This year we did a loop we’ve been eyeing for awhile, enjoying it all over ten days.
We hit four national parks and a few cities we’d wanted to see–Mae Hong Son & Pai. We also went through Chiang Mai for just enough time to stop at H&M for holiday sales, an amazing lunch at our favorite place, and one last Starbucks holiday coffee. We also got to stock up on camping food in the city, so that our last few days of camping included goat cheese & halloumi!
Basically, it was all amazing.
One park had this photo op set up for the New Year. So, why not?
We mostly tent camped in this great new tent from my parents for Christmas! It was pretty big compared to our last one, which Stephen couldn’t sleep straight in. This one also kept out water when it rained–a feature not available for our previous $10 tent! #winninganddry
I got Stephen a hammock he had wanted, and its AMAZING. Last year he wanted a selfie stick, and I all but stole it. That is kind of the case for this double hammock.
Perfect to watch the Christmas movies we hadn’t yet had time for. Elf is even better in a hammock outside in the cold.
Probably one of my favorite pictures of him to date.
One day was particularly rainy and chilly, as we were moving between two national parks. We were kind of dreading the icy shower when we arrived at 6pm. But, we passed a hot spring just outside the park, where you could “rent a shower” for $1.50 and use the natural hot spring water. SO HAPPY.
Both Mae Hong Son & Pai were fun little touristy towns with lovely night markets and great restaurants. Both of these photos are of the Mae Hong Son night market.
The drives between parks and towns were just stunning. We saw some of the best views we’ve ever seen in Thailand. It was great to be reminded of what a beautiful place we live. And honestly, it’s easier to appreciate that when you aren’t sweating and are even cold!
Just outside of Pai was this stunning natural canyon.
Supposedly there was a fifteen-minute loop around the canyon. This was about an hour in when it didn’t seem to be looping. Thankfully we started mid-afternoon and made it back before dark, and just in time for the sunset!
I don’t know if this really captures it, but parts of the hike were really, really narrow. I tried to take a panoramic of both sides dropping off just past my feet.
One of the parks had this beautiful waterfall with bright blue, clear water.
The last night the Fetters met us at the last national park for dinner and s’mores and games!
So many highlights! And somehow, we actually came back really refreshed and ready for the chaos we call our house.