chiang mai & phuket

hello from thailand!
dekel & i arrived to bangkok at midnight on the 16th.
we had reserved in advance a room at an airport hotel for one night because the next morning we were going to pick up my mom, sister and bestie from bkk airport and from there fly straight to chiang mai (which is in northern thailand). dekel and i got to our hotel at around 1 am and went out to find some thai food. we walked a little ways down from where we were staying & found a place that was straight up “local.” no one spoke english and the menu looked quite questionable, but we ordred what we though sounded good & it didnt disappoint. it was so delishious! best thai food ever! after we filled our bellies and enjoyed chang beer we went back to the room to shower & rest.
the next morning we made our short way to airport to pick them up and turns out their flight was delayed so we waited a bit, but after about 2 hours we found them and went up to the 4th floor to make the 1-hour flight to chaing mai. poor mirelle was so motion sick & had been throwing up and feeling sick since they left home and she even got sick on the flight to chiang mai. when she saw me she just hugged me so hard and started crying. it was so good to see my family and friend.in chaing mai we stayed at wiriya house, which was about a 1 minute tuk-tuk ride from the night market. the first evening in chaing mai (since we only landed & checked in at around 3 pm) we went to a thai cooking class, where we got to pick out 4 courses to make in the thai woks. we got to go to the fresh food market first to learn about the vegetables and ingredients we would be using & our instructor was really cute. after the cooking class we got dropped off at the night market and wandered around in all the craziness. and at about midnight when we were ready to go home we popped into a massage place to get foot, neck and shoulder massage. one hour for $5. can’t beat that!

the next day in chaing mai we got up bright and early to go ride & wash elephants!
we went to baan chang elephant park where they treat the animals with respect and do not whip them or seperate the babies from the mother elephants. it was a beautiful place where we got to feed the elephants bananas, we learned some of the sayings, like “go” stop” and how to make them go right and left and at the end of the elephant riding we took them to a water hole where we washed them and had a water fight with the elephants. it was so surreal. they look so “alien-y” but they were so gentle and sweet.when we got back from the elephant experience, we showered (seeing as we had just played in poop water when we washed them) and hit up the night market area again. we found a cute little hidden place to eat that was tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets and we all got some thai food. after dinner we just strolled around picking up some cute tank tops and souveniers.

the next morning we got up to go on a jungle flight zip line adventure. the jungle was about a 45-minute drive from where we stayed and once we got there we got all strapped in and ready to go! we were in a group of about 10 and we got to zip line from over 20 platforms and propel down from 40-meter drops. it was insane. the views were breath-taking. we were literally in the jungle and it was so green and lush and beautiful. after hours of zipping through the jungle and over waterfalls we were served a nice thai lunch at the place of noodles, fried rice, eggs and soup. after we ate they took us back to our hotel. my friend dandi went on to visit a jade factory and my mom, mirelle, dekel and i went back to the hotel to pass out. we were so tired! i think it was all the action-packed into so few days and also the jet lag kinda caught up to us. we took about a 2.5 hour nap and woke up around 5:30 to get ready to get dinner and walk around some more. we went to a different area than the night market this night as we felt we had already kinda seen it all over there. we went to a street that had a strip of different pubs, restaurants and cafes. we ate at an “americanized” place called johns. i got spring rolls, dek got pad thai, my mom got a thai salad, mirelle got some soup (cause she wasnt feeling good at this point still) & dandi got a grilled cheese. after dinner we walked around and mirelle got to feeling a little bit better so we did some light shopping and we just poked around the little shops down the narrow side streets.

