I uploaded my jungle trek pictures from Um Pang, it was a great experience, and I'm already working on planning another one. I'd like my next one to be harder and longer and it'll be here in Laos, that's where I am now.
I went from Um Pang to Sukhothai and spent a few days there wondering around the ancient ruins, glad I went, the ruins were different from the other ones I've seen and they're in lots of pictures. So now I can say "I've been there" ;o)
The drive to Sukhothai, back down Death Highway and around the corner was crazy!! Far worse than my way there!! They crammed 27 people in the back of a small pick up truck and I'm not kidding when i say half the people were car sick and puking into bags or off the side. Ugh, I was happy to get off that ride!
From Sukhothai I went to Chang Mai and then decided to hop straight onto another bus to Mae Hong Son. It was 15 hour bus journey, stuffed in a local bus, no sleep, arrived at 5:30am. It was kind of a neat time to arrive because that's when all the monks are out collecting donations, walking around in the fog, no shoes, all orange, people praying to them, it seemed surreal.
The 1st day in Mae Hong Son I hiked to a Karen village and then ate at street vendors for dinner. The guy at the hotel told me which ones to eat at and what food was good, we definitely have different opinions! I swear the pork the guy gave me was dog, I couldn't even be polite, I had to spit it out right there! It was like eating... DOG! Ewww!!! And the other food I had wasn't to good either, except the waffle. By the way I like pancakes now :o)
The 2nd day I tried to hike to a Long Neck Village using a map a local drew me and I bet you guess how that turned out, Yup, I got lost and the worse part is that I dragged this lovely lady along with me. I was so sure I was going the right way, luckily she was there and convinced me to go back to the town. It's a good thing we did because i had lots of the day left to plan another trip. I got a motorbike and went to a Long Neck Village, a bazaar little cave full of huge fish, a small water fall and hot spring/mud spa. I'm so glad I went to the Long Neck Village, there's a lot of controversy about going there now, some people feel like it's going to a zoo, but I loved the people and am so glad I had the opportunity to see such a unique tribe. An elderly lady put a cole around my wrist, it was special, I still have it on, actually I don't know how to get it off :oP Haha
From Mae Hong Son I went to Pai, I LOVE PAI!! Everyone loves Pai!! Half the travelers I met there planned to go for a couple days and have been there weeks, months... It's a travelers paradise, I nice mixture of travelers & locals and tons of stuff to do! As soon as got off the bus I ran into one my coolest friends from Koh Chang. That night I went to Wood Stock and met tons of awesome people who I'm still traveling with now and we're going to celebrate Christmas together and maybe New Years. I'm so glad I have found cool people to share the holidays with :o)
From Pai I've spent the last 3 days traveling and I'm now in Luang Prabang, Laos. I was sick this time traveling it was horrible, the drive from Pai to Chiang Khong felt like the longest one I've ever been on, I was sick after about 5 minutes of driving and it was the turnest road I've ever been on, I had to fight puking the whole way and when we got to Chiang Kong I puked in front of everyone. Ohh I was sick :o( But after that I felt ok, and the 2 day boat ride here although long was beautiful.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and I hope you get to spend it with family and friends!
Sending my love,