really struggling to remember everything at the moment, so sorry if i miss anything, had a busy few days, and a brilliant few days!!
so after our last blog we headed out for dinner and a couple of drinks and then grabbed our taxi to the full moon party!! my memory of the night is a bit blurry, too much thai whiskey, but what i do remember was madness!! turned out the was over 62,000 people at the party, pretty much all on one beach, all in full spirits! there we huge DJ stands lining the beach with the biggest sound systems ive ever seen and every genre of music being played somewhere!! there was also a great firework show at midnight, we managed to last untill 5am when we decided we had to head back and crash before we passed out on the beach!! so we made our way back to the town, stepping over the hundreds of people who had passed out, and luckily found a cab from the hotel next to the one we were staying at and managed to get home about 6am! we missed sunrise on the beach but the drive home was along the coast so got to see the sunrise then!! definately the biggest party ive ever been too and a great way to see 2010 in!!
the next day was a complete right off, chloe was feeling worse than i was and didnt get out of bed untill 7pm, i got up about 2.30pm but didnt get past the hammock on the balcony where i read my book and dozed off the hangover! in the evening i managed to drag chloe out for some food, but it wasnt long till we were back in bed!!
the next day was time to check out, and though we had a flight booked to bangkok on the 7th, we decided to get a bus up there sooner, 5 weeks on the islands was great, but a lot of the time theres not alot to do other than sit on a beach and we were ready to get back on the culture trail! we got picked up about 11.00am, and headed to the ferry port...madness!! everyone who came over for the full moon party was leaving, it took over an hour to get on the ferry, and once on there was nowhere to go than the spot we were standing in, it was rammed full! we had a 4hour ferry journey which wasnt the best, but went fairly quickly, but we then had to wait another 4 hours for our bus to leave, and we were just sitting in the middle of a dirt car park, but again it went pretty quick and before we knew it we were on the coach heading to bangkok!! the coach left about 8pm, and arrived in bangkok at 4.30am, and we both managed to sleep enough!
we got off the bus and walked around untill we found our hotel, though we had tried to book a room we had to wait untill 11am to check in, it was now 5am and we were pooped! we had a beer and some breakfast, took a little walk, then decided to pay a little extra for an air con room which would be ready at 8am, once in the room we slept gooood! we did managed to get up in the afternoon though and grab a tour of the city on a tuk tuk, went to see a few temples, a palace, some lucky buddha's and tailor shops! this is the annoying thing about the tuktuks, we paid less than 40p for this guy to drive us around for nearly two hours, but they make their money from taking you to tailor shops and jewellery shops where they get a voucher for 50baht, you dont have to buy anything, but frustrating having to go into numerous shops and pretend to be interested for 5mins before running out the shop!! due to trying to stay on a budget, we visited many tailor shops in our 3 day stay, but means a tuktuk costs about 80% less if you agree to stops on the way to your destination!!
our second day we headed to the grand palace, was amazing how big and how detailed it all was, hopefully our photos will do it justice for you to see, and then we headed over to the main shopping malls, and wandered around these gigantic places for a few hours! they put lakeside to shame and these are only small for asian malls!! we planned on heading to the cinema in the evening but missed a showing and would have had to wait 3 hours for the next one! so we took the times to come back the next day!
on our third day we headed to bangkok zoo for the morning, was hammering down with rain, but was a good day, had so many animals there, and some were just walking around with you, chloe didnt appreiate the metre long lizards strutting around with us! in the evening we headed back to the cinema and watched Avatar at the Imax, great film, and our first 3D cinema experience! not very cultural or anything but we fancied a good old fashion night at the flics!
we had arranged to leave the follwing day to head up to chiang mai, our coach left at 6pm so we left our bags at the hotel and tool a day of walking around the markets, and seeing a few of the sights we had missed! the coach journey wasn't great, and was made worse by the fact the person sitting in front of me broke his chair which meant it fell fully back whenever he laid back, his head was in my lap and my legs were pinned down, i didnt sleep at all, then chloe who had slept abit kindly offered to swap for the final half of the journey and i then managed to sleep for the remaining journey, and some how she managed to sleep too, which meant before we knew it, it was 6am and we were being thrown off the bus! we grabbed a taxi to the hostel we wanted to stay at, and only had to wait a couple of hours to get our room and catch up on some more sleep!! we have been waiting to do so many activities, because everyone says they are better...and cheaper in chiang mai, so we have had a busy few days since being here!!
