Europe, Asia · 28 Days · 86 Moments · September 2017

Thai Travels 07.09.2017 - 05.10.2017

4 October 2017

Today we chilled out organising our travel to Laos for the rest of October. Once we booked our slow boat trip with the lovely lady downstairs that fattens us up with her breakfast 🍳 a daily onslaught of: - a plate of fresh fruit from the mountains -scrambled eggs πŸ₯š with bacon πŸ₯“ sprinkles -glass of natural yoghurt and grapes πŸ‡ -freshly baked croissants, malt bread, sunflower seed buns, brown oat bread and German bread πŸ₯– -unlimited coffee 🍡 -glass of orange juice -and round two ✌️ of it all, you just need to ask (although I don't need to ask, as Laura never eats all of hers #winning) We set up camp with these furry felines with an iced coffee 🍡 ❄ to chat about our Laos πŸ‡±πŸ‡¦ adventures...

3 October 2017

Last sight of the day. Hot springs!!! We had to get a private room as the staff left the tap on for too long this morning meaning the main pool was too hot. The source of water for the hot springs is 87Β° and therefore they said it would be too dangerous. Our guide advised us that we go to the hot springs in the evening and what a good shout it was! A very relaxing way to end a very busy day. Neither of us were sure about Chiang Rai when we first arrived but yet again we have been lucky enough to visit a very special town in Northern Thailand. P.s. yes that last picture is of eggs being boiled in the hotspring water!
Singha Park... The man who created Singha Beer also created this park. It is stunning with it's 180Β° views. A great place to jog and ride a bike. You could do a zip wire but we are being stingy with only a couple of days left in Thailand, think we've been slightly over spending πŸ™ˆ.
Yes, it's another temple!!!!! Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple. By far the most modern temple we have seen. You are not allowed to take photos inside but the whole temple is based on the idea of heaven and hell. The artist has used modern characters e.g. batman, minions and Michael Jackson to portray how people have lost sight of what is important in the world. He uses art to show how the world is focused on money, oil and war. But with a healthy mind, being happy and by focussing on what's important we can make our way into heaven and thus make a better world. The idea seems pretty relevant with the state the world is currently in. The temple is still being constructed and it will take 180years to be completed. We were lucky enough to see some of the workers working on parts for the temple. EVERYTHING is made by hand, each tiny bit of mirror hand cut, we saw them doing it!
Rong Suea Ten Temple... The Blue Temple. This was Kyle's favourite one and the one he looked forward most to seeing. The colours were amazing and again nice to see a temple which is slightly different.
Next on the list was Wat Hyua Plakang. We took a lift inside of the white statue and we ended up inside the head. We looked out over Chiang Rai through the statues eyes which was pretty cool. The inside of her head was stunning. Everything was completely white and they used 'diamonds' too as you can see in some of the pictures. We then went into the Pagoda where we saw a Buddha carved from wood which was nice as we haven't seen a wooden one yet.
Day 2 in Chiang Rai, another day full of sightseeing. We are both exhausted!! First we went to Wat Phra Kaew which is where the Emerald Buddha was originally found after lightning struck a pagoda hundreds of years ago! The Buddha has since moved to Chiang Mai and Laos and it is currently in the Grand Palace in Bangkok. A Jade Buddha takes the place of the Emerald Buddha in Chiang Rai. The front of the museum is currently under construction as you can see which was a shame as it looks beautiful even through the scaffolding!

