Welcome to the community!
Tell us about yourself, about where you come from and about how and when did your passion for traveling start?
Hey, my name is Raif and I’m 21 years old. I live in Cologne, Germany and I’m half greek and half Turkish. Because of my family’s southern European roots, we used to visit our home countries Greece and Turkey every year in the summer for at least 4 weeks. I think that’s the reason for my passion for traveling. It was always a part of my life, from childhood until now.
Today you are going to share your recent trip to Thailand. How did you decide on this location?
Why Thailand? Easy to answer. I visited many countries in Europe and America. Then I saw some pics of Thailand on Instagram. It was so different. The beaches, the islands, the culture and the locals. Everything was so different than in the western world, it seemed very interesting for me!
Tell us a little about your trip.
My trip started in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. It’s a very big city, loud, dirty and the traffic is such a chaos. But I love this kind of chaos. It’s simply a part of Thailand. You can do so many things in Bangkok. Temples like Wat Arun and Wat Pho are must see. Bangkok has also a very beautiful skyline, which you can enjoy from one of the many sky bars in town. “Hangover 2” was filmed at the Lebua State Tower in Bangkok. The ski bar there is breathtaking, but because of its popularity also good visited and the drinks are overpriced. However, a boat tour on the Chao Phraya river is a must do. The river is the heart of the city, during the tour you can see many attractions. And if you want to relax and escape from the metropole life, the beautiful Lumpini Park is the best place for it. The Lumpini park is the green lung of Bangkok in the middle of the city. You have a great view of the skyline here, it reminds me a little bit of the central park in NYC. And for the backpackers: don’t miss the Khao San Road! The nightlife here is legendary!
Bangkok is awesome, but unfortunately, there is no beach. So I decided to travel to Krabi on the southwest of Thailand. Krabi/ Ao Nang is the best place if you want to visit the most beautiful beaches of Thailand. You can do island hopping here, the famous Phi Phi Islands, where the popular movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed are waiting here for you! Another island group I can recommend are the Hong Islands! Secret hidden lagoons, white sands and the clearest water I have ever seen! I get goosebumps when I talk about those islands!
How did you travel to the location? Where did you stay? Is there/how is the transportation there? Did you use an agency, a guide or you did it all yourself?
In Bangkok, I always used the Skytrain for traveling around. The taxis are also very cheap, but because of the traffic chaos, it takes so looooong! In Krabi/ Ao Nang you can visit everything by your own, just walk around! 🙂
I stayed in Oh Bangkok Hostel in BKK, and in Krabi in Grand Mansion Hotel.
Could you explore on your own? How was the language barrier?
Because of the large tourism in Thailand, the language barrier isn’t that high. Many Thais can speak very good English, the guides are perfectly educated and I could understand every word they said.
What surprised you there in a good way? Any strange/unpleasant experience?
I was surprised that the beaches are really clean and beautiful like on the pictures on Instagram despite the large tourism. That was great to see! I was surprised about the food! Before my trip to Thailand, I didn’t like Asian food. And now, I can’t without .. 😀
What did you learn from the culture or the locals?
Learned that smiling 24/7 isn’t as easy as it looks like. :’D
Did you enjoy the cuisine there? Which were your favorite dishes?
Plain rice with fried chicken and basil leaves!
What was your favorite sight/thing in Thailand?
I enjoyed every second in Thailand, but my favorite place is the Phi Phi Islands.
Why should people visit it?
People should visit Thailand because it is very different than other countries. You have a modern part with skyscrapers and rooftop bars and you have a traditional religious part with monks and temples in one combined. The landscape changes from north to south – rainforests, mountains and beaches.The locals are always friendly and try to help you. Great country and great people!
Any tips for future visitors? Anything you would have love to know/ is prepared for before arriving?
Never ride a taxi without taximeter!
Do you have a bucket list? What are some things/places on it?
Of course, I have. Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore are on the list. Want to see whole SouthEast Asia.But my next destination is completely different.
Was is your next adventure? Anything planned yet?
Next, I’m going to Australia. First Sydney, then Melbourne and then the whole East Coast with Byron Bay, Fraser Island, Whitsundays and Cairns. I’m so excited!
How can we see more about you and your trips? what are your website and social media?
Follow me on Instagram: raifs_traveldiary
And facebook: Raif Ch
Hope you liked this post. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate in commenting below or contact me. If you want to collaborate in the blog, with your experiences or your trip’s photos, get in touch!