Thai 2016

Yuliia Pieskova
9 min readJan 1, 2017

When I am thinking about our trip to Thai, I remember the fresh wind in the mountain temple and the tender play of small bells with the uproarious laughter of birds. The wetness of the air with millions of smells and cheap low quality and so tasty cold coffee. Disgusting see cucumber touch and the weird guy doing some even more weird gymnastics in the red rays of sun. Noise of the waterfalls with the roar of the moto engine. Blunt smell of petrol and red-hot spirit of adventure.


When you enter the Mangrove on your kayak, you experience the magic sounds. Singing of birds you have never heard before, plashes of water playing with your kayak and swinging cranky branches, joking songs of your guide. If you are lucky, you get such a guide like we did. Chemy. He didn’t care where we were most of the time. I think, if we had hurried, we could have gone whenever we wanted at the first part of the journey. And supposedly, be eaten by bloodthirsty monkey who are known by their unbelievable cruelty. Ok-ok, we would have been just bitten and robbed:)

Anyway, I believe without his paddle it would have been harder to scare of a bit aggressive monkey. They crack the bottle with their sharp teeth and gulp it until they satisfy their thirst. You drunk my water, hairy girl, why are you grinning at me? — that’s when the puddle comes in handy. The guide scares the girl off and you go forward, to a crocodile cave.

Then you face other fiends. They are hiding in the darkness of cave shade. They’re watching your every move. They open their jaws striving to bite you. Then they fly off the cave and whistling their own joking songs bite, bite, bite you! Yes, we were bitten by mosquitoes in two minutes… The monkey was sitting higher and supposably laughing at us (of course, she had some water and didn’t get a paddle at her head).

The views were breathtaking. Narrow ways between the freaky trees, swimming into the canyon with high rocks surrounding you from all sides. The sounds there are completely different. The quietness is absorbing everything until high voice of cicada starts cutting space into small brash. And it scatters into pieces like a thick piece of glass.

That was truly our best day. And yes, the races at the end were fun:)

Four Islands excursion

That was much more fun than on popular Pi-Pi on Phi Phi Island. First of all, just look at our boat, it cannot but be fun here:

Second of all, we’ve met fun Australians.

And the last but not least, we did get some marvellous views there. And we dove in a place a bit less rich in fish species, but for a really long time.

Conclusion: tours on small boats rule. The less popular, the better:)

Myth busted. Good 3G

As soon as you leave a city, the Internet disappears together with mobile network. It’s especially convenient when there are no pointers or signs on the road about your destination or anything close, and no mobile network at all. As you can imagine, this was a very exciting story. We decided to go to a Nature Trail not far from Krabi by our rented motorbikes. It should have taken only 20 km, the same distance we made in 30 minutes the day before.

It started very well. We were wondering in a village road (I must say: with really good asphalt!), watching people’s gardens, snake crossing the road, kauchuk making its way to the tied jars, asking people around whether we are on the right route.

Tip: Thai people can make an impression they understand where you want to go. Moreover, even if you are explaining in a really clear way (as you think). Then they assure you that you need to take one road. You head with confidence, the wind resists even more as you take a higher speed, but then you realise that you must have reached the place an hour ago but it doesn’t look even close. It’s especially probable if you don’t just show/say the Thai name of the place, but it also contains some English words. For instance: Blabla Nature Trail. Blabla can be the whole park. Blabla can be even a cafe somewhere in the neighbourhood. But Nature Trail sounds to them like the proper name in Thai for us: like “blabla” actually:)

As you can understand, we didn’t find our way. We made a stop in some village as pine apples and bananas hypnotised us to. We learned how to pile pine apples in the correct way while the girls were openly discussing us giggling. Also at us, of course:) We also bought extremely cheap bananas there and got surprised that a village girl spoke a better English than Ao Nang waiters. We were lucky to find a way to our highway due to Zhenia’s awesome intuition.

