It’s been a few weeks since I last posted so get ready for a novel… Since my last post, I made my way from Africa to Asia to hit the last continent on this long journey. Steve and I rendezvoused in Siem Reap, Cambodia and spent the last 3 weeks traveling Cambodia and Thailand.
Siem Reap is home to the famous Angkor Wat temple. It’s the largest religious building in the world. While no longer utilized, it is certainly a site to behold! We made it to the temple in time to watch the sunrise. It was really spectacular, although there were a ton of Chinese tourists there and they don’t quite have the same sense of personal space that I do.
We had a tour guide for the day to take us around to the temples in the city on a tuk tuk all for about $18. It was a great way see everything. We were only in Cambodia for a few days before making our way by bus to Bangkok, Thailand.
The bus ride to Bangkok took about 9 hours, 3 of which were spent in a line at the border crossing getting into Thailand. It was an interesting but fairly uneventful journey. Bangkok served as a stop over place for the weekend as we made our way to Chiang Mai.
Steve was so kind to treat me to a swanky hotel. We stayed at the Sheraton on the river and we were able to get an updated room on the 24th floor with a great view of the city. It’s a drastic change from the type of accommodation I’m used to on this trip and in all honesty, I just wanted to lay in that comfortable bed the whole time we were there!
We spent one day hitting up the Temple of the Dawn and The Grand Palace. Thai people lost their beloved king in October 2016. The mourning period is a year and there were many citizens lined up in black clothing to pay their respects to the king. It was a very humbling experience.
The next day, we hit up Lupini Park. It is a famous park with walking paths and a small lake with paddle boats. Afterwards we made our way to catch the overnight train up north to Chiang Mai.
The train was great. We had plenty of room and we were able to go to sleep pretty quickly. I had a few people warn me about it, but honestly, things could be much worse.
Chiang Mai was where we spent most of our time together. It’s a nice city with friendly people and everything you could want or need. Tons of nice guest houses to choose from. We stayed at Vida Guest House for the first 7 nights.
The big thing we did in Chiang Mai was a 3 day trek through the mountains. We walked about 13 miles the first 2 days and each night we stayed in a small village. All of our hosts were very nice and accomodating.
On the last day we went to visit an elephant camp to visit the elephants and bathe them in the river. We also had a small bamboo rafting trip down the river.
Some other must-dos in Chiang Mai (or anywhere in Thailand for that matter) are:
- Thai cooking class – this was my valentines present from Steve and we learned to cook all kinds of vegan Thai dishes! It was a lot of fun!
- Day trip to Chiang Rai – this is the city where you can see the famous white temple. The day trip was awesome and included several stops in northern Thailand.
- Buddhist Full Moon Festival – this is a stunning traditional ceremony of chanting and candle lighting by Buddhist monks.
- Ladyboy Cabaret Show – the Thai people are very open and accepting of their transgender population. The show was super campy and very entertaining!
- Muay Thai Boxing – self explanatory and lots of fun.
- ATVing in the mountains – we did this the last day of our trip and it was a lot of fun.
Steve is back home now and I’m on my way to my elephant volunteer project in Surin, Thailand. We had a great 2.5 weeks together. This was the last trip he will make to come see me. My trip is coming to a close and I will be home in May.