more than happy to go again so I could see it. The journey to the Palace was actually quite fun as we took the Sky train to a pier and from there took a tourist ferry up the river so we got to hear some interesting facts along the way.

First stop was The Grand Palace, which really is grand… It was so beautiful to see the amazing architecture with such bright and complicated patterns – definitely a work of art! Also at the Palace was the Emerald Buddha, very cool however you weren’t able to take pictures whilst in there. You had to sit with either your legs crossed or under your bum so that your feet were not the facing the Buddha. It kind of reminded me of my experience at the Sistine Chapel in Rome as you had to be quiet and respect the religious surroundings you were in. The whole room was extremely beautiful.

We spent about an hour and a half at The Grand Palace. You had to cover your legs and arms: the funny thing was that Elle and I thought we’d covered up enough – Elle wore a maxi dress and wrapped her scarf around her arms and I wore a maxi skirt with a top and scarf. BUT they told us just using a scarf wasn’t enough; I guess people could easily take it off so I understand from that point of view. SO we had to borrow clothes from the Palace; these blue shirts that looked ridiculous with our nicely put together outfits… They kind of reminded me of hospital scrubs, so we rocked that look for the time we were there!

Later we headed to Wat Pho; home to the massive and I mean massive golden reclining Buddha! I’ve never seen anything like it and I cannot imagine how or who made it because it was literally nearly the size of an aeroplane! Luckily we were able to take pictures of that. This concluded our cultural day out and we again took the ferry/ sky train combo back to our hostel.

In the evening we went to a really good German and Thai that restaurant called Gi’s in a place called Pat Phong which was in walking distance of our hostel. It was so funny as it was based in an area with loads of sex bars; so many Thai girls or ladyboys trying to get attention of western men walking by and even us! So many people tried to get us to go into the bars to watch interesting shows let’s put it that way, you could see girls dancing on the podiums in all of the bars. When at Gi’s we sat by the window; it was entertaining to watch the world go by and see all this taking place outside.

Onto the food though – Elle had German and I had Thai Green Curry, as trip advisor had stated the food was great, as well as the service; the German owner (named Gi) was very welcoming and accommodating and even gave us some advice for the islands.

Day 3: MBK & Final Day

We were leaving around 9pm to travel to Koh Tao by a night bus and ferry so checked out of our hostel first thing, stored our luggage there and then took the short sky train trip to a massive shopping centre called MBK.

This shopping centre was like nothing you would get in the UK, all the shops and stalls sold ‘brands’ and you can barter down the prices. My favourite part of them was the indoor markets. I love elephants so ended up buying elephant trousers and a top with elephants on as well; I obviously won’t be wearing them at the same time though!

Bangkok was an interesting place to be, a lot of people give mixed feedback about it. I’m glad I got to go but it was very hot being in a city with no pool or beaches so by the last day I was definitely looking forward to heading to the islands. We will be heading back to Bangkok a couple of days before we fly to Sydney. When we come back we are going to stay on the backpacker road called Ko San Road so we get to experience that part of Bangkok.

I began writing this as I was travelling on a night bus from Bangkok to Chumpon, from here we took a ferry over to Koh Tao. I’m very much looking forward to all the beautiful beaches that the islands in the Gulf of Thailand have to offer, this island hopping experience is going to be fun!






I’m going to Travel the World…

As of 2nd February 2015, this will become my travel blog – writing those words does not even make it feel real. Though we booked our flights a few weeks ago, I don’t think it will sink in until the moment arrives, but words do not explain how excited I am. I am also extremely eager to combine my love of travel with my love of writing and hope you will all follow me along this journey via my blog. Through pictures and words I will portray the incredible experiences I am so lucky to encounter.

Our Route

From the 2nd February – 14th May 2015 my friend and I will travel to and around Dubai, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Some people may ask – Why travel? My answer to that question could be extremely long but I have a few important reasons why. Firstly, in modern day we have become so reliant on the internet and social media that we create our own social bubble that frankly restricts us from the rest of the the world, the next town down the road, or even the people actually around us. It is so easy to become wrapped up in our own lives that we forget the potential of further afield becoming narrow minded and therefore less open minded. I love seeing photographs on Instagram or Pinterest of a far of place – many leave you thinking ‘wow’, yet how do I know how that place really looks? What the ground feels like, the sounds, the smells, and what are the surroundings beyond the photograph? I simply don’t. This is one of my main reasons for travelling, I want to see the scenery that is beyond those photographs already captured by others, I want to be in that moment myself. If you have that wow moment, what is stopping you from going there yourself?

It is also easy for us to get comfortable where we live already because it is what we know and we are surrounded by people that know us well. I like the idea of taking myself out of comfort zones, meeting new people, and experiencing new worlds. Living out of a backpack for three and a half months will certainly put me way out of my comfort zone, it may be a struggle but I know the positives will outweigh any negatives. My emotions towards my adventure range from nervous, excited, apprehensive to thrilled, and I expect this rollercoaster of emotions will carry on throughout the journey. I am also so lucky to be sharing this experience with one of my best friends, and knowing we will have each other’s company throughout the adventure, makes the whole thing even more exciting.

Lastly, and probably the most important reason, is that – I want to travel for myself. I have just Graduated university, at 23 years of age finally my education and hard work is complete. Because of this I wanted a break; a post university gap year in some sense. Of course I am currently working full time in order to be able to travel but I know it has an end point and before I know it I will be on that first plane (we are getting a ridiculous amount of flights). It is something that I feel like I need to do, I want to experience cultures far beyond ours and I’m sure it will adjust my way of viewing life, and finally I am looking forward to seeing new places which will spark me to write creatively like I never have before.

Through the eyes of my blog, for three and a half months you will see my ever-changing life and world.