2 October 2017

Chiang Rai... Last destination of the day. The Golden Triangle and The Opium Museum. Unfortunately the big Opium Musem was closed but another was open which was just as educational. We started at the museum where we learnt why The Golden Triangle has it's name and it's all to do with the old opium trade. People used to use gold to pay for opium and this was called 'Black Gold'. The Opium being grown on the borders of these countries was sold between them thus giving it's name The Golden Triangle. Thailand has come a long way since clamping down on the opium trade. However it would appear that it is still being used in the hilltribe villages. Then we saw 'The Golden Triangle' where you can see all 3, Thailand, Laos and Burma/Myanmar with 2 rivers separating them all. This was even better as we got to see 3 countries all at once. It was also a weird sensation knowing that in 4 days time we will be in Laos just across the river.
Chiang Rai... lunch time. We stopped at Busaw Homestay where we had lunch with a view. First our guide showed us the swing and insisted I got on... he took great pleasure in making me fly! He then showed us the huge supply of macadamia nuts which we could help ourselves to. You can see Kyle using the machine to crack their shell. It's amazing how resourceful Thailand is and everywhere we have been so far they always offer you free samples and testers. But the quantity is never limited, you just have as much as you want.
Chiang Rai... Pha Hee Coffee Village. After visiting the tea plantation it only seemed fair that we visited a coffee farm too. At this point we were far up in the mountains and jungle with some pretty dodgy 'roads'. Then you come across a beautifully positioned coffee shop and farm. Our guide informed us it is the best coffee in Thailand. We were able to try a coffee tea and as a non-coffee drinker I have to say it was actually very tasty!! Kyle had a latte... can take the boy out of South West London but can't take South West London out of the boy!!
Chiang Rai... Border of Thailand and Myanmar/Burma. The boundary line is the bamboo fence. Thai army on one side of it and the Burmese army on the other. It was absolutely pouring it down at this point. You may be able to see through a small break in the clouds a small village, that is a village in Myanmar/Burma. I quite liked the idea you could see 2 countries at the same time πŸ‘
Chiang Rai... View point on our way to the Thailand - Burma border. Wet season has it's pros and cons. Pros - the scenery is so green, lush and dense. Cons - the views are often hidden by the cloud!
Chiang Rai... We then got to see these cheeky chappies at the Monkey Cave. It wasn't a cave at all but the monkeys come down from the jungle everyday to be fed. There were so many young monkeys that played around the whole time. We bought a bucket of bananas to feed them with. One of them tried to climb up my side in order to get a banana, they covered me in god knows what! You are not to touch the monkeys and our guide took a bamboo cane in with him and would bang it on the floor if the monkeys came too close. It didn't stop the one trying to climb my side to get the banana though!! πŸ’
Chiang Rai... We first visited the Choui Fong Tea Plantation in the North of Chiang Rai Province. They provide tea for different countries and their main business is with Hong Kong and Japan. We were able to sample 3 of their teas and we then bought an iced Thai tea which was lovely and refreshing. P.s. that is me stood in between the sign however Kyle had to move so far away to fit the sign in that I am near invisible!!

1 October 2017

Sadly this morning we had to leave Pai. Pai will always have a special place in our hearts, it's hard to describe Pai to people but we completely recommend for anybody to go and visit! The people, the scenery and the food was amazing and despite being packed with tourists it has not been spoilt. Ahead of us was a 6hour journey to Chiang Rai, our last destination in Northern Thailand. So we decided to not be 'stereotypical travellers' for the day instead we booked a private taxi, a whole mini bus for the 2 of us. Driver was fantastic and allowed Kyle to DJ! He stopped for us to have lunch and his wife bought us some cantaloupe melon to eat. Thai people are always so generous even when they don't know you! A busy day planned for Chiang Rai tomorrow, let's see what this place has to offer...

30 September 2017

We woke up at 5am this morning πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€ to go and see the sunrise at Yun Lai Viewpoint. Sunrise was at 6.17am today so we got there 30mins before to see Pai in the dark. We used our mopeds to get there and the roads were so quiet which was heaven! Unfortunately it was very cloudy this morning meaning it wasn't the clearest view however it was still beautiful.

