Posted in Traveling Adventures

Traveling Tuesdays – Thailand edition Part II

I went to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand last November. Here are my favorite four things from the trip and some things I learned along the way.

  1. Bangkok street food – On any given weekday, the streets on which our hotel was on was filled with food vendors selling food for ~20 baht, which is give or take 60 cents in the U.S.  As huge foodies, we were thrilled. Here were some of my meals.

    If you have a sensitive stomach and aren’t willing to try street food, Siam Paragon is a mall that has a lot of delicious meals and is cleaner. We ate a lot of street food and didn’t get sick, but to each their own. We had some of the food there and most of the things we tried were delicious.

  2. Silom Thai Cooking School – My boyfriend really wanted to take a Thai cooking class and after a lot of research, I settled for this cooking school in Bangkok. This was such an entertaining class and I would strongly recommend to anyone to take one while in Thailand. Our instructor, Oliver, was fluent in English, and educated us on the ingredients at the market that are often used in Thailand. He was funny, charming, and just a wonderful instructor. Here are some of the dishes we made.
  3. Taking the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai – I had never taken the train before this so this was something I really wanted to do. I chose to take an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai because why not? I save on a night’s stay AND wake up in a new city all for roughly $25. It was also fun to wake up to a view of the countryside with stray dogs roaming around. When the train was stopped, the kitchen would often throw out food scraps for the dogs and so we’d get to see them eat and play around with one another. If you do end up taking the overnight train and you choose a sleeper with airconditioning, I’d recommend taking a blanket, some earplugs, and a sleeping mask. They do give you a blanket to use, but they blast the airconditioning and it can get quite cold in the evenings. If you are a light sleeper, ear plugs are necessary. They also keep the lights on and even though there’s a curtain that blocks out some of the light, a sleeping mask is recommended.
  4. Elephant Nature Park  – This was my absolute favorite part of my trip to Thailand. Here’s a mini lesson on elephant riding. Elephants don’t normally allow humans to ride on their backs. The extra weight puts a huge strain on their back and it hurts them. Trainers will beat and abuse the elephants to train them to allow humans to ride them. The Elephant Nature Park and other elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai don’t do any of that. While you won’t be able to ride an elephant (it’s not the end of the world), you will be able to feed, bathe, and take care of an elephant for part of the day. [The sanctuaries will send out vans to pick you up at your hotel (as long as you’re within a designated region) at 8 am and take you to the park and back.] These sanctuaries take in elephants that have been abused by their owners. We saw elephants that were stabbed in the eye for disobeying their owners. Others had stepped on landmines while working. It was really a heartwarming experience to see them so well taken care of after all that torture and I am so lucky to have been so close to one.

    So there you have it. My favorite four events from the trip.

    If you’ve been to Thailand, what did you do? What were your favorites? If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. Thanks!

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My name is Mai and I am a recent PhD graduate. :) When not hard at work, I can be found training for a race, traveling the world, or talking about Disneyland. Come join me on my journey and help me navigate this world. :)

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