THAILAND

Exploring the unknown

Hmmm, well where to start? As I was boarding the plane that would take me on my next adventure, I had no idea what to expect. I was taking a Christmas vacation along with my family, to go see my brother – who was studying in Bangkok for the past few months. I was excited, but also afraid, since I saw the movie Hangover. I had no reason to worry though, Thailand surprised me in all the best ways.

First impressions

When we landed, I was instantly hit in the face by the bright sun and also my brother, who almost suffocated me when he saw me after such a long time. There was still a transfer we needed to catch to our final destination Koh Lanta – a small island near the coast. We hurried across Bangkok in a bus, which was surprisingly clean and air conditioned. The city seemed much calmer and peaceful than I expected, which was nice. My brother filled us in on a couple of details and some dos and don’ts. We flew off into the sunset and once we arrived it was like we travelled back in time.

Simple life? Simply happiness.

I was astounded. I travelled trough half of the world, but I never met such friendly people. A blonde white tourist is like a unicorn for them. Everyone constantly tries to talk to you, despite not understanding English. You just end up speaking in karate moves and it’s really fun. The islanders don’t really worry too much, just a happy go lucky type, you know. They find their own ways to deal with problems and mostly rely on themselves. The scenery is beautiful and rich with flora and fauna, the sea clear as a crystal.

Party people!

I spent new years eve drinking on the beach with my family and it was the best new years celebration I ever had. Thai beer is not as good as Czech, but it ranks high on the list. For the spirit lovers here, I would recommend trying their whiskey – it’s really good and not at all expensive. The locals are quite fun to celebrate with, even though you can’t understand their language. Just know, you’ll have a great time.

Heading deep into the rainforest.

I of course did my best to see as much of the island as possible. The main transport there are scooters and tuk-tuks (scooter with a cabin). Although the quality of roads is pretty dreadful, you can get anywhere you need to with a good driver. I visited national parks, where I had the chance to see wild monkeys and sanctuaries for elephants and other rare species. It was a wonderful experience.

Danger!

When I woke up after new year’s, I had no idea what was happening. With a slight hangover I wobbled to the breakfast tent to join my family. There I realized that we are in DEEP trouble. A hurricane was approaching Thailand – the biggest one in 50 years. We immediately started packing and preparing for evacuation. A driver got us to the airport, we boarded an emergency flight to Bangkok. The flight wasn’t even that bad. The worse part was my dad’s condition. He has been feeling very sick and it was later discovered that he contracted the Denghi fever trough a mosquito bite.

Bangkok, the city of nightlife.

Because of school, my vacation was cut short. I travelled around Bangkok for a few days, even got to see some traditional theater, but it was time to go. My dad got worse, so my mom told my brother to watch over me before my 4am flight to Dubai. My brother, of course, wouldn’t let me leave without experiencing the real Bangkok, so for the next few hours I got to see the real movie stuff. We went to a champagne bar on the 60th floor roof, I saw Ping-Pong balls launched from some very questionable places and went through a real Thai college party – it was literally one of the best nights I ever had. He then got me to the airport, where I stumbled through the security checks and waited for my connection.

To sum it all up, I would strongly advise you all to go visit Thailand, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised and have a lot of fun.

Text & photos: Terka Stejskalová [3.D]

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