The Land of Smiles

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
Martin Buber

Thailand is more than beautiful, exotic and tropical beaches. It’s also lush jungles, amazing food, traditional floating markets, huge caves, world heritage and traditions.

I started by Bangkok, a crazy city with thousands of golden temples, where it was very hard to find helpful and english speaking people. There, in Khaosan Road,  I was initiated on eating insects and, in fact, they are not as disgusting as they seem to be (I tried the bamboo worms, the silky worms and a scorpion leg – the whole was too big for me).

After the insect adventure, I stopped in Ayutthaya, a historic city that became an UNESCO World Heritage Site, where every rock seems to have something to tell. From there I went by train to Surin – it was time to see the The Elephant Round Up, a cultural festival held every year, where hundreds of elephants are gathered at the Elephant Stadium.

In Chiang Mai, a “New City” with more than 700 years old, I met really friendly and helpful people for the first time in Thailand. I just got there on time to go to the Loi Krathong and Ye Peng Festivals. From there, I went on a 2weeks/1000km motorbike journey around that area, and the first stop was in Pai, a really nice place to rest from the motorbike trip and see the amazing sunset at Pai Canyon. The rustic area of Soppong was the next stop, with its surrounding dense forests, rushing rivers and dramatic limestone landscapes, and many caves to explore. However, my favorite place was Mae Hong Son, with its valleys and moutains, friendly people and amazing tribes that I only imagined to see on my wildest dreams.

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