01.31.2009 87 °F
Hello! We can't believe it's already February...time is flying by. We've been busy exploring northern Thailand.
We started out in Bangkok where we braved the polluted streets to check out some Wats (buddhist temples) and eat some cheap excellent street food.
Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho
We were desperate to escape the city so we headed to Khao Yai National Park which was highly recommended. It's a huge national park that has elephants, tigers, monkeys, tons of bird species, and lots of fresh air. We camped two nights and enjoyed the sounds of the jungle while watching monkeys steal food from fellow campers. We did some hikes to some lovely waterfalls, and had to watch for crocs on the trail.
On the way north we stopped in the ancient city of Ayuthaya where we took an evening boat trip to check out some amazing ruins
After an overnight train journey, we made it to Chiang Mai which has been the highlight of our trip to Thailand. It's an exciting city with lots of beautiful temples, bustling markets, and excellent food. We took a cooking course and learned how to make most of the delicious dishes we've been enjoying...Phad thai, Phad See Ew, curries, mango and sticky rice, chicken and cashews, sweet and sour veggies, spring rolls, and coconut soup! The best part was eating our creations.
Chiang Mai Sunday Market
We survived! Eyebrows intact
We did a three day/two night trek to stay with some hill tribes in far northern Thailand. We stayed in traditional bamboo huts, danced around the fire, rode elephants, enjoyed some waterfalls, and went bamboo and white water rafting. It was a very touristy activity, but it was very fun to see how people are living and to meet a lot of fellow travelers.
Ready for the trek
Accommodation with the Lisu tribe
Lisu woman selling her crafts
Dancing around the fire
Erin made a friend
Long-neck woman weaving a scarf
After our adventure we returned to Chiang Mai where we went to a Muay Thai (Thai kick boxing) match with some friends we met on our trip. It was intense! They are able to do basically everything except head butting, and we saw a knockout...they are all very tough. The crowd varied in age and took pride in their sport, allowing us to easily get caught up in the action.
Muay Thai championship boxers
Us practicing our Muay Thai skills
We're heading to Laos next, more adventures to come.
We hope all is well back home, we miss it all.
Matt & Erin