After spending a week in Singapore, Michael and I hopped on a plane and flew to Phuket, Thailand. We didn’t stay in Phuket very long because the very next morning we got on a ferry to Phi Phi Island. This is one of the places I’ve been wanting to go to for a long time! The fact that we actually went there is still mind boggling to me! We took a two hour ferry ride and I gotta say, it was rough on me and my least favorite part of the trip but the scenery was breathtaking! I owe all these first few photos to Michael. I was sick as a dog but still managed to say, “Michael, take pictures!!” And Michael to the rescue! He went to town taking photos for me! He went to different parts of the ferry to find the best vantage point. People were even starting to move out of his way because he was the “real deal”. Hah!
I love Thailand! Not only is it gorgeous, but the country is so unique. The people are very nice and the food was great! Not to mention everything is incredibly cheap. Our hotel in Phuket was $18 and night and it was a nice hotel, not a hole in the wall. I got a spa chair pedicure for only $7, we both got hour long Thai massages for only $18 (total!), and dinner was on average $10 for the two of us. Michael had coconut shrimp curry for dinner one night and they actually served it to him IN a coconut!!
We decided to go to Chiang Mai over Bangkok on this trip. Several people advised this and we are SO glad we did! Chiang Mai is charming and the elephant!! Oh, the elephants! They are now officially my favorite animal. They are definitely gentle giants. I did SO much research to try and find an elephant camp/ tour where they didn’t torture the elephants into submission to train them. I know Thailand has a bad rep for elephant torture and I did NOT want to pay money to aid that campaign. I ended up finding this place called “Elephant Discovery”. We rode in a jeep caravan two hours outside of Chiang Mai almost to the border of Laos to an elephant sanctuary. This group rescues elephants from the tours that actually do torture elephants, circuses, etc. and let them roam free and take care of them. There are men called “mahouts” who live with the elephants and take care of them all day every day. What an amazing job! These mahouts were very protective of their elephants.
These long tail boats serve as water taxi’s to take you to the main part of the island.
The long tail boats are my favorite! I couldn’t stop taking photos of them. I love how they decorate them! We now have this photo in a large print over the mantle in the living room.
A couple days later we hopped on a plane and flew to the north western side to Chiang Mai, Thailand. This is one of our favorite parts of the trip! Phi Phi Island was beautiful, but Chiang Mai has such unique charm about it and we loved the history! Plus, the elephants were pretty amazing too 🙂
This is Wat Chedi Luang, one of the oldest temples in Thailand. The top portion was destroyed during an earthquake.
The entire wall of this little temple was covered in a hand painted tapestry. So amazing!
This is the biggest gong we’ve ever seen!!!
This is part of the original Chiang Mai city wall.
This is the day I fell in love with elephants.
This is the mahout that stayed with me and my elephant all day. He takes care of this elephant all day every day. While were were on our trek, he started singing. It was great!
All the elephants were wearing these wood block necklaces so the mahouts can find them every day.
These photos were some the mahouts took for us. So thankful for these treasures! After we fed our elephants and got to know them, we lead them to the river to wash them off!
This is everyone that was on our day tour with us. The three girls next to me were separately back packing through Asia by themselves (ahh!! crazy!) one couple was on their honeymoon, and the couple on the end were here for vacation like us.
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