Saying yes to new adventures can lead you to some amazing experiences. This weekend Rachael and I caught a ride with some new friends and headed north to Wat Tham Pla for a day of rock climbing and monkey feeding.
Tip to anyone Teaching Abroad: find a community of people who like to adventure and try new things and HANG OUT WITH THEM. I wouldn't have experienced today if I was sitting in my room all weekend watching Weeds and surfing the internet still feeling sorry for myself for being homesick. That advice probably goes without saying, but the mindset I had my first week here was definitely geared towards spending my down time watching endless TV and savoring my room's A/C because I didn't want to get dirty or hot or covered in bug bites. Thank god I pulled my head out of my ass and pushed my comfort zone, because this weekend was fantastic.
We pulled in to Wat Tham Pla, about 40 minutes north of Chiang Rai on the way to Mae Sai. At first it looked like your typical Thailand Wat, until I ventured towards the gates and saw dozens of MONKEYS. For the next hour and half we ran around the temple taking pictures and feeding them.
Oh hey there!
So many monkeys!
7 monkeys hiding on the rock.
The monkey whisperer.
I guess I'll share my peanuts.
Scary and dark monkey cave.
Buddha in the Monkey Cave.
Two young monks.
Las Vegas style halo around the Buddha.
My outdoor climbing experience is basically zero, but our new experienced climber friends, Devin and Bill, were more than willing to help us out with words of encouragement and support.
The rock face we climbed. Well I climbed half of it before I got stuck.
Some awkward high kicks.
Local boys playing in the river.
Devin (left) and Bill (right)
Admiring Devin's climbing skills.
After climbing, Bill told about his favorite Pad Thai restaurant in Chiang Rai. We ate until our stomachs were far too full, then I added some Mango Sticky Rice to the equation without a shred of guilt. I sat holding my belly laughing at how much food I just consumed, and contemplated whether I would ever need to eat again.
It was a blissful day filled with new sights and scenes, some great company, and as always, delicious food.
You can never have too much Pad Thai.