Backpacking in Thailand – Chiang Mai & Koh Samui

Since I started backpacking here in Thailand there hasn’t been a night I really had a good rest. Not even in the more quiet Chiang Mai (I blame thoughts and the constant loud traffic next to my window), but finally today I seemed to have catched up a lot of sleep and I am able to write a word without wanting to go to sleep right away.

Day 7 Chiang Mai: Redemption

The day after the Pentatonic rockbar I wasn’t in the mood to move an inch?, but on Wednesday I was good to go again. I started the day cycling to Wat Phra Singh, where I took the time to let stress flow away for a moment. My next stop was Wat Chedi Luang. Here I participated in a Monk chat.

I met a young Monk who had been a novice for about 13 years (if I’m correct) and is now officially a Monk since a month. When he was 8 years old he asked his parents (they lived in poverty) for permission to become a Monk. He said they couldn’t be more proud and accepted his request to become a novice. Rules say you cannot become a novice if your parents decline your request.

During our conversation I learned that he’s teaching young children English and that he himself had learned English by listening and participating in the Monk chats of the temple. These chats are a way for them to practice other languages. He can even speak a little Chinese!
We talked about the origins of Buddhism, stories, daily routines and many more things. If you have any questions you might light to ask, comment on this post and I might have an answer for you now (:

During the chat I also met a girl from The Netherlands, Rosemarijn. At first she didn’t notice I’m Dutch too, because I seem to be speaking without a very clear accent. Together we went out for some food and got ourselves massaged by female ex-prisoners.

The female prison in Chiang Mai has a program that helps the women rehabilitate by working in a salon. Te money tourists and others spend there goes to the women after they’ve been released.

After the massage and some more food we were done for the day. As it seems that’s what tends to happen after a good massage ?.

Day 8 Chaing Mai: Water for the Elephants

The day after I woke up really early at 5.30 am, but I’ll never regret that! I had planned a visit to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary.

Around 7am the driver from the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary picked me up. I was one of the last to climb in the car. We drove 50km South of Chiang Mai, somewhere in the mountains to camp 4.
The ride up made me think of the way up to my grandmother’s and instantly brought me back to Indonesia in my thoughts. The scenery, the muddy and bumpy roads, sometimes with a separated concrete  underground for when it becomes steep.

When we arrived the workers of the sanctuary explained the purpose of their work: keeping the elephants safe and away from extremely hard labor. That means touristic rides for instance, where they walk for hours and aren’t properly fed. The money they receive from visitors goes to food and medicine for the Elephants.
Though it’s still a touristic attraction it’s a step into the right direction.

We were lucky, because a baby elephant was born.

First we got acquainted with all the animals by feeding them and then we went downhill to give them a mudbath to eventually rinse them in te stream further down the hill. To me it was an amazing experience, though I can understand the point of view from people who say they’re not actually free.

I do believe though that the workers, some of who stay with them day and night and see them as their family, take good care of them.

Day 9 Chiang Mai to Koh Samui: Going ‘South’

Friday! It was time to check out and take a flight to the island Koh Samui with the intention to rest. Before I know it I’ll have to get back to work.

The flight unfortunately wasn’t the only thing going South. At 4am I received a wake up call from manager and friend about bombings in Hua Hin. He wanted to know if my colleague, who I had met in Bangkok, was safe. We both were and hoped it would be the last we heard of it.

While flying to Bangkok and Koh Samui on Mother’s day I received message that there where more bombings, 11 in total, including Phuket and Surat Thani, across the water from here (Koh Samui).

The Full Moon Party I came for this 18th is now something I have to reconsider.

Day 10 Koh Samui: Lazy lobster

This morning I woke up with the intention to spend the day alone and relax. I slept through the night this time and had a hearty breakfast.

Then I rolled to the beach. I tried to not get sunburned by putting on sunscreen, but aaiii, still turned a bit into a lobster.

So, I took a cold shower and then took an oil massage. I love massages, especially when they crack my back and neck and that head massage.. Mwoaahhh❤

When I sat down in my bed I fell alsleep right away and woke up at 7pm. I went out for some food and spoke to a local about things to do and the recent events. He assured me that the island normally aren’t targeted and I could maybe still visit the Full Moon Party. On the other hand he understands everybody’s concern and stated the party will be crowded. Also tomorrow’s night market is probably going to be canceled.

What do you think? What should I do?

For now I’ve booked a hostel on Ko Tao next to Koh Phan Gan, where the party is. That way I can still go if I really want to, but am not staying on the island itself.

1 thought on “Backpacking in Thailand – Chiang Mai & Koh Samui”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.