This is the last of my Thailand posts! The first part of my Thai trip was the relax on the beach with friends portion, while the second half consisted mostly of doing cool shit. After my friends went back to Japan and I recovered from my sadness of leaving friends/Japan behind, I had a few more days to explore in Bangkok on my own.
After trekking through temples in Bangkok it was time to go north to Chiang Mai via (you guessed it) overnight bus. Chiang Mai was my favorite town in Thailand. It was super walkable, and the people were super friendly. I made friends while eating lunch and standing at the fruit shake place. My first night in town I took a cooking class. We learned all about the different ingredients used in thai cooking and made ourselves a wonderful meal. I made panang curry from scratch, thank you very much. Even made the curry paste myself. In addition I made a papaya salad, and mango sticky rice for desert. Not to brag or anything, but it was pretty awesome. I may even use my newly gained cooking skills and make a meal for my host family.
Earlier that day I had a tiger adventure. Not a tiger of an adventure (not that its an actual saying) but I had an adventure with tigers. We went to a tiger park where you go into a cage with a trainer and a tiger and have a photo shoot. I’m never one to shy away from a camera, and add a tiger, its gonna get amazing. We opted for the 2month olds who were still cute but not as expensive as the baby babies. I got to spend a fair amount of time with the tigers and even take a short nap on one. Serisouly how cool is that? I slept on a tiger. I still can’t believe it.
The next day I went on the standard-all-in-one trek adventure. I woke up feeling less than awesome and the truck ride to our tour did not make my prospects for the day look good. After a few pills and a tonic water I was ready to go. And just in time to ride the elephants. That’s right we rode ELEPHANTS!!! We rode on these chairs that were much like sadles. At one point our chair was askew and the only way to fix it was for me to get off and ride on the head. It was awesome!!! I held onto the ears for balance. The skin was really rough and was covered with corse hairs that were about an inch long. It was a lot like riding a horse, that was bigger and slower, and with a long nose used for eating fruit. Our elephant spent a good 5 minutes under a lychee tree getting his fill. After the ride we got to feed and hang out with a baby elephant and its mother. Although the baby was only a couple weeks old it was pretty big. At one point the baby saw me and trotted across the pen to play with me. I squelled like a 13 year old girl at a Justin Beiber concert. I was overcome with more kawai than I can handle.
After the elephant extraveganza the tour took us on a hike to a waterfall, then a rafting trip. The river was pretty tame so our group made our own fun by fliping the raft as often as possible and throwing each other in. I slept most of the car ride back into town.
The next day a couple guys from the tour and I rented motor bike and explored the area around Chiang Mai. (Don’t worry Mom, I didn’t drive the motor bike I was a passenger, and ALWAYS wore my helmet.) We went to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple on the top of a near by mountain. I was expecting some serene mountain top get away, but instead it was like the buddhist disneyland. There were stalls and people everywhere. I was only able to walk around the outside of the temple because I forgot my long skirt and my shorts didn’t pass the temple dress codes.
I finished my time in Chiang Mai and Thailand with an hour long foot scrub and massage just because I could. I had one more day in Bangkok before boarding my plane to the Netherlands. My trip in SE Asia was even more than I expected and I had really high expectations going into it. I have a feeling this won’t be the last time I’ll be in that end of the world.