We're off to Indonesia today and as we sip civilized drinks in the gorgeously spacious and modernly decorated Starbucks in Kuala Lampur airport, we have been having fun reminiscing about our favourite times in Thailand.
We are so fortunate to have been able to see and do as much as we did in the short 2 1/2 weeks we travelled this hot, crazy country. From eating pad Thai and meeting lady boys in Bangkok, to cruising on dangerous roads in Ko Samui on a bike, enjoying fresh coconuts, Changs, sun burns, water falls, elephant pets, slouchy pants, white sand beaches, spicy papaya salad, monkeys in Railay, jelly stings, fire shows on the beach, bathroom cockroaches (RIP Pancake), the joys of A/C, running water and aloe vera, and a crazy violent bout of food poisoning in Tonsai Bay to top it all off.
Thailand, you are one crazy ball of fire. And in this heat wave, seriously dangerous for us albino rhinos, but we loved you all the same.
To top off our fantastic time here, Brandon and I have compiled our "Top 20 Tips for surviving Thailand", which we hope all you future explorers will find useful!
Without further adieu, TOP 20 TIPS FOR SURVIVING THAILAND
1) Pack toilet paper. You will need it. Available at most convenience stores, but always important to carry on you. Especially when the Thai trots strike...
2) Never go to bed without at least 2 bottles of water handy. You can never have too much. And brushing your teeth is necessary daily.
3) Drinks (like Changs or diet cokes) are cheaper at the convenience stores and can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime.
4) Drink as many chilled coconuts as possible. They are delicious and so refreshing in the heat.
5) Order Tom Sam salad "not spicy". This papaya salad is my favourite Thai dish of all, but any more than 2 chilis, and your face will melt off.
6) NEVER trust a fart....
7) Tonsai Bay Sickness (Railay) will rock you to your core. If you find yourself in this unfortunate food poisoning situation, drink as much water and Gatorade as possible. Also, bananas are easy to eat on a queasy stomach.
8) Railay and area have lots of jellies (in low season) but zero signage. Swim with caution.
9) Ko Phi Phi is so beautiful, but pricey and touristy. There is awesome music on the beach and the fire shows are amazing! Eat massaman curry at the Basil Bistro and get bamboo tattoos at Handsome Heart Tattoo.
10) Pack as much sunscreen, aloe and sunscreen as possible. And a travel towel. They are all expensive here and you will need them. Daily.
11) Rent a bike in Ko Samui and locate some of the local waterfalls. Wear a helmet and drive carefully, this adventure is one you don't want to bypass.
12) Break your big notes (1000Baht) at 7-11s or during suppers. Smaller notes are better for bargaining with.
13) When hiring a cab, be VERY clear on price for every person going. They'll get ya if they can. Also, if possible, use a meter.
14) Order fruit shakes without sugar. The fruit is sweet enough. Be sure to have a coconut one!!
15) Bring at least one t-shirt, a hat, 2-3 bathing suits and tanks/tees that you don't care about wrecking. Salt water and sunscreen will ruin everything.
16) If you can get away with not checking a bag, it will make your life WAY easier. You can pack up to 1 litre of liquids in a carry on (which takes some creativity, admittedly). We took Osprey bags smaller than 60Litres and had no issues with carrying them on, plus it saved us a butt load of money with not having to check bags while flying throughout our trip.
17) One pair of flip flops and one pair of runners is all you need. Oh, and bring extra undies. Because I said so.
18) Choose busier restaurants if possible and order wisely. Traditional Thai dishes are safe and delicious. There are no cows here....so maybe we skip the beef?
19) Pack individual Shakeologies and charcoal tablets. They will save you and make your tummy happy.
20) Opt for A/C if you can. It is so bloody worth it.
21) Extra Tip: Don't forget to look up from your phone, breathe it all in and appreciate the fact that you are travelling by your own free will. Be polite, patient and grateful for all the wonderfulness that is about to surround you throughout your travels.
Hopefully these tips will help you along your merry way as you navigate the beautiful awesomeness that is Thailand.
Next stop? Indonesia!! Stay tuned friends, I have a feeling this is going to be even better than the last chapter!!