first night we headed to the muay thai boxing, these guys are seriously tough, the only rules are no nutting or eye gauging, everything else pretty much goes, and they take a real beating and seem to just shrug it off and carry on! except one guy who got mullered in about 30secs, was quite funny to watch but brutal, he took about 5 full blown elbows to the head before the guy finished him with a knee to the face! the other fights were more evenly balanced but just as enjoyable! the last fight was an international fight, the USA vs Thailand, the US guy was ripped, the thai guy was just fat, and took a hefty beating before giving up!
the next day we had a bit of a lay in then took our own walking tour of the city centre, exploring and getting abit of culture again! chloe walked past someone who she thought was her old uni housemate caroline....strangely enough it turned out to be her, though chloe went home to look on facebook first etc so we didnt meet her for a couple of nights yet!! in the evening we headed to the night safari, this was awesome!! most the pictures havn't come out as we werent allowed flash, but we saw all sorts of animals, and they were all coming up right close the the car, we had a giraff stick his head in the cabin, zebras coming up close, th dangerous ones were seperated by a ditch, but they came close enough, the most impressive was the white bengal tiger who we did manage to get some pictures of later! there was also a pretty special water show on, with fountains and lights jetting around in time to music!!
the next morning we were up early for our thai cooking course!! again this was awesome, though we werent prepared for it, we didnt realise you got to eat everything you cooked and we made 6 whole dishes, so by the end we were stuffed, but we learnt to make Pat Thai (a fit noodle dish), spring rolls, chicken soup, thai style, curry paste, a thai green curry and finally fried banana's! all tasted great, and pretty easy too so hopefully we'll be rustling a few dishes together when we get back! in the evening we met up with Caroline, chloes friend from uni, had a few drinks with her and her friend, and some crazy american guy who wouldnt stop talking! was pretty funny though and a good night!
we wanted to do a trek while we were here, and there are hundreds upon hundreds on over, but we finally chose one, which involved 2 days trekking, and staying one night witha hill tribe! we set off early in the morning and met our group, there was 12 of us in total and had a really good group! and the two thai tour guides were hilarious too and really made the trip!! we drove for an hour and got to an elephant camp where we finally did our elephant ride! was quite scary at times as our elephant was on heat, before we got on we could see his "old boy" was out for all too see, and he kept putting his trunk up the female elephants behinds! he also took alot of controlling by our thai rider, but was great fun!
From there we walked for 3-4 hours to the hill tribe...this walk was the hardest, most challenging thing i have ever done! it was up hill all the way in the scorching sun, and it was steep, the only way i can describe it is to say the incline was probably about a 60degrees angle at the flatest times, and much steeper at others! somehow we made it to the top, but it was extremely hard work, where we found the village! the girls took showers, whilst us lads headed up to the local school and played takraw with some of the local kids, this is a traditional thai game and amazing! basically volleyball but with your feet and played with a wicker ball, google it or youtube it, they do some crazy moves with this thing! after an hour or so of this we had a great dinner cooked by our guides, and then had a party around the fire with some of the locals, few beers, bit of guitar and singing, all in all a great night!! also the stars were amazing, ive never seen such a clear sky, and soooo many stars! we then bedded in a big shed on the floor with our group!!
we were woken about 8.30am for a big breakfast, again cooked by our tour guides, and then headed off at about 9.30am, luckily we were coming down hill today so was alot easier, we stopped at a waterfall for a swim and a wash after about 90mins,which was freezing but refreshing, and then walked two more hours to the rafting station, where we jumped in dinghys and did some whitewater rafting for an hour or so, and then we switched onto bamboo rafts and went for about another half an hour to our camp! here we were fed and then brough back to our hotel! and later tonight we are heading out for a reunion party with our group and the tour guides so looking forward to that! but all in all was another big highlight of our trip so far, the hill tribe was mad, living in huts with pigs, chickens etc just roaming around the place, but was really cool to see, the photos will be up soon!!
over the next couple of days we plan to go to a tiger sanctuary, see some shows, such as monkey, snake and elephants show and plan our next move! probably heading to a town called pai for a few nigths and then into Laos!!
sorry just realised ive gone on a bit again, and again probably abit boring..i always forget the fuuny things that have happened when i come to writing this out, but trying to get everything in is a rush, my hours net time is almost up, so happy new year!! and speak soon!!