Our trip has come to an end… it has been a wonderful adventure and there’s just one last installment in this little series. sniff.
I’ve put off this last post for quite some time, it’s already the beginning of February and we arrived back home in mid-January! I was actually trying to track down the above picture (It’s not a great picture of a picture…) because I didn’t have it in a digital format. Guess where it was? In the back zipper pocket of my suitcase the entire time. Go figure.
I promise this is the last Adventures Abroad post! You might be growing very tired of them, but I thought it was suiting to close out our trek with a proper farewell. If you have a few extra minutes and want to peak in on the rest of our trip to Australia, New Zealand and Thailand, head on over here.
The rest of our time in Chiang Mai was filled with cave spelunking, bamboo rafting, hill tribe village hikes and elephant rides. Follow the jump for some fun pictures!
After the train ride to Chiang Mai, hour and a half taxi-truck ride to Chiang Dao and elephant camp tour, we began our over night trek. Our guide was a kind and friendly local who didn’t speak a lick of English. We arranged our trekking company through The Chiang Dao Nest.
Here we are trekking through the mountains to a nearby village:
And one more quick snippet of our guide blazing the trail as we went:
At our first village we had the opportunity to ride an elephant (see very top photo). We lazily meandered through thick brush on skinny cattle trails making friends with our gentle giant. He especially enjoyed a healthy offering of bananas and thought my camera might be quite as tasty at the end of the walk!
We stayed the night in the second village high up in the mountains. This is our little hut and a beautiful sunrise view of the mountains at breakfast We found these three little pigs right outside of our door when we woke up – they’re happy as a clam roaming and munching all day.
The next day we continued on to our third village. Here we donned hard hats (the village had a special hut with a dozen or so white hard hats all in a row… we thought it was a touristy addition. Little did we realize, ten stalagmite head bonks later, that these serve their purpose well!). We still have yet to see another tourist and it’s been perfect.
The hour-long spelunking journey took us through small crevices and tunnels only passable on your belly, and to cavernous rooms with incredible formations.
We ended our time at this hill tribe Lisu village playing with the kids and hiking to a beautiful waterfall.
After a two days of hiking and a night in the hills, we came back to our base camp “Chiang Dao Nest”, a neat accommodation run by a British man and his Thai wife. I highly recommend it!
Each guest has their own bungalow and the food was out of this world. I even partook in a two hour Thai massage – for $18 USD. Nope, you didn’t read that incorrectly. Thai massage is a form of yoga and meditation here and is practiced on a regular basis. Sign me up.
After twenty or so miles of hiking, I couldn’t have had a sweeter ending to my day.
Our final day in the beautiful city of Chiang Dao found us exploring a local Buddhist monastery and Chedi that was just a half mile down the road from The Nest.
It was well hidden in the hills and took us a while to climb the 510 steps to the top. But we had these inspirational messages to look forward to as we went – I thought they were just too good to pass up.
And finally! We reach the top. The view was well worth the tired muscles.
This is one of my favorite pictures:
The orange garbs of the monks casually drying in the breeze.
It’s disrespectful to wear your shoes inside the temples, I always found the miscellaneous piles at each door to be quite artistic.
And that *sigh* is the end of our adventure. Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, white water rafting in New Zealand, trekking through the Thai mountains – a memorable trip indeed. Thank you for listening and sharing in on our journey… Take care!