The Monkey Temple

I should probably start this post by explaining that I hate zoos.

I understand that there are exceptions and that many zoos help animals thrive and breed, but as a general rule I find them really, really depressing.

Seeing all those forlorn eyes gazing at you through cages while children shriek, dribble ice-cream and poke fingers…

I seem to lack the puzzle piece everyone else has that allows them to enjoy the wonder & excitement of being so close to nature. I only feel guilt.

I was desperate to do animal-y things in Thailand when I arrived. I wanted to meet elephants, but not unless it was humane… we couldn’t find anywhere that fitted the bill.

I read that you could cuddle up to tigers (my favourite animal for as long as I can remember)… but they’re kept in cages and apparently drugged to keep them docile.

There was one place that seemed to tick all my boxes though. A monkey temple, up at the top of the island.

It’ s Buddhist temple in a cave, with a huge reclining Buddha, where wild monkeys just choose to hang out. It sounded too good to be true!

The entrance to the cave is guarded by a huge, leafy Bodhi tree.

And a gateway with intricate carvings in blue, red and gold.

As you walk into the cave you quickly lose the sound of the chirping crickets and the embrace of the roasting sun.

Inside it’s cool, musty and almost silent, but for the beating of bat wings and the occasional squeak over head.

You’re greeted by carved idols in sashes.

And finally, the glorious, golden Buddha.

As you go further into the cave you notice more & more sculptures and shrines.

The smell of incense and wax starts to overpower the smell of the cold rock and there’s a divine peacefulness about it.

In an island overrun by tourists, this oasis of calm remains almost untouched.

If you walk to the back of the cave and up, you’ll reach daylight, if only for a moment.

Keep on going and you’ll climb deeper into the earth.

Health and safety warriors have yet to close their grasp on these parts so you can clamber around unchecked.

We climbed to the very top of the final cave.

Sat and swung our legs over the edge. Quietly appreciating the experience and thanking our own gods.

Before climbing down in search of monkeys.

Who were politely ready and waiting for us!

This little chap asked if I happened to have any nuts or bananas, so we popped outside to buy some.

We bought a big bunch and shared them with our new friends.

Look at that lil fella just curled up on my knee!

Their hands are so human like and grab you so delicately.

It was an experience I will remember forever.

On the way out, I dipped into some of the caves at the back. Here they keep all the old statues and shrines.

Dusty and abandoned, but still surrounded by rose petals and burnt incense…

Even the roof of the cave looks like some sort of painting.

The Buddha Cave Temple (Wat Suwannakuha) is well worth a visit. Although we didn’t see any, I hear the place does attract a lot of tourists in the afternoons so go early!

I feel so unbelievably lucky to have had such a great trip.

I love Milly to bits and even love my blog more than ever. This adventure has renewed my love of photography, writing and even just sharing! The feedback from you and my loved ones has been so rewarding and I’m thrilled I’ve been able to have you along on the adventures with me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comments. I’m looking forward to sitting down and reading them all now I’m home.

I will miss my daily coconuts though…

It seems like forever since I left London and now I’m back. Ready to get stuck into everything life has to throw at me!

Thank you for reinvigorating me, Phuket. I’ll be back, one day.

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  • Every post you’ve written on Thailand seems like a snapshot out of some magical tale- I keep expecting visits from handsome princes or mythical creatures! I’m absolutely loving the posts.

    Also I can’t believe the little monkeys came right up to you- amazing!

    KatieJane
    katies-rose-garden.blogspot.co.uk

    • Rosie

      It really was a magical trip Katie, so I’m glad that came through even just a little! xx

      • It’s made me so so *SO* excited for my trip in the summer, so thank you =) x

  • Rosie Ryan

    Love the new regular posting shedule!

    • Rosie

      Me too! I’m going to try and keep it up!

  • Leigh

    Thank you for posting all these lovely photos, I hadn’t ever really considered Thailand as a holiday because all everyone seems to do is mass touristy-things like those horrible tiger zoos, going during low-season seems perfect! I hope you have lots more holidays planned! x

    • Rosie

      I think they consider Feb high season… but I’m not sure!
      Either way it’s well worth a visit, just tailor the experience to what you want to see and do!
      We’re in the year of the horse which is supposed to be an excellent year to travel and meet people, so I’m going to do as much of that as possible, Leigh! xx

      • December to april is high season as that’s when it’s hottest without much rain, it tends to rain a lot in the months after, although it never lasts long! Your photos are lovely Rose and i completely agree with you about zoo’s. They’re horrible. If you ever come back to Thailand check out the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Lek, the lady that owns it is a true warrior in the fight for animal rights and she rescues elephants, cats dogs and pretty much any animal she can rescue! The elephants are cared for by volunteers that pay to go there (the money you pay keeps the place running) and elephants aren’t ridden, but free to roam and you get to just be with them. Leigh, don’t let the touristy hear-say put you off. There’s so much beauty to this place and not everywhere is over-run by tourists, there’s still islands that are unspoilt such as Koh Lanta Noi and Koh Lipe!

