There’s not much I can say about day 3 in Thailand. Just kidding, there’s plenty!
We woke up early, for us that is. Our kayaking adventure was set to start at 8:15 AM and we wanted to get breakfast. My alarm went off at 6:45 AM – knowing full well we’d make it through several snoozes before actually getting up I had set the alarm quite early – and both of us groaned. I hit snooze and before you know it, a half hour had gone by. Rolling out of bed we quickly threw on our clothes, pulled our hair up and headed down for breakfast so we’d have some energy for the day.
Breakfast was surprisingly pretty tasty, given our horrible food the night before. They had a number of mini buffets to choose from including a fruit station, a Thai/noodle station, sausage and eggs, bread and pastries, etc… and coffee, oh how I grew to love coffee while Riley was here.
After breakfast we went down to meet the travel agent and wait for the shuttle. The agent let us know that we needed to talk to him when we got back, and with that we were whisked away in a little open truck to the kayak training center. The company we kayaked with is called Chiang Mai Mountain Biking & Kayaks, and they were awesome. Really friendly, fun, and safety oriented. We had about 30 or so minutes of training in which the instructor gave us tips on how to handle various situations on the river – later we got actual practice in – as well as fitted us with our gear.
This was the only picture taken at the kayak company’s building.
At this point we were all hurried in to the vans and started off. Little did we know the kayaking site was nearly a 1.5 hour ride from Chiang Mai. We made a pit stop about 45 minutes into the ride to buy snacks, drinks and use the restroom and then headed back out on the road. The views were gorgeous. The mountains and jungles are just stunning and the guides were seated with us. It happened there were just two less seats than kayakers, so my sister and I got seated in the van with the guides. They entertained us and were very friendly. One of them made sure that we took selfies with him.
Had to use the bubblegum filter.
Apparently the guide is a huge fan of fishing and asked Riley to bring back a harpoon gun for him the next time she comes to visit. We both laughed… he was completely serious.
Once we finally arrived at the kayaking site I realized I hadn’t put any sunblock on, thinking we’d be in the jungle most of the time. Thankfully one of our fellow kayakers noticed I was already starting to burn and offered me sunblock… At this point Riley made the dreadful mistake of not asking if she could use some too.
-Sorry I have no pictures for the kayaking trip. I brought my GoPro so I do have video which I’ll post once I get the chance! –
UPDATE: I forgot my sister brought a camera from the kayaking company so I do have pictures!
Piling into our kayaks, they pushed us off one by one into the river and has us practice strokes for a good 15 minutes or so and then… we were off.
Thailand is mesmerizing. The first hour or so of our trip we floated along the river has it wound through tall grass, open skies, and the occasional perfectly sunlit tree. The sun was beating down on us surprisingly hard for December, but the water was a lovely cool temperature and I couldn’t help but keep dipping my fingers into the water… I almost wish I had fallen out of my kayak just as an excuse for a quick swim.
Riley was the first, but certainly not the last to fall out of her kayak. We had been kayaking for about 2 hours when up ahead I suddenly saw a big splash. It was right on one of the trickier river rapid turns, and we were all being called to hurry through to pull into the eddy. As I passed by the splash site, I realized it was my sister. I have to apologize, but I did laugh. I just wasn’t expecting her to be one of the kayakers to turn over (a couple fell out in the same spot). Sorry, Riley!
The next hour or so was quiet as we slipped into the jungle. With the river now covered with the shade of trees and the river picking up pace a bit, the going was a little easier although the sun had already done its damage to our skin as we later realized. So thankful that gentleman gave me sunscreen or I would have been beet red at this point.
We stopped for lunch which was surprisingly delicious. This may have been the only Thai meal I had there that I truly enjoyed, I’m still not sure if it’s because it actually had a little kick to it or if we were just starving…
The next 3 hours of kayaking were much more fun in my opinion as the river started getting a little faster and had more turns to maneuver. I won’t go into more detail than that except to say it felt similar to being in a Tomb Raider adventure movie just because of how beautiful and exotic the scenery truly was.
Riley and I chose to go on the beginners course since neither of us had kayaked rivers before. I’m glad we did, although the kayaking itself wasn’t too challenging aside from a few bumpy turns the length of the kayaking route was quite intense.At about 12-15 miles (20-24km) we were completely exhausted by the end, I had blisters on my hands, Riley was quite sun burnt, and more than a few people mentioned “being so over this.”
After handing up our paddles and kayaks the team directed us with a wave of the hand to go get changed in a small restroom. Where that restroom is, I’ll never know. I gave up looking for a place to change and used Riley’s long skirt pulled over my head to change under. There was a local Thai man standing a bit down the street laughing at us, but I was just happy to be in dry clothes and ready for the trip back.
This may have been the shed we were supposed find.
I fell asleep on the ride home.
Once back at the hotel Riley and I decided to go out to check out the night market and get something to eat. We ended up eating at one of the Indian restaurants in the Night Bazaar. The chef/waiter/host was so nice and even made our food extra spicy on request. I think the Masala tea may have been the best I’ve had in a long time. I’d eat there again.
After dinner we went and got ice cream and walked around purchasing random items from some of the souvenir booths for friends and family back home. Afterwards we went back to the hotel, showered and laughed until we were in tears.
We watched Spongebob until we fell asleep. Like we were kids together again.