Published: August 10th 2012August 9th 2012
Day 10 Ko Tao - Scuba Dive Best day so far-I loved it! Clare and I were both so scared about doing the dive. First of all we practised in the pool, getting used to the equipment. We had to try out all of the manoeuvres if the worst happened. Things such as your mask filling with water or you loosing your oxygen mask. We then swam around the pool going to the deeper end so we could practise equalising our ears. It really was quite tricky but eventually we got the hang of it. After a quick lunch we headed out on the boat. We did two dives in total. It was so amazing. I think because you are so prettified that it makes the experience even better. We saw lots of sealife including Nemo, an eel, and lots of others that I can't remember now. We were much braver on the second dive which meant we had a lot longer on the actual dive as we got down quicker.
Day 11 Travelling day back to Bangkok from Ko Tao
Day 12 Day in Bangkok before sleeper train to Chiang Mai After being turfed off the night bus at 3am
in the middle of Bangkok we were a little disorientated to say the least. All we wanted to do was get our head down and sleep for as long as possible. We fell into the nearest hotel but had to check out at 12noon so still had quite a lot of time before our sleeper train north at 10pm
. We got the Chao Phraya Express to Tha Tien and walked to Wat Pho, The Reclining Budha. The temple is right next to The Grand Palace but we have decided to leave that for when hannah arrives. It's a stunning temple and the huge reclining budha is very impressive. We headed back to the Khao San area and had a relaxing few hours eating, writing post cards, skyping home and clare enjoyed a coconut cocktail.
Day 13 Arrive in Chiang Mai After a 17 hour train journey we are little tired and hungry so after finding some accommodation we headed out for some food. I should mention that although the journey was a long one, the scenery in the morning was amazing. Completely different than where we'd seen so far. Lots of mountains and greenery. On arrival, we notice te rooms are much cheaper. A room for all 3 of us is only 600 baht a night. This includes air con and hot water. We went to a middle eastern restaurant that was recommended in the LP. I'm unsure whether it is because I am starving but food had never tasted so good. Clare and I shared a meze and it really was delicious. We thought we better have a walk around so suss out whats what and decided to go for a quick drink. After 2 beers we decided to call it a night however on the walk home we passed a bar that was doing karaoke. Three buckets of Samsong and a rendition of 'like a virgin', it turned out to be a late but great night.
Day 14 Chiang Mai - walking tour and night market. We spent the day lazily walking all over the centre on Chiang Mai stopping at temples that were on every corner and also visiting the Thai womens prison. You can have a foot massage from inmates that have less than six months left to serve. We did plan on doing this but they had already finished for the day. We went for an amazing Thai feast and had the nicest Thai food so far. I had a Thai green curry and some spring rolls. We also went for a massage. At only 200 baht I think we'll be having a few more.
Day 15 Chiang Mai - Trek, Waterfall, Elephants, Hill Tribe Villages, White Water Rafting We were picked up early today to go on a fully packed adventure day. First of all we visited an elephant farm and got to see the animals working the fields as they would naturally. Followed by a ride on an elephant through the farm and through a river. We also had lunch at the farm, a traditional Thai feast. We then did a short trek to a waterfall. Clare, Gemma and I only had flip flops on and because of the rain, it was quite difficult to walk. Mawgli or should I say Clare was quite entertaining for the entire group. Her flip flops were so wet that she had to walk on all fours. She also wonders how she has three mosquito bites on her bum but I explained it was because her bum was in the air most of the day. The waterfall was a little disappointing however the scenery was amazing. The clouds were quite low covering the tops of the mountains and the forest was so green due to it being the wet season. It looked very mysterious. Following the trek we went to visit a hill tribe village. The tribes all live together and most are in fact not Thai but have crossed the boarder from Burma. The tribes we met were Big Eared and Long Neck. The big eared tribe put turntables to stretch the lobes of the ears. The long neck tribe place a coil made of brass around their necks and extend the neck gradually over years. It really was amazing to see. The tribes were very welcoming and friendly and asked and answered lots of questions. I do have to mention my favourite Gemma quote so far - "i don't know how they wear them, i mean i cant even wear a turtle neck". Finally we spent an hour white water rafting. This was really good fun. We had two boats of 5 and 6 including the instructors. The instructors were very cheeky pulling all of the girls into the river (somehow every girl had this happen apart from us three, not for lack of trying!) and splashing everyone with the paddles. They also taught us a few Thai phrases but most we can't repeat due to what they mean rather than the difficulty of pronouncing. It was an excellent day and well worth the money.
Day 16 - A day of cooking on a farm Today we went on a full day cooking course at a farm. I cooked Tom Yuk soup, made my own curry paste, Red Thai curry, stir fry vegetables with cashew nuts, Pad Thai and sticky rice with mango. It was such a brilliant day. We visited a food market in the morning and walked around the farm picking ingredients that we then cooked withave have come away with a recipe book so hopefully Phil will be able to enjoy my new skills when I get home!