Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chiang Rai

So,I'm back into the swing of things, with a pile of prep already building, a room full of shanana-munchkins, and life back at full-speed. 
It was a sad goodbye to summer, but a dose of perspective always reminds me how blessed I am to have the job I do and how amazing this season of life is. 

So, I couldn't just ditch all my Thailand posts without at least giving you a little tid-bit on some of our journies, so here is a little peek into our trip up North to a place called Chiang Rai. 

This trip was inspired by a desire to connect with an old, childhood friend named Nate. Ryan and his brother, Kyle, were neighbors with Nate back in the good ol' BBgun-war-days and since Nate's family just built two new houses up North along with a hydroponic farm we thought-- heck why not visit?

Since this region of Thailand was new territory to us, we were actually "tourists" which felt a little strange-- but we went ahead and jumped in our 15-seater van and bounced around from site to site.

The White Temple: 
 ~ A temple constructed by a famous Thai artist, who now paints for royalty but was orginally from this region of Thailand.

 The Tea Plantation

This was probably one of my favorite stops just because it was so beautiful (and the food was delicious, but of course food wouldn't be a deciding factor, right?)

Yes, we are these types of tourists, that the locals roll their eyes at. Shame on us and our silly, vain ways. 

 The food even had tea leaves in it. Delicious!

Though I've done the "elephant thing" before, I was still game to do a little mini-trek while we were there. I love how amazing they are~ so massive, with their kind eyes, and wrinkly skin. If they only had little mini elephants that were pet-sized. 

Lunch. Enough Said. 

The Queen's Garden
(also enough said.)

Final Destination: The Golden Triangle

Since we were pretty far up North, we decided to visit the Golden Triangle, where Laos and Myanmar meet with Thailand. Back in the day, this area was known for opium traffic. We went to a little opium museum near the river to learn more about its history, then those who had Thai citizenship (or duel citizenship)crossed over to Myanmar to do some shopping, while us 'mericans stayed and did our own more low-key shopping. The prices across the border were much more impressive. Kyle was even using Nate to shop for him, sending pictures back and forth.

So there, in a rather large nutshell, is a recap of our few days in Chiang Rai. Definitely a different vibe that Bangkok, that's for sure. I don't know if it's lured me yet though. We'll see where one day we'll end up. For now, Chico suits us fine and we're thankful, even if we don't have cute, wrinkly elephants or a history of opium trade (just kidding!). We have our own hidden gems. :)

Love to you--wherever you may be. Thanks for reading, 


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