words by Patrick Young
photographs by Lola Alva
“One day your life will flash before you’re eyes. Make sure it’s worth watchin”. –ANON
Whenever I’ve decided to book a trip overseas and go on an adventure, I always start to plan way too much. Transportation, money, where I’m going, where will I stay, what will go wrong, what will I bring? etc. ect.
Never going with the flow with an open mind. Taking an adventure of a lifetime, off the grid, getting lost, get deep and lose your sense of reality!!!
No more holidays or vacations! Buying a one-way ticket and not looking back.
Going to a foreign country eating street food that you’ve never seen in your entire life and shaking the hand of someone part of a completely different world is an ideal way to find the culture and yourself immersed in a place only your imagination and dreams took you to.
Thailand is a great start for a bit of chaos in your life and it offers so much to someone looking for an adventure. It’s a country filled with the happiest, hard working people with low education and no opportunities. It’s a poor country but so rich in culture.
Coming from Southern California where we have everything at our fingertips and blinded from all that goes on around the world, it’s a bit of a culture shock at first. Thailand is friendly and fun-loving, exotic and tropical, cultured and historic. Thailand radiates a golden hue from its glittering temples and tropical beaches to the ever-comforting Thai smile. You feel right at home!
We started in the Southern part of Thailand in Phuket and made our way to Phi Phi Island where you can greatly see the influence of the sea in their culinary. The over all Thai cuisine has an enormous amount of seafood and curries. You can see that mostly in the islands but as you travel north through the main land you can see how the people live off the land and how that impacts them and plays a big roll in the their food. Further away you get from the touristy areas everything gets a bit spicier and much more of the real Thai food. Definitely a lot less touristic in the northern provinces.
Thailand is a pretty cheap country especially coming from western world. You can live on about 300 Baht a day, which comes out to about 13 bucks and you’re living like a king. There are plenty of resorts, hotels, and hostels and a variety of web sites where you can book one.
That’s if you want to keep it to the norm and plan things out. If not try your luck, grab a long-tail boat (famous in Thailand), show up to an Island and look for a room to rent. After you’ve found a room, rent a motorbike.
Getting around on a motorbike is probably the cheapest best and fastest way to get around. Plus you get to really take in the culture and excitement of crazy drivers. Most hostels and hotels should know about any activities, landmarks or any parties going on during your stay. For those that just want to relax ask them about some of the amazing beaches and landscapes. There are plenty of temples and waterfalls you can visit a long your way.
As far as food you cannot go wrong.
There are plenty places you can eat that will blow your socks off. If you’re looking for something other than Thai there’s many places with western food. Amongst all the jaw dropping sites and mouth watering food the Thai street markets captures everything all in one. Take 200 baht, which is plenty and go to any of the crazy night markets that go on all the time. You can get some great on the go bites and really authentic souvenirs for those who would never dare do what you just did. Every island is a lot like the next one but the beauty is, that there so different at the same time. It all depends on what your looking for. It’s not hard to figure out each detail and things to do, just have to do your homework. Most of the time I found myself asking other backpackers and or locals that spoke English. Everyone has their own opinion and story about where they have been and their experiences range so far passed the imagination, just keep an open mind and jump in. So get some time off of your normal day-to-day scheduled life, hop on a plane to anywhere in the world and let yourself go for a few weeks or months.
It’s a big wide world filled with so many adventures and places to discover.
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