Just a quick update and added a fair bunch of photos too, here's what I've been doing:
On the same crazy day that we went to the bizarre but impressive elephant some of us decided to go see a muay thai boxing match in the evening. The boxing was really entertaining, I'm pretty sure it's more brutal then anything we would have at home and there was a lot of action and knock outs, we were lucky with our money and won both the matches we bet on which is always satisfying. The part where the day continued it's bizarre trend was when for mid match entertainment they put on a blindfolded boxing match involving four contestants and a rather scared ref who himself was boxed and knocked to the floor several times. It has to be one of the funniest things we had ever seen and has us and our guide who said she'd never seen it done before in stitches. The fairly brutal and presumably manly sport was then even stranger still followed by a lady boy cabaret show in the same ring that 5 mins earlier they'd been fighting in. This really is a strange country always full of suprises!
We also went to thaton, a quiet rural town for a day and climbed up the hills to see the temples and giant buddhas up there and saw the huts up there the monks live in and some great calming views. Yesterday we went to the golden triangle where burma, thailand and laos meet only seperated by the mekong river. We actually got a boat ride over to a market in laos and spent about a 1hr over there, no border control or customs here.
I'm now staying in chiang rai, which like chiang mai is a city that connects all the rural towns around and is mostly full of locals, not too many tourists at all. Unfortunately coming close to the end of the 1st northern part of our tour and will be losing a large part of the group which has now got close enough for everyone to have earned their own nicknames. From the group: Dan "prince charles", Malcom "Milk 'em", Graham "ra-he-me", Megha "Meghaphone", Rosie "Hollywood", Rikka "She hulk", frank "frankenstein" and our guide tik "tik tik boom" and myself "captain planet" (because apparently they haven't heard me utter one negative word since day one, about anything, at all), only me megha, graham and rikka will remain though hopefully we should meet Rosie down there.
It will be a shame for the group to split but we've had a great time togethor, still have some good laughs and a big goodbye planned and it will now be nice to get to the south and experience some of the beaches/islands and get in the water.
I've uploaded a lot of pics and a couple of vids unfortunately the coolest vids are too big to upload and I have yet to put my pics from my trek up, but I'll let you know when those go up as there's some pretty good ones.
Mum/Dad: Trek was amazing thx, def a real highlight. I reckon you'd be alright doing it, I would say the trek is warm but not too demanding especially compared to some I did in NZ, it's worth the lack of luxuries for the experiences and it really didn't bother me too much as I quite enjoyed the novelty of washing in the river and staying in the huts and you're too busy doing exciting things to thing too much about it. We've been staying 1/2 in guest houses and 1/2 in hotels in general and the accomodation is great compared to staying in a simple dorm with 10 others. I'll go through each of the options intrepid offer with you when I get back. Love Dan xXx