It’s been far too long since we wrote a blog post, mostly due to poor wifi connections in all the places we’ve been the last few weeks. Thanks to Quick Chicken (a wannabe fast food restaurant in a little town in Lombok, Indonesia) we’re finally able to give an update! It has been over a month since we were in Thailand and it was fun to reflect back on our time in the country and look through our pictures again! Our thirty day arrival stamp gave us just enough time to get from the north to the south and sample all that Thailand has to offer. From feeding elephants and taking a cooking class, to a motorbike trip and tenting in the jungle, to beaches and snorkelling, Thailand had lots for us to enjoy. It’s tough to know which stories and pictures to share so here is a combination of both from our time in Thailand.
The most popular things for tourists to do in Chiang Mai are visit an elephant sanctuary and take a cooking class so of course we did both! Our time at the Thai Elephant Care Centre was incredible. The elephants at the Care Centre are either too old to work anymore or they have a physical impairment that makes them unsuitable for working and they have been donated to the Centre to look after until they pass away. We were given a mahout uniform and we did just about everything the mahouts do…fed the elephants bananas, chopped up their feed and mixed their feed buckets, made medicine balls and washed an elephant in the river!
Thai cuisine is very tasty with a lot of curry and spice and in our cooking class we made four traditional Thai dishes. Tom Yam Soup, spring rolls, Pad Thai and a curry dish. We were given a cookbook with all the recipes and Zac would love to make a four course Thai meal for anyone who wants one!
We also visited Tiger Kingdom and to spend time with some tigers!
If you take route 1095 north out of Chiang Mai and travel 136kms around 762 curves you will arrive in Pai. We (or should I say Zac) navigated the trip on a motorbike! Our first, and potentially our only, motorbike trip to Pai was great! It started out with us getting chased by a ferocious,snapping stray dog and ended with us talking our way out of a police ticket for not having an international drivers license. Or should I say Zac talked us out of the ticket. I probably would have ended up paying double the fine amount.
We took the bike back on the 762 curves to Chiang Mai and hopped on a train to head to southern Thailand and start island hopping. We spent time in Koh Tao and Koh Samui and thoroughly enjoyed our long awaited beach time!
On our journey from the east side of southern Thailand to the west side we stopped in Khao Sok National Park and stayed in a tent right in the jungle!
From the jungles of Khao Sok we went right to the west coast and continued island hopping around Phuket, Koh Lanta and Railay. Phuket had the most incredible beach sunset either of us has ever seen. In Koh Lanta we encountered a very unique and friendly bungalow owner. Hutyee and his wife picked us up from the ferry pier and the next thing we knew were sitting in their pick up truck with a Coke and a hunk of watermelon and a German traveller who didn’t even want to stay at Hutyee’s bungalows. It caught me so off guard I wasn’t really sure what to do or say! Hutyee’s bungalows came complete with access to a water cooler and rice cooker that was popular with the chickens, materials for all “smoking needs” and visits from two adorable little local girls. We couldn’t verbally communicate with the girls but it was easy to draw with them and “play cards” and they were so darn cute!
Railay beach is popular for its rock climbing so we did a little rock climbing of our own up to a viewpoint. The scramble up and down was a lot of fun and a little hairy at times when you couldn’t find a ledge to place your foot. That and the ropes anchored to the rocks smelled like an old hockey bag and were so slippery from hundreds of wannabe rock climbers that you couldn’t get a good hold!
Thailand gave us a lot of good memories and enough Pad Thai to last us a lifetime and it is easy to see why so many people go there to visit! After three months of traveling we have experienced so many incredible things and have added to our list of observations and reflections so we will share them in a blog post soon!