Northern Thailand Experience

Trip Start Feb 10, 2008
Trip End Oct 14, 2008

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Where I stayed
Jasmine Rice Resort
The Montri

Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, June 26, 2008

I slept like a logon the overnight train to Chaing Mai from Bangkok even on the top bunk. I only have two complaints which were that we arrived in Chiang Mai later then it was scheduled to and the toilets. The toilets thankfully were not squatters however it was a bottomless toilet so all went straight onto the track even toilet paper - not exactly enviro friendly nor clean.
From the station we took a taxi to the centre, loked round a couple of hotels, deciding on the latter one partly cos they had a deal on at the time. The Montri was what you expect from any chain style hotel and had a central location. We found a great place for lunch called the Art Cafe, absolutely stuffed ourselves we did so much so when we got back to the hotel we both fell asleep. That eveing we caught a tuk tuk to the Night Bazaar market. It was a lively market packed with tourists and locals dying to sell you stuff. We picked up a few bargains and bumped into the girls off the train so had a quick chat with them. We stopped for a drink before collecting a late McDonalds and heading back to the hotel to watch a film.
The next day after our American free breakfast at the hotel Ryan decided he wanted to play tennis. Don't get me wrong, I like tennis but I don't like playing it in the humidity we were. Even the owner warned us over the phone it was too hot to play. We had an hour on court and didn't even complete one set, I felt ready to collapse at the end. For lunch we went back to the Art Cafe, learnt our lesson though and didn't eat too much. Again that evening we headed to the Night Bizaar and had tea at a Dukes. Tonight once again Ryan out shopped me picking up some real bargains - probably bankrupting some of the store owners along the way.
The following day we checked out the hotel and got collected for our cookery course at the Chiang Mai Cookery School. We booked a package which included staying at the School's resort for 2 nights. There was just two other couples staying at the same place, one couple were newlyweds from USA and the other a vegetarian Aussie couple. The first day of the course we cooked 6 dishes including Green Curry and Fishcakes. It was fun cooking but my goodness we were stuffed by the end of the day as you eat all you cook. After the course finshed we got picked up by the lovely woman who runs Jasmine Rice Resort. She took us to a local pottery place and showed us round. Half way round we got offered snacks, I declined and everyone else soon wished they had too. If you could have seen Ryan's face, I was in hysterics, apparently they weren't very nice. After the pottery place we got taken to the Resort. It was beautiful, there was a pool and the rooms were designed really nice. Part of the package was a free 1hr massage so we both got a traditional thai massage that evening. It wasn't the kind of massage you can relax with, its more pulling and stretching your body. The first thin the lady did to me was to crack all my toes - I had to stop myself from screaming "get off me"! However after I did feel pretty good and I did sleep well that night.
Day two of the cokery course we learnt how to make curry paste and cooked, Chiang Mai and Penang Curries and had sticky rice pudding for dessert which was divine. Again it was quite filling eating all that you cook but it was lovely. Watch out people when i'm back...i'll be cooking Thai curries all the time. After the course we stopped at a Thai Silk House and shown how its made then back to the hotel for a quick change before being dropped off in town for the Sunday Market. The market was lovely but it did rain so most stock was covered with sheets making it hard to shop.  For tea we went to the Cookery School Restaurant as part of the package. We got about 6 courses of Thai food, most of which included Pork in some way. It was a nice evening. I have to say how lovely Ratti made our stay at Jasmine, she goes out of her way to look after you and her banana pancakes are divine!
The next morning we were taken back to Chaing Mai and checked back into the Montri for a night till our flight the next day to Laos. We spent the day chilling out, not really doing much. That night we went back to the night bazzar for a final look around and returned to Dukes for tea. In the restaurant we bumped into the girls from the train again, they had been trekking so we had plenty to talk about. After saying goodbye we went back to the hotel to pack for our flight.
The flight wasn't till the afternoon so in the morning we went to a beauty spa. I had a facial which was so so relaxing and Ryan had a head massage which apparently wasn't relaxing. We had luch one last time in the Art Cafe before catching the free minibus to the airport.
Chiang Mai has been very enjoyable but i'm excited about Laos, so may people have told us how nice it is. So on we go to country number 8.
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