Here I am about to set off for Thailand again..I must be nuts, I have Lupus, Heart Disease, and diffculty keeping my balance at the best of times..
Travel Insurance - Check..suprisingly enough Travel Insurance Direct were more concerned with my heart problems than my Lupus, whereas I was concerned for any Lupus Nasties my Little Butterfly might throw me!!
However Insurance is bought and paid for, and the only thing they won't cover is my recently broken wrist. I have gone up an age group since last time...grrr...so a higher premium of $150. However it was still cheaper than RACQ. I did declare all my Lupus-y things..neuropathy, RA etc.
Packing - check. Took as little as possible, 9. 5kg....but had heaps of carryon in my backpack as all my drugs have to be carried in personal luggage, along with a letter from my doctor siating pharmaceutical names for same and confirming they are required for my own use. Note to Lupies....Steroids are a prohibited import so you WILL need this letter.. You must carry your drugs in their original boxes and packaging so it's quite bulky.
Check anywhere you travel for vaccinations required and the Malaria Risk!!!! Bangkok and Chiang Mai are in protection category 4 which means cover up after sunset and use repellant. Those of yuo already on anti malarials are laughing. We carried a small pump spray of Off and a roll-on of Aerogard everywhere. Also check the travel advisories and register with Dept of Foreign Affairs before you go.
11 hours to Bangkok, then a 1 hour stopover before getting to Chiang Mai. I am taking my own soft fillled peanut neck pillow. Blow up ones suck majorly!!!! On top of everything else it is not so much more to stuff in the backpack and means I also have the airline pillow to help make me more comfortable. I put the plane pillow in the small of my back or under my feet. Always, always travel with at least a dozen packs of travel tissues,
Pack all toiletries in suitcases in Ziploc Bags too..saved my butt on many occasions..especially when the Betadine leaked!!! For first aid I take Betadine liquid, 6 bandaids, small roll of adhesive cloth tape, a 5 pack of gauze swabs and a pack of Zergic..great for sinus and sneezes. I also take a half foil of Lomotil , and a genereric Analgesic/calmative. AND Hand Wash.............of the waterless variety. If you need more than that you need a DOCTOR!!!!!!
Don't bother with shampoo, etc, buy it there ...7/11's are everywhere and your first port of calll when you arrive anyway to buy munchies and alcohol..Its fun trying to work out whats what..Hint Hint DOVE produsts all look the same in Thailand.
Impresssions of Thailand..happy people who are content with their lot on the whole. No crime that I saw, an incredible ability to utilise every available space. Also very clean, both the people and the country. They recycle or reuse SOOOOOOOO much. Beautiful food, fruit, and it is safe to eat at the market stalls, if the Thais are eating there you should too. EVERYONE eats out ...all the time.
I never saw an unaccompanied child or young teen. Even the poorest of people are friendly and outgoing. Not as many people living on the street or as many beggars as I had expected. The power lines are SCARY. Like metal spaghetti everywhere.
Northern Thailand is hot and dry, and although it is jungle it is not the lush green you expect. However it is still stunningly beautiful and I loved it.
I didn't get Thai Tummy because I watched the amount of fibre I ate, had only lightly spiced dishes (mostly), small sized portions and this trip DID NOT drink young coconut juice......I had it every day last trip..big mistake..LOL
My Beautiful Butterfly behaved splendidly, and allthough I was tired, and really punished my feet and legs with walking (still paying those multiple Spoons back - my feet are swollen, sore and my calves are very very painful) I will do it again. But maybe we will hire a scooter next time..LOL
Here is some artwork Annie has done as well!
Jolt-of-Java: " I love the light because it shows me the way...Yet I endure the darkness, because it shows me the stars...And remember the best way out...is always through..."-An adaption from Og Mandino & Robert Frost