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Livvy May takes on Thailand

Published May 27th, 2015

We recently partnered with our friends at Busabout to send fashion, food and lifestyle blogger Livvy May on an eight-day trip to Thailand to experience the new Busabout Asia tour itinerary, taking in Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and Pai in Northern Thailand during her stay. The trip also coincided with the Thai New Year celebrations of Songkran - here's how it all went down.

 

 

Recently, I embarked on the experience of a lifetime with Student Flights Australia and Busabout. I visited Thailand to celebrate Songkran, the Thai New Year. Songkran is the annual water festival in Thailand and the idea behind it is a symbol of washing away all of the sins and bad luck from the previous year as you enter the new year.

 

Livvy May at the markets in Chiang Mai.

 

The adventure got underway in Chiang Mai, one of the largest and most culturally significant cities in Northern Thailand, and one of the areas where Songkran really comes alive. It’s amazing to see the locals embrace something so culturally significant to the region and be able to take part with them in the fun festivities.

 

A vendor in the Chiang Mai markets.

 

 

It’s not often as a tourist you are able to immerse yourself right in the heart of the local action and be embraced by those who live in the area. This was incredible to see, the locals - from young to old - embrace this three day-long holiday to ravage the streets with water and cleanse each other while having a little cheeky fun.

 

Bang Pa-In Royal Summer Palace in Ayutthaya.

 

A significant part of Thai culture is the elephant. So, if you’re an animal lover be sure to visit an Elephant Nature Park (ensure you select the right one or go with Busabout). It’s a truly remarkable experience and the elephant is a creature I’ve wanted to be up close and personal with since I was a young girl.

 

Love the nightlife - a ladyboy show in Chiang Mai.

 

What about the nightlife? Well, a ladyboy show is an absolute must. I’ve loved a good drag show ever since I watched The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert back in 1994, and this show in Chiang Mai exceeded my expectations. Apart from the show itself, which mixed classic hits and current pop tracks, it was the entire atmosphere from the waiters - I mean, waitresses - who served you drinks, to the male backup dancers shaking their things, the entire production was the perfect way to spend a night out in Thailand and something I knew I wanted to tick off my bucket list (TICK)!

 

Fresh and fragrant ingredients for the cooking class in Chiang Mai.

 

Naturally, my favourite activity on the trip was the cooking class! I mean, it’s one of the main reasons I travel. From bashing spices and using copious amounts of coconut milk, this was a truly fantastic experience and a must for foodies. Everyone’s food tasted incredible, so there’s no way you can’t create a winning dish in this masterclass.

 

The view on the Hill Tribe Trek through Lisu and Lahu villages.

 

The final stop on the trip was a little further up north to a place called Pai. It’s like the Byron Bay of Thailand. It’s full of  alternative vibes and relaxed bars, and is the perfect place for some downtime where you can soak up the sun at a hot spring. This is where the partying came to a halt and the health kick element sunk in as we trekked the Hill Tribe Trek.

 

One of the crew kicking back with the locals on the trek.

 

 

It began in a remote village with few inhabitants apart from a couple of gracious families and their adorable children. The trek was hard, but with various stops along the way to eat lunch out of banana leaves and swing on vines, the swim at the end at the waterfalls made all the sweat and pain well worth it. Plus, it’s the perfect way to see the lush landscape.

 

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.

 

This trip was an adventure filled with cultural learnings, spiritual awakenings, fabulous food, frivolous fun and making lifelong friends, and is now another place in the world, I plan to return to. Big thanks to Busabout and Student Flights Australia for this amazing experience.

 

Student Flights' Guest Bloggers

At Student Flights, we've tapped into the knowledge of travel experts and gave them the task to write guest blog articles for us. These posts are written by Guest Bloggers who understand what it takes to travel far and wide - making your dollar go that little bit further. So during the planning stage of your next big trip, have a read of what our Guest Bloggers have to say.