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The Gap Year Blog

The First Few Days In South East Asia

10 Jan 2018 16:25 PM
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I landed at 18:30 at Bangkok Airport on Monday 1st January and the first night that I experienced was quite relaxed. As a group we all went down to one of the main streets in Bangkok to eat dinner and this was my first encounter with authentic Thai food! I ate Tom Yum which is a chicken and vegetable soup dish. Our second day was more active as we went to experience Khao San Road in daylight which involved many market stalls with local Thai clothing, food and decorations.

Photo Credit | Frontier

Khao San Road is one of the most popular roads in Bangkok and therefore it was incredibly busy with both tourists and locals. On our second day we walked to the Grand Palace where the former King of Thailand lived (it is now only used for formal engagements and organised events). The temples at the complex provided a very cultural experience. This week we also travelled to Chiang Mai from Bangkok by night bus which took 11 hours and arrived in Chiang Mai around 6.15AM. Some of group went White Water Rafting whilst Bethan and I decided to explore the temples and local life that this location has to offer.

During the evening we went to see Monks during a sacred ceremony which involved a Monk Chant. In comparison to Bangkok, the temples in Chiang Mai provided me with a more local feel for the culture and as a whole, was an incredibly humbling and honoring experience. We had a really fun weekend as we embarked on a two-day jungle trek.

Photo Credit | Frontier

We walked approximately 5 miles uphill on the first day which was quite challenging but when we arrived, the view was worth the long walk up. We stayed in a bamboo hut for the night surrounded by locals that live on top of the mountain which was a surreal feeling. The next day involved a 4 mile downhill walk to the waterfall which we were able to swim in!

The jungle trek really enabled me to push myself and I’m really proud of what I achieved as I kept with it and surprised myself as I wouldn’t have done anything like this a year ago! Today is our final day in Chiang Mai before heading to Pai. I feel fully immersed in Thai culture and I’m excited for the next part of the trip!

By Phoebe Scotland - South East Asia Trail Volunteer

Check out our other South East Asia Trail projects on our website here

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