Hello hello, guys!! Are you ready for the next part of our trip? It’s the last stretch. If you didn’t check the first segment, you could do it here. Today, we have 2 stops: Kanchanaburi and Chiang Mai. I hope you’ll enjoy it!!
We took the train and tried the 2nd class. It was better than the previous experience, but it wasn’t beating the VIP bus. We made it to Bang Pong train station then a taxi came to pick us up to go to Sai Yok, 2 hours drive from that train station.
Where we stayed?
We stayed in an Airbnb (again!) located in Soi yok, a village at 45 min drive from Kanchanaburi. To be honest, it wasn’t the best. Location wise we quickly understood a car was mandatory. Nothing was at a walking distance. Taxis and tuktuks weren’t in the area, at all! We only had a bus… passing at 7 am! Also, the house wasn’t 100% clean. However, the host took good care of us. She helped us find a rental. Thank God we practiced driving on the left with the bikes. My mom told her what needed to be improved; she is working on it, therefore, don’t take our experience too seriously. Don’t get me wrong; not everything was negative. Almost every morning we were witnessing elephants swimming in the river. There was a sanctuary right across the river! Priceless! Believe it or not, this whole Sai Yok experience got us closer. We had the most fun.
What did we do?
A little bit of history :
You cannot go to Kanchanaburi and pass on the Death Railway. We visited one piece in Sai Yok and another part in town, on the Kwai river. I found out the story behind the railway isn’t glamours at all. Hundreds of thousands of WWII prisoners, Indian and Asian slave laborers built the train line. Why? The Japanese wanted to invade India and thought it was strategically better to pass through the lands via Myanmar (Burma). You maybe guessed it, one hundred thousand laborers died during the 16-month construction between 1942-43 hence the name “The Death Railway.” Eventually, in 1945, the Allied saved the survivors. Voilà. It is sad. There is a museum you can visit in town if you’d like more information.
Back to the subject :
We also swam in Erawan Falls’ incredible blue water with hungry fishes. It’s a national park, so you know the price. I mentioned it here. That’s another reason why you need a car or a scooter. It’s at 1-hour drive from town/ 45min from Sai Yok. Next time, we will do the Sai Yok waterfalls, we didn’t have time.
Ayutthaya was on our list. We were too tired and lazy to drive 5 hours, so we went to Prasat Muang Sing instead. It was nice. There’s a small entrance fee.
In Khao Lak, I told you we ate a lot. Well in Sai Yok and Kanchanaburi we went harder!!!!! Blame it on the disappointment!
Last but not least, we visited the elephants’ sanctuary right across the river. We fed them, and we were lucky enough to play with an elephant calf.
5. Chiang Mai
To get to Chiang Mai, we took the VIP bus because we were clearly over the train. The ride lasted 11 hours. Written like that it looks like a lot; I swear it’s nothing. First of all the comfort make you forget the hours and secondly, you travel in the night. The first impression we got was Chiang Mai is B.I.G. Remember, once we left Bangkok, we only did small villages. Some places reminded me of Time Square in NYC, smaller though. Les cafés! They caught my attention. There are a lot of coffee shops. Cute ones. With that French touch. Selling croissants!! It is a beautiful, chill city.
Where we stayed?
Do I need to tell you? You must know by now. We stayed in an Airbnb. We actually did 2 Airbnb. The first one was in a new area. Clean, secure (there were security guards at the entrance), very accessible and we had free bikes!!!! YAY! The second one was a traditional Thai house. Chiang Mai style! Each area has their own typical houses style. The bikes weren’t included here. It was “super” as well, with unique coffee shops around.
Oops… once again, I didn’t take any pictures. Click on the link if you want to see more.
What did we do?
At that point of the trip, we were starting to get sad. It was our last destination. Anyways, we sucked it up and enjoyed every second. The first day we treated ourselves, all of us, to a foot massage and a spa day at Chez Charlotte in the Shangri-La hotel. We refreshed those nails, waxed, refilled the eyelashes and my boyfriend got a haircut. The next day we spent a good amount of time in the 3D art museum. At night we discovered the famous night bazaar. Perfect place to buy souvenirs! Our taxi driver took us to the Karen long neck village. We mostly saw women at work because the men are said to be in the fields. I hope it’s true! They are Wonder Women. While they are working, they also take care of the kids. In fact, the entrance fee is used for the children’s education. We petted tigers. I was scared and I wasn’t trusting any of them. But I did it! We also walked through rice fields and climbed straw gorillas. The last 3 days we rented bikes so we could do Chiang Mai by night. We ended up bargaining in a night market.
Did you know there was a Grand Canyon in Thailand? I didn’t until I was in Chiang Mai. It is more of a water park, and it’s human-made. I was so tense; I almost broke my neck in the toboggan. And the zip line? I turned down the offer. I don’t know why I was so scared.
Last but definitely not the least, we went to Doi Inthanon National Park. A must! I repeat! THIS. IS. A. MUST! Unfortunately, the time we chose to visit was the rainy season, so it was foggy and chilly (14C) however it was still beautiful.
Oh, and in Chiang Mai, we shopped in the airport mall and the Central Festival mall. Very cheap, I found!
We took back the VIP bus to Bangkok and spend one night with our Thai family, in our favorite Airbnb! When it was time to leave for the airport, we cried. All of us.
Our Thailand trip is over! I miss this country every day: its people, the food and the adventure. We met incredible people and made new friends. That’s the point when traveling! You may be wondering if being black is an issue over there. Not at all! You are a Beyonce! People aren’t racist. They are in admiration. I was asked to take A LOT OF pictures. They loved our hair, the curls, the texture, our shiny skin color, our bodies, and the curves. They went crazy over the curves! I’ve never felt that beautiful in a country. Not that I need an approbation; however when your difference is appreciated; it feels good! I found it funny we have to fight hard for inclusion in Occident when in Thailand, there are no doubts black is beautiful! They acknowledge us!
Anyways, I will go back because I fell in love!
I hope you enjoyed the last part! Let me know in the comments your impressions!
I see you next week, for our weekly post!