Monkey Abroad

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Photo Essay: 6 Months in Thailand (67 Photos)


Thailand is a place of great memories and hot humid air. For me, it’s a place of nostalgic comfort. I lived there for half a year and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Many of the photos from my stay fell through the cracks, so I complied some of them in this Thailand photo essay.

IMG_0231Arrival in Thailand. The first 3 days in Phuket, I lived in this small seaside bamboo hut.


IMG_0232A small puppy curled up next to my hut.


beachNaiharn Beach, Phuket, Thailand on a beautiful day.


IMG_0242Naiharn Beach on a stormy day.


IMG_0270Take your shoes off when entering a Buddhist temple.



That’s one massive Buddha.

massage1Getting a Thai massage can be a painful experience.

IMG_0274Posing for the camera atop the highest peak in Phuket.

IMG_0280Outside the temple on the Phuket mountain, there’s a different Buddha statue for every day of the week.


IMG_0281The Buddha statue for Saturday was easily the coolest.


IMG_0239A strip of road overlooking Naiharn Beach in Phuket.


Phuket ATIThe ATI crew poses for a group shot. We’re just a bunch of ragtag ESL teachers-in-training.

IMG_0316My first taste of Bangkok and its outrageously delicious (and spicy) street food.


IMG_0315A van converted into an American-flag-themed bar-to-go.

IMG_0318Tourists relaxing next to a familiar roadside van converted into a bar.


IMG_0307The pharmacy in Thailand is a candy store for those looking to score prescription meds over the counter.


IMG_0347The King. If you ever visit Thailand, prepare to see this man a lot. Like everyday, at least twenty times.


IMG_0335The bright streets of Bangkok. Click here to see 30 photos of Thai people on the street in Bangkok.


IMG_0345A modest Buddhist shrine next to a modest Thai home.


IMG_0353A fence separating elevated roadway from farmland in Pua, Nan, Thailand.


IMG_0386This woman cooks waffles here every day.


IMG_0387What’s on the menu? Let’s see… Fried fish, fried pig guts and fried chicken livers. Delicious.


IMG_0424Doi Phu Kha National Park, about an hour’s drive from Pua, Nan.


IMG_0426Rustic hotel rooms available at Doi Phu Kha National Park in northern Thailand.


IMG_0447“Do not change the environment that you are entering, but please allow it to refresh your soul!”


IMG_0461My trusty ’87 Honda Dream motorcycle.


IMG_0489Time for class! Teaching ESL was a great part of living in Thailand.


IMG_0543As you can see, students take my class very seriously.


IMG_0979Two girls. I mean, boys. I mean, kathoeys.


IMG_0488drawing on the wall in one of my classrooms. It’s a little girl poking at a pile of steaming shit.


IMG_0528An anti-drug poster at Pua School. No smoking! Also, no cowboy hats!


IMG_0478Many outdoor gyms in Thailand feature ancient equipment like this elliptical machine.


IMG_0496What’s this illegal substance?! Oh. It’s just miang, the caffeine-charged Thai snack.


IMG_0765Emmy, AKA the greatest chef in Thailand, cooking her signature Pad Kra Pao Gai Kai Dao. There is definitely a big smile under her mask.

IMG_0885Want to try some durian? This stinky fruit is everywhere in Thailand.


IMG_0904Me posing with some stinky durian!


IMG_1060Avocados grow on trees during the rainy season in Thailand.

IMG_0824My friend James standing shirtless in Doi Phu Kha National Park in the pouring rain. This wasn’t the first time we were stranded in a torrential downpour.

IMG_0858The road to Doi Phu Kha National Park, northern Thailand.

IMG_0406A relaxing getaway to a Chiang Mai lake during a break from school.


IMG_0053Some friends from the ATI course in the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand.


IMG_1112Oh,  good times were had.


IMG_1116If you’ve ever gotten drunk from Hong Thong then you know what a real hangover feels like.


IMG_1205Insanity often results in the overconsumption of Thai alcohol in Chiang Mai.

IMG_1283We took a trip to Pai, Thailand’s far northern artsy tourist town.


IMG_2071The fattest dog in the world sleeps in Bangkok.

TaxiBangkok, the land of tuk-tuk’s and taxis.

Thai GirlA girl smiles for the camera in a Bangkok night club.

IMG_0594Lampang (near Chiang Mai) is home to one of the oldest wats in Thailand, Wat Phra That Lampang Luang.


IMG_0603The leader of the Burmese platoon that invaded this wat in the 19th century was assassinated by a lone gunman, according to legend. The bullet holes remain in the railing as proof.

IMG_0604Is this bullet hole story real? I’m a little skeptical.


IMG_0601A man prays to a Buddhist shrine.


IMG_0605Many decorative miniature statues and trinkets line the walls of a small temple.

IMG_0585An elephant trying to steal a bit of sugar cane from my hand.


IMG_1633“Do you know me?” That’s my good friend JeJe and her daughter Pai.


IMG_1728A barbed-wire fence around a wet rice field.


IMG_1793A horse wanders closer.


IMG_1843Three people on a single motor bike is a common sight in Asia.


IMG_0769Pad Kana Moo (Thai Pork with Kale) is a $1 Thai dish that’s heaven on earth.


IMG_1993Useful bamboo piled up on the side of the road in Pua, Nan.


IMG_1851Hey, where are you going? I’m trying to photograph you!


IMG_1925Stunningly ornate temple decorations. What is it with Buddhists and gold?


IMG_1914James and I are paying our respects to the Buddha.


IMG_1905A huge Buddha statue overlooks Nan, Thailand.


IMG_1937Two thumbs up from Pai!


IMG_1965Two hercules beetles battle it out on a strip of sugar cane.


market1An outdoor stand featuring all types of colorful tropical fruits.

I lived in Thailand for six months. Not nearly long enough, if you ask me. I hope to return to the Land of Smiles at some point in my life, but until then, all I’ve got are nostalgic photos and sweet memories.

Author: Kevin Cook

I want to inspire you to pursue your own dream of traveling and/or living overseas!


  1. Thanks for the memories…:)

  2. Ahh the picture with the steaming pile of sheet! Hahaha! Great pics beeg 😉

  3. Hey why did you decide to leave Thailand? Maybe you made a post on it but I haven’t found it yet.

  4. Great pictures!! 🙂

  5. this blog is great! really enjoying reading it man

  6. Pingback: Phuket Photo Essays you Should See |

  7. Don’t miss Phuket Fantasea, when you are in Phuket. I went to Phuket, Thailand last year, and apart from swimming in beautiful Andaman sea, was really looking for was culture immersion. So I booked a trip to Phuket FantaSea Thai Cultural Theme Park. I know I probably wanted to stay on a safe side choosing this to a jungle trip, but ultimately I really enjoyed it. It was like my introduction to Thai culture in a very entertaining and positive way. The show was impressive and the elephants in the show – majestic and just adorable. The place is definitely a must see when you’re in Phuket.

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