A Trip Across the World
The new year has brought my first true international traveling experience (excluding Canada and Mexico) through China, Thailand, and Burma. This past week I have been spending time hiking waterfalls, traveling to ancient temples, and viewing tourist shows all over northern Thailand.
I was fortunate enough to visit my good friend Krit Upra, and stay in his family’s home over the past few days. We set up home base here in the city of Chiangrai and planned our journey throughout four popular norther Thai cities. While there was a strong sense of culture shock during the first day of the trip as I adjusted to jet lag and took in the sights of Chiangrai, the rest of the trip was more natural, as if I had been accustomed to these surroundings for my entire life. Quaint shops and restaurants integrated into people’s homes with merchants lining the main streets selling vegetables and handmade goods.
After settling into the city, we made our plans to venture out by bus and begin our backpacking trip to each location. I would like to make a post for each stop on the trip, so I’ll keep the description of each city brief:
Chiangmai could be considered the second most popular city in Thailand, short of Bangkok. The nightlife was excellent, and the local population brought a distinct life to the city. We spent our time in a small university hostel and on the city streets at bars, clubs, and college dorms where I met many of Krit’s local Thai friends.
Pai was a very charming small town, with a nice array of downtown shops, restaurants, and bars catered at American and European tourists. We stayed at a quaint hotel composed of guest houses placed on an active rice and livestock farm a few kilometers outside of Pai.
The highlight of the trip was easily the morning ATV ride into the sunrise on the top of a small Pai mountain.
Sokothai is one of the most historic cities in Thailand. It was the capital of the country before Bangkok, and has temples that were constructed as far back as the 1200AD. Our group spent an entire day traveling between all of the ancient temples of Sokothai, and finished the trip off with beers at a local restaurant. A motorbike tour of the city was the perfect way to end our backpacking expedition.
I’ll do a post about Chiangrai as well once I’ve completed my trip. There is still much more I would like to do in this city before I depart on the 19th.