It's a long one.
After Phi Phi we went to Phuket followed by Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai along with Phi Phi were my favourite places in Thailand. There was so much more to do in these places, paired with the friendly people and great food made it all the better.
The day we arrived in Chiang Mai just so happened to be my birthday. So we spent the day doing what Stephanie wanted to do. We started off the in art of paradise museum which was so cool and fun, not too expensive either. We had a walk through the beautiful flower market and then just chilled at the pool for the day because the sun was finally out! After hours of soaking in the lovely sun we went to a Japanese restaurant for some food then onto the markets for the rest of the night.
The next day we went ziplining in the jungle. This was so much fun! I loved everything but the abseiling part. I s**t myself when we did that because you just went down so fast and couldn't slow down, stop or take the stairs. I was looking so hard for a staircase down. Everyone including the instructor was laughing at me.
The day after that we did what was one of my favourite experiences on the holiday; the elephant sanctuary. Here they rescued elephants from shows and enclosures, the elephants cost them over 3 million Thai baht to buy as they have to buy the elephants trainer too. The trainers are like the elephants mother and the elephant will only listen to them and look to them for guidance, so they come as a package. When you become an elephant trainer it becomes your life job.
We started off by spending maybe an hour feeding the elephants. They taught you how to feed the elephants holding your hand out and the elephants would use their trunks or you could put it directly into their slimey mouths! If you didn't keep an eye on the sugar canes we had for the elephants they would just walk up to you and take them from your hands.
We then went on to the mud baths. This was one of my favourite parts. The baby elephant was literally diving his head under the mud and chilling there, having the time of his life. After the mud bath we went into the lake where we all cleaned off the mud and the elephants joined us too for a quick shower I guess.
This was honestly one of my favourite experiences in Thailand. It was amazing to get up so close to these beautiful animals and be able to look after them for the day. They are all rescued elephants, so they were well loved and cared for. If you go to Thailand you cannot miss going to an elephant sanctuary! We hit the markets in the evenings too when we were here. I found the markets at night to be better than the day ones. The day ones are literally just magnets and silly things where the night ones had everything you wanted. I found some cool unique gifts for people when I was here. Because Chiang Mai was pretty much our main stop before we left Thailand we did a lot of our shopping here.
We also did a day trip up to see the white temple in Chiang Rai. This temple is beyond beautiful and definitely worth the journey up. Make sure if you go there to cover up your shoulders and legs or else you'll have to pay for clothing when you get there. Some people also went to Pai for the day. I've heard only good things about it, but we had only enough time to do one or the other and because I'm obsessed with the colour white it was the white temple we had to see.
We stayed in Chiang Mai for five nights and I wouldn't stay any less time. Our hotel was by far the most amazing we had stayed in so far. From the beautiful decor and the friendly staff to the fun pony statue in the pool you couldn't ask for anything more. Of all the beautiful 4 star hotels we stayed in when travelling Thailand this one was definitely my favourite. I couldn't recommend it enough. We stayed in The Chaya Resort and Spa. The hotel is filled with bright colours and a cool modern style. The food was amazing and the staff were even better. They did everything and more to make our stay memorable. I even got a cake on the night of my birthday to the door, compliments of my amazing boyfriend. They always offered us free taxis to where we were going in the evenings if it wasn't too far and to top the love I had for this hotel they gave us a really cute jewellery box as a gift on our check out.
From here it was on to Bangkok for two days then our next adventure ... Singapore.