29 September 2017

Bamboo Bridge... Yet again beautiful scenery from a bamboo bridge over rice fields. A lovely way to finish our day of exploring.
First of all, sorry mum but I am back safe and sound!! And dad are you impressed?! Kyle and I spent the day travelling around Pai on mopeds!!!!! Literally had the BEST day. We visited 4 different sites but drove for hours through the mountains on our 200cc bikes. After a shakey start where the owner suggested I sit on the back of Kyle's instead of driving my own we had a wonderful day exploring Pai!! πŸ›΅πŸ’œ Probably the best part of the day was how patient and encouraging Kyle was about me driving a moped. I was so nervous at the start I didn't think I was capable but he believed in me and for that I am grateful x
Land Split... This place was the most incredible place. A farmer's land was split when an aftershock from the tsunami hit. His livelihood was ruined however this did not stop him. When you arrive you are greeted with the biggest smile and the friendliest of people. You can take a tour on his farm to see what he can grow now and the damage the earthquake did. Kyle and I were astounded by the scenery surrounding us. To top it all off the farmer offers free testers of the food he produces as well as the drinks. The most magical place and our favourite so far πŸ’œ
Love Strawberry Pai πŸ“β€ A strawberry farm in Thailand so thought we should visit!
Memorial Bridge... This bridge was first built by Thai people during WW2 at the command of the Japenese. This bridge has since been destroyed twice and is now a steel structure that was donated by Chiang Mai to Pai in 1970s. The bridge crosses the River Pai.

28 September 2017

Part 4: Pai Canyon... We went here to watch the sunset which was absolutely beautiful. Walking at the canyon was something else, with sheer drops either side of you. But yet again beautiful views it looked like something from Jurassic Park!! Completely untouched and unspoilt. The photos don't really do it justice.
Part 3... Hot springs, Mor Paeng Waterfall and the White Buddha. We got to bathe in the hot springs which wern't so hot maybe more warm! But the water was so unbelievably clear and it was lovely and refreshing after another warm ride in the back of the truck! The waterfall was impressive but to get to the top you had to literally climb up on all 4s so I gave it a miss but Kyle went up πŸ’
Part 2... We then made it to the Lun Yai view point which was pretty breathtaking. The views surrounding Pai are really beautiful and so clear!
A very busy day today exploring Pai... Part 1: we visited Lod cave where we took a bamboo raft into the cave. We saw lots of stalactites, stalagmites and bats! πŸ¦‡ It was so dark inside that your guide carries a gas lantern and that is your only light source. I think we spent more time looking at the floor to see where we were going than appreciating the cave!! Oh and also the journey to the cave... 1 hour up the mountain in the back of the truck. There were 11 of us and a few were sick when we got to the cave! Love Thai travel!!!

27 September 2017

On Wednesday 27th September we took a 3 hour mini bus journey from Chiang Mai to Pai. We went through the mountains which made us all feel a little queasy! However we arrived in Pai safe and sound where we then checked into our lovely little home for the next 4 days. 1km walk from the town, a little "cottage" (hut) surrounded by rice fields. We visited the walking night market which was so different to anywhere we have been so far. Very chilled, quiet and relaxed with a rather hippy vibe to the whole place! ✌

26 September 2017

Asia Scenic Cooking School!
1. Meang Kum (a welcome snack) 2. Pad Thai with chicken and tofu 3. Stir fried chicken with cashew nuts 4. Vegetable spring rolls with tofu 5. Curry paste; green, panang, khaw soi and massaman 6. Kyle's Thai green curry and my Panang curry 7. Deep fried banana 8. Sweet sticky rice with mango and a coconut cream. Delicious 😊 We were given cook books so hopefully we will be able to cook some of these dishes when we get home!! Chok-dee! (Cheers!)
Kyle and I cooking!!!
We then had a tour of the farm where we could see all of the food, spices and herbs being grown. Thai people often grow their own food as it is much cheaper and they don't have to go out to get it. We were allowed to try lots of different things, we particularly liked the thai sweet basil and sweet ginger. All ingredients in the garden we used in our cooking 😊
Thai cooking class... First we went to the local market where our teacher/chef told us about local ingredients. The size of fruit and veg here is incredible and there is also such a wide variety.

