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Bikinis, Booze Buckets, Being robbed And More: 10 Crazy Experiences in Thailand On Our Two Girl Trip

Updated: Mar 21

A close girl friend of mine and I traveled to Thailand in 2011 when it was a little less mainstream than now. Add the fact that we scored $100 return flight tickets to Bangkok this trip was begging to happen. But this was no ordinary trip for us. One way or the other it was made up of many firsts, much delight, even much more disappointment, but overall it was a trip you should have once in your life on your way to becoming a seasoned traveler. And while, this was a pre-Instagram time and we barely had phones that could take decent photos, I used to be a DSLR-camera toting novice traveler back then so excuse the few and rather terrible pics from the trip, but the details. They're fresh as it was yesterday. So here goes the highlights of this week long Indo-Thai adventure:

1. Found cheap return tickets to Bangkok for $100


A random ad by Air Asia led me to a casual search on their website and finding a return airfare to Bangkok for under $100. That’s a steal by any measure. So I rang up the BFF, said "Let’s Do Thailand!" and she said "Okay!" (because that’s what best friends do.) So, we booked our tickets for a Kolkata-Bangkok-Kolkata flight, a whole six months before the trip. The bummer? We travelled 26 hours in a train first to Kolkata, for a 3-hour flight journey onwards! (I think the train ticket was more expensive than one way flight ticket to Bangkok.)


2. Couchsurfed in a big bungalow with 7 other guests

I’d been active on the local Couchsurfing scene back in India even before the trip, but this was the first time, I actually Couchsurfed with someone abroad. Johann our wonderful host, took us two girls into his not so humble abode, and turned out, we were not the only 2, but amongst the 7 odd other guests in his suburban Bungalow. So not only our 3-day stay in Bangkok was absolutely free, it was also lovely thanks to Johann showing us around a little, and mingling with his other guests.

3. Visited temples by day, drank by night


Wat Phot temple, Bangkok

For us naive 23 year old girls, Bangkok meant temples (Wats in Thai) and some nightlife. So, like most “good girls” we visited temple after temple, fell pray to all the tourist traps and did the most conventional Thailand trip. The two major temples in Bangkok to see are Wat Pho and Wat Arun, the latter having a steep entry charge so we skipped that one and got our religion fill from Wat Pho - with its glittery tiles, gilded spires, and giant reclining statue of Buddha inside.

4. Went to the famous Maya Bay


The highlight of our Thailand trip has to be the surreal Ko Phi Phi (island) in South Thailand. Getting to Ko Phi Phi was quite a journey that included an overnight bus ride from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then a ferry ride from there to Ko Phi Phi. From the Phi mainland, you snorkel from a point to literally swim to the Maya Bay, the brilliant white sand and emerald sea beach hidden behind limestone rocks. Huge crowds notwithstanding, Maya Bay is every bit as brilliant in the movie "Beach", but minus Leo.

5. Wore a bikini for the first time

Being on an epic international beach as Maya Bay meant that we had to shred our Indian modesty and self-consciousness from owning not so perfect beach-bodies and slipping into a bikini we had just bought from the local market in Phi Phi. And so it was us two girls, in a bikini, looking at hordes of lovey-dovey couples around on one of the most beautiful islands in the world, with the background score of Moby's porcelain playing in our heads.

Being girls, we couldn't keep our claws in for too long, and while we marvelled at the bronzed athletic bodies all around, we privately ridiculed the two fellow Indians who wore jeans at the beach (!), while secretly feeling totally uncomfortable in our bikinis (But hey, also the 2 Indians were carrying suitcases the size of a Somalian Bungalow on the Phi Phi island.)

6. Attended a full moon party and got shit-faced on buckets

For the first time ever, we got a taste of what a wild party out in the open looked like. If the two of us after our long and sunny day out on the beach were looking to have a quiet night, we were not about to have it. Because Thailand's beaches don't sleep. Full moon or not, most of the islands come to life come evening, and parties are the order of the day. So we gave in, got ourselves a "bucket" which is literally a 5 litre bucket of all sorts of cheap booze mixed with soda and ice, got our bodies painted, got drunk, danced on the stage, through fire hoops, made BFFs out of a random stranger the whole night, and obviously have no recollection of the rest of the night.

Beach party Thailand
Fuck it, have a bucket

7. Got robbed of all our money!


We prided ourselves on scoring the flight deal of the century and gloated the entire time about how well and efficiently we’d planned the trip and how cheap it had turned out to be. Just then, the unthinkable happened. We’d been robbed. 350 US DOLLARS had been stolen from right under our nose (waist?) under mysterious circumstances, and all we were left with was 1000 Bahts between us to last the 2 last days of the trip! So bye bye to shopping, drinking or any sort of commercial fun in the last 2 days of the trip, not to mention trying to shake off being glum every minute. Almost 15 years later, we have no clue how or when exactly we got robbed, but be warned! Robberies are common in Thailand, especially on the overnight buses to and fro Bangkok.

7. Survived being a vegetarian in Thailand!

8. Went to the famous floating markets of Thailand and the weekend Chatuchak Market but didn't shop

On our last day in Bangkok, the same morning as our return from Ko Phi Phi to Bangkok, we went to check out Damnoen Saduak, one of the famous "Floating markets" of Bangkok, and as the name suggests, the markets are laid out all along the canals as well on the narrow Gondola-like boats. In the morning, this canal is a bizarre yet beautiful scene of chaos and even jams, as fresh produce and other everyday commodities are intensely bought and sold.

After coming back to our host's house on the outskirts, I remembered I had left a spare $20 note in my suitcase and that sponsored our remaining day and half on foreign shores. So off we went to the Chatuchak weekend market, arguably the largest flea market in Asia that sells everything from clothes to home decor to puppies. As much as there was to shop there wasn't much we could buy with our $10 left for the day.

9. Loafed on the Khao San Road without money or care

We spent our last evening in Thailand loafing on the famous Khao San Road, also broke. We went past scores of inviting cafes and loud bars wishfully and disappointing every shopkeeper who’d try to get our non existent bahts as we cursed our robbers for the 100th time. However, we made a night out of it, just goofing around, ogling at the hot men, singing, and just soaking in the festive vibe and spirit of Bangkok as well as our last night of the trip.

10. Finding a $1 on the road, after losing $350, and making it to the airport

On our last day, we had all of 180 bahts to get to the Bangkok airport, a commute which would need at least 200 bahts even by the cheapest way possible and then miraculously, finding a 20 Baht note on the road when hailing a cab to get to the skytrain for the airport! Not much luck, but we clearly had the God of small things on our side.

All in all we got lucky, just before getting terribly unlucky. Got sunburnt, got scammed, robbed, bitten by a jellyfish, battered, exhausted, famished, but still had the best, the most unpredictable, crazy trip ever!

Have you ever been robbed on a trip? Tell me in the comments and make me feel better :P


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 I (Monica) am a lifelong traveler, (40 countries), sustainability and veganism advocate, and a marketer by profession. I'm old school in that I still like to blog and document rather than shoot and post.

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