The first time we went to Thailand, we spent a month in the country– in the city of Chiang Mai and on the island of Koh Lanta. The two places couldn’t have been more different, yet both appealed to us. To this day, we can hear the melodic Thai greeting, Sa-wat-dee-kha, that was always spoken with a smile and sometimes a wave.
We stayed in the historic center of Chiang Mai where we visited temples, talked to monks, perused the markets, got Thai massages and ate the local cuisine (as well as some fine Western meals – pasta and bagels – we had long been craving!). We took two trips outside of the city center – one a trekking journey and one to two magnificent temples.
In Koh Lanta, our days moved a bit slower as we relaxed on the beach watching the tide roll in and out again and the incredibly colorful sunsets. The only day we strayed from Khlong Khong Beach was when we jumped on board a traditional long tail boat to explore nearby islands.
When we returned to Thailand in 2017, we visited three destinations: Bangkok, Koh Chang Island and Chiang Rai. In the capital city, Bangkok, we enjoyed navigating our way through the different neighborhoods, sights and culinary delights. We were looking forward to a week of sand and sun in Koh Chang, but Mother Nature delivered on Rainy Season, so our water activities were carried out in the rain, but we still managed to have an excellent time. Chiang Rai surprised us a bit - we found more to do there than we had anticipated - from temples to tea-tastings to thundering waterfalls.