The trip took place in March this year (9.03-21.03). Within 13 days I got to travel all around Thailand (Bangok, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao), Cambodia and Singapore.
We spent the first three days at my friend Kenneth’s house, it’s in the middle of Pattaya and Bangkok and the place where we got used to the Thai climate, time-zone and gathered our strength for what was to come. A few days after I got there, Alari and Jaan also arrived and the trip started. First of all, they decided to show me Pattaya and since it was my first time in Asia and Thailand, the notorious Pattaya was a must… so of course I went there too – and it only took me one single night (a couple of hours) in the city to get a slight culture shock. :)))
Cambodia was up next, we decided to visit the world’s oldest temple compound called Angkor Wat. Which at first was a Hindu Višnu sacred place but then a century later landed in the hands of Thervaada Buddhists. We started our journey at 3am, reached the border around 8am and after that it took a couple of hours to reach the temple. We got really lucky with the weather – it was 36 degrees (Celsius) in the shade…and underneath the direct sunlight wasn’t the best place to be. The temple itself was absolutely magnificent and to be honest, one day was clearly not enough. For anyone, who happens to travel around that area, I definitely recommend to visit Angkor Wat. When it was getting late we started the car again, to reach Kenneth’s place around midnight, to quickly pack our things and go to Bangok to fly to the Paradise islands in a couple of hours.
The route of the islands was the following: Koh Samui —> Koh Tao —> Koh Phangan. We didn’t really spend any time on Samui, we were basically traveling through it, but we did spend 4 nights on Koh Tao and three on Koh Phangan. I personally loved Koh Tao the most – a bit smaller, calmer and sweeter.
Since we had a packed schedule, I have a lot of awesome memories and memorable moments. One of the brightest of those is my last morning in Thailand – a sunrise that me and Alari decided to watch from the top of a rather high tower which had nonexistent safety railings. When we would’ve made any wrong moves or our feet would have faltered then the survival rate would have been quite small…but the view was worth the risk.
Actually, many similar activities happened on that trip. Not a day passed where we didn’t do something that involved getting high on adrenaline. We were climbing on top of the mountains, jumping in water in unknown places, cruised through all the sightseeing platforms and all the spectacularly mysterious roads with our scooters, met a lot of new and interesting people and enjoyed the local food culture. Thai cuisine is one of my complete favourites and the food didn’t disappoint me even once.
In addition to the trip itself, the people you’re traveling together and spending your days with are just as important… I got very lucky this time because the friends I shared this trip with are really supercool and extremely nice people. The trip was filled with good humour and everyone got along very well.
When the time came for the other to fly to the Philippines, I decided to go on a solo adventure in Singapore…since I was already in that region, I wanted to enjoy it to the max. Again, 6 hours is clearly too short to discover a city like this but it’s still better than nothing. I went there with an idea to enjoy the sunset at the Marina Bay Sands Skypark 57th floor terrace. But before that I decided to go on the subway and get off at a completely random station. Often spontaneity is much more effective and nicer than laying down certain plans and strictly sticking with them. I decided to stop at a place called Botanic Gardens – which is an enormous botanic garden that is 158 years old. It is the only tropical garden that is on the UNESCO world heritage list. I would very much enjoy visiting it again and everyone who is going to visit Singapore – I would recommend to visit it yourself too!
I arrived to the Marina hotel just at the right time (right before sunset), but as a typical Estonian, as usual bad luck followed me even on this side of the world. Exactly when I had reached the other side of the platform it started pouring down heavily. In just a couple of seconds I was completely soaked and like this with my squishing converse and dripping dress, I started my way back to the airport. At least when it was time for the actual sunset the weather was beautiful again, and the view from up there was breathtaking.
Author: Grete Paia
Photos: Grete Paia, Alari Teede, Jaan Parmask, Magnus Heinmets
Translator: Laura-Liisa Lilleberg
Editor: Kärt Mättikas