There’s a Sunday night market every week in Chiang Mai and it’s an amazing collection of craftspeople, musicians, cooks, seamstresses, and artisans that—along with residents and tourists alike—take over a good six long winding blocks. It’s so overwhelming in fact that I may need to join twenty of my closest friends for a 30 minute foot massage ($2.00). (at ถนนคนเดินวันอาทิตย์ (Sunday Walking Street))
Someone is ready for a kiss. (at Elephant Nature Park)
Guess which one of us had so much fun feeding elephants today and which one of us enjoyed the comfort of their Canon zoom?* We spent the day at an amazing elephant sanctuary outside of Chiang Mai—Elephant Nature Park—that takes in abused and mistreated elephants. It was such an incredible experience to take part in feeding them (they eat up to 10% of their body weight daily), bathing them (giant water fight in a river), walking with them, and generally being in awe of these incredible animals—many of whom have been treated cruelly in the logging and tourism industries. *Nico actually fed them too, I’m just jealous he got better pictures than I did. (at Elephant Nature Park)
Well hello my new elephant friend. Yes, I promise the bananas I’m feeding you are tastier than my iPhone. (at Elephant Nature Park)
Temple splits the sky (Chiang Mai, #Thailand). (at วัดเจดีย์หลวงวรวิหาร (Chedi Luang Varavihara Temple))
Nico filled me with Thai iced tea and I was too happy sipping it to notice we were walking into an insect museum. I’ve now seen more beetles, cockroaches, wasps, and mosquitos than I ever care to again but the butterflies saved Nico from me pouring the iced tea on his head. Especially amazing are the butterflies camouflaged to look like leaves. (at Museum Of Insects And Natural Wonders, Chiangmai, Thailand)
In many countries we’ve been to recently there are very few boundaries when it comes to kids (on one bus ride in Nepal I had two different toddlers placed on my lap as their mothers struggled with bags and cell phones) which is perhaps why it took all my restraint not to give this kid a big hug. (at ประตูท่าแพ (Tha Pae Gate))
I feel the need to start this story by saying I’m supposed to wear glasses and rarely do. With that said, after removing our shoes we quietly walked into a beautiful small temple—I was tiptoeing even more quietly than usual as I could see several monks and wanted to be respectful. And then this guy with a giant camera walked right up to one of the monks and put his gigantic lens inches away from the monk’s face. I literally gasped with shock and disgust. And then Nico told me the monks were made of wax. And they are. (at วัดพระสิงห์วรมหาวิหาร (Wat Phra Sing Waramahavihan))
I’m having trouble choosing a representative picture of tonight’s paper lantern filled sky in #ChiangMai—I think a screenshot of my camera roll might come closest to showing what happens when you sit on the ground and look up (these were all taken within a span of about 2 minutes). #YiPeng (at สะพานนวรัฐ (Nawarat Bridge))
Over the next couple of days, Chiang Mai celebrates #YiPeng and Loi Krathong—festivals held at the end of the lunar year during the full moon—filling the sky with paper lanterns and fireworks and the rivers with floating offerings. It feels like the entire city is covered in lanterns and the sound of fireworks is a constant background noise. As Nico occupies himself in a futile attempt to keep me from buying fireworks, I’m looking for a good iPhone app to control shutter speed to capture tonight’s floating lanterns—any recommendations? (at พระบรมราชานุสาวรีย์ สามกษัตริย์ (Three Kings Monument))
New city (Chiang Mai, #Thailand) but we’re continuing to be in Buddhist temple heaven—this chedi (stupa) was built in the 15th century. (at วัดเชียงมั่น (Wat Chiang Man))
From the butterflies that follow you as you amble the streets of Luang Prabang to the rural villages in the south where kids jump from playing in the river to helping water new crops (and back again), we’ve found #Laos to be such a beautiful and magical country—it’s hard to leave!
After the rooflines, my favorite part of the Buddhist temples in Luang Prabang are the gold stenciled images on burgundy painted walls that cover nearly every surface.
Our main activities in Luang Prabang have been eating and marveling at the roof lines of the Buddhist temples—there are over 30 (this one is next to the royal palace #HawKham).
Experiences my iPhone has survived the last 6 months: riding a camel, skydiving from 10,000 feet, boating *under* Iguazu Falls, swimming in 3 oceans, 4 seas, 1 crocodile infested river, trekking in the Andes, many many tuk-tuk drives in Asia, motorcycling in Laos, rappelling down a mountain in South Africa, resting unguarded on Buenos Aires cafe tables as I carelessly sipped wine. What my iPhone could not survive: falling 14 inches from a bed stand to the floor. (at Luang Parabang, Laos)