After Beijing and Hanoi, we spent the rest of our time in Thailand. We started off in Phuket then went to Krabi and ended our time in Chiang Mai. All of these places are so different so I'll share highlights from each. Phuket
Just don't go. It is smelly, trashy and not at all the picturesque Thailand I imagined. Thankfully, we were only there for about a day and half. If you are traveling halfway across the word, skip Phuket and spend your time on some of the other islands.
Krabi was absolutely beautiful! We stayed in the Pak-Up Hostel and it was one of the best hostels I have every stayed at. It was clean, modern and provided great tours and activities. The first day in Krabi we went on a 5 island boat tour. Unfortunately, we didn't experience the peaceful island tour we had in mind. Our little wooden boat was being rocked by 20 foot pounding waves and high winds. I would still suggest doing a boat tour to see the different beaches in Thailand but be sure to ask about weather conditions. My favorite beach was Railay Beach, but you can't really go wrong on the islands.
A great way to get to the different beaches is by motorbike. We rented our motorbikes through our hostel for about six dollars a day. I had never ridden a motorbike before, and it was a blast, and I only drove on the wrong side of the road a few times!
Another one of my favorite things about Thailand was the massages. While we were there we got 4 massages because they are so cheap! For a one hour full body oil massage it as around 7 dollars, it just can't get better than that! If you're staying in Krabi, I would recommend Sai-Bai Thai Massage, it is clean and the women are super friendly. What's better than getting a massage and spending the day on the beach? A few of you asked about where I got my swimsuits, so I've included links below.
Look two: One-Piece (old, similar styles here)
Krabi had some seriously delicious food. We ate lots of pad thai, curry and spring rolls.
We ended our tour of Asia in Chiang Mai, which is nestled in the foothills of northern Thailand. The laid-back city is a mix of modern and old. Chic cafes line the streets and colorful temples are just a short jaunt away. We stayed at Yantarasri Resort which was beautiful and just a song tao (like a taxi) ride to the night market, cafes and restaurants.
Our first day in capital city we went to the Elephant Nature Park, this was on of the most amazing things I have experienced. It aims to provide a sanctuary and rescue center for elephants. Many of the elephants have been rescued from street begging, circuses or logging. Many of them are blind, have broken legs, and other serious health issues but have found a happy home at the Elephant Nature Park. We did the Sunshine for Elephants day trip and I don't have enough good things to say about this. With no riding, we fed the elephants sugar cane and watermelon then walked with these newly rescued elephants through the mountain forests.
Our second day in Chiang Mai, we did a Thai Farm Cooking class. We made traditional thai dishes like, coconut soup, yellow curry, spring rolls, mango and sticky rice and sweet and sour chicken. It was a blast spending a day cooking and eating flavorful Thai cuisine.
The rest of our time in Chiang Mai we spent roaming the streets to get a feel for the city.
Whew! That was short recap of our time in Thailand so please let me know if you have any questions if you are traveling there. And that's a wrap of some of the highlights from our trip to Asia!