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For some reason I thought the idea of volunteering on an organic farm outside of Chiang Mai would be perfect for both Dave and myself. (Later, we realized that it would be perfect for her). I heard of Mindful Farms through fellow travel bloggers Honey…
Now that we’ve been on the road for about 8 months, I’ve had ample time to reflect on a few things I wish we had done differently BEFORE setting off. Some of these can still be done now but many of them are very difficult to try to do while traveling, forcing us to bite the bullet and pay extra or miss out.
More frequently though the Golden Triangle evokes images of opium poppies, hillside tribe and the drug trade that went on in this region for years. The name itself originates from the high price of opium, leading itself to being known as black gold, which was purchased with gold. With the amount of gold and opium that passed hands, this area is now known as the Golden Triangle.
The temple, as you would expect, is completely white. Kositpipat, the designer, believes gold is “suitable to people who lust for evil deeds” and wanted this temple to be different from the standard golden Thai temple. I think he was just working under tight budget constraints.
In the past 100 years, the Asian elephant population has declined by 90% and their available habitat has shrunk by 95% in the same time. It’s not exaggerating to say that in 20 years time there very well might not be any elephants in all of Asia. This once mighty mammal will be reduced to a mere historical reference.
Sukhothai literally means “Dawn of Happiness.” Well, we were pretty happy to be there and rent a bike to explore some ancient ruins. They’re reasonably well preserved and compact, so you can do the whole thing in a few hours. There isn’t too much of a story here, so we’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy!
Is it just me or does every country have an “old capital” that for whatever reason they decided to change. In Vietnam it was Hue. It China, it was Xi’an (check this) and in Thailand it’s Ayutthaya.
Vicky and I arrived here via bus and I immediately didn’t feel like doing anything. It was hot, we had woken up early for probably the 5th time in a row (no one told me that traveling would have so many wake ups between 7 – 8AM), and the main attraction here was temples, which we’d seen 101 times before.
Construction began at both ends at once in 1942 using the labor of 80,000 POWs and 180,000 Asian laborers. By the time the railway was completed in late 1943, 90,000 Asian laborers and 16,000 allied POWs had died due to the horrific living and working conditions.
After a quick bus ride from Bangkok Vicky and I arrived in Kanchanaburi, where we decided to take a tour of the seven waterfalls at the beautiful Erawan National Park.
Surprise, surprise – Vicky was determined to see all seven waterfalls no matter how much walking it was or how little time we had. The park is really pleasant and despite a few Russian tour groups, not overly crowded. They all manage the litter very well, which is a plus in South East Asia.
Month seven really flew by, I nearly forgot about this update. It feels good though, like we’re seasoned travelers – even though we’ve really just scratched the service on our trip and traveling in general. Still, now when we tell people how long we’ve been traveling and how much longer we’re planning, we get a lot more ooo’s and ahhh’s.