Tip: Thai pointers can be tricky. You can see a pointer saying that Lagoon is in 30 km and in 2–3 km another one, claiming you can swim in a Lagoon only in 52 km…

The trip took us about 4 hours. We never found the Nature Trail we were looking for… Maybe you will some day:)


Our experience of communication with waiters deserves a separate chapter, actually. You assume that if they are waiters they should understand basic English phrases, don’t you? You feel that if a person works in touristic places and doesn’t look like a student, he/she should understand what is “spicy”, right? “Well…”, you think in a minute, sweating, crying and spitting on your “not spicy” soup.

It was especially funny was at a street cafe near our home in Krabi. We used Airbnb here, so we lived not in a tourist zone. We were an attraction for our waiters. We haven’t experienced that much attention to us anywhere else in Thai. We ask them whether we can drink our own Pepsi, they bring us more free ice and a glass. We ask them to bring shrimps not fish, and they are bringing us delicious fish. Actually, from all the times we ate there, only once they brought us what we really ordered. Each time we were playing charades and that game where you draw and others guess (no wonder they didn’t get our “ocean”…). They were taking photos of us and I do hope they miss us as much as we miss them:)

Phi Phi island excursion

Maybe, that was our mistake. A piece of Pattaya in our journey… A big speed boat takes you and another hundred of Chinese to different parts of this island. In most of them you hear Russian speech and can’t find any space to swim (the rest is the territory of other speed boats carrying another hundred of tourist, why not?). On the other hand, we had the best (although quite short) scuba diving there.

Lost friend

Maybe every person was thinking once how it feels to be completely lost in a foreign country. Of course, with the modern technologies, it becomes rather a question of time and luck (not to get into any trouble). But anyway, this feeling, when you don’t speak the language, when you’ve never been here before… Even worse picture comes to mind when your friend got lost. What could have happened?

So, as you understood, Dima got lost.

They went to fill in some petrol to the motorbikes we’d just rented. The petrol station was supposed to be in 300 meters, but who could know that a petrol station is a kiosk with petrol? The guys were looking for a normal full blown petrol station. With cars and friendly personnel. With coffee and nice chicks at the counter. They found it. Having driven several kilometres on a highway (highway by motobikes…. Thai highway! omg!) Actually, they both got lost. We could finish our burgers with Ira and even thought about eating boys’ ones.

Zhenia got his way faster. 3 hours faster then Dima:) Of course, he had no idea that locals can’t help (see Myth Busted chapter) and could only confuse you even more. Dima had nothing on him and he didn’t even know the address or the area. In the end, he knew Krabi city quite well, the only thing left was to figure out where his friends are:)

When he saw a shop which was about to close (6 pm), he left his motobike (sometimes with keys in it. And by “left” I mean just threw on the road:) ) and ran. Once he ran so fast and desperate that he fell down. What was even more frustrating is that there were no maps in the shop…

After that it got even harder to find people who could help. He was all scratched and bleeding. All in all, a nice policemen, whose photo we can’t find because of stupid Facebook privacy policies, helped Dima to find a Tiger Cave. And we were close! Yep, we got our Dima when it was dark and scary, but Dima got fixed soon thanks to the ocean healing water.

Since that moment you’ll find everyone with small bags on our photos. At least, we’d have an address, the documents, money and maybe even a charged mobile phone.

Birds and bells

My favourite place in Thailand must be a small temple near the entrance to Doi Inthanon National Park. Bird chatting, wind playing with the bells and the last sun rays making their way to reflect back from the temple’s roof. Magic:)

But it wasn’t all about this National Park. It got lots of picturesque waterfalls, awesome botanic garden and mountain temple with awesome view.

Tip: rent a car to go to Doi Inthanon. Tours will be considerably more expensive and you won’t get what you want:) The attractions are dozens kilometres away from each other, so no way walking there.


Eat more than you can or you will regret when you come home!

Other nice places

Some Krabi views:

(by Chervoni)

On the way back to Chiang Mai from Doi Inthanon:

Chiang Mai

The White Palace



Yuliia Pieskova

Organizational and Agile Coach, COO at Alpha Affinity. Ukrainian.