Lady Boys and big cats

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Where I stayed
Eagle House No. 2 Chiang Mai
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, April 4, 2011

We crossed the mighty Mekong River by boat and crossed back over the border into Thailand, I'm pretty sure we made it to Chinag Mai in record time as our driver raced along the roads tooting all that got in his way. At one point I didn’t think we would make it at all, but we did.  The guesthouse we had booked had closed reception as it was 9pm so we took a room in another one for one night, turned out to be one of the nicer ones we have stayed in and the girl on the travel desk was so helpful.  Nicely rested the following morning I had a vegemite fix and we moved back to the original guesthouse (2 pound a night each).

We spend a lot of time walking around the city taking in all the temples and wats, as we passed a nice looking cafe I saw a couple sat outside eating a full English and spotted real/proper bacon on their plate, Justin was appalled when I screamed "Bacon, they have proper bacon....look".  Sad I know but I haven’t had bacon in 10 months, so off we walked inside and ordered the best bacon sandwich ever, complete with HP sauce....ahhhhhhh!  We wandered around a Temple where they were a lot of monks so we decided to chat to one for some time, he told us all about his daily routine and how he is studying, he was also asking us questions about where we are from, what we do back home etc.  It was really nice to do; he was only young and had a great sense of humour which I really didn’t expect.  That evening we walked to the night bazaar which had lots of market stalls selling everything from beer can hats to knock of dvd’s.  Justin decided to buy some underpants but could only buy knock off CK ones, he refused to buy without trying on so the man let him try on top of his own pants on the street side, a nice little crowd gathered to watch.  We walked back from the market and passed lots of bars with Thai girls sat on stools at the entrance to entice all the guys in, some nice some not so, either way we went in to have a beer and play pool.  I was thoroughly entertained watching the old men walk by staring in and some coming in for drinks and possibly more..... We walked a bit further and went in another bar, we sat next to an old guy from Denmark and he has a Thai girl sat next to him, he was cupping her boobs and staring down her top, it was so funny.  We chatted to him for 5 minutes as she gathered more drinks and he said he comes out here for 6 months to relax and have fun, hat off to him he was certainly having fun!  We decided to head back to the guesthouse when I heard a Jock shouting at us down the street, I turned around and it was our good friends Dave and Karen, typical Scots sat in the bar with a bottle of whiskey, we joined them for a few beverages then departed agreeing to meet the following day so I could show the bacon butty cafe.

They met us at our guest house eager to get the bacon butty but as we walked up the street the cafe was closed (Kings Birthday) so we settled for a second class Full English instead.  We hires a couple of bikes and  drove up to Hoay Kean waterfall which was almost dried up so we all decided to head further out of town to Tiger Kingdom to see the tigers.  I really didn’t expect anything that fantastic but when we arrived I was amazed at how nice the park was.  The tigers in the park had been hand reared, we paid to get ten minutes with four cubs (3/4 months old) we were all to scared to get in with the big guys, they were huge.  The keeper took us in the cage and told us what to do and what not do, like do not touch its face or front paws and approach it from behind.  I kept thinking the keeper was so fat how could he move quick enough to save me if it attacks, he looked like he had eaten a tiger.   It was one of those amazing experiences that I will never forget, their fur was soft and just the pure size of their paws is incredible.  The one that was on the table was really playful so we tickled him for a while.  Ten minutes was enough time to see all four, when you’re in a cage with a deadly animal is pretty nerve racking believe me.  We walked around the park and watched the large cats play with each other; we also saw a 2 week old cub but were not allowed in its room. 

It thundered all afternoon so we took the bikes back and met up that evening to watch a Thai Boxing match.  I was amazed that at the start there were 7 year olds boxing in the ring, as the evening went on the older the boxers, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  There are a lot of Thai Boxing camps where you can pay and get lessons from 1 week to 1 month, there was a girl from Denmark who had been training for one month, three lessons a day and she was great, she beat the Thai girl.  We watched a guy from the UK fight a Thai guy and beat him too.  In between each fight the lady boys from the bar would get up and sing and dance for us, later on into the night they all took their tops off and gave us a look at their surgeon’s not so fine work.  It’s amazing even though they are men the Justin and Dave still broke their necks to look, but as Dave said “Boobs are boobs Tracy”.  Because the beers were more expensive so we smuggled some cans of beer in with us, the barmaid/man only served us one bottle between two of us and for four hours our glasses were full to the brim, I can’t believe she/he didn’t work that one out!

The following day Justin and I split up for our cooking class, I did one out of the city on an organic farm and Justin did a class in the teacher house.  I had such a great day.  There was eleven of us in the class, the driver took us to a local market where Max our teacher showed us all the local ingredients to buy.  Then we drove out to the most beautiful organic farm, the setting  was amazing.  He took us around the farm as we picked the herbs and spices then we all started making our paste for the curry, we did five dishes in total all of which were some of the best food I have tasted.  I cooked Thai red curry, Cashew nut and chicken with rice, vegetable soup, spring rolls and banana in coconut milk for dessert.  It was so much to take in.... Literally!   But Max made it really good fun for us cracking jokes at every opportunity, he said at one point “Don’t put too much chilli in or you will get sting ring” At the end of the day we were given a book with all the recipes in so we can get cooking when we get home. 

We booked a night bus for the following night so after we checked out of our guesthouse we walked in a nearby hotel and sunbathed by their pool all day with Dave and Karen, no questions asked in fact we were greeted and asked if we wanted a drink, what a laugh.  At one point Justin was talking to a guy about Nepal and the guy said the rooms are quite nice for the money; Justin had to bite his tongue the said “Yeah good”.  We all knew this would be the last time we would sunbathe until we go back home, a little sad really.  I said goodbye to my bikini and packed it away in the depths of my rucksack.  The four of us had our last supper together as we all knew our paths would not cross again on our trip.  Goodbye my Jockanese friends.

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