Hello loves, welcome to another blog post. I’m finally writing about my Thailnd road trip!
Let’s start at the beginning. On the 31st of August I headed to Gatwick airport by train. I met Pops (my dad) at the airport and we headed to check our bags and go through security etc. We had an overnight flight so on the morning of the 1st of September we landed in Dubai for a stopover. My dad is kind of a travel genius: he’d planned a little mini holiday in Dubai because we didn’t fly out to Thailand until late the same day, meaning we could get out and see some of the city.
We took a river taxi, explored some markets, inhaled some weird menthol/mint stuff which was blown in our faces in an apothecary (my eyes still water just thinking about it…) and nearly collapsed in the heat of the place. I’ve never experienced heat in the same way before!
I took this picture whilst on the river taxi, it may look cloudy but oh ho ho no my friends, it was brutally hot.
We also saw the biggest mall in the world (we walked over 9 miles just in the little bit of Dubai we saw- mainly in that mall!) The mall was so huge that it had an ice rink, an aquarium, a waterfall and miles and miles of shops. The food court alone had dozens and dozens of choices, we wandered around in circles before deciding on anything.
This is the waterfall/art installation inside the mall. It was absolutely gorgeous and entirely mesmerising.
Alongside the biggest mall in the world, we saw the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Genuinely, photos don’t do the building justice. You don’t think it seems that tall and then you remember that the buildings surrounding the Burj would dwarf most of the skyscrapers in London. Madness.
Here it is in all its glory. Below is a picture including Pops so you can judge the scale, I couldn’t fit dad and the tip of the Burj in!
An intriguing part of Dubai was seeing the reactions and cultural differences, mainly based around gender. By this I mean that I felt extremely uncomfortable in shorts and a tee – so uncomfortable and judged that I changed into trousers in the mall bathroom, despite the 35+ degree heat. I reasoned that it was entirely understandable given that I was a stranger to their culture and it was unfair to ignore it. However, it was fucking hot and I don’t think my knees are particularly arousing…
Expanding from my own minuscule experience, it was intriguing to see that the Metro had women-only carriages which men could be fined for stepping into. At one point my dad innocently moved over slightly because he was squashed with hundreds of men on one side of this pink line and I was in roomy, AC luxury. He couldn’t understand why the squash was necessary with all the available space! Obviously, he apologised and moved back over within a nanosecond. I found it hilarious. But it did aptly illustrate a weird imbalance between the sexes that I couldn’t quite process in the short time we were there.
Anyway, on a brighter note – that was just twelve hours in Dubai! After I had a kip in the ‘food court’ (just a Costa…) we boarded the plane to Thailand!
After another overnight flight, we arrived in Phuket on the morning of the 2nd of September. Pops had hired a car so we collected that and drove to the first accommodation which was much appreciated. Bear in mind that at this point we’ve spent two nights on planes: I was ecstatic to have a long, hot shower and a few hours of horizontal sleep.
After a little rejuvenation, we headed to explore Phuket a little. We saw the Big Buddha which was atop a mountain in Phuket – ooh and there were elephants roaming the area on the way up the mountain! I was worried because I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless top (34 degrees outside) – I didn’t want to be disrespectful in such a religious place. However, they think of everything. Three women were at the entrance offering wrap skirts and scarves to cover your knees and shoulders. All decked out, we headed up the steps to see the Buddha. I would personally say the view was more impressive than the statue itself (sorry Buddha).
We also went to the southern tip of the island and drank watermelon drinks in the sun while looking out over the southern islands. Gorgeous.
This is a little hint of the view over drinks.
Look how adorable this teeny island is! I was imagining building a little town on there and filling it with monkeys and elephants.
In the evening we headed closer to the centre of Phuket and saw the market all lit up at night. I also got my first taste of a Thai beach.
Just look how beautiful the beaches of Phuket are! I really couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place. But it was only day one of the tour… Watch this space for more on the trip, we were there for fifteen days so there’s plenty more to come.
I hope you’ve enjoyed coming along with me, let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like to know about my trip since I’m planning a more sweeping and generalised post about what Thailand is like/what to take etc.
Speak to you soon!