Blogs from North-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia - page 3

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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai March 2nd 2014

Renting motor scooters was one of the best things I have done so far! But I have to admit, after hearing all the horror stories about how dangerous they were and physically seeing Paco's mangled leg which he casually labeled as "a bit of road rash", I was a bit sketched out. But once I slammed down that accelerator and began weaving in and out between cars and rickety old trucks as the lush green jungle's of Chaing Mai whizzed passed me, I knew this was a great decision. I careened around blind corners and zipped past entire families sandwiched together on one tiny scooter. This was all done on the left side of the road which to an American meant "the wrong side" this made the ride that much more exciting and dangerous. Let's just ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand February 17th 2014

We had one of the most peaceful night’s sleep of the trip awaking to the elephants eating breakfast as we were being served ours. Once we were all fed we took another ride through the jungle, this time I was more at ease with riding. We rode through the jungle and over the river, stopping for a bath along the way. I noticed that while I rode the mahouts spoke with the elephants, sometimes long conversations about who knows what. I also noticed that the father of the family who is a mahout for the mother sat down next to them and spoke with both the mother and baby often. These people obviously care for and love these animals as members of their family, as they have for countless generations. In the afternoon we linked up ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 16th 2014

We booked an overnight homestay with a local travel agent that included a full day and a half at a local Elephant training camp. I had originally wanted to visit the Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary that rescues abused and retired elephants, and they do not ride them or make them perform goofy circus acts. Unfortunately the sanctuary was booked for months in advance (which is wonderful but a bummer for us) , so we settled on a small family run camp that came recommended by the agent. We traveled west of Chaing Mai into the mountains for about an hour and a half to the Chaing Siam Mahout Training School. A Mahout is an elephant trainer, and usually these men stay with the same elephant for it’s entire life, which can be anywhere from 80-100 ... read more
Elephant Kisses

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 15th 2014

Getting ready to head home. I have a full day left in Chiang Mai and trying to figure out what to do with myself. A few of the things I thought I would do turned out to be not so great. The tiger kingdom which they say is some kind of conservation I have heard from a good naturalist friend is not, and they sell the adult tigers to China for pelts. Not going there. The hill tribe I was excited to see apparently they almost stopped wearing the neck rings completely until tourism picked up, then they started wearing them again. There necks don't stretch but there collarbones break. That doesn't feel right now either. I think I ate something at the night bazar that didn't agree with me. I got a smoothie with fresh ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 15th 2014

Instead of traveling overland to Thailand which was my original plan, we decided to fly to bypass the hours and hours on another bus, and the headache and tales of corruption we’ve heard regarding the border crossing. Our time is running short now and we decided to head up to Chaing Mai in the northern highlands of Thailand which would have been an almost 24 hour journey on bus from Siem Reap. We flew Cambodia Airways into Bangkok which was a cheap hour long flight and included an entire meal. Did I ever say how much I love every airline outside the crappy budget American carriers? We transferred to Bangkok Airways and had another hour long flight into Chaing Mai, with another full and delicious meal! Chaing Mai is the second largest city in Thailand and ... read more
The first of many Pad Thais on the street
Lady Fight

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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 14th 2014

Ok, I'm aOfficially ready to go home. Slept in and didn't want to waste my last full day. The hotel gave me a driver to take me to the factories where they make silk, umbrellas and have a huge and let me tell you ,a girl could get in trouble kind of gem factory store! I walked around with a beautiful jade bracelet on that cost more then my trip. And the most amazing stones. Towards the end of that showroom I saw they had a case of ivory carved items, and it totally turned me off. I did not buy from them. The silk factory was very cool. They took you through the whole process of how silk is made and into an even more dangerous showroom! The silk the had was so beautiful, you ... read more
Can you see the LOVE sign in the back?
Lanterns in the night sky

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 13th 2014

Thusday Had dinner in my room last night and fell into a heap after my busy biking day! Hanging by the pool today feeling a cross between perfect contentment and guilt that I should be out exploring more. I am the only guest on the rooftop pool deck hanging and reading, I will release my guilt and enjoy this until I no longer enjoy it.... Then I will do something else.There is no honking of horns here. There is a lot of traffic and craziness, but the only honking is done when a driver passes a Buddha or a spirit house they know. Car accidents, they call them kisses, and don't do much about them, (apparently unless its a fatality)(then what, kiss of death?)I think about this as I leave the pool were I have been ... read more
Old school Tuk tuk
GioGio the tailor
Night bazar

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 12th 2014

Last night I decided to take my camera to the night bazar, I find I have to umph myself out the door being in my own (I would have been happy curled up with a book.) but between worrying I'm not going to be here long and that if I lounge around I won't sleep, I made myself go out. I walked about 20 minutes to get there, and I decided to hang out and people watch. I sat on the steps leading up to some shrine and a couple in there 60's sat next to me. They were from Canada and had been traveling around the world for 25 years! They filled me in on the do's and dont's how I paid way to much for my hotel, how much Chaing Mai had changed in ... read more
Rice drying in the sun
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Chicken fighter

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 11th 2014

Tuesday Ok, I picked the hotel filled with senior citizens, haha there is a group of about 20, 60 something's hanging here and I have not seen anyone else. I chatted with some of the ladies at breakfast, which was nice, they were all from Chicago, most retired teachers, they'll be here for three days so I'm sure ill at least have people to chat with. i guess when you go for the safe hotel instead of a guest house this is what you get. I have to say as nice as it is, I kindof liked the flavor of my one night guest house. Oh well.Ok, after a good nights sleep and breakfast I found the woman in charge of tours and booked a day bike trip through the countryside for tomorrow and then I ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai February 10th 2014

Back in the city, Melissa, Abby and I went to my hotel to Check in and she can't find my reservation. She can't find it cause I made it for a day later! All rooms are booked, ugh! They were great and sent us down the street to athru boutique hotel.(tragedy averted) and we all vegged out for a bit, planning a trip to the flower festival and Sunday market. Also, Abby really wanted pizza and had a place to have dinner with all of our left over elephant park friends wandering around Chain Mai. We wandered around and made our way to the Italian restaurant (what??) and we all(about 12 of us) had pizza and actually a pretty great meal. Then we hit the streets. The flower fest was apparently a big deal around here ... read more
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