macrae at airport

Only 12 more days before we leave! We’ve officially launched our site and it’s almost time to pack our bags and fly out. Which begs the question: where are we going?

With our hearts set on seeing the world, we really had no place to start. What we did know is that we wanted to begin our journey in a location that was gentler on our bank accounts but still provided great travel experiences. We also wanted to make sure we were able to stay for a longer period of time to allow us a chance to adjust to our new lifestyle. We narrowed our focus to Southeast Asia and the countries that offered longer stays for Canadian travellers. From Taiwan to Phillipines, Vietnam to Cambodia, we researched countries, read other blogs and perused photos. What our decision came down to was…elephants.

Carolann’s favourite animal is the elephant and one of her top bucket list items has always been to travel to an elephant sanctuary and spend time, up close and personal, with them. So when we received a recommendation for a sanctuary in Thailand we decided it would be the perfect place to start. We applied for, and received, our travel visa for Thailand which allows us a two month stay. We fly into Chang Mai, in the north, and from there we will decide how long we stay before heading south.

Before we fly to Thailand however, we opted for a quick, one week stay in China. What initially began as an idea to pick a flight with a layover in Hong Kong for dim sum, evolved into a desire to see the Great Wall (thanks to one hour where Macrae was left alone with a Lonely Planet travel guide for China). We leave Canada for Beijing and intend to visit a couple parts of the wall and as much of Beijing as we can within the short period of time we are there.

Our travels after Thailand are still unknown, even to us, but we know we want to see much more of Southeast Asia before moving on to another continent. We hope you follow us on our journey through our blogs and photos and share our excitement as we travel.

Have you been to China or Thailand? We’d love for you to comment below and tell us where you’ve been, what you think we should see, where we should eat and any other recommendations!

Airplane Window

4 replies
  1. Vanessa
    Vanessa says:

    China recommendations!

    I went to Beijing in 2009, so bear with me if things have since closed. I stayed at, and absolutely loved, Emperor Guesthouse. Googling revealed that its name has been changed to Chang Gong Hostel, but it looks the same (http://www.travelpod.com/hostel/Chang_Gong_Hostel-Beijing.html) . Their regular website doesn’t work anymore, however, so that may require more digging. But it was really affordable, they’ll pick you up from the airport (even if you arrive in the dead of night), and they have delicious and affordable food right on side.

    They (potentially another hostel has picked it up?) offered a “secret wall tour”. We were driven out to the middle of nowhere, left with only our Chinese guide, and led to a crumbling section of the wall. Not another tourist in sight. Badaling, the section of the wall most tours and buses will take you, is rebuilt and very touristy. This was much more interesting and I really felt like I was getting to see something historic.

    My pics from my brief time in Beijing are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vee_smith/sets/72157621896917367/ Like I said, my info’s five years out of date now, but I’d still be happy to help in any way! :)

    Reply
  2. onemoderncouple
    onemoderncouple says:

    Wow! That’s amazing! That hostel sounds great and we will definitely be doing more digging to see about those wall tours. It’s exactly what we are looking for as we are trying to avoid Badaling altogether. Your photos are great too and we’ll be in touch as we have some questions about the locations of some of them. Thanks so much Vanessa!

    Reply
  3. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    I spent last October/November in Thailand, and it sounds like you’ve already got the Elephant bit sorted. My fav spot was Ton-sai beach in the south. Its known for rock climbing. Its right beside Railay and both are isolated and accessible only by boat. Other than that, don’t skip Bangkok, and Phuket if you have the time, both need to be seen to be believed!

    Reply

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