  • Sheila

    Thank you for bringing us along and writing so beautifully and openly about your experience! That temple entrance is gorgeous and I love the stink-eye monkey πŸ˜€
    One of the reasons I follow you blog, and actually look forward to more is because your personality really shines through, and your writing is actually fun to read! You keep it breezy and bright but also add a lot of heart. Good work, lady!
    xoxo
    Sheila
    http://www.summery.org

    • Rosie

      Thanks Sheila, that means the world. xx

  • Rhea

    Great post!!! The monkeys look adorable!!! You should have dropped by Singapore as well! πŸ˜‰

    • Rosie

      Singapore is high on my list Rhea, it will happen! πŸ˜‰ x

  • I’m sitting grinning at the monkey photos like an idiot. Aren’t they just the cutest little things?!

    Hayley

    Water Painted Dreams xxx

    • Rosie

      Aren’t they just the cutest little things?! I’m aware that I look like a grinning weirdo in EVERY pic but it was just so lovely!! xx

  • This post was perfect! That place reminds me SO much of a temple I visited in india, that has the very same monkeys begging you for peanuts.. This is giving me the travel bug, even if I’m in Australia right now..I need tropical and away from civilisation! xx

    • Rosie

      Oh pppoooooorrr you Tania! You need a trip away from your gorgeous, sunbathed island?

      Ps. I need to come visit you after the summer! xx

      • haha YES! well away from the city! That’s a fact. book your ticket already xx

      • ps: the image finally loaded and HAHAHAHA did you actually google world’s smallest violin? or do you use it so often you have it saved to your computer.. (saving it now for my own use)

    • Claire

      Reminds me of a temple I visited in Burma! πŸ™‚

  • Laura

    Hey Rose! I have really enjoyed these photos. Thanks for sharing. I just wonder how you can eat and wear so many animals but find zoos so disgusting. This isn’t meant to be mean, I really am just interested in how you are able to do one but not the other. Is it because boiling live animals and stripping living animals out of their skins is less visible to you? I really am interested in what you have to say about it to your fans. Thanks, Laura.

    • Rosie

      Hey Laura,
      That’s a fair question, and one I ask myself pretty regularly.
      How can I possibly love animals and still eat meat… I suppose it’s pretty hypocritical, I mean I hate to see any animal suffering and grew up with parents who always taught me that it’s better to put an animal down than let it suffer (a hard lesson to learn for any child who thinks the dog is her soulmate!). I suppose some of my views come from that, that it’s different to kill and eat an animal rather than let it live a life of misery.
      The real problem though is that I love meat, I love dairy and I love eggs.
      It’s purely selfish and I would love to be vegan but I just couldn’t do it. Instead I do what I can, I rescue animals, help at animal charities, avoid cruel practices like zoos and animal shows (which were sadly EVERYWHERE in Thailand), I buy free range and encourage others to do so in all my recipes.
      I admire those who choose to live a vegan, sustainable life and maybe one day I will too… but until then, I’ll just do what I can.

      • Laura

        Hi Rose. Thanks for your reply – i really appreciate it! I am a vegetarian and even though, like you, I think that veganism would be nice, I also just love cheese and eggs too much! I admire your honesty. Thank you xxx

        • Tania

          The dairy industry is one of the cruelest in the world. How can you question others on their morals when you “love cheese and eggs too much”??? Trolling for attention or just a silly little girl?

          • Laura

            I was literally just asking Rose for her opinion – there was no malice involved….which I think I made quite clear from my comment. I was empathizing with Rose a la not always being able to live up to what you think is right. I don’t think that is a troll-ish thing to do?!?! Just being honest about my own shortcomings……

          • vanessay

            I don’t know where you live Laura (or where you live Tania) but it is possible to source ethically produced eggs, milk and cheese. I live in country South Australia and find it very easy. We just have to venture outside of the big supermarkets. The upsides of free range or organic produce is the support you are giving to small local farms and producers and the taste. Once you eat a free range egg you will never buy eggs from a supermarket again.

          • Laura

            Hey! Thanks πŸ™‚ yeah, I do actually only buy good free range and organic stuff. I live in the UK and am lucky to have the sweetest little health food shop just down the road from my house. Wahoooo!!! xxx

      • Claire

        So what are your thoughts on fox hunting?

      • Rebecca

        And where does your love of foie gras come into this reply?!

    • Captain Obvious

      If people didn’t eat meat then the animals wouldn’t exist. You think farmers would look after cows, chickens, ducks, little baby lambs out of the kindness of their hearts?
      If everyone announced they were vegan tomorrow then all of those animals would be culled. It wouldn’t end there. Farm cats and dogs would be killed too. People would go out of work and starve to death. The reach of the effects would be inconceivable.
      The very fact that you are on the internet Laura – which is bad for the enviroment – and not out there doing something is testiment to your own hypocrisy.

      • Laura

        Cheers Captain! xxx

      • Cynthia

        Captain Obvious,

        Let’s address each point you’ve made.

        The idea that people would starve to death without animal agriculture: Did you know that just in the US, 800 million pounds of grain are used to feed livestock daily? If these grains, legumes, and corn were given to human beings instead it would be enough to end world hunger completely.

        The idea that we would be out of jobs: It takes men and women to tend to crops, drive trucks, make the sale, and run farmers markets. Slaughterhouse workers (many of whom suffer from PTSD and mental illness due to the nature of their work, by the way.) would have plenty of alternative options were the focus redirected toward a plant-based food pyramid.

