In the jungle the mighty jungle

Trip Start Jan 16, 2009
Trip End May 26, 2009

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Where I stayed
Banana Guesthouse

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hey there,

So when we had nicely settled in to our (boiling hot) room in Banana Guest house we had to decide on what to do with our time here. So after wandering around the town a while we booked our train out of here to Bangkok just in case everything filled up and then decided we wanted to do something called the Jungle Flight. I'd (EW) been talking about doing the Gibbons experience all trip but it is in North North Lao (a trip which includes lots of ziplines in the jungle and a night in a treehouse), however we didn't make it that far up and we'd heard it was quite expensive so never managed to do it. So we did this instead which is a similar thing, different company to the Gibbons though, they also do one of these here but this one was 1000 baht cheaper :) we were a bit dubious about why it was much cheaper but luckily there was nothing that we could see that was lacking, we even got more as we had a free dinner with Jungle Flight.

Basically we got up the next morning bright and early and went to the jungle, about an hour or so out of Chang Mai. We were the only 2 only the trip at that time so there was us and two guides which was pretty good. The guides were hilarious which helped, really good english speakers and a lot of fun. They got us kitted out in the harnesses and helmets and we headed into the jungle to the first platform. We then proceeded to throw ourselves off alot of high platform things, go down zipwires individually and together, abseiling and going across bridges. We had such fun doing it, and as there was only 2 of us there was no waiting around for people which was awesome, we even caught up with the group in front of us at the end as there were more of them. We did the whole thing (22 platforms) in about 2 hours and then had to trek back to the office up a hill through the jungle for about half an
hour, this was knackering (and if the insurance company had asked, we were not jungle trekking, we were walking and happened to be in a jungle, as we didn't pay the extra for the jungle trekking...).

Back at the office we had a huuuuge lunch which was surprisingly really tasty and then went to some hot springs which was just an added extra on the tour, was sulpher-y so smelt of eggs, lovely... Back in Chang Mai we went back to our sauna room for a nap because it was far too hot and then headed back out to find the fun in Chang Mai. We bought a paper and went to sit in a bar for a while before tea and have a beer (the first day I've been able to even contemplate having alcohol without feeling a little bit ill so thought we'd celebrate). However the bar we found seemed top be full of aging western men. After our beer we wandered round for a while trying to find where all the younger type people are. We found none. It was very odd. Maybe we were in completely the wrong part of town (unlikely as it's round all the backpacker guesthouses) but all we found were bars, and then more bars with the same type of aging western men, some with Thai girls. Hmmm. We were very confused and hungry so just ate in one less dodgy looking place in the end. We reckon everyone was in bed. Either that or everyone was in one bar/restaurant place which we didn't find. Anyway we soon got bored of looking and as the place with the most people which we had found was an internet cafe we gave up and went back.

We were just chilling and reading on the balcony/corridor outside our room when the old Japanese man next door came back to his room. We had met him the night before sat in the same place and had had a very interesting conversation as he speaks about as much English as we do Japanese. So he spoke to us in Japanese and we spoke to us in English. It was good. Sometimes we were possibly even on the same topic, maybe.Anyway that night he came back and spoke to us, we nodded and smiled and agreed with whatever he was saying and he went back out again. Not long after he returned, with a bag of stuff. Apparently what he'd said was would you like some beer and crisps. Well now he'd got them we couldn't exactly refuse... So we all shared some beer and  crisps and had more of the awesome multilingual conversations. We did discover he was 74 years old and call Tsukamoto and apparently owns a mansion (?!) near Mount Fuji. Pretty good skills we thought. He also told us we should go stay with him in his mansion (with a beer garden, beer garden was a phrase he knew, for some reason), if we were ever in Japan. Anyway I've googled him and it didn't come up with him + mansion so no idea if it's true or if he's a bit odd.... Anyway it was funny and we had a good time anyway, despite instead of spending the evening with some similar backpacker types and having the same conversation as always (where've you been, where are you from, how long you away for etc.) we spent it with a Japanese guy 3 times our age who spoke no English. Ah well we got free beer :)

The next day (or this morning even)  we packed out entire lives up again for the second to last time and checked  out. We then had an entire day to kill before the night train to Bangkok. We started out by heading to a Wat, Wat number 1 as it turned out to be, Wat Phra Singh. This took all of 10 minutes and it was still only midday so we decided to go daring, hire a moped again and head to wat quite far outdof town and up a hill. After battling the traffic, the 3 lane roads, millions of massive cars (we hadn't quite expected that, after only having driven on a deserted island and Vientiene, almost deserted), we stopped shaking, the adrenaline dissipated a bit and we were out of the centre of town. We then the started the really very pretty drive up the hill to the wat, it was a very nice one too. Shiny but not quite as impressive as the Chang Rai one, but then, no wat is going to compare after that. Anyway is was very nice as the views over Chang Mai were good to see.

Lastly we decided to hit one more wat, a jungle one so very different again, with tunnels and stuff. There were lots of poignant phrases on boards nailed to trees and it was generally a lot quieter after the last one! So after our overload on wats we battled the traffic back into the centre, made it back alive thankfully and gave back the moped. And now we are just waiting around for time to go to the train station, out train goes in 4 hours so we will wander and get some food and then head train ways we reckon. Then it's to Bangkok and the last couple of days!

Until next (and probably the last) time,

Emmas xx
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