Leaving Manchester sat 15th Dec I was excited, nervous and happy. Work was done for the year, I had set everyone up for Xmas and it was my time now to chill.
The flight was great, when your used to Ryanair and easy jet, Qatar was fab. Movies, free drinks, food and space. The flights went quite quick and Doha airport was huge. We walked around in the 2.5 hours we had lay over as we had been seated for hours.
I took my own food as wasn’t sure what the food would be like on the plane and I’m a fussy eater. Turns out they fed me chickens rice and veg haha. My fav.
At Bangkok I had given us 3 hours till our flight to Chiang Mai, we were booked in with plenty of time as our flights were all on time and we got out luggage fine.
We arrived in Chiang Mia Sunday 16th December. We got to the hotel and grabbed some food over the road at a farmhouse restaurant. My first Thailand meal was papaya salad and mixed vegetables and brown rice. It was very tasty. We were shattered so had a little look around and headed straight back for the hotel. I slept for 14hours.
Chiang Mai was great, the hotel was lovely, the staff amazing and the facilities great too. The gym was open 24 hours so when I was suffering with jet lag the gym at 2am was great. We relaxed, explored and were able to catch up on some sleep when we needed it. The rooftop pool was great too.
We did a great cookery course and met some nice people. We went into Chiang Mai and explored the city and the temples aswell as visiting the night market. The temples were amazing, iv never seen anything like that before. I loved our day wondering around the streets, back streets and just having a little adventure. I think one day I hit 30000 steps.
I found my favourite restaurant which was called salad concept, it served other things aswell like bean burgers and healthy alternatives to meat and burgers. I loved the idea of creating your own salad, esp as the ceaser salad isn’t so healthy. We went here three times.
I also got my first ever Thai massage with joe too, we laughed when we creaked and cracked in ways we didn’t know we could. It was great. I had a fab foot massage too and my feet felt amazing, all for £5 an hour. My goodness I was defo getting more of these. We stayed in the trendier area opposite the maya shopping centre, not that we needed anything but the area was lovely and had everything we needed without the crowded night markets and noise in Chiang Mai old town.
I loved Chiang Mai.
We then got a flight to Krabi and a bus transfer to koh lanta. We arrived at our beach resort, it was sooooo quiet. I must admit the first night being so quiet was a little bit of a shock for us. The resort is on a cliff hill and it was in different sections, we decided we needed to eat so headed straight for The reggae bar. We led on mattresses in little huts overhanging the sea and ate with our legs crossed. We revisited here our last night to watch the sunset.
We soon found the beaches either side of the hotel, we walked nearly the whole length of it and found some lovely bars and restaurants. Happy hour was cheap and we made our merry way along here again on xmas eve.
The beaches had xmas trees made from wood and everything was decorated in xmas style. There were some xmas songs and snow men made out of sand, so weird. It didn’t feel like xmas and tbh we weren’t too fussed about the fuss over xmas, we had come to escape it.
The kayaking at the hotel was free and this was great fun, we found our own little beach and had a great time out to sea. The hotel had its own private beach too so we spent a little time down there and by the 2 pools that were big and surrounded by lovely trees and greenery. We relaxed into the hotel as it forced us to chill after our visit to Chiang Mai. We got tuk tuks to saladan where we ate and went around the little markets. I got two amazing foot and leg massages here also.
Xmas day was one of the best days, we got up hungover at 7am and went for breakfast. I was lucky enough to see a huge lizard basking in the sun, one we had seen the previous day but it ran off. It was glorious, probably 1.5metres long. We then had a drive to the pier and got onto a long tail boat. The fresh air made me wake up and feel a little more alive after too many vodkas xmas eve. A long ride out to one of the islands where we went into the emerald cave. This involved 80metres swim in the darkness to an enclosed beach the other side. Wow.
Snorkelling was something I was a little nervous about as I don’t like getting in the sea when it’s deep and I get scared what’s under me. Thankfully the sea was clear and my god was I fascinated by what I saw. Just amazing, the fish, the coral, it was like something out of David Attenborough. Maybe I enjoyed it so much as I could actually see what was under me rather than my brain telling me I was going to get eaten or bitten, ha.
I loved it and felt a sense of pride I overcame a small fear.
The beaches were amazing too and the whole day was something I have only seen on the internet. To experience it myself was just incredible.