        The idea that cows, chickens (and cats and dogs, which is a strange leap) would not exist if we didn’t eat them. You’re right, the 10 billion animals we raise purely for the slaughter each year in the US would not exist. But cows, chickens, lambs, and ducks all existed in nature long before we came along. Just as bears, lions, and elephants do now.

        You speak of the “inconceivable effects” our planet would undergo if we went without animal agriculture. Here are some of the other impacts the use of harvesting animals as food has on our planet and our lives:

        We’ve eliminated 70% of the amazon rainforest in pursuit of harvesting animals for our consumption. All of the foodborne diseases we have–ecoli, ebola, bird flu, swine flu, mad cow–they all begin with animal agriculture. Think e-coli comes from spinach? It comes from irrigating crops with contaminated water. How does this water become contaminated? From leaking out of open cess pools of animal waste. We breed and slaughter so many animals globally that we have no real way to contain their waste, and we end up consuming it as well as their flesh.

        The staggering levels of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer we have in the US and elsewhere has been medically proven to have stemmed from an animal product based-diet.

        The production of one calorie of animal protein requires more than ten times the fossil fuel input as a calorie of plant protein. This means that ten times the amount of carbon dioxide is emitted as well.

        I’m not here to convince you or anyone to become vegan. But, as with all things, educating yourself before speaking is adviseable.

        If you (or anyone else) would care to become conscious consumers and/or learn about what it is you’re eating and the impact your choices have on the your health, your looks, the lives of others, and the planet, here are some resources:

        Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer
        The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II
        The Veganist, by Kathy Freston
        Forks Over Knives (documentary)
        Earthlings (documentary)
        Get Vegucated (documentary)

  • Alice

    It’s about time you got back, you’ve punished us enough!!

    (Beautiful post, welcome home :-))

    http://www.teapartywithalice.com

    • Rosie

      Thanks Alice! x

  • Lucy Birchall

    You look like you had the most incredible trip, you’re very lucky! Plus, you cane return back to London now with amazing memories and the loveliest tan (complete with freckles) I’ve ever seen.
    The monkey’s look so sweet, I love that picture of you with the monkey curled in your lap with the banana, he’s like a little baby. It’s mad how similar monkey’s and humans are.
    I’ve loved reading all your posts from your holidays and seeing all the pictures, even if I have been a tad green eyed monster-esque, haha.
    Lucy xxx

  • riasideas

    I concur with Sheila! I look forward to you blog more than any other I follow, your writing and photography are inspiring, so much so your blog drove me to start my own! Thank you Rose. xx
    http://riasideas.com/

  • Isabella P

    Every post you’ve written about your journey has made me want to go travel there more and more! I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip and have been loving your blog posts recently. x

  • The slow pace

    Your posts about this trip have made love your blog even more too! πŸ™‚ And you know what? I’ve realized that reading yoru blog is a great way to improve my English!! You write beautifully!
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

  • this has been an amazing series, you’re so lucky πŸ™‚

    this place looks so much more special than the average zoo, much better quality of living for the animals

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography – http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

    Support my Photography Project here !

    • CatsLoveHam

      This isn’t a zoo at all. These are WILD monkeys, who chose to live near the temple because tourists feed them.

  • Sam

    I have really, really enjoyed you sharing your wonderful Thailand trip! It’s been such a great distraction from everyday life. Reading your posts, it almost feels as if I am there! πŸ™‚

    Sam

    http://thatcuriouscat.blogspot.com/

  • Issy

    This is just like the town of Misahualli in Ecuador. Situated in the Amazon a bunch of monkeys have just decided they prefer the local town. They’re so curious and cheeky!

    http://educatingissy.blogspot.co.uk/

  • You look so relaxed, refreshed and happy Rose. Thailand seems to have done more for you than you expected xxx http://www.sandandsugar.blogspot.com

  • Emma

    Rosie you inspire me so much! Your trip is beautiful. I was wondering if I could ask for some advice, I am half way through my teacher training and I am finding it really hard, I feel like I am rubbish at everything and I have no time for my friends or family. I thought I would really enjoy working with little children all day but they take so much energy and patience and I really don’t feel like I can do it any more. I feel sad all of the time and I hate going into school. I have always wanted to be a teacher and my mum said I should stick it out because it is only until July and then I can have a break. I don’t know what to do. I know when you were younger you were brave enough to leave when you didn’t like your course. I was hoping you could give me some advice please? Thank you. I really love you and your blog so much and it is the perfect escape from my day xxxx

    • Rosie

      Hey Emma,
      Sorry you’re having a rough time!
      I hate to say it, but I think your mum is probably right. If you think you can just keep on pushing through until July then I would do so. It seems a shame to have come all this way and give up now.
      The biggest thing my mum always says to me is “don’t think when you’re tired” and you sound exhausted! Don’t make any life decisions that you may regret because you’re tired.
      The finish line is in sight, so keep going!
      When you get to July, just let it all go. Sit down and make a new plan. Whether it’s changing the sort of teaching your doing or the age range of the children or doing something completely new! Just remember that you’re not signing your life away, you don’t have to make a decision TODAY on what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. Just decide what you think you’d enjoy doing for the next few years, see how those go and then reevaluate. Lots of people change careers at all ages!
      Just take a breath and remember the things you have that make you fortunate:
      Your health, your family, your intellect, your position (even if you think you don’t want it right now!), and try not to focus on how stressed you are.
      I promise you, there is nothing brave about quitting. The brave thing is to keep on going.
      I did leave a course, but I waited until the end of the year to do so and made sure I still got the qualification. I really recommend doing the same!
      Hang in there, girl! xxx

