Thursday, May 5, 2011

Taking Thailand

Days 6-9 Bangkok, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai and back to Bangkok!

We are still having a blast here in Thailand. We can't believe we still have TWO more countries to discover!
 Monday was a travel day for us. We got up very early and headed for Khon Kaen on a 6 hour bus ride. We performed at a University that seated 4,000 people. 6,000 showed up. The aisles were packed. It is awesome to perform for people who really are excited about what we are doing. The missionaries that are in that area said that our performance was a huge outreach for less active members. Here is the venue we danced in on Monday. After the show, people were reaching their hands out to us so they could touch us and then they all mobbed the stage and one after another, posed for pictures with us. It was fun for about the first 5 minutes or less. :o)
 The next day, we flew to Chiang Mai. We stopped at a beautiful waterfall on our way to see some sights. Unfortunately you can't see the waterfall but you can see how green and absolutely beautiful Thailand is. Pictures don't really do it justice.
 We went to Doi Sutep which is a Buddhist Wat (temple). We have gone to lots of Wats already on this trip. They are awesome!
 Sadly, a guy got into my picture but at the wat we were able to be blessed by a monk. In order to be blessed, you have to take off your shoes and crawl into the room so that your head is below the monk.
 That evening we went to a Thai dinner show. It was pouring rain but those dancers were still out there doing their thing! The bugs came at us with a vengeance this night. Jer even had a nice little moth in his soup. I told him it was extra protien. ;o)
 We stayed in the hotel for one night. It was so nice! We have actually been really lucky with our accommodations. They have all been pretty nice. This one was especially fancy.
 We visited the night market in Chiang Mai. SO. FUN! We bartered with all the people at their stands and even worked up a little system with our friend Kenzie. We got some awesome things for super cheap! The night markets are awesome and the people here are actually pretty nice for the most part. Not too pushy. Jer and Kenz are posing in front of a Roti cart. Roti is a dessert that is made with a thick crepe-like bread and then toppings like banana, chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, etc. Very delicious and only 20 baht! That's 75 cents!
 Jer thought this looked like the Asian version of Twilight. I agree, we had a good laugh about it. We have been seeing lots of people's Asian twins out here too!
 Later, we went to another temple where a monk spoke to us about Buddhism. It was very interesting, and my take-home message was that if I allow things to bother me or make me upset, I am only allowing myself to suffer. It has actually helped with my attitude on the trip.
 Yesterday we got to ride the elephants!!!! It was the best day on tour so far! I was on cloud nine because those elephants are so cute and talented! We arrived at the Maesa Elephant camp and our group fed the elephants and watched them take a bath while the other group went on the elephant ride. Here we are with our elephant buds after we fed them. They even took the tip with their trunk and handed it to their trainer. Each elephant has its own individual trainer that is with them for their entire life. It is pretty cute because they become very good friends.
 Here's one taking a bath. They just lay down in the river and soak it up! They love it in the water and the roll around.
 Jer got this great video! Check it out.
 After the bath, we all watched the elephant show. They know so many tricks: they played soccer, swung their trunks, posed, played the harmonica, hula hooped, and the most amazing of all, painted pictures! Here, the elephant is putting the finishing touches on his painting of a flower pot.
 Here we are on our elephant ride! We had so much fun! We think this picture may be a pick for our Christmas card.
Here are some of the finished paintings by the elephants! Can you believe it? Amazing! My favorite is the bonzai tree.

And there's an update of our adventures! We are now staying in a 5 star hotel called the Dusit Thani. It is amazing and even fancier than the one I talked about earlier. Things are going really well. We are healthy and happy. Maybe getting a bit sick of chicken and rice but I'm not giving up on the fruit just yet. Tonight, we went with some of our friends to Pizza Hut just to get a little break from the Thai food and it did the trick. We're loving our time here and trying to take advantage of every minute. We are lacking sleep a bit but we don't want to miss anything! Last night we only got 4 hours of sleep because we got in late from a show and had to be up at 4 to leave on a plane to come back to Bangkok. The flights are really short but we slept the whole way. We figure we can be sleep deprived for a few weeks since we may never come back to Thailand again! More adventures to come!

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