After 13 hours stuck on a over night sleeper train, getting hardly any sleep we adventurely arrive at chiang mai train station at 7 30am. The train journey was so slow. Possibly the slowest train in history to be honest. If it was a train back home it would of done it in about 6 hours. It would of been quicker to get a coach up here as it only takes 8 hours but there would not of been the luxury of having a bed. Basically the train reminded me of something out of a james bond movie, just with out jaws trying to chuck you out of the window. The bottom seats slid together for a bed and there was a pull down bed above that. Cobby had the top and i had the bottom. After arriving we took a taxi in to the centre of chiang mai to try and find a guest house to stay. After 3 hours of walking around and a mcdonalds for breakfast we got a tuc tuc to a place called the Banana guest house. It was recommended in the lonely planet book which is a massive travel essential. It's not that glam but it's clean and the staff are really friendly. It's costing us 240 baht a night between us and for that you get a fan, hot shower and your own toilet. Happy days!! That night we went out to watch the football and get a quick bite to eat. There are hardly any western faces around because it's quiet season. We met 2 german girls and spent the rest of the night with them drinking and then went to a real seedy club.
The next day we had arranged to do a 3 day trek up in the jungle where you get to stay with the local villagers for couple of nights which was great fun but really hard trekking.
We got in a taxi with 6 other people none of them english much to my dislike. When we booked it we got told there was going to be 2 canadian girls, an irish girl and 1 american girl. Instead we ended up with 4 korean and 2 Israelis but it turned out to be quite fun in the end.
On the way up to the elephant camp we stopped off at some market to get our final supplies. This was a market for local's and there way of trading is despicable. There meat was all coved in fly's the food they was serving was was revolting. They offered me a tub of grubs, cockroaches and some huge grasshoppers. I had to walk off at this point as i thought i was going to be sick. The smell in this place was horrible. It just smelt of sweaty meat and a gone off pot of maggots to add to it. Hung over and feeling like death i couldn't decide what i wanted to eat, knowing it could be the last meal for three days, so i just settled on a strawberry cornetto. I was prepared to starve.
We arrived at the elephant camp 2 hours later. These things are huge and i thought "god I've got to ride that thing, what would happen if i fell off". We climbed up a little tower and jumped aboard this elephant. It's was quite comfy surprisingly and you soon got use to the height. We rode these for about an hour. They kept going close to the edge to eat some food and there was a huge drop down to know where. We was praying it wouldn't slip. Te elephant guides kept hitting it with a spike if it got any closer to the edge which we grateful off, but it's so crawl. You could tell these elephants were not treated well and you feel so sorry for them. Elephants are the only animals to share all the same emotions as humans. To look at them, they were probably crying out for help. They can even become suicidal and will kill there selves. There use to be 100000 thousand elephants in Thailand in the early nineties and know there's only 5000. Not nice to think of really.
After that we walked for 30 minutes and had to get a zip line over the river to some huts which we was having lunch in. For lunch it was rice with some other bits in. I ate a little but sill feeling hung over i had to stop. After that we had to get some serious trekking done. Through the jungle we went and it was all up hill. After an hour of walking we all had to stop for a break. It was so humid and everyone was dripping with sweat and gasping for air. Quick break and then we were off again. This was getting stupid. Everything was uphill and i cant see why anyone would want to live so far away from everything, in this heat and with all the bugs the jungle has to offer. We came to a waterfall and that was it for me, i needed to cool off before i died. We all got in for about 10 minutes and then off we went again, up this bloody huge steep hill in the the middle of know where. I came close to asking if i could find my way back the way i was feeling. After 2 more hours we arrived at this tiny village where it was all huts with only the jungle around us. I was so glad to of made it. We sat down whilst this jungle boy cooked us our food. Everything is cooked on these huge plant pots. Well that's what i looked like to me. For starters it was pumpkin and fish curry. All my favourite things, not!!. Luckily they cooked some pork up so i had a little bit of that. After that we sat around chatting and playing games with our newly founded friends. We all had to share this huge hut for the night. Thank god for the mosquito net. There were so many strange noises going on around us and who knows what bugs and spiders there was out there.
After a bad nights sleep due to strange noises and a wooden floor to sleep on, we got up and had breakfast. (This is my birthday day by the way). Eggs and toast. At last i got to eat properly. We then set off for another 3 hours or more of trekking. Thankfully what goes up has to come down. Easy i thought but i was so wrong. After 2 hours of trying not to slip over we came to a huge waterfall which was lush. Once again we stripped off and all went swimming to cool off. Another hour of walking and we came to the white water rafting place. 6 to a raft and off we went down the river to tackle the rapids. This was great fun and a lot easier than walking. We stopped off and jumped on to some bamboo rafts which were great fun to. Whilst soaking up the rays upon this raft a huge spider runs across my chest. I proper crapped it. Who would of thought spiders could swim. Getting over that trauma took a while and then it happened again, across my leg this time. I was not happy at all and was looking forward to getting to land. Once on land we had our lunch which was pad thai and it was really nice and then we got in a cab to drive back to chiang mai city centre. I was looking forward to a hot shower. That night we went out to celebrate my birthday. Yep just me and cobby. Searching desperately to find a good bar to spend night birthday in and it wasn't happening. Hardly any european people about we met a guy called pete and he spent the rest of the night with us. We ended up at some plush called the riverside bar. It turned out to be a great bar with live music like chilli peppers blaring out. In the end it turned out to be a good night and a birthday i wont forget i guess.
The next day we took our time to get out from our beds and decided to go to a snake show. These guys were crazy throwing these snakes around everywhere. We was sitting in the front row and by the end it was close to the back row. Got a python put around my neck and got to kiss it's head which was really cool but very scary. That night we went back to the same bar with a couple of girls we met in our guess house and it was another good night off live music.
Today i haven't done a great deal. Walked to some park on my own and chilled there for a bit. The surroundings where really nice and peaceful. And now I'm writing my blog for you guys to read. I've got so many stories to tell but it takes to long on the computer. Will tell you all more when i get home.
Tomorrow were off to a place called Pai for a night and then after that laos.
Will be in contact soon
Hope you enjoy
Take it easy dan x