Nothing is ever set in stone.... (Thailand revised)


At 23 you'd think that I'd have realised by now that I'm pretty unpredictable, a bit like a rip current I guess but definitely not as destructible - promise! I don't really know what has changed, I guess I came to realise that this is a once in a lifetime chance to see an incredible part of the world and I can't sacrifice that chance in order to save a few pounds. The original plan was to see Bangkok for about 3-4 days then travel up to Chiang Mai, spends about a week there and then head down to the beaches in the south. I then scribbled out Chiang Mai because I assumed that the transport and accommodation would knock me over budget and that my lack of 'life experience' would hinder my actual travel experience...

Well ladies and gents I would like to retract that amendment -  Chiang Mai here I come.

I don't mind that I'm not your typical traveller, full of experience with useful phrases on the tip of their tongue. Yes, this is my first solo adventure and yes I'm a little bit apprehensive but that's normal, but I need to take that leap of faith and just go for it. What have I got to lose honestly? As long as I have a bit of a plan regarding how I get from a to b to c then I'll be fine. I might not know any useful phrases outside of French or German, and face it, knowing the Slovak word for 'snowdrop' (sneĹžienka in case you were wondering) is hardly going to get me a meal in Thailand, but all part and parcel of this great adventure. I might not have long to teach myself basic Thai and most of the time I will have a puzzled look on my face, pointing at things (fingers out, palm up, that's the polite way!), but I'm going to have the most amazing time and that I just can't sacrifice.

My hitting-the-beaches-and-doing-a-spot-of-diving plan has also worked out. I still don't know what route I'm going to take but I will be joining the hordes of tourists visiting Ko Phi Phi (I just can't go to Thailand without visiting) and I might see if there are any beach clean up programmes following a Full Moon Party (although a friend has told me that it is actually really fun to participate in). I have also hit a wave of good luck and hopefully managed to get onto a coral conservation internship for one week in Koh Tao with a company called Eco Koh Tao. This involved 5 days of training and then 2 days off, included in the prices this means I get to do 2 free dives per day.

As I'm pretty inexperienced with my diving (I haven't been for over a year and I had a bit of a bad experience on one of the last dives) I was a little concerned about my diving competency so I'm also going to be doing my PADI Advanced Open Water in Thailand, then doing the Peak Performance Buoyancy course (either I'll do it as an outright course or I'll just have the taster session as one of my adventure dives as part of the A.OW). This should give me some confidence during the internship at least.

My next step is to get into contact with various dive centres on the island and find the best price for these courses. I've already got a quote from Crystal Dive (partnered with Eco Koh Tao) but I've also been recommended one called Davy Jones Locker... Let's see who comes back with the best price and then I can secure that.

Making baby steps but it's coming along nicely... The plan (loosely!) is:
  • Fly from Manchester to Bangkok
  • Spend about 3-4 days in Bangkok, seeing all of the temples, the various other 'must-see' places.
  • Getting a train or bus up to Chiang Mai (or organised tour that will take me to stops on the way, I'm not really bothered!)
  • Spending a week there - temples, food, hiking, culture, everything.
  • Somehow get myself down to the beaches in the South and do a spot of island hopping. First, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta, then travel up to Ko Samui and then finally Ko Tao for the diving.

Looking at it I'm not actually going to have the time to do all of that since diving is going to take up a week (+ 2/3 days extra for the qualification). I definitely want to see Koh Phi Phi though so I'll work something out. Things always work out... Right?


4 comments:

  1. Things always work out the way they are suppose to is my motto :) I am in awe of you doing this trip solo and I have that little ripple of excitement and apprehension running through me as I read your posts, as if I were the one undertaking the adventure! x

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  2. So exciting...and I'm so jealous!! Happy planning :) Globalmouse

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  3. Good luck sweety! Friend of mine from Masters lives in Koh Tao. She works as a conservation manager for Big Blue Diving (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Blue-Conservation/107935382632185?fref=ts http://www.bigblueconservation.com/) if you ever run into them :)

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  4. Good luck with this!!! I don't have the pennies right now but I've been telling myself that I should be a lone traveller if I can't find someone to go with me when the time comes. Btw if you haven't heard of a blog called Yesandyes.org Google it - she has done some solo lady travel herself.

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