Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Elephant riding and the river Kwai.

After the floating market we drove north about another hour
to the Muang Sing Elephant Village. I was so excited to 
be so close to such beautiful animals. We first went to 
an elephant show where the elephant trainers showed
off the elephants and all the tricks they'd been taught.

Afterwards we got to ride the elephants around the village. You don't
realize how immense these animals are until you're on one, 
I also didn't realize how course their hair is and rough their skin is.
We had the opportunity to help bathe the elephants, but opted out
since we'd still be heading to the infamous bridge on the river Kwai and
having lunch nearby.

Our guide Mana, gave us a bit of the history of the bridge on the river Kwai.
I'd heard of the movie, but other than that I knew nothing.
Apparently the Burma Railway as it was called was built by the Japanese Empire
using POW's as their labor force during WWII.
Mana explained that many died building the railway
because of the route it took around some cliffs.
Among the POW's that died,
 there were Asians, British, Australians, Dutch and Americans.
We were supposed to take the train but we spent so much time at the elephant village
that we unfortunately missed out on the train ride, which I'd heard is spectacular.
Next time though!

We had lunch at a great restaurant on the river overlooking the bridge.  The food was
delicious, we had a buffet to choose from many traditional Thai dishes along with
a round table full of exotic fruits I'd never heard of or tried before. 
After lunch we were on the road again.
^^Getting ready to enter the elephant village. Can you tell I'm excited?
^^Hat tricks.
^^Annika getting picked up.
^^Perma-grin while riding this beauty.
^^Entrance to the restaurant. 
 ^^A smorgasbord of all the delish Thai food on one plate...heaven.
 ^^Lunch overlooking the bridge.
Next up: Floating bungalow's & hiking Erawan Falls.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


"What, therefore, may seem now to be mere unconnected pieces 
of tile will someday, when we look back, 
take form and pattern, 
and we will realize that 
God was making a mosaic".
~ Neal A. Maxwell ~

Friday, January 17, 2014

Thailand {Temples & Markets}

I'm still working on finishing blogging about my trip to Asia in September...
Just about done though.

We flew from Hong Kong back to Thailand. We were all super excited 
to return to Thailand because we'd saved markets, temples, elephant riding, 
and staying on floating huts on rivers to the end of our trip. I was ecstatic and
giddy like a fat kid in a candy store!

We got a decent night sleep in Bangkok and then hired the nicest man, Mana, to be our 
tour guide for the remaining of our trip. We decided to go this route because
we only had a few days left and we wanted to squeeze in as much as we could
without having to worry about missing trains or being delayed by getting lost. He came highly recommended
from a friend so we knew we were in good hands. He picked us up bright and early and gave
us our itinerary for that day. We'd drive for about two hours north from Bangkok to see 
some temple, then to the train market, then to the floating markets, then to ride elephants, 
and alas to end our day on our floating bungalow on the river Kwai. 

You can see why were all giddy as can be, dream day for all of us!
Below is a temple that was disguised into a tree because of some 
conflicts happening during the time in Thailand. It was amazing, 
not until we got close did we see the temple, it was very well disguised.

From there we drove to Maeklong Station market. It was one of the most interesting
markets I've been to. Markets set up shop along the train tracks by the train stop. When 
the train pulls up the shops simply pick up their goods far enough back to let the train go by, 
as soon as it passes shop is set up again. This takes about a minute and a half.
I have a video and I'll have to upload it so you get the real picture. It was insane.
The market was filled with so many different types of food and merchandise it was overwhelming.

After finishing up at the train market, we headed to the infamous floating markets. 
There is no way to describe how amazing the floating market is. It reminded me of an
Asian Venice. It was enchanting, different, and filled with an exciting energy
that was filled with markets, tourists, farmers selling their produce on their long tail 
boats to customers as they passed by on their long tail boats. I felt like I couldn't 
soak it all up because there was so much happening around me. It was a memory I'll always treasure.
^^Getting ready to see the infamous train market.
^^Can you believe a train passes through there? 
^^All the many different types of market goods sold.
^^A market we passed by on our long tail boats.
^^The beginning of the floating market madness.
^^So many women selling their exotic fruits.
^^The hustle and bustle of the canal markets.
^^School kids.
^^The women were so beautiful I couldn't stop taking pictures of them.
How could one not fall in love with the enchantment of Thailand, I will go back again someday.
Next up: Elephants rides in the jungle and our floating bungalow!