Traveling with my friend from Germany 

By Ann, volunteer from Germany in ICL Phayao Project (RPK24) August 2022- August 2023

A friend of mine who I have known since kindergarten recently visited me in Thailand. This was very exciting for me. She is currently studying at university and decided to come and visit me during her semester break. 

This trip wasn’t as organised as the trip with my mother back in February. We both knew what we wanted to see: A city in the north, Bangkok, and the south. We ended up choosing Chiang Mai as the city in the north and Kho Samui as our trip to the south.

We planned the rout as the following: from the 13th to the 17th of April, we wanted to stay in Chiang Mai to join the water festival. Then we would take the night bus to Bangkok and stay in Bangkok from the 18th to the 22nd. Afterwards we would travel to Kho Samui and stay there from the 22nd to the 27th

Alena and I travelled to Chiang Mai on the 12th of April. There we met with my boyfriend. Carla, my friend from Germany, would arrive on the next day. In the evening we went out for dinner. We didn’t expect to get wet already, but the water festival was slowly beginning. But by the end of the evening, we were dripping wet. 

In the early afternoon we met with Carla. After getting her settled we went on the street to join the festival. We had bought some water guns. When walking around in Chiang Mai especially the old city people would splash you with water every couple of steps. Sometimes the water was ice cold other times the water was warm. I still haven’t decided what I prefer since the warm water was water from the lake around the old part of Chiang Mai. When I was not thinking about where the water came from it was really fun. 

We found a place to stand and watch the parade. I found this much more enjoyable since now we were the ones splashing the ones who were passing by. Refilling the water gun was also easy since most shops had a big buck of water outside. When asking them nicely everyone allowed us to refill our tanks.

Another thing that happened was that people smeared a white paste onto our faces. Sometimes this paste smelled weird other times it burned. But once people were determined to smear it onto your face you couldn’t stop them. 

The last day of the festival was the 15th. On the 16th we went to the Thai silk village in Chiang Mai. After looking at how the silk is being produced, we drove to the sticky waterfall. This was one of the most fun activities. Since the stone isn´t slippery you can walk up the waterfall. 

The 17th was our last day in Chiang Mai and we went to the mountains to look at a garden, on the way down we had lunch by a river and visited an elephant sanctuary. 

In the evening Carla and I took the bus to Bangkok. The bus ride wasn’t a good experience. Both Carla and I concluded that a train would have been a better choice. Another mistake I ended up making was booking a hotel on Khaosan Road. When I checked out the hotel online it had decent reviews, and it wasn’t too expensive. In the end it was very noisy outside the hotel until the early morning since Khaosan Road has a lot of bars that play loud music. 

In Bangkok we ended up doing the must-see attraction for tourists. The highlight of my trip to Bangkok was meeting a friend I had gotten to know online over 6 months ago for the first time. 

I find Chiang Mai to be much more enjoyable in comparison to Bangkok. Bangkok is too busy, hot, and noisy for my taste. 

In the morning of the 22nd Carla and I travelled to Kho Samui. This was the most relaxing part of the entire trip. I have been to the island before and it was fun seeing familiar faces. We ended up swimming all day and we even rented a stand-up paddling board. 

But this euphoria was cut short when on the last day both Carla and I began to feel unwell, and we had to stay in our room for the rest of the stay. 

On the 27th we travelled to Bangkok again. Here I took the bus to Chiang Kham and Carla stayed a night to catch her flight the next day.

On the way back to the school the bus broke. So, me and my fellow passengers waited for 3 hours for a new bus. 

In the end not everything went as planned. I still had a good time and especially the stay in Chiang Mai was really fun. 

I hope to some day be able to join the festival again. 

The water festival in Chiang Mai

The sticky waterfall

Carla and I in Kho Samui