Thursday, 21 February 2013

gap yah

This is a subject that I will more than happily go on about for hours and hours on end. It's one of the best things I have ever done without a doubt and I would recommend it to anyone. As soon as I didn't get a place at university in 2011 and thought that was it, my life and future career was over. I can't say my parents we're happy about it but they were very supportive and as my best friend Charlie was in the same situation as me, we started to plan our great adventure. We were both sure we wanted to go to Thailand but with input from other friends and our families we decided to go to Malaysia and Indonesia too. 

Of course, a trip like this doesn't come cheap and we both worked our arses off for 8 months (with plenty of tears and tantrums) and by the time April 2012 rolled round we we're on a flight to Bangkok. Leaving our Mum's at the airport (more tears) we set off for the second time by ourselves - we'd had a test run to Copenhagen to visit our friend Josephine in January to check we were compatible! 

It's easier to explain our travels by breaking it into three sections -

  • Bangkok where we realised alcohol and piercing shops probably aren't the best mix but you can make any space into a bar (including someones spare room in a third floor apartment on Khao San Road)
  • Hua Hin - don't go to the beach at 2am. You will get bitten by sand flies and it's horrible. We stayed here for Thai New Year which was hilarious. Massive water and clay fights.
  • Krabi where we climbed 1237 steps up Tiger Temple, rode mopeds and met some of the greatest people on earth (if you ever get the chance, stay at Pak-Up Hostel and join in with the limbo)
  • Phi Phi where it rained a lot and to be honest, wasn't the greatest 2 days we've ever had.
  • Krabi again...
  • Koh Tao which was one of my favourite places, beautiful beaches and a brilliant bar crawl. Koh Tao Backpackers was where we met some of the funniest girls and Koh Tao is great for a PADI course. 
  • Koh Phangan where we met up with four of our guy friends from home and bumped into many people we'd already met during the mad week of the full moon. Safe to say I don't remember much. 
  • Koh Samui where we relaxed for a few days and watched a lot of American crime dramas. Giving backpackers a room with a television is such a bad idea. 
  • Krabi again... Oooops, climbed Tiger Temple again and ate a lot of market food.
riding and elephant in koh phangan
  • Penang not going to lie, I don't remember much from our three days here. I slept a lot of it as a lovely German man had given me some  sleeping pills for the journey down from Thailand and they worked...
  • Kuala Lumpur has to be one of the cleanest cities in the world. It was beautiful. We visited the aquarium,  china town, went up the Patronus Towers at night (amazing) and played stupid drinking games in our hostel's roof top bar - Reggae Mansion by the way was the nicest hostel I have ever stayed in. Insane.
charlie and i in the patronus tower, kl
  • The Gilli Islands (we only visited Gilli T) although you pay a fortune for the long boat ride to get to the Gilli Islands, it's well worth it. We had one whole week of relaxation with amazing weather and snorkeling. It's not brilliant if you're looking for nightlife but you can still have fun. Gilli T only takes about 1.5 hours to walk around the whole island! 
  • Bali was completely different to Gilli. We stayed mainly in Kuta which is like an Australian's Magaluf. It was hilarious and good to let go but by the time we'd gone out and drunk double doubles every night in Alley Cats, I was ready to go back to England. 
charlie and i on the beach, gilli t
2012 was the best year ever for me. I gained confidence and I grew up and I knew after this experience that I was ready to go to university. Ideally I would love to go travelling again after my degree. I'd like to see Northern Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and parts of Australia. Hopefully one day I will be able to. 

gilli t

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