Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fantastic Trip - Part I

We just returned this afternoon and I am so glad that we decided to keep our plans and go to Chiang Rai rather than stay home in the event flood waters entered our community.  Nichada is still dry and today there seems to be a sense of optimism in the reports issued by the media and government that the worst of the flooding has passed by.  Only time will tell.  From the windows of the airplane, we could see that the areas North of Nichada and West of the Chao Phraya river were completely inundated - flood waters covered everything for miles.  After looking at those scenes, I couldn't imagine how it would be possible for Nichada NOT to flood and wondered if we made the right decision in leaving.  However, a few times during our trip, I texted my neighborhood friends but all reports back were that Nichada was still dry.  

Our trip was fantastic and I have a lot of photos to post!  I am going to post about the trip over a few entries as there is a LOT to write.  It was wonderful to get away as a family, especially since Kevin has a bit of traveling in November and December. 

The two photos immediately below were taken in Suvarnabhumi Airport which is the "new" airport in Bangkok.  While this airport is much farther from our home, I am so glad our flights were here as the closer airport, Don Muang, flooded and closed earlier in the week.  There were about 6 of these figures (all different colors) on display in the departures area.  They are quite tall (about 30 feet) with a lot of intricate carving and detailed painting.  In fact, when we walked by one of the figures, there were two women cleaning it with what looked to be rather large Q-Tips!
Our flight...
Waiting to board.
The airport in Chiang Rai was quite small so we were off the plane, through baggage check and on our way to the Anantara Spa & Resort (www.http://goldentriangle.anantara.comin very little time.  At first, we thought we would rent a car but it was easier and less expensive to hire a car and driver.  The drive was a little over an hour and took us through many small Thai villages and rice paddies to a very mountainous area in Northernmost Thailand called the Golden Triangle.  This was the view from the balcony of our hotel room...
The hotel is about halfway up a very high mountain and overlooks the Mekong River, Myanmar and Laos.  In the photo above, the Mekong River is off to the right and Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is straight ahead (covered in fog).  Laos is on the other side of the Mekong River so, even farther to your right.  You can see a small area of rice paddies in the lower left hand corner of the photo but the hotel is pretty much surrounded by jungle.  We arrived late Thursday afternoon so the kids and Kevin were able to get some pool time in before we went to Happy Hour!  We had a very nice dinner at the Italian restaurant in the hotel and then went straight to bed.  

To give you a little "teaser" about our activities on Friday, here are a few photos from our breakfast on Friday morning.  
I apologize for the "glare" that you will see in some of these photos.  Christopher was pretending he was the paparazzi with my camera and must have changed a setting or something.  I need to sit down with the instruction manual and figure out what happened.  

Have a great Sunday!  

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