03/05/16

Anantara Golden Triangle and Chiang Rai


If you open the map of Asia, you will find a point where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. This little point has been a precious spot throughout history and is mostly known for the illegal trade of Opium. It’s also known as the Golden Triangle.  

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View over all the 3 countries. Just a little hike up the hill from our hotel.

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So serene! I always become a hippie whilst in the nature.

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Did a day trip to Chiang Saen… we only stayed for an hour.

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Market in Chiang Saen

I’ve only been there once before, and going this time was just as exciting as the first time. There’s so much history and beauty and you’ll always encounter something new. This round we had time to go visit The Hall of Opium, which is one of the best museums I’ve ever been too. So exciting and the layout made it so fun to learn! We only had 1.5 hour to wander around as all museums are closed on mondays, meaning we had to make it during our Sunday sightseeing. We did not get enough time to look at everything thoroughly, as there are 3 full floors of learning. So, if you go, make sure to have a bit over 3 hours put aside.

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So many nice seating places at the hotel!

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Nature along every pathway…

Every day was spent by this pool.

It was so hot the day we went sightseeing so we did not cross the borders at the Golden triangle. I did it a couple of years ago, and it was quite the experience. If you can, and aren’t afraid of getting sweaty… and you haven’t gone before. You must go. I’ll never forget the enormous difference between Thailand, Laos and Burma and how much wealthier we are on this side. We all know about it, read about it, and see it one the screen. But once you’re there in person, stepping out of the boat or walking over the border, It’s extreme. I was just a kid the first time I crossed to Laos, and I remember I had an ice tea that I was drinking on the boat ride. Needless to say it was hot and when I arrived my drink was warm and I was throwing it away. At this time a child comes up to me and asks if he can have it and shares it with all of his friends… It’s in moments like these that you realize how great of a life you have, how grateful we should be, and that we should be doing all we can to help others.

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Entrance of the hotel. So pretty!

During our long weekend in Chiang Rai, we stayed at the Anantara Golden Triangle. I can go as far as saying it was the best Anantara hotel we’ve ever stayed at. Yes, they do have an amazing location making it hard to fail, but what I liked the most was the service. Everything was on point, and they do their uttermost for the guest to feel comfortable and at home. And how can you not love being surrounded by nature and elephants.

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This is where I had my breakfast 😀

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I just wanna hug him all day long. They come to see you in the reception every morning at 9 am!

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Room View

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Someone was loving his view. I think he was spotting some elephants in the wild!

 

I will definitely invest in a bathtub like this. It was soooo big.

 

Must do’s while in Chiang Rai:

  • Visit a tea plantation, the tea center at Doi Mae Salong is very pretty, but the selection is better at Choui Fong.
  • Singha park, do a day tour followed by dinner and sunset at their restaurant.
  • Visit the white temple aka Wat Rong Khun.
  • Golden triangle sightseeing

Where to stay:

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Happy trekker in Chiang Rai

Most of the photos used in this post was taken at the Anantara golden triangle.

Xoxo

-A

01/05/16

The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation


The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation is founded by Anantara golden triangle camp and Four seasons tented camps. The camp was primarily set up to help elephants, but after a visit there you can see that they are contributing with so much more. Helping out the locals, and especially mahouts all over Thailand together with their wives and families. I’ve always seen mahouts walking along the streets of Bangkok, trying to get people to buy overpriced bananas off them to feed the elephants. In my mind I’ve always looked at these guys as bad and that they have no right to have an elephant by their side doing things like that. In my mind, I always saw this as people who had acquired elephants as pets trying to earn money…Needless to say, I’m being prejudice and are pulling everyone under one comb…  After visiting the elephant camp, I’ve realized that many of these mahouts are just trying to keep themselves and their elephants alive, doing what they know best.

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This baby loves sunflower seeds!!

You have to keep in mind that these guys might not even have an education, they grew up with their parents taking care of their elephants, so that’s pretty much all they know. At some point they just couldn’t afford feeding their elephants nor themselves anymore and were forced to seek other options. The Elephant foundation has helped loads of elephant villages around Thailand providing the kids with proper education and the wives with work and income instead of just sitting at home. Most of elephant stuff you see in the Anantara Golden Triangle hotel is made by the wives of the mahouts. They also sell some at their camp. Beautiful jewelry and silk scarf made out of butterfly cocoons. Obviously they also provide work for the mahouts and their elephants making it a great little community.

It makes me so happy when I see a place where the humans and animals seem to be working together and actually care about each other. That’s how the world should be… Elephants should have space in the wild and not in some circus tent or a little field. That goes for a lot of other animals too. It costs over 15.000 USD early to keep an elephant fed and healthy, so if you would like to make a contribution check out helping elephants. Or even if you just want to get more educated about the elephants or see other of their amazing projects. <3

 

Xoxo

-A

 

15/04/16

An Imaginative Escape in Hua Hin


SO Sofitel just opened a new hotel in Cha-Am and we were super happy to get invited to check it out. There’s no secret that we love the SO brand and the chic, playful and sophisticated elegance they have to offer. It’s perfect for the younger crowd with monthly held pool and beach parties. The location of this SO Sofitel is simply amazing. At first we thought it was a bit far away from Hua Hin, but the private clean beach you get in return makes it worth it.

