Monday, November 14, 2011

more of Thailand and Luang Prabang, Laos...

Hello all! To date, we have visited 12 countries and have stayed in 37 hotels! We have 38 days left in our trip...
We are currently in Luang Prabang, Laos and departing for Hanoi, Vietnam this afternoon. We arrived here 4 days ago. Below are some photos from our last few days in Thailand, namely the Loi Krathong (floating lantern) festival in Chiang Mai, the hot springs in Pai and some pics from Laos.
The Loi Krathong festival in Chiang Mai was one of the most auspicious, beautiful, magical and romantic nights of my life. Thousands of lanterns sent into the sky and banana boat-orchid lanterns floating down the river...fireworks blazing in the sky. Unreal. The festival is for good luck and to send away any bad luck or illness...everytime you send off a lantern you make a wish. A must for anyone planning to visit Thailand. A Thai girl saw us sending off our lantern and she took our picture with her's not included below, but she emailed to us and it was incredbile. That is indicative of the Thai warm and gracious.
If only I could share every detail about our month in Thailand! To quickly summarize, we fell in LOVE with Thailand.
Paradise beaches with white sand and sea green-turquoise water, snorkeling, longtail boats, limestone karsts, luscious green mounthains, jungles, monkeys, incredbile food - pad thai, curry, fruit, Chang Beer (6% alcohol), sunsets, drinking cobra blood, motorbiking around the islands to waterfalls, viewpoints etc., lady boys, bungalows, temples, Buddhas, monks, meditation, CHEAP, friendly smiles and whiskey from the locals, Sarah & Richie (newlyweds!), tigers, elephant trek, fireworks, lanterns, Loi Krathong, hot springs, rivers, etc. etc. etc.
It was amazing for me to visit both places where my brother and sister lived during their time in brother in Chiang Mai...and my twin in Ko Panang. I loved imagining them here... <3
Luang Prabang (Laos) is the first communist place I've ever been. It's extremely beautiful...tucked in the green mountains along the mighty Mekong River. The architecture is a fusion of traditional Laos and French colonial and there are french restaurants, pastries and wine bars everywhere. To be honest, it's actually bizarre. There is so much poverty here and they try to cover it up with the facade of fancy restaurants and hotels... I'm really glad we came here, but it truly is an example of tourism gone wrong. Again, it's truly's just hard to be a tourist here.
Two nights ago we hit a low point...Niko had wretched food poisoning (so sad!), I had hives on my legs and we had a 6 inch spider in our room. We both almost cried. But we are both great now and realize that you  have to have some low points while traveling at some point!! Moved past it :)
There are thousands of Buddhist temples everywhere and I LOVE seeing them and taking 15 minutes to meditate's quite ethereal. This morning I saw the morning alms ceremony where hudreds of monks walk in a line and collect alms (offerings) from the locals. It's beautiful.
Well, must go pack for our flight to Hanoi! We are both so happy to be exploring togehter and continue to be on the same page with just about everything. We are having SO much fun and really look forward to exploring Vietnam and Cambodia next. Off we go!
We miss and love you all! More to come soon..

 Hot springs in Pai, Thailand...
Our floating lanterns for Loi Krathong

 Locals sharing their whiskey and red wine with us... so fun.
 Luang Prabang temple
 You can buy these tiny birds in a basket and set them free for good luck. So sad for the poor birdies!

Luang Prabang

The morning alms ceremony with HUNDREDS of Buddhist monks. Beautiful.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

some Thailand pics as of late (hundreds more to come!)

We have spent the last month in Thailand...Krabi, Railay Bay, Ko Lanta, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Pangang, Ko Tao, Ko Sumui, Chiang Mai &, what a month it's been! I will elaborate when time permits, but words can't describe the love I have for this country. From South to North...beaches to mountains, the food, people, temples, and overall natural beauty are unlike any other. 

We head back to Chiang Mai this afternoon for the Loi Krathong festival (lantern festival) and then fly to Luang Prabang in Laos tomorrow. Will share more soon!

Love you all xoxoxo

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sneak peak of some Thailand pics! We are still in Railay Bay (been here over a week) and will be heading to Ko Tao in the next couple days. Our responsibilities include not spending too much money and remembering to apply sunscreen.  xoxoox