Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thailand 2/22/2013

We flew out of Salt Lake City, UT at 6:45am on Wednesday 2/20/2013. After a 3 hour flight to Minneapolis, then a 2.5 hour layover. Then a 13 hour flight to Narita Japan, with a 1.25 hour layover. Then a 7 hour flight to Bangkok, WE MADE IT!!! I now have 2 stamps in my passport!!! It was 1:00 in the morning Thailand time on Friday 2/22/2013.

We then slept in this hotel for 5 hours and headed to the airport for another 1.5 hour flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

When we arrived at our hotel, Siripanna Villa Resort and Spa, these ladies greeted us with flower necklaces.

Our rooms weren't quite ready so we had a buffet lunch at the hotel and then headed out for the Chiang Mai Rickshaw Orientation City Tour.
We went to quite a few Monk Temples. They were very pretty and was one big room.

This was the first Buddha we saw.

Buddha Temple

These were at all of the temples we went to. We were told that past king remains were buried in them.

These wax monks looked so real. It was kind of freaky.

We then hoped on these rickshaw's and had a tour of the city. Most of us were wondering why we were riding in the seat and an old guy was pedaling us around. I felt like a tourist.

We ended the tour at this temple site.

So the Thais have a Buddha to worship for each day of the week. Whichever day you were born on is the Monk that gave you protection so they would give alms to that Monk. I loved the explanation of why this monk looked like it does.

The wiring in Thailand leaves a lot to be desired. I would be concerned about fire!

For dinner we went to a place called "The Good View" I didn't really like it. There were lots of mosquito's and I didn't really like the food but C's plate looked good!

It was pretty funny to watch C while we were waiting for our food. All of the traveling had caught up with him and he was nodding off really bad. I was waiting for his head to hit the table he was wobbling so bad. Luckily it never did hit the table! We were so glad to get to bed that night!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thailand 2/23/2013

Today was the best day of the whole trip!! We started the day by going to the Maetamann Elephant Camp & Rafting. When we arrived there, there was a baby elephant! It was so cute!

 We went to a picnic area that had a bunch of tables and a picnic basket for everyone. Man was that a lot of food!! Every person had their own!

After lunch, we were headed to watch how they bathe the elephants when we came upon these elephants! The trainers told us to stand in front of the elephant and for 20 Thai Baht (75 cents) The elephants trunk would go in between your legs and lift you into the air. It was amazing and fun!

And then a 2 year old was brought over and for 20 Baht we were able to get on it's back. It was so cute! It kept asking for bananas!

 This elephant must have smelled the bananas we had because as we were sitting on it's leg it's trunk all of a sudden showed up in your face asking for food!!!

The elephants then put on a show for us. I loved the dancing that they did. They also played soccer!

We then got to ride the elephants across the river and through the jungle. Elephants are really wobbly to ride. But ELEPHANTS ARE AWESOME!!!!


 After the elephant ride we got a ride in a cart pulled by oxen that also ate bananas. Who knew?

 It was a pretty hot day so we got to relax and cool off by floating down the river on a bamboo raft. It was interesting to see as we floated past more elephant camps, little boys putting out a fishing net, and 3 boys swimming, one of them mooning us, hahaha!

 After hanging out at the elephant camp the tour guide with us on our whole trip contacted the Tiger Kingdom who said they would stay open for us to hang out and pet tigers!
We started with the baby tigers, they were about 4 months old and very playful!


Then came the 9-12 month old tigers. We didn't stay in this cage very long as we were able to get 2 pictures before our camera battery died.


We actually paid to have them take pictures of us and I wish we had done that with all of the tigers. When they take the pictures they are a lot more helpful in getting poses for good pictures!

While I was laying on this tiger petting it, it  started to growl and stand up. Which really freaked me out if you can't tell from the picture below.

The whole time we were in the cage these tigers were play fighting. It was pretty cool to see but I kept thinking, Don't come out of the water!

It was about 7pm when we got back to the hotel so we went and changed our clothes and headed to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. I was a little disappointed with the marketplace as I was expecting a lot of handmade items but it was mainly fake designer clothes and watches. Everything there was the "same same" It was pretty hard to find unique gifts to bring home. It was big though. It took us 3 hours to walk down one side of the street and back.

Thailand 2/24/2013

We got to go to church today! It was really fun because we were expecting to not understand anything. When we got there the missionaries set up headsets for some of us and they were going to translate, but there were too many of us for all of us to have headsets. However, it turned out that an interpreter stood at the stand as one of the general authorities 70's and his wife was speaking English so we understood everything! :)

After church we flew to Bangkok and relaxed the rest of the day!! Our hotel in Bangkok was the Shangri-La Bangkok Hotel. Very nice.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Thailand 2/25/2013

Bangkok City Orientation

  We were taken on a tour of Bangkok today! First we went to The Grand Palace. It was very hot and crowded there. It was a holiday for the Buddha religion, Magha Puja so it was very crowded, We had to wear long pants or skirts, and no shoulders could be bare. This made it very hot. On our way into the palace one of the guys in our group had shorts on. He was given a pair of really ugly pants and told he had to put them on because "We don't want sexy here sir"

We got to take our picture with the royal guard. I wasn't sure we were going to get a picture as a bunch of Chinese people came up and didn't want to wait their turn to take their photos. 

After the Grand Palace we got to ride in tuk tuks around the city! These are fun!!

 Our driver gave us masks to help filter out the exhaust. Don't we look cute?

Pretty sure we looked like tourists on this ride. We had a lot of tuk tuks rented!!

We stopped at a park and got to watch a demonstration of Thai Kick Boxing. C got to pose with the fighters!

Then we got onto long tailed boats and cruised along the river canals. This  lady was selling items and boats hauling tourists would stop and if anything was bought I saw her slip something to the boat driver. Luckily our driver was instructed not to stop.

I thought this looked like an alligator but our guide called it a water lizard.

This is our hotel from the river!

We just relaxed and explored the hotel for the rest of the evening!