Songkran!

Wow, It’s been so long since my last blog and I wish I had an excuse, but really i’ve just been super lazy! So much has happened since my last post; I’ve visited Chang Mai for Songkran; fostered a soi (street) dog; adopted a rescue dog; finished school and most recently, visited home. I will have to split this into 2 blogs, otherwise I will bore you with all my rambling (It’s hard to stop!)

So where to start? I’ll start with my trip to Chang Mai! Robs dad (Neil) came out to visit us during the Easter & Songkran half term. For those that don’t know, Songkran is a holiday to celebrate the Thai new year: And how do they celebrate? With a 3 day water fight! And there’s no way to escape it. To fully embrace this holiday we decided to head to Chang Mai, supposedly the best place to go. To get to Chang Mai in Northern Thailand we got the night train. I traveled 1st class on the night train when heading to Laos, but this time we stayed in 2nd class. The main difference is that in 1st class you have your own room, whereas 2nd class is laid out like a regular train, but the seats change into beds and you have a little curtain for some privacy. Our journey was quite uneventful apart from the lack of sleep. The lights don’t go out and it was surprisingly cold!

When we arrived in the morning we dumped our bags, and whilst Neil went to bed and recovered from the lack of sleep, Rob and I headed out for a wonder around. It didn’t take us long to stumble upon some beautiful temples and then we found a massage run by ex convicts! This is a popular scheme run in Chang Mai; the convicts are trained as masseuse’s to help rehabilitate them. Intrigued and feeling tired, we decided to get a massage and it did not disappoint. The following day we went on a day tour with the Elephant Nature park to visit some Elephants (there are lots of unreputable companies so we did a lot of research to find a legit one). We ventured off to a small tribe an hour out of Chang Mai; here, they have 3 rescued Elephants who can roam freely through the jungle. On the tour we got to follow the Elephants, walk with them, feed them, give them a mud bath and then swim in the river and give them a wash. As it was the day before Songkran spirits were high amongst the Thai people and the local tribe people came to join us which resulted in a huge water fight, in the river, surrounded by Elephants! It was such an amazing experience and one that will never be forgotten.

The following day was Songkran! We were very excited, especially Neil, so we got up early and headed down to the old city wall, which we were told would be the best place to go (they weren’t wrong!) It wasn’t long before we got our first bucket of Ice cold water chucked over us. And this continued over the next 3 days! It’s really was an experience like no other; the streets are filled with pick up trucks full of people driving past, chucking ice cold water over you; your lucky if you only have 1 bucket of water chucked over you as your refilling and there really is no escape! It was a mistake to dry off and head out for dinner, driving around in a tuk tuk makes you an easy target and you don’t stay dry for very long! This went on for 3 whole days, (call us boring) but 1 day was enough for us. The following day we headed out of the city towards Doi Inthanon, a national park where we did a day tour visiting some famous sights including the highest point in Thailand and the Twin Pagodas.

Capture3

Upon returning we had fostered a Soi (street) dog, he was a little puppy called Bunny who was ADORABLE but, unfortunately, far too naughty for us! After making the mistake of moving into a pet friendly condo, Rob and I had been in debate for a while about whether to get a dog or not. To help us decide if it was right for us or not we started to dog sit for a few people in our building. That’s when Bunny came along! He was rescued from a restaurant where he was abandoned, only a few weeks old, he was covered in ticks and flees and suffering from an allergic reaction to them. After a few months of weening and recovery with his rescuer we wanted to foster him for a little bit, with hopes we could adopt him if it all went well. Unfortunately we soon realised he was not right for us and was definitely not suited to our lifestyle! He was VERY naughty, needed a lot of time, space and a very strong owner to take control of him. As hard as it was making the decision not to keep him it was the right thing to do. He’s now been adopted by his rescuer who he absolutely loves and has a much better living situation with. Not long after we then found charlie, our current, and forever dog <3. More about him on my next blog!

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