      • Emma

        Rosie, thank you so much for your reply. I hope I don’t sound strange but I filled up when I read this. You’re just such an inspiration how you help people you don’t even know. Thank you for sharing your advice and your own story! I know you’re definitely right and I should stick it out! And I will definitely remember your mums advice. Thank you so much, your advice means so much to me xxx

    • Guest

      Hey Emma!! Totally butting in here, but I just feel like I can relate to your comment so much. I’m a primary school teacher. My fourth year out of college. And I absolutely LOVE it. It is the best job ever and I feel so lucky. But, I didn’t always feel that way. I found college and placement extremely difficult and felt it took a lot out of me. I was barely sleeping and had a really unhealthy relationship with food. There were so many times that I almost threw in the towel, but now I’m so glad I stuck with it. Having your very own class is so different to borrowing someone’s for a few weeks. Try and stick it out until July and reassess then. You never know, like me, it could be your dream job! And if not, it’s never too late to make a change!! I really hope everything works out for you! Jen x

    • Katie

      Emma, I noticed your comment and had to reply.

      Rosie gave you some very sage advice but I thought I would give you a teacher’s viewpoint. Is there anyone on your course you can speak to with your concerns? They will want you to succeed as much as you do and I’m sure will have some strategies in place to help. Talking it through with your fellow course mates may also help- especially with several cups of tea and chocolate biscuits (or wine!) It may seem as if they are all absolutely fine and are sailing through, but I promise they will be finding things difficult too.
      I am now in my fourth year of primary teaching but also found the training very hard. The PGCE (which I guess you are doing?) is extremely intense- after all, you are gaining enough knowledge and skills to teach young minds- not just the subject knowledge but the hundreds of other things that teachers have to juggle every day- in only one year. During my PGCE, I had an awful placement in which the teacher of the class I was teaching in clearly didn’t want me. She told me- in as many words and several times, that I should not be a teacher and that I should seriously consider giving up the course and take up a different career path. I think of myself as a strong person but I was in floods of tears every night, barely saw my boyfriend even though we lived together and hardly had enough time to eat and sleep on top of the work load, let alone anything else. Luckily, I had supportive friends and family, which it sounds as if you have too. They helped to convince me to keep going and ‘be brave’ and, as your mum says, that I only had to keep going until July. So I took a deep breath, thought ‘f*** her!’ and decided to prove that I could do it after all. Luckily my next placements were much better and the teachers much more helpful. Now I am doing a job I love in a really supportive school and am really happy. If I had given up on the course half-way through, I don’t think I could ever have picked it up again and would always have thought ‘what if.’

      Yes, it is not easy being a teacher. It is certainly not for everyone and it may not be for you but as Rosie says, if you can, please stick with it until July. At least you will have the qualification- for which you have already done so much hard work- and you can always decide to use it in a few years time. I dealt with it by telling myself I would devote the time I was taking for my training and NQT year (first year of teaching after qualifying) to mainly work and let other things take a back seat for a while, then see what happened. I ended up teaching in Early Years rather than KS2 as I had first envisaged, which I had never planned but was the right choice for me.

      Finally, I would say being a ‘real’ teacher (as it were!) is very different to being a student. Yes, you have the responsibility of your own class but that also means you are doing things your way, rather than how someone else wants them. The feeling you have when you can see the progress a child has made, or how much they have grow in confidence and that that it is partly due to your input is incredible.

      I wish you the best of luck, you can do it!

      Katie xx

  • This series was gorgeous! It’s really inspired me to keep up with my blogging and head off on an adventure somewhere new. I never really thought of going to Thailand before but now it’s on my list! The monkeys are adorable!

    Jordan xxx
    hellomissjordan.blogspot.co.uk

  • Mia@Razzle Dazzle Rose

    This is absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

    xo
    http://razzdazzle.blogspot.mx/

  • Lucy

    Hey Rosie, I’m just finishing up high school in Sydney, Australia and I’ve applied to a couple of schools in the UK to be a Gapie next year. I’ve been compiling a list of things to do/places to see in London and around Europe but I was just wondering if you had any suggestions? If all goes well hopefully I’ll get into my school of preference in Surrey. I’ve travelled with my family overseas before but never by myself, I was wondering if you had any tips/tricks for me as I’ve noticed your quite the savy traveller to say the least xx

  • charleystebs

    Hi Rosie,

    Would it be possible to let me know where your pink bikini is from in the last blog post? Am off on hols on sunday so would love to be able to get it before then.

    Thanks so much!

    • Kim

      It’s two years old from an Italian shop she said on Instagram I wanted it too!

      • charleystebs

        Thanks Kim… damn! πŸ™‚

  • those monkeys are so adorable! so sad that these thailand posts are coming to an end, they’ve been the ultimate wanderlust this winter

    xx Milly

    http://www.lovemilly.blogspot.ca

  • Janne

    Oh I wish I could go to Thailand and leave frigid Canada for a while. Winter needs to go now. Beautiful post, I can see you enjoyed taking those photographs πŸ™‚

  • Claire

    The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand works to protect elephants. It allows the chance to get close to elephants but in an entirely humane and respectful way. Have a look on their website, and think about paying them a visit if you make it to Thailand again! It was one of the best experiences I’ve had.
    http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/

  • It’s been such a treat getting to follow you around Thailand! And these sweet monkeys – their big eyes, ahhh be still my heart! Thanks for sharing your journey with us πŸ™‚
    http://www.perpetuallycaroline.com

  • I totally agree, Zoo’s are just sad places where animals are forever pretending to live naturally. I’ve loved your thailand posts, especially as im going in may!

