Discover our most memorable Thailand experiences, from swimming with sea snakes to cooking with poo!
This article was written in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
We’re big fans of Thailand at Ladies What Travel; the majority of us have visited several times and are keen to return when we can!
Some of us are already planning trips for later this year, Covid-19 permitting, but what’s been keeping us going in the meantime has been chatting about the adventures we’ve had there in the past.
It’s been fun reminiscing over the unique experiences we’ve had in Thailand, and reminded us of how great a country it is to visit.
Although we loved exploring its temples and palaces, some of our most memorable experiences have been a little more unconventional, so we thought it would be fun to share with you some of the quirkier Thailand experiences we’ve had so far…
Going on a nightly crab watch
We’ve all got our ‘special places’ in Thailand and mine is Koh Jum. Visiting for my 40th birthday, we splashed out and stayed at Koh Jum Beach Villas, where we had our own private beachfront villa with a jaw-dropping view out over Phi Phi National Park and the Andaman Sea.
On our first evening we headed down the beach to one of the local restaurants for dinner and quickly discovered that when the sun goes down, the crabs come out. And I mean literally ALL the crabs. As we used our iPhone torches to light our way, we’d see hundreds of crabs run for cover when the light hit them!
It was amazing to see so many like this, big and small, all along the beach, and our nightly ‘crab watch’, as I called it, was one of the things I looked forward to doing every evening. It might have been something very simple, but it felt magical to be surrounded by nature like this, and the memories of ‘crab watch’ make me smile every time they come to mind.
Getting caught in a torrential rain storm
We often travel to Thailand during shoulder season, so we’re now very used to sudden Asian downpours, however the first time we got caught in a torrential rain storm in Thailand was one of my favourite Thailand experiences.
It was our first trip to Bangkok, and having spent the day sightseeing we were ready to grab something to eat. Excited to visit our first food court, we checked the map and started on our way when the heavens opened.
Thankfully it wasn’t a long walk to the food court, which was in the centre of a partially covered market, but the cloth roofing wasn’t able to keep out the heavy rain and the market had begun to flood.
After sloshing our way through the market, we arrived at the food court bedraggled and sodden.
We grabbed a table at the (thank god) raised dining area and discovered this wasn’t anything new to them – hawkers had come running out with planks of wood and created a series of makeshift walkways over the worst of the newly created rivers running through the food court.
And so, this is how we spent our first Thai rain storm, enjoying delicious food and a bottle of Chang, sheltering from the elements and chuckling at the whole experience…
Visiting a husky café
Animal lovers will squeal with excitement during their visit to the TrueLove @ Neverland husky café – we certainly did!
Found in suburban Bangkok, I had the time of my life spending an hour cuddling with 25+ dogs!
I loved the vibe of the place and the people – the team are there to care for the dogs but they’re so thoughtful and you can see that they really want you to have the most amazing time possibly too.
They would help spot opportunities for great pictures with the dogs and ensure that everyone had a chance to get close and have a cuddle at some point during their visit.
They’d grab phones and take a million photos for you, so you can go home with some wonderful memories from your visit, but you could also see how much they loved the animals, the most important thing of all!
Want to find out more about Bangkok’s husky café and see more pics of and videos of gorgeous fluffy dogs? Then check out the full review here!
Swimming with sea snakes
Snorkelling or diving is one of the best things to do in Thailand. With its crystal-clear waters, you’ll get the opportunity to see some amazing marine life like clownfish and angelfish.
You don’t have to be a pro to get in on the action either – I live with post-thrombotic syndrome, which means I’m quite weak in the water, but even though I mainly just float face down in a life jacket I’ve still got to see some amazing creatures close up.
Highlights have included swimming near a moray eel and a banded sea snake, also known as a krait, which was a first for me.
I later found out they’re actually quite poisonous (but only attack if they are grabbed and need to defend themselves), which I’m kinda glad I didn’t know at the time.
I remember flailing around in the water trying to get my partner’s attention but sadly he was too far away and missed it, but that magical underwater moment will always stay with me.
Dining at Cabbages and Condoms
If you’re looking for somewhere unique to have dinner in Bangkok, then head to Cabbages and Condoms. I heard about this restaurant when doing some pre-holiday research, and just had to check it out!
