After teaching in Thailand for a couple of months, I’d heard a lot about the infamous ‘Songkran’ from my students. They explained to me that Songkran was the Thai New Year, and that it was in fact a water festival, whereby everyone across the country (and some other parts of SE Asia) would participate in a huge water fight. Songkran takes place in the hottest, driest month of the year (April) and the water actually represents the washing away of anything negative that occurred in the previous year. Whilst I was intrigued and could tell that Songkran was something to be very excited about, the sheer extremities of the occasion hadn’t fully dawned on me – until I witnessed it.


Ben (left) getting into the spirit of things…

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Between waving a snowy England goodbye, to stepping out into the wall of Bangkok heat, a not too blissful 21 hours had passed. Thankfully, we had pre-booked a hostel, could jump in a taxi, and head straight there. The only street we’d ever heard of was of course Khao San Road, so we’d opted for a hostel on the street parallel.

As we drew closer and closer to the centre on Bangkok on day one of our epic trip, we started to grow slightly nervous of what to expect… and even more so when we were told by our driver that we’d reached our street. There were market stalls everywhere, cars, scooters and nifty tuk tuks zooming about, and an array of distinct smells in the air – exciting yet daunting. And then… *cue angelic ray of light* beamed Nap Park Hostel. From the botanical pathway to the front door, to the enormous air-conditioned social area, it was cool, calm and, mostly crucially, clean.

The staff at reception were helpful and welcoming, whilst the dorm itself was spotless, modern and cleverly set out. We went for the basic 22 bed dorm and couldn’t believe how sleek it was; especially as it only cost 350 baht a night (about £7). Luxury dorms are available but the only differences we were aware of were dorm size and fewer beds per room.


Our dorm was divided up so that there two bunk beds per section. At night thick mosquito blinds were pulled down around the bed, creating your own private compartment, complete with a personal light, mirror and plug socket.

Security wise, we felt that we and our belongings were completely safe. Continue reading


Is this the most famous backpacking street of all time? Yes, and unsurprisingly, it’s madness. The only thing outnumbering the street food stands, clubs, offers of sex shows, market stalls, crazy low drink offers, shisha bars, scooters and tattoo parlours are the number of backpackers. Khao San road has been developed to suit the apparent wants of tourists and is surely not a true reflection of the ‘real’ Thailand. However, it’s fun, it’s worth a visit and it’s definitely an experience we’ll remember. Walking down it for the first time we couldn’t help but smile goofily at each other and have out first taste of Pad Thai (it was so delicious and cost 30 baht, around 60p).


After making friends with some Canadians at our hostel, we ventured down Khao San Road and embarked upon a risky dare game after spotting a stand of insects, being sold as novelty snacks. The only way to see our friends eat a fried scorpion, was if I ate a seemingly crispy maggot. This was a problem, as we did really want to see them eat the scorpion. A couple of Changs inside me (the local beer), I agreed. It was bad, is spite of the soy sauce. Fortunately, they kept their word and after watching our friend crunch on a scorpion for a good long while, it appeared I’d got off lightly.


Charlotte x