After traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia, the grand adventure continued in Thailand. We had a quick stop in Bangkok for a day, then headed up to Chiang Mai and then to the beaches of Koh Samui! Basically, the vegetable fried spring rolls and pad thai feast just continued…
Since we only had a day in Bangkok, Wat Pho and our crazy-weird hotel were the main attractions.
Wat Pho, otherwise known as the temple of the reclining Buddha, was incredible. Unlike the temples/ruins in Siem Reap, these were made of glass tiles and so. much. detail. I could have spent hours just roaming around the complex.
We’re going to talk about one thing, and one thing only about Chiang Mai. ELEPHANTS! Ok, so before we get to it, let me tell you I was very careful about choosing an Elephant Sanctuary. One of my best friends recommended the experience, and I asked about 30293874 questions about why the elephants were there, what happened at such sanctuaries, etc., etc., etc. That being said… these elephant sanctuaries rescue abused animals, mainly from riding camps. There’s no elephant riding at the sanctuaries (obvious reasons, I hope), the elephants are cared for in their natural environment and so obviously loved by their caretakers.
We fed the elephants bananas, hiked into the woods to visit a mama and new born baby elephant, swam/bathed with the elephants in the river, and then joined them in a mud bath. While so much of this was not camera friendly, this is what I captured. It was an unbelievable experience – such gentle giants, I can’t believe what they’d been through in their previous lives.
The three week adventure around Southeast Asia ended on the beaches of Koh Samui. Best way to relax after going, going, going for all those weeks! To sum it up: I sat in a beach chair and did the following: looked out at the ocean, drank rose, and ate spring rolls. Sleep, repeat.
We also took a cooking class, which was super fun! Vegetarian Fried Spring Rolls (SURPRISE!) and Chicken Satay + dipping sauces were on the menu!
And then it was off to Melbourne to grab some winter clothes before hopping over to New Zealand.