25 September 2017

Laura and I sat down to six Thai Boxing πŸ₯Š fights at the Chiang Mai Muay Thai πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­ stadium 🏟tonight, we saw all ages fight, and a couple of knockouts from the youngsters. The Thai's love a bet on these fights aswell, as there were so many blokes in front of us throwing up hand signals to each other about which round it would finish in. Even pundit Laura would be in my ear giving her analysis of the fight as the fight went on. Worth doing this in Thailand, great atsomphere and great respect between fighters from starting out with the sacred dance to finishing the fight wiping the blood and hobbling off out of the ring. We are fans of Muay Thai πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­!!!!
Today we both had a 1 hour Thai body massage at Lila Thai Massage. They are an ex-inmate employment and skill development centre. They encourage and allow women back into work after serving their time in prison. The women were so polite, respectful and friendly as well as being amazing masseuses! The massage cost 250 Baht each which is about Β£7 each.

23 September 2017

Art in Paradise continued...
We hired bikes for the day, which were sooooo uncomfortable. I couldn't reach the floor as the seat was too high and Kyle's bike squeaked the whole way. We stopped at a mechanics and they leant Kyle spanners so he could sort out my bike. After cycling through Chiang Mai Old City (definitely an experience) we found Art in Paradise, a 3D art museum. Here are some photos of us having a silly afternoon 😊 also it had aircon πŸ’ͺπŸ‘

22 September 2017

The people here are extremely talented when it comes to arts and crafts. We stumbled across an event by the Tha Phae Gate where people from the local Lanna community were exhibiting their skills! They were spinning cotton, making umbrellas and carving wood. Whilst walking around, we were stopped with "excuse me, can we take photo... you so beautiful!" By 2 Thai school girls!

21 September 2017

Loving street food... Slow cooked pork with rice (30baht for small and 50baht for a large). A waffle with banana, choc chips and choc sauce (40baht). Dinner cost us 120 Baht = Β£3!
On the way home we stopped at a local market. Where they allow you to try everything before you buy... this included the wine and whiskey as well as the dried fruits. We tried rice wine, which was tasty and strawberry and blueberry wines which were not so tasty. We also had lychee gin! P.s. check out the size of the avocados! P.p.s. The honey was 150 Thai Baht (just under Β£4) you could not get that in England!
Then we visited the King and Queen Pagodas. It absolutely poured it down hence the very fetching ponchos. We were at the highest point in Thailand and it was only 13Β°, a huge difference from the normal 36Β° here!!! Pagodas were impressive but the gardens and the views were stunning, even when it was raining!
We visited the local coffee farm where we tried their own coffee... it was extremely strong! We then went to a local 'restaurant' where we had a chicken and coconut milk soup, chicken and vegetable stir fry, rice, fried chicken and pineapple. Was very tasty, although portions for Kyle were rather small!
We then began our hike through Doi Inthanon National Park. We were joined by a volunteer from the Karen Tribe who acted as our guide, sharing knowledge of trees and animals in the area. She had a machete with her, hopefully just for cutting at the trees!! We saw the local rice, strawberry and coffee fields. We also spotted 2 very poisonous green snakes and 2 HUGE spiders!! Beautiful jungle to walk through and the bridges were something to be desired.
So today we went hiking... First we visited Wachirathan Waterfall in Doi Inthanon National Park, where we spotted a rainbow 🌈

