Our first stop in Thailand was Chiang Mai. This part of the trip was full of walks through night markets (which meant buying lots of souvenirs), visits to temples, the most delicious Thai food, a motorbike ride on the Sameong loop, massages, an elephant jungle tour, and unfortunately a bout of food poisoning.
We are pretty certain the food poisoning came from our lunch at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Whether they used bad water to cook the rice, or simply not washing their hands when handling our food, it hit me about 12 hours after lunch and Chris not much later than that. Despite the 24+ hours of horrendous discomfort, we still remember our day with the elephants as one of the coolest things we’ve ever done. At this particular park, the elephants have been rescued from other parks that allow tourists to ride them, and from other forms of entertainment. During our day with them, we fed them bananas and sugar cane, we walked with them through the jungle, we bathed them, and we swam with them. Elephants are such beautiful, gentle creatures. If you ever visit Thailand, keep in mind that elephants are not meant to be ridden on, their backs aren’t strong enough.
Our next stop was Phuket, where we hopped on a speedboat and headed toward Koh Yao Yai. Chris doesn’t really like the beach, but he’s said on more than one occasion, if more beaches were like Kao Yao Yai, he’d love them. Our room at Santhiya Resort was breathtaking, and the view from our balcony was gorgeous. Everyday we had a free buffet breakfast then headed the beach or pool, where waiters would bring us drinks after drinks, and snacks after snacks…it truly was ‘the life’. We had our next Thai meal (after the food poisoning, Thai food just didn’t sound so appealing) at one of the resorts restaurants, it was so authentic, cozy, and the food was delicious. Our time on Koh Yao Yai was way too short, we really want to go back one day.