Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Not sure if it was the excitement of the next leg of our journey or just that I wasn't tired but I woke up at around 6:30am. I did a bit of internet-ing and then started to get ready.

The boys both woke up fairly early as well ms with our extra time before the shuttle we decided to go for a walk to find food. We walked down the street and bought some drinks on the way. Instead of turning right at the end like the night before we opted for left. As we walked we passed a coffee place but it wasn't open yet.

We came across a street vendor selling what looked like donuts, so both Ren and Eric bought some. Not extremely sweet, they were still tasty. We walked a bit further down the street until it became obvious that there really wasn't much to find so we turned back. The coffee place we ha passed earlier was open so we all got coffee for about $1.

I stopped and bought a little bundle of sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves.  It tasted a bit like banana bread.

When we got back the shuttle was ready to go so we piled in and headed for the airport, which was only about 10 min away. Upon arrival we checked in and decided to find some food.

There was a food court of sorts that had the normal chains like McD's and burger king, as well as a few little
Cafe places. The boys each got
Egg mcMuffins and I opted for mango sticky rice and a coffee. We walked to our gate, boarded our flight and set off for Chiang mai.

The airport in Chiang mai was small but completely functional. We were off the plane and had gathered our luggage in about 25 min. Outside was a bunch of taxi drivers waiting so we grabbed a cab and asked him to take us to Yourhouse hostel, one of the ones I'd made note of prior to leaving Bangkok.

The taxi drive was only about 10 min, and the driver took us right to the place. We unloaded ourselves and went to the desk to check in. We opted for a 3 person room with a fan and private washroom. The total was 350baht, or about $10. Total. Absolutely crazy that it can be that cheap.

We dropped our belongings off and decided we should get out and explore. Ren wanted to find a place called the Lost Hut, run by the brother of a colleague at henrys. We decided to start there and see where the day took us.

As we crossed the road somehow caught the attention of a local who was very helpful in regards to how we should go about booking the next couple days of adventure. He said we should talk to the tourist info places, not the hostel or travel agencies because they have better prices.

 We found the lost hut but it was closed (assuming it opened later) so we opted to search out lunch instead. As we stood staring into our
Guidebook for recommendations another local asked if we needed help. We said we wanted a place to eat. He suggested a place around the corner, so we took his advice. Happy we did too, since we had a fantastic meal of pad thai, Chiang Mai noodles and green curry for about $3 each.

After lunch we wandered around some more and then decided to go for traditional Thai massages- an hour for about $5. They were an amazing experience. The little Thai woman spent 15 min on each leg, another 20 on my shoulders and arms and the last 10 walking up and down my body on her elbows and knees. It was unlike anything I have ever had before.

We decided we should make a plan for the next couple days and decided on elephant riding, trekking through the jungle to a hilltribe village and spending the night and then more trekking to a place where we would ride a bamboo raft down the Mekong river. We booked the whole adventure with one of the tourist info places and got what we thought was a great deal: 4000 baht for the whole thing (about $130).

All booked and prepared for the next day we headed back to the Lost Hut, which was now open, and had some drinks while talking to the girls that worked there and Blake the owner. Around midnight we called it the end and made our way back to the hostel (via McD's) and promptly passed out.

Next stop, elephants and hill tribes.

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