I try to sumarise the last however many days
13.07.2007 -17 °C
It has been many moons since I last wrote this blog (that is a lie; the moon hasn't even had a haircut since I last wrote) but it feels like quite a lot has happened. The night before we were due to leave Ko Phi Phi we attended the "Half Moon" Party at Hippies bar which was good fun until, for some reaon, they turned the music off at 2am.
Luckily we had rented a guitar out that morning and, having spent the day on the beach having a sing song, we were only too happy to whip her out and do it all over again with the people at the party.
Then the drinking continued with compadres from out guesthouse, includng a guy called Tim who told us the "place to stay" in Chiang Mai - information which we knew would be valuable. This is roughly what we looked like;
Needless to say twas good fun, but it went on very very late and eventually we stumbled back home prepared for about 3 horus of sleep. The next day we hauled ourselves up to leave Ko Phi Phi by ferry, but not before bidding a fond farewell to Anil, our tailor who had worked so hard on our suits.
I decided to purcahse another bag for us to load our suits into because we didn't like the thought of cramming them into our backpacks and, being the legend that he is, Anil took me round the relevent shops, haggled the price down to something even more reaonable and even PAID for the bag when I discovered that I had left my purse o' moneys back in his shop!
Twas a great shame we had already booked our tickets from Ko Phi Phi to Chiang Mai (30 hours of train), because Anil offered to take the day off work and show us around Phuket, where his family run an Indian Restauant amoungst other things! We tried to change our tickets, but sadly it seemed impossible and we were forced to leave Ko Phi Phi just a little too early, though we had had an amazing time!
The ferry crossing was fine, the bus at the other end was alright but the train to Bangkok that night was horrendous. The heat was insane and, despite a total lack of sleep the night before, we simply couldn't drift off for hours. When we did eventually get some shut-eye, our dreams were strange and twsited - I won't recount them for fear of scaring the children.
We arrived in Bangkok at about 08:30 and hopped on a Tuk Tuk to see the Grand Palace. It looked OK but Will and I weren't allowed in because we were wearing shorts - CURSES! Instead we bought some HORRIBLE food (pizza is NOT pizza in Thailand...it's...dessert?!) and retired to an air conditioned room that had some better food (most of what we do centres around food).
Another Tuk Tuk followed that took us to see the...something Buddah (I lose track, there are so damn many) which was awesome and then onwards to the Golden Mountain. The time inbetween was not without incident however, as the driver took us first to a suit shop which we flatly refufsed to look at and then stopped in the middle fo the road to say that he was going to take us to the TAT booking place before the Golden Montain. We told him not to bother but he was insistent.
So we got out and told him to stick it.
So twas a different tuk tuk that shoved us at the Golden Mountain, which we ascended and took some pictures of for the delicious irony that our philosophy tutors would adore. Then we leapt in one last Tuk Tuk that took us to the station where we caught another train to Chiang Mai.
We arrived, after another TERRIBLE night that has convinced us to stop paying more for trains and stick to buses, at about 05:00 and caught the first taxi to a guesthouse that a friend on Phi Phi had recommended. There we crashed on the beds before rising around midday to eat and check out Chiang Mai.
That evening we met a girl called Case (Kate? Somthing like that, I never really understood) and we took a taxi to a massive Buddhist temple with oh so much history on top of a mountain, where she promised there would be an awesome sunset. Well...there was no sunset but the place was lovely and we had a great time lookig around, taking pictures and laughing at the strange chanting monks.
All good fun, except for the steps, of which there were quite a lot...
Then we whizzed back down the mountain, ate some dinner and headed to the Chiang Mai night market where we bartered and argued our way to some new possessions.
The next day we got up early and jumped in a taxi which took us, via a market where I was repeatedly ripped off by strange Hilltribe women, to a base camp at the bottom of a mountain in the jungle. Here we ate, met a guide called Mr. Whiskey and started on a 3-day long trek through the jungle! "AMAZING!"would be an understatment when applied to the jungle and, though the first day of walking was mostly uphill and quite strenuous, there was ample pauses and let-ups in the walking to allow us to take in the breathtaking scenery.
We swam in waterfalls and hiked up hills until eventually we ended up in a small Hilltribe village where we stopped for the night.
That evening we were treated to a variety of bizaare songs from Mr. Whiskey, as well as a lovely dinner and a great drinking game involving (would you believe it)...whiskey. It was great fun and we laughed our way to sleep, though we actaully hit the hay at about 21:20 it felt like about 02:00!
The next day of trekking was much easier and involved stopping at a few more waterfalls and multiple Hilltribe villages where more crazy old women would try to sell us the same old crap but generally it was still good fun.
The night was spent sleeping in another bamboo hut but this one was next to a white-water rafting area, so there was a costant roar like a waterfall all ngiht long. Will and I went to bed at about 18:00 but once again sleep did not come easily and we were shattered the next day.
I woke Will up the next day in the most unconventional way - by 'toast-facing' him...
The first thing the next day invovled was an hour-long elephant trek (or ELEPHANT RACE as we treated it) through the jungle. Despite Matt's elephant being retarded, it somhow mananged to beat mine and Will's elephant, which was painfully slow at the best of times...apart from when it was half walking, half falling downhill...at which point it became terrifyingly quick!
Well, we survived (despite our best efforts) and, having dismounted the elephants, we slung on some super-cool saftey equipment-type stuff and went white-water rafting down the river - a thrilling experience.
hen we switched our inflatable-rafty thing for a bamboo raft and floated the rest of the way down the river to the end of the trek.
Those few hundred words do not justice to the joy of the trek, but they will have to suffice because I do not have very long on the internet at the moment. Since arriving back from the trek we have been eating banoffee pie and have had a massage which varied from massively relaxing, through semi-painful to borderline-wrestling...
Tommorrow we catch a bus to Pai where we will stay for 2 nights, checking out the hot springs and suchforth, before coming back here for a night then overnight busing to Bangkok to sleep in the airport before returning home.