Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai - Bangkok
After The Hill Tribe Trek we had an additional two days in Chaing Rai, in this time we went to the Golden Triangle. Which is where Burma, Thailand and Laos are separated by water way and it is shaped like a Triangle. We took the oppurtunity being so close to so many borders to gain some additional passport stamps! First stop was Burma, where we spent an hour around the Burmese Markets! Which I did NOT enjoy, everyone was just trying to sell dodgy cigarettes (which apparently are good for you) and the markets consisted of much of the same! Plus hundreds of nicked electrical products! It was like a hot Bovingdon Market with some Burmese beggars thrown in! yuk! I was most pleased to return to Thailand after an hour! The only thing good about this trip barring the passport stamp was the fact that on re-entering Thailand my visa was extended by another 30 days! I was well chuffed as my previous visa stated I had to leave Thailand on the 12th and my flight is not until the 18th! Meaning I had to faff about with extensions in Bangkok! So Burma did have some good points!
After Burma we made our way to the Golden Triangle where we hopped on a fast boat over to Laos! Although I am not convinced we were officially in Laos! As there was no border control and the passport was stamped by a woman in a shop, and looks like something I could have brought from The Early Learning Centre! Oh well! We looked around a few market stalls and then jumped back into our fast boat back to Thailand
Three countries in one day is not bad going!!!
Tonight I was back on Thai food and had a lovely meal at the same restuarant as last night, alot of the group are still ill though and for some of them this was there first meal in a while! I tried the Chiang Rai night markets again, but the sellers were still being mean and it was difficult to barter so I gave up and joined Justin, Ryan, Laura and Bett in drinking Rum!! I managed to get drunk but not drunk New Zealand style so did not make too much of a prat of myself!! I did however sit on the internet for 2 hours, I am not too sure what I did as I don't seem to have made any updates! I do however remember the computer turning to Thai writing mid MSN conversation with Stuart! That was very confusing after drinking Thai Rum!
The next morning we were back on the public bus to Chiang Mai where we had a few hours to ourselves before having to catch the overnight train back to Bangkok! Apparently Zidane is in Chaing Mai at the moment - I kept my eyes peeled but unfortunatley did not see him! I was fully prepared to ask for a comedy head butt photo... I am not too sure how well this would have gone down though!
We caught the 6pm overnight train to Bangkok, my dinner was a foot long subway which I had purchased in Chaing Mai - Yum! I caught up on my journal for a bit before discovering Night Trains have a party carriage!! AMAZING! The whole train is pretty peaceful and most people go to bed real early barring this one mental carriage which has disco balls and music and crazy german women in their 50s dancing on the tables! I started on the Rum but soon thought better of it and retired to bed! The journey took about 13 hours, I slept well and actually quite like the overnight trains!
We got taxis back to my starting point hotel in Bangkok where I demolished the buffett breakfast! Tonight I have a group meeting briefly with my new tour leader, some of my Northern Group are doing a different South Tour and some are going home! 5 of us are going down to Phuket so we gain 7 Newbies! Tomorrow I have a free day in Bangkok where I may brave the Chatuchak Weekend Market consisting of 9,000 stalls and visit the Grand Palace!
I start my Southern Tour on Monday where I am looking forward to relaxing on the beaches! I have 8 days to go until I get to re-unite with my Mum, Sister and Claire which I am really looking forward to! Although I am gutted this trip is fast coming to its end, I have had the most brilliant time and am looking forward to seeing family and friends in the UK!
Will update you on my Southern Thailand trip over the next three weeks!