Warning: this blog contains lots and lots of photos! I got a new camera for Xmas and have been going a bit mad!!! By the way, if you click on the pictures you will be able to see a slide show.
Three weeks spent in Thailand before heading out to Europe. Katherine came to visit (Geoff’s niece) and we had a great time together. It was fun to take her out in Bangkok and show her some of our favourite places. She was an easy traveller and happy to do anything!
We waited and waited for Renee and family but sadly they missed their plane. In true Tanzanian fashion, their flight time was changed and they were not informed. so they arrived at the airport to find that their plane had already departed, without them! One day later than expected they were finally in Bangkok and Geoff stayed behind to meet them. Katherine, myself and the kids went off to Chiang Rai, cause why wouldn’t we… Here we are chilling and waiting.
We did not see them until the morning when we got them up to go for a 2 day hike! After such a long journey, they were unusually sprightly and ready for the adventure. The idea was to walk all day, stop and have lunch and then stay the night in a village somewhere up in the hills. Something else happened but it was fine! The hike turned out to be quite crazy with a local guide who was hyperactive and was not quite sure where the trails had gone. Still, nothing a machete can not cut through and on we went. It was a hot, rainy and sweaty day but kind of fun too.
So we get to the village and it is really not nice at all. Back to our basic huts which look like luxury by now and the trek is cut short. Next day we have a walk through the local village which turns out to be rather pleasant and visit a cave temple. We find a cat cafe in the town where you can sit with lots of cats and pet them as you sip your coffee! Weird…
I would highly recommend where we stayed, the Bamboo Nest of Chiang Rai. Absolutely lovely with amazing home cooked food. Go check it out, it is basic, there is no mains electricity but it is very special and only about 23 kms from Chiang Rai. http://bamboonest-chiangrai.com/
Onwards to Chiang Mai for elephants and a spot of town life.
I have wanted to visit the Elephant Nature Park for quite some time now. I love the work Lek does and think she is very inspirational. However, the park felt too crowded and organised for our liking. It is a great place and the elephants are well looked after, just too many people. Nevertheless, I had fun getting up and close to these beautiful creatures. They are so big so I tried to capture their eyes, amazing how they are all so different!!
Chiang Mai turned out to be quite pleasant after the initial shock of being in a busy city full of tourists. My favourite thing was the huge array of old temples, so simple and so beautiful, quite a contrast to the newer temples in Bangkok which are so full of bling and excess. Here is a selection taken on a leisurely walk about.
Well, that was a busty week!!! Off to Kho Yao Noi we go to chill by the beach. Lovely island, extremely quiet. Have the beach and chalets to ourselves with a few kayaks for our own use. What more could you ask for… Good place to stay albeit quite isolated and quiet which suited us all. http://www.lomlae.com/index.htm go check it out, delightful place!
Being on the island was just beautiful. Lots of exploring to do and hardly any people about, Perfect!
Limestone everywhere! Rather beautiful but marred by rain and cloudy skies, still a great day out.
So, seeing Renee, Christine and family was great! We could talk about Moshi, old friends and how we are going to ensure we meet again. What truly lovely people they were to spend a couple of weeks with.
So, two weeks gone in the blink of an eye. More adventures to follow…