Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Thailand - Chiang Mai

Hello all -

(Jenny here.)  So here is the 1st installment of the recent Thailand adventure - Chiang Mai in the north.  Because I am now taking a leave, Sam ordered me to blog about my adventures.  I guess that is a fair trade-off.  :)  This piece of the trip was just Yazz and I, before joining up with Kim and Matt in Bangkok. 

We left fairly late Mon night, arriving about 11pm.  Given we were exhausted, we got a quick bite to eat and called it a night.

Tues started with an amazing breakfast and our 1st tuk tuk ride up the hill to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple (yeah, a mouthful.)  We had great views over Chiang Mai and saw lots of gold Buddhas.  We saw many more temples back down around the city before getting templed out.  Then we found massages (opted not to get one at the Women's Prison - not joking) which were great.  Who can complain about 1.5 hours for under $10 USD.  Had a swim back at the hotel before finding dinner at a food court, where for about $4 USD I had some tom yum soup, fish cakes and a watermelon juice.  I love Thailand!!!  :)  After dinner we found a nice riverside bar with a live band, had a few and enjoyed the music.  Had a bit of rain in the evening but weather during the day was great!

Wed was our day at the Elephant Nature Park and definitely the highlight of Chiang Mai.  There are many elephant sanctuaries close by that take in and nurture abused elephants.  It was very eye-opening to see the ways in which the elephants are "broken in" to obey their human masters, the mahouts.  It is very sad to learn of the dwindling # of elephants in the wild and their loss of habitat. 

We got to feed and bathe the elephants in the river, and then after lunch fed and bathed them again.  It was a very humbling experience standing next to these giants and a bit unnerving as well.  Overall it was a great day out but drug a bit toward the end.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Chiang Mai.  Dinner tonight was maybe our favorite meal and it was from a little cart set up on the street, with plastic tables and chairs brought in.  One of the best pad thais ever!  Washed down with a few Changs made it a perfect end to the day.

Thurs we had originally planned to do an all-day cooking course, but after the day out with the elephants we just wanted to relax.  So instead we spent the day swimming, pedicures and massages.  Can't really argue with that!  Our flight to Bangkok was at 8pm but of course was delayed.  We finally were reunited with Kim and Matt who had arrived into Bangkok after a brutal journey starting in Atlanta via Chicago and Tokyo.  They beat us and were waiting patiently for our arrival.  :)  Stay tuned for our Bangkok adventures...

- Jenny and 'hard at work' Sam

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