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There are lots of pretty creatures to greet you at the entrance

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A map of Cha am painted in white at the entrance wall, what a good idea!

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Got myself a new friend… I swear after the freshly prepared welcome tea, the animals talk!

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Loved our Arty room

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Is spent a lot of time here…

Their rooms are large with tall ceilings and carefully chosen details from around the world. There’s two different themes to choose from; SO Arty or SO Nature.  It’s definitely the imaginative escape they promise you. All the way from check in to check out. We stayed at the Arty room and fell in love at first sight. The bathroom was taken out of my dreams and the bed was just as soft and comfortable as they are in all the So Sofitel hotels. I always know I will get a good night sleep staying there.

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The perfect beach bar… just like Greece.

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The finger food at the So beach party was delicious. We also ordered a burger and pizza back to our room… I have to say the food there is amazing!!!

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After the fun started…

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I need to find out what wine they had… it got me drinking for hours 😀

We were so lucky to go there on the first week of the month and got to join the SO beach party. The drinks were delicious and the DJ played the best tunes ever. Not to mention their chef who made some serious finger licking good food. I pretty much never eat french fries, but the large bowl we were served was gone in 5! I’ve been missing a proper beach party since my days back in Spain and SO Sofitel definitely nailed that feeling! It was like we were back at the islands again. Make sure you go there early to get a good seat and have time to eat before the sun set and your legs feel like dancing. I think EVERYONE was up and dancing by 9 o’clock which is very rare in Thailand.

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This girl was overly excited for her treatment

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The cocoon <3 love!

We’re big fans of the SO Spa so we try making it there once in a while. This one was the most special one we’ve been to. It was so calm and relaxing and the service was amazing. Everything was on point. The details, the comfort… we all know how disappointed you feel when the treatment is over. I mean, obviously you feel fresh and renewed but… there is always this feeling that you wish it could last longer. So at this SO Spa, when the treatment is finished, they have this beautiful cocoon covered with twinkling stars on the inside and beds you can relax on, watching the stars while being served with yummy energy balls and tea. I love the idea, and we’ve actually agreed we’re getting one of these for our bedroom when we get a house!

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Safe to say, we’ve found our new favourite beach holiday destination not too far from Bangkok. It takes around 2 hours to drive here. No need to take days off work to go to the islands.

Check out their facebook page for upcoming events and deals!

Are you planning to go?

Xoxoxo

-A

 

06/04/16

Choui Fong tea plantation and why green tea is magical


I always used to think my mom was crazy when she was drinking green tea before. When she lived in Norway, she drank cup after cup after cup. I now know she is, as always… one step ahead of me. After I moved to Thailand I joined Tom on the tea train and had some tea once in awhile, but I never really liked it. After its popular days I was hearing things about the benefits of green tea, but I’m a very sceptical person when it comes to all these claims everyone has on what’s healthy and not and don’t really bother starting anything until I’ve done enough research myself. Especially when it’s something I don’t even like the flavour of, or find a hassle doing. So after a couple of years back in time after I had looked up studies on green tea, I felt dumb for not trying it out.

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You gotta try out this lychee green tea, it was full of sugar but so delicious!

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NO PICKING TEA LEAVES!!!

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I need one of these… heheheh

It’s so easy and available pretty much everywhere. And, now I actually REALLY enjoy it. I told you guys how I’ve started to drink coffee now… well started and started, but I do run up and get iced coffee in my breaks if I don’t feel like I can perform a 100%. Anyways, that shit is full of sugar and weird stuff… delicious, but full of shit. I gotta say tho, I do feel like a teenager having shots for the first time every time I drink it. After I started dieting again, this is unfortunately not within my calories, so I got back to the tea again.

I have around 4-5 cups a day and I’m awake and focused all the time. It’s a different feeling, it feels a lot more healthy. But it doesn’t only contain caffeine.  It also consists of 0 calories, AND makes me full a lot longer. Which is awesome for people trying to go down in weight. There are also studies showing that it improves your brain function and might even protect your brain against alzheimer’s and parkinson. It also increases fat loss by boosting your metabolism (hello dieting again!!!),has anti anxiety effects, lots of antioxidants that *may* lower the risk of various types of cancer, it lowers your risk of infection and promotes good dental hygiene. Ah, there are too many things to mention here….

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<3

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That’s how excited tea makes me!

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Get some finger food while you’re there… I recommend the springrolls and dim sum on the highest.

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We went to go Choui Fong tea plantation while we were visiting Chiang Rai and staying at the Anantara elephant camp last weekend. You bet we brought loads of delicious green tea home…It was such a wonderful trip and I loved every single thing we got to do. I’ll take you guys on a tour of the hotel soon. It was amazing, and there is so much love for nature and the people up there. I can’t wait to share more!

 

XOXOXO

 

-A