Thailand Birthday!

Yesterday was my 24th birthday!! It went really well too, exactly how I would like to spend my 24th. Kathryn and I are currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand! We travelled from Bangkok after 3 days of being there by night train.

Bangkok was fun and had a few really neat things to do. We flew there on Monday afternoon and wandered the streets for the majority of the night. They have a popular night market that we checked out (even though it rained pretty hard all evening) and were offered tickets to one of Thailand’s famous sex shows! Sorry, no details of that. We politely declined the offer 😛 . On Tuesday morning we went to the famous floating market outside the city, where you basically market shop but in boats and on a river. Bartering with merchants as they rowed past was an interesting experience to say the least! Following the floating market we went to an elephant camp where we were able to ride elephants through the jungle if we paid enough. We opted out of this tourist trap, it was very expensive and I personally have a problem with these types of businesses in regards to their treatment and care of such massive and beautiful animals. Following the elephants we were brought to a cobra-fighting show, where snake handlers fought with snakes for 45 minutes, and then you could walk around and see poor reptiles caged up in what looked to be very poorly kept bathtubs. This part of the trip was a bit scarring, I wish I hadn’t gone in to watch because I had suspected exactly what I witnessed: Asian animal abuse. Shame. That night we met two English guys, Josh and Richard, from our hostel and we all went for dinner and a few drinks in the market. The following day we went with the same guys on a ferry boat down the river of Bangkok to check out some well known and beautiful temples. We also checked out a famous street in Bangkok for shopping, bars and tourists called Khao San Road. Later that day, myself, Kathryn, our new English friend Richard (a 28 year old world traveler) who happened to be traveling our way, headed for the night train to Chiang Mai!

We arrived in Chiang Mai on Wednesday June 14th around noon. I like Chiang Mai a lot, we wandered the streets for about 8 hours that day and got a good feel for the area. It’s very relaxed, has a lot of temples, and there’s a lot of things to do here in terms of adventure. We went to their famous night market, which has literally anything you want to buy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Thailand has amazing food! And I’ve eaten some of the best meals here in the past 2 days.

So my birthday was on Friday (June 15th) and when I woke up Kathryn and I went to a local bakery and she bought me a brownie and banana milkshake! How sweet! We had a nice breakfast together before meeting up with Richard (who is sharing a hostel room with us) back at Panda House (the hostel we are staying at currently). After sharing some small chit-chat in our room while we were getting ready for the rest of the day, Richard let slip that he had once studied hypnotism when he was younger! I thought this was extremely interesting and asked him to hypnotize me for my birthday! Relaxation hypnotism, not the crazy kind where you think you’re a chicken. He agreed and I fell into a conscious state of relaxation for 15 minutes on my hostel bed before I was woken up, feeling alive and fresh for the day! I like hypnotism, it’s really cool and it’s so neat that I happened to be sharing a room with someone who had actually studied it! Such a cool experience and good story for later on.

After the hypnotist show we headed to TIGER KINGDOM! Tiger Kingdom is a sanctuary for around 40 beautiful tigers. The tigers living there were born within the facility and have been around humans their entire lives so they weren’t dangerous, although their size and strength would suggest otherwise! For a certain price you can pay to take pictures with either a full-grown tiger, medium sized tigers, or babies. We opted to see the babies because we assumed we’d be able to play with them, which we did! They were beyond adorable; I’ll even say I was as equally in love with them as I was to see the Panda’s in Chengdu. We got many wonderful pictures of and with the tiger cubs (there were at least 8 of them running around the area), and I got a few good pictures of the full-grown tigers while walking around the enclosure afterwards. Tigers are enormous; I had no idea how intimidating they were until I saw them up close! They are truly gorgeous creatures though, I’ll post some pictures of them on here 🙂

Following the tigers I had a very relaxing/leisure filled birthday night. No drinks, just lots of laughter, food and wandering. We went back to the night market for a bit, and then went to our hostel to watch a scary movie on Richards’s laptop. Scaring Kathryn is beyond fun in my opinion. Such a great birthday, I might even say that it’s been my favourite birthday of all the 24 that I’ve celebrated! The only downside is that I lost my camera somewhere between Tiger Kingdom and coming back to the hostel after the night market. I’m miffed about this, BUT I’m also relieved because every time I’ve returned from my computer at the hostel after an eventful morning or night, I’ve uploaded my photos onto my computer in case I accidently lost my camera. This way I wouldn’t lose all my pictures too! Smart thinking, because clearly my camera is missing BUT I had put all the pictures from Bangkok, the floating market, and Tiger Kingdom on before venturing back out for dinner! I’m so relieved I did this, you don’t even know! So it’s a bummer about my camera (maybe it’ll turn up somewhere, who knows?) but at least I’m not missing out on any of the pictures I’ve taken because they’re remembrances of the wonderful experiences I’ve had on this journey so far!

Today the three of us did a day long jungle trekking adventure complete with elephant rides (these elephants are properly cared for), hiking to a beautiful waterfall in the jungle, white water rafting, and drifting down the rest of the river on long bamboo rafts. It was quite the adventure, we are all back at the hostel now completely exhausted! I think we’ll watch another movie and go to bed. Kathryn and I will say goodbye to Richard and head to Laos tomorrow, which includes a bus and then a slow boat down the river for 2 days until we hit to our next country destination! Should be fun, I’ll keep you posted 😉



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Blaine Copland
    Jun 17, 2012 @ 20:05:43

    Happy belated birthday!


  2. Darmon Richter
    Jun 30, 2012 @ 17:37:31

    Sounds like a blast! Be careful about trusting hypnotists though – sociopaths, the lot of them.


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