Thailand (pt 1: an overview)

Wat (Buddhist temple) outside of Chiang Mai). 

Three weeks: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui.

It truly felt like we tasted these three distinct parts of Thailand. We did not have enough time to sink our roots in, but we never felt like we were rushing, either.

Outside a bar in Bangkok. 

Bangkok, in the heart of Thailand, poised on the Gulf: a huge city which never sleeps. Uncomfortable in the types of tourists we encountered and the types of ways they were being accommodated. Eye opening. A riot of over saturated colors, high end luxury and decaying trash.

Bangkok was a wee bit overwhelming. We're glad we went, but we were all glad to leave.

At the Elephant Nature Park

Chiang Mai, in the northern mountainous region: a backpackers paradise, they call it and it seemed true. We felt at home (if slightly older than most of the tourists - we were the same age as the many ex-pats who live there, and I was asked a few times where we were living).

We centered most of our Thai experience here in Chiang Mai (going out on adventures nearly every day) and were very glad we did. This was the Thailand I'll talk most about, in years to come. This is where we saw the rescued elephants at the Elephant Nature Park.

We could have stayed in Chiang Mai much longer (if we were to do it again, we'd skip most of the time we spent in Bangkok and go directly to Chiang Mai) but it all worked out for the best. We had enough time to do the things we wanted to do most.

The gloriously gorgeous beach of Mae Nam.

Koh Samui: an island on the Gulf of Thailand, in the middle of the southern peninsula. We stayed in a family friendly area (which I scoped out ahead of time online) where we were among mostly German and French tourists. We divided our time here between the beach, the pool (which overlooked the beach) and walking around to try new restaurants.

We did have one mini adventure at Bophut Fisherman's Village, but it hardly counts, since all we did was eat and go to a mini-mart for groceries.

We rested and relaxed (and swam) in Koh Samui. It was the perfect ending to our adventure.

A deva on a door in Wat Doi Suthep, which is outside Chiang Mai.

I have over 4000 photos from our trip to go through and many, many stories and thoughts to share, so I appreciate your patience as I start sharing about our August adventures.

If you have any specific questions, please let me know.

(My mom already asked about our packing list and how that worked out, so I have a post coming on that topic already.)

Sawadee ka!