I still can’t get over how beautiful this place is and how lucky I have been to see it with my own eyes. I’m in awe everywhere I turn I see beauty.
We came back and went to the local town for an Indian. Yes you heard right, why not? Xmas day was far from traditional and we have eaten so much Thai food we decided on a change.
We then came back and chilled, Wi-fi called the family and had a fairly early night for us.
Boxing Day I woke up at 645am and went to the gym, one day being enough off to make me restless. I did my interval run and back and biceps.
We then got breakfast and went to the beach all day. The private beach was lovely and we enjoyed reading and getting lost in the tranquil setting. We walked around the the main beach for lunch and the view still takes my breathe away. Wow, just wow.
So a few photos here, not doing it any justice and we ate lunch, played with a few hermit crabs and came back to watch the sunset.
We had Thai back and shoulder massages on the beach but just doesn’t hit the spot a foot massage does to me. My legs ache all the time from the workouts I do and we have been active whilst away, walking and looking around exploring. Plus in the heat your legs get tired so I am defo having more of these whilst I’m away. Might just come back to Thailand to have cheap foot massages every year haha. Especially at the low price of £5-7 an hour!
Thursday we travelled by speedboat to Phuket. At times this was a little scary. We were thrown everywhere, joe got sea sick and I laughed at how reckless it all was.
I wasn’t feeling well and had food poisoning so I didn’t eat all day and careful how far a toilet was. It wasn’t nice but we got to Phuket and I decided the only thing to make me feel better (or worse if I was truly not well well – my paranoia telling me it loud be dengue fever from the mosquito bites 😭) was to go to the gym. It was kill or cure. Luckily the gym and some pasta was a cure. I felt so much better Friday. Seems salads might be washed in the water we aren’t supposed to drink and I fear that’s what happened. God damn salads! Ha. Either that or the hygiene standards which I got told leave a lot to be desired too. Seems healthy eating isn’t always so great here so I’m going to be a little more cautious but it’s hard as can’t tell which one it is. Ewwww.
Friday we woke after a good nights sleep and went to see the big Buddha. Omg it’s huge. Was a lovely view from the top too of Phuket and we had a lovely time.
The place was still under construction, but you can appreciate the hard work going into this massive area. We got blessed by a monk and given a braided bracelet, which I’m still wearing now.
It was a hot day but we had a good time looking around and that’s also where we discovered joes Buddha was a lying down one, classic joe. Haha. Mine was one seated with one palm up for gifts received from a monkey and an elephant. Mines the Wednesday evening Buddha.
The taxi driver told us about the Friday market on the way home too and the owner of the hotel is very nice. We chatted to him and his Thai wife for a while and can see why this guesthouse has such great reviews. I’m very glad we chose it, being a gym 2 doors down had nothing to do with it I promise. Lol. The gym is good, the cardio equipments isn’t great but then it’s a body building gym so that’s to be expected. It has everything I need though.
I was the only women in there for a few days then only saw one other and she came with her partner. I felt a little out of my comfort zone working around the massive men and trying to grab weights whilst they grunted in the mirror but I made my way around and had some good sessions.
I got up early Saturday morning and went for a run as seemed a little cooler here than in koh lanta and was dying to get out and run along the beach. It was ok, at 5.45am it was dark and a little scary in a new place. Decided to explore so let my legs take me. I got chased by 2 dogs that were barking and showing me teeth, and I nearly shit myself. It was at that point that I thought exercise might finally kill me. Or I would get bitten and get rabies or something. I saw 2 rats and made a security guard laugh keep running by and waving.
We then decided to go to patong beach and bangala road for sat afternoon and evening. At first it just felt like a busy resort and the beach was heaving. We got approached about parties and endless water sports. Every 20mins someone was bring launched into the air and a Thai person would jump on the back and ride with them with no harness nothing. Again the health and safety is non existent. The parasailing would then land wherever and people had to move and duck to get out of the way of being landed on. They seemed to have a good system for it though.
We then had a few cocktails got Merry and decided to head to the bangala road. OMG. I got poster thrust in my face of ping pong shows, sex shows etc. I laughed as it was named “fuck show” on one board and I just couldn’t believe my eyes. A few vodkas later and I decided it was time to break my virginity…. for a strip club.
The Thai women were all slim and just had massive fake boobs, looked bored and I amused myself by watching some young men’s eyes pop out there head.
With that all over and tired we headed back to our quieter Karon beach.
