Oh My, Chaing Mai!

Trip Start Mar 27, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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What I did
Muay Thai
Thai Kitchen Cookery School
Extreme Sports Centre
Woody's Elephant Camp

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Saturday, April 28, 2012


I don't really know how else to begin this entry other than with a big WOW! Chiang Mai has been such an incredible place for us and for so many reasons, so strap yourselves in because this entry is going to be extreme. 

This time we made our way here by bus; a bus which was very purple, bug infested and had a permanent resident in the toilet...not a person but a scooter. The Thai people are very creative, though I'm not sure the passengers bladders would agree. Other than that, the journey to the hostel was pretty stress free, and the hostel itself is practically free at just two pounds a night, kerching! 

Though 'A Little Bird' leaves a lot to be desired in cleanliness, hygiene and temperature, the social side more than makes up for it! Within an hour of arrival we already had a date with our new roommate Noah and a gang of Germans and Italians for the Muay Thai that night.

Beginning with a children's fight is probably not the best way to endear the sport to the tourists in the audience but as the night progressed the sport got more and more serious and engrossing. Though i must admit I couldn't stomach the kicks to the face, and Adam was particularly disturbed by a knee the the you know whats, and by losing 100 baht (two pounds) on a bet with a man who clearly worked at the stadium. Post match drinks were had by all at a live venue where we found out that the Thai people can seriously rock out.

On Tuesday we decided to do as the Thais do and cook like a boss. With the smiliest woman on the planet leading us I felt in good hands, and we cooked and ate five meals in four hours. It was a good day! We came away with a cookbook too so you can all get excited for Thai banquets on our return (nb. this is optimistic) Getting back to the hostel we then went to visit to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a hill top temple with great views and a lot of 'team bonding' and then managed to rally together a dozen of us to chow down (yet again) at the night market, this time followed by drinks at a Reggae bar. One of the members of the band looked exactly like Jimmy Hendrix, it was a little disconcerting!

Wednesday we went swimming, relaxation was required to prepare for the next few days.

Thursday was extreme sports day. While one of our roommates headed for a Muay Thai training, we thought throwing ourselves from a 50ft crane sounded safer. It took us a nerve fueled 40 minutes to reach the spot, and shockingly none of us chickened out! Though when the man told me to let go of the hand rails, I did try to decline...he was having none of it.

First it was terrifying, then amazing. Though Andy's length was slightly miss-calculated and pretty much just fell waist deep into the water. We now call him Whiplash. If that wasn't enough, we then went zorbing. I don't envy hamsters! It is hard work, especially in 35 degree heat, yikes! To cool off we hit a national park for a dip in the beautiful waterfalls to soothe us after the trauma and prepare for yet another evening of drinking, this time at a van (less creepy than it sounds) and a club called Zoe's.

Friday was AMAZING! We spent a lot of time debating whether to go trekking and ride an elephant for an hour or spend the whole day with them. We decided on the whole day and it was the best decision we've made on the entire trip. We learned to command them in the Thai language, how to get on and off them, we rode them bare back up very uneven terrain, then we bathed them and went swimming. Adam and I got given Moiloi (I'm almost certain that is spelled incorrectly), the speed demon of the pack! She did not like to queue, very un-British. The elephants were indescribably incredible; beautiful, graceful, enormous...and the guys who ran the place were fantastic too. Mr Tom was the Thai version of Bear Grylls and Woody, Thailand's biggest flirt and elephant lover. It was brilliant to hear them talk about their relationships with the animals, calling them their sisters and it really did feel like that with the way they treated them. Additionally, elephant kisses are disgustingly wonderful...just saying!

And then that brings us to today, having achieved so much here and having met the best group of people, tomorrow we leave for Pai. We are really sad to be leaving here, but still looking forward to the next stage, and we're taking some people along with us for the ride this time.

Here's hoping Pai is as good as pie...we miss pie!

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Craig on

What about Pi

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