Yeah, after the Malls and Elephant Company, it Went Downhill. -Bangkok & Chiangmai, Thailand
For me downhill is always the fun part, but that's not really what i mean ;)
To sum it up, Thailand is one MAJOR developing country. People need to still really work hard to get results, but the modern parts (unlike Cambodia,) are modern. Bangkok was mainly malls and walking. Chiangmai was elephants and more walking. Well walking is always a way to burn all my thanksgiving weight i gained (and it's not even thanksgiving!) Every meal is literally like a thanksgiving dinner with grandma. Of course not as good because grandma isn't with us. That part is going to be the more positive side that i enjoyed a little more.
Since Thailand is still developing, the prices were super cheap for stuff but i wasn't always in the mood to 'shop 'till i dropped.' Friends were absent and unfortunately as well with the space in my Osprey pack. Sadly. Oops! I need to head back to the positive side of the matter. It was nice to see cleaner sidewalks? Youtuber voice : So without further ado, let's get on, with the video! (blog)
Emma's Note : Long Blog Edition
Bangkok's malls were new. Terminal 21 was the first one we visited. Built to resemble an airport, each floor was a different city with different decorative themes.
Then, there are the 3 large Paragon malls. They all somewhat connect and the largest is called Siam Paragon. My favorite, Siam Center and the last Siam Discovery. Siam Paragon is the luxury mall. You go there if you have a ton of money to spend and our family didn't spend anything but we still went haha. They had every fashion and designer brand i heard of and don't want to waste time to mention them all. Besides, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo stores were getting to be very common.
My favorite one, Siam Center also happened to be so interesting for me that i did not take much photographs of it. Later as i did more research, i learned that this mall is the Mall for Teens. We spent probably 3 hours in the largest lush store I've visited. The theme is all black and simple but with small illuminated lights and warm bright store lights. It isn't gloomy at all but classy. I liked the architecture. And prices weren't outrageous for imported products from USA or Europe (even though those brands all say Made in Vietnam or even Thailand.)
The last one we breezed through. Literally. We used it as a shortcut to reach our beds quicker. Siam Discovery. I took a few shots of Eli posing next to weird box children with white faces.
So we spent a few days in Thailand where for the first 2 days i stayed in to sleep and lived on water and sushi from 7-Eleven (great choice for a healthy lifestyle.) Apparently i had a sort of sickness that gave me a pounding headache for a few days and extreme fatigue? When i was better we explored some areas before going to Chiangmai for 4 days before going to another city named Pai. Then we came back to Chiangmai before returning to Bangkok. Rocky ride but worth the second shot of the city where we had better experiences. Or maybe just based on my earlier sick experiences.
While i upload some more photos, i will continue explaining some of the experiences we faced. None too interesting but bear with me. The reason we visited Bangkok for the new year was since it is a major city, we would see some fireworks. Did we see some fireworks? Nope. The king of Thailand died two days before my birthday and the people of Thailand were still mourning. Everywhere you look, the buildings have photos of his face with black and white ribbons to represent respect. Being insensitive travelers, we casually asked this topic to our taxi driver who immediately teared up and didn't say anymore.
As we did more research, the king was a very kind king to his people and is actually a very admirable person. Humble and he could play the trumpet, guitar, piano and clarinet. Photos show him painting and doing weird king stuff. Like stuff a king with so much power would not normally think about doing. Like sailing or composing jazz music. See? Not bad for a king serving Thailand for 70 years.
Welcome to Chiangmai!
Elephants. Chiangmai is the city if you want to buy elephant shirts, elephant shoes, elephant tusks-Nah, i'm kidding. But if you want to see some Asian elephants, go here. Just be sure that you aren't signing up to catch some elephant tusk souvenirs... KIDDING. But seriously, make sure that the company treats the animals well.
And at the same time that we were in Chiangmai, guess who else was in Chiangmai? Our favorite family from Phnom Pehn, Cambodia! We met at a Buddhist temple atop a mountain around 15 min drive from Chiangmai. Rotha was really shocked that she could see her own breath from the rain and the elevation. I guess in Cambodia it's pretty rare to see that! Click here for my Phnom Pehn blog.
Soon, it was the time to see some elephants! Taking some trucks over to the elephant sanctuary, we met this sper nice young Brazilian lady named Carolina.
Well since it was raining so much, the ridge that we were to drive up was incredibly steep. Walking seemed the best option. There was this huge shoveling truck that began to slide down the hill instead of clearing the path. BECAUSE IT WAS SO STEEP. We made it safety and were ready to see some elephants.
There were 3 elephants. The mother, and the two young children (7&8). At first, we were sort of apprehensive about the thought of sticking our hands right next to their mouths but...
We didn't need to do anything because their trunks worked as a hand and they simply scooped it from our open palms. Sometimes even taking 3 cucumbers at once.
I can't really guess how many cucumbers each elephant consumed but they ate every cucumber in all 4 of the baskets. The baskets were not small, around the size of...no, smaller than...Sorry can't really estimate but they were around the size of our laundry baskets laying in our basement at the moment.
If you offered them a cucumber and secretly had some sugar cane stalk behind your back, they would reach out behind you and grab it before tossing it in their mouths.
Another tender moment happened when the youngest elephant was so excited for food that he had taken a step forwards outside of the fence. The mother to his right (our left) reached out her trunk and encouraged his foot back behind the fence. It was adorable
We took a small lunch break and made some vitamin balls (dessert) for the children. I'm talking about the elephants haha. But i had some too.
They had around three families of dogs. Litters of around 5-6 puppies each.
Then it was time to give the elephants a nice mud bath and a cooling rinse.
I learned something new that day. You can wear buckets, used to help the elephants to wash off the mud, on your head if you don't like water.
After finishing washing the elephants, (note that there's the 7 year old who enjoys to dunk himself completely under the water) we had to leave. So bye bye elephants, we walked over a few hundred meters over to a beautiful waterfall.
The pressure of the water hits you at the force of your siblings jjumping on you in the morning.
Well before i began to wrote this blog i thought, well Thailand wasn't a big highlight for me so i'll do just one huge blog. Did not work at all. There was too many photos and to fit 5 weeks of travel into 1 huge blog... Wouldn't work very well.
So that is all for this blog! The next one will be up soon! Promise.