Thailand – January 2016

What a long flight…but well worth it.  We found this fantastic deal on Travelzoo, it was a Gate 1 tour. Our friends thought it would be a great way to see Thailand so we booked it and were off.  January being one of the better months to travel in Thailand made it perfect.  Arriving in Bangkok we stayed at the Century Park Hotel, a hotel with outstanding views of the city.  Upon opening our suitcase, we discovered the bottle of wine we brought to celebrate our friend’s anniversary had broken in my husband’s suitcase.  Needless to say, my husbands’ clothes had a new red blend color, but smelled fantastic. Being we were going to be in Bangkok a few days, we sent to clothes out to be cleaned.  Everything came out good except, he now had pink t-shirts. While in Bangkok it was quite warm but being from Arizona, we were fine. We did a tour that included the Grand Palace, Summer Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and the Wat Pho, all were beautiful.  We had researched places to eat and decided we needed to make a trip to Cabbage and Condoms, yes, I did type that correctly.  A quirky little place where its motto is “Our food won’t get you pregnant”.  Instead of mints when you leave, they have a basket of condoms.  Their items for sale in the gift store were interesting also. We traveled to Ayutthaya by bus, touring the Wat Chaiwatthanaram and the Wat Panan Choeng (Golden Buddha).  The next day we again traveled by bus to Sukhothai, along the way we stopped by a road side grill.  The locale farmer was grilling up farm rats, I decided to pass but others said it tasted like chicken. Once in Sukhothai we stopped at the Sukhothai Historical Park and had time to wonder the area. Chiang Rai was our next stop.  We stopped at the beautiful Wat Rong Khun Temple, in my opinion the most beautiful Temple so far. While staying in Chiang Rai we took a boat trip to Laos and wondered a small market, there some of us tasted the whiskey with a cobra snake in it, nope, didn’t try it. We also enjoyed a Thai massage, while in Chiang Rai.  Our tour guides encouraged us to wonder and try the locale street food and it was delicious. I did however pass on the scorpion on a stick, surprise, surprise.  Our last stop before returning to Bangkok was to Chiang Mai.  There we visited the Maesa Elephant Camp, home to the largest assembly of domesticated elephants in northern Thailand. We were able to feed and pet the elephants, watch them play and even paint pictures, one of which we purchased.  Our second day included a trip to Tiger Kingdom where we actually got to pet the tigers, it was such an exciting day, and let me tell you some of those tigers were big. We ended our stay with a dinner at the Boonpratana House, a private residence.  The Boonpratana House now offers cooking classes.  Once the terrific meal had ended, we went outside and talked about the story of the floating lanterns.  In groups of 4 we received a lantern, each holding a side, wishing all bad luck gone, we released the lanterns into the night sky.  What a beautiful ending to a wonderful trip to Thailand. We unfortunately did not have enough time to add Phuket on this trip. But, I guess that gives us reason to go back.