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The Gap Year Blog

Week Three - By Volunteer Natalia Ntokou

22 May 2018 12:15 PM

At the start of our third week in Thailand, we were still in Kanchanaburi. As we had visited the World War II Cemetery, The JEATH war museum and the Death Railway a couple of days ago, for our last day we had to visit the Hellfire Pass. 

The pass is a part of the former Burma Railway in Thailand which was built with forced labour during World War II, in part by Allied prisoners of war. It was quite emotional to walk through the pass, as you could still see in some parts whatever was left of the railway and photos and flags left by family members of people that worked on its construction. 

After Kanchanaburi we headed to the islands: Koh Tao, Koh Pha ‘Ngan and Koh Samui. But the only way for us to get to the islands was to go through Bangkok. We had to wait at the train station for 7 hours as the bus that would take us to the coast was departing at 19.00. The bus ride was 10 hours and then we waited another 4 hours for the boat, and it took 2 hours for the boat to get to Koh Tao. We were travelling for about 24 hours all together, so prepare yourselves because it’s a tiring journey! 

But even though it was tiring, Koh Tao really made all the travelling worth it. The sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, all the bars and restaurants surrounding Sairee Beach - and don't even get me started on the beautiful sunsets every evening! Laying on the beach all day on our first day was a well-deserved treat as for the first two weeks we had hiked, travelled and walked for hours every day. 

But I cannot stress enough how important it is to PUT SUNCREAM on every day and to keep re-applying, as we've had a few incidents where people got badly burnt. Not only is it bad for your skin but it also prevents you from doing activities in the sun!

Being from Greece and surrounded by beaches all my life I have to say that Koh Nang-Yuan is a mesmerizing little island next to Koh Tao and it's what you'd imagine an island in South East Asia to look like. I also feel the need to inform you that to get to the island there are many taxi boats available from Sairee Beach - of course these come with a cost but you also need to know that to get on to the island itself you need to pay a fee of 100 Thai Baht. The money is spent on helping to keep the island clean. Also please note that plastic bottles are prohibited on the island and they might check your bags. 

Now you can’t go to Thailand and not watch a Thai Boxing match. It is a must on anyone's bucket list whilst in Thailand and you won't be disappointed. The whole atmosphere is so energetic and the adrenaline rush is at its fullest. So keep an eye on advertisements or check online as it’s something that you can't miss.

By Natalia Ntokou - Frontier Volunteer | South East Asia Ethical Adventure Trail

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!