World trip month 5: Mekong River cruise in Laos & temples in Thailand

by suitcasestoriesbe

Hi everyone!

World trip update month 5: Our travel itinerary goes from the Mekong River Cruise in Laos to the most beautiful temples in Thailand.

We continued month 5 of our world trip in Laos, joined an unforgettable Mekong River cruise, and crossed the border to explore Northern Thailand. But we also needed to cancel our travel plans to return home… A lot has happened in month 5, that’s the least we can say. Why did we return home and what is planned for month 6? You can read it all in this new world trip update month 5: Mekong River cruise in Laos & temples in Thailand

Read also: World trip update month 4: Thailand, Cambodia & Laos

World trip update month 5: our travel itinerary

World trip update month 5: Laos & Northern Thailand
Our travel itinerary of month 5 where we went from Laos to Thailand

2-day Mekong River cruise from Laos to Thailand

During our last days in Laos, We hired some bikes and explored some of the beautiful temples in Luang Prabang, and relaxed by the river. To end our stay in Luang Prabang we’ve got an amazing massage by the Burasari Spa. This village is definitely one of our favorite places on our world trip.

Ready to continue our adventure, we joined the 2-day Luang Say Mekong River cruise which brought us to the northern border of Thailand. The Mekong River cruise was such an unforgettable experience and by far the most beautiful way to travel between those two countries. We visited charming local villages, spent hours on the boat staring at breathtaking landscapes, and had a wonderful night in a luxury lodge.

Read our whole experience about the cruise+ tips here: Must do: cruise along the Mekong River from Laos to Thailand

visit Laos in 2 weeks - Luang Say Cruise
2 weeks in Laos itinerary - Mekong River Cruise
Having so much luxury during the Luang Say Cruise
Luang Say Cruise along the Mekong River
Visiting small local villages along the river

Incredible temples in Thailand

After the 2-day Mekong River cruise, we arrived in Chiang Rai, a beautiful city in the far north of Thailand. Chiang Rai is the perfect place to start exploring the famous “Golden Triangle” (where Thailand meets Myanmar and Laos).

We rented a scooter to explore some of the most amazing temples in Thailand. To be honest we are not really cultural-minded travellers but we love the impressive structures and beautiful

The first temples we’ve visited were the beautiful Wat Rong Khun and the unique blue temple Wat Rong Seua Ten. Afterward, we drove with our scooter along the countryside to the Choui Fong Tea plantation where we enjoyed a fresh green tea. Must-do!

We only had 2 nights in Chiang Rai, which was a bit in our opinion. We definitely could have stayed a couple of nights longer to explore more of the amazing temples in Thailand

Read here all our tips and recommended places in Chiang Rai: Highlights of Northern Thailand: itinerary + tips

The Wat Rong Seua Ten Temple - Chiang Rai
The Wat Rong Seua Ten Temple
Chiang Rai route Thailand
The Wat Rong Khun Temple
10 days in Thailand itinerary: Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai
Wandering around the Choui Fong Tea Plantations

After Chiang Rai, we took the bus to Chiang Mai, which is the spiritual and second-largest city in Thailand. We rented again a scooter. A scooter gives us more freedom to discover all the temples in Thailand.

We visited first the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple (where I forgot my phone on our scooter and never ran so fast 309 steps back down). In the evening we walked around the cozy Saturday Night Market in Chiang Mai

Funny memory: we got our first international fine in Chiang Mai! $ 25 for driving without a recognized international driver’s license for scooters. We never had any problems with our international driving permit, but in Chiang Mai, it’s apparently common to target foreigners. Anyway, they gave us a permit to drive for 3 more days after paying the fine. How ridiculous right!?

Chiang Mai Doi Suthep Temple
Wat Doi Suthep Temple
Chiang Mai Buak Hard Park
Buak Hard Park
Chiang Mai - World trip update
Renting a scooter is the best way to visit everything

Our last stop in Northern Thailand was Pai, a small hippie village, near the Myanmar border. Pai was our personal favorite place in the Golden Triangle. We stayed 3 days at Pai Vieng Fah Resort but could easily stay here a week.

Pai has an incredibly laidback atmosphere with lots of ricefields, caves, and canyons in the area. We loved strolling around the food market where we had the best vegan street food ever and riding with our scooter to the Pai canyon!

Another highlight was the visit to a hill tribe village where we met the long neck Karen people. Some people say it’s a tourist trap, but we really enjoyed learning more about their history.

Check out all our favorite places in Pai here: Highlights of Northern Thailand: itinerary + tips

The Karen Long-Neck tribe
The Karen Long-Neck tribe
Pai canyon
Pai Vieng Fah Resort
Pai Vieng Fah Resort

After Pai, we went back to Chiang Mai for one night, where we caught up with some friends from home. We had a wonderful evening together but also received some very bad news about Mik’s grandmother and that’s why we decided to cancel our travel plans and return back home.

Meeting friends of home in Chiang Mai

A project in Bangkok

Before flying back home, we had a project planned for the Burasari Group. We stayed at their award-winning boutique hotel: Shanghai Mansion and worked on a new promotional video for their website (check it out below).

Normally we would continue our world trip adventure to Sri Lanka as we already bought the flight tickets but because we received the news of Mik’s grandmother we decided to book an ongoing flight from Sri Lanka to Amsterdam.

After we finished the project in Bangkok, we took our flights to Sri Lanka, where we had a flight to Amsterdam a few our later.

Shanghai Mansion Bangkok

Where are we now?

Right now we are still home in Belgium for 3 more weeks. Family is what we cherish most in life, and making the decision to return to spend precious last moments with Mik’s grandmother was the best thing we could do. Seeing her smiling the moment we entered her hospital room, will be with us forever! ❤️

Now we’re home we will try to visit as much as possible our family and friends, and we have two celebrations of the birth of our best friend’s son and my nephew’s daughter. After 5 months of non-stop traveling it’s so nice to be home. We can reorganize our backpacks again before we leave, wash our clothes, and cook all our favorite food. Home sweet home!

Birth of my nephew's daughter
Birth of little beautiful Manon
World Trip Update - 5 months - Back home Belgium
Celebrating the birth of baby Stig with our friends
Reunited with family
Enjoying family time
World trip update
Seeing our cat Filou back

What’s on the planning for month 6?

After spending 3 weeks at home, we will continue our world trip in Sri Lanka on the 1st of April. Sri Lanka will be a new destination for us, so we are super excited to explore the beauty of this country.

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Love,
Valerie & Mik

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