Since the beginning we were told that we had to make sure we had time to go North to Chiang Mai and Pai. Man, were they right!
Chiang Mai (Jan 27-Feb 1)
We stayed 4 nights in Chiang Mai at D-Well hostel located 5 minutes from the Old City. We spent the first day just walking around figuring out our surroundings and exploring the city. We also wanted to do some research to find which elephant sanctuary was the best to visit. We decided to go for a Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, about an hour and a half south of Chiang Mai. Though it’s not a budget friendly excursion, it was absolutely worth it! We were able to feed an enormous amount of bananas to elephants of all ages, gives them a mud bath and then take them down to the river to rinse off. It was incredible to be so close to such massive beautiful animals. Highly recommend to anyone in Chiang Mai, but make sure there is no riding at the facility you choose. There were a couple recently rescued elephants here and you can see on their back and feet the damage of riding. It won’t be a surprise to my family and friends that I bonded with the grandma Elephant, who was a whopping 81! She was precious. It was interesting to see the teenaged elephants being as bratty, rebellious and greedy and human teenagers. I drew the line when they tried to take some of g-ma’s bananas. Not on my watch fellas, no chance.
The drive up to Pai is certainly not for car sick prone people, unless like Madison and Kennedy you pop a couple graval and say buh-bye for a few hours. Pai is 100% a hippie town and so nice. There is a food market every night on Walking Street and the street food is delicious, cheap and huge portions. We went there most nights for dinner… or after dinner snack at least.
We also had another crack at renting scooters. I’ll say it now that the day was accident free. Go me! We took the scooters up a nearby mountain to Pam Bok waterfall and then carried on 45 minutes down the road to Tha Pai Hot Spring in the national park. For me the drive to the hot spring was much more interesting that the hot spring itself which is just stuffed with foreigners. We scooted (literally) out of there in time to drive the hour and 15 to Pai Canyon to watch the sunset! Positively breathtaking if you’re ok with heights. Our next 2 days were spent at our amazing hostel Suan Doi, soaking up the sun in our hammocks and reading. Also, did some spring cleaning of our backpacks to make room for some of the new purchases.
We had a relaxing morning before getting on a small bus for the 3 hour ride to Chiang Mai. We then sorted out our night bus to return to Bangkok for our flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Thailand blew my expectations out of the water and I am so thankful for the girls I’m travelling with and the people we’ve met along the way. These girls I’m with are really family status now, love them all! I truly feel like the luckiest gal for being able to experience all this and it’s even crazier knowing that there is still so much more to come! With that, Vietnam, let’s see what you’ve got!