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Chatting with a monk in Wat Chedi Luang Temple

In Chiang Mai there is an opportunity to chat with Buddhist monks. There is an exchange program in various temples. Discussions usually involve young monks during the training period. It is an excellent way for you to understand the culture and the local religion and also how they perceive their life and values. And in return, the monks improve their English language. Don’t lose moments like this in your travels, because it can teach you essential things in life. You can have a completely different way of life from the monk’s life but you will discover that we are all human and there is always common ground. Buddhism originated in India in the 6th century BC. Buddhism later arrived in Thailand from Sri Lanka. It became the dominant religion in both Thailand and Laos in the 12th century. Thailand is now 95% Buddhist country. Buddhism is a part of Thai…

Harvesting Green Tea in Northern Thailand

Did you know that tea is the second most popular drink after water? I always wanted to learn about tea, about the way it is harvested and prepared. And Northern Thailand gave me this opportunity. The origins of tea in Thailand probably go back well over 1000 years, in the far North of the country. Chiang Mai has one of the best tea areas in the country, so I made some research and I found out about Araksa Tea Garden, which is one of Thailand’s oldest tea plantations. Due to the height of the farm, the quality of soil and water, the land is ideal for planting tea. Araksa Tea Garden is one of the fewer ecological and chemical-free tea plantations. If you want to plan a visit, you have to book one of their tours available mornings and afternoons. We booked a morning session and we were eager to enjoy…

Playing with the Elephants, in Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

In many of our travels, we had the chance to ride elephants, but we considered it a very irresponsible way of enjoying these amazing animals. There’s a dark side to elephant tourism that many people just don’t seem to be aware of. Why you shouldn’t ride elephants There are many reasons why you shouldn’t ride elephants and one of them is, unlike horses, their anatomy is not made for riding. Their spine can easily be damaged or broken from the weight of the rider. Another one is the cruel “training” program. Elephants are difficult to be “trained”. They are tied down and beaten so they will have to obey their “trainers” to avoid pain. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary We don’t want to encourage this kind of behavior, but at the same time, we wanted to be close to these huge animals. So, we found out about Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Their mission is to…

Staying with an authentic Hill Tribe in Northern Thailand

In Northern Thailand, there are still authentic tribes. Thai provinces of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are home to hundreds of small villages of people who left Myanmar, Laos or China and came to Thailand, about 200 years ago, as refugees in search of a better life. Many hill tribes live their lives by growing crops such as vegetables and rice, very deep in the high mountains of Northern Thailand. It is not an easy life. Projects like King’s Royal Project provide them with agricultural cooperatives and bring little prosperity to some villages. Although nowadays most of the people from the hill tribes are Thai citizens, they are still marginalized by Thai people, so the hill tribes prefer to live in the uplands. There are seven main hill tribe groups in Thailand and many subgroups. Each of the tribes has its own distinct culture, traditions, and language. Finding out about…

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