    P.S. Where are your wrap around sandals from? Love them! x

  • Its just so beautiful and peaceful. I really want to go back! Want to trade? lols πŸ™‚ xx

    http://ellenorsworld.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Louise Gleeson

    Didnt even get to the end of the post before I wnated to write this comment. I 1000% agree that ZOO’s make me feel guilty. All I see is animals in a habitat that is not theirs. Yes they may be cared for but I am sure theres a better place for that to be done than with loads of people staring and tapping glass cages. As to tigers in Thailan, I see so many pics of friends cuddling up to them and all I can think is how unnatural it is. Dont get me wrong, who wouldnt want to touch and cuddle one if they could. But maybe people should think about the fact that if that animal wasnt being drugged then they would probably been mauled before they even got close.

    After that moan will say your pics are fab and I am rather envious of the amazing time you look like you have had. Those little monkeys look very cute and there is a difference between seeing something in a zoo and when its in its natural habitat. Also your photos are always so fab, maybe you could do a little photograph tips post? My photos come out awful even thought I have a great DSLR. xx

    morningnovemer.com

  • WorldTasting

    I have to say that it was a pleasure following your adventures. Your posts served as my little everyday getaway from gloomy Stockholm =)

    Amazing, these small monkeys, how they cuddle and everything. Playing with the monkeys in Phuket has just become an important item on my bucket list =)

    xo,
    Sylvia @ WorldTasting

  • This looks really amazing, such a beautiful trip you are doing πŸ™‚
    xx

    http://www.bohemianjourneys.blogspot.com

  • i have visited this place and its really awesome…by the way the last image is so funny coconut between the laps πŸ˜‰ so funny….http://www.pillsincart.com/Product/21-Finasteride

  • Another great post on Thailand! Your right Londoner! It’s very depressing to go to zoos! In Thailand I went to the Chiang Mai Zoo to see adorable animals but all I saw were sad eyes. It was very depressing. I did head to the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, the tigers have room to run around and I was really glad to hear they don’t drug them. They feed them very well before visitors come through. The tigers play and act like kids most of the time. Check out my blog and see the places that are ok to visit. πŸ™‚

    -The Southern Adventurer

    http://thesouthernadventurer.blogspot.com/

  • This was one incredible and magical post actually all of the Thailand posts were but this one was something else. Those monkeys are cute little fellas! Thank you for sharing your adventures.

    xo

    http://thefashionistabubble.blogspot.ca

  • Charly

    Hi Rosie, great post πŸ™‚ I feel the same about zoos/tiger temples etc and was determined not to ride an elephant on my trip to Thailand this month… eventually I found the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai… http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/ which is an ACTUAL sanctuary run my an amazing woman named Lek, where they rescue elephants from tourist trekking camps and logging and allow you to just feed them fruit, bath them and simply observe them either as a volunteer or on a day trip…. Just thought I’d let you know in case you are ever back in Thailand and want to get close to elephants in a place where they are actually happy! πŸ™‚

  • I have thoroughly enjoyed all your travel posts, you have a great way with words and your personality just shines through.

    Many of them have became my favourite posts and you’ve given me plenty of hotspots, to add to my dream travel list.

    Thank you for bringing delightful snapshots of Thailand, to my very cold UK days.

    Love Vanessa xx

  • Sinead

    I visited Thailand in Nov/Dec and really wanted to see and experience elephants in a humane way, as I had heard horror stories of riding camps and using them for begging in Bangkok.

    Whilst staying in Chiang Mai we spent a day at Elephant Nature Park which is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for elephants. It’s a real eye opener hearing the stories of how they ended up there. The centre is a charity that promotes eco tourism – you can’t ride the elephants, but you bath them, feed them and spend the day amongst them. It was the most incredible day of my life and later in the trip round Thailand seeing people riding them and the elephants being chained up made appreciate even more what Elephant Nature Park are doing. You can spend a day there, or stay overnight or up to a week. I would recommend it to anyone looking to get a better understand of Asian elephants and the work going on trying to protect them and reintroduce them into the wild. They also breed them within the park, so we were lucky enough to see 3 month old elephants playing happily with each other.

    This is their website: http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/

  • I’m so glad you re-found your love for blogging in Thailand. It’s what ignited my passion for blogging in the first place, and truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I truly left Thailand with a new love for life. I’d love to travel across it all for months on end to experience everything!

    Thanks for taking us along with you for the ride Rosie. Looking forward to seeing what you’ve been getting up to now you’re back in the big smoke!

    Katie <3

  • Eve Kakanang Chirdkiatisak Ved

    Thanks Rosie for sharing. It has been weird but wonderful to see you in my home country. You’ve been to corners I’ve never thought of visiting myself. And I can see she has spoilt you well. I thoroughly enjoyed your Thai posts and we all hope to welcome you back one day.

