By far, the most common question we’ve been asked, before and after our trip has been “Why Thailand?” As if, out of all the places in the world, you chose Thailand?! So we decided to answer that question with photography from the trip.
In case our photos don’t suffice, here’s the short answer: It’s gorgeous! (see below), the US Dollar goes a loooong way once you get there, and it’s on the opposite side of the world (literally, 12 hours ahead). So we figured that now is the time to make the long trek before we have kids in tow!
We divided our trip into three sections – Northern Thailand (mountains), Southern Thailand (islands), and Bangkok. This only covers the north so stay tuned for the rest of our trip in a later post!
Trekking in Chaing Mai: We met up with our pal, Chan, of Chan Trekking and hopped into the back of his truck to start our adventure. This was our first introduction to the Thai way of no direction or instruction. It was a quick “Hello!” “Put these blankets in your bags for tonight” and “let’s go!” We were given zero idea of how long the ride was, where we were going, or what we needed to bring with us. But we trusted Chan from his TripAdvisor reviews and friendly demeanor, so we rolled with it.
Chan pulled over and picked up these bamboo shoots full of mango sticky rice from a little roadside stand, and said “Here, eat!” So we did.
After stopping at a market to get some food and a waterfall for a quick swim, we rode for about an hour and half before we got to the beginning of the trek.
We hiked about 3 hours into a village where Chan cooked for us and we spent the night.
The next day we hiked to a river where we boarded bamboo rafts and drifted the rest of the afternoon. (Think whitewater rafting, Huck Finn style). We ended the journey with some delicious food, once again (fried rice).
On the way back to the city, we made a quick stop at an orchid farm before catching a bus further north to Pai. Slightly random, but still beautiful.
Pai: Pai is a cool, little hippie town north of Chaing Mai. It’s a three our mini-bus ride around twists and turns (762 to be exact, they are very proud of it) but it’s completely worth the inevitable car sickness once you’re there. We ate dinner from street vendors at a night market then sent off paper lanterns to ring in the New Year.
We started off 2016 the next day exploring the town on mopeds (Ned’s and the Thai people’s preferred mode of transportation).
We visited a temple, enjoyed fruit shakes (our favorite Thai snack!), and hiked around Pai Canyon. Our visit to Pai was a quick one but we loved it!
Back in Chaing Mai we learned to cook our favorite Thai dishes at the Siam Rice Cooking School. We stopped at the market to learn about the ingredients we’d be using then got to cooking!
Check out those green beans! I think they called them ‘Long Beans, still not sure why…
If you want to make authentic Pad Thai, here are your ingredients.
Next stop…southern Thailand! Stay tuned for more adventures on the islands!
©Cameron Reynolds Photography, LLC. Photos by Cameron and Ned Reynolds