Earlier this month, Jason and I embarked on a 2 week adventure in Thailand. We experienced amazing culture, delicious food, government protests, new friendships and a little R&R…
We spent an afternoon riding bikes and exploring Sukhothai Historical Park. Since we had to remove Cambodia from our itinerary, I wanted to make sure to add this UNESCO Heritage Site in place of Angkor Wat. Sukhothai was the first capital of the Kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th centuries and inside the city walls are the remains of the royal palace and twenty-six temples. Although this kingdom had a short life for just around 150 years, Sukhothai was able to produce some of the most unique and beautiful Buddhist art in Asian history.
Welcome to Chiang Mai! We stayed in the Old City where you can still see the remains of the defensive walls and the moat (pictured above) that was built to protect the city from Burmese invaders.
We had a great time exploring the many temples of Chiang Mai
I had to see Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple) when we were in Northern Thailand, it is just too beautiful to miss. It is entirely unconventional and is expected to take another 65 years to complete. The theory behind the design of Wat Rong Khun is all about the constant struggle between good and evil, heaven and hell. What you can’t see in my photos is the pool of hands reaching out of the ground on each side of the bridge, leading into the temple. The hands represent people who have fallen victim to temptation and evil, trying to escape the pit of hell and get back on the path (the bridge) to heaven.
Stairs to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, “the temple on the Mountain.”
Our guide said these girls sit here all day waiting for tourists to request a photo and give them money.
We arrived close to sunset and the grounds were nearly empty. Typically this area is so crowded you are standing shoulder to shoulder with other visitors. Our guide helped us arrange a blessing from one of the monks. Even though we are not Buddhist, it was still a spiritual and special experience. Buddhist monks’ blessings encourage peace, compassion, love, prosperity and light.
Our day with the elephants! I was honestly a bit nervous before we got to Patara Elephant Farm. I was concerned the animals might be mistreated after reading horror stories of other outfits. When we arrived, my fears were washed away. It was clear the elephants here are happy and healthy. We had a wonderful day learning about the health of our elephants, skin care, diet and reproduction.
Jason feeding a few of the young in’s
Feisty girl wanting to play
Babies having fun in the water
Giving Manoi a good scrub
Our group for the day, just finishing up elephant bath time