I decided to join my two French friends on a short backpack trip through Thailand when a certain routine was hitting me in Bali. With a limited-sized backpack and laptop, I flew to Bangkok.
I first stayed several nights at ONEDAY Hostel in the capital city Bangkok, just by myself as my friends would arrive later. A trendy hostel with an even trendier interior design. Really cool, clean and relaxed. I think the best hostel I’ve ever stayed at. They also have a co-working space, which I was really excited about, but no one was really there working with me.
My memories of Bangkok exist mainly with memories of street food. I had the tendency to try out every single meal to be found. Favorites: papaya salad with shrimps and sticky rice with mango.
I met my friends at the central train station of Bangkok to grab a night train to Chiang Mai. The memories are fun, but the trip made quite an impression on me. The train is really old, dirty and wobbling. But hey, I survived, so you will too. Make sure you have a sweater and long pants as it can be cold.
As soon as we arrived in Chang Mai the next morning, we hired scooters and biked around. The city feels relaxed when comparing it to Bangkok. Drive up in the mountains to see the Doi Suthep temple, and don’t forget to stop on the way to enjoy the beautiful views of Chang Mai.
Also, go to the night market around dinner time and try lots of different street food.
I think Pai was my favorite place of the short backpack trip through Thailand. It has the ultimate laid-back island-kinda atmosphere. Just a small town in the mountains full of hippies and travelers, lots of reggae bars and cute cafes. I regret we didn’t stay here a full week. But you gotta make choices on a small backpack trip.
Watch sunset at the big white Buddha temple on the hill, eat street food (yup street food every night) at the night market, stay at Spicy Pai just like we did, and don’t ride elephants…
Just one thing you gotta undergo to arrive at this paradise: a hell of a bus ride through the mountains. Don’t forget to bring your anti-nausea pills.
There is only one way to go to Railey Beach: by boat. This tiny little town is surrounded by mountains and there are no roads leading to it. It is amazingly beautiful. The cliffs, the beach, turquoise water, everything. You will have the ultimate island feeling here. If you’re after meeting new people, it can be quite boring though.
The island hopping got us a bit disappointed. We were in the hunt for a specific island vibe, but as soon as we got on the last island, I concluded the first island was actually my favorite. We hopped from first Koh Tao (must be the name) to Koh Pha Ngan and subsequently took the boat from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi.
I would say Koh Tao is the trendiest island of all of them. It’s has an exciting vibe as well. Not too big, not too small. The restaurants have a better feeling of style when it comes to interior design. I found Koh Pha Ngan a bit too trashy (and we weren’t even there during full moon) and actually the same for Koh Phi Phi. The beaches are beautiful though, so make that your main focus. Do the Koh Phi Phi Don hike for the famous view of the two mountains connected by the beach.
After the Thai island hopping, I was happy to go home to my favorite island on the globe: Bali.