Dear Friends and Family,
How are you? I hope everyone is well and enjoying the last bits of summer. I woke up this morning and it was downright chilly at a nippy seventy-five degrees! I sound crazy right? But I’m not! We have officially acclimated and I don’t understand how ya’ll deal with real full blown winters. But enough about the weather. Ronnie and I just had a little adventure this month and I’ve already promised at least two top notch relatives that I would put pictures up ASAP!
The short and skinny is that Ronnie and I went to Thailand to relax and have some real quality time. The extended story is that we have been trying to go to Thailand for the past year or so and never could find the time. Now that we’ve gone, we are so glad we held onto that dream because it was a great new experience that we couldn’t get enough of.
So everything started in Bangkok…which we quickly decided was not our favorite city since It smelled kind of “interesting” everywhere and we couldn’t seem to get properly oriented. We tried our best to leave ASAP, but with fresh backpacks and a underused travel guide, we decided to fly by the seat of our pants. Naturally, that meant hiccups were inevitable. Those hiccups included:
The wrong train at the wrong time, headed to the right destination
The right van headed to the wrong destination.
The wrong city on the second night
Hideous motion sickness
And an amazing vacation!!!!!
Flat out, Ronnie and I had a blast on this trip! When we had no chance of making it onto the train we wanted so very badly with air-conditioning and overnight sleepers, Ronnie said, “It won’t be that bad.” I took a good 10 minutes to mope and then we embraced it. We ended up having time to hang out at this great cafe right outside the train station in Bangkok called the 511 Cafe. I think they are referencing the tourist police hotline but I digress. Afterwards we hopped on our train and found out it was bright yellow! Very fun and even though they were upright seats without air-conditioning , they reclined back pretty far and the train had rotating fans with all the windows down so you just got to enjoy the breeze until you fell asleep. It made for an amazing view when we woke up to the sunrise over the Thai country/jungle/small towns (they all wizzed by so fast). We bought some longang fruit from a lady who jumped on the train at one of the stops and ate that while I desperately tried to take pictures.
Train ride: check.
As for our broken up bus ride up to Mae Hong Son. We thought we just couldn’t get a break when we missed the van headed straight up. But, when we stopped in Pai, we realized we did catch a break because that road was ridiculously windy, 762 curves to Pai to be exact. We ended up in a that little hippie town and got a chance to shower and stay the night a little Baan (house) with bungalows and mosquito nets. We hopped around town and ate some great Pad Thai and Street food. We did a little shopping and the next day, we were off to Mae Hong Son. We actually were planning on stopping in Pai on the way back to Bangkok the next week so we just got to visit the town sooner. The next day, we arrived in Mae Hong Son nice and fresh and only a little motion sick from the other 1,102 curves north. See that wasn’t so bad.
I wont keep y’all too long with more crazy details but once we finally made it as far north as Mae Hong Son, close to the Burmese Border, we understood why it was so worth it to travel such a long way. We had reservations at the Fern Resort, a well run establishment almost in the middle of the jungle that makes you feel like you are apart of their everyday happenings. Many of the people who work at the Fern are from the surrounding hill tribes and as such, the Fern is benefitting the community. They have four or five dogs that trot around the resort keeping you company while you enjoy your afternoon drinks, walk you to your room, guide you on jungle paths, or just come to say hi while you eat breakfast. Our room was A-MAZ-ING! We stayed in room 39 which is a bungalow off to side with a full view of their very own rice fields and the mountains just down the way. Ronnie said it was the most beautiful place he had ever seen. Of course, none of my pictures come close to doing it justice. You have to enjoy all of the live action with birds singing, crickets chirping, tropical plants lining your window, and the rice fields swaying with the breeze and almost ready to harvest. We had a chance to ride around the surrounding areas on a tour that we took and those views were just as spectacular. Not to mention we got to ride an elephant! It was a sort of paradise and I think Ronnie didn’t realize places like that were accessible. I was so glad to go on a beautiful trip with him and enjoy all of the amazing things and people God placed in Thailand.
We had the best time and Ronnie needed a good relaxing trip after that whirlwind of trip in Taiwan…sorry sweety. He put his foot down and said we weren’t doing anything that could kill us (in remembrance of our legendary rain hike in Taiwan). I said we might as well not get on the plane or ride in the car but I knew what he meant. In respect of futile tradition, we did in fact take a jungle hike where we encountered banana spiders and bugs that in my opinion could have killed us. Still, Ronnie is a chill kind of guy and I think Mae Hong Son, Thailand suited him just fine. Its been almost two years since we left the USA to be stationed in Okinawa, Japan and we are starting to feel the homesickness. Ronnie misses his family since he didn’t get to visit the States when I did. We hope y’all are enjoying all the pictures and tales from our travels but know that we are in desperate need of some good old fashioned family time with all of you. We love ya’ll and hope you are well.
Ronnie and Zipporah