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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Countryside Bike Tour – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: Kendal

On one of the real hot days that we were in Thailand we went on a bike tour around the countryside of Chiang Mai. Our guide picked us up from our place at around 8:30am. We started at a temple with a huge reclining Buddha.  Everywhere you go in Thailand there are temples and Buddhas.  We learned there are seven positions the Buddha statues are in one for every day of the week. Once we got situated on our bikes we were off, we toured different places of business in the countryside. These were very unique types of handicrafts that people did for a living. First we got to see them making metal designs by hand. The sound was excruciating! It felt like my eardrums were going to fall out! We could tell that they were working hard to make them all perfect; we even got to see some of the awards that they had earned for their craftsmanship so that was pretty cool. After the first stop we headed to our next destination which was a hand made vase area. We got to see how they turned a boring piece of a mango tree into a beautiful masterpiece; it was awesome to see all the transitions of the wood from tree to vase. Then we stopped for a quick snack break to keep up our energy. Our guide brought us fruit and bamboo filled with yummy sticky rice.  Like a Thai granola bar!  After that we continued riding in the country, where we saw all the rice fields. It was just like the movies with the people wearing the big straw hats and water boots picking up the rice. We even saw the random cow/buffalo (not quite sure which it was) being pulled somewhere with its owner leading the way. We stopped at a rice warehouse and our guide showed us the different types of rice there are but to my dismay (and my mom’s) our favorite tends to be the most fattening. In total we biked for 40km. it was a tough but fun ride – too bad for Keegan because his gears didn’t work on his bike so it was difficult on the uphill climbs.  Our final destination was some hot springs.  We had lunch at a restaurant there then we did what you do at hot springs in Thailand – we hard-boiled some eggs.  They sell small baskets of eggs and you place them in the hot water to boil.  Another fun day in Thailand – wish you were here!

As we were watching one of the metal finishers we could hear them pounding the medal on the other end of the workshop, it was so loud!

This is a different stop we made to watch the mango tree vase makers.

Here we are on the bike tour stopping to get an education on the rice fields.

The rice fileds.

Getting an education on rice.

Here we are in front of a Buddha. The Thai culture is based on the younger generations providing for their elders as time goes by; which is why you see all the large sticks supporting this aging tree.

As we road our bikes we saw this brush fire - not really sure if it was set or it was a random burn.

At the hot springs we found out the you need much more than 15 minutes for hardboiled eggs.

There's Keegan boiling our eggs with the hot springs rising in the background.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Thailand

 

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Jungle Flight – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: Keegan

HI PEOPLE OF THE WORLD CAN YOU HEAR ME “Test, Test hello is this working yes okay well here we go then!!!” I want to make sure you hear me because we are pretty far away from the place I call home.  While we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand one of the day trips we took was to a place that did zip lining.  It was called Jungle Flight! We took a van to the mountain area of Chiang Mai, it took about an hour or so to get there and then we got our equipment on which included a harness, a breaker (which helps you slow down when going on a super fast zip line) and also a helmet. Then we went through safety instructions. They told us that we don’t do anything except have FUN! There were a total of 23 zip line obstacles. On one of the zip lines it was like 45 meters off the ground and I was really scared so to calm myself I started yelling my voice away (screaming) there was a super long one that was 130 meters and I went really fast! On one of the zip lines the guide went with me and he started going upside down and all of this crazy stuff I felt so scared for him! There was also abseiling where they just drop you down and it’s a huge drop.  The guide would go-slow THEN FAST you could feel it in your stomach –everyone was yelling, oh what good times! We had a great lunch that was a part of the tour with eggs and rice and curry and all of these good things! I really liked the tour guide because he had a good sense of humor and when I told him my name was Keegan he kept looking at me curious (I don’t think he ever heard this name) and kept saying “chi-ken, chi-ken?”  Throughout the whole day he kept calling me chicken – it was funny because other people in our group (from Germany I think) kept correcting him.  I think he just kept doing it for fun.  One thing I learned about there that I never knew existed was cock fights… if you want to know details you can ask me the next time you see me.  What I did learn is when they fight each other and whichever chicken loses… well lets just say they make a good B-B-Q.

Getting safe for our Jungle Flight

Our crazy guide is upside down!!

Mom and Dad flying high!!

A few times we had to hike some very green and clean trails which led to the next platforms.

Kendal grew wings!

Our guide kept saying, "Oh my Buddha! (which is like oh my God) Mama, be free, just let your hands go!" She finally did and loved it!"

 

The whole group at the happy ending

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Thailand

 

Elephant Nature Park – Thailand

Author: Kendal

Just feeding my friend.

If you would have told me a year ago that I would be putting my hand in an elephants mouth in Chiang Mai, Thailand I would have thought you were going nuts! But here we are in February 2012 and it happened.

Dad being brave.

The other day we went to the Elephant Nature Park (ENP). The ENP is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center, where volunteers come from all around the world, to help care for the elephants and to learn all about the elephant lives from their past to the present. The ENP was established in the 1990s, despite extreme financial difficulties Sangduen Chailert (Lek) was able to found the Park in 1996, with her husband Adam. While we were there we got to feed, bathe and hangout with the elephants. The first time we were feeding them we fed them bananas and they used their trunks to put it in their mouth so you could even hear them breathing through their trunk! It was pretty amazing. Currently there are a total of 35 elephants living there; most have a nightmare background (that I prefer not to write about), but now they are finally in the beautiful elephant haven.  One even kissed us for a banana! Mom said it felt like when you put your hand under the pool vacuum cleaner. For those of you who haven’t done that yet, it’s like a suction cup. When we were bathing them in the river we had to throw buckets of water on top of their backs to get off all the dirt that they had thrown on top of themselves with their trunks to keep themselves cool.  Then we would rub their sides with smooth rocks.  But once they got out of the river they just put more dirt right back on! One elephant was holding water in its mouth and started spraying it at us! It was a really fun, in the moment experience and I would recommend it to everyone.

The beautiful mountains of Thailand!

Bath Time!!

Keegan and our guide got into a heavy water fight after we bathed the elephants!

Mom getting a kiss.

Just getting dirty - cooling down.

Me and my mom taking in the great view from on top!

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Thailand

 

Back on-line – China

Author: Steve

We have been in China the last month and have had no access to our blog site because China does not allow access to the company we use for blogging.  We are now in Japan and will do our best to get back on track.

On the beautiful Li River - going from Guilin to Yangshuo

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in China

 
 
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