Our Thailand and Cambodia Trip

I usually do not share personal things with you but I have had many requests to share our recent adventure to Thailand and Cambodia. We spent an amazing 2.5 weeks in Asia with our good friends Meg and Del. Meg is half Thai and still has most of her family there so we definitely got the VIP tour. The post is a bit longer then normal so I hope you just get lost in the beauty!

The long journey to Thailand was well worth it. The temple you see below was our first stop. We flew from Bangkok into Chiang Mai and went straight to the famous Hill Top Temple. The colors and vibrancy were so impressive!

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The little girl I fell in love with...

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Chiang Mai was for sure one of my favorite spot on earth. We pulled into this family owed secluded hideaway and immediately were in heaven. Jay said he felt like gnomes should be walking around because the scenery was so beautiful it felt like your were planted into a Disney movie. Meg's family friend owns the small resort and let us soak it up in style! We had to whole place to ourself and cooked and ate ALL from the land. The crops were not only organic and the freshest of fresh, but were laid out to be art piece or color surrounding the property.

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We were lucky to escape the tourists and have the hills of this particular part of Chiang Mai all to ourselves. We spent the day taking an elephant ride and a 3 hour trek! It felt like we were to only ones there!

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More incredible Chiang Mai temples! I just love all the color...

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My two favorite Thai dishes that I ate over and over!

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From Chiang Mai we flew down to Phuket where we met up with the newly married Maelani and Shamus. Phuket was an adventure filled with many activities. We took a boat ride through the mountain escape of Phuket's islands, kayaked under the caves, toured James Bond Island and even spent the day on Meg's families private island!

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From Phuket we took a day trip to the Similan Islands! We all agreed that the Similan's are by far in our top 3 best islands list! The contrast of the sand, water and lush landscape made these islands truly unique! The best part is about them is the fact that they are still untouched! Tourism has not taken over these beautiful islands!!!

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Jay and I separated from the group and were off to Koh Lanta! We took a fairy ride through the Phi Phi Islands to get to Koh Lanta. I was so happy to see the famous Phi Phi's but happy to not being staying there, as the New Years holiday brought in the masses.

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Oh Koh Lanta, how we love you. This is just a glimpse of the stunning Koh Lanta. It was too hard to narrow down the pictures so I kept it short and sweet.

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After 4 relaxing days in Koh Lanta, we were off to Cambodia! A place I had been dying to see for years! Cambodia did not fail me, and only superseded my expectations. We spent 3 days touring the land. Starting with a long bike ride through the miles of ancient ruins, including the famous Angkor Wat.

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The local monkey's I could not stop staring at...

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Each part of each temple has the most intricate detail woven into it. The walls are covered with murals from the ancient stories that took place. You really feel like you are walking through a lost civilization. We were in awe as we cycled and walked through the miles of land that incorporates "Angkor Wat".

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A hilltop look out for sunset! Love that even the monks still want to spend time in these places. They do not take it for granted!

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We woke up very early one morning to part take in a Angkor Wat sunrise. You walk through the grounds in the pitch black, find your spot and wait for the magic to take place. We found our spot and I never wanted to leave...

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Other parts on the Angkor Wat grounds...

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This did not exactly go as planned but looking back I am so glad it happened the way it did. We had asked our motodup driver to take us to the "floating forest", a photographers dream. There are hundreds of trees that look as though they are floating from the high waters that surround them. The sunlight pours in from the tips of the trees, making it a must see. Instead we were taken to the "floating village". The exact opposite feel to the forest. But I know God had a plan because those few hours forever changed me. The floating village is the poorest part of Cambodia. The floating real estate is the cheapest option. I have never been more overwhelmed by poverty in my life. I think the part that got me the most was these people have no place to walk. It is hard to tell in the photos but they only have their small boat to walk around on. They swim, bath, drink, and fish from the murky waters that surround their village.

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I dont think I realized the amount of emotion that was boiling inside of me as we floated along through the community. After spending some time at the local orphanage and giving them food and school supplies, it all came crashing down. I completely lost it and was in tears for hours! I felt lost and burdened with the feeling of wanting to fix and help this community and being completely unable to. The task was too great. How would anyone be able to rebuild this village? Jay was able to slowly calm me down and because of his time with Invisible Children he was also able to explain the right way to rebuild a community. We are actively looking into an honest organization that will be restoring and building up this community. They are hard to find, so if any of you have knowledge of one please share. I will be sure to let you know when we find the right cause to give to. The good news is even though they have nothing the Cambodian people are loving and enjoying their life! They look to us for help and money, but we also look to them as they have the joy we all need!

I hope this was not too long. We had a great adventure and are so happy to be able to share it with all of you. Now go book a trip! Travel is a big part in making you who you are!

Cheers,

~ Michele





4 comments:

Dana said...

absolutely amazing photos mich..really brought me back to when i was there, brought a happy tear to my eye. thanks for sharing!

Kevin's List said...

Wow - great pics!

Molly Sperry said...

Michele-I LOVE this pics! Amazing! They are giving me a major travel bug! :)

Anonymous said...

Stunning pictures Michele! Thanks for sharing your trip, enjoyed reading your accounts of everything - great to see Thailand and Cambodia through your lens! :)

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