Featured blogger – Rachel “Hits” Thailand
Welcome Rachel our latest Featured Blogger
Experiencebackpacking would like to introduce you to another awesome and experienced backpacker Rachel Maskell.
Here you go Rach I owe you a beer…
When I was travelling across Canada a while back from Toronto to Niagara Falls I met Rachel and we just clicked right away.
We all had such a great time we spent the next couple of months travelling across Canada and into our base for a month Victoria on Vancouver island.
When I left Rachel stayed on but we have been life long friends ever since although we don’t always catch up as much as we would like to these days!
Recently Rachel headed off to Thailand for a slightly more unusual trip and has kindly agreed to give us the lowdown of her trip.
Rachel is into her martial arts and decided where better to go than to head to Tahiland for some Group Treking, sightseeing and of course a bit of hard(er) graft in a Thai boxing fitness camp…..
Over to Rachel to tell you a bit more about her mindblowing trip in her own words as she adopts her latest role as a featured blogger….
Rachels Trip to Thailand….
Although I have travelled abroad alone before, going out to Asia alone made me nervous. Media stories of horror with lone women and what if scenarios from colleagues who’ve never been there stalled me in the booking process. However, seeing pictures of friends out there who couldn’t wait to go back were enough to make me commit to a decision and proceed with a booking. That was 3 weeks in Thailand booked; trekking group trip, time exploring Bangkok and a fitness/Thai boxing resort for the final week which I’d always wanted to do.
A tip I’d received from other lone travellers was to jump into a taxi share from Bangkok airport to downtown. I looked for some other backpacking types who happened to be staying in a similar area near the Koh san rd to share the taxi ride with and on the journey we shared our pending adventure stories and expectations. Having had night alone in hotels before, I opted for the backpacker hostel option for the social aspect and was not disappointed. Following a night at the Thai boxing stadium I ended the evening with games of cards and neat whisky with some 22yr old American medical students.
As a keen hiker, the trekking trip from a physical aspect did not provide the challenge I would normally look for. However, the cultural aspects however were fantastic, staying in remote hillside villages with generations of villagers living a basic existence so many miles away from the materialistic world I live in at home. With only 3 people in total on the tour, we got to know each other well with the main ice breaker on the first night having to escape from a burning hotel building, running away from pluming smoke down the fire escape. None of us were injured but a head torch and familiarity of where the fire escape is located is now a part of my hotel stays forever more. What doesn’t kill you, makes you wiser!
The fitness camp.
I’d always wanted to train in Muay Thai in Thailand but again had heard tales of students being beaten by instructors and that’s never been the vision of a holiday for me. A guy I used to train with, was a fitness instructor out in Phuket so this seemed a safe, reliable place to go to.
The option includes a full package should you want that with all accommodation, food and training sessions included. Days would start with 90 mins of Muay Thai at 7am in the morning to avoid the 30 degree humidity.
A healthy breakfast then followed, then circuit training, yoga, lunch, rest at the beach and a final class in the evening. My expectations were such that people would train hard all day, hit the partying then go again the next day. Rather more sensible people would train hard, stay up drinking smoothies and talking then go to bed at 8am. Once I was in the swing of this it was fine and some strong connections made with like minded exercise enthusiasts.
The low part of the trip was Patong. I had booked onto the Bangla road which is a booming strip with all manner of bars and frequented with all sorts of drinking types. I’m not sure if the number of loud bars or the number of mature western men with young Thai women saddened me the most and a bit of homesickness temporarily kicked in. that said, meeting up with an ex colleague for a night in his bar and spending the evening watching sports and talking with an international charity worker made for a great night but none the less I was keen to escape early the following day.
To end the trip, I went back to Bangkok where I stayed in a swish hotel with a roof terrace and pool to make you feel you were on a relaxation holiday. This was a fantastic way to escape the bustling city. I now need to start planning the trip to Vietnam as the feedback on people going out there was amazing. With such great food and people in Asia, I’m definitely going back and the hours in front of spreadsheets will all be worth it.
So guys how do you think Rachel did as a featured blogger leave a comment below:
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