The year 2011 started out with one of the best experiences of my life, as I spent a month traveling through Thailand and into Laos. We set out on our trip seeking a respite from the cold, dry, Beijing winter, with a pleasant beach vacation. What we ended up with was the adventure of a lifetime, taking us to three different islands, a national park, a big, crazy metropolis, an ancient city full of culture and history, and the wild northern terrain. We went snorkeling in the pristine waters off of Koh Tao, got crazy on Koh Pha-Ngan at the biggest lunar bash on planet Earth, hiked through the stunning Khao Sok National Park, and admired the beautiful views atop Koh Phi Phi. Then, we spent a wild weekend in Bangkok, hitting the ultimate party strip of Khao Son Road, as well as the nation’s most sacred Buddhist temple – Wat Phra Kaew. Next up, we took a day trip up to Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that once served as the Siamese capital until it was destroyed by the Burmese army. After that, we boarded the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, where we explored the northern capital’s many Buddhist temples before embarking on an epic three-day trek through the Thai jungle. We stayed in local villages, rode elephants, and went cliff jumping into waterfalls, under the guidance of our wonderful guide, Book. Finally, we explored Chiang Rai a bit, with a visit to the White Temple and a stop at the Golden Triangle – the point where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar all meet. On our final night in Thailand, we enjoyed a riverside party with locals, fueled by boxed wine and karaoke. A two-day cruise down the mighty Mekong River officially ended our Thai trip, as we headed into Laos and the historical city of Luang Prabang.
From relaxing on the beach, to hiking through fantastic parks, to the madness of Bangkok’s nightlife, to the magnificent culture and history always on display, to the exciting adventure opportunities in Chiang Mai, Thailand truly is the perfect vacation destination, with something for everyone. Delicious food, friendly people, and a very reliable and easily accessible tourism industry made it that much better, and also quite easy to pull off.
It’s been my pleasure to share my travel experiences with all of you over the past several months, and I’d like to thank Transparent Language for giving me the opportunity to do so. For those of you who haven’t been following us all year, here’s an easy-to-follow recap of my entire series of posts about my trip:
Finally, here are some of my personal favorite videos from the “One Month in Thailand” series. Of course, all videos can be found on our YouTube page.
The madness of the Full Moon Party on Koh Pha-Ngan.
The beautiful and peaceful Phi Phi Islands.
A visit to Thailand’s most sacred temple – Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.
Elephant riding and cliff jumping in the Thai jungle.