My first month in Thailand
Updated: Jan 3, 2019
Now this post is about what I did, where I spent time and what I liked or disliked in my first month in this amazing country.
I flew to Krabi (Southern Thailand) and did not sleep on the plane so there were a few days suffering from sleeplessness and jetlag. However, the great weather, the breathtaking beaches, the delicious food, the superb adventures and all those new inputs kind of helped me forget about it.
First I took a boat to Koh Yao Noi, an island not too far from Krabi, where a Russian friend of mine was working as a yoga teacher for a few months and went to visit her. I booked the boat at the airport, which was basically a rip off, but I found there was not really another option, as I don't speak the language and there was no other way (nor really helpful info on the internet, for that matter) and I wanted to get to the island as quickly as possible since I didn't have too much time and it was my friend's only day off. The island was small, not touristy at all, with some wonderful beaches and nice views. However, it was a bit too small and quiet for me. For the two days I spent there and for being the first island I visited in Thailand it was just perfect. I just didn't feel like spending a month there for example. Also, I learnt to drive the scooter there. Little traffic, flat island, riding around the island was the perfect way to learn and get some practice, with some dirt roads representing the next level.
Afterwards I went to Koh Lanta, another island also quite close to Krabi, being a little more conscious and hopefully also wiser about who I travel with and how much I am willing to pay. I even hitchhiked a part of the journey, saving 600 baht (15 €) on a 30-minute car ride. So I took a boat, then travelled with this nice girl who didn't speak English so we were actively googletranslating on our phones while she was driving as well. It still felt safe. Then from Krabi town I took a minivan and felt clever for not letting myself fool again. On Koh Lanta there is a famous digital nomad community and coworking office called KoHub which I wanted to check out in order to have an idea if I would like to go back for a month or two this year. And I do. Not in the high season though, as prices drastically drop in the rainy season and it is quieter and more relaxed as well. Which I imagine I would actually prefer. So my plan is March and/or April this year. Depending on what happens in the meantime and how much I'll like it there.
Then back to Krabi and from there took a flight to Bangkok. I had agreed to do a housesit in Bangkok over Christmas and most of December and they expected me on 6th December so I thought I wouldn't have the time to take a 15-hour-long bus plus train trip. I did feel bad about my carbon footprint though. So karma got back to me and my flight was delayed. Pretty much actually. The whole trip from Koh Lanta to Bangkok was basically almost 15-hour-long in the end. Plus I spent the night at the airport and didn't get any sleep. The lesson is: don't play with karma (I guess).
So I arrived to Bangkok, this bustling, crazy, chaotic and amazing city feeling really tired and kept feeling overwhelmed for the first couple of days. No, not true, I still feel like that even after 3 weeks. I first housesat for 3 days, then the owners came back for 5 days and later they went home (Australia & UK) for Christmas. They'll be back in 2 days again so it will soon be time for me to leave. Now that I have come to love their 3 cats... well, part of the housesitting game.
So yeah, I spent a long weekend in Bangkok, then went to another non-touristy island, Koh Chang (the island of elephants) for a few days. There I slept in hostels, met some extraordinary people, discovered marvelous places and had loads of fun. I simply love that island, also planning to go back for a month this year or next year or any year haha. I also had my very first scooter accident there (luckily not a very serious one, no hospital involved at least) and was bitten by sandflies and mosquitoes all over which made me feel itchy (and desperate!) for more than a week. Have never had problems with mosquitoes and mosquito bites before... now I can understand those people who are paranoid about them. It IS annoying AF. And I am still being moderate here :P
About the accident: I lost my phone on the way to a beach, it fell somewhere on the road while I was riding the scooter I had just rented 15 minutes earlier, and was just starting to freak out (I bought the phone only a few months ago and it wasn't exactly an inexpensive one). I decided to ride slowly and look for it on the way back. You can imagine the rest... Anyways, I was not on the scooter when it fell. Just next to it. And I am telling you, it is more difficult to control a motorbike when you are next to it and not on it ;) Never try starting a scooter and accelerating when you are just standing/walking next to it, please.
Luckily I found my phone in the end and spent the rest of the day on the beach trying to forget the unfortunate event. I did manage somehow. especially when I found a water swing. In fact I quite quickly discovered how much fun that can be.
My housesit in Bangkok has also been amazing. I am in a spacious flat on the 17th floor in a 27-floor-high skyscraper. There are three cats, a bright living room, a comfortable guest room for me to sleep in, a communal pool and gym, where there is almost nobody whenever I decide to go... this is real luxury. I had the time and the chance to discover so many exciting parts and events of Bangkok, socialize with lovely people and be a loner wolf, relax and slow down for a couple of days at the end of the year, too. I spent a great Christmas and New Year's Eve here. Also an absolutely fabulous first day of the new year (which I normally associate with how I will spend the whole year... so 2019 will apparently be exceptional! :))
I could actually imagine living here for a while, maybe even for years. However, now it is time to move on, I'd love to discover much more of this country before I decide to settle down somewhere for longer.
My next stop is Phuket, where I spontaneously decided to go for another housesit just yesterday, on the above mentioned fabulous first day of the year, which is apparently bringing new and exciting opportunities. I DO feel bad again about flying, but the new sit starts exactly the same day as the current one finishes. No time for a bus/train trip again, right? So karma is getting more serious this time and sending a huge tropical storm (a.k.a. thyphoon) my way, which is said to be the most devastating one to hit the region since 1962. At the moment it seems that flights are most probably going to be cancelled at the end of the week. Karma shouldn't be played with. And lessons should be learnt.