The road less travelled

pobalscoil iosolde

Mr. & Mrs. O’Connor,

167 Whitethorn Gardens,

Palmerstown,

Dublin 22,

Ireland.

May 1st 2019.

Dear Mam and Dad,

I hope all is well back home! I thought, whilst I had a minute, I would write to you both to tell you about my experience in backpacking around Thailand so far. What a hectic two weeks it’s been. I didn’t know what to expect of the flight because, as you both know, I am not a laid-back traveler in the slightest. Having a deathly fear of flying and wanting to backpack around Thailand for a month isn’t the most ideal situation to be in! Firstly, the 3 other girls and I flew to Frankfurt Airport where, after an hour, we got our connecting flight to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. The anxiety of the first flight put me straight to sleep on the second flight and I slept for about 7 hours of the 11-hour flight. From there we didn’t really have a plan- which was exhilarating. None of us had ever been to Thailand and we didn’t have an itinerary mapped. We knew where we wanted to go but when we went, how we were getting there and what we done in the meantime was exclusively up to us. And thus, our adventure begun. Seeing as we flew into Bangkok, we decided it would be best to explore the capital city and its hotspots first before branching out into the lesser known spots of Thailand. We spent our first two days in Bangkok in awe of the sites and everything that came with it. With a population of around 8 million, it wasn’t a surprise that this tourist trap was going to be crazy to navigate around but the food made it so worth it! Bangkok’s street food was world class and nothing like I had ever seen or tasted before. They also had the most refreshing and thirst-quenching smoothies I had ever tasted in my life (which were greatly appreciated in the sweltering heat we were not yet used to). Bangkok feels like a city set up purely to entertain its habitants and visitors. At the heart of the city it felt like Thailand’s version of New York City. At night, all the buildings towering over us were illuminated and the city was lit up with every colour for as far as the eye could see. Moments like that make you feel so small in such a vast place but those sights were so surreal. Thailand was surprisingly inexpensive. All the hostels we’ve stayed in so far have been clean and comfortable and there is a great transport system for us to get easily to other cities. The locals in each city have been more than helpful to recommend things to do and places to see. We travelled through a couple of different cities spending a night or two in each like Kanchanaburi which was rich with history and insight of Thailand’s role in the war and Ayutthaya where we rented bikes and cycled around appreciating the ruins of ancient temples and statues that the city had to offer. After taking busses everywhere we decided to catch a cheap flight to Phuket, which had been recommended to us by the locals. We have been here for two days and we have started to experience the reality of some parts of Thailand that aren’t sugarcoated in vibrant city lights. Phuket is notorious for prostitution and that was apparent from the moment we stepped foot outside our hotel at night. The city at is filled with sleazy men and the atmosphere feels more unpleasant than the other cities. However, it is undeniable that, much like the rest of Thailand that we’ve seen so far, it has incredible panorama especially on the beaches here. The sand with the sea lapping up onto it looks like something out of a big, Hollywood movie. I didn’t think water could actually look that blue and crystalline. I’m so glad I decided to come on this adventure. We’ve not only experienced so much culture but also so much kindness on our journey so far. Backpacking around an unfamiliar area can become a little overwhelming and even a bit scary sometimes but everyone has been so kind and friendly which has been so refreshing especially at moments when I really begin to miss home. I really wish you both could experience some of the things I have in the last 2 weeks. You can’t help but take it all in and live in the moment. And we’re only half way through our journey!

I will write again when I get a spare minute.

Say hi to the family for me!

Yours affectionately, Allanah.