A Travellerspoint blog

Home Again

That sure was a long journey of airplane flights home. I feel really out of whack. I spent 6 hours in the Tokyo airport. What a nice airport though. Everything was very high tech and clean. If the city of Tokyo is even half as nice as their airport, I would definitely be interested in visiting Japan some day.

Thank you all for reading my blog over the last 3 weeks and thanks for all the comments. When you are so far away from home, it's always comforting hearing from friends and loved ones. It's also nice to know people are reading and interested in my trip.

One of my favorite things about traveling to other countries is that it gives your life perspective. I am so appreciative of everything I have here. When work and general life stresses start to weigh me down, I will think back to my amazing trip to Thailand and try to tap into what I'm feeling now having just returned. I wish I could bottle it up and take a drink every now and then.

Thanks again for reading and stay tuned for my Guatemala blog that will begin in late February!
Kristin

Posted by Kristinh 05:33 Comments (3)

Last Day

Well, the trip is nearing its end. It's hard to think about going back to work shortly after I get back. Completely different mindset!

We have been enjoying a lot of relaxation time in Chiang Mai. We have been reading, drinking coffee, shopping at the market and watching really cheesy American movies on our tv. I'm bummed we can't watch any Olympics.

We visited the Hilltribe Museum yesterday which was interesting. Today we went to the silk factory and the silver factory. It was really great seeing how they make silk and to see all the people in the factory sitting at their space doing the silver work by hand. Wow, a lot goes into both silk and silver! Then we shopped at their silk and silver stores of course.

Thailand has been such an amazing place to visit. I'm so glad I came here. The people are really nice (especially at our guesthouse in Chiang Mai!) and the culture is fascinating. I'm not sure if I will return because there are so many other places I want to visit. I wouldn't mind coming back if I absolutely had to though! It wouldn't be hard to twist my arm.

We leave Chiang Mai early tomorrow morning and fly to Bangkok. I fly out of Bangkok at 11:55 p.m. I layover in Tokyo and then LA. I will be arriving home in Minneapolis late afternoon on Monday. Long flights!!

See you soon!

Posted by Kristinh 02:21 Comments (4)

Jungle Fever

Wow... that was quite the adventure! While the things we did were amazing, it feels SOOO good to be back in Chiang Mai. Venisha got quite ill on the trek. It came on suddenly and for the last hour of our hike on slippery, steep, muddy trails, she was throwing up off and on. Our guide, "Dee" was so sweet. He patted her back and fanned her with a big leaf. I felt so bad for her, but there was little I could do but be there for support. When we finally arrived at the hilltribe village, she was still sick. We both went into the hut and to bed right away. Throughout the night, she had fever, chills and she felt kind of delirious. She felt like she was spinning. We were wracking our brains trying to figure out what it was. Could it be something she ate? Malaria? Dengue Fever? The options are endless. The next morning her fever had broken, but she still didn't feel too great. I also was not feeling well the next day. Luckily I wasn't feverish, but I had that queasy, nautious feeling again. I couldn't eat anything. The look and smell of thai food made me sick. We went on an elephant ride through the jungle which was really cool. I tried really hard to take it all in, but I felt nautious the whole time.

After the elephant ride, we went on a 2 1/2 hour bamboo raft ride down the river. Had I been feeling better, I would have totally loved that! It was such an amazing experience. They literally were finishing making the bamboo rafts as we were getting on. We went down rapids on this thing! Our raft started to fall apart a little and our guide was tying bamboo strings around it as we were flying down the rapids. Quite exciting! Because I felt sick, I was glad when it was over. We arrived back to our guesthouse last night. A shower never felt so good! We celebrated Venisha's birthday with our fellow tour people (a swiss couple, 2 Italian guys, 2 British girls, and a British guy). The guesthouse people gave us a cake and unlimited fruit to celebrate. They are so sweet here. I took my antibiotic because I'm so tired of feeling nautious all the time. I think it's working. Cross your fingers! I don't think I will be eating Thai food for a long time. We had an American breakfast this morning, banana pancake and peppermint tea. Ahh.

Down time is in order now. We are taking it easy today. We have been going non-stop since we got to Thailand and it has caught up to us. We are going to do a spa day tomorrow. Only a few more days and we'll be leaving. It has gone so fast. I look forward to catching up with everyone in person!

Posted by Kristinh 20:32 Comments (3)

Jungle Trek

We decided on the 2 day jungle trek to a hillside village. In our old age, we figured that one night on a hard floor in a thatched hut was enough. We'll be back to the comfort of a bed tomorrow night.

Our Thai cooking class was fabulous. Venisha and I were the only 2 students. Our teacher was really sweet. She first took us to the market to get some of the ingredients. We were the only tourists there, so neat! It was all local thai people shopping. We got some fresh veggies, bananas, palm sugar and a few other things. We went back to her cooking classroom which was an open air kitchen. We made our delicious thai dishes and ate ourselves sick. My stomach literally felt like it would explode. We didn't eat for the rest of the day.

We went to the Sunday night market and bought more Thai stuff. I seriously may need to buy another bag. There are so many neat things to buy here and at really reasonable prices. I'm using the "2 for me... 1 for someone else" method of shopping. Ha ha!

I like Chiang Mai the best of all the places we have visited. The people are so nice here and the city is cleaner and has more character than some other places. I'm really interested in visiting a remote village today. Tomorrow we will do more elephant riding and do another bamboo raft ride down the river. This time, they are standing rafts and we will have poles or paddles. After the bamboo raft, we may do a whitewater rafting trip for the remainder of the way back to Chiang Mai. There has been a lot of rain so it may be too dangerous to do that part. I hope we can!

Wish me luck today... we will be doing a 3 1/2 hour hike in the jungle to the village. It just may be raining on us the whole time. I must put on my "trooper" face now! Until next time.....

Tracy.. I think it's so cute that Ty wants to ride "elefs" like Auntie!

Posted by Kristinh 18:32 Comments (2)

Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai yesterday afternoon. It's so nice to fly and not have to deal with woozy buses and boats. I had a great time in the beach region, but I'm happy to be done with boats and motion sickeness.

So far I really like Chiang Mai. We are staying at a guesthouse that was recommended by my travel book. The people here are so nice and helpful. We are booking a jungle trek with them. Today we are taking a thai cooking class. We get to choose 5 dishes to learn. I chose: green curry, pad thai, spring rolls, coconut chicken soup, and a rice/banana dessert thingy. We will be eating thai food all day today. Luckily we had Burger King and Subway for our meals yesterday!

Last night we took a tuk-tuk over to the Saturday Night Market. It was so massive! The shopping was great. I have bought so much since this trip started, I may have to buy another bag!

We are trying to decide on whether to take a 3 day or a 2 day hill tribe trek from here. In the 3 day, we would get to visit 2 very remote villages and stay in thatched huts. It is an area that has hardly any tourists. It would involve a lot of hiking (3-4 hours each day), but the pay off is our interaction with the hill tribe villagers. We have to decide today which one we want to do.

Well, I'm off to breakfast and then to my cooking class!

Posted by Kristinh 18:13 Comments (2)

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