Arrived in Bangkok 2 days before my tour was due to start, giving me time to get my washing done, a few shirts measured up and a trip to the Khao San road to drink copious amounts of mekong whisky and dodgy redbull buckets. Stayed at the Radisson hotel so chilling out wasn't too hard, the weather was even nice so the tanning came on nicely after a week in Sun-less Kuala Lumpur. Had a great night out in Bangkok on the Khao San road, met some nice people and got very pissed, looking for a ping-pong show at 3am but to no avail sadly.
I was very nervous about starting the tour and meeting the people that I had to be with for the next 33 days but that was quickly calmed when we had our welcome meeting. A mixed bunch really. Not as many as I first expected but a good group. I'm with a dutch couple and their daughter who is maybe 32 years old but great fun, a couple of Irish guys who seem pretty cool, not seen em drink yet which is starnge with my experiences of Irish people. Also we have 2 Aussie
ladies who are with us till Hanoi and a 24 year old girl from Canterbury who is a good laugh too.
First night we met, we all went to dinner together to get to know each other. A few beers later and me, the dutch daughter and the English girl were the only ones left out. We headed for the Khao San Road again as neither had seen it, then they both wanted to see a Ping Pong show, the dragged me kicking and screaming as I am sure you can imagine. After we got a Tuk-Tuk back to the hotel for an early start the next morning. It was sightseing day the next day in Bangkok, the usual reclining budda, grand palace, a river cruise. Nothing new but still great sights, I fear many more temples to come! In the eveing we all got the overnight sleeper train to Chang Mai in northern Thailand. Great fun train, flat bed and a party carriage with a disco and bar. A few Gin and Tonics were sunk followed by 2 buckets of Sang Son rum and coke and Travolta was out to play! 13 hours later we arrived in Chang
Mai with a headache.
Only 1 day in Chaing Mai so we had to make the most of it with a hangover. First stop was an elephant safari outside the city, I had done it before but I cant seem to get bored of elephants. Was great fun until until they decided we needed a good washing when they had theirs. Could have done without smelling like elephant spit all day by never mind, got my own back by teasing him with a banana which was just out of her reach, ha! After the elepahants we went rafting along a local river, not rafting like most people would think but a load of bamboo tied together and a punter doing all the work. Was very relaxing to start off with, very gentle, a few wild elephants along the river etc until we met the local kids who made a game of trying to splash us. They were only little kids, maybe 3 years old but after a few headlocks they stopped, king nick reigns! Soaked we made our way back to Chaing Mai. The late afternoon we had a Thai cookery class which the whole group took part in,
4 dishes Pad-Thai, a spicy soup i forget the name, Thai Green curry and then fresh mango with sticky rice. Was especially nice as we all went to the market before to by the ingredients and learn about them. Eating the goods wasn't half bad either, a nice evening. Only one drawback, people might expect me to cook something when I get home, fat chance.
Out last day in Thailand and we took a 3 hour coach trip from Chaing Mai to Chaing Rai, an hour for lunch and then a 3 hour local bus (doors open, windows only ventilation, everything except for chickens flapping around, quite an experience) to Huay Xai which is on the Mekong river and the border of Laos and Thailand. After doing the Visas etc, we were on a long ship across the river and into Loas.
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