Thailand
Sri Phum

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47 travelers at this place:

  • Day347

    Chiang Mai (part 1)

    March 12 in Thailand

    We thought we would split this into to two parts as we have ended up staying here a good while.
    As the more astute of you may have noticed we are back in Thailand. So a quick flight and long bus from Bangkok and we are here. The nicest city we have seen in Thailand, small streets with gift shops and quite a lot of character. We heard many people compare it to Hoi An in Vietnam. It's nice....just not that nice. We arrived on the weekend and the weekend markets were definitely one of the best we have been to.
    The first day we took a day tour to Chang Rai, a smaller town north to mainly see the golden triangle. Which is a river border separating Thailand, Laos and Myanmar apparently it was one of the top tourist destinations. For us it was a river with land on either side.. however briefly we went over to Laos where we tried some whiskey in which they had put (initially alive) scorpions, snakes, tiger penises and opium ... we tried to get some for you but they were all illegal in Thailand, shame I know you would have wanted to try it! We also went to the famous white temple (I know another one!!) but this one was probably the best one we have seen! Otherwise it was a pretty average trip.
    Next day we went to an elephant sanctuary, it was the best thing to happen in Susie's life (her opinion not mine). I thought it was definitely up there I'll be honest! We got to feed, cuddle and bathe the elephants for a whole day. We were also taught about the horrible lives they had previously led which made us sad so we gave them more food!! It was pricey but when they explained that it coat them 80 USD per day to feed 1 elephant we got over it!
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  • Day205

    Chiang Mai, Thailand

    December 28, 2015 in Thailand

    Coming up on seven months since leaving home, so a stint of temporary stability was craved by the time I arrived in Chiang Mai. Instead of making my normal, fast paced tourist circuit, I settled down for almost two weeks and relaxed. Still a very social place, but not quite like Pai, Chiang Mai was a good place to get my ducks in a row for future destinations and work. Still, I managed to get out each day and play some footie, jump from 16 meter quarries into lakes, and zip around on a scooter through town, dodging my fair share of crazy Thai drivers. The night markets kept me gaining weight and the huge cafe culture kept me adequately caffeinated.Read more

  • Day23

    Spirit Houses

    October 26, 2016 in Thailand

    Anyone who has been to Thailand has seen at one point these small houses (shrines) with miniature figures inside. All varying sizes and colours with incense lit, sweets, flowers, candles, drinks and food left out in front of them. Well after carefully observation I noticed that each person with land/property has a spirit house. It is a dedicated structure usually placed in an auspicious spot usually in the corner of a lot, advised by a local monk/priest to honour the guardians of the land. It is a place to tune into the present moment and pay respect to the Mother Earth. The spirit house becomes a focal point to cultivate a harmonious relationship with nature; offerings are made in exchange for abundance, protection and creative potential. The house is intended to provide a shelter for spirits of the land that could cause problems for the people if not appeased. The ancient tradition of making daily offerings, praying, bowing has been passed through generations and is still widely practiced today. As Buddhism came to Southeast Asia it developed side by side with the ancient spirit religion (Animism). And to this day many of the animistic beliefs/practices remain intertwined with Buddhist rights and rituals such as this. Anyone who's read this please feel free to comment/like or communicate with me :)Read more

  • Day20

    Tarntorn Boutique in Chaing Mai

    October 23, 2016 in Thailand

    2 days ago We sprung for a luxurious bus trip to Chiang Mai from Ayutthaya, equipped with our own attendant fussing over us giving us a myriad of endless sugar engulfed snacks and drinks (included). Well worth it too as it took over 9 begrudging hours. So that day was a complete write off. We checked into a nice hotel outside the old city gate and the next day pampered ourselves by going to a spa then renting a scooter. Beth got a better therapist than me as mine was quite apathetic which was unfortunate. Everyone assumes she is Thai here and speaks to her directly in their native tongue. The city here is quite buzzing and has a great vibe, although the traffic is mad! Cars relatively maintain car rules for the most part but if you're on a scooter, anything goes. People are lane splitting and zig zagging everywhere like crazy and they aren't shoulder checking at all so we decided to limit our riding to some degree. We found an epic open air gym to drop in at for 2.50$ each and have settled in for the week at our place as our week long Thai Massage School starts on Monday. Today we ventured into the jungle and visited an elephant family and group of mahouts that take care of them. These elephants and mahouts have been living together for 3 generations so there are only verbal commands given with no harsh pick axe used as disciplinary measures. We fed them, went for a ride on them, took a bath with them in a river and gave them a little scrub too with a brush. Massive animals with such kind eyes and snouts. Had an amazing experience holding space with such a creature standing over you. And there you are holding a banana like an idiot with a smile.Read more

