Sorry I haven’t updated in awhile, I had quite a busy weekend! On Friday all of the CCS volunteers visited the Grand Palace and some other Bangkok tourist spots. The grand palace is where the King usually lives (he’s sick right now so he’s not currently living there). We had a great tour and the buildings were gorgeous! Also in the grand palace we got to see the famous Emerald Buddha which is actually quite small for how famous it is. After that, we ate lunch in a yummy pad thai restaurant, then went to see the Reclining Buddha. It was HUGE! I tried to capture it in a picture, but it was very difficult!
After an exhausting day of being a tourist, 3 other girls (Maggie, Patty, Crystal) and I got on a plane headed for Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second largest city, which is located in northern Thailand. We took a budget airline which was quite the experience in itself, but we made it there alive. The taxi driver taking us to our hotel, whose name was Suwet, offered to pick us up the next morning and drive us to wherever we wanted to go all day for only 200 baht each (about $6) which was a great deal! Having him as our driver made things really easy because he knew which tourist spots were the best and helped us get good deals.
That night, we went to the nightlife area around our hotel and met 4 French boys who we stayed out with until about 3:30am when nothing else in Chiang Mai was open. They were a lot of fun even though they didn’t speak very good English!
We woke up after only about 4 hours of sleep to meet Suwet for a day of fun. The first thing we did was go about an hour outside of the city to an elephant camp where we got to ride elephants through the jungle, ride in an oxcart, and take a bamboo raft down a river through the mountains. It was so much fun and probably the most exciting activity I’ve done so far on this trip!
We came back and relaxed and then headed out for dinner and some shopping that night. Chiang Mai is so much more relaxed than Bangkok, and cheaper, too!
The next day, we went to a temple on the top of the tallest mountain in Chiang Mai. It is supposedly the most famous temple in Thailand. It was pretty small compared to some of the ones we have seen, but the view from the top was gorgeous!
That afternoon, we went to the spa in our hotel to get a real Thai massage! It was sooo relaxing!
We had such a great weekend that we didn’t want to leave Chiang Mai, but we had to get back in time to celebrate Crystal’s 21st birthday with the other volunteers in Bangkok. We got all dolled up and went out to Bangkok’s backpacker district where there are some bars and restaurants and lots of shopping. We continued our streak of meeting foreign boys when we met 3 guys from England and spent the evening with them.
Today there were no English classes, so three teachers took the 3 volunteers at my school out to visit Ayuthaya, Thailand’s first capital city, which was built about 700 years ago. It was so much fun spending the day with them learning about Thailand’s history and eating good food! On the way back home, they told us they wanted us to try a new food. They pulled over at a roadside stand and bought fried cricket, worms, grashoppers, cockroaches, and frogs. I have tried everything else that was offered to me on this trip, but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat that!
We met up with the English boys again to see the Harry Potter movie (with Thai subtitles, of course). I am officially pooped, so I’m going to sign off for now. Bangkok is finally beginning to really feel like home, which is nice. I’m getting attached to the people here and I can already tell it is going to be hard to leave. Check back soon to hear about all my adventures!
p.s. the internet here is being a little slow, so I’m going to add pictures to this post soon, don’t worry!