It's only been 18 days since I took off to Thailand for my yoga retreat with One Love Yoga, but it honestly feels like it's been a month. The difference in culture opened my eyes up to a whole other world I had no clue existed, and it's official: I now definitely, definitely have the world travel bug.
Haad Yuan beach yoga
We started our retreat in Bangkok, and stayed in a hostel off the infamous Khao San Road. Filled with shops, restaurants and street vendors, Khao San is a backpacker's dream. You can find everything from handcrafts, jewelry, fried insects, pirated DVD's and knock-off Ray Bans by the thousands.
Khao San Road, Bangkok
Wat Chana Songkram temple
From Bangkok, we hopped on an overnight train and headed down south, island-bound to Surat Thani. A definite 13-hour long experience with the "bathroom" of my nightmares... should you ever hop on this night train, just remember to bring your own toilet paper.
Night train bunks headed south to Surat Thani station
At the ferry port. Ocean, finally!
After planes and night trains, taxis and ferry rides, we FINALLY arrived in Koh Phangan. Crystal blue water and hot sun felt like heaven.
Haad Rin beach, Koh Phangan
Our bungalow accommodations on Haad Yuan beach, Koh Phangan
Bungalow views, can't complain
Hike up to Blooming Lotus yoga studio in the jungle
Beautiful view at Ocean Rock restaurant, Haad Yuan
GoPro selfie. Between yoga classes, an ocean dip is just the best
My favourite resto on Haad Yuan beach. Amazing fresh fruit shakes and Thai dishes!
Delicious Thai food from The Sanctuary Resort
Beach frolicking with Pam
Beautiful yoga studio
The One Love crew!
To get back and forth from Haad Rin to Haad Yuan beach on Koh Phangan, we had to hop in one of these longboats. Basically, a guy with a propeller on a stick got us where we needed to go.
Back to Haad Rin beach, Koh Phangan
So we decided to spoil ourselves and booked a room at the Best Western Phanganburi Resort in Haad Rin for two nights. It's a beautiful resort about a 10-15 minute walk away from the hustle, bustle and partygoers "downtown" Haad Rin.
Best Western Phanganburi Resort, Haad Rin
Our first night in Haad Rin, we decided to go to the half moon party. Unlike the wild full moon party on Haad Rin beach, the half moon party is located up in the jungle. The party starts late and continues through the night until around 7AM. Nuts!
Glow in the dark body paint, half moon party
Endless food tables at half moon
After our yoga retreat ended, Pam and I headed over to breathtaking Koh Phi Phi for a few days. Definitely more tourist-y than Koh Phangan, Koh Phi Phi was party central at night, but still so beautiful.
Sunset at Koh Phi Phi lookout
On our second day in Koh Phi Phi, we decided to take a boat tour over to Maya Bay, Maya Beach (where The Beach movie was filmed), and Monkey Beach. This was my absolute favourite day on my whole trip (despite getting slapped by a wild monkey who tried to go through my purse looking for food... ha).
Maya Beach (where The Beach was filmed)
So if you can't tell already, I had the absolute best time. I've been home for just over a day and I'm already starting a plan on how to head back to Thailand ASAP. Our trip was filled with hilarious memories with everything from a gecko that kept us up every night, a painful Thai massage experience, Muay Thai boxing in Koh Phi Phi, monkeys opening and downing Coca Cola, a scary motorcycle taxi ride through Haad Rin at 4AM, and a terrifying ping pong show experience in Phuket (details too explicit to discuss). Overall, amazing.
Note: please excuse the photo overload, I've taken over 600 and cutting them down to this post was a huge task :)
Also, if you're an avid yogi interested in similar yoga retreat-type trips, be sure to check out One Love Yoga. Such an amazing experience - hope on their next retreat to Nicaragua or Thailand!