From June 1st-June 10, I spent my time traveling to and in Thailand. All the flights I booked had me sleep overnight at the airport, so that was an experience I’ll never forget.
On my way to Thailand, my layover was in Guangzhou, China and I was swindled. My flight was already delayed and had me land in Guangzhou at 1AM, with my flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand at 8AM. I had plans to sleep in the airport since I’m not very high maintenance and don’t mind a little sleep deprivation for a day or two. Upon arrival in Guangzhou, I was looking for my next gate(mistake #1) and asked an employee what direction to go. He told me where to go, but told me it was closed and that the whole airport was going to close at 2AM so I needed to get a hotel room until 7AM, when they open back up. Looking back, I shouldn’t have even asked where my gate was because it’s not like I could’ve waited there anyway. Needless to say, I learned from that lesson and it won’t happen again.
Aside from all the travel chaos, Thailand was an absolute blast and I can’t wait to go again. While I was in Chiang Mai (Northern part of Thailand), my roommate, was in Phuket (Southern part of Thailand). It was fun coming back about 2 days apart and comparing our stories about the fun we had in Thailand. Phuket has always been on my bucket list, but it’s quite expensive (because it’s a tourist destination) from what some locals in Chiang Mai told me so I’d rather wait until I’m settled to go there.
Prior to me going to Thailand, I contacted a Chiang Mai touring agency and booked my activities for the whole time I was there. The main reason I wanted to go was to ride and play with elephants, but obviously I couldn’t do that the whole week I was there. My planning ended up a success and everyday was such a busy day, leaving me exhausted at the end of it. Just how I like my days to go.
Day 1: Arrived in Chiang Mai at noon, caught up on sleep and went to the famous “Night Bizaar” in town. It’s basically a giant shopping market that opens at night, geared towards tourists, selling all types of souvenirs, etc.
Had my first fruit smoothie in Thailand and it was the BEST! Fresh fruit put in cups and all you do is pick the one you want and they blend it in the blender and voila, your smoothie. It was so refreshing since the weather in Thailand was SO hot. There wasn’t a day that went by I wasn’t sweating, uncontrollably.
Day 2: I booked a private car to take me to see some Tigers & Monkeys. Seeing the tigers was SO much fun!! I can’t think of any other place I can get that close, or even touch a tiger. Tiger Kingdom had 4 packages to choose from. I chose the 2nd least expensive one to see the “small” & “large” tigers. Their options were smallest, small, medium and large. My package cost about 840 baht and for a photographer was 200 baht (since I was by myself). So for about 1,000 baht, divide that by 33 and that’s how much it is in USD. That’s about $30 – totally worth the money.
After seeing the tigers, we went to the Monkey Centre. I forgot what type of monkeys they were, but they were SO cute and so well behaved! I was impressed.
After playing with the tigers & monkeys, I was hot and starving. My friendly tour guides took me to a local Thai restaurant by the river and it was so delicious with a wonderful view.
Day 3: ELEPHANT day!! Just what I came to Thailand for 🙂 (They’re my favorite creature, for those who didn’t know.)
The elephant camp was about an hour away from the city of Chiang Mai, up in the mountains. It was so beautiful seeing the country-side of Thailand, reminds me so much of the Philippines.
For the elephant camp, we were “mahouts” for the day – which is the term for an elephant trainer. All the elephants knew basic commands such as sit, kneel, go, reverse and stop. They taught us what to say while we rode them, preparing us for our ride through the jungle.
They had two baby elephants there & they were absolutely adorable! Few things I learned about them: they don’t like pictures, they’re greedy when it comes to food, they’re clumsy, and do whatever they want.
After riding them through the jungle, we went down to the river. At the river, we swam, bathed and played with them. SO much fun!
Day 4: Went to the #1 tourist attraction in Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep temple in the mountains.
The evening of Day 4, I went to the Night Safari. Basically like the drive through safari in San Antonio, but you’re driven in an extended golf cart in the dark. Was able to pet a miniature horse! Their coat is so soft and they are so adorable.
After walking around, trying to find where to go, I found a little where I could feed a baby tiger! I know I took pictures with tigers my first day, but I wasn’t able to hold them so of course I said yes! Plus, it was a white tiger. All the white tigers at Tiger Kingdom were locked up.
Day 5: My longest, busiest day of the week. We started the day at 7AM and came home around 10pm. We went to a different city, Chiang Rai, and was also able to enter the borders of Myanmar and Laos.
Our first stop was to this all white temple, which is privately owned by a man of Thai descent. The gold building is the bathroom. While in Chiang Rai, we were able to stop by the longneck village which I found so fascinating, as I’ve read about it in National Geographic when I was in high school.
Day 6: Organic Thai cooking school
We started off the morning by buying vegetables at the local market. When my instructor picked me up, she informed me that I was suppose to take the class with 2 other american girls, but they canceled last minute so I was the only student 🙂
Day 7: Fishing!!
My first time fishing and I had a BLAST!! I caught about 15 fish from 9-5 and left there exhausted, sore and with a farmer’s tan. My smallest fish weight about 12kg while my largest weighed 35kg.
I caught two 35kg fishes that day. This one was the 2nd fish I caught in the morning which really made my day, since the others I was fishing with had fishing experience and I had none. It was a great start to my morning 🙂 — my fishing instructor had to help me hold him because he was almost 80 pounds and didn’t want me to drop him.
Excuse my stance in these 3rd picture below, the fish got so heavy as the day went on and I just wanted a picture for a quick 5 seconds. That was my 2nd 35kg fish and it was so much heavier since I caught about 1o other fish in between the two.
Met 2 recent high school graduates from England who were backpacking through Southeast Asia. We had a little competition to see who’s fish was heavier since we caught one at the same time. Mine was 5kg heavier 🙂
That was my week in Thailand, it was an absolute blast, but I’m glad to be back to my normal routine here in China.