Chiang Mai: Trekking, Tribes and Thai Curry
Trip Start Apr 09, 2010
23Trip End Sep 07, 2010
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After Ayutthaya we traveled further North to Sukothai, another previous capital with lots of ruins and Buddhas dotted around the place, we rented a couple of bikes and visited the various sights and indulged in a couple of Thai massages to sooth our Lance Armstrong-like legs.
We are currently in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, and we have decided
that it is our favourite place so far. We arrived and settled in to the lovely Kavil Guesthouse, which was family run, clean and very friendly before deciding to book ourselves onto various treks and cookery classes.
On Thursday evening we ended up sat around a Thai Boxing ring watching various people kicking each other in the head and kneeing one another in the scrotum
From boxing to cooking. We opted for 'Thai Farm Cookery School' which was truly ace. We were picked up early on Friday morning and shipped out to rural Chiang Mai to learn about all the different ingredients and pick some of the veg that we were to use in our dishes. We cooked 6 dishes in total, from a Thai Green Curry, to Mango with Sticky Coconut Rice. James is fancying himself as a bit of a Masterchef and may well be looking into a career change. The day was filled with cooking and eating (and for James - power-napping) on a beautiful little Thai Farm. Excellent day all round. We hit the hay early to prepare ourselves for the fun times on Saturday....trekking.
Saturday morning - 9am. Unlike our usual Saturday mornings at home which would be filled with sleeping, coffee and Soccer AM, we were packed into the back of a pickup truck and driven to Doi Inthanon National Park without really having an idea of what we had let ourselves in for. Luckily, we were in the same boat (or Toyota) as some other Brits (two of which lived near Forest Row) - safety in numbers
Day 2 in the Doi Inthanon jungle consisted of a gentler walking course, stopping off at another tribal village and a handful of waterfalls - it's all in a days work for the intrepid traveler. The evening was spent playing cards at 'jungle camp', a 'I'm a celebrity' style jungle retreat without Peter Andre and Jordan necking in the corner. Day 3 consisted of some water-based tom foolery on boats and rafts. After a morning walk my Year 9 geographical knowledge led me to believe we had arrived at the lower section of the Pai River. We teamed up with Will and Charlotte to create a formidable 'Team England' as we rafted down the slightly dry Pai River, leading the pack which consisted of a German boat and an Anglo-Dutch contingent
After lunch it was time to pack-up and head back to Chiang Mai where we met back up with the rest of Team England for a spot of dinner, a browse around the night bazaar (where you could buy literally anything in the world) and a few beers at Julie's and Roof Top Bar before stumbling home. Job done.
The next morning we prepared ourselves for the journey to Chiang Khong - the border town into Laos. After weathering intense heat, tiny seats and a early evening Thunderstorm we arrived in Baan Ta-mi-la where we had dinner and gazed over the Mekong into Laos where the journey would continue.
A Laos-themed update will follow.