During one of my long weekends teaching I took a bumpy bus ride from Nongkhai to Chiang Mai - to do some further exploring. Chiang Mai was quite beautiful and filled with lots of mountains. I did some hiking, visited some small villages and saw a lot of temples. For those of you who are going to Thailand and want to ride the elephants I would discourage you from doing so. Watching the way they steer the elephants in the right direction is a bit saddening – at least from my experience the few places I saw with elephant rides seem to be the same.
I often think when I travel how lucky and spoiled my life can be. Everyone I met in Thailand was so resourceful - they didn't have much but they didn't seem to need much either. On the morning of one of my hiking trips this man (above) built us a raft made out of bamboo! with his hands! And then we used that raft to get to another part of town. Riding the raft was a lot of fun but I remembered thinking 'I hope nothing goes wrong cause I have a lot of tech gear in my bag I wouldn't want to lose!'.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep – one of the beautiful and popular temples in Chiang Mai.
PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG