Backpacking in Thailand

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November was a great month, my yearly vacation finally arrived. To make it something special, my girlfriend and I went backpacking in Thailand. The country is beautiful and diverse, with metropolises and jungles, highways and paradise islands. The people are also really nice and the food is great. Even though it wasn't cheap, Thailand is a place definitely worth visiting.

Our path started in Bangkok. After a few days of sightseeing, shopping and meeting some friends we took a bus north. Ancient ruins, nature and hikes were amazing, but we decided to fly to Kuala Lumpur to do a bit of change in the culture (Malaysians are mostly Muslim, compared to Buddhists in Thailand). Finally, for the grand finale, we stayed on the tropical islands for a week to gather our strength to return to the western world. The map below displays our journey and the pictures display the highlights.




Bangkok

Bankgkok, the capital of Thailand, is an awesome city. With around 8 million inhabitants, it's packed with sights, temples, palaces, parks, markets and busy streets. The buzz doesn't end even during the night, and tuk-tuks are the coolest and most rational way of getting around in the chaotic traffic of the urban jungle.




Sukhotai

Traveling north, we stopped at the ancient ruins of Sukhotai, a great city of the past. Now it rests among the trees and reminds tourists of the large ancestry of empires long gone.




Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the cultural center of the north and offers travelers a good starting point for many activities, such as adventures, treks, safaris, cooking schools and one of the greatest things we did on our trip, elephant training. These creatures are colossal and beautiful. After a few hours of activities it's hard not to fall in love with them.




Kuala Lumpur

It's becoming obvious that Asia is the continent of the future, but we had to check it out for ourselves. The capital of Malaysia is a modern city with skyscrapers and monorail, but it lacks some of the cool vibe Bangkok has.




Ko Phi Phi

First island we visited was Phuket, but it turned out to be packed with massive tourist resorts. After one day we ran away to Ko Phi Phi, and it was just what we were looking for. A tropical paradise with long-tail boats, white sand beaches, palm trees and beatiful see.




Ko Phangan

Thailand's famous Full Moon Parties are known all around the world, where tens of thousands of people dance away until sunrise. Sadly they happen only once a month, but we were still lucky enough to catch the Black Moon Party and get loaded on buckets of alcohol under neon lights.




There you have it, three weeks of cruising around Thailand. Seeing the people and society there and comparing them to our materialist western civilization made me wonder about a lot of things. Perhaps it's because of Buddhism, perhaps it's because of other cultural or economical elements, but people there seem happy and you get drawn to that. I felt really safe everywhere I went, which sadly can't be said for many western cities. The story of civilizations continues to intrigue.

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written 29.11.2009 12:34 CET on chronolog
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