... the night that was almost spent on a sleeper train!
10.05.2008 - 11.05.2008 35 °C
Well here I am in sunny Chiang Mai - only been here for a couple of hours but I love it! It is much more 'Thai' than Bangkok, and bordering on a national park (jungle type!) so green and lush and generally pretty!
So why the balls up I hear you cry? Well... before leaving London we booked train tickets for the sleeper train from Bangkok; the overnight 14 hour journey is reputed to have fantastic scenery on route and is generally an adventure in itself. We decided to splash out and booked a first class air con cabin (it was a bargain we thought at just 20 quid). We were so excited about the experience... however a little sad to be leaving Bangkok. Incidently before I forget - our last day in Bangkok was spent chilling big stylee! We had a lie in, chilled in our room for a bit and then in a bid to avoid the midday sun (and my bout of heatstroke) we decided to visit a spa! Well - I decided to visit a spa! As all of our other friends are already down in the south waiting for us to join the party, Chris had no option but to come with me - or else sit in the room on his jack jones! The spa was delicious! I had a manicure and pedicure while Chris had a 'man facial' - he was a little dubious but loved it! It was just three ounds each for our treatments which took just under 2 hours. We then went to the salon next door and had the 'full body treatment' - again Chris was a bit unsure but I convinced him to give it a go - get in touch with the old feminine side! For just under 10 pounds we had a three hour session - firstly the body is cleansed all over with a herb wash, then we had a full body scrub (which tirned my new french polish yellow damn it!), followed by an hour long aromatherapy massage. It was sheer bliss - apart from when the lady who I am certain was a lesbian started massaging my boobs! I quickly shook her off lol! Our treatment continued with a session in a thermal sauna which was yum and then ended with a 40 minute long hydrotherapy milk bath - I loved this bit but Chris got bored after 10 mins and kept shouting through the wall and asking what the point of lying there for so long was!!!
So back to the disaster... after checking out fo the hotel we got a cab to the central station. Our train was delayed by over 40 minutes which was horrible as it was so hot and terribly fumey - it made it quite difficult to breather. Eventually it crawled in and was a dump! We were so disappointed - we didn't care about it being old and crummy - but we had hoped it would have some charm and character a la Darjeeling Express in India. Nope - not a drop. It was an aluminium hell hole with manky cushions and bedding. Ah well we thought - it will be fun no doubt. I then highlighted to Chris how wise it was of me to pre purchase sleep sacks for us - haha! I decided to make a film on my camera to bring home and show mum etc... at the end I thought I would zoom in on my freshly manicured feet to show off my pretty toes! As I looked down the ugliest cockroach in the world ran from under me between my feet. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!! I screamed like a baby girl! It was horrible. Chris laughed but after I convinced him I would be unable tp sleep with it it our tiny dirty den he got some fly spray and covered the floor. Next thing it came back out... and trhen another one... and another... then they were everywhere. I was totally freaked out - yes nobody likes them but I have a genuine if irrational fear of them and a panic attack started to come on. The man next door advised us to ask to have our carriage swapped as he had none in his... I tucked my feet up on the chair and curled into a tiny ball trying to calm myself. Then one ran across my foot... that was it. I was off the train in a flash. I did not give the slightewst shit about the plans we had made at that point - I just needed to be as far away from that carriage as possible. Poor old Chrois had to follow and sat looknig confused as I sobbed my heart out in the middle of the platform! Through gulps I managed to apologise for ruining our plans but explained I would probably have several thousand asthma attacks due to panic if we stayed on the train. To cut a long story short we ended up stranded in Bangkok... luckily I managed to find us a room near the station anfd we booked in for the night. Then disaster two struck - I had to give them my credit card for security... um where the hell is my credit card?!? At the previous hotel. Oops. I had forgot they had it and they forgot to return it at check out. We had to hot foot it all the way back to Khao San Road where luckily my card was waiting... the hotel were very sweet and apologised for forgetting to return it. We decided to make the best of a bad situation and hang out on Khao San for one last time. Bad move, very bad move........... we drank some lethal Thai drinks and didn't get home til 6am this morning - eek! Which left us 45 to sleep before we had to rush to the airport for the last minute flights I had managed to buy so we could still go to Chiang Mai! I bought them for Chris and I to make up for ruining last night. So... we boarded the plane where Chris slept and I spent most of the journey in the toilet feeling very sick. lesson learnt - I will not be drinking samsong ever again heehee!
We landed and headed to our pre booked lodge - after the luxury of our posh hotel in Bangkok it is a bit of a culture shock; we are staying in one of the cheapest places here to balance out next when the island accommodation is pricey. Its fine - and most importantly it appears to be cockroach free (I made Chris check inside the cupboards, under the bed, in the bed, etc... so far so good! The people are lovely and the garden and facilities make up for the basc and a little garish room - it is an ugly dark red with weird rambly furniture! We are going to stay tonight and if all goes well and it remains as spotless as it seems we will remain here - but have some others places lined up for backup should those damn roaches pay us a visit!!!
I am so paranoid right now its untrue - everytime I feel something brush against me or I knock something I jump thinking its another one on me again!
Tonight I have agreed to go to an Irish pub so Chris can watch the Arsenal match - my one and only western intention of the trip! Tomorrow we are going to the CHian Mai Thai Cookery School - I am so so so excited. I will write again tomo and tell you all about it.
For now I am off to buy an adult sized romper suit to protect my skin in bed from any bugs which may decide to come in when I am sleeping! Oh and to stock up on some food - I am now over the hangover and HUNGRY heehee!
Hope London is treating you well...
ps Mum don't forget to wrap Tigue up at nightime - he gets cold and needs comfort