A Travellerspoint blog

Elephants of Chiang Dao

Day 5

Our second day in Chiang Mai was an early start. We were picked up at 8:00am to attend an Elephant Safari tour was to take place for the day. We arrived in the lush wilderness of Maetaman river valley where we continued to journey until we arrived at an elephant sanctuary, in a tiny rural village, just in time to see about 40 elephants taking their morning baths. After a brief introduction we climb on board the back of an elephant and trekked through the jungle on an unforgettable safari. After a filling Thai buffet lunch we were introduced to Thai ice tea which is served with condensed milk, which gives it a pinkish orange color and sweet flavor. We also took a relaxing walk through an exotic garden where some of the most beautiful flowers in the world are grown nowhere else in the world. Chiang Mai’s pride flower, the purple Vanda orchid can also be viewed here. Finally to end off the tour we boarded bamboo rafts for a relaxing afternoon cruise through the country side. We returned back to our home stay a shower and nap was in order. Today was definitely a long day but it was also a day with amazing experiences and memories created.

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R&R in Chiang Mai

Day 4

After the 12 hour long train ride through the night we finally arrived in Chiang Mai. Taking the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai definitely gave us extra baht to pay for our taxi to the Mae Ping Home Stay Hotel. There are only 6 rooms at this home stay. Jamie and I reserved a nice room overlooking the rice fields with 2 queen beds. For our first day here in Chiang Mai we decided to just relax and explore the local area. We settled into our room for the next few days and then decided to explore the home stay and meet the other guests and owners. We took our time relaxing in the pool for the majority of the evening. We also went out to the rice fields to do some exploring and fruit picking at the nearby fruit farm. We finished our day off with some local Thai cuisine that was prepared by the home stay chef. This pretty much concluded our first stay in Chiang Mai. Here’s just some information on home stays. Home stays are basically when a guest stays in someone else’s home. Thailand home stays are in rural areas where guests have opportunities to learn about Thai culture, including local handicrafts production and rural Thai lifestyle. It is also an inexpensive stay and a great experience.
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The Grand Palace

Day 3

So we discovered that going out all night and then trying to spend the day in the hot Thai sun is not a good combination, it’s a good thing we had a pretty relaxing day today. We decided to go to Bed Supperclub last night because it was only 4 blocks from the hotel and it turned out to be a really fun night. Chau came and woke me up around 10 this morning and we got ready to go to the Grand Palace. I think we both could’ve slept in but we didn’t come here to sleep so a couple of Advil and we were set to go. An important travel tip for visitors going to any religious shrine is that they should dress neatly and cover themselves. They should never go topless, or in shorts and tank-tops. The Grand Palace does charge an entrance fee of THB350 and there is a shop nearby where you can buy some clothes if you aren’t properly dressed. You can also get an English guide to tour you around for THB100 but we weren’t interested in a guide. The palace is full of amazing architecture and we both took a lot of great pictures today. Off to Chiang Mai tomorrow.
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Posted by travelbug123 12:34 Comments (0)

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Day 2

This morning was a very early one so it was a good thing we decided not to go out last night! We got up at 5:30 and took a taxi to the Southern Bus Terminal so we could catch a bus to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. I didn’t realize the market was so far away but people have told me it’s more than worth the 2 hour bus ride there so we made the journey. I was so overwhelmed when we got to the market because I couldn’t believe the amount of boats and people talking back and forth in Thai. We have been trying to pick up a few words so we can bargain with the market sellers. So far all I can remember is that “nin” is one and “song” is two, and if we say “ka” it’s like saying “thanks”. At the market you can actually rent one of the small boats and paddle down the side of the canal so that’s what we did! It didn’t last long though because neither of us have great paddling skills and I think people were starting to get annoyed by us tourists laughing and using the boat as a bumper car. While we were there we did buy some coconut pancakes from one of the ladies that passed by, excellent breakfast and it was served to us on a big leaf! We also did a little shopping and bought 2 straw hats that we saw all of the ladies in the boats wearing. After about three hours at the market we decided we were ready to leave so we caught the next bus back. I definitely slept the whole ride back and we are just resting for a couple of hours before we head out on the town. Not too sure where we’re going yet but we have a couple of recommendations already so I’m sure we’ll find something good!
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Posted by travelbug123 12:29 Comments (0)

Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand

Day 1

First day of our Thailand trip and we just landed in Bangkok. We have been planning this trip since we were in school last year so it’s great to finally get here! I’d like to say it was a fast flight and we got out of the airport without any problems but then I would be lying! The airport was very crowded and hot when we got off the plane and getting our backpacks took a lot longer than we would’ve liked. Friends of ours that have been to Thailand say that the Thai people are very friendly but unfortunately I don’t think any of the people they met work at the airport. When we went through security we gave them our Canadian passports and the travel visas they gave us on the plane and I smiled at the guy because obviously I’m excited to be here. He gave me a very stern look back so I guess he wasn’t as excited to see us. We are staying at the Royal President Hotel and we booked a car through the hotel to pick us up. When we landed there was a guy with a sign that had our names on it so that was nice. We thought it would be best not to try and take a taxi until we figured out what we were doing and got over a bit of the culture shock. Once we got settled in our rooms we took a walk down to the Siam Commercial bank by the Robinson Department store to take out some money and exchange our Canadian dollars to Thai Baht. Bangkok is such a busy place but we managed to find a good spot to get some food and drinks and then headed back to the hotel. Big day tomorrow!
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Posted by travelbug123 12:20 Comments (0)

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