Having travelled Europe quite extensively, I wanted to try somewhere new this year. I've been wanting to visit Asia for quite some time, especially Thailand & Vietnam. The great thing about Thailand is there are always great deals to be found, there are no visa requirements & for once the South African Rand is actually stronger there. I've not travelled overseas since december last year, & while that does not sound like such a long time ago, it's felt like a life time thanks to getting the new business up & running.
Normally, when I do anything, I dedicate months of research & planning before I make any arrangements. This time, however, it was a very last minute decision. I realised quite quickly that if I didn't take a holiday, & by that I mean get out of the continent where no one could find me, that I would not survive the year without burning out. So in the span of a week I met with my travel agent, planned & paid for my trip to Phuket & Phi Phi.
While trips to Thailand are often quite affordable, I opted for a completely bespoke holiday suited to my wants & needs, which did mean a little more money. All of my tours & excursions were planned & paid for before I even left the country, most of which were private so I could go at my own pace & do what I wanted. I also stayed in 4 star accommodation & was offered specials & discounts at the hotel spas & restaurants.
Despite the additional expense, this was by no means a luxurious trip. Thailand is still developing & is in many places quite dirty, there are no rules of the road & if there are I couldn't fathom them; its a place most snobs would mock & run from. But that's exactly why I love it! The people are genuinely friendly & in no way pretentious, the landscape (albeit not the cleanest) is stunning, & everything is so cheap. I love the lunacy of it all. In many ways it reminds of Kenya. I honestly though I'd hate Kenya. It too is underdeveloped, dirty & hot, but I totally fell in love with the place, & the same can be said for Thailand.
That being said, it's a little too hot for my liking. By the end of the trip I had started to acclimatise to the heat, however, I don't know if I could ever get used to it. Luckily all my hotel rooms & transfers had air-conditioning.
I only saw the islands of Phuket & Phi Phi, & even so did not see & do everything I could. I'm definitely planning on coming back. Bangkok is still on my bucket list, as is experiencing the Thai night life. There's just so much to do & see in this stunning country, & next time I'm brining friends with me.