19 September 2017

Part 3: After the elephants, our guide drove us to a beautiful waterfall which was so powerful! There has been some storms hitting parts of South East Asia, including Thailand so this may explain the pure volume of water!! We had to climb on all fours when making our way around/ through the waterfall so as not to fall over. A very kind local started throwing mud and sand on the rocks so they wern't as dangerous. We spent the day with a lovely couple from Luxembourg called Daniel and Christelle, who are pictured here. Really down to earth people who we hope we will see again one day!
Part 2: After lunch we took the elephants for a mud bath. We picked up wet mud and then covered them in it. The very kind staff decided to cover us in it too! Just to point out the elephants were pooing and weeing in there like good'uns... yummy!! We then took them to the pool where we brushed them and cleaned off the mud. The little one kept lying in the water and splashing around, he didn't want to get out!!
🐘🐘🐘🐘 Had THE best day. We visited the Chang Elephant Sanctuary in the mountains. We first got there and had to change into our fancy threads. We then made medicine balls for the elephants using bananas, sugar cane, salt and something high in fibre but the name got lost in translation! We then fed the elephants sugar cane, bananas and the medicine balls we made. The matriarch was extremely greedy!! We then had a beautiful lunch made by a local hill tribe, it was delicious and we ate it with the most wonderful view in front of us...
Beautiful Chiang Mai has stolen our hearts, such a calm and friendly place πŸ’œπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­

18 September 2017

We are continuing to learn more and more about Buddhism and the peace it brings. We were allowed to witness a large group of young monks preying, as long as your legs and shoulders are covered they are accepting of all people to come and witness the event... including 2 of the local stray dogs!
The only temple in Thailand πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­ made completely of silver πŸ₯ˆ..... Only took 12 years to build/chisel!!!! Shoes are off before I go in, video taken, women are not allowed in this temple, check my Instagram to see Inside...
The old city wall of Chaing Mai, this place is unbelievabley chilled, no hassle, locals point you away from tourist traps, teach you the language, and will always help you find your way back home. Still me and Laura have our guards up, as there will always be a couple of jokers within the pack..
We took the night train (sleeper train) from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai. It cost 800 baht each (about £20). The train journey took 11 hours, we departed at 9.20pm and arrived in Chiang Mai at about 8.30am. Kyles bottom bunk was lovely and dark with the curtain drawn, my top bunk was very narrow (and I'm small!) and very light so sleeping wasnt the easiest. None the less we successfully made it to Chiang Mai on our first night train! Me and the gypsy lady enjoyed our breakfast 🍳 on the overnight train from Ayutthaya to Chaing Mai, hit the the spot!!

15 September 2017

Wat Maha That... ruins of the ancient city. A world heritage site.

14 September 2017

Arrived in Ayutthaya this afternoon, we've welcomed back the air con in the room(never rent a room with just a fan, it's a mugs game). The guest house 🏑 owner is cute little lady/ legend watching WWF muted on her own at reception, stray dogs are bat sh#% crazy howling in this old city
Planning our days in Ayutthaya.. #ontothenextone

13 September 2017

The tales of Kyle and his friends... soon to be continued πŸ‘
Our personal taxi πŸš– to Wat Than Seu & Wat Ban Than, we entered the dragons mouth by climbing up 716steps #breeze #wheresmyApump

12 September 2017

This afternoon we kayaked along the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi. We went under the two bridges and meandered along the River at a leisurely pace... it was bloody hot!! Team work was tested but we made it in one piece. We also met a lovely couple from Paris who are on their way to Koh Tao tomorrow. πŸš£β€β™‚οΈπŸš£β€β™€οΈ
This morning we ventured to Erawan National Park and visited the Erawan Waterfall! It had 7 'steps' which worked out as levels. We walked all the way to the top and swam in the waterfall. It was so refreshing and the most beautiful shade of blue. There were fish in the waterfall which would bite at the dead skin on your feet, which made us both jump! We then made our way down the tricky terrain in flip flops! Kyle also spotted a little brown monkey swinging from the trees! πŸ’
This morning we ventured to Erawan National Park and visited the Erawan Waterfall! It had 7 'steps' which worked out as levels. We walked all the way to the top and swam in the waterfall. It was so refreshing and the most beautiful shade of blue. There were fish in the waterfall which would bite at the dead skin on your feet, which made us both jump! We then made our way down the tricky terrain in flip flops! Kyle also spotted a little brown monkey swinging from the trees! πŸ’
Loaded up ready to take on the waterfall in Erawan National ParkπŸ’¦ and kayaking πŸ›Ά