  • Oh my gosh, this just made my heart melt! I love animals and those little bundles of cuteness are just too much! As much as I love the beach, this is my favorite post of yours from Thailand! Something about innocent animals, have the ability to bring one back down to earth and appreciate the little things; as, us humans, tend to get caught in the daily grind of lives. So glad you posted this one! xx Jewels

  • Sarah

    Beautiful posts! Making me wish I wasn’t sat behind my desk today but been they have been a refreshing break πŸ˜‰ Keep up the great work and welcome back! ps those monkeys SO cute!!

  • The perfect post to end what seemed the perfect holiday! The caves look spectacular & as for the cute little monkeys, they look only too happy to dish out cuddles in return for bananas- a fair trade I would say!!
    Hugs xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

  • Evelien

    Every day I’ve been looking forward to a new post and I’m so grateful that you’ve shared this amazing experience with us! I love your writing style, I feel like your personality really shines through everything you write down. Oh and the pictures you take are absolutely beautiful. I hope to keep following you for a very long time x

  • Lillian

    Hi Rosie,

    Your trip looks absolutely amazing, but I have to ask, how/why did you go to Thailand for a week+ and get to stay at so many fabulous hotels? Maybe I’m just a jealous, pale, commuter πŸ™‚ but I am so curious as to how you got to take this trip! If it was comped, I really think you should disclose, for the sake of transparency with your readers. I hope this doesn’t sound too harsh, or like a troll, I’m just genuinely curious πŸ™‚

    Lillian

  • Kathryn Watts

    Your lovely blog posts have bumped thailand to the top of my list of places to go! Thankyou so much for sharing your holiday with us. πŸ™‚

  • Ashling

    Such a beautiful journey! It’s been a bit of a slog through snow and a “polar vortex” here in Washington, DC. Reading these posts was a great way to escape here at my desk!

  • Sarah

    Have really enjoyed your Thailand adventures! Never appealed to me until now!

  • Sepideh

    I’m not a fan of zoos either, so I totally understand the feeling of sadness.

    As for the monkey…I’m So jealous!!! How fun!! I can’t believe they come up to you !!! Amazing!

    http://www.seppysmontreal.com

  • Holly & Boydie G.

    Thank you for your blog! I usually enjoy just taking your stories and experiences in during my morning coffee, but lately the weather here (Canada!) has been just awful! So much snow and we haven seen grass or temperatures above 0C since before Christmas. Your trips and photos just help lift the heart and give me hope that spring, sun and warm weather are just around the corner! Thanks so much!!

  • Chantelle Bartlett

    Glad someone else shares my thoughts on zoo’s, I went to kenya on safari when I was 13 and they just haven’t felt right since! I also went to phuket in 2012, I felt like I saw a lot there but after reading your blogs I feel like iv’e missed out on so much now! Will definitely have to make a return visit, just wish I could take you as my tour guide!!
    Chantelle xx

  • Amanda Jane

    Hey Rosie,
    Love your blog and love your Thailand posts! A bit off topic but after seeing your posts about your trip to Positano, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the look of the place and having wanted to always visit Italy I have booked to go for 5 days in June with my twin sister. Is there anything you would recommend doing as a MUST in the time that we are there?
    Thank you in advance!
    Amanda xxx

  • This looks so fun! Awesome shots.

  • That looks incredible, I’m so envious but can’t help smiling looking at those pictures! I always yearn to travel but your posts make me want to jet off tomorrow!

  • Oh you did MUCH better than I did at capturing monkeys in Penang!
    http://somethingilike.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/penang-daytime-discovering/
    My ones NEVER STAYED STILL, the little blighters. It took me a LOT of shots to even get these ones I did. I particularly love the one where the monkey and you are both grinning!
    Looks like a sensational trip – I’ve enjoyed following your latest travels πŸ™‚

    Bonnie x
    http://somethingilike.wordpress.com/

  • Beautiful post – I too find zoos so depressing! I went to one in Thailand once where the elephant was chained with literally 20cm leg room, so it just kept taking a half step (couldn’t manage a full step) forward then back again – over & over. I felt so overwhelmed by this I had to leave!
    Hope you’re refreshed and relaxed!
    The Macadame. xx
    http://www.creamstop.com

  • WOW!! The monkeys are so neat and I was noticing, before you wrote it, how human-like and intricate their hands and features are. The one curled up on you is so sweet–what a great photo!!
    I have loved reading your posts about your adventure, you share it SO well.

  • Looks absolutely fantastic, I would love to visit the monkey temple sometime, seems like something out of the jungle book.
    Esttrill.co.uk

  • Olivia @ Liv Lives Life

    I’ve loved these posts, too! Your photography has always been beautiful, but I think this trip has made it even better!
    And I agree with you about zoos. They’re heartbreaking. Even if the establishment claims it’s treating its animals well, they’re still not in their natural homes or doing what they should be as animals. You’re definitely not the only one who feels that way!

  • I’ve got a soft spot for Thailand. It’s such an amazing country and I have really enjoyed your posts so much and currently planning my next trip there πŸ™‚

  • Lauren

    Ahhhhh this Thailand series has made me so excited! I’m off to Thailand on a worldwind tour in April and cannot wait! Sadly not doing Phuket but will be doing Krabi, Railay Beach, Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Rai – ahhhhhhhh why can’t I fly now?!

