On December 14 my friend Kaitlin and I set off for our three week winter vacation. We were flying out of Dubai through Bahrain to Bangkok (reseeding this now I sound like a celebrity!). We would spend one night in Bangkok, then head down to Koh Samui for a few nights and hit up the Full Moon party on Koh Phangan.
While in Bangkok we saw as many temples as we could fit in one day and ate some great food. My favorite temple was Wat Arun ( Temple of the Dawn).
This temple had some crazy stairs to climb to reach the top. It was all worth it.
Thailand is known for its fantastic food we sampled Pad Thai and mango with sticky rice once we got off the fairie.
I have to admit I have been to Bangkok before, twice, and it has really cleaned itself up. I am not sure if it is because of where I stayed, but the all around feeling I got was much better than I remember almost 10 years ago.
We then headed to Koh Samui. We got to hang out at the beach for a few days, but it wasn't enough for me. I love, love, love the beach and for my Spring Break I am planning a lot more beach time.
We took a 45 minute crazy,bumpy speed boat ride to the Full Moon party. Please add a Full Moon party to your bucket list if you have not been already.
The Koh Samui airport is one of the most beautiful that I have ever seen. Most of the shops are located outdoors.
We headed from Koh Samui to Chaing Mai which is located in the north of Thailand.
I have never been to Chaing Mai before and one of my goals was to spend the night with a hill tribe. We took a two day/one night trek. The first part of our adventure involved an elephant ride.
From their we did a 2.5 hour trek up a mountain to the hill tribe. I felt as if I was climbing to heaven. The incline never let up. This was the hardest part of the whole trip for me. I was so slow and at so many times during this trek I wanted to give up. Not to mention I slipped once or twice and almost plummeted to my death. Nevertheless, I persevered and I did it. The view from the top was breathtaking.
We spent the night in a small cabin and since there was no electricity we went to bed by 8 pm with only the stars watching over us.
The next day we took the 2.5 hour trek down which was much easier for me than for others. I must say that my legs were broken for about a week after.
Since my friend and I cannot get enough adventure (and we were waiting to get paid) we took a 13 hour over night bus from Chaing Mai to Vientienne, Laos. We thought we were going to be on a big Voyageur type bus, but it turned out that we were in a packed 12 seater mini van. Since we are soooo lucky we were at the back next to the luggage. Yippee! During the 13 hours of fun the luggage kept falling on Kaitlin and I was pressed up against the wet window behind a cigar smoking gentleman.
The next morning we made it to Laos. I must admit I didn't know much about this country before the trip, but I love the French influence that it possesses and would definitely go back.
This is the Patuxai. The concrete for this structure was donated by the United States to build a runway for an airport, instead Laos build this wannabe Arc de Triomph. It is beautiful. Once you walk underneath this is what it looks like:
After Vientienne, we headed to Vieng Vien. We spent Christmas Eve at an Irish pub getting beat at pool and eating street banana pancakes.
The scenery here could not be matched :
Next post will discuss Vietnam and Cambodia.
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