Beasts of the east
Ped fans, you may recall that a few years ago I took a memorable trip with several family members to Southeast Asia. Since then, I’ve been dying to go back, and my niece’s recent high school graduation offered the perfect excuse—why not celebrate her milestone with another Asian adventure?
So, in late May, my sister, my niece, my husband, my father-in-law, and I boarded a Korean Airlines jet, and after a seemingly endless flight, we landed in Cambodia! We took a day to acclimate and then off we went to visit the famous Angkor Wat temple and surrounding area.
The heat was sweltering, but it didn’t keep us from enjoying the eye-opening temples—sometimes enveloped in roots—in the Cambodian countryside, as well as the ancient city of Angkor Tom!
On another day in Cambodia, we went to see the floating villages on the monsoon-swelled Tonle Sap lake.
Then we were off to Chiang Mai, Thailand! My niece loves tigers, so our first stop was the Tiger Kingdom, a sanctuary helping the tiger population recover, after which we visited a Hmong village in the hills just west of the city.
Another day, we toured old Chiang Mai and visited the gorgeous Doi Suthep temple, which sits high on a mountain overlooking the city. Then we retired to our beautiful hotel, Baan Orapin, an oasis behind a gate on an otherwise gritty street, for a swim and a nap before hitting the night market for a nosh.
Of course, no trip to Thailand would be complete without a visit to the Patara Elephant Farm to see my old pachyderm pal, Boonpuk! Riding the elephants was the highlight of my last trip to Southeast Asia, so I had to share the joy with my current traveling companions. They reveled in the experience as much as I did!
It was another fantastic trip to a part of the world I have come to adore, and it was especially fun to share it with even more of my family!