We flew budget airlines with Thai Lion Air and Air Asia, Hanoi Vietnam to Bangkok Thailand and then onto Chiang Mai Northern Thailand, the flights were so quick and the journey really wasn't bad at all, and plenty of time in between to collect our bags and check back in for our connecting flight. Once we arrived in Chiang Mai we grabbed a taxi to take us to our guesthouse. Very happy little fellow letting us know all about his time with elephants and how he crashed three weeks ago, even showing us the pictures of his car crash haha. After checking in we heading out for a walk to see the goings on. Unfortunately however times have changed and Katie is suffering with gut ache due to some s*** airport food we think. So we stay out for only a couple of hours and plan the next weeks itinerary, we've book transport to get to Pai as well as a fishing trip. Later on we headed out to the Night Bazaar, which is ginormous! A market selling literally everything! Now that we don't have to stick to a 15kg luggage limit for budget flights we buy a few of our souvenirs and then head to the food court which was amazing and so cheap! Unfortunately the heavens opened and on our way home got slightly wet but grabbed a Nutella and banana crepe for dessert which made everything fine again haha.
The following morning we decide to grab a scooter to find Royal Park, we had read amazing reviews for it but no one seemed to of heard of it, typical! So we took on the challenge, and so glad we did, we got a nice new scooter for just under £6 for 24hours, and got to the park in around half an hour. It was beautiful, we got a tram ride to the top pavilion which is surround by a lotus filled moat and then walked our way through the gardens back to the beginning in a couple of hours. Gardens from all over the world, Japanese,Vietnamese, orchid farm, bonsai garden English rose, Dutch honest the list was never ending! Around 40 different gardens in total. Once we'd finished we decided to use up the petrol will had filled the tank with as we'd barely used any and took a detour following signs to a temple, being a Sunday it was unbelievably busy and a very steep curvy hill, we arrived to a giant Buddah and market stalls, we didn't go in the temple as it was extremely busy with locals paying their respects, we headed back to the scooter and drove on, deciding we'd head to Doi Suthep, one of the more popular temples as it looks out from the hillside onto Chiang Mai. The road was only 18km long but felt the longest yet haha it was very windy and very steep but the view was well worth it! We'd certainly got our money's worth out of our scooter and decided to start heading back as we had booked in to a cooking course at 5pm. For the first time in a long time we ended up in crazy tailback traffic, which we hadn't missed at all and was pretty scary on a scooter weaving in and out but we survived and got back just I time for a shower before heading to Madam Thai Cookery School.
The cooking class was the best yet, we were the only two booked on so it felt very personal and we were able to choose different dishes to cook so we ended up making ten different dishes! (Believe us, it was food baby to the extreme haha). We learnt lots about the Thai ingredients and the supplemented versions we can use back in the U.K, and a huge variety of dishes such as, Thai green curry, Panang, pad Thai, soups, deep fried bananas the food was incredible! And Madam a great person to have met! Once full we decided to head to the Sunday market, we were not disappointed! The array of food on offer was out of this world, crabs, squids, rotisserie quails, so many vegetables and kebabs, it's no wonder it was so busy! We had a walk through to the souvenir market too before heading to the bar for a night cap. The night cap at the roadside cocktail bar turned into a very large bar Bill, and the consummation of approximately 16 cocktails between us, probably not the best idea we've had when having to get a mini bus the following day. We found it difficult to believe that the owner was in her fifties but she proved it to us with I.d and when asked her secret...young men! We were in stitches! Great night...not so great next morning.
As the cocktail party continued with a 90's playlist till 2:45am back at the hotel room as you can imagine this morning wasn't one if the best haha. We made it to the pick up place and got on only to our delight it only took us to the bus station where we had to wait another half an hour to get on another minibus. The drive was utter crazy, tight bends and crazy speeds for 3hours they genuinely are lunatic drivers! As you can imagine we weren't feeling grand so we check in to our lovely little but with its own roof terrace, and had an unexpected hours nap. We've just been out for a curry to help us with this strange nauseating day haha and now plan to sleep it off, good night!