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 cellphone...it's not included below, but she emailed to us and it was incredbile. That is indicative of the Thai people...so 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 Thailand...my 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 beautiful...it'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 inside..it'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...
Locals sharing their whiskey and red wine with us... so fun.