The Globetrotting Diaries: Celebrating Graduation in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia

Asia

The Globetrotting Diaries: Celebrating Graduation in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia

In June 2016 I met up with my son in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand for a three-week trip that would take us through Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. Aidan had just completed a month of volunteer work in Laos and was graduating that year. We celebrated his birthday at the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle as an indulgent treat and it was fantastic to see the experience through the eyes of a young man who had never seen such a unique and luxurious property.

We spent four days exploring the area, including visits to the fascinating artist-created Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) and the Ban Dam Museum (Black House), wandering through colourful local markets tasting exotic fruits as well as a long boat trip to the Golden Triangle itself where Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar meet. After our three luxurious days we set off on a two-day slow boat trip from Huay Xai (near Chiang Rai) to Luang Prabang, Laos, taking in the beauty and tranquility of the Laotian country side. Our highlight in Luang Prabang was the almsgiving ceremony, which takes place at sunrise each morning.

At the White Temple in Chiang Rai. (Credit: Carolyn Weppler)

From Laos a short flight took us into Siem Reap for a whirlwind tour of Angkor Wat, which had been a lifelong dream of mine, before heading for some leisure time in Krabi back in Thailand to hike, relax on the beach, and enjoy pampering in the spa. Our final stop included two nights camping in Khao Sok National Park, where huge limestone mountains are surrounded by old evergreen forests and crystal clear lakes perfect for kayaking and swimming.

As a parent, to be able to share my love of exotic travel with my eldest son was a travel memory that I will cherish forever. That the trip was filled with cultural highlights, history, a little luxury, and some soft adventure made the entire experience perfect. I still have another mother-son trip to look forward to in the future with my younger son.