Beginning life as a vegetable stand beside Bangkok’s Population & Community Development Association (PDA), Cabbages and Condoms was launched to promote sexual health.
Its hilarious motto is ‘our food won’t make you pregnant’ and the in-your-face theme was the most fun thing about our visit. We walked around the massive restaurant complex pointing out the colourful lights are all shaped like condoms and laughing at the displays of models decorated with condoms. They’d even made a condom Santa!
It might not be the cheapest places to eat, but you can feel good knowing that the profits from your meal go towards development projects across Thailand, mainly, but not limited to programmes around sex education.
Oh, and you’ll continue chuckling when you leave as rather than an after-dinner mint, your bill comes with a condom to take home!
There’s more to Bangkok than the main tourist attractions! Check out our post 5 Quirky Things to Do in Bangkok.
Partying on Koh Phangan
Almost a rite of passage for younger travellers, my first visit to Thailand involved heading to Koh Phangan, known as a party island.
Home to the world-famous Full Moon Party, it would have been rude not to attend, so we went along to see what the big deal was. I have to say, after a year of living with a pandemic it’s so hard to imagine crowds of people crammed together like that right now!
It’s definitely a once in a lifetime experience to have though, and we had an amazing time, but I have to say I’m not sure I’d choose to have my cocktails served in a bucket these days!
Another thing I absolutely loved on the island was our day at the Phangan Wipeout water obstacle course. Even with the occasional faceplants I had a blast bouncing across trampolines and flying across the water. My trips are much more relaxing these days, but remembering my youthful partying always makes me smile…
Discovering a deserted beach shack
I traveled round several Thai islands with my friends a few years ago, but one of my favourites was Koh Lanta. It was so laid back with hammocks on beaches everywhere! We took a trip to the National Park a few miles away one day and even though the weather was overcast and grey the beach was still beautiful.
On the way back our taxi driver/tour guide asked us all if we wanted to stop at another beach that tourists didn’t know about, and he was right, it was completely empty. After wandering for a bit we came across this deserted, but wonderfully decorated little shack and I loved it! It was really well-made, two storeys and outside there were huge handmade chairs. It felt like an old, retired pirate should live there!
Unfortunately I bet I’ll never be able to find this little hidden gem again because this was in the days before photos were geotagged. But if you’re ever on a coastal road on Koh Lanta, keep an eye out for a beach path – you never know, my little shack might still be there!
Cooking with Poo
A cooking class is a must when you’re visiting Thailand so in preparation for a week-long stay in Bangkok, I hit Google…”Best cooking classes in Bangkok”.
One of the first results was Cooking with Poo. You can imagine my reaction. It was a must-click.
When I look back with my marketing hat on, I realise that it’s a brilliant concept because I assume most people will have the same reaction.
I couldn’t not book. Not just for the name, but also because there was a really strong commnity element to it. The cooking school is run by Khun Saiyuud Diwong, affectionately known as Poo (which is short for “Chompoo” or rose apple), in the Klong Toey slums. This is a cooking class that gives back to the community in the form of jobs and income.
You’ll be pleased to know that the cooking class was, in fact, excellent and there is no actual poo involved, just the best Pad See Ew I’ve ever had (and just haven’t been able to replicate or find as good anywhere else) and it’s the reason I now adore Thai Green Curry. I am obviously also now the proud owner of an apron emblazoned with ‘I cooked with poo and I liked it’; I won’t lie, I enjoy the weird looks. It’s a cooking class I still tell people about to this day and I’d definitely go back next time I’m in Bangkok.
Thailand experiences that’ll stay with you forever!
You can have some truly unique experiences in Thailand, and to date we’ve only scratched the surface of the amazing memories you can make there.
There are still so many things we’d like to do, many of them continuing our ‘quirky’ theme.
Things on the list include getting a Thai massage from an ex-con in Chang Mai, swimmming with turtles in Kho Tao, checking out the Bang Nam Pheung floating market and visiting the mummified monk in Koh Samui – yup, that’s a real thing!
If you want some more great ideas for things to do in Thailand then we also recommend checking out Fan Club Thailand.
Have you got any unique Thailand memories of your own you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your personal recommendations of the best things to do in Thailand, so why not share them in the comment section below?