Thailand recap: Chiang Rai//May 11, 2008

Going from the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui to the lush mountain region of Chiang Rai was a fantastic transition. Chiang Rai is in the so-called Golden Triangle, the area where Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Laos meet.

Our first stop was a visit to the Hill tribes. These women are Burmese refugees and there are four different tribes represented in the village (and I’ll be darned if I can remember their names at the moment).

We paid a visit to a temple (need to find my notes for the name). It was rainy and foggy, which might sound like a bad thing, but it gave the temple a magical quality!

We stayed at the Anatara Golden Triangle, which is an absolutely beautiful hotel. The spa services there are amazing! I had a traditional Thai massage and it was bliss.

But arguably the best part of the Anatara is the elephant camp!

We only had an hour to spend, but you can spend a day (or several) with the elephants. You work with the mahouts (elephant trainers/guides) to learn how to command the elephants, feed, bathe, and ride them. We got to ride them and watch them have a bath. It was, without a doubt, the coolest part of the trip for me.

Riding an elephant is wicked fun!

Baby ellies

Smile for the camera!

Bath time!

The last stop on our whirlwind journey was the Four Seasons tent camp. This property is as luxe as they get. Just to give you an idea, it’s $2000/night with a 3 night minimum. I wish we could have stayed there! But we had to settle for a quick tour. I still have to edit and upload pics, but it’s totally amazing!

After that, we hopped a flight to Bangkok and began the long journey home. It was a quick trip to be sure, but it was a good sample of what Thailand has to offer. I hope to be able to return some day and spend significantly more time there!


Award-winning wedding photographer Lori Barbely splits her time between Orlando, Florida and the New York/New Jersey area. She is also a seasoned traveler and is available for national and international destination weddings. Lori’s unobtrusive manner allows her to capture the moments of your wedding day in a fresh, fun style. Every love story is unique and Lori strives to capture the emotional aspects of each wedding to tell each couples love story. Her work has been featured in Brides Magazine, The Knot Florida, US Weekly, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine, and numerous wedding blogs including Style Me Pretty, Wedding Channel, Celebrity Bride Guide, and Moment Junkie. In addition to weddings, Lori is available for engagement sessions, family and kids portraits, maternity photos, newborn photos, and pet portraits.

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