Our 3.5 month backpacking adventure was sadly coming to an end! Our final destination was Thailand, crossing the border from Vientiane. The route we took can be seen below.
We really enjoyed our time in Thailand and although we didn’t go south of Bangkok, still felt that we managed to see a fair amount of this beautifulk country!
During our time in Thailand we used Bangkok as our base and returned a total of 5 times over the 3 weeks. We actually really liked Bangkok as it reminded us a lot of Melbourne. We did a lot of sightseeing around the major Wats, museums and palaces and also took the ferry across the river to go to the Siriraj Hospital Museum which was incredibly cool (and gruesome!). We also did plenty of shopping on Khao San Rd, at Chatuchak market and at MBK.
We took a train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, arriving after lunch and had a look around some of the ruins before deciding that it was time to head to an island as we needed a break from travelling! We spent the next day exploring the rest of the ruins and museums by push-bike before catching the afternoon back to Bangkok.
Koh Wai is a beautiful island just near Koh Chang with 4 bungalow style accomodation choices and plenty of reef to explore and beach to relax on. We stayed at Paradise in their most expensive bungalow ($20 per night) as it was all they had left however it was pure heaven – at high tide the water lapped at our bungalows foundations! The only downside was the hundreds of Russian day trippers that came to the island from around 11am to 3pm however they sectioned off some beach for the people staying at Paradise so that made it slightly better. It was quite entertaining watching all the rude, obese russians taking sexy photos amongst the palm trees anyway!
Phitsanulok (for Sukhothai)
We took the train to Phitsanulok hoping to transfer onto a bus to Sukhothai however our train was late so we missed the final bus! However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we found an awesome room and the town was actually really nice. We ended up day-tripping to Sukhothai and exploring the Historical Park by bicycle which was lovely.
Chiang Mai was a lot of fun. We had a look around the major Wats, went to the night market, watched a Muay Thai match, went for a motorbike ride to some nearby waterfalls and gardens and did a cooking class. We also organised to do 1 day elephant mahout course which was heaps of fun! We got to ride them bareback and wash them in the river – it was just really nice to be around animals again!
We decided to visit Kanchanaburi as it is one of the major locations of the Thai-Burma Railway (or Death Railway) that was built in the second world war. We had a look around at the museums, the cemetery and walked across the Bridge of the River Kwai. On our second day we hired a motorbike and road out to Hellfire Pass which was incredibly interesting and eerie – there were definitely some ghosts around!
And that’s it! We left Bangkok on January 29 and arrived back in Melbourne the next day – super sad that our adventure had ended but excited to see everyone again!