S: Thailand January 2009
FC: Thailand January 2009
1: Bangkok We arrived in Thailand! Our first day we visited the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho taking the water taxi which was in itself great fun. Then that night we had an incredible Thai supper on an antique rice river barge with a cruise along the river!
2: The Grand Palace
3: Everything is so beautifully detailed and extravagant! Total eye candy!
4: Grand Palace in Bangkok
5: Wat Arun We climbed up part of it, but boy, were those stairs ever steep!! Probably one of my favorite wats.
6: On board an antique rice barge , Loy Nava on the Chao Phraya River. The food was amazing with traditional kim music and an occasional dancer | Bottom right is dried fish scales at a local market.
7: Chiang Mai!! Up north is the beautiful city of Chiang Mai. So much to do and see! | We visited Wat Doi Suthep up on a mountain. It was very beautiful! Buddhism is quite prevalent in Thailand
9: We visited Tiger Kingdom where we got to pet baby tigers. There is an option to pet any of the tigers from babies to full grown adults. Had a good lunch here while watching a full grown tiger play in the pool. =) Awesome!
11: We visited a hilltribe village nearby Chiang Mai. It was mostly set up for tourists, but it was still a working village. We saw several different hilltribes including the Karen Long neck hilltribe. All the girls start wearing the rings around age 5 yrs. It doesn't actually lengthen their necks, but compresses their shoulders and ribs down. | The children were so sweet! It was kinda sad to see them wearing these rings at such an early age! The rings are actually very heavy. The weather in Chiang Mai was fantastic.. slightly cool in the mornings and pleasantly warm/hot in the afternoon.
12: Wat Jed Yod in Chiang Mai. There are several temples and wats throughout Chiang Mai. The top left photo actually made it into the Air Miles Magazine one month. | It is supposed to bring good luck to free birds from their cages. If you look close, you can see the bird flying towards my face!
13: At the top: Wat Suan Dok | Oxen and cart on the road to Elephant Nature park. Bottom right shows all kinds of deep fried bugs including maggots, cockroaches, beetles, grasshopper etc
14: We spent the day at the Elephant Nature Park which was an amazing experience. We got to feed, pet, and bathe the elephants in the river. ENP is a reserve for many mistreated elephants of whom ENP rescued. Some of the stories were heartbreaking! You could also find oxen, dogs, cats at the park as well.
17: The elephants were actually very playful and active. They like to play not just with each other but with their mahouts, teasing them. They also like to wrestle with each other and often showed affection to each other by touching and stroking. The are very intelligent animals.
18: Wat Chedi Luang. Beautiful old wat that was partially destroyed in an earthquake. All Thai boys must spend some time in the monkhood | The gates to the inner city of Chiang Mai on the left. On the right is public transportation called a songthaew.
19: Next we went to Khao Sok National Park. We spent 2 nights in the treehouse and 1 night in floating bamboo rafthouses on Chiaw Laan Lake. Within our 1st hour here , monkeys had ransacked our room and chewed on my toothpaste. Monkeys were everywhere!! Cicadas, the loudest insect on earth, screamed. At first we thought maybe it was a generator or something they were so loud!
21: We next went to Chiaw Laan Lake where we spent the night in floating bamboo rafthouses! Definately one of the highlights of our trip. The scenery at dawn was breathtaking! We swam in the lake, kayaked, and went on a longtail boat ride as well as a hike through the jungles into a cave. Gibbons howled in the morning and sounded a bit like police sirens. It made us laugh because Jared sounded exactly like them during that time in his life, haha. As for the rafthouses, basic with just a mattress, and you walked on 2X4's to get around | Chiaw Laan Lake at Khao Sok National Park
25: Kayaking around the lake was amazing! So tranquil. Terry is not so adept at it.. he totally soaked himself, haha. | View from our room. You could just step right out and jump into the water. Awesome!
26: West Railay , Krabi We spent several days in this paradise. We stayed at the fantastic resort of Railay Village which had 2 amazing pools. We spent our days snorkelling, swimming, relaxing, and doing a day trip to Phi Phi. There were 2 gorgeous white sand beaches. West Railay was where our resort was, and a leisurely 10 min walk away was Phra Nang beach. Having fresh corn on the cob from the vendors was delicious! We LOVED Railay!!
27: Sunsets were amazing! There were several longtail boats that docked in the evenings on Railay.
29: East Railay and Phra Nang beach. The limestone cliffs at Phra Nang were too high to even get them in the picture in it's entirety. The water was soooo warm in Thailand.
31: We did a day trip to Phi Phi Lei and Phi Phi Don, snorkelling along the way. Phi Phi Lei was breathtaking! Phi Phi Don is where all the hotels are. Both beaches were incredibly busy and Phi Phi Don was very touristy, but certainly worth the day trip. Phi Phi Lei is where the movie " The Beach" starring Leonardo Dicaprio was filmed.