My February 2019 40-Day Vacation

Thailand Photo Taken by Ben Thailand Photo Taken by Ben

Although this blog post has nothing to do with the point of this website, I would be amiss if I didn’t share my experience of paying a visit to this beautiful country Thailand, and about its people.  My 30 days in Thailand included visits to the cities of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, the countries of Myanmar (Burma) and Laos, then to Phuket (pronounced Poo-ket, not the other way that you think) to experience the Thailand beach scene of the far south.  On the way back I went to Bangkok and then back to Chiang Mai for a return flight.

I did so many activities on this trip from a rough makeshift bamboo boat down a rushing river navigated by a pro but then later another trip where I helped to get us down the river with many bumps and bruises after (but totally worth it).  Braved the rapids in a more traditional boat for that sort of activity and gave my arms a great workout with those paddles.  Took a handmade wooden cart down a steep hill steered by only my feet and a hand break peddle.  Rented an ATV for a short trip around in the mountains of Chiang Mai.  A street party with Karaoke and raise money for a local temple and yes, I did sing an English song horribly after a few too many Chang Beers. Enjoyed so many amazing food dishes that are so flavorful, the Mango and Sticky Red Rice with Coconut Milk was a symphony of flavors on my tongue.  I rode the super long Pongyang Jungle Coaster and recorded the whole ride.  Went to the highest spot in Thailand (256,53,341 Meters Above Sea Level) and it was a little chilly up there but so green.  Saw the stupas, Phra Mahathat Napamethanidon and Naphapholphumisiri for the former King and Queen’s Sixtieth Birthdays in 1992 and 1997, up near that high point.  Took a few boats down the large rivers going through Bangkok and even visited the famous and “The First Floating Market of Thailand” while in Bangkok.  Went to the Pink Bar on the 64thFloor to see the Bangkok city views at night.  Went to the flea market that’s run on the weekends in Bangkok, you can find it when you exit the MTS station “Mo Chit” and I had a chuckle because we did buy more … stuff while there (yes brother, this is where I bought your trout slippers).  I have photos flying over Phuket and we island hopped for 2 consecutive days there (so beautiful).  And the above is just a sample of what I did while in Thailand and oh the fresh Maah-Plow (young Thai coconut) and tiny Sah-Pah-Ruht (pineapple).

Those were not my only stops however, I also went to New Zealand to experience the beauty of the South Island there and attend my awesome cousin’s wedding in Christchurch.  Thank you Aaron for taking time off and experience as well as photographs in Godley Beach, Scarborough Park, Kura Tāwhiti/Castle Hill, Arthur’s Pass National Park and we kicked up that long path to see the waterfall and hiked through a super dark cave in snow runoff, Harbour & Corsair Bay Reserves, Lake Tekapo to soak our feet and watch it miraculously dissolve away foot swelling from all of that hiking.  Queenstown, Mount Cook National Park and so much more!

There was also a short stint in Hong Kong on the return flight where my cousin Grace humbly shared her place with me and showed me how to navigate around Hong Kong on the underground railway system and bus systems.  Checked out the “Ladies Market” in Kowloon (famous for the fake Rolex watches, Prada and Gucci bags and so much more!  My cousin also works at a church there and I was blessed to watch her perform for the congregation on Ash Wednesday while out there (you were amazing).  Here are my photos from the trip on the Gallery.  This trip was by far the longest vacation I ever took as an adult and it was a life-changing experience, and one of the motivations to get this website going upon my return.  As much fun as I had and enjoyed on this trip, I had a strong feeling of guilt that I was unable to bring my children on this trip with me.  A future planned trip to these places is an absolute must in my future and I hope you add them to yours as well.

Stay Traveled My Friends!