Outdoor Markets and Elephant Rides

The photo-friendly stealer of bananas.

Our year in Thailand ended with one last stop that Morgan and I both agreed we couldn’t leave the country without making: a trip to Chiang Mai.

To put simply, Chaing Mai was an organic experience.  It’s the polar opposite of everything that is Bangkok or Phuket and in that respect, it was one last fantastic breath of fresh air in Thailand.  Instead of rowdy beach-goers, there were hippies.  Instead of cheaply manufactured trinkets in the markets, there were handmade crafts.   Instead of fifty baht for a meal, we paid twenty-five.

It was nothing short of amazing.

Best shower I had in Thailand! For 1,000 baht/night, Sri Pat Guesthouse offers a pool, free wifi, comfy beds and a hot, full-pressure shower. Great location to both weekend markets, too.

One of Thailand's market treasures: cheesy baby accessories.

Speaking of babies, Morgan and I sat on a bench in the Chaing Mai Zoo and watched as this little guy fell asleep after a busy afternoon of entertaining zoo visitors.

Morgan still talks about this pooch on a daily basis. 'Dee Dee' is a piano-playing puppy who, by the time we saw her play, literally laid her little head down on top of her keyboard, too tired to continue. Before heading off to bed, she put her front paws in the wai position to say goodnight.

What an elephant looks like from the top! This is also the universal elephant gesture when requesting food from passengers. We must have fed him at least 50 bananas during our trek.

End of trek photo taken by the mahout. Can you say GREEN?

Cotton weaving done by the women of the Karon Hill Tribe during our hike through the mountains north of Chiang Mai.

One of many bamboo bridges we crossed during our trek.

The best use for bamboo? River rafting! Morgan, a French couple and I sped down a freezing but exhilarating river with only a man standing and steering with a bamboo stick behind us. Best. river ride. ever.

And just as suddenly as it began, our adventure in Chiang Mai ended... on a purple overnight train to Bangkok.

Sa wat dee ka, Thailand…

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