Blog Day 53 Tues 28th June 2011
Ok so the journey itself was ok not to bumpy or jolty but the air con made it extremely cold, we must've slept on & off for around 10 hours when finally at 11am we arrive. A guy is waiting to take us to our next hostel BPM. When we arrive we are pleasantly surprised it looks nice & the staff are friendly, we sort out tickets for a Thai cooking class & the Muay Thai Boxing then spend the rest of the afternoon chilling out, that's when the stomach cramps begin!!
Blog Day 54 Wed 29th June 2011
Chiang Mai Activity Day!!
After having some toast & taking plenty of Imodium to get us through the day we head of for what we think is a day of Bamboo Rafting, it turns out that the Bamboo Rafting is part of a complete activity day, whether we've paid for this or not we do not know, but we probably have. On the bus we meet our tour guide for the day- James, he is Thai but his English is very good, we get the feeling that at some point he must have swallowed an Only Fools and Horses box set, he starts telling us jokes & giving us riddles to complete. He had some very funny sayings that just us writing about you won't understand, I'll write them anyway & we can explain how he said them when we are home. He said that Dan was very cuddly, he called Trish & any other girl a Ball & Chain & his jokes consisted of Oh my darling, you really had to be there. We also meet Tony & Graciella from San Francisco & bond with them throughout the day. There are 2 French guys with us on the trip as well but their English is not so great. One of them however does resemble Mr. Bean. About 1 hour out of Chiang Mai we stop off at an elephant camp where we find out we are to ride the Elephants for about 1 hour, stopping along the way to buy bags of Bananas. This is really good fun & makes us look forward to the Ran Tong Elephant camp we have coming up in a few days, the only thing we dislike is the way they treat the elephants pulling them about & poking them with sharp sticks, it's not very nice to see. We are made to sit in seats that are strapped to the elephants back, half way through the guide asks if any of the boys want to sit on the elephants neck, Dan is the only one to take this offer up, once the ride is finished we buy the picture they took as it comes in a little frame & is inexpensive, the money goes towards the elephants 'upkeep'. After this we visit a Hill Tribe village, there is a young girl making silk scarves by hand, she allows us to take pictures & Trish kindly buy one of her scarves, they are beautifully done & we learn that just 1 takes 3 days to make, & she only asks for 120B which is about £2.50. We then get accosted by a group of small girls selling beads for 5B, Dan shows them some magic tricks with coins & then they show him theirs. In the blink of an eye Dan has 3 bracelets on his arms and legs and the three coins he was doing magic with have disappeared! The 3 girls scoot off giggling.
Lunch as James (tour guide) would put it was scrumdidiliumptious, a banquet of Thai food which was very lovely, just a shame we couldn't have done it full justice as we are starting to feel the cramps set in, more Imodium & then finally Bamboo Rafting.
We get very wet but its fun & there's something extremely peaceful & relaxing about floating along the river on a Bamboo raft. This lasts around 45mins then its back on the bus & back to Chiang Mai. After a nap we go out for a Traditional Thai dinner with Tony & Graciella, we try the recommended Khaw Soi, chicken in a mild curry with noodles-a definite winner. After this we go to watch the traditional Muay Thai Boxing. It's an art & defiantly very physical, children as young as 9 do it, it's interesting to watch & we have practically front row seats so we can see everything. It kicks off around 9 & finishes around 11.30. The best part of the evening though was the blindfold fight. 6 guys all basically get blindfolded and the beat the crap out of the nearest guy to them. This is sometimes the ref which is so funny. He would get blindsided and knocked on his arse, only to get back up and fully kick his blindfolded attacker in the face, dropping him like a sack of spuds!
The kickboxing was great fun and Tony and Graciella's company topped it off. Hopefully we will be able to meet up with them again in San Francisco.