our friends from maine (mike and carrie) that we met in krabi ended up snagging flights to chaing mai and joining us! they got the last two spots on our elephant excursion #blessed and we got to spend the majority of our time there with them. they were such an interesting, cool couple (way cooler than us) and i loved starting a friendship out on such an adventurous note!
our time in chiang mai centered around elephants! we got up early, hiked through a hillside village, rode down the river on bamboo rafts, fed the elephants, rode them, and finished off by giving them baths! if you don't know this about me, i have been OBSESSED with elephants for YEARS. our apartment is covered in pictures and pillows and figurines of elephants! they are the cutest, right? i love that they are gentle and smart and and giant and slow and sweet. and they were, seriously, as amazing as i imagined. i am not a huge wilderness girl, but i was really having a mowgli moment! i chatted with my elephant the entire time i rode her and we really got along famously. i couldn't wipe the hugest, goofiest grin off my face the ENTIRE day. what a dream!
now please enjoy this photo shoot of me on the elephant - the workers took my phone and went completely HAM
|please note my face in the background. so much joy.|
|again, my face haha|
|this little dude was harassing jordan so bad, it was hilarious|
other highlights of chiang mai were:
+ tiger temple - this experience was such a whirlwind, but so surreal. i was about 15% fearing for my life the entire time - but i suppose that made it all the more exciting. tigers are massive ! so. freaking. massive. but they are arguably the most naturally beautiful animal. their stripes were severe and bright and their sauntering around was so graceful, but powerful. after our time petting the tigers, we visited the token baby tiger in the medical center - it was only a few weeks old! many tears of cute aggression (it's a thing) were shed. it's a good thing i had sensible jordan with me, i would have kidnapped that baby tiger and taken it home with me.
|me begging jordan to give tiger temple all of our money so i could take the baby home|
|the employee told me to grab his tail, and when i hesitated he said "do it for instagram!"|
+ the night we arrived, mike and carrie invited us to a local muay tai fight. we sat ringside and although watching little kids spar was not my favorite, the rest of the fights were very entertaining. there was odd music that sounded like snake charmer music the entire night, strange smells everywhere, and lots of lady-boy drag queens - it was a very "immersed in another world" kind of experience. we loved it!
+ scoot scooting - on our final day, we rented a scooter through our hotel (for 2 bucks a day, we love you thailand!) and met mike and carrie at their hotel. as soon as we saw their scooter, we were DYING. we had rented this tiny, baby blue scooter that read "SCOOPI" on the side with a off-brand picture of scooby doo and they had a big, shiny red scooter that looked like it had about three times the engine of ours, haha! regardless, we had a blast scooting around chaing mai - although learning to drive on the opposite side of the road, in psycho traffic, was sketchy. sorry mom! we rode up to the wat phra that doi suthep temple (try to pronounce that, lol) through a tiny village, up to a waterfall and some beaaaautiful gardens, and all around the mountain just outside the city. the day was nothing short of magical.
and thus concludes our time in thailand! jordan is such the mvp of vacations (and my life) because he planned and stressed and everything turned out so perfectly. we loved all of the new things we got to experienced and really loved adventuring, just us two. here's to the sweatiest and most magical country ever!
next up, japan!