“To travel is to take a journey into yourself” – Danny Kaye
I love travelling and the people that know me will say that too. Travelling is part of who I am, it inspires me, I love languages and learn about other cultures and I guess that is why I’ve lived in 4 different countries and learning a new language. My grandparents always traveled when they retired and they always had such interesting stories to tell when they get back, they passed away a long time ago but they are always in my heart and we would look through their photo albums and that is really special to have someone to travel with and its all that memories that no one ever can take away from you.
Travelling with your mom is one of the most special experiences I’ve had and I will do it again and again and again. Moms plays such an important role in our lives that sometimes we take it for granted. I have always been close to my mom and we have a very special bond, she is my best friend and I am so grateful to have such an amazing woman as my mom. I miss her lots as we live worlds apart as she lives in South-Africa and I live in Thailand but she is always in my thoughts and close at heart and can’t wait to see her in less than 3 months. I think as you grow older you appreciate it more and become more aware of being blessed with such amazing people as I also believe people come into your life for a reason.
I have been living in Thailand for the last 2 years and its been quite a journey but not for one second I regret it. My mom decided to visit and she came here in October 2018. It was her first time flying solo and that across the ocean (about 9000 km). At first, when she told me that she is coming, I’ve started counting the days, the hours, the minutes and the seconds, I was thrilled to get such good news. I knew its not going to be a long holiday as we both don’t get a lot of holidays but hey something is better than nothing right? I know she was thinking about it but it just took a little courage to actually go through it and I am so glad she did. I was more excited to make memories in this extraordinary country and also just to show her a little bit of my world even though we didn’t visit the town I was living in, it still felt amazing to use a little bit of Thai that I’ve learned when ordering food and just share some experiences and just to be able to spend time with my mom. Time is really precious and I believe giving your time to somebody is the biggest and most precious gift and you can give to anyone because time you never ever can get back.
“Time is precious, make sure you spend it with the right people”
We ‘ve met on a rainy Saturday morning in Bangkok at the airport. I could spot her miles away with her light brown hair and of course, she stood out as there were Thai people around so not hard to spot the ‘foreigner’ right? and I ran to her, she looked exhausted but happy to be there. I got us some coffees and then we took a bus to the other airport and then we went to our hotel. We took it really easy, didn’t do much the first as we both were exhausted so we just went to enjoy some cappuccino at a local café.
So here is how it all started:
The next day we flew with Nok air on the 11am flight(interesting fact nok actually means bird in Thai), its a really short flight from Bangkok and then we took a taxi to our hotel. Chiang mai is definitely a must-see when you’re in Thailand, it’s a gem that you got to experience for yourself. Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai means ‘new city’ and is rich in food, people, culture, and history.
Here are a few highlights of our trip in Northern Thailand (Chiang mai and Chiang rai) that we have experienced:
The traditional local food which is called Khao Soi Gai (Chicken egg noodle curry), its really good. We went to a recommended local restaurant, its called “Huan chao Bua Tip”.
Karen Village (long neck) – These people are so talented, in this small village they weave scarves, one-piece takes about 5 days but there are bigger pieces that can take up to 3 months, they make their own coffee and the kids go to a local school, what an incredible experience but then you also see long neck women or girls. These people are mostly from Myanmar which is on the border of Thailand.
They wear these rings because of tradition and the more rings you have they believe you will have a long life.
Wachiranthan Falls, chiang mai
Doi Inthanon National park
Its one of the most popular parks in Thailand and its famous for its trails, waterfalls, views, birdwatching and cool weather.
The park is named in honor of the King Inthawichayanon, one of the last kings of Chiang Mai, who was concerned about the forests in the north of Thailand and wanted to preserve it. After his death, his remains were placed in the park as he ordered and the forest was renamed to Doi Inthanon.
We went to the highest spot in Chiang Mai. Its 2565 m above sea level, stunning views. It’s known as ‘doi luang’ which means big mountain. Wow, I am speechless after seeing these views.
Chiang Rai – White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
This is a beautiful and famous temple in Chiang Rai in the North of Thailand. The white color symbolizes the purity of Buddha while the glass signifies Buddha’s wisdom. This was designed by a Thai architect and was built for the king. Its quite a modern temple, very different from the other temples in Thailand and can be a bit crowded with tourists at the time but wow, that was unbelievable magnificent!
Bo Sang (handmade umbrellas)
We took a tuk-tuk to Bo Sang not far from where we’ve stayed. Here is a village where they make handmade umbrellas. Its made out of cotton, silk or mulberry paper decorated /painted in bright and colors and its all tailored made and they ship worldwide, it was really worth it so make sure you make a stop here when you are in Chiang Mai.
After this we took an overnight train to Bangkok and then a minivan to Pattaya
So here we are on a boat to Koh Larn, islands are really a must-see in Thailand. There are more islands in the south but because our time is a bit limited we’ve decided to go to one around the central part of Thailand.
Koh larn is a small island just off the coast of Pattaya. Coral reefs are the hidden gems. When you get to the pier of Koh larn that is where the main beach is and most water sports, a few shops and restaurants are here but there is a songtaeuw that goes to the other side of the island should your hotel be on the other side. It is quite a small island but one of the most beautiful islands here in central Thailand.
On this island, we’ve just relaxed, went for walks on the beach, had coconut ice cream, enjoyed street food and just took this amazing views in because life is all about creating those moments.
Before we’ve headed back to the pier to catch the ferry we ended it with lots of memories, conversations, laughter and a warm cup of cappuccino, why not?
After this, we headed back to Bangkok to spend one more night before mom had to take the train to the airport and head back home. My heart was in pieces not because I was sad (of course I was sad that she had to leave) but because I didn’t want the holiday to end but I know we will make some more memories. It was one of the best holiday ever.
We both had an amazing time and as I said I will do it again and again. Thailand is a lot of things and I’ve learned about their culture, about life and even about myself. I was planning to only be in Thailand for a year but I fell in love with the culture so I’ve stayed for a little longer and still I don’t regret it.
Traveling opens your mind, I usually travel on my own and I love it but when you can travel with your mom, I just couldn’t resist. I love you mom, let’s do it again soon sometime 🙂
“Happiness is mother and daughter time”
Hi there! My name is Ané du Preez and I am from South-Africa but currently teach and live in Thailand. I am a writer and a solo traveler. I love learning about other cultures and traditions. My interest started when I was only a child and my grandparents shared their travel stories through pictures, stories, and writing. This blog is to share my wonderful adventures with all of you. I’ve been discovering the gems of mother nature and its amazing people. Join me as we venture into the beauty and inspiration that is all around us. I am an advocate for all to live their life to the fullest. To travel is to live!