Luang prabang to Chiang Mai, Thailand

Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
Trip End Jun 27, 2008

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Monday, October 22, 2007

The original plan when we came to Chiang Mai was to only stay for a week; however, we ended up staying for two and half weeks.  So, here are the highlights of our time there.

On arriving at our destination it became clear that Nic was not well, not that she likes to say anything of course but this was serious.....tonsillitis!! After spending a few nights with bed bugs, ants and finally an inquisitive cockroach...enough was enough and we moved so Nic could fully recover. We found solace in the form of a private bungalow at a place called the Pub. It was run by an English fellow called Graham and he provided amongst other things.... Guinness, John Smiths, full English breakfast, Sunday Lunch and bug free brand new accommodation. Ahhhhhh.

Whilst we were there we became friendly with a few American ex-pats, Harry and Craig, thoroughly nice guys, and ended up playing softball with them one Sunday and then back to the pub to quench our thirst and Pats victory (playing on the opposing team to Nic) with a cold beer and Sunday roast beef, Yorkshire puds (proper ones not Aunt Bessie's frozen rubbish) and HP sauce.... Yummmmmm.

As Chang Mai is quite a large place and has no real centre we decided to hire mopeds after getting the bug for them in Vietnam. And so off into the sunset we rode.....well up a mountain first to visit another impressive temple. However the trip took a little sidestep...we had stopped to take in some views and have an ice cream when Pat decided to lock his bike chain in his seat along with the bike keys still attached.... what a silly boy. He rode Nic's back to the bike shop and luckily the owner had a spare key and we set off to explore once more.

Back at the Pub, Graham was talking to Pat about the lack of decorations he had in his newly furbished restaurant area and Pat let it slip that Nic was good at that sort of stuff, So after a few discussions, choosing the materials and then transporting two 3ft x 3ft canvases on the back of a moped driven by Pat and not a single person battered an eyelid!!! They all do stuff like that, its not unusual to carry wardrobes, large TV's or live cattle!! So 2 canvases were nothing. A day and a half of creativity and the unveiling saw Graham a happy man.

Later, we got talking to a lovely gentleman, Mike, and his wife, Melisa. They had adopted an elephant and were going to visit it the following Wednesday and invited us along with two of their other ex-pat friends. We had a fantastic day out, riding elephants through the jungle, watching them bathe and getting to see a new born ephalump aahhhhhh. But the highlight for Pat was later that evening when we were back at Mike and Melisa's house enjoying some of Melisa's fantastic cooking with none other than Graham of the players from the 1968 FA Cup final winning team (West Brom)! and Pat got invited to relive the moment at The Pub the next day as Graham had got it all on DVD!! I think Pat wet his pants with excitement at the very thought. So with a beer in hand and an ear to ear grin Pat sat and watched the FA cup final game of 1968 with one of the players......fantastic.

Some of the other things we did were... a visit to the butterfly museum which also housed a lot of ugly bugs....on the way home we stopped off at a house with a sign for beer and the owner cooked us lunch....Nic played with the dogs and bunnies.
A visit to the Thai boxing. This was very interesting, seeing the locals betting and changing their bets constantly throughout the match on who they thought would win.
The hot springs, a trip very much out of town that said not far now at every corner and at every corner it never seemed to get any closer!! But when we eventually got there we enjoyed dipping our feet in the hot springs, watching people boil eggs in the hot hot spring and a foot massage for Nic and headed home before it got dark.

The whole time we were there we hired the mopeds for cheapness and ease of exploration but a few days in and Nic came a cropper! She nearly died.......well she could have had there been moving traffic the bike was moving faster than 2mph and she wasn't wearing a helmet.....fortunately she escaped with a few grazes and a bruised ego (everybody saw).

We had a great time in Chiang Mai, and thanks to the locals there, we felt very much at home, hence us staying for a lot longer than we had originally anticipated.  Next stop - Phuket and the 5-star Marriott resort.
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