We finally arrived in Chiang Mai by plane instead of sleeper train and were immediately impressed with the relaxed slower pace, clean air, beautiful city and it's welcoming locals.
After a warm welcome from Keith at Finlays Cottage and settling into our comfortable room we headed into town for some food.
We were soon handed a leaflet for Muay Thai and much cheaper than that in Bangkok so we jumped at the chance to go that evening.
What a great experience it was too and especially as we probably had the best seats in the house.
One of the highlights for me was watching 6 Thai fighters go at each other blindfolded. On occasion one would lock onto the poor referee who would take a pasting before kicking the blindfolded fighter across the ring. In addition to others being pummeled to the ground by one massive guy who just seem to flail his fits up and down like hammers.
The lady fighters didn't disappoint either showing they has just as much skill and aggression as the blokes!
Earlier in the evening I'd met an Aussie guy who told me he was a cage fighter here on holiday. Once the scheduled fights were over we were surprised to see him step into the ring with a local. The local probably matched him on weight but with 10 times the body fat so we weren't sure how this would go.
Despite the Aussies lack of experience and often knowledge of the rules he came out victorious much to the delight of the mostly foreign crowd.
Throw in a good few Changs and some 'friendly' betting between Alex and I, it was a truly awesome evening, one of the best so far!