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Published: April 8th 2010
From Vieng Poukha in northern Laos we hired a taxi together with the German and American couples, because the public bus didn't show up as promised to us. Relatively late we arrived at the Laos side of the border and found a hostel for the night. The next morning we crossed the Mekong river into Thailand, from where we wanted to take a bus directly to Chiang Mai. Unfortunately the bus dropped us of in Chiang Rai so we had to wait at the bus station for the bus to Chiang Mai, where we would arrive late evening. Chiang Mai and Pai
When we arrived, Rob and Reve (a Kiwi couple I met during my last travels) were waiting for us, to guide us to a nice place to stay. We had dinner with them before we went to bed early, tired as we were. The following morning we rented bicycles and went to the Indian consulate, which we couldn't find initially. After a long detour, we found the consulate, where we applied for our Indian visa. In the afternoon I read in my email that Edwin and Monique's baby Lola
was born on new years day. Anna did a
couple of yoga sessions, while I kept myself busy with blogging and picking up the visa for which we had to wait for five working days. We met up with the Kiwi, German and American couple and some other people we had met in Laos for drinks a couple of times.
Our friends, Steef and Ewa from Holland happened to be in Chiang Mai as well, so it was sometimes hard to keep up with all the appointments 😱. They were staying at the luxurious 5 star Rati Lanna Resort
and invited us to come over for the afternoon. We had a great time, drinking and eating in the pool bar. We swam and enjoyed a luxurious hot shower. Then it was time to wake up from the dream and bike back to our shack in downtown Chiang Mai.
Rob and Reve hired a car to go around in northern Thailand. Since Pai was on their route they invited us to come with them until Pai, a picturesque chilled out backpackers retreat in the mountains. We decided to take an alternative scenic route. After hours and hours on potholed roads meant for 4x4 cars and after discovering we were only
halfway, Rob decided to turn the fully loaded Toyota Yaris around and drive back to Chiang Mai. Mission failed. The following morning early we took the normal highway to Pai, where we stayed 2 nights. We wondered around in the peaceful little town with it's many arty boutiques and in the busy evening market we had beautiful food before we ended up in a blues cafe for drinks. Rob and Reve continued their journey up north and we went back to Chiang Mai to pick up our passports and went down south to Bangkok. Bangkok
This would be our last few times in Bangkok. We stayed a couple of days on our way to the small Koh Chang and after that we'd stay there some more days to prepare ourselves for our Myanmar trip. Pertti and Sarika have received us warmly all those times we were in Bangkok, we'd like to thank them for their hospitality. During all our visits we mostly enjoyed the presence of a homely atmosphere, which is a nice change from all the hostels we stayed in the last months. We went shopping and bought for Anna a replacement for her mp3 player which broke
down in Laos. In the Siam Paragon Shopping mall
we we went to one of the biggest movie theaters we have ever been in to see the 3D blockbuster Avatar, which was a real happening. To prepare ourselves for Myanmar, we had to arrange our visa and buy US dollars, because Myanmar has no ATM's. Small Koh Chang
We heared that the small Koh Chang is a very chilled out island just out of the Thai coast near Myanmar. Since we wanted to do some beaching before heading for Myanmar, we decided to go there. The Island hasn't been fully discovered yet and is not as commercialized as the other main Thai islands. The tiny island has only a few beaches with simple chalets and restaurants tucked away in the bush behind it. No bars with loud music and no drunk people throwing up in the streets (there are no streets). The only "downside" of the island is that the island is mentioned in a German guidebook, so there are a lot of Germans to be found. Luckily word spreads and we were not the only non-Germans there. We stayed in Koh Chang Resort
, where we had a hut on stilts above the rocks
with a perfect veranda overlooking the sea. The whole week we did nothing but enjoying the sun, water, beach, food and each other.
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