About meHi. I'm Natalie, a freelance writer and amateur artist from England. Join me for a vicarious journey of travel stories, sketches, photos and inspiration that scratch under the surface of countries and cultures, throwing you into the deep end of travel.
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Category Archives: solo female travel Thailand
One of the first things our diving instructor said to us when I took my Open Water dive course in Koh Tao, Thailand was “make sure you know the local hazards, and watch out for them.” It seemed a simple enough statement. There wasn’t too much to watch out for. “Sharks are scared of divers, so it’s unlikely you’ll come across one,” he said, “but you should watch out for trigger fish, they will definitely attack you if you get in their way. It’s important to remember this because once I took a group of Russians out and one of them stumbled upon a trigger fish nest. Instead of swimming back out of it like I had told him to, when a trigger fish started to attack him, he turned round and punched it in the face!” This didn’t worry me. I wasn’t going to go around punching trigger fish, … read more
When I arrived in Koh Phangan for the first time in 2009, I instantly regretted my decision to go there. I’d spent two months traveling around Cambodia, Laos, and the Northern part of Thailand, and this Southern underbelly of Thailand came as quite as shock. I had chosen to stay in an area of the island called Hat Rin – where the infamous Full Moon Party takes place each year, and what I found there amazed me. There were literally tourists everywhere, swarming in and out of burger joints, swilling beer all over themselves on the beach, dancing in bikinis on stages. It seemed more like a scene I would expect in Magaluf or Ayia Nappa, but surely not in Thailand?! Groups of men dressed in ‘tour’ T-shirts chanted football slogans, women dressed in next to nothing flirted outrageously with everything in sight. It was my personal idea of hell. … read more
Renting a motorbike or scooter in Thailand can be an excellent way to get off the beaten path to do some real exploring. However, since Thailand is infamous for both its motorbike scams and motorbike accidents, here are a few things you might want to consider first… 1: Insurance unless you are actually legally insured to drive a motorbike, it is unlikely your travel insurance will cover you for any injuries caused by you riding one. Be aware of this before you go testing the speed limit or performing tricks (laugh now, but a few Thai buckets make idiots of all of us)! 2: Bike scams and how to avoid them: The bike scam is every penniless traveler’s worst nightmare. You rent a bike thinking that you are saving some money on tuk tuks, then when you take it back a ‘scratch’ is found mysteriously by the owner and it … read more
I’m writing an article for my student magazine Hullfire at the moment about whether or not Thailand has been ruined by tourism. Ever-popular with student tourists, Thailand’s reputation seems to precede it. Whether it’s the idyllic islands, sex tourism, infamous beach parties, or the Leo DiCaprio film The Beach that attracts the millions of visitors that swarm into Thailand each year, this prominent South East Asian country certainly seems to have made its mark on the tourism business. In fact when I spoke to the STA branch manager in Leeds, Ewan Clarke, he said: ““If you take Australia out of the equation, I’d say Thailand is probably the most popular single destination to go to.” So what makes Thailand so special? And is there still a chance to experience some real Thai culture when, according to www.1stopthailand.com/facts, up to 12 million visitors are flooding in on a yearly basis? Well … read more