1 coach, 1 boat, 1 mini van, 5 Tuk Tuk's and 19 hours later we are FINALLY in THAILAND!!!
Although that sounds pretty stressful, in Olly and Siobh style, we pretty much slept the whole way, despite missing our first scheduled tuk tuk, nearly missing the coach and breaking down in the middle of the jungle at 3am!!!
We are now in Chiang Rai, the most northern province in Thailand. Although quoted by our 'bible' as "more liveable than visit able", we decided that we had endured enough travelling for today and we would set up camp for the night.
We were dropped at a shopping mall. A shopping mall!! Something we had yet to see on our travels. In need of the bathroom we took a look in the mall. In our amazement we found a scene that could only remind me of being in America! There was hip and trendy people shopping in hip and trendy shops. There was KFC, Starbucks, Dunkin donuts, and a handful of other western inspired noodle/Asian food outlets! The mall was clinically clean, and a complete contrast to the Lao town of Huay Xai we had just left across the boarder! Upon leaving we walked through a car park. A car park!! There were more cars in the car park than we had seen in the last two weeks put together!
Sat down (hypocritically) eating our KFC ice cream sundae in the sweltering tarmac car park, we digested the fact that we are now in a 'new' Thailand, unfortunately strongly influenced by the western world!
We found a guest house, took a nap and after a hot shower headed out to find some grub!
In the hope of not finding a McDonald's or Burger King we headed to the nightly street market in search of some local cuisine. We were greeted with a outdoor food court, circled with dozens of local foodies cooking up all manner of edibles. The concept is to grab what you want from any stall and sit where you like in any of the communal table and chairs set up in the middle.
Choices of 'cook your own' hot pots and noodles, tempura veggies and prawns, panko chicken, sushi, BBQ skewers and for the adventurous there was grubs, bugs and insects!
Stomachs full and it was time to stroll through yet another market mainly full of useless crap that Siobhan is drawn towards. A smart little bakery that is also mentioned in 'the bible' served up tea and cake for our desert.
Bed time please...!