The Adventure Begins: Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Trip Start Dec 28, 2009
10Trip End Apr 24, 2010
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Where I stayed
Bow Chiang Mai Guesthouse
It took a couple of days to recover from the trip over, but by the time the new year rolled in I was starting to feel human again. After a bit of exploring in Bangkok (okay, it was mostly wandering around lost, but it still counts!) I headed north to Ayutthaya, the original capital of Thailand (then Siam). The ruins are incredible, and I really enjoyed the few days I spent there. I rented a bike, and meandered around the town and the ruins
After a not-so-great night train ride (our whole car was kept awake much of the night by loud drunk people and the train arrived six hours late!), I arrived in Chiang Mai. Steve--a Canadian I'd met at my guesthouse in Bangkok--and I had hatched a plan to do a 4-day scooter trip in the north of Thailand. We got off to a late start because of the train delay, and I did a bit of scooter practice in Chiang Mai...then, off we went! We spent four days riding up to the mountains, and back through rice paddies and small villages. It was a great way to get off the beaten path, and see some really gorgeous spots. People were incredibly friendly up there, and even though we spoke no Thai, and most people in the rural untouristed areas don't speak English, the big smiles we got from everyone made us feel welcome!
Now I'm back in Chiang Mai, Thailand's major northern city. At first glance, it doesn't look like anything special, but once you get off the main streets and into the little back alleys it's really great. Lots of cute restaurants, cafes, bookshops, etc. There is an incredible number of options for things to do here: yoga, massage, and cooking courses, trekking, mountain biking, river rafting, mountain climbing, amazing markets, trips to nearby villages, and more. I will not be bored!
The next leg of the trip will be volunteering at an elephant sanctuary for a week, starting tomorrow. I've heard great things about it and am really excited!