Thailand – Part 1

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I’ve ended up with hundreds of photos from my holiday to Thailand. Don’t worry, I’m not going to put all of them up, but even after I’ve narrowed them down there are still too many to put in one post!

We flew to Bangkok where we spent a few days visiting temples, Buddha images and eating the amazing street food, before meeting up with our travel group.  We went with a company called Intrepid who arrange tours in lots of different countries where you travel around with a local guide.  We decided to do two tours – one more cultural tour and one relaxing tour of the islands.

The first tour was the cultural one.  We ended up in a group with eleven girls and Nick – luckily the group leader was a guy so Nick wasn’t completely outnumbered!  The first morning of our tour was taken up with a 6 hour train journey North out of Bangkok – we saw some stunning scenery – and a ride on a songthaew to reach Sukhothai, the ancient capital of Thailand. We spent the next morning cycling around the ruins of the old temples which were spectacular.  Our guide had a arranged for a local woman to cook us lunch and I’m not exaggerating here – it was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten in my whole entire life!

That afternoon we had a four hour bus journey to Lampang.  I was super excited as we were on our way to visit the elephants!  First thing next morning we went to the elephant hospital.  It was heartbreaking to see the poor elephants who had had to have legs amputated because of land mines on the Burmese border.  It was good to see that the elephants are now being well looked after and they even came over to say hello to us!  Next door to the elephant hospital is an Elephant Conservation Center where we saw an elephant show.  We were amazed by strong and clever they are and how much they seem to love their trainers.  The elephants can play tunes on chimes, paint pictures and lift very heavy tree trunks.  After the show we went on a half hour elephant ride which was so exciting!!  The elephants are massive but they are surprisingly agile – they can walk up narrow, muddy tracks with seemingly no effort!

That night we were going to stay in a village with a local family.  On the way we stopped off at the Sankhampang Hot Springs where we saw a butterfly bigger than I knew could exist (look at the size of its legs!) and had a quick swim.

I think I’ll tell you about our evening in the homestay another time as we managed to fit loads in that night and I don’t want to overload on the photos!

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