Thailand

I just got back from 10 nights in Thailand which was truly amazing.

We headed to Chang Mai first of all, staying 4 nights in the Tamarind Village. Wow, this place was awesome. As soon as you step into it, the hustle and bustle of Chang Mai dissapears and everything slows down – but you’re still just a stones throw from the action.

We made good use of our time in Chang Mai. We went Elephant riding, took a cookery lesson, visited lots of temples, handicraft factories / shops (leather, cotton, gems, umbrellas etc.) and went to several of the street markets in the evenings.

My favourate was probably the cookery lesson at Pantawan Cooking. It’s a relatively new one and therefore because we happened to be the only ones that day, we had the undivided attention of the chef and staff! An amazing kitchen and we cooked four Northern Thai dishes (minced pork, minced chicken, pork curry and egg / banana leaf type things) and afterwards got to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labour for dinner. Such awesome people and they made us very welcome, I highly recommend them!

A few pics from Chang Mai:

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Tamarind Village

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Tamarind Village at night

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Me and Chef at Pantawan Cooking – a few more pics from their Facebook page here

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Our results at Pantawan Cooking

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Looking quite zen on a Elephant!

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Feeding time!

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Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Temple.

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Food markets of Chang Mai

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Travelling tuck shop!

We then headed South to Krabi for some beach action and weren’t dissapointed! We stayed at The Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi and were blown away with the resort – every bit of it. You could only get to the resort by boat (or some monkey steps – more on that in a bit!) so it was very private and had everything you could want.

When we first arrived, they warned us about looking our balcony doors when we left the room because the local monkeys knew how to open the door and raid the mini bar – I kinda felt from that moment it would be a fun place to be! 🙂

We spent 6 nights there and spent most of the time lazing about by the pool / beach. We had some spa treatments and also went on an Island hopping trip where we visited the Phi Phi Islands, Bamboo Island, Monkey Island and Maya Bay (location of the film, The Beach with Leanardo Dicaprio).

Favourate bits of Krabi were probably Bamboo Island (what an amazing beach!), watching a monkey on our balcony eat a bag of nuts he must have stolen from someone and the monkey steps. Ah yes… the monkey steps….

Because you could only get to the resort by boat they have built some steps around the mountain that gets you to the Ao Nang town in 20 mins or so. Along this path there is a stretch of about 50 meters or so where you pass about 30 monkeys! You literally have to step over them and it was quite surreal being so close to so many monkeys. They didn’t flinch and just went about their normal business!

A few pics from Krabi:

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Welcome to Centara, Krabi!

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View from the sunbed

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Bamboo Island!

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More Bamboo Island!

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What you looking at?

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Feasting on stolen nuts!

The weather was so good throughout the whole trip – high 30’s C most days.

It was also nice to spend some solid time reading. I got through 5 or 6 books (I’ve updated the what I am reading page with them) – some of them great reads so expect a few book reviews soon.

Going to Thailand was a real eye opener for me and I will definitely return. Most of my travelling to date has been done in Europe or the U.S, so it was really interesting to experience a culture and locations which are really quite different from what I’m used to. It’s definitely encouraged me to travel to places which will allow me to experience new things and that will get me out of my comfort zone more.

Feels an odd thing to say (since I haven’t worked for a couple of months now), but I needed the break – or perhaps I needed the change of scenery. I’ve felt a little stuck and unclear on what I want to spend my time doing over the next couple of years and whilst I am still pretty flexible about the direction I go in, I did get a bit clearer on things that I like doing and also some personal priorities.

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