Hi. I wasnt going to write another blog so soon but we have done so much in Chiang Mai that I wanted to write about it and tell you all. Also because im using this blog as a kinda diary I thought by the time ive been to all the thai islands I will have forgotten about Chiang Mai!! So sorry guys your going to have to read more of our adventures.....
I always seem to start my blogs with the journeys to the place....however something always seems to go wrong on them!!! The journey across the border from Lao to Chiang Mai was 1 over night bus, a boat, and another bus at the other side of the border! The over night bus wasnt actually as bad as we had heard it would be, it wasnt full so this meant me and amy got 2 seats to ourselves, however.....I could not sleep....I was freaking out!!! Amy was asleep and I was just gazing out the window even though it was dark and suddenly looked at the road and realised that because of the land slides there actually wasnt a road there, only half a road!!! At this point I was freaking out because I could see from my side of the coach that the road at the side was not there any more and there were trees horizontal to the road where they had fallen down the cliff side!! By the time id had time to process this information the driver had already gone for it and Im sure we were millimetres away from sliding down the cliff...but we made it across very slowly!! Im so glad it was dark and I couldnt see the drop! From that point on I could not sleep because all I could look at was the none exsistent road we were driving on! We had 10 more hours to go so I thought the only way im going to stop freaking out is if I get some sleep....which as you all know i managed quite easily and managed to sleep through it!!! We then reached the border but because our over night bus was late this meant that we had missed our other bus on the other side of the border and had to wait 7 hours for the next bus.....blagggg!!! We coped though and went with another girl from our bus to a little cafe and ate all day!!! The bus to Chiang Mai from the border was fine and we got here about midnight!
We booked ourselves straight onto a trip which was so organised compared to other trips we have done! Our guide was called Tom (this was his easy name that he had changed because we couldnt pronounce his thai name!)....we are so lazy that the thais change their names for us!!! Tom was great and gave us loads of information and was really friendly! The trip started with trekking....Id like to say it was trekking and sound really energetic but it was easy walking along a river and through rice fields...very picturesque! We walked to a hill tribe where we were allowed to look around their tribe and see how they lived. Its all set up for tourists but the people are actually tribe people and it is actually where they live but they make money from the tourists. One of the tribe women was weaving a scarf so I asked if I could have a go and she let me....it was very complicated but very interesting. We then went elephant riding....which was an experience! I made a complete blonde error and asked if we had to peel the bananas for the elephants to eat....which amy found hilarious.....obviously elephants dont peel them before they eat them!!!! I didnt know though!!! The elephants were really cute but we did feel a bit bad and wasnt sure if we were being cruel because they have to carry the tourists around, but Tom explained that they used to do really hard work for the tibe people and carry the wood but now they just carry tourists for half a day and then get the rest of the day to chill out. They wernt being harmed or anything like that so that made us feel a bit better!! We then went bamboo rafting...basically 6 strips of bamboo tied together and we had a local guy with his stick directing our raft down the river! It wasnt white water rafting but it was fun and we got wet...our guy thought it would be funny to splash us with his stick all the time....which after a bit was slightly annoying but still fun!!!
We thought the day trip yesterday was really good fun but then today we went to a thai cooking class...which was ace!!! We ended up getting onto a really good course that apparently has 5 stars on the internet and is well rated, we just picked it by chance! Our teacher was a youngish thai girl who was taught to cook by her mother. We cooked so much food it was amazing and tasted so so good!! We got to cook 4 dishes, noodle dish, soup, stir fry and curry! All of which were so good!!! She was excellent at teaching us and really good fun!!! Charlotte recommended me to get a massaman curry when in Thailand and today I did one better and learnt how to cook one....so hopefully charlotte I can teach you! It tasted amazing!!! She gave us all a little cook book with all the receipes in it so il be testing them out when I get home!!! We had so much fun and were with a really good group. I actually liked it more than our trekking trip!!! The flavours were just so fresh and spicy! This afternoon we visited the market and haggled some more...im getting quite good at bargaining!!!
Tonight we fly to Phuket for island fun!!! I dont think Thai Asia will be quite like easy jet though!
Miss you all but having so much fun! Hannah x
Observations of south east asia! - This is more for make sake so I dont forget but thought Id put it in the blog anyway because its quite interesting.
1. There are 26 vowels in the thai language which makes it so hard to learn. And 1 word can have different meanings depending on the way your pronouce it. The word Mai means come here, but Mai (slurring the word up and the end) means horse, and Mai (slurring the word down at the end) means dog.
2. People in Cambodia and Vietnam use their horns on their cars all the time to warn people that they are going to pull out of a junction as nobody stops at junctions they just pomp their horns all the time!! It gets very annoying!
3. The further you travel up vietnam the ruder and less friendly the locals become - they dont really like westerners.
4. Thai people like to whiten their skin. They use bleaching creams like we use fake tan! They want to be like us! Just shows what a crazy world we live in and we all want what we cant get!
5. Lao locals are so horizontal its untrue! So laid back that its an effort for them to serve you when you go to a restaurant! Its quite nice for a change though!
6. Learnt from cooking course....that if you plant a whole garlic then chives will grow! I did not know this information!!!
7. When using the praying sign and bowing your head in Thailand. You pray at your chest to anyone younger than you. You pray at your nose for elders and family. You pray at your forehead only for buddha and in temple.
8. You should always eat all your rice because the locals work very hard to pick all the rice and its rude if you leave it on your plate.
I cant remember all of them so I may add more to this when I remember! x