  • Day301

    Wer in Thailand ist, wird auch irgendwie mit Elefanten zu tun haben. Die Tiere sind tief in der Kultur und Traditionen verwurzelt und gelten als Glückssymbol.
    Es lebten einmal sehr viele wilde Elefanten in Thailand und auch heute noch existieren wilde Elefanten im Dschungel von Thailand.
    Elefanten wurden viel für schwere Arbeiten benutzt. In der Landwirtschaft, aber vor allem in der Forstwirtschaft. Im Jahr 1989 wurde die Rodung des Dschungels verboten und somit waren viele Besitzer und mit ihnen viele Elefanten arbeitslos. Die Ausbildung eines Arbeits-Elefanten dauert ca. sieben Jahre und sie bekommen ein Pfleger der sie optimaler Weise ein ganzes Leben begleitet.
    Viele Arbeitslose Elefanten-Besitzer zogen mit ihren Tieren in die Städte und versuchten Geld von Touristen zu bekommen. Später wurden Parks eröffnet, die sich um diese ehemaligen Arbeits-Elefanten und teilweise auch um ihre Besitzer kümmern.
    Durch westlichen Einfluss wurden die Thailänder belehrt, dass das Reiten auf Elefanten Tierquälerei sei. Es erschien ein Video, dass zeigte wie Elefanten eingeritten werden. Das Video ist nicht schön anzusehen, doch ich denke jedem sollte klar sein, das kein Tier freiwillig einfach Menschen auf sich reiten lässt. Die Menschen hier sind Jahrhunderte so mit ihren Elefanten umgegangen und ich mag es nicht, wenn dann westliche Menschen daher kommen und sagen "das ist falsch, das sollt ihr nicht mehr machen".
    Der Tierschutz Boom kam also auch in Thailand an und Touristen sind nun verunsichert, ob sie nun reiten sollen oder nicht. Viele wissen nicht, was richtig und was falsch ist. Da ging es mir sehr ähnlich.
    Ich liebe Elefanten und habe mich sehr darauf gefreut ihnen hier zu begegnen. Als Kind bin ich gerne in einem Tierpark bei uns auf Elefanten geritten, damals war das kein Problem.
    Angekommen in Chiang Mai fing allerdings das große "Auswahl Problem" an. Ich hatte mich vorher nicht viel damit beschäftigt und nun stellte sich heraus, dass es über 80 Parks gibt, die verschiedenes anbieten. Stundenlang habe ich Bewertungen durchgelesen. Da die Parks von vielen Menschen besucht werden, gibt es auch genau so viele verschiedene Meinungen. Am Ende war ich mir nicht mehr sicher, ob es überhaupt gut ist einen Park zu besuchen und ich hatte Bedenken, dass diese ganzen contra Punkte, mir bereits den Spaß verdorben hatten.
    Letztendlich haben wir uns für den Elefant Rescue Park entschieden. Einen kleinen Park mit fünf Elefanten. Der Besitzer hat diese Elefanten gekauft um ihnen ein besseres Leben zu ermöglichen. Vorher haben sie im Zirkus und in der Forstwirtschaft gearbeitet. Im Gegensatz dazu gibt es viele Parks, die sich die Elefanten für den Zeitraum in den Touristen da sind "mieten, was natürlich keiner gerne zugibt.
    Wir haben die Elefanten gefüttert, sind mit ihnen spazieren gegangen und haben sie gebadet. Jeder Elefant wurde von einem Pfleger begleitet. Die Elefanten liefen frei herum und ruhige Sprache und Berührungen der Pfleger haben gereicht und den Elefanten den richtigen Weg zu weisen. Jedoch konnten die Elefanten meist in ihrem eigenen Tempo gehen, weshalb viele Pausen gemacht wurden, wenn sie irgendwelche Pflanzen oder Baumrinde essen wollten. Wir waren natürlich nicht die einzigen dort. Sondern mit uns waren noch ca. 20 andere Menschen dort. Ja, es ist eine Touristen-Attraktion und es wird damit Geld gemacht, aber das Geld wird (zumindest dort) für das Wohl der Elefanten gebraucht und dafür noch mehr zu "retten".
    Mir hat es Spaß gemacht, diese Tiere sind wahnsinnig toll und ich habe die Zeit mit ihnen genossen. Mir erschien es so, als ob es den Elefanten dort gut ginge und der Besitzer liebt sie, das war offensichtlich.
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  • Day4

    Chiang Mai - Time to relax

    January 20 in Thailand

    Well we've been seriously on the go for over a week now and we are shattered, so we've taken the day to do some well earned TLC. We naturally got up pretty early and went down for some our morning eggs, toast and banana and we met a great guy called Randy. We must have been chatting for about 2hrs!It's time for a Thai massage. There were Thai massage parlours on every street, so we read a couple of reviews and decided to go to a rehabilitation centre for ex prisoners. For this I need to give you two sides of the story. I'm generally quite flexible and so for me it was great, she cracked every bone in my back at one point and I came out soo relaxed. Will, let's just say he's a lot less flexible and so the poor little old lady just didn't want to break him! But she tried to bend him as much as she could and he also came out loving it.

