The Decision Is Made, Going to Southeast Asia!
We purchased our tickets almost a year before our travel. We never worried about spending time on the internet investigating new places we want to visit, the experiences we wanted to experience and ect. Back then we were living and working in London, working hard to reach the amount we thought it’s enough to begin our journey. It was very difficult to imagine ourselves enjoying on the beautiful sandy beaches in Southeast Asia, while working 50h a week and living in the smallest room ever.
Somehow we thought this could end up being a good idea, spontaneously exploring the unknown world. The best way to compare the prices of all the flights is by searching one on Momondo.com, site we found really helpful. The price was £570 each for a round ticket with one stop of 5h in Beijing.The total budget for this travel was £5000 for both me and my boyfriend, with a plan to stay for 3,5 months. Considering it was our first time flying on such a long distance we found ourselves getting tipsy from the red wine they were offering all the way to Beijing…After a few hours waiting in the transit zone, we were finally on our last stop, Bangkok.
The first thing you will notice when arriving in Bangkok is the air pressure and humidity. We were lucky to have a friend already living on one of the Thai islands, Koh-Phangan, so we decided our first stop will be there. Considering it was the 30th of December, we had no time to think of where should we celebrate the new years eve. The fastest and cheapest way to get to Koh-Phangan is by taking a taxi on the airport to the main Bus Station where you can purchase a joint ticket to Koh-Phangan, which includes a bus ticket to the main Pier in Surat Thani and a boat ticket to Koh-Phangan. It should not cost you more than 1200Baht per person and 400Baht for the Taxi… We got a bit confortable in the bus; we were tired, the journey was 10h, it was dark and the road was going just straight… We fell asleep crossing our fingers to get on time for the new years eve celebration…
When you arrive in Koh Phangan you may have some mixed feelings about this island, but of course it depends of what you are after… We spotted lots of tourists ready to party wearing the same t-shirts, most of them going in the same direction. Turns out the friend of ours was working in the same area, called Haad Rin. So not really optimistic about what to expect there, we got in one of the taxis there, which are pick-up trucks that can fit more than 8 people. When the driver managed to pick up the right amount of people going to Haad Rin, we started moving. We paid a 100 baht each, because it was during the day, the night rate was 200 baht per person. It’s a good money saver to rent a motorbike straight away from the port, its much cheaper, but we’ll talk about it later on.
After a 20 minutes ride up and down the hills, we got to the party lovers heaven. I mean, people were selling buckets ‘ready to go’ filled with some alcoholic cocktails, souvenir shops were selling the same “I Love Haad Rin” or “Full Moon Party” t-shirts in amazingly bright colors, everybody was painting themselves with a body paint and were screaming like crazy. Alright, we are young and stuff, but we came to Thailand, so where are the amazing beaches, beautiful nature, monkeys? We kind of wished to go back home for a second. I called my friend, she was at work already, getting ready for the big night, so we visited her at her workplace. It was a reggae bar called “Boom’s reggae bar”, right next to the beach that held the Full Moon Party. She arranged us an accommodation, which was way more expensive than we expected. We paid 2500 baht per night for the room with a bathroom, clean and neat place, but still as we learned, the other tourists paid much more for their rooms, even though they pre booked them quite awhile ago.
Sleepy, tired, dirty and weird to be in such an exotic place during winter, we decided to rest a bit before the celebration. After a few hours of sleep and a portion of Pad Thai we went out to check out the party, with a first stop to “Boom’s reggae bar”. The streets were full of drunk teenagers, some of them already done partying, vomiting all over the place, completely lost. The beach was set that way so it had more than three stages with different kind of music going on, you have to be close to the speakers so you don’t listen to some weird mixed up music from two stages. Disaster. We paid 1500 baht for a bottle of Jack Daniels that we didn’t even finish. It was that bad. Went home thinking of how to escape this place as soon as possible.
What we learned:
Research, then travel.