The bus to Chiang Rai took about 3 hours and the journey was good (no windy roads here). However it was pouring with rain so we got a Tuc Tuc to what we thought would be our hostel only to realise that he has taken us to the wrong place once he pulled up. He then disappeared for about 10 minutes before re-emerging with a Thai lady who could speak English, she gave him instructions and a little while later we had arrived at Fun D hostel. The Tuc Tuc driver originally asked for 80 baht which I got down to 60, however due to the long journey he laughed when I gave him 60, expecting more, this led to me laughing and walking off (if anything it should have been less for wasting our time and being soaking wet!). The hostel is easily the best place we have stayed so far, the room was massive and the staff were excellent. They gave us free orange juice and snacks when we arrived and after we had dropped our backpacks off we headed down to the common room to use the free pcs. Here we met a few travellers and went out for dinner and drinks with 6 of them.
We ate at a food court and had a few large Singhas before heading to the bars with Mark and Jenny. (The other 4 head back as they are travelling to Laos in the morning). We have a few beers at a reggae bar and then Jenny leaves, this is where the night takes a turn! We go to the Cat Bar and make friends with the owners Cat & Sam (both Thai) and play pool with a Canadian dude. Mark then decides to order a few neat whiskeys for himself and I and turns from a happy go lucky kind of guy to a zombie, we literally could not get a word out of him, he was that drunk! The main concern we had was that we had walked with the group from the hostel and didn't have a clue how to get back. I also forgot to mention that Mark was Irish, so we are now relying on a drunk Irishman to get us home! After falling into a rosebush, getting escorted from a random hotel by security, we then reached the hostel, me and Hannah went to go in, turned around and saw Mark fall face first, star shaped on the ground (beer still in hand - skills). Hilarious.
Bleurgh! We grab some breakfast, surprise surprise Mark is nowhere to be seen, we later speak with him and it sounds like he spent the whole day in bed! We had planned to go to the white temple so walked to the arcade bus station and bought a ticket for 20 baht (40p each). The journey took about 30 minutes and the white temple was amazing, I can't even put it into words - easily the best thing we have seen in Thailand and also the most random! Inside the temple are paintings on the wall of Buddhas and religious portraits, oh and Michael Jackson, the character from Saw and Kung Fu Panda. It was just bizarre, but very cool!
In the evening we return to the food court after being given umbrellas by the hostel as it was raining again and Hannah has chicken and rice while I have a Talapia grilled fish (thanks Mark Garrad for pointing out what it was) which tasted amazing, we also share a plate of tempura prawns, sardines and vegetables. As we arrive back at the hostel we are greeted with hot tea made from silk tea bags (this is the kind of service we could get used too). We speak with Jenny and Mark and agree to go to "The Black House" the next day. We also speak with a Spanish woman called Maria who provides us with an app called "City maps to go" - let's just say that we haven't got lost since using it.......yet!
Around midday we get a bus to the Black house with Mark and Jenny. There were about 9 buildings here all with either bones or skins of dead animals - a taxidermists dream. Very strange place which I guess you could call art. We also saw a wild python, which I hesitantly had my picture taken with, Hannah declined. We grab a Tuc Tuc back to Chiang Rai for some lunch and then go to get our feet eaten by little fish for 30 minutes. Despite each of us having our doubts that any good would come from this, we all agreed that our feet felt extremely smooth afterwards. In the evening we meet a few Americans and chill out with a few beers at the hostel.
We have breakfast with an American couple and Jenny and midday head to a Scandinavian bakery, Hannah had the most amazing looking chicken salad I have ever seen! We chilled out for the rest of the day and met up with a guy from America called Malcolm in the evening. We went back to the Cat bar and stayed here until about 2am, drinking Chang (as always) and playing pool, or as the Americans say "shooting some pool". Malcolm AKA Ronnie O'Sullivan was insane at pool and certainly put me and Hannah in our place!
After recovering from what is now known as the "Chang-over" we relax and go out in the evening after face timing Kyle and AJ who were both at Starbucks, this was hilarious as we shouted out profanities "my favourite was ******er" and watched their faces as they tried to block the sound from the nearby coffee drinkers! It was great to talk to them!
We check out of our favourite accommodation :( and walk with our heavy backpacks to the bus station to get a 3 hour ride to Chiang Khong which is located on the border to Laos.