I swore I'd never climb a mountain again but...
11.05.2008 - 14.05.2008 31 °C
Day Seven - oh my god I cannot believe how quickly the first week has passed - and not even a hint of a suntan! To be honest we have ben so busy this week sightseeing etc that sunbathing hasn't been an option - and also it has rained for the last 2 days non stop so clearly that doesn't help heehee! So gutted its sunny in London - v. unfair!
So where to start... probably where I left off but I can't actually remember where that was! Well to recap - after arriving in Chiang Mai we went for a wander and explored the local area; we quickly realised we had a bum deal on our accommodation so set about finding somewhere new for the next day. We came across the Green Tulip Guesthouse and it is stunning and so cheap! We qucikly decided to check out of our original place the next morning and move! We finished our first evening with a wander in the night market and then had some dinner at a cool little Thai place in an old countryhouse. We had a massive starter to share and then 2 mains and 2 drinks and it came to 200 baht - about 3 pound twenty! That night was spent grossing out at our horrid little room and wondering why Lonley Planet had rated it so highly - it certainly wasn't for the decor which was grime, mustard brown and minging red!
8 am the next morning we hot footed it to the nbearest tuktuk and flew down the high street to our new home - Green Tulip is so pretty. We have a lovely big room wioth mint6 green walls, teak wood floor and most importantly spotless sheets! The room has three big french patio doors leading onto a huge roof garden with decking and flowers and sunbeds (not that we have any sun right now!). Sadly our bubble of glee burst later that day when we also discovered we were sharing our room with 3 geckos - ugh yuck! I am scared of them but apparentlyu thaey come in through the air con so I have just had toi get used to them (but to be fair I also made Chris catch a couple and dispose of them so hopefully word has spread to avoid our room lol!).
That day we went to cookery school at the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School run by Somsong - the Thai equivalent of Jamie Oliver but without the cockney accent! It was a fantastic day: we started by going shopping for our ingredients in a local market which was so cool... apart from selecting the fresh fish who were then beheaded whilst live and deboned. Yuck! I did not cook or eat any fish but Chris did - heartless so and so lol! Following the market we headed to school - a beautiful outdoor place with stunnig views and a relaxed ambience.
During the day we made 7 dishes and ate them all - yum ytum! It felt strange to be saying 'OMG this is amazing' about food you had cooked yourself! My favourite dish was my Thai Yellow Curry - which was complicated to make but divine. We also made Chicken and Cashew Nuts - so mum I can make it for you when we come home! For dessert we made stewed bananas in cocnut soup - mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I am goiing to come home a right little fat piglet!
That evening we decided to walk to find somewhere for dinner etc. It was a fairly uneventful evening until the journey home... we came to 'dog crossroads' - a section in Chiang Mai which is strewn with stray dogs who fight each other lots and attack passers by at random. We quickly realised our mistake and decided totake a left turn to avoid crossing their paths. Too late... we realised three were slinking along behind us and snarling very quietly - eeek! Then their pace picked up as ours did until finally in panic we ran - and so did they, after us! Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were so scared adn ended up scaling a 6ft wall to escape their snapping mouths! I got stuck half way up and Chris had to pull me - I banged my legs so bad! Once on the wall we were a little uncertain as to what to do next - fortunately eventually a Thai passer by scared them away but we vowed to never go that way again, even as we giggled at our fright all the way home!
Last night we visited the night bazaar and that was an experience - although I actually way prefer the night markets in Beijing, and also the markets in general.
Today was the best adventure EVER!!! We went on a one day trek - yes thats right folks, I louise who vowed to never trek again indulged for a second (albeit tiny) bout!
The day started with a one hour jeep bus ride to the south of Chiang Mai to Muang National Park - it was stunning and really made me realise how close we are up here to Cambodia, Laos and Burma - it was a completely different world of Thailand we saw in the greenery, lakes and vilages.
We arrived at an elephant camp to continue the day and after feeding them many bananas before they would allow us the honour of sitting on their fat asses, we climbed aborad! Getting on was the weirdest sensation ever! I felt a little nervous at first but soon realised that our nelly was such a greedy git he wouldn't be going very fast as he stopped every ten seconds and refused to move on unless we fed him more bananas!!! He was so funny! It was a very bizarre sensation climbing a mountain sitting on an elephant. Their skin was entirely different to what I was expecting - and unlike the mingy camels in Tunisia they had no flies or bugs on them which was great! What wasn't so great was coming back down the mountain - our elephant seemed to pick up on the fear and frequently lunged off on his own crumbly path!
Overall it was the most incredible experience - ooh and did I mention the teeny tiny baby elphant who followed us all the way! His little trunk was constantly tapping your leg or foot for a sly banana when the big ones weren't looking! I have decided I would like an elephant for my next birthday present please...
After the elephants we went trekking by foot (boo!) and it was China revisited. Jungle climbing in pouring rain - although this time in flip flops (they told ius it was a 30 min stroll along pathways!). I slipped. skidded and got dirty as hell but made it to the summit weventually. It was a stunning waterfall and we got some good pics. We then descended into the Muang Hilltribe Village - it was interesting to see how they lived and I bought a lovely hand weaved scarf.
We hadf a stop off for lunch and then the final leg of fun began... bamboo rafting! Wow - what an incredible experience! Terrifying at times but a REAL BUZZ! We got soaked and scared ourselves over thoughts of leeches on our bums lol!!! It was the best fun ever and we made our way back to the hotel having had the most exciting day thus far! What an adventure!
Tonight we will chill and have a little wander - tomorrow we leave here at 8am for our fliught to Koh Samui... we are not as excited as previously though as their is torrential rain there at the min apparently - this upsets me hugely. I went to Florida - it rained. I went to China - it rained. I went to tunisia - it rained. Now I am in Thailand - its bloody raining!!! All I want is a sunny holiday and a tan - huff!
So it is adios amigos for now and check in when we are 1200 miles further south!
Big love to all - as always especially to my puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!xxx