Khob khoon kha Thailand (thank you)
Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
142Trip End Jun 18, 2011
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Our time spent volunteering at ChildTRAC back in Phuket was one of the most rewarding and enlightening experiences of our lives: I don’t mean it lightly when I say it changed our lives. My strongest memory of Thailand is visiting the refugee camp for construction workers in the town of Khao Lak: no matter what the future holds for me I will always remember those feelings of helplessness and despair when I was confronted with the reality of human suffering and poverty. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully express the impact that experience had on me. From here it was very difficult to get back to normal life again and to summon up the energy and enthusiasm to travel again. However once we got moving we ended up having a brilliant time in Bangkok, Auytthaya and now Chiang Mai. We have had so many memorable experiences here in Thailand that I think I have started to lose track of all our activities, but these are the ones that stand out from our 2nd month here traveling: visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, walking the Bridge over the River Kwai, seeing the temples at Ayutthaya, our cooking class, experiencing a Buddhist meditation retreat, trekking through the jungle, bamboo rafting, elephant riding, the madness of Songkran and zip-lining through the jungle
From here we will be spending two weeks in the country of Laos: Laos is a pretty under-developed country and is registered as one of the 20 poorest countries in the world. So we don’t really know what to expect. We plan on visiting three places during our time there and our main aim is just to soak up the atmosphere and take in the unspoilt scenery: although it is becoming more of a tourist destination, Laos is still a very undeveloped country compared to places such as Thailand. There are a couple of ways of entering Laos but we have decided to go for the most adventurous way in: its going to take us three days worth of traveling but we are going to sail down the mighty Mekong River on a traditional slow boat! We have heard some people say that the boat into Laos is one of the best things they have ever done so we are really excited that we are going to get to do it ourselves. We bought our trip through a booking agent in town that we have used quite a few times and she passed us over to the various operators for the different stages of the crossing that we will be using over the next few days. The plan is to take a mini-bus from Chiang Mai to the Thai-Laos border and spend the night on the Thai side of the border, then the following day we are going to cross the border from Thailand into Laos and board our slow boat down the Mekong
Bye bye Thailand, you have been very special to us :-)