Chiang Mai

Trip Start Feb 16, 2010
Trip End Apr 08, 2010

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chiang Mai is brilliant, its laid back atmosphere vibrant culture makes it very easy to relax here. The hostel we are at is more like a hotel, we have stayed at worse ones that we paid alot more for in greece, and teh addition of aswimming pool is more than welcome. The sweltering heats in land locked Chiang Mai, make a dip in the pool a necessity.

The first day we were here we look our time exploring the Wats, Chiang Mai has as many wats ans Bangkok, but in a much smaller space so everywhere you turn there are magnificant buildings and monks which fascinates me. The chiangman wat really stood out to us, not only is it a religius temple, there is also a momument there to celebrate the man who created chiang mai, and the sacred elephant encircled stupa stands in the place that he used to sleep.We met a good bunch of people on our first day here o spent the evening have tea with them followed by drinks around the pool. Im afraid to say that day two didnt involve anywhere near as much culture, we slept in quite late due to the lack of sleep on the night train, but we did venture down to the river so lunch which was lovely as teh lack of traffic on it makes it a very peaceful spot. We then spent the evening exploring the night bizzare, its one of the main tourist attractions here and you can really tel why. the sellers arent pushy liek they were in HK, and there is such a variety, if we had alot of money, you could really pick up some nice unique pieces. I really wanted a yam (a local slouchy bag) but then got sidetracked my baggy trousers, and then bracelets etc etc.

We then ventured out of Chiang Mai for the day to an elephant camp, where we got up close to teh elephants and then went elephant treking through the jungle. you get to ride up on its back which is abit daunghting when it leans forward, but brilliant fun! when we returned to camp we got absolutely drenched by the elephant when it was supposed to be drinking teh wter, instead though it felt th need to throw its trunk over its head numerous times and wet us instead, absolutely amazing! we then headed a little further into the jungle to met a tribe, although it was an experience to say we had doen it, neither of us were impressed as it just seemed liek a 'tribe' that remained there soley for the tourist trade. we then put on our walking shoes and began a mini trek in the jungle, heading towards a waterfall. although it was a hard (and very hot) walk, when we got there the waterfall was stunning, and the mist form it kept us nice and cool. we trekked down strem then and long side the rice paddies, the scenery is breath taking. I never thought id be in  a position where my major concern was that at any second a snake could fall out of a tree and bite me! (yes i am a scaredy cat!) we had lunch with locals, and there kindness was overwhelming, until this point we had been very disapointed by the thai people we had met, always after your money or advertising scams. But the women we met here made us very at ease, they wecomed us into there home and gave us food, another wonderful experience. That afternoon we set sail down the river on a bamboo raft. The raft was made up of 7 huge pieces of bamboo that successfully sialed 4 people down stream. i have to admit that to start with i was a little nervous, but after going down what i would call a waterfall and paul would probally call a small dint in a rock i got alot braver and started making my way back down teh raft towards paul who was chilling out at the back. down teh river again we saw local farmers burning the land as we had seen on the train up here, but we also saw locals washing clothes on the river bed, and also elephants feeding from teh fresh plants that grew there. In all this has to have een one of the best days out ever, we both loved it, and it was topped of thateveing by some ocal thai food (which is the hottest thing we have ever tasted) and more drink by teh pool with Ben, and oz lad, and lots of others, americans, danish, chinese, canadian and even scouse.

This was supposed to have been our last nighthere but we decided in teh very early hours of reh morning t stay one more day, and today we sat round the pool fter strolling down the side of teh moat to the tha phae gate in the wll surrounding chiang mai, and we did something that the burmese failed to do, and actually got through it. its a very impressive wall, and parts still remain staning around the city. an internal flight has been booked to laos, so we are off to enjoy our last night in chiang mai.

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mum(sue) on

can,t believe u rode on an elephant!!! soundslike fantastic fun. carry on having fun, both of you.!!!xxx

Mum( Julia) on

Enjoy reading your blogs,sounds like your having a fab time.Snowing here today. x x x

Suzy on

Aw guys I'm so jealous ..... and so proud of you Lau, never thought you'd make it into the jungle! Hehehe ..... hope you're having a great time! x x x

roz on

sounds like you are having a great time love reading about your adventure. have fun xx

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