Saturday, 11 May 2013

Laos and Chiang Mai

After our crazy few weeks in China we flew to Vientiane, Laos, where we spent a day exploring the city and getting massages. From here we went up to Vang Vieng, which is now actually fairly quiet because of the tubing ban, but we had a nice few days here. We went to the Blue Lagoon where we spent a fun afternoon swimming and sunbathing. We also went tubing, which wasn't all it was really cracked up to be as the bars have now been closed down, and the river was really empty. On our last day in Vang Vieng we met back up with our friend Phil from New Zealand and all went up north to Luang Prabang together. We spent our evenings at the famous Luang Prabang night market, and a day at the Kuang Si waterfall, swimming in some of the pools and visiting the bear sanctuary holding about 20 asiatic black bears which were so cute. Phil and Eli also went on an adventure to find a cave, but returned muddy and grumpy an hour later having been massively ripped off (still unsure if this cave actually exists). 

We said bye to Phil here and flew over to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where we had a really nice few days staying at the Green Tulip Guesthouse which was so great, anyone who visits has to stay there! The staff were amazing - they actually told us one day that we brought them happiness- and every single wall of the hostel was a different colour. What more could you want. 

We spent the first day in Chiang Mai on a Thai cookery course, learning to make curries, stir fries, noodles, soups - all of which were fantastic if we do say so ourselves. We also spent a day learning to be mahouts at the Baanchang Elephant park which rescues mistreated elephants in Thailand. We learnt how to ride and command the elephants to go, stop, turn and sit down, and we got to feed, bathe and ride the elephants bare back. 
It was a really great once in a lifetime day out, which we'd recommend to anyone. For our last day we visited the Don Su Thep temple, which we found much more impressive than the temples in China, and a much calmer atmosphere too. Last stop was Tiger Kingdom, where we went into the tiger enclosures with the tigers - though a cool experience, I think we were both a little too scared to fully relax and enjoy it! 

We're now in Koh Samui, with Emily, Jessie and Rio, and are having a great time relaxing after an unbelievably crazy 4 months - though without a doubt the best of our lives. See you all in a week! 

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