  • andrealeighj

    The end gave me goosebumps! I’m extremely motivated to get out there and travel/eat (well let’s be real, i’m always motivated to eat!)/write more since reading about your latest trip! Can’t wait to read more from you! x
    redwinelipstick.wordpress.com

  • Emma Kelly

    I’m curious why you eat foie gras when you are an animal lover? It’s produced in the most cruel way.

    I used to work in a zoo and agree, they are horrible. They moved an old lion to a different zoo once to make way for a new, younger lion and knew the stress of it would be so bad the old lion wouldn’t last much longer from it πŸ™

  • Coco

    Gorgeous little monkeys!! I went to a similar sort of place (high up in the mountains etc.) in Algeria, where there were loads of monkeys just hanging out, ready to be fed by tourists. They weren’t as friendly as the ones you met, though… mostly they just grabbed the food and ran off! And I wouldn’t have dared touch them, because they were a little aggressive if you got too close! But I totally understand what a great experience it must have been for you. πŸ™‚ You’re so lucky you got to hold them!
    x

  • Can’t help but notice how sassy that reclining Buddha looks…
    The monkeys are adorable, I saw quite a few when I was in Malaysia last summer and they were so cheeky! xxx

  • I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all your posts during your visit to Thailand. My family originates from Laos (Thailand’s next door neighbour) and I grew up watching alot of Thai movies (a la my mother) and going Wat temple every week here where we live in Canada. I still have yet to visit our homeland, but reading your posts has really made me feel a sense of urgency to go. I heard from many that Thailand is great but has been tainted by corruption and tourism. Laos has just recently opened it’s doors to tourism and is wonderful alternative to Thailand. Having said that reading your posts has instilled some hope in me that Thailand is still a magical spot to go to.

    Cheers to more adventures!

  • Sisi

    I completely agree with you on the feeling uncomfortable about animals on display thing. If you ever make it to Chiang Mai, there’s an incredibly beautiful and humane elephant reserve called Elephant Nature Park there that I think you’d love.

  • Nichola Allan

    When I was in India I did a Buddhist retreat – I would love to go to this cave and see it all, it looks fantastic. Funnily enough, there were monkeys there too, they stole our food, haha!

    nicholawithanh.blogspot.co.uk

  • Lesley

    I’ve loved keeping up with your travels in Thailand! It looks absolutely beautiful and is definitely a destination high up on my list! Thanks for sharing, Rose. xx
    http://www.rawvogue.com

  • Beth

    i feel like i should say a big thank you to you rosie! it’s been an absolute pleasure to follow you on your trip of thailand and to, in part, experience all the hidden treasures that it has to offer! i don’t know if i’ll ever get a chance to visit thailand, as much as i would like to, but i know that if i ever did i would love to have a journey as fun filled and beautiful as yours! i’m so jealous, in particular, of the trip you spoke of in this post! i absolutely love exploring other country’s cultures and this buddha cave temple looks unbelievable! loving the monkeys as well – can’t forget about them now can we? πŸ˜‰ i’m glad you had a lovely trip and that you enjoyed sharing it with us! πŸ™‚ X

    http://bethsbias.blogspot.co.uk/

  • EdgyElisa

    Breath taking pictures!

  • Brittany Foley

    I can’t stop reading and re-reading these Thailand posts. They’re so enjoyable–and inspiring! I just got back from a spring break trip up in the mountains and now I have such a blogging buzz!

    Also, my friends and I were thinking about tripping to either Nepal or Thailand next summer, and your blog definitely has us convinced. Are you going to release the names of any of the hotels you stayed at while there?

    Oh, and the monkeys? Perfect. Just perfect.

    http://theemeraldnecklace.blogspot.com/

  • Sierra Jena

    I’m attempting to plan a Thailand trip this summer and it has been my dream to ride an elephant and pet some tigers there, but also only if they are kept in a humane and natural way. Are there really no places in Thailand that have it that way? πŸ™

    xx Sierra

  • Becca

    I don’t like zoos either. They always make me feel a bit sad and guilty too.

    I do however love those monkeys!!! Such a wonderful experience. Thank you for posting your travels πŸ™‚ xx

  • Raha Ghassemi

    My friend told me about your blog and honestly I’ve never been much of a blog follower but now I read yours everyday, it makes me want to travel even more than I already do and I seriously love your sense of adventure. I would love to be in your shoes and you’ve made me want to start blogging my own adventures that start next month in Europe. Never stop blogging!

  • Small Hettie

    I’ve loved your Thailand blogs! πŸ™‚ I’m working/studying there next year – I’m even more excited now! Hettie x

  • Rebecca

    wow looks unbelievable!! RR xx
    eatingwearingliving.blogspot.co.uk

  • Wow!! Just wow!! These posts have made me so envious!! I was planning a trip to Thailand this summer, but plans fell through. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sort it all out!! It really looks incredible! Jen x

  • Thank you for sharing your Thai tales with us Rosie! My fiance has even taken note. I’ve a feeling we’ll end up honeymooning in Thailand! πŸ™‚ x

  • Katy Greenough

    Hey Rosie,

    I really do love your blog – the Thailand posts in particular have me dreaming of azure seas in a frozen Scotland!

