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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai round the world travel Thailand

Umbrellas, Elephants, Waterfalls and Mountains – Thailand has our hearts.

Sol: 173 Looking back a bit. 

Feeling very, very lucky to have had such a magical experience in Thailand. We ended up staying nearly 50 days in this magical country. The trip to Chiang Mai was the icing on the cake.

IMG_0628Bangkok is the most popular place in the world for International Tourists so, it’s no fullsizeoutput_b4cfwonder that there are a zillion of blogs and suggestions of places to go there.

Many people go to Thailand to see Bangkok or the Beaches but, the north has many, many treasures that may get overlooked. Chiang Mai has this smaller town feel but, defiantly has a lot to offer in likes of food, entertainment and mind broadening day trips.

IMG_0910In our journey there we found joy in the Sticky Falls . It is an amazing water fall that you can climb up like a superhero thanks to the gripping limestone. Our friend PD (Moon) took us there and it gave a new meaning climbing mountains.

Getting there is half the fun. We visited an amazing temple Wat Ban Den .  IMG_0781Our host PD (her name is moon in Thai) was amazed to see the main monk there. She said she had goose bumps on her arm as if seeing a favorite movie star.

While we were there were able to take part in the Umbrella festival at Bo Sang. fullsizeoutput_bc05Delightful paper umbrellas were on display and joyously celebrated throughout the weekend. We were there for the afternoon and part of the Umbrella parade. Try riding your bike while holding an umbrella!fullsizeoutput_bcdf

We also visited some amazing creatures. Some rescued elephants in a local sanctuary. We learned it is not good to ride elephants as their spine cannot hold a human’s weight. So, we fed them, gave them mud baths then played in the water with them. IMG_1524-1.jpgPretty amazing experience. I can now say I have had my hand inside an elephants mouth. IMG_1454-1.jpgWhile feeding them many bananas. Pretty big tongue!

There is a lot of controversy about the elephants and how they are treated in Thailand. They are considered livestock so there are varying ways in which they are cared for. Being from the States we are familiar with controversy with zoos so, you may imagine the varied conversations here about elephants.

With some friends (Australian and Thai) we journeyed up to the top of Thailand to Doi Inthanon and it’s national park.fullsizeoutput_bed9  It stands over 8400 feet and it was blissfully cooler or the first time in weeks. fullsizeoutput_bf06I know that sounds a bit annoying to anyone who has been in the cold blasts that have been experienced in the States over the last weeks but, it was truly refreshing for us. It was also fascinating to see folks getting their selfies with the sign on top. This is a very serious business in Asia.

fullsizeoutput_bea0We also experienced some amazing waterfalls on the way back down.

The place we stayed was a string of townhouses with two others for rent and one housing the owners. fullsizeoutput_bf33We became fast friends with our hosts who are sisters. There are three and their names translate to Moon, Star and Sky.

They helped us see other places and find various sampling of Khao Soi, a northern Thailand dish that is now one of my favorite things in the world. fullsizeoutput_ba6fThis bowl of egg noodles with meat, spicy broth topped with lime, pickled cabbage and crispy noodles is quite seriously, a bowl for the soul. I am wondering if there is a food cart back in Portland that has it…otherwise, we need to build it.

The family hosted a block party our last night and we all shared dishes, drink and laughter as well as Canyon’s Magic Show. His newly honed skills kept the crowd cheering.

fullsizeoutput_bfd2Our last full day we awoke at 4am to get a ride then climb to the top of Doi Suthrup and the Temple on top that was first built in 1383. fullsizeoutput_c0a7Did you catch that? 1383….and it still operates today as a Monastery and has several temples to visit. After calling the boys class back in Portland at the bottom of the stairs, we climbed 309 stairs to the top and found ourselves with only three other people that weren’t monks there.

fullsizeoutput_c006After the sun came up, we saw loads and loads of buses and songthaew with visitors streaming out as we departed. I’m glad we had our quiet, peaceful visit.IMG_1785

As always, thanks for reading…we love sharing our stories and really do want to hear from you. Tell us about your thoughts and travels!

All the best,

Audrianna

 

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Not the kind of gang I want to be in!

 

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Thank you Vison and PD! You guys are the best!

 

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Canyon’s new job and our new friend Olivia!

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Oakley and his buddy Dean

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