After hanging around in Lop Buri for 12 hours we were so relieved to board the sleeper train. Luckily it was only delayed 15 minutes phew! We were shown to our bunks which were at the end of the carriage. Most people were asleep with their curtains pulled across. We didn't know what to expect but the bunks were ok not overly big. As we were on last all the luggage holders had been taken up which meant we had to put our backpacks up in the bunk with us creating even less room. Of course the benefits of having short legs came in to play so I had plenty of room...Dai on the other hand a little less. We tried to settle down and get comfy and managed to get a few hours kip.
We finally arrived in Chiang Mai both very tired and grumpy! We had previously bought a big map of the city in Bangkok so we knew where we wanted to go and by metro! Ha ha all the taxi drivers and tuk tuks were offering us lifts etc as we were searching for the metro signs! We asked a few of them where the metro was and they looked at us totally gone out and said there wasn't such a thing in the city. We were convinced they were trying to con us and rip us off but it turns out our map was faulty!! Trust us to buy a fraudulent map! We reached our guesthouse had a much needed shower and explored the city. We had a foot massage at the night market, good food and a few drinks. We ended up meeting more travellers and stayed in the bar til 4am drinking whiskey and playing pool with the local lady boys! Great night. Next day again was a right off!
We signed up for a 2 day trek monday and tuesday where we were supposed to stay overnight with a hill tribe. The first part included elephant trekking which was ok but the elephants didn't seem that happy and the used a spike type tool to control them. I did feel really bad and was tempted to walk but thought best to stay quiet and enjoy the scenary. Dai rode on their neck bareback which he seemed to enjoy...I think he was aching some what tho! We had a quick rice lunch then started our 3 hour gruelling uphill trek in the heat. My gosh it was tough. We were going at a quick pace but we were both up the front. The dogs that come with us went on a mission and found a king cobra in the jungle...scary thought. Luckily we were far away from it. Some of the boys, including Dai went down to see if they could see it well a glimpse at least. As the trek went on the mountain got steeper and harder to climb but our motivation was the cold beer waiting for us when we arrived! (I know I said I wouldn't drink any more beer but this was an exception and felt I had earned it!). After 3 hours we reached the top of this mountain everyone huffing and puffing and sweating like b****es!! So glad we made it. An elderly,slightly bigger lady unfortunately was feeling ill so a bike had to collect her half way (so glad that wasn't me!). We didn't see much of the hill tribe which was expected but we had met loads of people on the way which was why we went and of course for the exercise! We stayed the night in a hut, drank beer, played cards and games which involved rubbing black soot over the loosers face (take a look at the pictures) and tried to have a sing song with the guitar. We had a great group and guide which made it more fun. The shower was freezing and took my breath away but after the walk we all needed a good wash down. The toilet was covered in ants so you had to be extra careful at night with your flash torch! ouch! Again after very little sleep we had breakfast at 8am and made our way down the mountain towards the waterfall. Going down was just as tough as going up. Concentrating on your footwork and the pace was again fast meant we didn't take in much of the scenary incase we made a wrong footing and seriously injured oursleves. We made it to the waterfall and had a lush swim and bathe.
Our next stop was white water rafting. The rapids were not that strong but it was still good fun! We stopped a few times to swim in the river and jump off the rocks at the side, Dai was well up for this where I was a little scared due to the fast current but I did manage to jump in after about 10 minutes of me going to, then saying I cant do it, then going to again. The bamboo rafting after was quite lame! We met a Danish couple Denis and Dilek and we had decided to meet up later that evening to exchange photos...our camera broke! We got on really well in the trek and they were both great company. After we got back from the trek our guest house manager showed us where to get a good thai massage so we went and had a classic thai massage for an hour. This was Dais first ever thai massage and he was a little scared as they tend to bend you in all sorts of directions, but he must have enjoyed it because he fell asleep half way through. The following day we arranged to go out on mopeds and see some sights outside of Chiang Mai. We were both moped virgins but it was great fun. Well it was for me at least as I just sat on the back and didn't have to deal with the traffic! Dai did a great job at driving. We visited a lake and spent the afternoon there swimming and chilling out. Unfortunately when we reached the waterfall it was closed which was a shame. We looked at the pictures and it didn't seem all that so no loss. That evening we all went to the Thai boxing together which was good to see. The special fight was the best tho which involved 5 guys blindfolded beating lumps out of each other. Hopefully we will meet up again in the future with them both.