So, most people would obviously assume that after a rather eventful evening where one's passport went amiss, one would spend the day trying to resolve it. Well, not me. It was Sunday and I was more than ready to head off into the jungle for some zip lining and abseiling with the gibbons. As you do.
So after Pops picked up her new laptop case and we apologised to Sacha profusely for having lost him the night before, I was in an air-conditioned jeep making my way up a mountain.
It didn't take long to get all signed in and harnessed up and then we were back in the jeep to a spot halfway down the hill. The crew consisted of three nurses, the owner of a couple of Italian restaurants in town and two couples. I was the only one on my todd but everyone was so friendly I had an incredible time.
I went on four zip lines before then climbing up the side of a very steep and perilous hill to the top where I could then take another 12/13 zip lines and 4 abseils back to the bottom. At the top of the hill, before going on the longest zip line in the world, a Thai man came running over to get me, while the others got over the climb, and took me to a nearby tree where a big, black, male gibbon was hooting away. Within in a few minutes everyone followed and we were wall watching while his wife (a huge white gibbon) bounded over with her little baby in tow. We stood and watched them for ages as they played with the little one and then hooted and whooped along when people swung by whooping and screaming too.
However there was more fun to be had, so off we went again. There were so many different zip-lines and by far the scariest was the superman line.The line was attached to my back and I was distracted by the guide who started pointing out gibbons when he pushed me off the platform and I went flying, with arms flailing towards a huge net, which I then had to climb up to then abseil down to the bottom. I scream a lot. A hell of a lot.
After flying through the trees for a total of 4 hours we were then fed a lovely Thai meal, while a traditional Thai band played in the background.
The jeep then took us to a waterfall on the way back - Maekampong. It was stunning but quite a climb to make it all the way up to the top and then once I got up there - the only one to do so - I found there to be nothing to see at all apart from a very healthy bush. Oh well, at least I got a decent work out and it was all made worthwhile by the time I got down when I was handed a cold towel to cool myself down with and some ginger water. Yummy.
Back to the hotel for 4:30pm. Just enough time for a quick shower and change before I got back to my brilliant freewheeling ways and jumped into a minivan full of ecologists to a free evening of dinner and dancing. Not my fault if they let people in willy nilly. I must obviously look a little bit like an ecologist too.
Once we arrived we were blown away. The minivan dropped us off outside a huge complex of temples called 'Khantoke'. Women and men in tradition Thai dress greeted us, well at least try to, but could not really get through the throngs of Iranian Ecologists who took pictures shamelessly of absolutely everything and everyone they saw.
We managed to find the right way in (after being thrown out for wearing our shoes) and we settled into a low table with a pit under it to accommodate our legs. The table was laden with various different mini dishes of traditional Thai food which kept getting refilled even when we had no quite finished them. Our glasses were also bottomless but no Chang or Singha on offer here. Just flat and odd tasting coke. As we sat eating our meal two little girls came over and placed jasmine necklaces around our necks while another man took a photo for us, which was later presented to us on the way out in a lovely frame. Disneyland eat your heart out.
The food was great but then all of a sudden the lights went out and a lady started talking to us over a microphone while drummers and dancers emerged from the back entrance and started throwing petals around and contorting their hands into all kinds of painful looking shapes. The dancing continued for about an hour - the nail dance, the umbrella dance, the school girl dance, the drummer dance, the sword dance, the pig and fish dance (or at least that is what I thought it was).
It was mesmerising but before the end Sacha, Poppy and I had to try and make a hasty exit because Poppy had her first dress fitting in Vienping at 9pm.
The dress look unbelievable with only a few adjustments to be made to it so after some sinching and pinching we were out again and ready for some more excitement.
Not put off by the previous night's events we decided to venture into the night market again and try our luck one more time, holding on tightly to our bags. We managed to piss of a Thai man within about 5minutes when we tried on some sunglasses and never bought them, so a few minutes later Sacha sorted his karma out by buying me the pair I was originally looking at but from someone else. £4 Ray-Bans. That is what I am talking about.
We found a bar by the big screen and a football match so we had a quick beer there, then tried to find a bar by the river and we were sorely disappointed before making our way back to the hotel.
The lovely hotel staff had been in, turned over our beds, closed the curtains and left messages with flowers on out beds. Poppy partook in a little late night swim in the hotel pool but we were all fairly pooped so it didn't take long for us to be tucked up in bed next to our fresh orchids.