Thailand is a place I think about a lot.

It was my first venture into the great continent of Asia. It’s so easy to think that the whole world operates as it does in your hometown. But boy, does it not.

I used the Couchsurfing app for the first time in Thailand. My friend and I met up with two boys at a coffeeshop—one from Russia and one from Lithuania. Sounds very shady, I know, but it turned out to be the greatest adventure. We had lunch, visited the outside of temples(we were definitely too underdressed to go inside), and took a ride on a tuk tuk. The driver knew very little english but with hand gestures and very slow speaking we got him to understand that we wanted to be taken to the ocean edge, to a place where we could see the sunset. We told him to take us to where there was a camera icon on the GPS which means it’s a scenic spot. We all piled into the back of his tuk tuk and hoped we would get to a nice view.

And we did!

It was cloudy so there was no sunset that day but hiking through narrow dirt trails framed by green foliage, standing at the edge of the cliff and watching the ocean splash onto the edges of the land, wind breezing and solo cups in hand was so freeing. Lenur screamed into the wind and we all reveled in our adventure. That night we went to the craziest road I have ever been on—Bangla Road in Patong. There was so much live music, alcohol, and travellers everywhere. My favorite place there was a karoake bar that played American covers. We rode home on a moped, our hair casually blowing in the wind as we drove the curvy roads in the dark.

Other highlights of the 10 day trip:

-Visiting Maya Bay. We rode a boat to the edge of a cliff. Then, we had to swim to the edge and climb the jagged cliff using a fishnet covered in slippery seeweed(Most exhilerating moment of the whole trip. Maybe because of the waves that kept crashing on us that made it a strong possibility for us to fall)(We were OK). We scrambled out way to the top, walked through a tropical forest with our bodies still buzzing, and made it to the setting for the movie The Beach. It was absolutely incredible. Mountains enclosed a small clear beach and longtail boats were in the distance, with other travellers swimming to the shore. Swimming anywhere for me is delicious but especially here.

-Giving an elephant, Lu Lu, a bath(if you ever have a chance to bathe an elephant, BATHE THAT ELEPHANT!)

-Riding a scooter with three people and trying not to fall off/die

-Kayaking on a triple kayak in the ocean on Railey Beach

-Watching rock climbers climb insane heights above the roaring water

-Finding a ”penis cave” that was filled with different sized and colorful wooden penises

-Visiting the Big Buddah temple in Karon

-Swimming in the pool as it rains, surrounded by trees

-Taking a local bus(so colorful and vibrant) to Krabi

-Traveling on a longtail boat to the nearby little islands and swimming with tiny bright yellow and blue fishes

-Tom Yum Soup and ALL the food the whole time

-Thai massage that made by sunburned, tired body feel amazing

-The kindest customer service from everyone