To the north of Thailand
Trip Start Dec 12, 2010
156Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
J & D Guest House
The drive went by quite quickly and soon we arrived in Bangkok – at 4am. The plan was to spend a night in Bangkok and then head on up to Chiang Mai, but as we actually felt OK after the bus journey – we decided to push on. Also to try and get accommodation at 4 in the morning would be a pain.
We had arrived at the South Bus station in Bangkok and had to get a bus from the North Bus station which was about 20km away. When we asked around the taxi drivers said we had to get a taxi there, and it would cost 400Baht – which is madness as we'd just been on a bus that went 700km and it cost less than that. We kept saying no, but they kept saying it would be the only way to get there. So we were going to wait till a more reasonable time and hope that there was a local bus there
We eventually found the right bus, after walking from bus platform 3 to number 154 – that's how big it was, and we were then on a VIP bus heading up north to Chiang Mai.
The VIP meant we got food and drinks on the bus plus there was a TV – but as 90% of the bus was filled with locals, the films & TV shown were all in Thai.
We managed to get a few more hours sleep but as it approached the middle of the day we were a little fed up with sleeping on the bus. So watched the Thai sketch shows on the TV – couldn't understand it, but it kept us entertained.
After 27 hours of travelling we finally arrived at Chiang Mai. The journey was long but it wasn't until about the last 3 hours that we started to feel a little insane
And then off to explore the streets. We were lucky that we arrived on a Sunday – as every Sunday night they have a Sunday market with hundreds of stalls filled with all local arts and crafts. It was the biggest market I've ever seen... It just went on and on and on! It was awesome. We both fell in love with so many things, if we had bigger suitcases (not small rucksacks) I think I would've spent a fortune.
We walked around for quite a while and still didn't see half the stalls, then went back to our room so we could have a good nights sleep in a bed, not on a bus.
Monday 28th March:
Had the most amazing nights sleep ever – our room was also lovely and dark, so we didn't wake up till a little late..
Si popped out and had a lovely breakfast in a little cafe. Walking around yesterday, we saw loads of cafes – this place just seemed to have a great laid back feel to it.
We then set off to explore the city. Chiang Mai is the second biggest city in Thailand. Now Bangkok feels huge and busy, but this place doesn't. Yes there is the madness with the tuk-tuks and taxis beeping, but you just need to walk down a little alley way to get away from it all and you're greeted by great second hand book shops, local boutiques and loads of coffee shops.
We walked to a temple, Wat phra Singh, which was pretty cool. It really felt spiritual and had loads of proverbs posted around on the trees and really great music all around. Inside the temples was a wax mould of a monk, except it was incredibly life like. And looked so reel. There was an American man who actually thought it was alive and the monk was just sitting really still. Can't explain it, but the detail was amazing – it even had mosquito bites on his arm, whiskers on his chin – super freaky.
Then we set off to find the local Hill tribes product foundation
We then wander into a second temple called, Wat Chedi Luang – which was damaged by an earthquake that happened in 1545 - it didn't matter though as it was still really beautiful. In the centre it had this massive brick construction (kinda like a pyramid) with these huge elephant carvings all around the sides – quite a lot of the brick work and elephants were damaged, but it didn't take anything away from this place. There was also a few temples around it, and we heard some music being played so I went to check it out – only to find very young Monks playing these wonderfully weird instruments... Pretty cool.
We walked back to our guest house – collecting our finally dry washing along the way – yay fresh clothes.
That evening we walked to the main road and had another great meal while watching the world go by. Si had Chiang Mai sausage special fried rice with a Thai whiskey whilst I had another yummy green curry
Tuesday 29th March:
Had a nice relaxing morning in the guest house and then at lunch time we went to a great little restaurant next door for some food – it was now starting to hit me that we only had a few more Thai meals left... I love their food! Si had another local dish called Khao Soi which is part crispy noddles, part soft in a yellow curry.
Today we wandered around another part of Chiang Mai – saw loads more shops and markets.
That afternoon Si went to a fantastic coffee shop – where all the food is organic and there was the coolest hippy-like Thai man there roasting his own coffee beans. He said the coffee smell dragged him in..
Me – well as it was nearly the end of our Thailand experience, so I went for a Thai massage. Now if anybody has had a Thai massage in the past, they will understand – its not really the relaxing oil massage that I was used to, they kind press here, twist your body there... At one point the girl had both her knees on my bum and was pulling my arms backwards
Si had such a great time in the coffee house that we went back there for our supper – and he was right, it was awesome food. The place was called Funky Dog Cafe and we had a really cute little girl come and take our order... That is one thing I have noticed about Asia, the whole family seems to get involved with the business. She was so sweet. I think we realised why they called it Funky dog, as we then saw 2 cute little dogs, obviously all dressed up wandering around – and then the hippy man took one of them for a ride on his scooter, it was hilarious!