Saturday, 30 August 2014

Orchid & Butterfly Farm, Chiang Mai

There is not much to say about this post other than this place was pretty spectacular to drop in on. We only dropped in here for about 20 minutes but it was fascinating how many different orchids there actually are! I'm not sure which we went to. It could have been Bai Orchid & Butterfly Farm or the Mae Sa Orchid Farm. We stopped by here on our way back from our Elephant Trek & I didn't take proper notice.

The Orchids are EVERYWHERE & there is a small section of a butterfly farm to wander into. As you enter this place they are selling all sorts of butterfly & orchid inspired jewelry which was absolutely beautiful. Worth popping in for a few minutes if you have time and if you like orchids!!

Enjoy the colours!



Thursday, 28 August 2014

Monthathan Waterfall, Chiang Mai

August seems to be dedicated to Thailand, so I'm just going to go with that! 

This was a really special day. Swimming in a waterfall is one of those things I've been dying to tick off my list of things to do in life for a while. Thailand was the perfect place. It wasn't the sort of waterfall you could plunge yourself in but I just wanted to stand underneath the water crashing down off the rocks. It was a dream.
Do you remember that scene in Disney's Peter Pan when Peter goes to where the mermaids are? One of them is sitting on a rock underneath a waterfall & since I saw that I was determined to make it happen! Haha.
We went here after we went to Wat Phra Doi Suthep. A taxi dropped us off at the bottom of this footpath. It took us half an hour to trek to the waterfall. We have never been so sweaty & so hot in all our life. The humidity was insane & we said a few times "why are we doing this!?" but the question was soon answered once we got into our swimming gear and enjoyed the water right away! Absolute heaven!

Trekking boys!

Wooohoooo! There I am! ^^

We could have stayed here all day. I have never felt more refreshed in my life after frolicking in the water here. There is nothing else like feeling that water crashing down on you in the wide open jungle! We absolutely loved it. There are so many waterfalls in Thailand - you can't swim in all of them so just check before you trek to one but this needs to be something you do without a doubt! There were many other waterfalls we could have gone to but this was the nearest & best one we could get to in the short amount of time we had in Chiang Mai with all the other activities we wanted to fit in. I'll be sure to do a whole lot more waterfall swimming in my lifetime though.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Elephant Trek, Chiang Mai

Continuing on with our adventures on Chiang Mai....

This was such an amazing day I won't even apologise for the amount of photos in this post. So many good ones I couldn't choose! On our third day in Chiang Mai we booked an elephant trek with Blue Elephant Tours. It was such an amazing experience & I highly recommend the company. They have so many different tours to choose from and not just with elephants. You can truly explore the wonders of Thailand with them. I would certainly book something again with them if I ever get to go back. Our tour guide was called Mae & she was hilarious. Such good fun & full of information.

What I was most pleased about was that Mae was our photographer for the day - she took my camera & captured the whole of this incredible experience for us. I was so worried about not getting pictures of us with the elephants (since it will probably be the one & only time we get to do it!) but I could not be more in love with these pictures!

We began the day by being picked up from our hotel by Mae at 6am! She took us to the morning market so we could buy breakfast & a ton of bananas for our elephants. It was thrilling to be up early & experience the buzz of the early market.

Once we got to the sanctuary were the elephants we we ate our breakfast of sticky rice, fried chicken & fruit then changed into our Mahout outfits (you can see in the pictures).
Before we got to interact with the elephants we had to do a bit of training! Our instructor was called Mr Bobby. He taught us how to command the elephant in Thai so that once we were riding them we could lead them. This would normally be very scary to me - it was like being in school again - but everyone was having such a laugh it didn't matter how bad you were at it. You can see below Sam having to say instructions allowed to the whole class until he got it right!

This is our group learning how to get onto the elephant & yelling instructions.

Beautiful scenery for our trek!


Once we'd done a long trek around the incredible landscape, up small hills and through the river we got off ready to give them a scrub & a bath! Notice the whole time I'm barefoot. I gave up wearing my flip-flops (silly idea in the first place) but I'd 100% go barefoot every time. It felt so amazing on the elephants skin & I could easily pretend we were in some wild jungle, befriended a lovely elephant & were off on a huge adventure. SO fun!

Giving the elephant a bath in the river was brilliant. We had these natural scrubbing brushes and they seemed to love every minute of it. We all just forgot ourselves for a moment & joined these incredible animals in the water. I was totally in love.

Then it was time to get back on to ride back into camp.


But not before falling off the elephant when he wanted to get back down for another bath! (Thanks for saving me Mr Bobby!)


An unforgettable day that was so full of joy. A memory etched so clearly in my mind & a tick off my bucket list!