Back in the late 90’s I spent a few months travelling around South East Asia, yes it is the usual route to take for any backpacker. Thailand, Indonesia (or Vietnam) and then onto Australia. Thailand seemed like a world away from life living in Bristol. Hot, humid, a senses overload of sounds and smells. Bangkok was both exciting and terrifying for a young girl, I had visions of hanging out with the ‘wrong crowd’ (listening to my Dad too much!).
But, even with my father’s words ringing in my ears, I did love it. Bangkok, fast paced, crazy cool. I meet many backpackers there from all corners of the world and on various stages of their travelling journey. All with stories of places they had visited, suggestions on where to go, who to look up when we got there. Ah yes, travelling with no definite plans, it was epic.
Leaving Bangkok behind I searched for paradise. An island, with a white sandy beach and a spot under a palm tree with my name on it. I found it on Koh Phangan. A small island with a big reputation for full moon parties.
I settled for a small, family run, beach side resort on the south of the island, away from the main tourist stretch. Renting a tiny beach shack made of wood and bamboo, with the roof covered in palm tree leaves. It was idyllic. Every palm tree that lined the beach had the word PALM painted on. Just in case we would forget what they were – but it turned out to be the owners son’s name – who had practised writing it in English!
So for the next week, I swam, sun bathed, ate thai green curry, explored the rainforest on moped and partied hard! Ah life as a backpacker.
I’d love to return to Thailand, to see it now twenty years on. I do hope that lovely beach shack is still there, but sadly I think not. Yes, I’d love to get out my old backpack (I still have it) and go on a tour around the many islands and rainforests of Thailand. What an adventure that would be! You coming?
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