Tempels, tuk tuks and walking with elephants in Thailand
We stayed in Bangkok for five nights, which was more than enough time to see all the sights and take one of those tourist tuk tuk rides which are totally NOT worth it. You really have to refuse this from whoever offers it to you. They are driving you around town for a very low price and you do get to see & visit some sights, but they are also collecting their fee from pricy restaurants and if you buy something at the shop they take you too. Since we are travelling for a while, there was no need for us to get a tailor made suit or dress and the sales person at the shop got really upset with us and the tuk tuk driver as well of course. It was a very uncomfortable situation for us and we would have preferred to avoid this. So if you are comming to Bangkok please spare yourself the trouble and do not do it.
Our guesthouse on the other hand was an absolute Gem and we had a wonderful stay. They cooked us a different breakfast every day and took very good care of us. We also enjoyed our first Thai massage and ate a lot of really good food 😁.
Another night train took us from Bangkok to Chaing Mai, a city in the north of Thailand and well known for it’s surrounding nature and beautiful temples. The most memorable thing for me was our trip to Sunshine for Elefants Park ! Elephants have been my favorite animals since I have been a kid and to spend a whole day with them was a dream come true.
We did do a lot of research about all the available tours you could do in Chiang Mai. Our main goal was to be able to observe the animals and spending time whith them. Elephant Nature Park is a local Organization that takes care of over 80 elephants in their main area alone. They have a network of projects in Thailand and Cambodia and are doing a great job of saving elephants and giving them a nice place to life out the rest of their lifes.
Of course it would be even better if all the projects didn’t invite tourists and that everyone would just make a donation to the projects and the elephants could life without human interference, but the reality is just not like that. At least you can make sure that the elephants in these projects are not forced to perform any tricks for the tourists or even have to carry them. Elephant rides are to be avoided!
We shared this great elephant experience with our new friend Lauren from California and of bonded over our mutual love for South America and travelling. You see and hear Lauren in the videos and pictures below 😊. Thank you for your kindness and great questions Lauren and we hope to see you again somewhere in the world 🙏!
From Chiang Mai we headed to Chiang Rai with Greenbus and then to Pai by Minibus. Pai is a wonderful small village about three hours by Minibus from Chiang Mai and we really liked it there - despite the rain. We did some hiking in the Canyon there and loved the scenery. Back in Chiang Mai we boarded a Bus by Win Tours to Sukhothai (they are the only bus company operating a direct connection and you can’t buy the tickets online). The bus was old and shaky and had no toilet on board. We made a couple of stops where you could hop out, but the staff (who spoke very little English) did not always approve ;). We took the same bus company back to Bangkok, since they are (again) the only company with a direct connection between Sukthothai and Bangkok. This time we only had one food and toilet brake on a more than 7 hours drive which we fould a bit unsetlling. Again staff only spoke thai which makes it a bit difficult for foreigners. We would rent a car next time and do a road trip instead of taking the bus.
We did enjoy our stay in Thailand and will explore the South, when we come back by the end of September.