Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Laos

After Bangkok, we headed to Northern Thailand to Chiang Mai. This jump started the adventure portion of our trip and over the next few days we rode elephants, went ziplining through the beautiful forest, pet tigers, hopped on a boat to cross the Mekong River to Laos (dream) and sped through the mountain hills like there was no tomorrow (with the lack of road rules there were more than a few times we thought we wouldn't actually see tomorrow :). It was incredible!

The funniest travel fail was when we were zipling. It was our second to last zipline for the day and Preston and I got to do it together. We were holding hands and I was commenting on how incredibly beautiful the entire forest was, and how amazing it was that we got to be there together zipping through the sky... and then all of a sudden I started to SCREAM every expletive that I had ever heard and ripped my hand out from Preston and started slapping my forearm. Something bit/ stung me SO hard - I have never had a feeling remotely close to that from a bug bite! The ziplining company but some Tiger balm on it which cooled it a little bit, but over the next four days I had an allergic reaction and it ended up swelling my entire forearm. We were laughing the whole trip about how hilarious/ ridiculous the bite had been!

If you ever find yourself in Northern Thailand, you MUST ride elephants (and do research to find a place that treats their elephants humanely), visit the Golden Triangle and if you are like me and have an obsession with the Mekong River (started when I read this incredible book) then take a boat from Thailand to Laos. And of course eat all of the incredible food and get daily massages! We stayed at Baan Orapin and absolutely loved the beautiful property, sweet owners and incredible breakfast spread every morning. The best Thai food we ate was from Dash (Dash, the owner, was born in Thailand but actually lived in Seattle so it was fun to talk with him!) and we also had one of the best Italian meals of our lives (strange, I know!) at Italia.  And while there are hundreds of coffee shops in Chiang Mai, you have to have at least one cup of jo at Woo Cafe. Now take me back right this second. :)

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