Thailand – part 4


Dear Diary,

I could talk about Thailand forever.  It’s probably evident by now, considering my Thailand (pt. 1 / pt. 2 / pt. 3) series is starting to feel like The Hobbit movie – an unnecessary three hour prequel with two more in the works. Let’s be real, I have a bajillion photos and experiences I want to share; the next best thing to actually being there is reminiscing being there…

So as our “epic hobbit-esque journey” continues, Tommy and I find ourselves finished with island hopping and heading up North to Chiang Mai. Before flying out we spent the night in Phuket and decided to catch a traditional Muay Thai fight. And by traditional, I mean six-year-olds beating the crap out of each other. As if that wasn’t unsettling enough, lady boys were in full effect near our hotel… It’s pretty sad when you realize there are men out there who are far more gorgeous than you, even on your best day. Seriously, they were beautiful and so womanly. Maybe I’m a little jealous and asked for a few makeup contouring tips, maybe… :)


Arena: They gave us free hats for the home team! We’re such tourists.


Victory! In the 60 lbs weight class.

When we got to Chiang Mai I immediately fell in love. It had such authenticity, we were in the true heart of Thailand. It has a slower pace (even the dialect is more drawn out), less expensive, and everyone is so friendly! Except for the two scammers we came across that I was convinced were being “so helpful” when offering to give us great deals to drive us out to this “village”.  I typically don’t fall for scams and avoided tuk-tuk drivers the entire trip, but this was a random guy who seemed to be interested in educating us on Thai culture and I didn’t want to be rude. He then negotiated a great rate to drive us to this market and then drop us back off where we were originally going, seemed perfect. So I got really upset when Tommy told me we were falling into their trap (he was working with the tuk-tuk driver and they get commissions from stores) and felt like he was losing faith in people. I stood my ground saying he shouldn’t be so pessimistic and needs to see the good in people! We then were dropped off at the “village” aka “Gem Store: The World’s Largest Jewelry Store.” (That was literally the name on the front of the building. haha.) I felt so duped…but the “helpful” gentleman did negotiated a great rate to drive us all the way out there, so we really just wasted an hour. Oops.

We got dropped off at Just Khoa Soi for lunch. Yum! Khoa Soi is a curry-like soup with lots of fun condiments and crunchy egg noodles on top! It’s a traditional Northern Thai street dish that’s a favorite among locals. This restaurant specializes in this which was great because my partner in crime was getting a bit weary of street food again.


…Street market in Chiang Mai…

(Getting our ingredients for cooking class)





Smart Cook – Our Cooking Class…

(Check out Lauren’s healthy pad thai dish!)



Tommy was in a competition with another guy to create curry paste fastest. Check out that speed! So proud.




Can you guess whose are whose?


Obviously, mine are the pretty ones :) Duh.

Tiger Kingdom


I was a little tentative at first…After all, we didn’t get proper training on tiger etiquette – We paid, washed our hands and entered the pen.


It didn’t take long before I became overly at home with these cubs. It was as if I had mothered them…


Tommy kept a safe distance…(nervous laughter here.)

20120317-_DSC0031Hey Mom! We got a kitten!

Elephant “Mahout” Training




20130105-IMG_2262 2


 Have you ever seen such acrobatics? If someone were to tell me I would do the splits up the side of a 10,000 pound animal I’d say, “Sounds about right.”





I’m a professional trainer now… I have the certificate to prove it! :)


Check out that view! Tommy’s poor hips…

We started our jungle trek a couple hours after learning the “Karen language” (elephant commands – Asian elephants are so smart!) and I was confident I was a natural even on an unfamiliar elephant. Tommy wasn’t so sure after ours took off in a light gallop to get to the front of the line. This is the moment you realize you’re on a massive wild animal and really have no control. Aftermath: a slight bloody lip from a minor tree limb lashing. I nervously laughed and squeezed my legs together to hold on as my back seat driver told me, “use your commands and stop speaking English! He doesn’t understand your accent!” haha. “Pei, Salid. Pei!” (That means go, incase you’re unfamiliar with mahout talk.) Pretty ridiculous argument – you learn a lot about your partner in desperate situations where trust is involved.


This was before Tommy made me put my iPhone away because I was being “reckless”.


This hill was quite frightening…especially when the below picture clearly shows him trying to push me off or “steady” me as he put it.


Elephant crossing!


I mean have you ever seen such adorable denim on denim capri numbers? I think not.


Bath time water fight with Doe-Doe & Salid!


3 nights at the lovely Parami Guesthouse (the owner, Roger, is an amazing resource!) and all these incredible adventures cost a whopping $250. No, that’s not each…TOTAL!

Our last night in Chiang Mai. Dinner & drinks on the river – so romantic!


We flew back into Bangkok (I added more pics of Bangkok here) for our last night before heading back to the states and stayed at Lebua at State Tower – where they filmed The Hangover pt. 2. It was a gorgeous hotel with fantastic views, the most incredible complimentary buffet breakfast spread and massive rooms! Such a great deal. (Plus they upgraded us! Whoop whoop!) Until we went to their restaurant, Breeze, for dinner and drinks. Our dinner literally cost the same as 3 nights stay and all the above adventures in Chiang Mai! The food was tasty, but nothing special and the prices were absurd. Don’t worry this budget diva, ate the entire bread basket so I wouldn’t have to order more than an appertizer and…several cocktails. Great view, but you pay for it!

Alright folks, that’s all for Thailand. Let me know if you’d like to hear about my past travel adventures in Australia, and Western/Eastern Europe.

P.S. – AgodaHostel World, and Hostel Bookers were great resources for accommodations!

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  1. Caroline says:

    Love your blog!! You tell such a great story!! Congratulations!


  1. Thailand says:

    […] To read about the rest of this adventure check out (pt. 2 / pt. 3 / pt. 4) […]

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