    In the evening we went to Bo Sang where they had an umbrella festival to support the locals whose sole job it is to make them. It was really cute! We got a Songtaeu there for cheap as chips and met some really great people who were doing a massage course in Chiang Mai.

    Tomorrow we have a very early day planned to see the Sakura trees (cherry blossom) so we planned to have an early night. We packed our bags got everything ready to check out for 7am and then I went for a shower... Next thing I know Will is knocking on the door asking if I have the key for the bedroom. Uh no you were still in the room... We were locked out of our room with nothing but our tiny towels. No phone, no key and no one at reception. All we could do was wait for another guest to come to our rescue. And luckily they did!!
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  • Day1

    Chiang Mai

    January 17 in Thailand

    We've now started our northern Thailand travels and what a great start. Wow we can't recommend the sleeper train more! It was really fun and so peaceful. They lay the beds for the evening and then wake everyone up at around 6am to put the seats back ready for everyone to depart the train. Its really fun, especially if you have kids!

    The train arrived at 7am. When we arrived in Chiang Mai it was such a relief, we felt we could finally breathe! Chiang Mai is still bustling with cars, scooters and people but feels more pleasant (well still 33 degrees but with a breeze!)

    On day one we decided to just go round all the many many temples and decided to go to a park on the edge of the city where we met a great guy called Vic.

    It was just before sunset and we realised we hadn't actually eaten for over 18 hours. We planned to go to a night market but it wasn't great and was just a tourist trap, so left disappointed and very hungry. We headed back towards our hostel (we were on over 20,000 steps by this point) in hope to find food but just couldn't find anything that grabbed our attention. After quite a bit of googling we found a place near the hostel and for novelty value ate a panang pizza with stir fried veg on the side. Not the best pizza ever but God it felt good!!
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  • Day133

    Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

    January 24, 2017 in Thailand

    Elefanten 🐘 Elefanten 🐘 Elefanten

    ...was für ein Erlebnis...erst füttern wir die Elefanten mit Bananen, dann eine Schlammbad und zum Abschluss noch eine Wasserschlacht um wieder sauber zu werden!

  • Day22

    The Best Laid Plans

    June 6 in Thailand

    Usually when we travel to Thailand we spend the bulk of our time in Chiang Mai. On this relatively short trip we planned to go on a journey of discovery and scout out new and potentially longer stay destinations in this beautiful country.

    After our very relaxed week in Samui, we spent a few days in sleepy Ban Krut and then five days in the much larger and more interesting Rayong. Our initial idea was to stay around the Rayong area and explore Thailand's fruit basket, as it's known, to keep gorging ourselves on fresh and cheap exotic fruit.

    But then Thai Lion Air made us an offer we couldn't refuse.

    Brenda spotted a promotion for one way flights to Chiang Mai from Rayong for 575 baht ($24.00 CDN) and, at that price, we couldn't resist the allure and familiarity of the country's original capital city.

    On our way back from Suphattraland on Monday we arranged with our taxi driver to pick us up from our hotel on Wednesday morning at 5:15.

    This morning we crawled out of bed at 4:00, showered, finished packing and headed down to the lobby. Our taxi showed up ap 5:05 and we were on our way to the airport by 5:10.

    During our overland travels here we've noticed a huge amount of infrastructure work underway just about everywhere. New or improved highways, subway or light rail expansion and road resurfacing works were seen in Bangkok, Ban Krut and Rayong. And this is supposed to be a developing country. Our Canadian dollar is down 25% against the Thai baht over the last five years. So which is the developing country?

    The brand new U-Tapao airport is located right between Rayong and Pattaya, two large urban centers, which ensures a steady flow of travellers through its gates.

    Our flight boarded and took off right on schedule and we arrived in Chiang Mai at 8:30. After a short taxi ride we checked into the Thanyawintra Boutique hotel where we'll spend the next nine days. The last time we were in Thailand this hotel wasn't even under construction and, in fact, it only opened in April.

    As soon as we dropped our bags into our room, we headed out to our favorite market in the world, Kad Muang Mai, which is only a short ten minute walk from our hotel. We found mountains of mangoes, reams of rambutan, a plethora of pineapple and a deluge of durian, all at prices better than or equal to those in Rayong.

    We ate a small durian at the market and carted back a bunch of mangoes and pineapple to our room, some of which we promptly gobbled down since we hadn't yet had anything to eat.

    We've spent so much time in Chiang Mai over the years, it almost feels like coming home everytime we visit. There have been some changes since our last trip here (songthaew rides have gone up 50% to 30 baht), but overall the vibe, the sights and the people are still as welcoming as ever.
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  • Day132

    Chiang Mai, Thailand

    January 23, 2017 in Thailand

    Nach einem kurzen OvernightStop in Bangkok und einer Nacht im Bus, sind wir nun im Norden Thailands, in Chiang Mai, angelangt. Hier zieht sich das Elefantenthema wirklich durch die ganze Stadt weshalb wir natürlich auch echte Elefanten sehen mussten!

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