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Thailand

04/27/04

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Josh and I had a great time during our winter holiday this year in Cambodia and Thailand.

We could not explore much of Cambodia, seeing as though it is still teeming with land mines left over from the Khmer Rouge massacres.  However, we wanted to explore Angkor Wat and the many other surrounding temples.

From the 9th to the 15th century, the Angkor Empire was the greatest civilisation in Southeast Asia.  The heart of this Kingdom was Angkor Wat.  The Angkor dynasty slowly began to decline and around 1431 it was abandoned.

The massive temples were reclaimed by the jungle and were completely hidden for hundreds of years.  The main temples were re-discovered in the early 1900’s but more discoveries are still being made.

It was a truly amazing experience to walk through these ancient temples.  Some have had the jungle cleared away; others are buried deep within, with massive banyan trees growing as part of the architecture.

From Siem Reap, Cambodia, we flew right to Phuket {pronounced Poo-ket}, Thailand.  We stayed at Patong Beach for a while.  Patong was very nice but it was crawling with tourists.

The highlights of our time there were SCUBA diving in some beautiful coral reefs and running into my cousin Carole and her boyfriend, Yvan, on the street!

Next, we took a ferry to the Island of Phi Phi Don.  We had a glorious time on this tiny island.  There are no cars on Phi Phi so the only way around is to walk or take a boat taxi.  While on Phi Phi, we relaxed on the beach and did a couple more dives; where we saw leopard sharks, bamboo sharks, seahorses, rays and loads of other creatures!  We also did a lot of snorkelling and sea kayaking.

One of the places we did some snorkelling and some relaxing was Maya Bay.  That is where the movie “The Beach”, with Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed.

After Phi Phi we flew to Bangkok and then took a night train to Chiang Mai, in the north.  There, we met up again with my cousin Carole and Yvan.

After exploring Chiang Mai for a while, we left on a three day trek into the mountains.

During our trek we walked many, many kilometres and visited some very secluded and traditional hill tribes.  We slept in little bamboo huts in the hill tribe villages.  The animals living under the huts {chickens, pigs, etc.} were very noisy!  On our trek we also got to ride on an elephant part way through the mountains.  Josh and I rode a massive bull elephant that liked to run down hills.  Yikes.  We also got to travel down a river on a bamboo raft.  The raft was in shambles by the time we finished from hitting so many rocks!

We left Chiang Mai via another night train and spent the remaining days of our holiday in Bangkok with a day trip to Ayuthaya –the erstwhile Thai capital until 1767.

All in all, we were gone for a month and had a great time!  However, we were happy to return to Japan where we have clean water and comfortable futons!  We will miss all the wonderful fruits of Thailand though.

Angkor Wat at dawn.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

eden

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Temple taken back by the jungle. Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

Another temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

lunch break on day 2 of our trek. We walked 20km that day.

Our elephants.

Elephant caravan.

Our big, bull elephant.

Water-buffalo grazing in the rice fields.

Elephant caravan.

Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai.

Cambodia.

Jungle temple Cambodia.

Jungle temple Cambodia.

Cambodia

Cambodia

Cambodia

Cambodia

Breakfast with Carole and Yvan in Phuket.

Christmas in Phuket.

Phi Phi Islands.

Sea kayaking around Phi Phi

Eden at dinner in Phi Phi

Hilltribe village near Chiang Mai

Bamboo rafting near Chiang Mai.

Reclining Budda in Bangkok

Royal Palace grounds in Bangkok.

Ayuthaya, Thailand


 
 

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This site was last updated 04/27/04