Thailand holds a special place in our hearts. The Land of Smiles was the first place we ever travelled to in Asia and the country that inspired us to quit our lives in London to travel the world indefinitely. Since then Thailand has become our Asian home and we’ve returned time and time again to explore the jungles and mountains in the north, sun-soaked southern islands and bustling cities. We’ve lived in Chiang Mai as digital nomads and travelled the country as backpackers. Here are our travel stories and experiences from Thailand.

We learned a lot about the plight of Thailand’s elephants and got up close to these amazing creatures during a trip to the Elephant Nature Park  - here's the story of our day there.

The Plight of Thailand’s Elephants

There’s a huge contradiction in the attitude towards elephants in Thailand; on one hand they’re revered as sacred animals that helped build the country and win wars but on the other, they’re beaten and abused in the worst ways. Historically, wild elephants were domesticated in Thailand for logging work, however, after this was banned in 1989 they became surplus to requirements and many were either abandoned in forests, sold over the border to Burma where logging is still legal or used instead to make money from tourists.
When Andrew and I first visited Chiang Mai in 2009 we were charmed by the surrounding forests and lush countryside, the bustling ancient city, the markets and book shops, the vegetarian restaurants, glittering temples and orange-robed monks. Even though I love big cities, especially my beloved London, I find Bangkok overwhelming and struggle with the dirt, heat and hassle. By contrast, Chiang Mai is much more appealing to me; it’s smaller and easier to get around, the climate is cooler and you can escape into the mountains on day trips whenever you like.
When you’re strapping yourself to a wire suspended hundreds of feet above the jungle floor preparing to launch yourself across the abyss, you want to be sure you’re not going to plummet to your death, right? Well, when we went zip lining in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I found myself seriously questioning the safety standards in place and with good reason.

Our trip to Thailand didn’t get off to the best start.

After an exhausting but incredible three weeks in the Philippines we bid a sad farewell to our mountain retreat in Sagada and headed back to Manila, excited at the prospect of meeting our friends and family in Thailand in just a few days’ time. As we settled down in our Manila hotel for a day of badly needed rest, Andrew received an email from Tiger Air. Our flight to Bangkok had been put forward to the early hours of the next morning and what’s more, we were due to leave from Clark airport – not Manila.Yes, that’s right - we were in the wrong city.