"White dog shit. I haven't seen that in years!!!!"

Trip Start Apr 17, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, November 1, 2009

Well well well. Where to begin?

More adventures from Ko Phi Phi, kayaking, snorkeling and generally having fun as well as the worlds whitest Man working on his tan on some of SE Asia's finest beaches.
After this, the three of us headed to Kaoh Sok National Park about 4 hours north of Phuket. Here we wanted to see some some jungle, said to be older than that in the Amazon. Although we didn't see much wildlife - maybe because of our charismatic guide Kye's unique way of attracting animals (read hurling abuse at monkeys in Pigeon English) - we did have a great trek, the highlight of which was undoubtedly when a vine snapped when both Luke and I were playing Tarzan!!!

With my visa expiring (you can only get 2 weeks when arriving by land) I headed to the nearest border crossing at Ranong to renew. What this involved was a 13 hour ordeal with 3 bus rides, 2 boat trips, a pick up truck and finally a couple of motorbike taxis into Myanmar or Burma as it is more commonly known. My experience of this mysterious country lasted for only 2 minutes as I got the necessary stamps and a good soaking from a thunderstorm before heading back to Phuket and meeting up with the others - we were now joined by Tim aka Pinhead who being the responsible teacher he is, thought half term would be better spent on the piss on the other side of the world with his mates rather than marking! Good man!

We spent two nights in Phuket before deciding it was way too sleazy and heading back to Phi Phi.
We had a great time out here and it was fantastic to be joined some of by best mates, however if I'm brutally honest I think it made me slightly homesick for the first time. It's generally accepted that most people get a little homesick after a few months away - this doesn't mean that I turned to a blubbering wreck! - but just having familiar faces around and I suppose talking about 'normal life' back home made me realise everything I was missing. Enough of the soppy stuff - the best cure is to carry on having fun and that is exactly what we did. After an afternoon of big game fishing (we caught two minnows between us) we flew up to Bangkok.

Bangkok as I've previously mentioned is an exciting cityscape where everything is slightly mental to the point of bordering on the insane. From pulling wheelies in a 1am Tuk Tuk race, to assaulting the senses in China Town, to a more sedate trip around the Grand Palace and everything in between, we had 3 days here before leaving Tim to go home and the rest of us taking a 12 hour night train to Chiang Mai in the north of the country.

Chiang Mai is a nice little city established on old trading routes. Because of this, it has a reputation for some good night markets and the like. As well as this we were lucky enough to be here during a festival where the sky was filled with miniature hot air balloon lanterns and fireworks. As well as this we spent a lazy couple of days at an Elephant Nature Park, basically a rescue centre where we were able to get hands on washing and feeding the elephants as well as learning about these massive animals.

At the end of this, L&E headed to Kuala Lumpur for a couple of days before heading home, leaving me on my own once more. I took my time here making plans and deciding what to do next. My what was supposed to be 'a couple of months but has turned into six' adventure into Asia is coming to an end. With only three weeks remaining, my next stop is Laos before heading back to Bangkok.
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