Friday, September 4, 2009

2nd to 4th September - Chiang Mai

What a pleasant change it is to go from Bangkok to Chaing Mai... honestly it's such a refreshing change of pace.

I arrived a little less than refreshed after no sleep on a 12 hour overnight bus journey... we got dropped off at a petrol station somewhere on the outskirts of Chiang Mai and my major crime was that I didn't possess a coloured sticker... Everyone else got a sticker apart from me... oh why do you mock me Lord???

It meant I had to go and stand in the idiot corner with the other unfortunates while watching everyone else get a free taxi into the city.

After about 30 minutes of choas of such a scale that only the Thai locals could understand what was going on we were eventually herded into a couple of vans and dropped off in the city.

I got chatting to a group of Argentinian guys wowing them with my basic grasp of Spanish.... I also got chatting to Simon from UK and told them all of the recommendation Lisa had given me to stay at Julie's Guest House.... and boy what a recommendation it was.. Good on you Lisa.... After Simon and I walked aimlessly around Chiang Mai at 7.30am tired and dishevelled following guesses at directions from a few well meaning locals, we finally arrived. I'd booked a room so was looking forward to a snooze. Julie's was all it was cracked up to be and more. A great place and i've met some excellent new friends.

The first day was a bit of a right off as I slept for most of it but that night, I met up with Simon, Nick, Oce Anie, Karen and the Argentinian crew as well as some others upstairs on the roof terrace for some music. You see the Argentinian guys had brought with them a guitar, air piano (you blow into it and it makes a noise when you press the keys) as well as a drum.

From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


It was a great and very spontaneous evening...

The next day Simon, Nick, Oce Anie, Karen, Josie and I embarked on an adventure to find the hallowed hot springs of Chiang Mai district. We hired mopeds (sorry mum) and I rode with Simon.

From Chiang Mai


It was boiling hot and we had a basic idea of where we were going.... After stopping for some lunch on the way, we finally got to the hot springs at about 3pm. It was err.... not exactly amazing... The hot springs were a couple of holes in the ground with water in so hot you could boil a couple of cats in it..

From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


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From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


We went for a swim in the still warm mineral swimming pool which was nice. We then went to seek the hallowed waterfalls of Chiang Mai district... After battling through cow shit canyon and also narrowly taking out a cow lying conveniently in the middle of the road, Simon and I gave up about 6.15pm as everytime we passed a road sign it seemed to suggest we had just the same distance to go as before... 20kms seemed to be a favourite.... We passed this one about 4 times..

From Chiang Mai


Simon swallowed about 600 flies as we ventured back to Julie's Guest House in the dark. We toured the city a few times trying to get our bearings before eventually finding the way. It was a fun day.

That night I was set a challenge by Melanie to find the tackiest souveniers I could for under 30 baht... I'm pleased to see that my Playboy bunny and I f**k on first dates stickers along with a garish paper dragon that you bounce up and down so it walks along the pavement brought the house down.... I really am the champion purchaser of tat.... It's a gift.

From Chiang Mai


We ended up at a bar called The Riverside playing drinking games where you have to set rules for different people to have to follow while drinking. The trouble with being loud is that everyone seems to set rules against you so I ended up having 7 different rules I had to follow each time anyone had a drink... one was unbuttoning my shirt.. it was warm so I didn't mind that, I also had to have a feather stuck up my nose when I drank... along with this I had to dance the Macarena each time one of the others had a drink... I felt victimised....

From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


It was a good night and we terrorised the neighbourhood streets in Tuk Tuks on the way back. I was hanging out of one at one stage....

I got no sleep ahead of my Thai Cooking Class today but had a great time learning to make Pad Thai, Green Curry, Banana Spring Roles etc etc... Can't wait to put it into practice when I get back to Oz.

From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


From Chiang Mai


Next stop tomorrow is Pai, a quieter place where hopefully I can relax..... No going out tonight though... my bed is in need of attention... i'm happy but exhausted.

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