I arrive in Chiang Mai on the overnight sleeper train which was really nice, my favourite way to travel overnight I think. The old city of Chiang Mai is located inside a square moat, it's a very busy city but also has a very relaxed feel about it. The city is not one of my personal favourites, but I also think maybe I have been in Asia long enough now and I am ready to leave so I am not really giving Chiang Mai a fair chance.
Bit of a mix up with my accommodation here, apparently I had booked for a month in advance, oops. So after a tuk tuk ride all over the city not really getting anywhere, I spot an older English man. I make a move to intercept him, turns out he is here for a hospital appointment and knows the town rather well. Anyways I tag along with him on a visit to a pharmacy and then he takes me to the backpacker area and buys me breakfast. He then leaves and I never see him again. What a lovely experience, people can be so lovely, by his small effort made such a difference to my day and stopped me feeling lost.
I meet up with Lucy and Kelly again, it is great to see familiar faces, on my way to meet them for dinner I start talking to Ethan and he comes to join us. The next morning we all head to a local yoga class. Me and Lucy both beginners, Kelly an intermediate and Ethan pretty damn amazing turn up at this class supposedly for all abilities. Well… yoga is hard and exhausting, I'm not sure I ever quite believed people who had previously talked about it. After an hour and a half I can barely hold my body weight any longer so we head off for a huge lovely western breakfast down the road and then a very chilled rest of the day.
The nest day I head off on an abseiling trip it turns out to be just me and the 3 Thai instructors, which although apprehensive at the beginning turned out to be amazing as I got to talk to and hear about the lives of these local people, a wonderful insight. We first headed out to a cliff and after a practice abseil I went onto the 75m cliff to jump down. Great fun, a bit of excitement for the morning, then off we headed on a walk to a waterfall for a cooling off dip. Everyone had been telling me how its cooler in Chiang Mai, well in the 38 degree heat it certainly didn't feel like it. After a quick paddle we go to a local village and then off on a bamboo raft down the river. It was a brilliant day filled with all different activities.
I am really starting to feel like it is time for me to leave Asia now, so I am heading back to Bangkok with the girls to make some new plans on where to go from there. Who knows where I will be heading to next…