On our first full day in Bangkok, we decided to head to a few travel agencies to see if we could book some tours and a bus to Cambodia. Unfortunately, the one agency informed us that taking a bus to Siem Reap would not be safe. Recently, there have been many instances of where those taking a bus across have been robbed just before crossing the border. Being that we are just a small group of five girls, we decided we didn’t want to risk it. We tried to book a flight over, but since it was last minute, the flights were rather expensive. So, we decided.instead to head up to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. We decided to stay up there for five days, and we booked a jeep tour for the first three to get the most of our stay. Even though we were extremely disappointed, we became very excited for this change in plans.
We took off Thursday morning on Orient Thai airlines from, Don Muang, the domestic airport, in Bangkok. A short hour later, we were greeted in Chiang Mai by our Thana Tour leader. After getting to the tour operated hotel, we locked up our suitcases, took our smaller bags packed with clothes for the adventure and hopped into 4×4 jeeps.
We had three days and two nights full of activities, but there are some memories I know I’ll hold onto for a lifetime.
The first of those is visiting an elephant camp the first morning of the tour. We got to visit an elephant hospital, feed the elephants bananas and sugar cane, and watch an elephant show that included an elephant named Suda, who painted us a picture of an elephant. It was amazing. Then we went on an elephant trek though the jungle. The guide even let me get off my seat and sit on the elephant’s neck, it was incredible. Elephants are my favorite animal and being on top of one in the middle of a jungle in Thailand is something I’ll never forget
The first day, we also went white-water rafting, something I thought I’d never do, especially not in Thailand. But, Linda, one of the girls km traveling with, and I decided we needed to do it and I’m so glad we did. Just the two of us were in a boat with Yo, our guide, or captain as he liked to be called. And Yo had a difficult job, especially when I lost my paddle, but he was wonderful, patient, and funny. He even got out of the boat and pushed us to a while because it was faster. Not only was the rafting an adventure, but it was also an amazing way to see the country aide and the people who live along the river. Even right after Linda and I were ready for more.
Another unforgettable experience from the tour was off-roading up in the mountains between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. The views were breathtaking from every angle. We also passed through a village that had a coffee shop, and I had a cup of the best coffee I’ve ever had, Dai Chaang, which is locally grown. After a quick bite to eat, the local children sang Thai songs to us and danced. We thanked them with sweets and high fives, and they were adorable and appreciative.
Even though there were so many other activities I enjoyed, I’d have to say that the hike to the Khunkorn Waterfall was also one of my favorites. Even though hiking is not for me, the twenty minute hike through the rainforest was definitely worth it for me. The waterfall is an oasis in the middle of the jungle and after the trek to get there the water-filled breeze is one of the most refreshing experiences I’ve ever had. Even though I was too cold to go in the water, just sitting and staring up at the falls was worth it for me. It was absolutely beautiful.
If you are ever Chang Mai and up for an adventure, I highly recommend Thana Tours. The staff are incredible and become family during the journey, and the itinerary includes everything you could want. It’s worth every Baht.