*Warning, this post is verrryyy picture heavy!
I’m really excited to share with you a trip I took back in the summer of 2013. A year and a half ago! I can’t believe it’s been that long! I always meant to start a blog sooner so I could recap this trip in a timely manner but you know, life got in the way… Anyways, I wasn’t sure whether I could blog about this trip since it was a while ago, but who really makes the rules for blogs anyways? And plus, it was such a wonderful and important time in my life that I definitely wanted to share it with you!
At the end of April of 2013, just 3 days after I finished writing my Uni exams, my friend, Sue, and I hopped on an Air China flight bound for Bangkok!! I had travelled before but always with a tour group (Free the Children provided me with the most amazing opportunity when I was younger, if you are a teenager looking to explore and make a difference, please check them out!!); this was my first trip where not every detail was planned. We had two weeks to explore on our own before we met Shawn and a few other Canadian friends in Vietnam, so we headed to Nap Park Hostel. I cannot recommend this hostel enough, it is located just two streets off of the Backpacker hub of Khao San Rd. And for us, it was a very nice hostel (with lots of wonderful air conditioning!!) that allowed the transition to a new country much easier. Plus we made a few great friends here that we ended up traveling with for the next two weeks! We spent about 3 days in Bangkok where we explored many cultural attractions as well as AMAZING shopping!
Our first tuk-tuk ride through the streets of Bangkok, those Thai drivers are crazy on the road!
Sue lounging at the smoothie bar outside of Nap Park Hostel – Seriously the best hostel!
Our first Changs! I think we purchased these at 7-11.. Fun fact, Chang beer is unregulated so although it says 7%, it actually may be like 4 or 11%, depending on the bottle. Also, they result in a ‘Chang-over’ – The worst type of hangover!
Our first indulgence into street meat! So delicious!
That giant reclining buddha that is almost impossible to photograph well lol
From here we traveled to Chiang Mai. Our night bus arrived very early in the morning so we wanted to make sure we found a place to stay ASAP to take a much needed nap. We quickly found Mojito Garden and set up camp. Everyone staying there (there was only about 10 of us) became so close! We were a family. A family that was together for all of about 5 days, but when you’re traveling you become close fast, because everyone’s looking for a friend. We made great friends with the staff that worked there and they took us around to different places in the city including fight nights and a well known nearby area (I’m trying my best to remember what it was called!!) lined with bucket bars and tons of locals and backpackers a like. From Chiang Mai we went on many day trips including a waterfall (that really wasn’t much at this time of year; we all laughed about how wrong our expectations were), a zoo, a cooking class, an elephant excursion and a tiger sanctuary. If I could do it again, the only thing I wished is that we had gone to this elephant park. Many elephants are abused in the tourism industry in Thailand, so this one is unique in that it’s a recovery and rehab park for mistreated elephants.
Lol this was the great waterfall we took a tuk-tuk to. Needless to say, very lackluster?
We still managed to stay and enjoy it though!
Our tuk-tuk ride to and from the great waterfall was a blast though!
Fleur, Sue and I got to splash around with this lovely girl, her name is Aaliyah and I loveee her!
More Chang.. so dangerous lol
This was taken at Chiang Mai’s Tiger Kingdom. The tigers were so nice but at one point we all had to get out of the cage cause some of the older tigers on the other side of the fence were agitating these younger ones.
This was so silly fun! Zorbing I think it was called?
So much more difficult than you would think! Also, it actually was a real work out to stand up!
This was our first Thai fight night! I apologize right now for my green bandeau! We would often spend the day at the pool or lake or somewhere and then just head out immediately so bikinis were constantly worn all day! Also, I swear that shirt was not nearly so sheer in real life! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it lol
Fleur with our favourite fighter!
This was from the Chiang Mai bucket bar place that was near our hostel. It was so fun! Just a bunch of different little bars all nestled together!
Our cooking class! Unfortunately I was very hungover so I will not show you any photos of me lol. But this girl was so nice! Her and I made curry paste together. It was the most lovely curry!
Chiang Mai has the most magnificent night markets! And this was our first coconut… not as tasty to drink as you would think..
Loved this sign at Mojito Garden! Vancouver is even included in it!
From here, we traveled to Pai where we stayed at Spicy Pai for two nights. This hostel had amazing reviews and we were so excited to stay in their funky bungalows. Unfortunately, Sue and I just couldn’t rough it out there. The frogs burps and chicken coos in the morning were too much for us. Not to mention the fist-sized bugs we had hanging out outside of our insect nets surrounding our beds. I like to think of myself as a pretty tough cookie, but these bugs were ridiculous!! We ended up renting an adorable little private room inside the town and couldn’t be happier. We spent the early evening running around the town handing out fliers for a small bar in exchange for free drinks. This happens a lot in Thailand, just ask around and you can find some awesome opportunities. Our family that we made in Chiang Mai had made their own way to Pai and we spent our last night there dancing and drinking the night away with them! The next morning we left to return to Bangkok to catch our flight headed for Hanoi, Vietnam. This was such a bittersweet departure because we had made such wonderful friends but at the same time I was beyond excited to see Shawn and get to explore some new countries with him!
Sue and I rented scooters for our first time in Pai and decided to scooter around the town before heading out on a longer journey with the other girls that included a zip on the high way. Sue unfortunately fell over on hers, luckily not going too fast, but scraped up her knees a bit. It occurred just outside of what turned out to be the fire department! They were oh so helpful!
We all took our scooters up to this view point in Pai. Probably not one of the best view points on our SEA trip but it was pretty none-the-less.
The last night we were all together! It’s crazy how close we all were after the short while we were together! Such a good group of people.
Loved this view of the Rice Fields at Spicy Pai
Have you been to Northern Thailand? If not, where has been your favourite place to travel?? Let me know in the comments!
xoxo Alice Rose