Published: June 30th 2010June 30th 2010
Okay, an early start in Bangkok allowed us to get the train 2 hours north to a city called Ayuthaya which is full of old temples and stuff. At first it was quite impressive and I really like the Cambodian style temples but you had to pay an entry fee to get into the grounds. And I wasn't doing that when I have a perfectly good zoom feature on my camera. Like I said the temples were impressive but if you have seen one or two then its pretty much the same thing. Any way we had the whole day to fill and our sleeper train to the northen city of Chang Mia was not due to depart until 9.30pm so we went for a meal and ended up spending most of the learning card tricks and puzzels with the owner of this restrant / bar.
The sleeper train was about an hour late, but didn't bother us as they had the football on at the train station so we got to see just over half the match. When the train did turn up I was overly impressed. I was expecting wooden beds with a flimsly pillow but what we
got was probably the nicest beds we've slept in so far, the air con was cranked up and for the first time in 3 weeks I was actually cold.
When we arrived in Chang Mia we got a free lift to our guest house wich was packed with travellers from all over, and massive communal area where I have actually started to read a book I bought in Bangkok. A couple days at the Guest house and then trekking in the jungles. Before the jungles the guide thought it would be a good idea to stop off at a butterfly farm. I decided to give it a go but I would not let them put this flower on my which is meant to attract the little devils. Anyway I need not of worried, I don't think I saw a butterfly inside the big cage, granted I only walked through it without stopping but still I can say I did it.
The walking in the jungle hills wasn't particularly hard but the heat meant we were moving very slowly ith lots of breaks. There was only 4 of us in the group so it felt like a private tour,
our guide was called Tom (like me) - well it was his western name anyway, we could not pronounce his given name.
First night we stopped in this mountain village with this tribe. no electricity but it made for a interesting night with candle light and loa-cow moonshine rice whisky whivh the locals made in the village.
The second day was the best in the jungle, we walked to this waterfall and had a swim, then onwards for some white water rafting, good fun and the walk was good as well as we were always crossing rivers, streams and navigating falled tree trunks. We got back to the elephant camp and just as we did we had time for a quick swim in the elephants drinking water before the heavens opened for about 2 hours. When the rain stopped we did some elephant riding through the jungle and I was eaten alive by the biggest mossies I have ever seen.
The last day was just a trek through the jungle with some very steep decents to negotiate and then a ride back to the camp on the back of a pick up truck where you had to
constantly duck and weave out of the way of trees and branches and the driver speed down this dirt track road.
Back into Chang Mia we arrived and searched out Roger and Reevesy (Sams brother and friend) then we all went out to watch the england game, and the less said about that the better.
The following day we all went to watch some Muay Thai boxing at the local arena, it is a brutal sport, but very engaging and something I would like to see again.
Just booked my 5 hour bus to the Thailand - Laos border and we leave tomorrow morning. The plan is to head into Northen Loas and then catch a slow boat into the centre of the country. This is probably gonna be a very lazy part of the trip with not a great deal to do but lots to see.
There are more photos below