Published: September 6th 2012September 1st 2012
Hey Everyone!! Here's our next installment, enjoy :)
After a fun 5 days in Bangkok we made our way to the train station to catch our sleeper train to Chiang Mai. We were pleasantly surprised at how nice our 2nd class sleeper seats were. The journey took 16 hours and as our seats were right beside the door out of the carriage to the next carriage where the toilet was situated we did not get much sleep as it was very loud when it was opening and closing! But we watched some movies on our tablet and took a trip up to the food car which looked like an Eddie Rockets (except they only served rice and noodles) plus the music in there was like a rave lol very random!
When we finally arrived in Chiang Mai (only 3 hours later than expected) we got a tuk tuk to our guest house Ban Wiang. This room was not exactly the biggest or cleanest room lol but we had a bed, a fan, a fridge and another shower over the toilet seat so we couldn't really complain for 3 euro a night :) The lady who runs the guest house
made up for anything we did not like about our room, she was so lovely and helpful.
On our first day (which was Ians Birthday) we met Ian's dads friend Richie for breakfast at 8am (he has been living in Chiang Mai for 10 years and is now married with 2 children and he teaches English over here). We had such an amazing day with Richie, he explained lots about the local culture to us and then he took us off for the day in his mini van. First of all he drove us up one of the mountains where we would of got a fantastic view of all of Chiang Mai but it was too cloudy so he drove us on up to a temple on top of the mountain Doi Suthep (we soon grew tired of visiting temples as they are just EVERYWHERE lol) then he took us to Tiger Kingdom, this was terrifying and exciting all at the same time. We were unsure about visiting this place as we had heard stories that the tigers were drugged and mistreated but having been there now we dont believe they are at all!! We got to take pictures
with Tiger Cubs and then medium sized tigers and finally the large tigers. It was very surreal to be lying next to a tiger who any second could kill you lol but we really enjoyed the experioence. Richie also took us to visit the Butterfly and Orchid farm and then gave us lots of tips for places to visit while we were there.
The following day we took Richies advice and rented a scooter for a day, this was so much fun! At first Ian was very nervous, he had never driven one before and he had me on the back and there were motorbikes flying past us at high speeds. But it didn't take him long to get the hang of it and so we drove up to Mae Rim and found a waterfall, we hiked to the top in the heat and humidity and we were both wrecked after lol so we drove to the National Stadium where you can use the swimming pool and went for a lovely swim, which was well needed!!
The next day we set of on our Elephant trek which we booked with Mae the lady who ran our guest house
and this has been the highlight of our trip so far. We were picked up in the morning and driven to a market where the trainers asked what we would like them to get us for lunch, then we drove across the mountains for another hour or so right into the jungle. When we eventally reached the camp we were amazed, it was in the middle of no where and the scenery was unreal! We changed into out "mahout" outfits and we were thought all of the commands to control our elephant. Ian was a little nervous when it was our turn to get up on the elephants and he said Oh My God he was son corrected and told the saying here in Thailand is Oh My Buddha so we have been using that ever since haha!! This whole day was amazing we got to feed the elephants we got to take lots of pictures with them, we trekked through the jungle on them bare back with nothing but there heads to hold on to and we got to wash them in the river! We were throwing buckets of water over them and they were spraying water at us
from their trunks!! There were only 4 of us on this trip and we all had an elephant each plus they gave us a cd full of pictures they had taken for us over the whole day. It was such an amazing experience!!
The following day we took a Thai Cooking course. We had so much fun! We first got to choose what we wanted to make for our 4 courses and then we walked to the local market where you buy your ingrediants and then you come back and begin to cook!! It was very hot when we were frying our meat and veg plus we could not move after all the food we consumed by the end of the day but it was great fun making, Spring rolls, Thai Curry etc.
On our final day in Chiang Mai we rented the scooter again and went to the huge shopping centre for a wander around in the air con as it was so hot, then we drove back to the pool for another afternoon of swimming!! We both loved Chiang Mai, it was a lot more laid back than Bangkok!! In the evening times it was great
to wander around the many markets and chill out in the lovely bars, especially Tiger Kingdom In Town which had a fantastic live band every night!!
We have booked a 3 day 2 night trip to get us to Laos, we will fill you in on that in our next installment!!
Hope your all keeping well, were having so much fun here, the time is just flying by, Chat soon, Ian and Laura xxx
There are more photos below