Thailand: Chiang Mai

We’re adventuring around the mountains and jungle on motorbike in northern Thailand near Chiang Mai!

We explored all through the city visiting the main temples, going shopping at the night markets, and eating lots of mango smoothies and sticky rice. Chiang Mai is our favorite city so far. It’s much calmer than everywhere else, however we still have a fear of getting hit by a motorbike or car every time we cross the street.

We booked a 3 day tour full of adventures…on motorbike. Riding a motorbike off road is like a never ending roller coaster. No worries though we made it back in one piece without any accidents thanks to our trusty tour guides/drivers.

Our guides are awesome for many reasons: 1. They love getting us Thai snacks/food/water CONSTANTLY! 2. They have NO fear. 3. They make fun of me by calling me Muka Ida – which means grandma Ida. 4. They keep us surrounded by animals. 5. They love putting tattoos on me.

All in all we learned a lot about Thai culture from our guides, and how their family life works. The parents take care of the farm, the kids go to school, and the majority of the generation in their 20’s have gone to work in the cities. Since it’s the rainy season many people have gone back to their hometowns to help with the farm work because there are not many tourists at the moment.

We saw so many fields of rice, corn, and pumpkin. There many little villages and farmers always working in the fields. We got rained on once in a while which is expected in this season. We drove through red clay and mud. We saw so many dogs, cats, cows, and chickens wandering around. Driving through the jungle and the mountains the views are magnificent and everything is so green.

We rode our motorbikes 150 kilometers off into the jungle/ mountains the first day. We stopped at the biggest waterfall in Chiang Mai. Of course we went to another temple high in the mountains. It was so foggy and misty outside it was hard to see anything. We saw one of our guides home towns, then camped out at the owner of the tour company’s home in the jungle in a little bamboo cabin.

On our second day, After our breakfast we took a bath in the hot spring in the village. Taking a bath in the hot spring initially consisted of filling up buckets of hot water and dumping it on each other. It’s actually illegal for women to get into the hot spring pool however, our guides insisted that we climb in… so in we went. The water was so nice, but it also smelled like boiled eggs… After becoming boiled eggs we hopped back onto the motorbikes for 80 kilometers of off road madness. We went to visit another waterfall. We stayed the night with a Karen family in the mountains. The Karen people are village people who live in the mountains in Thailand. They have their own language and culture. The family we visited had 4 children ages 10,7(twins), and 5. After a delicious dinner we helped cook, we showed them Snapchat. They had a blast playing with the filters and couldn’t stop laughing at themselves.

On the third day, we headed back to the city. First we stopped by another waterfall, went bamboo rafting down a river, and stopped to see some elephants. At the elephant camp we gave the baby and the mom elephant some sugar cane, and sat and watched them. The elephants life seem to consist of eating, sleeping, and going for a walk once in a while. After the elephants we went to Chiang Mai’s Grand Canyon where we jumped off the cliff and swam around.

Our days are filled with adventure and we never know exactly what we’re getting into. Generally everything is good and although it gets exhausting we keep our days busy since we have so much to do and so many places to go.

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