We arrived in Chiang Mai and it was a breath of fresh air. It is in the mountains in the northwest of Thailand. There was a lot to do and see there, and we both agree that it was our favorite place that we visited.
We stayed at a little bed and breakfast in a quiet hippie neighborhood. It was an old house that had been converted into a few guest rooms. It had awesome gardens and ponds and everything was made of teak wood.
The breakfast they had was perfect and we got to eat it in the garden.
That day we explored the area, did some shopping, and Tanya and I went on a date to get a couple's massage. It wasn't the Four Seasons, but it was only $5 for an hour and felt so good after our long travels!
Then we went out for dessert - a waffle with ice cream!
The next day we did another excursion. First we went to an elephant camp where we rode them through the jungle. Tanya and I rode the biggest one, and he had a full set of tusks! It was surreal and was a fun thing to cross off of my bucket list.
When we were done we got to play with the elephants and feed them bananas. They were getting greedy and trying to steal them from us! The baby one was especially naughty, he didn't like being touched on the head and would ram people if they bothered him!
After the elephants, we went to a hill tribe village. There were lots of loomed scarves and other crafts.
Then we hiked to a waterfall and were able to swim and cool off.
Then we hiked again some more to a river. They had rafts made of tied-together bamboo. They took us down the river on them and it was a serious balancing act. We were pretty much underwater, just trying to hold on for dear life. I'm proud of my 60+ year old parents. They kept up all with all the youngsters and were the only ones even close to their age doing all of this stuff.
That night we were ready for a change of pace food wise, so we found a little Mexican restaurant.
The next day while my parents went ziplining (once again, adventurous), we decided to have a romantic day, just the two of us. We started with a walking tour of old temples around old Chaing Mai
We ran into lots of kids who were on a field trip and wanted help with their English language assignment.
Then we went to a Thai cooking school and took a cooking class. This ended up being a lot more fun than we thought it would be, and it was the best food we had the entire trip (not to brag or anything). The food was quality. We learned a lot and at the end they gave us graduation certificates and a cookbook with all the recipes. We are excited to take what we learned and cook at home - if we can find all of the ingredients.
We made cashew chicken, thai basil, green curry, red curry, pad thai, spring rolls, and coconut mango sticky rice.
We ground our own curry paste
The ingredients were so fresh
After our cooking class, we went to a really classy spa and got a couples Thai balm massage. It was very intense (lots of weird bending and kneading and cracking our backs over their bodies) but it felt so good. We also got facials while we were there. At the end they gave us awesome ginger tea to relax our muscles.
Then we walked to the Chaing Mai Night Bazaar for shopping and dinner. They had amazing stuff for sale and we might need to come back when we buy a house and start decorating it.
Chaing Mai was our favorite place that we went, and was the perfect break between busy Bangkok and our next stops - Phuket and Koh Phi Phi Don Island!