The next day was a beach day, chilling and reading.
NYE joe wasn’t well with something he ate but seemed to clear up after a day in the room relaxing. I went to the beach and chilled before we both got ready had some more drinks and headed out. We had a few drinks and a meal and went down to the beach.
There were so many people on the beach, all nationalities, most with a lantern and all drinking and setting off fireworks etc. Again no health and safety, a fire work went wrong near us and I was a little afraid of drunk people being in charge of fireworks from that point onwards. I tried to take photos and videos but then I decided it wasn’t capturing it very well and I wanted to experience it. Lanterns everywhere, we found two chairs and a broken sun bed as a foot stool and drank and watched the show. When mid night hit the sky lit up. Fireworks everywhere and as far as the eye could see. It was amazing. Also funny as lanterns were drifting in front of us, not fully ready to be let go, some trapped in trees, some burning and falling too soon. Chaos. My dumbest quote of the holiday being “joe there are so many lanterns, they go so high up!”
Joe : “Lianne they are stars” 🤣
In my defence I don’t drink and I was on my 8th vodka or something by then.
New Year’s Day we got a taxi at 9am to Phuket airport. Got a flight to Bangkok, was all pretty standard to us by then the different security, getting food etc.
We got to Bangkok and our hotel was lovely, we stayed in a Novotel in the heart of the city. A little mad, I was warned it was by the taxi driver.
We got food, had a look around the local madness of the neighbourhood and agreed with the taxi drivers comments on the shopping malls. We had at least 4 next to one another in front of the hotel. They were all huge, 4 floors up some of them, all filled with little shops and food places but then outside also a market lined the streets.
The 2nd January was our only full day to explore so I had woken early and went to the gym, did a great interval run smashing my Pb. Feeling fit and ready to attack the day after a great buffet breakfast we got a boat to the old city. That was fun, it was a big long boat and just hurtled down the river. Made for a better way to get around than a taxi. We got off an walked to the grand palace. We got some Thai clothes to cover up and went also into the golden Buddha. That was huge and managed to get some photos despite being busy. We explored some more then got a tuk tuk and the boat back, got some street food and a cocktail bucket. We were both ready to come home, missing Ted and finding the centre of Bangkok a little bit too much for us. Thursday we had breakfast, had a nap and then vacated the room. I went to the gym for 2 hours and joe sat by the rooftop pool. We both then stayed there for an hour or so before going to the airport to fly home.
Even getting to the airport was a little stressful with all the traffic and the noise of a city centre. I wasn’t looking forward to the 21 hour travel to get back but I was dreaming of cuddling Ted, hot bath, English food, and our sofa.
It’s funny how you miss home comforts after a while. 3 weeks was enough for us and with work approaching too, we could both leave Thailand wanting to go home. I love my job so I was very excited to get stuck in and meet some of the new clients that have booked in whilst I had been away.
I had set out what I wanted to do, planned it all myself and feel very proud I booked everything and it all went swimmingly. I have always wanted to go to Thailand and I feel I have another tick off the bucket list.
I found it easy to settle into with the healthy food and the gyms at hotels. Joe left the organising to me as he knows I need to exercise and feel comfortable when away. I did and I’m glad I kept up my fitness. I ate super healthy and was great not to cook for three weeks.
I’m currently sat on the plane home. We have 2hours 20mins left, flying over Budapest or somewhere near there at the moment.
I haven’t slept much but grabbed a few naps where possible. Adrenalin now keeping me going as excited to get back. I also need to stretch I haven’t sat down so much in all my life. I’m stiff and in need to do some Pilates when I get back to loosen off.
I just wanted to keep a diary of what we did and saw. I thought maybe someone might want to read it too.
5 Things I have learnt whilst in Thailand
- Take toilet paper with you as not always some when you go, especially in beach places to eat etc.
- Try and embrace the tuk tuk, it’s mental but fun.
- Barter with them in price, we had one tuk tuk say 200bht but as soon as we said no he went down to 100.
- They don’t do health and safety
- They don’t do diet soft drinks. Water is cheap and ok but if you wanted a diet lemonade then your out of luck. They do Diet Coke but can’t drink that all day as bad for you.
Thailand people are so friendly and smile a lot.
The images will stay with me forever and when I’m an old lady I will defo be thinking about the amazing experiences I’ve had. The sights I have seen, the beaches mainly, and the wildlife is something no photo will capture.