Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 7 of 10 › view all entries
Day 17 well after my last post we went looking for a train ticket but found as it was a saturday then there were no sleepers left so that was the end of the train so instead we got bus tickets for a nice 12 hr bus ride. after that walked around bangkok and caught the river ferrys along down to chinatown. the river taxis were a great way to travel and they were packed with all sorts of people from monks to men in business suits and it only cost about 30cents to go a fairway down the river. Anyway so got that to chinatown and walked around in chinatown and the theives market which was pretty amazing selling things like second hand shoes and second hand fake watches (im sure these would work) so that was a bit of a diffrent market. We then managed to find our way (after getting lost and trying to ask our way with this lady who wanted us to catch a bus in the oppisite direction but who spoke no english and jibbered on in thai constantly) to a small park in the centre of town a had a good nap there for a while and a bit of lunch. then caught the river taxi back to the travel agents where we had left our bags and got picked up by the bus. it was at least a nice aircon double decker bus. so settled in to the trip well after a few stops for dinner at 7pm then 11pm and chatted to a few people then slept very well until we were woken at 6.30 upon arriving in chang mai. from here we were taken in sepeate pickup trucks with benches and a roof in the back to a guest house. from here feed coffee and decided we were too lazy to check out other guest houses and decided after being told about a 2 day hike to take it. it cost about $50 au each for 2 days 1night including elephant riding, bamboo rafting and hiking as well as a nice villiage stay so we though we might as well. Then decided to bargin and got a night at the hotel thrown in but as they were full got palmed off to a sister guest house called nice place 2. this palce was really nice with a beautiful pool and HOT SHOWERS. so crashed here and had our first hot shower in 9 nights sooooo gooood. after that went for a bit of a walk through some markets which had some cool stuff in them and then on the way back to our hotel found the sunday night market. this was huge it took up about 4km of road (that was all we saw there was heaps down all the side lanes) and it was absloutly packed. much like the rutherglen winery walkabout but 5 times as big and heaps off cool stuff. there was also heaps of buskers and a nice dance show as well as a fire eater just for a bit of entertainment. so of course bought heaps of stuff as well as got a portrate each which chelc's looks amazing but mine took for ever and dosnt look that brillant. they only cost 100bhat (about $3.50 au) so cheap. after that bed compleatly exhausted.
Day 18 up nice and late at 8:30 and packed our hikeing packs (i got supplied with a small one) and off in the pickup truck to a little village 3hrs away. we found out that our treck went to a village where no other tourists went although it was a little more expensive. it was also in the national park which had a 200bhat entrance fee so they had to make up for that. so stoped for luch at little place although we had take away fried rice anyway. then another little while and arrived at this nice village with heaps of traditional women trying to sell us bracelets and bags just as they were in vietnam except not very pushy at all which was good. oh yeah i forgot to say about the group we were with. there were nine of us althgether and the guide. there were 2 nice guys in their early 30s from chech (checozlavacia or what ever it is) 3 early 20's women from london who were really nice and very talketive as one was in chang mai for the last 2 months and they had just met up. and a couple from near boston in the US who were also in their early 30s we think. anyway so hiked for about 3 hrs which was hard as very up and downey and arrived at this nice little camp then took a nice wander through the jungle on our elephant freind Tae which was awsome they are so funny. there were 4 elephants altogher and a guide for each but ours was the smallest (only 9yo) and our guide rode on its head for a while then just got down and wandered off so we took in turns of riding its head with your legs behind its ears. they were great and it was for about 2 hrs all up through some absloutly beautiful landscape with nice creeks running everywhere. then arrived at our camp in a little villiage and had a look around before dinner. the beds were all in one big bamboo room just on like benches sort of thing with a thin matress and lots of blankets provided. so after dinner the tribes women came and gave us a nice dance and sang for a while around the camp fire. then turned in fairly early ready for the next days hiking. up fairly early as the roosters, dogs and pigs wouldnt let us sleep after a pretty cold night the pile of blankets wasnt big enough. then hiked for about 1.5hrs through the jungle then into a village then took the car to the river where we had lunch and got on our bamboo rafts. they were pretty cool just poles of bamboo tied together (or not in the case of my raft) so just crused down the river with a guy poleing altogh we all had a go. they were pretty fun except on of the guys fell off and wet his camera which wasnt working so he wasnt very excited. i had a good chat with one of the english girls who was doing her majors in urban planning in london while working so that was pretty good very interesting about the problems and work they do there. so after the 2hr raft down the river took the car for another hour to this amazing waterfall. the waterfall was from a limestone spring and looked like it was concreat underneath it but all the leaves and twigs were covered in this limestone too it was cool. it was also nice and warm so took a good shower and walked up the water fall which was pretty steep but the limestone was really grippy so easy to climb. then chilled out there for a while and finally got the pickup back to town. unfortunatly chelc started feeling really sick at the waterfall and had bad dirreah and threw up so that wasnt very good. at the moment shes at the hotel but weve got the train booked back to bangkok at 9:30 tonight so im about to go pick her up and go to the station hopefully shes feeling a bit better as she had some medicin. so yeah thats about where im up too. hope im not wriging too much you dont have to read it all and sorry about the spelling i seem to be always in a hurry.