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thailand

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South East Asia: Backpackers Guide

I’ve spent the last two summers traveling around South East Asia – it definitely has a big place in my heart! It’s a region that’s becoming increasingly popular for tourists although it still has a rough, adventurous side. You never know what way your day will end up on an island off Thailand or up a mountain in Vietnam.

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Shipwrecked, Thai style

Ashley McDonnell - The Style Scruple
We arrived on Koh Phangan after another interesting boat journey and tried to take control of a not so great situation in which we found ourselves staying in a really strange hostel in an even stranger area, so we organized a trip with Safari Boatt around the island for the following morning. We were picked up by Tiger, the biggest legend we’ve met to far on our travels. We could understand about 50% of what he was saying and he was absolutely crazy. First he brought us on a hike up a mountain, then to a waterfall followed by some tree climbing and archery before a traditional Thai lunch. After all that we headed to a beach on the north of the island where we were given snorkels and an hour to explore. This is when we had our first encounter with sea slugs, yuck!

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Koh Tao: Surviving our first diving experience

The Style Scruple - Ashley McDonnell

On the ferry from Chumphan to Koh Tao it became apparent that we were actually making our way towards a scuba diving mecca. As none of us had been diving before, we didn’t think much of it and were more interested in going for a leisurely snorkel around the island. As soon as we arrived on Sairee Beach on the back of a pick up truck – the only type of taxi that can be found on the island – we were met with numerous scuba shops and dive centers. 

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Travel

First stop: Bangkok

The Style Scruple - Ashley McDonnell

Bangkok, the first destination of our 9 week South East Asia adventure. We’d been warned to go and get out as fast as possible. That it was dirty, dangerous and toilet paper was practically illegal, not to mention the ping pong shows and lady boys, a destination that’s seedier than Amsterdam’s red light. Interestingly, our Bangkok experience was very different to what we expected and although the city provided many unpredictable moments, we loved it!

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