the next morning we got up & face timed with ben, my brother, & my grandparents. after that we had to pack cause we were flying to phuket that day. we went out for breakfast at a cafe we had seen the night before & we all got “american breakfast” which consisted of eggs, toast, bacon, ham, sausage, coffee and juice. after breakfast we picked our things up from the hotel and got a cab to the airport. when we got there we found out our flight had been cancelled but we didnt know cause the airline had sent an e-mail to my mom and she hadn’t checked her e-mail before she came so we were all kinda in shock. we acted quick and found another ($200 more) flight leaving the same time but with a different airline. we just didnt want to lug our luggage all the way back to the hotel for another night when we felt we had seen and done what we came to do in chiang mai and we just really wanted to continue on with our trip. so we caught the flight at 1pm and ended up sitting in the place on the runway for about 2 hours due to some maintenance check. we were so over it! but we finally got up in the air around 3:30 pm or so and we got to phuket around 5:00. from the airport in phuket it took about 45 minutes to get to our hostel. we finally made it and realized that they had messed up our reservation and broke us up into 2 & 3. like 2 of us (dekel & i) were going to be in a room with 2 guys and my mom, mirelle and dandi were going to be in a room with a girl from austrailia, clarisse. it was not such a huge deal, but we just thought they would have put us together, so we were bummed. we talked to the manager and he spoke to the 1 girl that was in my mom, mirelle and dandi’s room and she agreed to move rooms so we could all be together (dekel & i shared a bed because it was wider than twin size). so after checking in we set out to eat because mirelle got sick again and she we all needed some food. we found a pizza place and got 2 to share. even after dinner she felt sick so my mom took her back to the hostel so they could both just rest up. dekel, dandi & i wanted to walk around and explore a little bit. we are staying at a pretty happenen’ area so we didnt have to walk too far to find action. there is this major street that is closed off at night to cars and the people and tourists just take over the road. there are bars everywhere, there is chaos all around. people handing out fliers for ping pong shows, strip clubs and they are trying to set you up with hookers that are standing on the sidewalks in the highest of heels. after we walked down that strip of sex we got to the beach! it was nighttime so it was dark and we couldnt really see the water but you better believe we got our toes in the sand and walked along the shore. we were pounced on by people wanting to sell lanterns that you light & let into the sky as you make a wish. it was only 100 baht (~$3.50) to do it so dek, dandi and i did it. it was so pretty. there were other people doing it as well so the sky was lit up with little yellow fire dots, along with fireworks as people “buy” fireworks for them to set off. it was a really special sight. after that dek sniffed his way to find a chocolate/banana crepe, called banana loti. i didnt think i would like it, but between the thin, hot crepe, the buzz from the beer we had been drinking and the oozing hot nutella chocolate, i was sold and had one too many bites. after that we just made our way back to the hotel, it was around 11 pm and we were kinda tired. we also had planned on going to railay beach for 2 nights before going on to koh phi phi, but when we got here and understood that the boat ride would be a few hours or that by car it would be at least 5, we decided to cancel that lef of our trip because we knew mirelle wouldnt be able to deal with all that motion. so we ended up booking another 2 nights here in phuket and on sunday, the 24th, we will travel to koh phi phi by boat, which is like a little over 1 hour ride. hopefully it wont be bumpy or choppy.

anyways, so the next morning after arriving in phuket we got up, slipped our bikinis on, ate breakfast at the hostel (i had a blt and a strawberry, banana, raspberry smoothie, dek had “english breakfast” of eggs, beans, bacon, toast, coffee and juice, dandi had eggs on toast, mirelle had french toast & my mom had mussili) and headed to the beach. after laying out and dipping into the water we had the chair-lady on the beach “watch” our towels and we went to eat at a mexican restaurant called cayote. dek & i shared fajitas and we each had a kiwi margarita. after lunch we headed back to the beach to swim a little bit more before coming back to shower.

waiting to meet my family  🙂
walking through the food market in chiang mai before our cooking class
fresh produce
i dont even know what that is….
fried, bagged pig skins?
bananas are everywhere here!
fresh, cold pinnapple
a pretty lantern at the thai cooking class
ready to cook some thai food!
some of the ingredients
our wok stations
making coconut soup
yum!
i made a cashew nut, chicken noodle course
pretty necklaces
bangles galore
the night market
the first night of many massages to come  🙂
the thai people are so respectful & bow to give thanks
full moon party energy drink
our bill & some baht
a pretty elephant
such big creatures
“look ma! no hands!”
me & dek next to an elephnat
lovin on ’em
zip lining through the jungle
dek, mirelle & i ready to zip!
lean back
such pretty scenery
we were lowered dropped down 120 feet
 finished zipping, posing for a quick pic by the waterfall
an intricate dragon at our hostel in chiang mai
1st breakfast in phuket: a blt
hello kitty explosion in a store in phuket
 the sex street in phuket, we walked down there our first night and were weirded out a bit
lighting & releasing lanterns into the sky
dekel riding the wave
our first beach trip, in phuket
the water is so green from the reflection of the mountains
a cloudy, but beautiful day at the beach
tsunami evacuation route
fresh shrimps, anyone?
@ breakfast in my new singha beer tank & fedora
little crabby
pretty lights along the streets of phuket
across from our 2nd hostel in phuket
beer selection
the sex street at night
bob marley bar
fried rice for dinner
patong beach
blogging here is kinda difficult since i dont really want to be cooped up in an internet cafe for hours copying, editing and uploading photos, so i will try to post next week.
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