Of countries and elephants

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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Yes, yet another update! You must all be getting rather bored of my ramblings now. I'm trying to put photo's on Flickr at the moment and its taking a while so I've got to be doing something! I found a bookshop last night picked up a couple by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I pounced on because I enjoyed Never Let Me Go so much. Having acquired said reading material, I headed up to the roof terrace to make a start on one about a butler. Random! There were a few english people up there already so we had the usual backpacker chat of 'Where have you been? Where are you going?' etc and they asked me if I wanted to go out. So I said yes, seeing as I haven't been out or done much socialising yet.

We went to this really cool roof top bar, I'll upload a pic at some point. Met some more travellers there including lots of aussies, who so far I have found to be the friendliest bunch, really easy to talk to. Didn't stay out too late and came back to sit on the roof again with Mark, Kylie and Lorna who all headed off to Pai this morning. Talking to other people and where they've been really makes me think about my itinerary. I still haven't decided whether to stick to my original plan or whether to try and squeeze Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam in rather than working in New Zealand. I'm still mulling it over but today I'm leaning towards my original plan.

A) because New Zealand looks amazing and everyone raves about it

B) because Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam don't really have national parks like Thailand and Malaysia so don't interest me nearly as much, which I guess is why they weren't in my original itinerary and

C) the exchange rate is so pants I'd really have to watch the pennies if I don't work in NZ, and that's not what travelling is all about! I've spent the last couple of days feeling guilty about spending 30 quid on swinging through treetops or 50 on visiting an elephant sanctuary and it's not a feeling I enjoy. So yup, some very good reasons to stick to my original plan. Plus I quite fancy settling in NZ for a bit, getting a proper feel for the place and not living out of a rucksack anymore!

Another thing I'm considering is trying to squish a polynesian island into my itinerary, depending on how much it costs. Alot of people seem to do Fiji but I turned it down because I'd heard it was very touristy and a bit of a disappointment. What I hadn't realised is that there are other options such as the Cook Islands, which sound amazing. I think it would be quite nice to have a little beach break before New York and home so if it turns out to be affordable, I might well do that. Decisions decisions! I bloody hate them.

Oh well, tomorrow is Flight of the Gibbon which I might have already mentioned, basically swinging through the forest canopy on wires and rope bridges. Quite active for me I know but it looks like serious fun with incredible views. Might even see some wildlife, which thus far I haven't had much of! I saw a few birds on the roof earlier, including a pigeon, can't escape the darned things. Then there was the lizard in the bathroom and the little finches which you see hopping around the pavements. So nothing very exciting.

Today I'm just going to have a wander around the city, maybe stop off at some Wats (temples), grab some food, try and find a fruit and veg market etc. I should have just bought some fruit when we visited one with the cookery school yesterday, but I was too overwhelmed to think of it. There were dragon fruit, Rose Apples (looks like a red pear), starfruit and all sorts of things I've never seen in my life. Also tons of herbs and vegetables, curry pastes, fish, battered onions in their thousands, random things in jars, all sorts of stuff. If I can fit it in my rucksack I think dad can guess the sort of souvenir he'll be getting! I'm trying to get souvenirs out of the way early on, it'll only be small and lights things so it doesn't matter that I have to carry them around with me, I just want to have it sorted. Already got a couple in Bangkok which I couldn't resist.

I'm being good with the shopping so far, only things I've bought myself have been the damn binoculars and a short sleeved top to keep the sun off my back and shoulders (I know, I'm making excuses). Might need to pick up some comfortable sandals at some point because all I have are my silver shoes (for going out), flips flops and my walking trainers. I didn't have some Merrells which mum gave me but I'm afraid I had to ditch those mum, they made a huge hole in my foot on my first day in Bangkok and take up too much space. I've seen people wearing some leather sandals which have cord in places and look like they might not rub too badly, so will try to track some of those down.

Anyhoo, sorry, I do ramble on don't I! And after all that only 76% of the approximately 15 pics have uploaded. Very annoying! So don't know how many pictures I'll manage to show you all on my trip if it carries on like this, I don't plan on spending half of my time in an internet cafe! Perhaps I could get them put on a CD at various points and post them home. Laters!

avapoet says:
Ah-hah! Found it!

For anybody else who's looking, Beth's Flickr can be found at http://flickr.com/photos/8316836@N04/
Posted on: Jan 30, 2009
avapoet says:
So, what's your Flickr username? No good uploading piccies if we can't look at them, eh?
Posted on: Jan 30, 2009
adelehull says:
I can't believe you've done all that in one week. If you carry on like this, you'll have a book ready to publish by the time you come home. Looking forward to hearing about the gibbons.
Posted on: Jan 29, 2009
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Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes