Exploring Doi Suthep, the golden Temple

Hello everybody and welcome back on my blog!

Today I will be sharing with you pictures I took during our afternoon trip to the famous Doi Suthep Temple near Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Those of you who read my Elephant Sanctuary post and my article about Pai, know that I really like the north of Thailand and Chiang Mai is really beautiful and it has so many great things to offer.

In the city you usually take the red caps, small busses that serve as taxis for up to ten people. It is very likely that you will share your red cap with other people. Just ask a driver and tell him where you want to go and do not forget to negotiate the price!

We met an American guy and a guy from the UK in our hostel and decided to go to Doi Suthep together. We asked for a ride and the driver offered us to drive us to the temple, wait there and take us back to the city which was really nice. It is a thirty minute drive to the temple and you also have to pay an entrance fee. There are many small markets around the temple complex, where you can buy little souvenirs and sarongs. I bought myself a buddha statue and different things for my family.

The temple itself is golden and really beautiful. You are not allowed to enter the temple wearing shorts and tops, so make sure to bring a sarong. Additionally you have to take off your shoes.
There are so many buddha statues and small temples in the complex and even though it was quite crowded, it was still stunningly beautiful!

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It was a great afternoon trip and I can really recommend visiting Doi Suthep if you do not have the time to visit the other temple, Doi Inthanon, which is an additional two hour ride from Chiang Mai.

I hope you enjoyed the photographs!
Have a good week,

Sophie

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Planning my next trip to Southeast Asia

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The past five months I realised that even though I am obsessed with travelling, I rather enjoy spending less time abroad and also having a plan. Well, this is quite the opposite than what I have told you before but I think this is the kind of travelling I like. I guess I am not the kind of person that could get lost on their journey. I always plan ahead and I tried not to do it but I guess it is just how I am.
However, I am planning to visit eight countries in two and a half and three months.
Oh and my journey does neither start in Iran, nor does it end in Ukraine but I would plan a three-day-stop-over in Abu Dhabi and then fly to Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.

Sri Lanka

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Picture by ohh-couture.com

I met some people who went to Sri Lanka and simply loved it. Additionally, my father went there on a business trip years ago and I remember being so jealous.
I would love to go surfing there, since people told me that the waves are good to surf and beaches are not as crowded as they are in Bali sometimes.

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Rope swing at Dream Cabana

India

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My mother went to India when she was in her twenties and she told me she was so impressed that she dreamed of India every night for a year after she had returned from her trip. She said it was an amazing but also shocking experience. It is likely that you will see dead people lying on the streets, and the poverty in most of the slums near the big cities is above imagination. Nevertheless, I feel like India is also a wonderful country to visit and definitely worth the culture shock. I already loved Little India in Singapore, even though you probably cannot compare it to the „real“ India. However it really motivated me to go there one day.

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I would love to explore the south and take part in a famous holi colour festival. Although people say the north has a lot more culture shock potential and might be more difficult to travel, I will definitely give it a try and experience it myself. What I am also very excited about is the food. I love Indian Curry, Naan Bread and Mango Lassi!

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Nepal

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A year ago, my mother’s best friend travelled with her husband and her daughter to Nepal in order to enable her daughter to meet her Nepalese family and they totally fell in love with the country. They told us that the Nepalese are really friendly and hospitable.
They were really impressed when they were sitting in a cafe and a guy shouted „Rhino coming“ and all the little shops closed their doors and a bid Rhino calmly walked down the street.

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Nepal is also home to world’s highest mountain, but since I have watched a documentary about how the Sherpa (used to) die during the Mount Everest climbs because oxygen is only provided for the western tourists, I would rather do the Annapurna circuit someday and skip the climb that is paved with dead bodies. For my next trip, I will rather focus on the cities and the countryside but not the Himalaya, since I will need special clothing and trekking stuff. Maybe when I have finished uni.

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Myanmar

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I only met one girl who went to Myanmar and she fell in love with it. I really want to go to Myanmar because I feel it is not that hyped and crowded with tourists yet like Thailand for example. It is one of those countries that will become very popular in a couple of years and when it does, it will change a lot. I would love to experience Myanmar like it originally was/is.

Laos

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The reason why I would also love to go to Laos, is actually the same why I want to visit Myanmar. Additionally, I would like to enter the country overland, since I do not want to take 12 flights in order to explore these parts of Southeast Asia. I mean, flying a lot is not environmentally sustainable at all.

Vietnam

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This picture is stunning isn’t it? I just found it on Pinterest but was originally published on 500px.com. My friend and I always talk about visiting Vietnam. We met so many people who were so amazed by the beauty of this country. On girl I met in Malaysia, even taught english in Hanoi for over six month. As in many cities in Southeast Asia, the contrast between the big cities and the beautiful countryside is huge and I cannot wait to see it myself!

Cambodia

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Oh Cambodia! The Temple of Angkor, beautiful beaches and the gorgeous island Koh Rong. I actually met a dutch guy in Kuala Lumpur who worked in Koh Rong for nine months and slightly got stuck there. He told me all about the beauty of the island, the beaches, the parties, the people. I could literally cry thinking about what I could have seen during my travels….But it is never too late to explore the world right?!

Final destination: The Philippines

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Travelling is also about meeting people. All these destinations I shared with you today were recommended by people I met during my travels. It is amazing how travellers inspire and motivate each other to visit other countries.
However, the last country I want to visit is the Philippines. People told me that you can go surfing there as well as enjoy beautiful, lonely beaches.
After having explored as many islands as possible hopefully, I will take my flight home with a stop-over in Dubai maybe. I cannot wait, I am already so excited, even though I probably still have to wait until I have my bachelor’s degree.

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What I really like about Southeast Asia is that you can travel on a tight budget. I plan to spend a maximum of 1.000€ on my flights and 3.000€ on everything else like food, accommodation, transport etc. everything I need to live during these three months.
And additional 500-700€ for medical care, infusions, medical aid kit and a hand luggage backpack. Yes, on my next trip I do not want to carry around a 70l backpack, I want to bring as little as possible and I will not bring my laptop and my reflex camera. Only my GoPro and a small but good camera. I am already so excited and I cannot wait to explore again!

Would you ever been to India and Nepal? Have you ever thought about travelling with a small backpack? Let me know!

xx, Sophie

 

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