11 September 2017

VN guest house in Kanchanaburi on the river. A beautiful setting as our 'home' for the next 3 nights! Have had thunderstorms since being here but it is still about 34degrees!! Super views over looking the Kwai river.
Arrived In Kanchanaburi
They know us to well
Lest we forget... reading all about the POW camps today was extremely sad and seeing the ages of the young soldiers and medics who lost their lives was upsetting. The graveyard was beautifully kept and the museum was really educational. πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­πŸšƒ
The travels of firsts! Kyle reading a book, who'd have thought it...
Walk over the tracks, cause that's allowed here, glue sniffing in public, cause that's a common occurrence, gargle coffee/tea 🍡 then spit it out, cause that's cheaper than mouth wash, taxis with less seat belts than a pram, cause who cares about health and safety, bamboo scaffolding with cable ties, because it's a jungle life here, stray dogs and cats on every street, caught up between stroking them or keeping my fingers intact.... Local life ☺

10 September 2017

Cheers China Town πŸ‘ Bangkok's fruit smoothies are incredible! Here we have banana and Dragon fruit. Last night in Bangkok as we are heading to Kanchanaburi early tomorrow morning. Bangkok you have certainly grown on us, it has been a pleasure πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­
We found Durian fruit, tastes.... Different!!
Bangkok Flower Market πŸŒΊπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­ I don't think either of us had ever seen so many flowers in our lives!!
River boat through the river market, with a slight touch of rain β˜” spicey dishes after our canal exploring..πŸ›₯
Exploring the canals of Bangkok on a Tail Boat! Driver was great and he pointed out the large lizards and fish swimming in the river. He stopped the boat to top up his coffee bucket from his friend on another boat, this place really is another world! We also saw thunder and lightning which made the rivers rather choppy... still swaying at 9pm!! πŸ›ΆπŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­
Rocking walking boots and swim shorts look

9 September 2017

The palace.... Priceless
Racing towards the palace on this river boat πŸ›₯ 25mins ride, cost of journey 32p (14baht), no shit, this morning there was a frigging 🐊 crocodile in the river!!!
Tok Tok to Grand Palace... Stops for no red light, jumps the curb, smiles with majority of teeth missing, cost of journey... Β£2.28 (100baht) yes Bangkok!!!!
KΜ„hxb khuαΉ‡ xΔ•mm̀ā kār deinthāng pΓ¦l pΔ•n khwām lαΊ‘b kΜ„hxng reā chΜ€wy hΜ„Δ±Μ‚ reā lΓ¦kpelΔ«Μ€yn sΜ„inkΔ₯ā dα»‹Μ‚ nΔ± wαΊ‘n nΔ«Μ‚ ..
Big girls you are beautiful 🎢

8 September 2017

We've made it to our hotel in Bangkok!! We landed in Bangkok at 4.30am and it was already 28degrees. On the way to the hotel we saw a man sat on top of a truck, enjoying the early morning breeze and an advert for 'Sodick'! Now to explore Bangkok πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­
Stop over in Qatar πŸ‡ΆπŸ‡¦, there is a shop here that just sells Gold, and parked outside of it is a chrome BMW...... πŸ’· πŸ₯‡!!!!

7 September 2017

Enjoying the constant supply of free drinks and films, thanks Qatar Airways!! Kyle enjoyed PowerRangers whilst I enjoyed a few episodes of Friends.
First few sleeps in Prime!!!πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­
Bags packed, 8am kick off tomorrow, this is gonna get different.... πŸ—Ί 🐯
Last sleep until the start of our journey begins.... πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­