Bangkok and Chiang Mai - The beautiful North
Trip Start Jan 16, 2010
23Trip End Aug 16, 2010
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We headed back to Samui for one night where we would then fly out to bangkok at 6am the next morning. We trudged along the beach with our backpacks at the speed of a couple of sea turtles. We managed to find a place called the moon hut bungalows for a mere £10 per night , lovely little place right on the beach , basic but just the trick for a one night stop over in transit. We arrived at lunch time and our bellies told us it was time for lunch . It was at this point i realised that the sequined bow purse was slightly more flaccid than usual, OH NOOOOO! I had left the traveling cash card in a card machine in Phangan!! I feel at this point i need to explain how this happened. In an English ATM you do not get your money before you take your card from the machine , otherwise people would just walk away with there money. Now in Thailand you get your money and then you have to answer a question in Thai about requiring other services before you get your card back ....trust me this is an easy mistake to make!
Now a hot Jones is someone not to be trifled with but a hot hungry and tired Jones can kill with merely a glance. To my relief after a few curse words i seemed to get away with my stupidity quite mildly. We set about canceling the card and were grateful that i had my cash card to fall back on, but, to my surprise it was spat back at me ?? "Must be a fail safe from the bank" , i rang my bank only to discover someone had been on a shopping spree and frauded my account to the tune of over one thousand pounds in 24 hours! Great , they then inform me that the only thing to do is cancel my card and order a new one to my address. So two cards down and on to Jens cash card. Surely that will be fine, surely i had learned my lesson!!? With jenny safely fed i spent the rest of the night sulking and imagining the little scrote who spent £540 at Abercrombie and Fitch. The next day we flew early from Samui to Bangkok. (Note to Mum - Don't Worry its all sorted now)
We were merely in bangkok for the day as that evening we would be taking the overnight bus to Chiang Mai. Bangkok is absolutely chaos , street vender's , scooters ,tuk tuks , smog and masses of people, a far cry from the sedate shores of the beaches we had been frequenting. The vibrant change of scenery was a nice contrast. The heat is almost unbearable at times with the humidity adding to the smog , fresh air is hard to find and we needed to take shelter quite frequently in air conditioned buildings. Stepping out of the shopping arcades was like stepping into an oven, luckily we Had left our backpacks in safes at the train station. We mainly spent the day shopping. The shopping in bangkok is really good and very very cheap! we were lucky enough to be there during an international BBQ , stalls of cheap food from all nations which was a great way to end our full day before we headed to the station to get the overnight bus to chiang mai
The bus was fairly comfortable with reclining seats.... not that sleeping is a problem for jenny. She seems to have developed motion Narcolepsy. So far she has fallen asleep in the back of a pick up truck , a plane , a boat , cable car and countless taxis. What starts with gentle nodding, eventually ends in a soft thud or snoozing . We have yet to find a mode of transport she cant fall asleep in. 10 hours later we arrived in Chiang mai where we made our way by taxi to our guest house called 'Vanilla place' . The owner of the guest house was amazing , Mr Kenn , a retired gentleman running the guest house for free for his daughter , such a sweet helpful, hospitable man who could not do enough for us. The money that the room cost us which was a mere £15 a night was easily compensated by the money he must of saved us! The man was a legend, he even got up early to make us breakfast when he knew we were arriving. After the best hot shower of the journey so far we quickly booked our trips for the next two days. I stupidly went to the cash point unsupervised, and you can guess what happened........ yes i did .......i lost jenny's card in the machine , but we didn't find later that evening , oblivious to this fact and my impending doom, the first day was jam packed.
In the morning we hired a taxi to take us to a temple and the royal palace
So off we went to the cookery lesson. We were joined by a nice American couple, Joe and Amanda. Spookily Joe was also a process analyst like myself, I had actually found someone who knew what i did for a living!! The cooking course was really good fun , we learnt to cook about five dishes and we will surely be putting our skills to the test when we get home!
The second day in Chiang mai we booked a jungle trek tour . Firstly we visited the a hill tribe village called the long necks , where basically the women have copper coils around there necks to protect them from tigers in the jungle
On the second night we hit the weekend market , well actually we just missed the weekend market as i got the wrong road and we basically looked around the tail end. Chiang mai saw the advent of eating from street vender's , we probably spent a little over £10 on food during the five days there, by eating rice dishes from food vendors . A full meal and water would cost about 40 pence each , delicious and a bargain!!
With heavy heart we checked out the next day to head to a jungle resort not far from town . A strange quirky little place where our room was built around a tree and we were the only guests, hmmm..... maybe i got this one a bit wrong! There was bunny rabbits everywhere and i found myself strangely drawn to them in a Lenny from 'of mice and men' way . "i wanna tend to the rabbits jenny ..can i ? can i tend to the rabbits". We spent the rest of that day catching up on e-mails , calls and blogging. At night we went to the night bazaar which had every souvenir and counterfeit item you could think of , busy , noisy and fun!
The next day we thought we would try a bit of zorbing . Zorbing is basically where you get strapped into an inflatable ball and hurled down a hill into water. To get into the ball you had to take a running jump through a little hole. Surprisingly i managed to do this without any damage, however, poor Jen hesitated in her run up and didn't have enough momentum and ended getting wedged by the bum. With a sharp tug we were both inside our little hamster ball. It was kind of like being in a washing machine. We hit the water where you have to unstrap yourself and roll the ball back to land
Our last day in chiang mai was spent roaming the streets and doing some shopping
Chiang Mai is a beautiful part of Thailand full of culture , amazing jungle , friendly colourful people and delicious food . We really enjoyed our time there and would not think of going back to Thailand without a visit , its also a lot cheaper than in the south and in our opinion the people are much friendlier . The temperature is quite hot but without the unbearable humidity. We were sad to leave chiang mai , but its back off to bangkok!!!