Peter Williams & Caron Prins
We think Thailand is the perfect destination for first time travellers interested in heading to an exotic destination. It is a beautiful country, filled with a rich cultural heritage and gorgeous landscape. This is our second extended trip together. Last year we spent 2 months travelling in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
One of the first things that we noticed was that the landscape in Thailand is quite varied from North to South. In the North we found the landscape to be very lush and diverse, in the South, the land is often drier. Off the coast there are islands that come straight up out of the water, they look like large uninhabited rock formations. One day while Island hopping in a speedboat with other tourists, our guide brought us into this little, gorgeous bay. The water here is so clear that the bottom looks about 3 metres deep when it is actually 10 meters deep. The limestone cliffs on either side were formed millions of years ago leaving a very specific pattern of rock throughout this area. Crushed coral and perfect white sandy beaches. It is stunning!
One of the highlights so far has been visiting an elephant sanctuary - we loved it! Along with 10 other backpackers, we went up the hills and into the jungle to an elephant sanctuary. Here, the elephants are very well looked after. They don’t have people riding them, and there is no need for them to do tricks. We actually felt that we were contributing to their health by spending time with them. One thing that really struck me was when you look into their eyes, you can feel their kindness. They truly are gentle giants. Our guides went above and beyond, they stopped at a market on the way to the sanctuary to buy fresh food and they cooked an amazing lunch for us. They even had authentic mahout clothes for us to wear. It was a spectacular experience.
When travelling we often head to the local markets to talk to locals and try new foods and flavours of the region. We are both in the hospitality industry in PEI, and we love travelling abroad so we can try new dishes. Caron owns a food truck in Charlottetown called The Chip Shack. One of her passions when travelling is to bring back something new that she can recreate for her visitors. The very best dish we’ve ever had was a coconut milk chicken soup with lemongrass and lime. It was to die for! The marriage of flavours in all the dishes we’ve had have been amazing. It seems in Thailand everything is cooked to perfection.
It is an amazing and magical world out there, and we hope we are able to inspire others to spread their wings.
60 miles from Bangkok is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Here, locals create fantastic food on their boats which are about 1 metre wide and 4 metres long. Imagine merchants paddling over to you from these little boats, offering fresh hot food and cold drinks, all with a great smile on their face. They have lots of rice dishes, grilled fresh prawns, chicken skewers, soft shelled crab, and traditional Thai dishes like Pad Thai, glass noodles. And the flavours are amazing, we’ve never tasted anything like this before!