We've left Bangkok now, arrived in Chang Mai this morning after an overnight train, it was quite exciting, felt like an adventure up to the jungle! I really like Bangkok which is surprising cos I was preparing myself for the worst but some bits of it are really nice, really leafy streets and lots of interesting sights. the food markets scare me a bit, loads of trays of meat (?) with flies buzzing around them and weird smells! All adds to the experience though! On Tuesday we went to one of the main temples (can't remember the name without looking it up! - oops) and the golden mount temple which was next door. It wasnt where we'd asked to go having got in a tuk tuk (really fun! altho you get mouth and eyefuls of exhaust pollution) but it turned out alright in the end. A very smiley and helpful guy told us about needing to book train tickets early so he took us to the booking office where we booked up chang mai train, a trek up here which we are doing tomorrow, flights down south (cos the train would take about 30 hours which, altho I l****trains, is too long!) and a beach bungalow on Koh Phangnan island so we can go to a black moon party. As this was opur first tuk tuk-ing we didnt know about all the 'stops' the drivers like to add on to your journey like taking you too tailoring stores on the way so they can get petrol vouchers. After getting the jist that it would happen quite a lot and we said no to stops, the friendliness surprisingly went and we were dropped at a temple no where near the one we asked for! Turned out well though cos he had been helpful and the temple was nice and rioght next door to the golden mount. The temples are all really nice but quite similar - a lot of gold, buddah images, incense, monks,etc.. but after madness of racing down a packed in a tuk tuk the peacefulness of them is lovely! Lovely as they are however, havin gnow been to 4 and one tomorrow I think we might have had enough of our Thai tempe experience!
We then tried to get to the grand palace but walked for quite a while in the wrong direction (not our fault!!) and when we got there it was already shut so we walked through some markets and to the river to cool off. By thins time tirednedd from the flights were kicking in and we'de felt like we'e done quite a lot in our first day so jumped on a ferry boat back to our hostel. Our plan for fitting the rest in the next day went slightly wrong when we found ourselves still up at half seven the next morning having been out to a club! Naturally this meant that we didnt head out till about two in the afternoon and only just made the grand palace before it closed at three, really glad we did cos it was spectacular, massive and full of colour and lots of statues and buddahs. Our train was at 7 so we had to head back after that (picking up Emilys sleeping bag on the way which amazingly was still where she'd left it in our hostels bar). One aspect any of us are enjoying is carrying our life on our backs, thinking we'll either have hunches or huge muscles by the end of this!
Going to find some food and drink (i'm drinking like a fish here which is lucky as its so hot Im not eating much) then go to the night market whihc Chang Mai is famour for and be up bright and early for our trek pickup at 9. This travelling stuff is tiring!!
Will write again soon,