We continued month 5 of our world trip in Laos, joined an unforgettable cruise along the Mekong River, crossed the border to Northern Thailand and needed to cancel our travel plans to return back 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 of month 5: Laos & Northern Thailand.
2-day cruise from Laos to Thailand along the Mekong River
During our last days in Laos, we joined the 2-day Luang Say cruise along the Mekong River which brought us to the northern part of Thailand. This 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
9 days Northern Thailand
After the 2-day cruise from Laos, we arrived in Chiang Rai, a beautiful city in Northern Thailand. Chiang Rai is a perfect starting point to explore the famous “Golden Triangle”. We hopped on a scooter, visited the famous White and Blue Temple while we drove along the countryside to the stunning 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 a scooter, visited 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) and the cozy Saturday Night Market.
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 have problems with our international driving permit, but in Chiang Mai, it’s apparently common to target foreigners. Anyway, they gave us a kind of permit to drive for 3 more days. How ridiculous right!?
Our last stop in Northern Thailand was Pai, a small hippie village, near the Myanmar border. Pai was our personal favorite spot of the Golden Triangle where we easily could spend a whole week relaxing.
Pai has an incredibly laidback atmosphere with lots of ricefields, caves, and canyons in the area. Every evening you can stroll around their lovely food market where we had the best vegan street food ever! One of our highlights was our 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.
Before heading to Bangkok, we went back to Chiang Mai for one night, where we caught up with some good friends from home Nancy, Johan, and their kids. We had a wonderful evening together but also received some very bad news about Mik’s grandmother why we decided to cancel immediately our travel plans and return back home.
4 days Bangkok
Before returning home, we had a project planned for Burasari Group, where we stayed at their award-winning luxury boutique hotel: Shanghai Mansion. We worked on a new promotional video for their website and did a shooting of their rooms. Check out the video here
After those 4 days in Bangkok, we had already flights booked to Sri Lanka which we decided to take first. From Sri Lanka, we found a connecting flight on the same day to Amsterdam to go home.
Where are we now?
The moment we received the bad news of Mik’s grandmother being in the hospital, we didn’t need to think twice to return back home. Family is what we cherish most in life, and making this decision was the best thing we could do. Seeing Mik’s grandmother smiling the moment we entered her hospital room, will be with us forever! ❤️
As we booked a return ticket to Sri Lanka, we hhave 3 full weeks to be home. We are spending a lot of time with Mik’s grandmother, try to visit as much as possible our family and friends, and we will celebrate the birth of our best friend’s son and my nephew’s daughter. We really enjoy being home after 5 months of non-stop traveling. Now, we have the chance again to reorganize our backpacks, wash our clothes again and enjoy cooking our own food. Home sweet home!
What’s on the planning for month 6?
After spending 3 weeks at home, we will continue our travels 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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Read our next adventure here: World trip update month 6: Sri Lanka
Mik & Valerie