    However I would like to say (although I’m sure you have too many comments to read them all!) I noticed both yourself and Milllie wearing shorts and strappy tops in the temple? Having visited Buddhist temples and shrines myself in Asia, I know that followers of the religion much prefer (even insist in some places) that you cover your shoulders and your knees.
    I’m sure no offence was meant (indeed you both seem like lovely, socially considerate people!), but I thought it may be a point to consider if you were ever to return πŸ™‚

    Please, please keep up all the fantastic blog work! I need your humour and fabulous dress sense in my life! xx

  • Meghan

    Hi Rosy! I am going to be traveling to Athens Greece, (Venice, Rome, Florence)Italy, Munich Germany,Paris France, and London, England. I was wondering if you could tell me any vegetarian go to restaurants or ones with at least a few vegetarian options. Or ones with local and fresh foods and a laidback feel inside (gotta pack for 6 weeks so I wont have any clothes that are worthy of a fancy place) Any faves in Paris or London that would not break a University student budget? Thanks!

  • Meghan

    Hi Rosie! I will be studying abroad for my University, leaving on the 17th, and will be gone for 6 weeks going to Athens Greece, (Rome, Florence, and Venice) Italy, Munich Germany, Paris France, and London England. I was wondering if you had any go-to vegetarian restaurants that wouldn’t break a students budget? Specifically in London and Paris? Or any go to markets or areas that are not touristy? thank you so much Id appreciate the advice!

  • Baden

    I commend you for being so aware that they drug the animals to keep them so “cuddly and friendly”. I couldn’t bring myself to visit the tigers in Indonesia for this exact reason.
    Glad you enjoyed your trip, loved every post! Your photo’s keep getting better and better!

  • Laura Baker

    I love this! I want to go and visit the monkeys.

    Laura
    a Lifestyle Blog

  • She

    Beautiful post, Thailand is differently on my bucket list after this post I can’t miss it.

  • OMG shut up. You actually fed bananas to the baby monkey?! I am so enamoured. Gorgeous photos. Gorgeous story. Thank you for sharing such beauty!!!

  • Kristi Kowalski

    Thank you for sharing! I can only imagine how difficult it was to leave…ESPECIALLY after meeting those adorable monkeys! I share your aversion to zoos as well :/ I am all for animal sanctuaries but I completely dislike zoos and animal parks where these lovely creatures are held captive for “our” entertainment… sigh….

  • Queenie Lee

    Looks amazing, I think I’ll add this to the list when we visit Phuket! We have a monkey mountain in Hong Kong but visitors aren’t allowed to feed the monkeys as they can get very aggressive :/ This looks much more peaceful! I also want to find some elephant rides where they’re treated well – I’ve got my fingers crossed xx

    http://peanutbutterandmussels.wordpress.com/

  • I’m glad you had so much fun! All the pictures were stunning. I am definitely going to have to go there some time!
    Also I love what you said about being animal friendly/humane toward animals.

  • Ruth

    I feel exactly the same about zoos/animal sanctuaries. I just find them upsetting. This looked like a wonderful experience and chance to get close to some happy monkeys! Thank you for sharing your travels and beautiful photos, I have loved reading your posts.
    http://thecocktailhour.me/

  • I miss Asia so much looking at your pictures. Although I can’t complain too much living in South Africa now. These monkeys look soooo tame, i had a huge monkey climb up my back when I was at the Monkey Forest/ Temple in Bali. hahha

    Elisha
    http://www.hungryeli.com

  • Rose

    Yes! Way to bring light to animal cruelty most people are sorely oblivious too. You are one amazing gal Rosie!

  • JasonS.

    Can’t wait to see this place! Thanks for sharing on your amazing blog.

  • Hannah Bee

    I’ve loved reading about this trip Rosie and totally agree on the whole no zoo thing- especially in Asia. My mum did the whole stroke a docile tiger and whilst she cried having stroked a real tiger she later cried knowing it was kept alone in a small cage and spent the day chained up for tourists, really not glamorous at all.

    Thanks so much, as always, for sharing πŸ™‚

    lots of love xxx

  • georgia

    All posts concerning Thailand were amazing!I decided to comment here for 3 reasons: i totally agree with u about the zoos,2. The temple is outstanding!3.I love monkeys!!!
    new post on http://mygenerouslife.blogspot.it

  • Having myself just come off an amazing travel adventure I feel a tremendous affinity with you at this moment… I have travelled often before but this was the first time I truly understood the saying “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. I have never felt so spiritually, physically, and mentally fulfilled and rich as I now do. So thank you for so eloquently sharing your travels with all of us – it creates a human bond that deepens everyone’s collective understanding, whether they have experienced what you are sharing, or have yet to. Much love – R. xx

  • Hi Rosie, I’ve just got a question about which camera you use for when you went to Thailand, especially the waterproof one? Your pictures came out great and I’m going on holiday soon to Portugal and would really love it if you could recommend teh same camera you used for your Thailand blogs. Thank you.

  • Wow, what an amazing experience! Monkeys are by far my favorite and I hope one day I can have the same experience Rosie! What a lucky gal you are!

  • Andrea

    I am traveling to Thailand in January for my honeymoon and love all your posts. Can you tell me how you got around Phuket between the different hotels/areas. Was the Buddha Cave Temple easy to get to?

  • Christine Joy

    Where would you suggest staying in Chiang Mai? We are going to Thailand in February!